Well as far as going to normal life… it is hard at least for me. Had a wonderful time and no matter what you say you guys in Italy have much less hectic lifestyle at least when looked from outside.
It was our 4th trip to Italy but first one to the northern part (been just in Venice 2 years ago) and we are definitely coming back – need more time in Verona, Vicenza and first and foremost in Padua- we fell in love with this city.
The entire tour was organized well – personally we do not like to sit and relax so we went to La Scala for Maria Agresta concert (I am an opera buff and Sabina finally starts to love it too), and enjoyed immensely exhibition of Paolo Veronese in Verona – it is once in the lifetime possibility to see so many pieces of art of the same artist at the same place- especially wonderful is to follow an artist throughout his life through his works! Your suggestion in terms of renting a car was excellent. We were offered by another Italian agency similar itinerary but mode of transport suggested was a train – good thing we did not book with them as there would be a lot of wasted time for transfers not to mention a pain of getting from the train station to the hotels etc.
Guides were very good- personally I enjoyed Silvia Spera the best (Padova) as being an history of art specialist she was in excellent position to talk about it. We also loved Silvia Grazani in Vicenza – very knowledgeable and fun person to be around. Valeria in Verona had lots of class and it was real pleasure to listen to her English! Margherita in Milan was very competent – I remember this particular tour least (jet lag). I believe that the tours could be easily extended to 4 hours with a break for coffee and gelato! But again it is our personal preference – we are just always on the move and try to absorb as much as possible on the first visit – if we love the place we come back to get it to know more, and this is what we definitely plan to do with these 3 cities!
I also believe that in the future you can suggest to your potential clients events worth while attending while on the tour ( i.e. like Veronese exhibition) – most people here in the States are rather lazy and too laid back to do the research on their own. And we are all in need of becoming more culture oriented in US.
Hotels were great- I would be too cheap to book them on my own (after all you just sleep and have breakfast in them) but they made my wife very happy! And if she is happy so am I!!!
Pictures – well might be a problem- my camera’s autofocus died on arrival to Milan so had to take the pics the old way with manual focusing so let’s see …
I did post some pics and videos on Facebook for my work friends – you are welcome to look at them – as long as you use this social media. Look for Piotr Wyrwinski.
A.. Almost forgot-
In Milan there was virtually no chance to see Last Supper so either you could let future clients know to book it ahead of time or make it a part of a tour ( but it would be difficult given walking distance).
By the way forgot to mention that the wine tour was superb!!! I am sure that your other clients will be happy to go to this particular winery as well. May I suggest though that 10 30 in am is rather early for tasting of Amarone, LOL especially before lunch!
We know history of Amarone quite well as well as the wine itself – have to admit that those offered for tasting were spectacular and quite different from ones we drank in the past. Learnt another thing about wine…
Best wishes and Regards,
Piotr Wyrwinski (Mount Vernon, NY) – SEPTEMBER 2014