October 26, 2013

Brothers' Reunion - October 2013

Working with my first clients from Saudi Arabia proved to be a wonderful experience! I was asked to help three brothers have a reunion – since busy lives often keep them from spending quality time together. They wanted to discover Tuscany and include a few days at a seaside location. Air travel was through Rome, so I proposed a Chianti and Amalfi Coast itinerary. Beautiful accommodations, cooking classes, wine tours, a farm visit, sightseeing excursions and fine dining were all included. I couldn’t be happier that their trip turned out to be everything they had hoped for! In fact, they enjoyed it so much, it looks like they’ll even be coming back this summer with the whole family!!

Together during the Chianti wine cellar visit.
Dear Kathy,

We can not stop thanking you for the best trip you had arranged for us. We have enjoyed every single thing you had recommended.

It was our pleasure to recommend your name to everyone we met during our stay and also to tell all those who have a passion to try the New Tuscan Experience.

You have done an amazing job Kathy! We felt your touch and extra care in everything. 

All of us will keep remembering you and wishing to meet you soon along with our family.

Please let me know if you need any support in the Middle East now and in the future.

Big thanks from all the brothers! 

Younis B. – Saudi Arabia

After a pastry lesson with award-winning Chef Don Alfonso on the Amalfi Coast.

October 19, 2013

A Family with Teens - August 2013

Hi Kathy,

Just thinking the other day about our trip and missing it! We had an amazing time in Italy this summer. Your direction and guidance were crucial to making our trip a success. Planning for a family of six with varying ages of children is no easy feat. 

We had plenty of things to do that everyone loved and we also figured out when to just not do anything and just enjoy Italy. My personal favorite in Tuscany was that organic farm and winery. The food was amazing, the owner so informative (the kids were into the truffle hunting business) and the scenery magnificent. We would've never found that place without you!

The kids loved Florence and the great tour guide who walked us through the city. Each day was filled with something beautiful and exciting and then to go back to our villa every evening was the absolute best part. We just loved that place! 

We have been telling all our friends about you - we would totally call you again for help next time we come to visit!

Heidi, Gary, Cooper, Lockie, Oliver and Violette   - New Jersey, USA

October 17, 2013

Four Couples - October 2013

Some of our clients are very independent travelers. They contact us to help them find the right villa and offer some itinerary suggestions for self-exploration. We are happy to oblige, since our objective is to provide as much (or as little) assistance as you require. The important thing is that we get it right! Unfortunately, we have no control over Mother Nature… but for the rest, we do our utmost!

Thank you Kathy!

For the wonderfully arranged villa. Everything was as expected and even better. Scenery was fantastic and all worked fine.

Yes, the weather was not as good as we hoped but it’s reality and no one can do anything.

All the best to you.

Timo K. – Turku, Finland

September 27, 2013

Big 50th Birthday Bash! - September 2013

Dear Kathy,

With your excellent advice and guidance our “Buon Compleanno Tuscany Style”  event turned out to exceed our expectations. It all started with a promise amongst close friends to enjoy our 50th birthdays in Tuscany. The group participating started small but grew to include family and friends (more friends with birthdays!). With your guidance we found the perfect Villa, actually an old Hunting Lodge, to accommodate our group of 16. Plus your recommendation to use a nearby B&B for 2 additional guests worked well.

The villa suited us perfectly with the many wonderful places that the group could gather inside and out to enjoy meals, chat, swim, or just relax.

Susanne provided the group with a knowledgeable and delightful tour of Sienna.

The hands on cooking class with Silvano and Rita in Castellina was a favorite of our group. We look forward to recreating some of the dishes we made.

The small trips to nearby towns, enjoying local meals was exactly as we imagined.

Our Chianti Wine day was wonderful with our Sommelier Ellen  - we loved the stop to see the small town of Greve and eating lunch alfresco with you and Ellen was a treat.

The pinnacle of the trip was the Birthday dinner, consisting of many fabulous courses served and ending with a spectacular Birthday cake!

You were on top of all your vendors, ensuring we had the best experience that could be offered. Your personal involvement was impressive and made us feel we were receiving special treatment. 

We have many special memories of this trip.  
Thank you

Lora, and Steve S.  - Bermuda
Greg and Malia F. - Seattle, WA 

September 13, 2013

Multi-generational Family Wedding/Vacation - September 2013

Hi Kathy,

We got back to Florida last night! What an amazing vacation! The tours and guides were perfect! Loved the villa, perfect fit for us. Our wedding was magical! Weather was perfect for two weeks! Thank you again for making this all work out perfectly!

Larraine & Tony – FL, USA

September 4, 2013

Three Familes with Teens - August 2013

Hi Kathy,

We enjoyed a lot our stay in Lucca
We think the villa situation is very good (very beautiful view around), we enjoyed the tennis court and swimming pool; the house is very comfortable (a lot of bathrooms, a big kitchen…).
Best regards and see you again soon!

Stéphanie M. – Paris, France
The amazing view from the villa

August 5, 2013

Family Vacation in Florence - August 2013

Hi Kathy-

Thank you so much for setting up our tours! You did a great job. Your tour guides were fantastic! We enjoyed Susanna in Siena and the Florence tour guide, Nicholas.

We will definitely recommend your services to our family and friends. We will be back sometime sooner than later.

Grazie Mille,

Lisa, Robert, Philip, Robert Jr. and  Michael R. 
- from New Jersey

July 31, 2013

A Romantic Getaway - July 2013

Hey Kathy,

Our trip to Italy was truly unforgettable thanks to you! We cannot thank you enough for the fabulous itinerary you put together for us. You really listened and understood the kind of vacation we were looking for, and delivered beyond our expectations. 

When traveling from city to city in a foreign country, it can be very overwhelming, but you made everything so easy for us! From Florence, to Chianti, to the Cinque Terre, each leg of our trip was well planned out with perfect detail. Every hotel and Bed and Breakfast you setup for us was in the best locations and the accommodations were perfect! 

You really know the Tuscany area inside and out, and we felt very taken care of and  in good hands. You were always there for us if we needed help and pointed us in the right direction every time! Each restaurant you suggested was incredibly delicious and the insider events you told us about were amazing! It all really made the trip a very special experience and made us feel like locals!


Alex & Annie - New York, NY

Kayaking to Vernazza
In Chianti

July 12, 2013

A Romantic Getaway - July 2013

Hi Kathy,
We had such an incredible trip. The place was fantastic - we loved it - very tranquil, clean, unpretentious and the location was just perfect. The organic lunch was also one of our favorite activities  - so thank you again for that recommendation and set up. We also ate at the restaurant next door which was divine - probably one of the best meals we had.
Thanks again, we had the most memorable time!
Serene B. – San Francisco, CA

July 8, 2013

A Grand Family Reunion

I can't tell you how happy I am that this family's vacation turned out to be everything they had hoped for! What a great group! All of us enjoyed them... and hope to see them again (soon)! 

 Dear Kathy,

Well, your web page rings true...a Tuscan Vacation "tailored to the needs of your unique group that offers the trip of a lifetime."  You delivered for this family of 14 (complete with a 9, 7 & 4 year old) and then some.

As we began this adventure more than a year ago, my confidence in you grew with each detailed and informative email. So many options for villa choices made our final decision of the gorgeous villa, that housed all of us comfortably, an easy one. The itinerary you suggested was a perfect mix of visiting the surrounding cities and allowing time for our large family to unwind at the end of the day. Swimming in our beautiful pool and kickball games until dark with the kids was the bonus round.

Our drivers who picked us up at the airport in Rome and transported us each day could not have been more accommodating. They were helpful, enthusiastic and informative. A stop for groceries...no problem. Buying a new pair of shorts for one of the kids, we can do it. One more town on the way home...sure!

San Gimignano, SienaFlorencePisa were made more wonderful by our tour guides Susanna and Sara who made history come alive even for the kids. Tenuta Casanova offered all of us the wonderful experience of making pasta, focaccia and tiramisu on the organic farm owned by Rita and Silvano. Restaurant recommendations in each town were all enjoyed, even if in one of them our Italian wasn't good enough to stop the food from coming!

As reluctant as we all were to leave our Villa on Saturday, our drivers accommodated us one more time on our way back to Rome with an unscheduled stop in Orvieto which proved to be one of our favorite towns.
At no time on this whole trip did I ever worry about transfers or reservations.  And I don't know how you pulled off the perfect weather, but you did.  

We all can't thank you enough for providing us with a beautiful vacation and memories that will last a lifetime.  We will sing your praises to anyone interested in experiencing the beauty that is Tuscany.

All my best,
Elaine G. – New OrleansLA

June 27, 2013

A Family Living Like Natives - June 2013

Hi Kathy,

We loved our time in Lucca.  

The tour the day after we arrived was perfect timing and our guide, Wanda, was excellent. The apartment was perfectly located, the staff were very kind, friendly and helpful. We appreciated having the support.
Your advice to stay there and enjoy the city was exactly right. Our daughter loved the park and access to kids. We ventured to Florence and were so pleased that we did not stay there. We liked all of your recommendations on what else to see and do. Mostly we just enjoyed the family time without the craziness of trying to do too much.

Looking forward to going back again. Any suggestions? 

Thanks for all.  Loved your service.

Roseann J.

June 17, 2013

Mother and Daughters - June 2013

Hi Kathy,

I want to thank you for planning such a terrific Tuscan experience for our milestone birthday celebration.  It’s not easy to please the varying tastes of 40 year old city dweller, 50 year old suburbanite and 80 year old Vermonter (who my kids have dubbed “the extreme grandma” for her activity level).

All of our accommodations were superb:  Well located B&Bs in the center of Florence and a stone’s throw from the most desired attractions as well as a meticulously appointed apartment villa in Montalcino with a beautiful garden, Turkish bath and pool that were beautiful to look at even if the weather didn’t cooperate for a dip. Thank you for scoping these all out for us.

Our guides in Florence (Ann Sophie and YOU) were excellent, knowledgeable and great company. In addition, Ellen, our guide for the beautiful hill towns of Tuscany, was a life saver.  She was an expert driver, interpreter, historian, hiker & sommelier – something for all of us!  She was able to easily rearrange our itinerary for weather, health and mood swings. Thanks to her flexibility we were able to get in 3 hikes, 2 wine tastings  and see every town you recommended - San Gimignano,  Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona, Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana - including a beautiful dinner at La Porta in Montichiello, a dip in baths at the Bagno Vignoni, a hike and wine tasting at Le Prime Donne Winery (we loved that this was the only all woman winery in the region and bought several bottles of Brunello to bring home…only one remains :)).

Our last 2 days in Florence were beautiful and sunny and we sought out the rooftop bar Sesto for our last lunch only to be surprised by an encounter with Dan Brown (I was reading his newest novel, Inferno, on the trip since it takes place mostly in Florence). A perfect ending to a perfect trip thanks to all your planning and advice!

Laura C. - San Diego, CA

June 12, 2013

Three Couples in Lucca - June 2013

Hi Kathy,

We are back home and thinking wonderful thoughts about our time in Italy!

Thank you for your help in planning such wonderful tours for our group.  Everything was perfect and we so enjoyed the time spent with our guide Wanda.  She is one fabulous lady and so very knowledgeable.  And, it was a pleasure having Stefano (the driver) with us as well.

I will certainly recommend New Tuscan Experience to our friends! 

Hope you have an enjoyable summer!!

Warmest regards,
Ricki M. - Philadelphia, PA

May 20, 2013

Two Couples Discover Rural Tuscany - May 2013

Our latest review comes from a foursome of lovely clients who came to us requesting a truly authentic Tuscan experience, focused on meeting locals and discovering the off-the-beaten-path rural farming communities. We worked together to design their ideal itinerary, and with the help of Ellen, an extraordinary guide who works with us, I am happy to think we made their wish come true!

Hi Kathy...
Our expert guide Ellen at work.

We got home yesterday. We loved our time in Italy!

Our time with Ellen was outstanding. She absolutely made our trip! We marvel at her knowledge of history, literature and just about everything. Please know that we will recommend you, Ellen and tell everyone of our great experiences in Tuscany and Umbria.

With Silvana at the pecorino farm.
We also enjoyed meeting Cristiano and his family at the B&B very much. 

On the day Ellen took us women to Lucca, the guys spent the day with Cristiano and had a lot of fun meeting his hunting group and his mother and visiting his two stores in San Gimignano. The coffee and the food we had for breakfast at the B&B was the best breakfast food of our trip.

Our stop in Orvieto was outstanding thanks to Ellen's help. We had fine rooms with views from  the 4th floor and Jude and his wife treated us so well. We ended up having dinner with some good friends of theirs right around the corner, meeting his whole family, taking a lot of pictures of Orvieto and the people we met there. 
Please tell Ellen that I loved the frescos in the Chapel of the Cathedral and her description of it was perfect. I also enjoyed meeting the Michelangelo sisters and visiting their gallery and seeing the wood sculptures.

If I were to give you a short quote about our trip, I'd say, “The best part of Italy is not the scenery, the history or the food… it's the great Italian people you meet."

Thank you both so much.
Pamela F. -  Oregon