September 23, 2019

Celebrating a Milestone Birthday in Italy

Hi Kathy,

THANK YOU for working with us and putting together our itinerary. We had an AMAZING time and can't wait to come back to Italy.  

Your knowledge of where to stay in Rome and Florence was spot on - and setting up our tours with Amy was perfect.

So glad we stayed in Portovenere instead of the Cinque Terre, as you suggested. Incredible hotel! Loved our room overlooking the water. We walked all over the town and made it all the way up to the top of the castle. Such incredible views!

The villa in Tuscany was awesome (thanks for negotiating the upgrade). Loved sitting outside and enjoying the amazing sunsets with a glass of Prosecco! 

Our driver, Francesco, was wonderful. He made my birthday really special!   

We couldn't have done it without you!  We would recommend using you to anyone in the future and will definitely reach out again when we come back.

Again, thank you for everything!


Cheri and John S. - Chicago, IL  - USA

August 9, 2019

Multi-generational family vacation

Hi Kathy,

We are all back home and I want to give you some feedback on the trip you helped us plan for such a diverse group.

Everything went very smoothly and I credit your thorough planning and dialogue with me in advance. 

Our driver was wonderful and we enjoyed our conversations with him. He was accommodating of our desire to purchase cheese from Parma on a Sunday and we did. He found a place on the way to Milan. The restaurant he selected for lunch in Parma was an excellent choice.

Each tour guide was very interactive with my grandson. He was a pretty patient traveler with a gelato stop in the middle of our tours, but the guides engaged him often to keep him interested. Our guide in Volterra was especially colorful and we all enjoyed seeing an alabaster artisan at work. The guide in Lucca is what we in the south [fondly] call a “hoot”.  She was delightful.

The farm lunch was a treat and our hosts were so friendly. We ate well and learned a lot about alabaster and bees.  

The high point was probably the boat ride in the Mediterranean. The skipper was so friendly and of course the views are simply amazing. The day went by quickly and everyone thought it was also a fun activity for my grandson.

We found our private chef at the villa to be very friendly and willing to please. Her meals were both excellent. Although we have used drivers and tour guides in past European travel, we had never used a chef. We like the idea and may do that again in future travels.

I am happy to share my thoughts with future clients. The driver spoke highly of your thoroughness and I concur.

Grazie mille for a wonderful family adventure. The trip was a wonderful start to my official senior citizen status.

Best regards,
Billi B. - Georgia, USA

July 18, 2019

Tuscany and Beyond

A customized trip for two that included Como, Florence and the Cinque Terre - designed to blend sightseeing and "La Dolce Vita".

Hi Kathy

The trip was fantastic. Thank you for all your help.

Your services were a godsend! Frankly, I doubt I would have attempted the trip to a foreign language country without them.

In particular, the short listing hotels by site and the coordination of the travel between sites made the travel easy and seamless. Maybe even saved my marriage!

All the hotels were clean with an old world charm. Our stay in Portovenere was grand! The suite had a loggia with panoramic views both east and west. A great place for an afternoon respite from the hustle and bustle of being a tourist. The room made our trip to Cinque Terre sublime. Mixing metaphors, it was icing on the cake.

The side excursion to Lucca was both entertaining and informative. I would highly recommend our tour guide. Personable and informative. Give her our regards when you speak with her.

As for the next trip to Italy, I would love you to find us a villa in the Lucca area for my whole family! 

Again, thanks for all your help.

Sebastian J. - New Jersey, USA

July 11, 2019

A Month in Tuscany

One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet wonderful people. Every year there are some clients who are special. Working together leads us to develop a friendly relationship which we both know will go beyond the end of their vacation. Dave and Beckie are an example. Their wish to spend a whole month in Tuscany, to truly experience the lifestyle and culture, is a planner’s dream! We collaborated for a year to craft their adventure - which included arranging visits from family and friends during their stay. I know how important this trip was to them, so the fact that it lived up to their expectations is an immense satisfaction for me and all of us at New Tuscan Experience. Receiving their note was icing on the cake! 

Dear Kathy,

We just can't say thank you enough! 

We are so grateful for your help in planning our Italy adventure. We can't imagine that it would have been anywhere near the marvelous time we had without your thoughtful assistance and amazing commitment.

We shudder when we think about how our month in Tuscany would have turned out if we had not relied on you and the team at New Tuscan Experience. From start to finish, you were not only responsive but demonstrated an eagerness to be helpful. We are so glad we followed your wonderful ideas and creative suggestions and didn’t force our way forward by asking you to just arrange what we already had in mind. We can see now that would have been a huge mistake and would have resulted in our frustration and regret. 

Your personal commitment to the success of our vacation was phenomenal. We could tell stories about that! We are so grateful we leaned into you. 

We mean it when we say that we had an incredible time thanks in large part to you and your team.

I'm certain we'll have to return soon to Tuscany to refresh our spirits!
Grazie mille!!

Dave and Beckie S. - Atlanta, GA

January 15, 2019

First Trip to Italy


Well this is long over due but we did want to follow up on our trip from last September.

First thanks so much for assisting with planning our first trip to Italy!  
The trip met and exceeded our expectations! We only wish we had had more time.  

All of the places we stayed, the Villa in Panzano, the boutique residence in Florence and the hotel in Rome were all top notch. The staff in all three were very accommodating. One of the highlights of the hotel in Rome was that they gave us a free cell phone to use while there and the GPS system had a ‘Home’ button that always returned you to the hotel!

While in Chianti we attended the cooking class with Eleonora which was a standout. The town of Panzano was very quaint, a great place to relax and a central location from where day trips were easy to plan.

The guides you hired for us in Florence and Rome were polite, knowledgeable and did a great job of commandeering us through the crowds and highlighting things we wanted to see and others we would have totally overlooked. I would recommend the use of guides for anyone visiting the sites.

All in all this was a great trip. We look forward to returning in the not too distant future and using your services once again.

Thanks again, 
Paul & Eileen M. - New Jersey, USA

January 8, 2019

November in Italy

Hi Kathy,

Thank you so much for the wonderful excursions you planned for us. They made our time in Rome and Tuscany spectacular! I have never had such a well-planned vacation. 

We LOVED the day cooking with Eleonora! We also loved the Florence food tour with Toni - she was terrific - and the walking tour starting in the Academia with Sara. 

We had a very nice Thanksgiving in Rome. Our tour was fabulous and we loved Ivano - he was wonderful. Please tell him so. I am sending you our pic with him.

We really had such a fantastic trip!! Thank you so very much!!  

Kate B. - New York, USA

December 5, 2018

Italy's Even Better the Second Time Around!

The bar was set high and we’re so happy to hear that we were able to exceed expectations and make this couple’s return trip to Italy even better than the first (which they loved). Hopefully they’ll abide by the old Italian adage: “Non c’è due senza tre” (meaning: good things come in threes) - and we’ll see them again soon! 

Hi Kathy,

Hope all is well. I apologize for this delayed note. Getting back in the swing of things while longing to be back in Tuscany.

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our trip. Our trip to Sorrento and coast last year was outstanding (or so I thought) that I was worried about planning this trip and our expectations. I now know what OUTSTANDING means!

Our hotel in Florence was great, they upgraded us, really appreciated the kitchen area.

Our tour guide Sara’s knowledge of art, along with the Medici history she provided, gave us a much better appreciation of the whole area. Her warm personality was a great beginning to our trip. She even provided us with several of her favorite restaurants. One of which we dined at twice and even saw her there. Got to meet her family! 

The secret passage tour was a great suggestion, loved the extra exploring.

We loved the cooking class. Eleonora and Livia were wonderful. Patient with us. I was nervous and timid, while Ken was jumping in, like he spends so much time in the kitchen. LOL Of course the food was amazing. Ken asks me every few days if we got the recipes from Eleonora, yet. I think she is going to send them with the oil. We were able to watch the workers shake the olive trees, up close and personal enough.  Ken even got a picture of one of the workers with his equipment. Please thank them for all their hard work to make our time with them outstanding, it is greatly appreciated.

The castle winery’s genuine host made our tour very interesting and informative. The delicious food was more than a light lunch (not that I am complaining) but great with the wines. We have received our wine order from them and have already dived in with family and friends.

Siena and Montepulciano with Antonella was a hoot! Every time I think of her, I stop to chuckle at something she said. We really appreciated all her knowledge, love for Siena and her genuine candor. Being there during Palio week and Antonella truly giving us "an insider's glimpse" was very memorable. 

Bringing us to Mr. Mazzetti's copper shop was priceless. I plan to frame the plaque he made us.

We were glad we transferred to Cortona. We would have liked to have seen a few more things in Florence, but it was time to get out of the city and see the small towns. 

Thanks to Francesco for the phenomenal tour gave us every day. It was obvious he wanted to make our experience perfect. Finding us a different winery, olive press location, a terra cotta facility, a hidden monastery and so many back roads and towns, we are still trying to sort it all out with our pictures. When we tell friends about our experiences with him, they truly can't believe we did all we did in a matter of a few days.

I know there is plenty I am leaving out, but if I mentioned all we immensely enjoyed, this letter would end up being titled, Under the Tuscan Sun Part Two.

There really are not enough adequate words for our experience. We thank you and everyone else for every part they contributed.

Thank you again,
Ken and Aurora B. - Atlanta, Georgia - USA

Family Villa Vacation in Tuscany

Hi Kathy-

Sorry this took so long! Thanks again for a wonderful trip! Here is a review for your website and some photos that you could use:

In August 2018 we spent a wonderful week at a villa in Chianti and it was a perfect family get-away. I can’t say enough about Kathy’s planning and assistance with all of the details! In addition to the beautiful villa, situated in the middle of a winery, she arranged a wine tasting trip, cooking class, and a hotel and tour in Florence, with charming and knowledgeable guides, drivers and a gourmet chef who lives in a castle on an olive estate. I would highly recommend New Tuscan Experience’s services to anyone interested in renting a Tuscan villa!  We are looking forward to a return trip. 

Judi S. - California

November 5, 2018

Family Trip to Italy in October

Kathy is amazing! We had such a wonderful trip in Tuscany and Rome with unique experiences we would never have had if Kathy did not plan them. Highly recommend working with New Tuscan Experience!

Deborah M. - New Jersey, USA

October 21, 2018

Tuscany Coast

We were happy to recommend a lovely B&B accommodation in a villa near the coast for 2 couples who were attending their sons’ baseball tournament in Grosseto. This beautiful 6 bedroom house can also be rented out exclusively for larger groups.

Hi Kathy,

The overall experience was awesome. 
The rooms in the farmhouse villa were very inviting. They were spacious, super clean and had everything you needed and were super comfortable and serene. We have sent you some pictures.

The air conditioners in the rooms were clutch and needed during our trip. The setting was beautiful. We were situated in the middle of a sunflower farm, how fitting in Tuscany. Francesca, the owner, made our trip! She was so nice and very helpful with dinner reservations and suggestions on where to tour in the area. She would call ahead to the restaurants and make our reservations for us in the morning. Each and every one of her recommendations was great. Her breakfasts in the morning were delicious. One day she made omelettes the next day fruit tarts. Great Italian coffee!  We looked forward to getting up!

Her support staff were very pleasant as well.

The pool grounds were immaculate and the pool was always clean and refreshing in the hot summer sun. The cabanas where the towels were supplied were always fully stocked. There were a few nights we would have liked to stay longer at the pool but the B&B had a 7pm curfew on the pool. We respected it however it seemed odd in the summer. It was still hot out and sun was still up. 

We loved our experience and were sad to go.  Your company provided exactly the experience we were hoping for.  Bravo!

Thanks again.

Brendan S. - New York, US

October 10, 2018

A Few Days in Tuscany

Hi Kathy,

We had a great few days in Tuscany - despite the occasional rain storm! 

The cheese tasting and castle winery were wonderful. It was a great way to start out, and the historic cellar is one of a kind. We also did get a chance to take a look around Antinori, which was worth it for the building alone. The trattoria you suggested for lunch was very authentic, all the men were having the steak which is always a fun ritual to witness.

It was a nice change to learn all about Siena. Your guide Antonella is quite a find. Charming and very knowledgeable. 

The driver, Francesco, was very helpful and accommodating. I think we made a good team! During the day in Montalcino, he took us to a great winery for lunch with pairings and many courses. It was a nice surprise and very economical. I wish I could remember the name, but I’m sure he knows it.

Thanks again for all of your organizing!

Elena M. - California, USA

October 9, 2018

Family Trip to Tuscany

Hello Kathy,

We really enjoyed our B&B and every part of our trip and excursion. 

We had a fabulous day in Siena—Loved Roberta! She was wonderful!!! Francesco took good care of us, was so kind and informative. 

The lunch and wine tour was amazing!!! All of us thought it was a highlight...can’t wait to get the case of wine we ordered! 

San Gimignano (I can now pronounce it correctly) was a quick hour stop and bought terrific cheese there. 

Thank you Kathy for all of your help coordinating! We will certainly be in touch once again when traveling this way!

All my best to you-
Nancy D. - USA

July 11, 2018

Girlfriends Trip to Tuscany

Hi Kathy,

It was nice to meet you in Florence on Thursday. We loved the tour with Susanne. She is so knowledgeable and charismatic and made the day so exciting for us. In fact, I returned on Saturday to continue to explore the city. Val and Debbie stayed in Panzano. 

Our cooking class was also very enjoyable. Veronica and her daughter were delightful and we enjoyed our time with them. I have invited a friend over tonight for dinner. I will try to make Focaccia! 

The wine tour was amazing also. I had trouble keeping up with the drinking going on as I've always been the lightweight of the group! Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. Francesco was very professional and took very good care of us. 

The villa was great for us. It was the perfect size and we liked the location so close to town. Gabriele was so pleasant and helpful. He made restaurant reservations for us and gave us good advice. 

Overall, we had a lovely visit and appreciate the detail you put into our itinerary. We have great memories that will last forever. The food and wine was amazing and I do not regret the five pounds I've gained!

You will be highly recommended to our families and friends. We hope to be back sometime in the near future.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

With thanks,

Karen (Debbie and Val too!) - New York, USA

June 16, 2018

Family Trip to Tuscany

Hi Kathy,

The entire trip was wonderful!  It really came together so perfectly and exceeded our expectations. You saved me!  Seriously. While I had done my homework with regard to hotels, you came to my rescue in coordinating a logical and achievable itinerary for each day and pairing us with wonderful drivers and tour guides.  Each was so knowledgeable and friendly. 

Your planning was perfect. Your suggestions for what to do made sense so we didn’t wear out the kids. They really stayed engaged thanks to the great kid-friendly approach of each guide. My kids called you Oz, i.e. the master/mistress behind these terrific excursions. 

We especially loved our day of cooking with Eleonora.  That was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.  She was so inspiring that we’ve purchased our own pasta roller and have made homemade pasta each week we’ve been home. 

We miss Italy so much!

We will definitely recommend you to our friends and family for future trips. 

Keri S. - Milwaukee, WI - USA

June 9, 2018

Milestone Birthday Girls' Getaway

Hi Kathy,

We had an amazing vacation—thank you for your help and guidance in planning our “bucket list” 60th birthday celebration in Tuscany!

We had a fabulous time (and definitely did our part to support the Italian economy! ;-)The trip to the Chianti castle winery and Antinori was exceptional—we loved dining in the castle especially. Lunch in Monticchiello was very nice and we loved Pienza and Florence. Dinner in the city was absolutely top notch. Here’s a picture of us on the Ponte Vecchio. 

The pecorino cheese farm was fabulous. The wine and cheese pairings were probably the best we’ve tasted. And the directions were great - no trouble driving and finding the place!

Thank you so much!

Sharon E. - Pennsylvania, USA

June 3, 2018

Romantic trip to Tuscany

Hi Kathy, 

Thanks so much for checking in! We are finally settled back in New York and absolutely loved our trip! 

Tuscany was by far our favorite place from the whole journey

In fact, our cooking class with Eleonora was our favorite activity. We felt like we were cooking with family and had such an incredible time. 

The cheese farm was fantastic and the cheese/Olive oil/Wine all tasted incredible. The boutique winery was also a fantastic add and we walked away with a case of wine… Looking forward to this arriving in NY! :) 

Thanks again for all your help. 
Everyone we encountered was so kind and we wouldn’t have changed a single thing. Our B&B was perfectly situated and we were able to enjoy some beautiful sunsets. 

We will definitely let you know when we are back in Tuscany and will send any friends your way! 

Thanks for everything. 

Jenna Y. - New York, USA

April 20, 2018

Return Visit to Italy

It's always rewarding when our clients get in touch to say the want to return to Italy, and have us help them again to arrange their trip. Last time they came with the family, this time it was a couple's holiday to see more of Tuscany and also to discover Lake Como, the iconic Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. We are so happy they enjoyed their experience!

Good morning Kathy,

Our trip was fantastic. We had an amazing time. The hotels were lovely and the tours you set us up on were informative and exciting. The drivers and guides were prompt, professional, and very knowledgeable. 

Once again, everything you did for us was perfect. Thank you so much for organizing our trip, you always make our travels enjoyable and memorable. We will definitely use your services again in the future.

Tia and Tom  - San Francisco, CA

January 2, 2018

Tuscany in November

All of us enjoyed meeting this gracious couple and couldn't be happier that they had a good stay. Naturally, we were very pleased, and grateful, to receive such a detailed and enthusiastic review!

Dear Kathy - 

I’m not sure there are adjectives that can describe how wonderful our experience was.  Friends and family have asked about our trip and that is what I have told them - no adjectives to describe the experiences themselves as well as the planning process. I have told everyone how fantastic it was to have you plan our days (and recently sent your info to my friend who will be in Tuscany this summer)!

Our Florence guide, Joanna, was just delightful! We enjoyed our time with her very much. We learned a lot that we had not previously known and hope to have her again on a return trip to see even more of Florence!

On Saturday, we enjoyed the tour at the pecorino farm, the cheese, wine, atmosphere and view immensely. Lunch was delightful and Montefioralle quite picturesque. At our request, the driver Francesco stopped in Panzano so we could pick up salt from Cecchini’s shop. We were so pleased.  

The accommodations in Chianti were just perfect. We were given a delightful room at Castello del Nero with a breathtaking view of the valley.

Even though Sunday was a rainy day (and we got soaked in the woods), we had a fun experience truffle hunting with the truffle hunter (I have forgotten his name but it will come to me). We enjoyed meeting the other couple who joined the hunt with us. They were staying at our hotel also. We ate an amazing lunch together by the fire in the covered veranda. Again just a delightful experience. 

Afterwards, we enjoyed the drive to San Gimignano and were glad to finally visit this village. We bought a lovely urn that was successfully shipped to us and now sits on the shelf above our stove - a lovely reminder of our trip.

Monday was my Spa day at the hotel. What can I say…  the spa was over the top and the massage fantastic. I really enjoyed my day. I also hiked a bit on my own. The grounds at the hotel are beautiful.

Tuesday… Ok, there truly are no words to describe our cooking experience at the olive estate. 

Eleonora and Olivia were a joy to spend time with. The estate is spectacular. We learned so much and have made homemade pasta at our home twice since our return! The lunch was tremendous. 

We will NEVER forget this day and only hope we can return someday.  

The wine tour that followed at the castle winery was, as well, a breathtakingly beautiful place. Of course we enjoyed drinking (and buying) more wine…

Wednesday was a wonderful day spent with Francesco as he introduced us to all things Brunello. We enjoyed tasting and purchasing wine at the wineries. The lunch at the fort in Montalcino was comfortable and delicious. We really enjoyed meeting the proprietor and consuming the wine flight he shared with us. Francesco also took us to a Roman church and Bagno Vignoni. A most memorable Brunello day! Bruce was so pleased.  

At the end of the day we checked into the B&B in Siena - quite delightful.

Thursday we had a great day touring Siena with Antonella! We had been to Siena in 2016 but it was hot and I was cranky and my daughter and I got lost. So my impression of Siena was not particularly positive. Antonella turned that all around! It is always helpful to have a knowledgeable guide to teach you. We really came to appreciate and enjoy Siena. Lunch was wonderful. Would definitely return.

Friday was a wonderful day with Francesco and Antonella - touring Pienza (still enjoying the Pecorino Fresco we brought back with us!), Montepulciano and Monticchiello and taking the scenic drive back to Siena.  

Saturday Francesco picked us up and took us to the winery which was simply beautiful. We took some terrific pictures. And of course the wine was enjoyable and we purchased even more for our cellar. At our request, Francesco took us back to Florence directly where we checked into our hotel, since our flight was very early the next morning.

Francesco picked us up at 4am on Sunday to drive us to the airport! We were so grateful to him for picking us up early and so as to worry about a taxi showing up at that hour.

So there you have it - a quick trip review!  The accommodations were spot on - the excursions as well. And your team (Joanna, Francesco, Eleonora, Olivia and Antonella) were just a delight. I hope we will have a chance to see them all again someday! Thank you so very much for putting this wonderful itinerary together for us. We will never forget this trip.

My best,
Susan A. - Milwaukee, WI.

October 20, 2017

Autumn in Tuscany with Friends

Another great group! We are so happy they loved their trip - it was a pleasure working with them! 

Dear Kathy,

Our trip was amazing. You were able to keep all 10 of us happy for the entire week.  

The Villa was just as you had described and met our every need. It was spacious and gracious. The personnel were so very friendly and the accommodations so very lovely.

Thank you for all your help on our very first day. With delayed planes and missed flights, you were the friendly voice in Italy that was able to help us sort out the details.  

Our itinerary was full and accommodated all.  We were able to see so much of Beautiful Tuscany and enjoy so many sights, sounds and of course the food. What memories we made.

You are truly a pleasure to work with and we feel so fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience. 

Thanks for all,

MaryAnn D. - Massachusetts, USA