Tommaso,Sorry for the delay. As I noted in my earlier email, we may have had too much fun (is that possible?) and it took us a while to recover. My responses to your questions are shown below. Bottom line: I had a perfectly wonderful trip thanks to you!How did you enjoy Italy?I absolutely loved it – thanks, in no small part, to your efforts on our behalf. The logistics were spot-on and everything (drivers at airports/train stations, hotel locations, walking tours, wine tastings, museum reservations) went like clockwork without a hitch. The hotels were divine. My favorite was Hotel Palazzo Ravizza in Siena (the room was so spacious, the view was awesome, the outdoor terrace was an unexpected treat that we took advantage of several times a day, and the staff was very kind & helpful); although, the Hotel Santa Maria Novella (Florence) was a close second with its superb location, balcony, and wonderful breakfast buffet. But I also have to applaud the Hotel Columbia in Rome – we lucked out & got a room with a small outdoor patio that did wonders to cure our jet lag (as did your champagne; what a lovely & thoughtful gesture – mille grazie!). The staff at the Hotel Columbia was also outstanding and the rooftop terrace (for breakfast or an evening glass of wine) was delightful.Where do I start? We saw the beginning of civilization as we know it, we saw the birthplace of the Renaissance, we saw awe-inspiring art (how did they carve folds in material in marble and make it seem so lifelike and translucent??), and we saw some (a lot!) of the world’s greatest architecture. Actually, it was mind-blowing; I saw up close and personal places, buildings, and artists I’ve studied my whole life.The wine tastings/tours were a highlight and the ones you reserved for us were outstanding. I really enjoyed doing 2 small-group tastings and 2 private tastings as they were each so different and each so much fun. The Trastevere Food/Wine Tour was fun & enlightening (great tour guide) – small group tours are so enjoyable. We met locals as well as folks from all over the globe.The walking tours were very nice and gave us an overview of each city and its highlights in terms of history, landmarks, and local culture. The very best was the woman (Vivian? Valerie?) who led the tour of ancient Rome. She was an archeologist who had worked on one of the digs and she had the very best stories and really made Roman history come alive. Some of the tour guides’ accents (e.g., Florence, Venice) were hard to understand and follow.Of course, we walked and walked all day, every day. We appreciated the markets, sights, and restaurants you recommended. We roamed down side streets and out-of-the-way places and got happily lost several times – some of our best days!Liked the Most: My absolute favorite was Guglielmo Riggio who conducted our tour of medieval towns, Chianti, and San Gimignano. He was so personable, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about history (local, Italian, and global!), art/architecture, and local culture. He entertained us non-stop for an entire day and I was sorry when the day ended. He was simply outstanding & I can’t recommend him highly enough!Disliked the Most: That’s difficult since I didn’t dislike anything for 2 whole weeks (bravo to you!). I think the most disappointing was the gondola ride in Venice. Our reserved evening was cancelled due to threat of rain, but they let us come back the next evening. Unfortunately the 45-minute gondola ride was only 15-20 minutes (at most); I don’t know if that’s the norm or if it was shortened because they had to make up for the night before. Overall, it was a superb trip and exceeded my expectations in every way. We very much appreciated your thoughtfulness in having champagne in our room, not just the first night, but the last night, too – such a nice, and totally unexpected, gesture. Finally, Nanci found Trips2Italy on the internet because we kept searching for an in-country group that would take care of all the arrangements (hotels, museum passes, wine/walking tours) and let us travel from city to city by train instead of plane. We had a hard time finding you, which is a shame as you and your group are so spot-on for what we wanted our trip to be. You listened & delivered – it’s almost like your read our minds! I’d be delighted to write a glowing recommendation of Trips2Italy if it would help spread the word about the fabulous service you offer.I can’t thank you enough for make my dream-retirement-vacation come true,Alison "
Alison S. USA
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