My husband and I got our dream honeymoon thanks to Cultural Italy. In 12 days we went on a journey through Italy and saw the best of Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento! It was very well organised – starting from the cities we visited, the time spent in each city, the fun activities planned, down to the travel arrangements between cities! Roberta really took time to consider our interests and what we wanted out of our honeymoon – a trip that allowed us to see all the major sights, see the natural beauty of Italy, and still have enough free time so that we don’t feel tired.
Each day usually had one major event planned and recommendations about what to do with our free time. The events usually included a tour of the major sights of the city or an activity aligned with our interests. For example in Florence, we did a tour of major landmarks (Duomo, Accademia Gallery etc) but also, since we are avid bikers, a bike tour of the vineyards in the Chianti countryside was offered. All the tour partners were extremely professional, knowledgeable and personable, thus really adding to our experience in Italy. Though it is difficult to pick highlights as there were so many, below are a few of our favourites:
Venice: A sunset gondola ride along the grand canal and in the little nooks and crannies of Venice was the perfect way to experience Venice in the evening. We also went to a Vivaldi concert performed by Interpreti Veneziani at the Chiesa San Vidal, which really added to whole our experience in Venice. Overall, we would have to say that Venice was our favourite city. Simply walking and exploring Venice was a highlight.
Florence: A restaurant we would highly recommend in Florence is Antico Ristorante di Cambi, we had the best Florentine Steak there, absolutely delicious! The cooking class was a lot of fun, we learned some authentic Italian cooking techniques, the food was amazing and the Chefs were very nice. The bike ride in Chianti was one of the highlights of our trip. Our guide, Ciro, was just outstanding. He was extremely nice and very knowleadgable about the areas we were biking in. The routes he took us along allowed us to see the best of the countryside, and we also got an unexpected surprise – visiting Monteriggioni. The wine tasting at Tenuta Torciano was a lot of fun as well, we had some delicious Lasagna and nice wine. Amongst the sights, the Duomo was spectacular, we will always remember the feeling when we first saw it.
Rome: Rome consistently had the best food, and the best gelato! We loved visiting the highlights and also simply exploring the city and stumbling across unexpected surprises, such as the Largo di Torre Argentina doubling as a cat sanctuary, a bonus for us cat lovers! We also had our best pizza in Italy right outside our hotel in a little hole in the wall called Pizzeria il Pinsere! We regret not having enough time to go back there as the place closed past the afternoon.
Sorrento: Our hotel in Sorrento had a spectacular view of the bay of Naples and Vesuvius, you could easily just spend the day there sunbathing and taking in the wonderful view! The hotel in general was excellent with very helpful and accommodating staff – highly recommended! Amongst the highlights in Sorrento was a day spent travelling along the Amalfi Coast. Our guide, Renato, was extremely nice and as a local, was able to give us a lot of insight into the history and culture of the region. He also took us to a restaurant where had our best meal in Italy, Trattoria e Pizzeria Cumpa Cosimo in Ravello. We also went to Pompeii which was fascinating. On our last day in Sorrento we took a boat ride to and around Capri. It was an ideal way to cap off our holiday in Italy.
We are extremely grateful to Roberta & Cultural Italy for taking the time to listen to us and for creating a custom made itinerary just for us.
We were able to make the most of the time we had in Italy thanks to their meticulous planning and attention to detail.
Anika Chowdhury & Daanish Afzal