Thank you for planning our 40th Wedding Anniversary trip to Italy. I am in awe of how you meticulously made it all come together. Details that I never would of thought of. From the moment I reached out to you, you went above and beyond. You really listened to what my wishes were. The service you provided was astonishing. We are truly grateful for the wonderful experience of visiting your beautiful country and the lovely people. The memories, big and small are going to stay with us forever.
We loved each place we visited, but for different reasons. The guides were all friendly, passionate, and highly knowledgeable. We appreciated the ability to be one-on-one and skipping the lines. Truly an educational experience. The drivers/guides were always prompt, very friendly and we had many great conversations. Always graciously answering all our questions. They all went out of their way making sure our day was special.
In Venice we enjoyed a Bacari Tour with our guide, Cecilia. She explained the local delicacies, traditions and culture. Cecilia was very sweet and we felt an instant friendship. I was feeling a little down because it was raining and a bit windy. Looking at the extended forecast, it looked like the rain was going to follow us throughout our trip. Cecilia, being so thoughtful made it a point to cheer me up and not to worry. Well Cecilia was our good luck charm for sure. The next day and every day after we had PERFECT weather! The next night while dining at Enoteca AI Artisti, seated near the window, I suddenly see a familiar face. I nearly jumped out of my seat. Yes, it was Cecilia! We both began waving and shared happy smiles.
The next day we enjoyed a private water taxi ride along the Grand Canal with our guide, taking in the beautiful views. We then visited Saint Mark Basilica followed by a delicious lunch. I’m very grateful to all of our guides/drivers offering to take pictures. Without them, we wouldn’t have pictures of the two of us together.
In Florence along with our guide, we enjoyed a three hour walking tour and a visit to the Accademia Gallery. The next day we met our amazing chef, Gianluca at the market to shop for our ingredients for a cooking class. Gianluca welcomed us in his beautiful kitchen and then guided us in preparing a four course lunch. Using the freshest ingredients, our lunch was absolutely delicious. And of course we sipped on some nice Italian wine. Gianluca made us feel so comfortable and we had so much fun. Cooking with a chef was definitely on my bucket list. And to do it in Italy along side of Gianluca made it that more special! The day was a true culinary experience.
Leaving Florence and heading to Tuscany we were picked up by our private driver, Georgios (Greece). We enjoyed a full day excursion exploring the Chianti Countryside and wine tasting at Monterinaldi Winery. Georgios was definitely a favorite. He was knowledgeable, warm and very personable. We enjoyed our time with Georgios immensely.
After spending sometime visiting the Chianti villages Georgios drove us to Monterinaldi Winery. We enjoyed a tour, a tasting of various wines, and an amazing lunch. When we arrived we were greeted by Giorgio, our wine tour guide. She shared the history and wine making traditions of producing the wines. Giorgio was very knowledgeable and you could feel her passion explaining the various wines. She served us a delicious four course lunch with our wine tasting. For dessert we enjoyed an olive oil cake. I actually tried the recipe for this when I returned home. Yummy! Giorgio was always smiling and seemed to really love being a guide. The winery was in a beautiful location and the home and surroundings were breathtaking. Truly a wonderful and memorable day!
Rome, was an absolute highlight of our trip. Our tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica was an amazing, overwhelming experience. The beauty takes your breath away. Our private guide, Eleonora Federici was exceptional. She was passionate and very knowledgeable. She shared so much history with us. With Eleanor as our guide we didn’t want the tour to end. Truly an educational and pleasant experience. The next day we enjoyed a three hour tour of the Colosseum and Fora. Our private guide, Valentina Bartolini, was passionate with a deep knowledge of Roman history. We were transported back in time with her wealth of knowledge. Having Valentina as our guide enriched the entire experience. She welcomed and answered all of our questions. At the end of our tour she suggested an amazing restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. Valentina was absolutely fantastic!
On our own we visited the Trevi Fountain, making our wish to return to Rome with the coin toss. We also visited and climbed the Spanish Steps and the Mouth of Truth.
Our three days in Rome we will treasure always. We loved the people, the amazing restaurants/ food and walking the cobblestone streets. In the movie, Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn is asked which of the cities visited did she enjoy the most? She replies…Each in its own way was …unforgettable. It would be difficult to- ROME; by all means, ROME.
Our next stop, a visit to the ancient city of Pompeii before heading to Positano/Amalfi Coast. The two hour tour of Pompeii provided us with an incredible window into middle-class Ancient Roman life in the year of 79 AD. The view of Mount Vesuvius in the distance which erupted destroying the city was impressive. Our private guide was wonderful and very knowledgeable, not to mention his storytelling skills brought this incredible city to life.
We then started our journey to Positano. Arriving at our beautiful hotel, (Hotel Poseidon) we were greeted by a very friendly staff. The view from our terrace was like a beautiful postcard. The pastel homes, tumbling down the steep hillside and the stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea. I thought how fortunate we were to be in such a beautiful place.
Our first day in Positano we explored on our own. We spent the day walking the winding streets, shopping in the clothing boutiques, and ceramic shops. During our walk along the coast we were able to take many pictures capturing views from every angle.
The next day we were picked up by our private driver/guide, Borrello (Lallo) Stanislao for a full day excursion. Our first stop was the Ceramiche Casola, showroom and factory. We decided to order some customized pieces of furniture that will remind us of our visit to beautiful, Positano. These pieces will be a forever heirloom in our family when they arrive next spring.
We continued driving the coastline taking in the stunning views. Lallo made several stops along the way and offered to take our picture. Lallo who was born and lives in Sorrento with his family was absolutely amazing. We talked nonstop and learned and shared so much. We were so fortunate to have Lallo as our guide and driver. He asked if we wanted to have a nice lunch on the beach because he had the perfect spot in mind. He said it’s a local restaurant where he and his family dine. We made our way to Meta di Sorrento, where we had a delicious lunch at La Conca Ristorante. Lallo introduced us to the owner and told him to take good care of us. Not only was our lunch delicious but the view exquisite. We then visited the town of Sorrento followed by an olive oil tasting where we bought several bottles. It was a pleasure spending the day with Lallo. His expertise and his local knowledge was exemplary. We ended the day with hugs and as Lallo left us he said, “We met as strangers but are leaving as friends”.
Matteo, all of the accommodations you offered were wonderful and in great locations. Our favorites were Hotel Poseidon, Plaza Lucchesi, and Hotel Lunetta. The breakfast included in all of our stays- delicious and bountiful. No need to stop for lunch.
Finally the food. I was grateful for all the restaurant choices you sent me. And after reviewing all of them you made all the reservations based on our schedule for each day. I was happy that you made the reservations ahead of time because some of the restaurants were “reservations only”. Each and every one we enjoyed the amazing food, wine, polite servers, and atmosphere. We truly loved eating the freshest foods, experiencing the local culture and all it had to offer. Italians prepare their food with their whole HEARTS!
Our absolute favorites for dinner were 4 Leoni, Ristorante Roscioli, Ristorante Le 3 Sorelle, and Ristorante Da Vincenzo. Best pizza, Emma and best gelato Fatamorgana both in Rome.
Once again Matteo a heartfelt thank you for planning a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was PERFECT! Thank you for the use of your smartphone too. It provides a great service. We very much look forward to visiting your beautiful Italy again. You will definitely hear from us when we plan our next trip.
Joan & David Morgan”
Joan & David Morgan (Middletown, DE) – SEPTEMBER 2019