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

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

June 27, 2017

Tuscany with Kids

We get a lot of requests from families traveling with children to help them design itineraries that are kid-friendly. In this case, we were asked to ensure that a 12 year old girl traveling with 2 adults would enjoy this special trip as much as the grown ups. So glad to hear we pulled it off! 

Dear Kathy:

We loved our trip. Marco was fantastic. Jim and I are ready to return for our wine tour with him. 

The private cooking class at the historic olive oil estate was my favorite - and Jim's. They were great with Chloe. 


In Florence, Suzanne's tour of the Duomo museum and Baptistery was great- particularly engaging Chloe, which we appreciated very much. I had never been inside the Baptistery, and loved it.

Marco was a real help at Cinque Terre- and that was Chloe's favorite day. 


Rome was a whirlwind, and hot. We had a great time wandering independently though. 

Overall, you were a wonderful help and the guides you set us up with were great. Your assistance made our trip easy and memorable. We will contact you when we return- probably for an adult-only trip. 

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,
Alex, Jim and Chloe - USA 

June 2, 2017

Family Vacation in Tuscany

It's always great to hear that our clients’ time in Tuscany lived up to expectations! We have been seeing a growing number of referrals (always a good sign!) and this family was one of them. Their friends had worked with us last year (and the year before) - and had stayed in the same villa - so the bar to equal was set pretty high from the start. That's why it was especially rewarding to get this positive feedback. 

Kathy, 

It was a wonderful vacation. The villa was better than advertised. We lived on the Loggia! The guides were all superior: Antonella, Barbara. Our driver, Francesco, was special. My grandson really liked him and the service, conversation, etc were delightful. 

All three winery visits were excellent, seeing we shipped two and a half cases back. Both winery lunches, while perhaps a bit dear, were real treats. At the boutique winery we dined alfresco and at the castle it was more formal, but both had great food and great hospitality. Check out my grandson enjoying the wine tour!

The chef you arranged to come to our villa was another very pleasant surprise, excellent food, excellent service, friendly. 

Also, we loved our home base in Panzano. One suggestion, which might almost border on nitpicking, would be if maybe you or the villa could supply a map - it would have been nice to have one from the start. We got it after a few days, but a lay of the land early would have helped. However, we enjoyed two serendipitous side trips to the Enoteca in Greve with the wine dispensers and the Florence American Cemetery. We found them on our own and were blown away by each, but for different reasons.

Grazie.

Walter V. - New Jersey, USA

May 22, 2017

Honeymoon in Tuscany

We were so happy to arrange Amanda and Adam's belated honeymoon in Tuscany, and couldn't be more thrilled that they enjoyed it so much! 


Hi Kathy,

Thanks so much for checking in and apologies for the delay in responding. We had a wonderful time! Thank you so much for everything you did to help make our honeymoon so special. 

We really enjoyed our stay at the boutique hotel you recommended and arranged for us in Florence. We were upgraded upon arrival, which is always nice. The room was lovely and the location really was perfect and very convenient. We would highly recommend this place to anyone we know who is planning to come to Florence and would look to stay there again next time we plan to visit the city.

We absolutely loved the tour of the Accademia, the city and Santa Croce with the private guide. The tour was the perfect balance of historical and artistic insight with fun anecdotes and a human touch. The time flew by and we learned so much. The guide was so friendly and knowledgeable and she made it feel like we were friends who were visiting and she was showing us around.

We think the food in Florence may have been the best we had for the entire trip. We followed your recommendations and had wonderful meals! We also managed to try quite a few gelaterias - all wonderful (we do love ice cream).

On our way to the countryside we enjoyed our stops in Volterra and San Gimignano, particularly the latter (though it was quite crowded with tourists). The towns are both charming and the gelato at Dondoli was definitely worth a visit!

The hotel you arranged in the Tuscan countryside was lovely. Very pretty and comfortable room. We enjoyed the stroll into town on the back road, and it was an easy location for the rest of our movements.

During our stay in Chianti, we enjoyed the local restaurants and our tours!

The guide in Montepulciano and  Pienza was just fantastic and really gave us so much insight and interesting information about both towns which brought them alive. Her musings on the cities but also on Italy and Italian culture more broadly were really interesting and made for such a fun morning. It was so great that she was able to show us one of the historical cellars in Montepulciano as well as the various churches and views the city has to offer. Pienza too was beautiful, and again we were hugely grateful to have her show us around and bring it all to life.

We also enjoyed our lunch and tasting at the Brunello winery - they were generous with the wine and meat+ cheese, and then the pasta they served. Adam particularly enjoyed the fact that the winery is home to so many animals. Beautiful views, although slightly spoiled by lots of clouds that day.

On the escorted full day tour our driver was great. He arrived early and ensured we made it to all of our stops in plenty of time. He was very friendly and the car journeys were all painless. It was totally worth having him drive us for the day.

We loved the experience at the pecorino cheese farm. It was really fascinating to go behind the scenes for the cheese making as well as the wine making. All of the people there were very friendly and it made for a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Again, very generous with the wines (which we both enjoyed) and the cheeses, which were really delicious. We would definitely recommend this for others, and it was a great way to start the day.

Lunch at the Antinori Winery was also very enjoyable. We loved the setting and view, and the food was delicious. Judging by the popularity of the restaurant at lunch that day, we are not the only ones who thought so. It was a bit different given how modern it is but a nice change of pace and again we'd definitely recommend it to others. We were only sorry not to be able to eat and drink more there but after the farm in the morning and two more wineries to go, we knew we couldn't go too crazy!

The first castle winery was beautiful and the guide was very friendly and insightful. The tour was practically a private one - there was only one other couple with us. 

The final castle was our favorite part of the day. What a beautiful place! Our guide was absolutely lovely and able to answer all of our questions about the history of the area, the winery and about the wine itself. The cellar was fascinating and the castle is really special, especially with all of those original frescoes. Again, very generous with the wine tasting and meat + cheese. This was probably our favorite wine by taste and most enjoyable tasting experience. It was hard to leave! We hope to possibly come back again some day. Would definitely recommend this place to others!

Thank you again for all of your recommendations and for helping to set up our tours, hotels and other logistics. It all made our time in Florence and Tuscany so wonderful and exceeded our expectations!

Many thanks and best wishes,
Amanda H. - London, UK

April 23, 2017

Girls' Getaway in Tuscany

Assisting these four lovely ladies arrange their personalized itinerary in Tuscany was a pleasure. We were all so happy that they enjoyed their visit! 








Dear Kathy,

From beginning to end we had a wonderful experience in Tuscany!  

Our cooking class with Eleonora and her daughter, Olivia, was unique. The entire day was enchanting.


Our tours of Siena, and Montepulciano and Pienza, with Antonella were informative and insightful. Antonella's explanation of Siena's contradas and its Palio, made us want to return for the race itself. Antonella has an easy way with people and she introduced us to many friends on these tours. 

In Florence, Sara gave us a very in depth perspective on art and architecture in that city. 

Since returning, many friends have asked how we arranged our trip and I am sending your information to all of them!

Thank you for a most excellent journey!

Winifred M. - New York, USA