Tara and Charlie Van Sicklen

MAY 2017

Hi Emanuela,

First off just want to re-iterate much thanks for setting us up such a wonderful trip.  We absolutely loved it. All the accommodations, and interactions with employees and tour guides couldn’t have been better. 

Cinque Terre-
Accommodations: Perfect Location. We were so grateful in our downtime to be so close to the beach and ease into our vacation. The front desk team gave fabulous food recommendations (Vae Paecho one of the best restaurants we ate at ever!!) and even set us up for free drinks at another restaurant in Vernazza since they knew we were visiting there that day.  The hotel truly took pride in their building and service. We were able to hike from Vernazza to Corniglia which was very nice and gave us a good perspective of the villages on the coast. Thank you for the treat basket as well when we arrived, It was unexpected and very appreciated after our flights!!

Accommodations: Well centered and walkable to go back and forth as needed. We had a larger bathroom and beautiful room where we could look out on a rooftop with wonderful plants. (Looked like a garden).
Tours: City Wonders tour guides were very knowledgable and did a great job coordinating so many people. 5 guides were at the meeting spot and each guide probably had 15-20 people. The maps you provided in our packet were also very helpful. Even though we had our phones it allowed me to double check that I was correct in where we were supposed to be going. The only thing I would have added with the Duomo is adding the ticket to climb the dome. We ended up adding the clock tower ticket since the Duomo was sold out. This was actually in some ways better though because we were able to look back on the Duomo but still got great views of the city. At the end of our Accademia tour we asked our guide about a spot we could see in the distance and she was very helpful with explaining how to get there. It was the Piazza Michelangelo. I would stress anyone visiting Florence to go there since it gave such great perspective looking back on the city and some of our best pictures.  Our Uffizi tour was nice and our guide was very knowledgable with the paintings and history of the building.  As a side note we added a cooking class through Viator with Chef Vary. She made our experience even more memorable and would highly recommend her. 

Accommodations: Our room was wonderful again, AC was much appreciated with Rome’s humidity and rising temps. The woman running the front desk of La Papessa NEEDS A  RAISE. She went above and beyond for us. Every morning she was there making everyone who stayed cappucinos, hot chocolates, coffee, tea, anything. She called us cabs, ran down the stairs and then proceeded to confirm with the drivers where we were going. Just above and beyond service and I truly hope you can pass that along to the owner of the hotel. I did not enjoy Rome quite as much as Florence but I think that is because Florence seemed more quaint which I enjoy and seemed more pedestrian friendly. I have never been in a city as large as Rome!!
Tours: Our Overome tour of the Colloseum was possibly our best tour of the entire trip. Our guide was BEYOND KNOWLEDGABLE. She gave so much detail and history that I would’ve loved to have another tour by her. This also goes for our Vatican City tour. I appreciated that both of these tours were in smaller groups and more intimate. They gave us information that seemed more pertinent to our situations and could adjust times accordingly. 

Accommodations: Very beautiful property and were surprised with a bottle of wine and treats when we checked in which was great because the drive from Naples to Sorrento was longer than expected. (Our driver was great and did a brief history as we were driving into the Amalfi Coast). The maid took the time to fold and put away Charlies clothes which totally helped organize the room and was unexpected! Loved it. The views from our balcony were impeccable.
Tours: Our Capri tour was the highlight of our trip. The boat held 7 people total and was comfortable. We could sit or lay in the front or in the back. Our driver navigated the chaos of the other boats great. When the Blue Grotto was too busy he made sure we went back at the end of the day and had a chance to see it. The man who picked us up also pointed out some of the best restaurants. This was Charlies favorite day! Our Amalfi Coast tour truthfully we could have skipped. With it being our last full day looking back we should have took a water taxi to Positano and spent the day there. Charlie and I were both tired and wanted to lay around on the beach that day. I understand why we booked it (to see all the towns and the Namesake town of the drive) but after a while all the towns are the same. Meaning they sell the same items, same vendors and such. Each town we had an hour (except Amalfi we had 2) which just made it seemed rushed to see it. By the time we’d sit down for a drink we would have to leave. I liked Positano the best out of the towns visited and would highly encourage people spending more time here than spreading it between all of the towns. 

Like I said before this was a trip of a lifetime and we had the best honeymoon anybody could ask for. I appreciate your time and work setting it up and felt like you booked us with quality vendors that are passionate about what they do. Thank you so much and I look forward to reconnecting when we want to tackle Northern Italy and your hometown region!!! Any other questions I would be happy to answer. In all hardly any hiccups and Italy was a beautiful country with beautiful culture and people.

Thanks so much,

Tara and Charlie Van Sicklen