We did it! What a whirlwind trip this was! It was overall excellent – everything along the way worked out perfectly – such as drivers waiting for us at the airport/train stations, train tickets were good (the train was excellent – wish we had one in this country), the hotels were good, and most of the tours were good. I say most because I think we did too much which I realize now that we’ve gone through it. It seemed we were always rushing to make one trip or another, and not enough time to just soak it all in. That would be my one criticism – too much to do. But most of the tours were excellent with the exception of one – the first one in Venice. They just brought us around all the back alleys pointing this or that out – we got nothing out of it. We could have walked around ourselves doing that. Plus their meeting point was hard to find – we were frantically running back and forth in the heat trying to find them. Other than that tour, the rest of them were good, and we learned as well that the tour guide can make or break a tour. Luckily, we had excellent tour guides (tour guide for Venice was good, tour itself was not worth it) with the exception of the one for our Tuscan trip, who was pretty much a drill sergeant – she walked so fast that some people were having a hard time keeping up! She was apparently on a very tight schedule and wanted to make sure we saw everything but she could have been a little less dictatorial about it (it got to be a joke amongst those of us on the tour after a while!).
The hotel in Rome was our favorite – they were absolutely excellent in every way! Couldn’t have been better. Our last night there the front desk clerk asked us if we were on our way out to dinner as we were walking through the lobby and asked where we were going. We told him, and he shook his head and said we had to go to this other place not far away, proceeded to pick up the phone for reservations, and then tells us to go there! We found this pretty funny actually but decided to go – and it turned out to be the BEST place!! We ended up being treated like royalty (they welcomed us with glasses of champagne!) and after dinner a gentleman with a guitar sat down next to me and we ended up singing songs and dancing! Wow – you don’t see that here in the states! Great memories.
I thank you wholeheartedly for all the work you did – you did a wonderful job arranging every detail! I was telling people I encountered along the way who we used to arrange our trip so maybe spread the word a little for you (and we met another couple from Alabama who used Cultural Italy as well!).
I’m going to look through our pictures now and send a couple along with this email for you to see. Feel free to use them however you like. I wish you all the best and continued success in your career!