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

Family Villa Vacation in Tuscany

Renting a villa is probably the best way for large families to enjoy a vacation in Tuscany together. These beautiful houses offer space for everyone to gather and also to spread out. This family of 10 selected a great property in Chianti for their holiday, which immediately brought smiles to everyone's face upon arrival - from the grandparents to the adolescent kids! We added a few activities and services to their stay, and the result was a successful vacation for all! 


Hi Kathy, 

I want to thank you for your assistance in arranging our Tuscany vacation. The villa was fantastic. It suited our family’s needs perfectly and it was simply lovely.  

The chef dinner on our night of arrival was absolutely delicious.  It was so nice to not have to cook on our first night.  And, pizza night was a hit with everyone. Highly recommend both.

The winery and cheese tours were very enjoyable and everyone raved about the cooking class with Veronica. Also, thank you so much for arranging transportation into and out of Florence. It made the trips stress free and enjoyable since it seems that all of Florence is a ZTL!

Finally, I want to tell you how wonderful the villa caretaker, Teresa, was. She was of great assistance to my sister and brother in law with their broken car window. We can't thank her enough for everything she did for us. She truly went above and beyond.   

I would be happy to serve as a reference anytime if needed.

Regards, 
Lisa M. - Pennsylvania, USA