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. 

Best,
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.

Fondly,
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

October 5, 2017

September in Tuscany

Dear Kathy, 

I have been meaning to write you all week. It was lovely working with you and we appreciate the prompt service on both suggesting and confirming the accommodation reservations in Tuscany and Rome, as well as setting up the cooking class in Chianti.

We had a lovely time at the B&B near Siena. The staff was very hospitable and the location was central. We had never been to Siena so really enjoyed our time there, along with several other hill towns. 

The cooking class was wonderful. Rita and Silvano are truly passionate about their farm and vineyard. We enjoyed the other couples and ate like royalty after our time in the cucina. 

Now we are at our hotel in Rome. Very central and modern. Last night here.  What a whirlwind trip--so appreciate all your help and flexibility! 

All the best, 
Julia H. - California, USA




August 3, 2017

Tuscany Family Vacation

We all appreciate kind and enthusiastic clients, and this family was both! Every one of us enjoyed working with them. I was honored to read their message, and am so happy they had such a memorable vacation.

Kathy,

I cannot thank you enough all of your suggestions on our trip to Positano and Tuscany. 

Positano was magical. From the onset everything went so smoothly including our driver from the airport, our tour guide to Pompeii, the hotel you suggested and our sunset cruise that you helped my son plan for us.
This was truly a dream vacation.

In Tuscany, our villa in Panzano was perfect. It was roomy, comfortable and simply fabulous. The views were breathtaking!  

Our chef on Saturday was so talented. Our meal was delicious - what a wonderful way to begin.

The cooking class at the organic farm was one of our favorites. What wonderful people and what wonderful memories we will have forever. We thoroughly enjoyed the Pecorino Cheese Farm and Chianti Wineries and the Sampler Tour. Once again, our driver was wonderful.

I could go on and on about our experiences but the one experience that I will never forget was working with you. You were spot on with your suggestions, never pushy, always helpful and pleasant. I so appreciated your meeting with us on Saturday. It was great to finally put a face to the name. I would never hesitate to recommend you to anyone who is dreaming of a trip to Italy. You were fantastic.

Thank you again!!!!

Warmest Regards,
Pat, Chris, Christopher, Kate and Heather - New Jersey, USA

July 28, 2017

A Tuscany Vacation to find family roots

This family's trip to Tuscany was more than just a vacation - it was the chance to discover where their ancestors came from - since not all immigrants to the US came from the south! We couldn't be happier that they found what they were looking for, both in terms of a fun-filled summer vacation and a heartwarming journey into the past. 

Dear Kathy -

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a truly wonderful experience in Tuscany!  Our family had an amazing time and the tours and activities you set up for us were wonderful.

The villa was beautiful and we all enjoyed our time there. Vanessa and Marco went out of their way to make us feel welcome and the dinners you lined up for us with the private chef were incredible. We are still talking about his cacio e pepe. Dining under the vines on the terrace was a magical experience.

Our guide, Jo, did a fantastic job showing us around Florence and the kids really enjoyed all the history and interesting facts she shared. She was such a joy to be around and really gave us an insider’s view of the city and all its history.  

The wine tasting and tour at the Castello winery was really incredible. To see the old cellars, learn about the history of the castle and enjoy their wonderful wines and lunch in a dining room dating back to the 16th century was special.  Barbara was a wonderful guide and you were right, their Chianti is one of the best!  

The highlight or our time was finding the small village where my father-in-law’s grandfather lived.  It was an adventure getting there and exploring a tiny village in the hills of Tuscany was very special for all of us. We even found a plaque commemorating one of his relatives!

Thank you again for creating a wonderful experience for our family.  I have already given your name to several friends and hope we can return soon. It is a special place.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Kindly,
Jen C. - New Jersey, USA

July 14, 2017

Fabulous Return Trip to Italy


It’s especially rewarding when our clients return to Italy and seek us out again to help them plan their trip. A few years ago we designed this couple’s honeymoon itinerary in Tuscany, and they were very pleased. They contacted us again to see if we could provide full assistance with a trip to Rome and the Amalfi Coast. We were more than happy to oblige by arranging their accommodations, transportation and tours.   

Kathy,

We had a wonderful time on this trip. We were delighted with the whole week. Your ideas were almost all spot-on for us, and the services and execution were near perfect.

We are happy to leave you this glowing review - and hope it helps to let others know about what you do! The same holds true for all the guides and services you provided - all of which were top-notch! Thanks again for finding us wonderful resources.

Every one of our guides this week was great, and the Vatican guide, Sylvia, was the best of the bunch. Incredibly knowledgeable, she sized us up quickly, and gave us a very personalized introduction to this amazing institution. Unsurprisingly, the Vatican was incredibly crowded, and it was a hot day (with no air conditioning, of course). So perhaps the Vatican wasn’t our favorite, but Sylvia was.

The driver of the Golf Cart Tour in Rome was terrific, fun, and dedicated to making us happy. We had already seen many of the sights, so he thought on his feet, and got us to places we hadn’t visited, including the non-Catholic cemetery and some of the views to the Borghese Gardens. The golf cart tour, however, is not our thing. It doesn’t really allow for wandering and serendipity, which are a big part of how we enjoy traveling.

Train to/from Naples — Easy peasy. Thanks for arranging the tickets and making the late change of travel dates.

The driver from Naples to Positano — On-time, good driver, good English, pointed out sights to see. Gave us plenty additional time for lunch in Pompeii.

The Pompeii guide (Daniel) was terrific. His family has been Pompeii guides for generations. Super-knowledgeable. Gave us a real sense of the perspective of the people living there.

We loved our hotel in Positano, and might well return to the friendly and supportive care of this team, especially Angelo and Josephina, at the front desk. We were very glad for the location, which was just high enough to be away from most of the tourists, but not twice as far from the water. Generally speaking, we stayed away from the crowded, touristy areas. We got good advice to walk 10 minutes to a more local, family run beach club, and had a nice time there on Thursday.

Walk of the Gods with Luigi — Great walk. Lisa and I both enjoy long walks/hikes, and this was a great find. Luigi is a committed outdoorsman, and has been giving the tours for more than a decade. Just great. We even decided not to take a taxi and walked back to Positano from Nocelle (another 5km).


Capri Boat Tour — A highlight of the vacation. The boat company was excellent, and Captain Massimo was professional, knowledgeable, and extremely welcoming to all. The tour to/from/around Capri was quite extensive, and there was plenty of time to spend on the island. We enjoyed (surprisingly) the single chair lift to the top of Ana Capri. The rest of the visit was just a crowded tourist stop, but still fun enough.

Finally, we liked the splitting of time between high-paced city and slow sunny beach. That might be a good formula for us.

Kathy, we’re thrilled that we got back in touch with you, and look forward to doing it again. Maybe Venice, or perhaps other areas. We’re kind of taking a liking to Italy…  

All the best,
Andy and Lisa - California - USA

July 11, 2017

Multi-generational Family Vacation in Tuscany

When extended families get together and ask for our assistance to arrange their vacation, it is inevitably a large, multi-generational group to work with. We helped this grandfather plan a family reunion for 16 - that needed to be a surprise for his wife! Besides a beautiful villa rental in Tuscany (with an incredible view - as their photo confirms!), there was also a preliminary stop in Naples for part of the group (with guided visits to Pompeii and Herculaneum). We are happy that the whole family, from 80 to 18 months, had a good time! 

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for all the guidance. It was a very successful trip!

Those of us who started out in Naples cannot say enough wonderful things about the guide and driver you arranged for us. The guide was so clearly expert in, and enthusiastic about, the city, the region, the history and the art and was able to impart her knowledge in a way that was interesting to the children and adults! And even though she was going through some personal difficulties (her father had just passed away), she was professional and warm and funny and delightful. She crafted the tour to meet our needs with the kids, but the adults would spend a day with her at the Archeological Museum in a heartbeat (sans kids!) The driver was, of course, quieter, but no less charming and looked after us very well. The hotel in Naples was perfect for our needs. Thanks for helping with that too.

In Tuscany, the villa was perfect. My wife was totally surprised and everyone had a great time.

Our cooking class at the villa was AWESOME! The chef and his assistant were great. They allowed the kids to get involved (although that significantly slowed down the operations) and the food was amazing. The pork (which can easily get dry) was moist and beautiful. So, much so, we all made to-go sandwiches with the leftovers. The tiramisu, and I consider myself a self proclaimed expert, (not much of a dessert guy, but will always do tiramisu!), was the best I've had. Not too sweet, more focused on the creaminess of the filling than the sweetness. It was just a really great experience.

Thanks for all your good work. Feel free to use these comments for your Testimonials page, and if useful, I'd be more than willing to act as a reference.

Regards,
Jay B. - New Jersey - USA