Pia…….WOW!!! What a great trip. All of us agree that you did a fabulous job in creating a unique experience that we never would have been able to accomplish on our own. We are all so very grateful for everything that you did in planning and executing such a wonderful experience. As a former corporate event planner, I know how much your contacts mean to you and that you must rely heavily on them to execute flawlessly. You accomplished this with flying colors. I will ask the kids to send you some photos since I didn’t take that many myself but I know they took thousands of pics. Here are a couple of thoughts that I have regarding the planning process and our selections.
Let’s get the one hiccup out of the way first. I’m not sure what happened with our airport transfer but we were able to get a cab to the hotel and had no issues finding the place. The important thing for me was that you responded in such a positive manner and refunded us the transfer amount. There were lots of choices you could have made – refunding us for the taxi or reminding us that we should have contacted the driver if possible. But you did none of those things. You simply made the best choice and told us we would receive a refund for whichever cost was greater. If there was ever any doubt about our trust in you (which there wasn’t) our trust was solidified with that one action.
The guides that you selected for us. Amazing people. Most of them had advanced degrees in the field of study that they represented. They knew their stuff. And they wanted to share that knowledge in a useful and easy-to-understand format. There were no issues with meeting up with them. They were all professional, on time, thorough, and very polite. They took exceedingly care of my wife in her wheelchair and made the experience enjoyable for all of us.
Our driver, Gianluca, was delightful. It took us a day or so to get to know each other but once we did it was terrific. He made some adjustments to our itinerary based on the availability of some of the wineries and food locations. He proposed the changes to us and we agreed that it made sense to switch things around. He took the initiative and enhanced our experience. And for that, you deserve a great deal of credit because you selected him for us. The only suggestion that I have would be for Gianluca to consider supplying cold water for each passenger each morning.
The itinerary itself was just right. Not too much. Not too little. We had enough time on our own and guidance when we needed it. We were most impressed with a couple of the wine tastings that you selected for us. One of them was an all-women (at least in the production area) run organization. This served as a great conversation starter about the role of women in winemaking as well as in general in Italy. Another winery featured local artists each month and supported their efforts to promote their works. So they were not just stab-in-the-dark choices but carefully considered selections and that was hugely appreciated.
You also went beyond your scope of responsibility and arranged for a wheelchair to be delivered and picked up from where we stayed. Great job. The good news is my wife only needed to use it in Rome and Florence. After that, she could maneuver without it.
So Pia, all in all, it was the trip of a lifetime. My daughter-in-law said it was the best vacation she’d ever been on. There was consensus on that thought. Thank you so very much. If you ever need a reference or recommendation please use my name and number. I would be happy to discuss your talents with any potential clients. Ciao.