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