George and Julie Christopher
As you know, our trip to Italy was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to experience the Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations with our daughter who has been interested in Pompeii since she was old enough to read. We are so glad that we found you to organize our trip because you focused on understanding what we wanted out of the trip and made suggestions for additional points of interest. Planning the trip with you was easy and we had a detailed itinerary within a week of beginning our back-and-forth discussion.
The trip itself was effortless and smooth, amazingly with only minor issues arising considering the packed 10-day itinerary. We experienced Pompeii through the eyes of the wonderful guide that you arranged for us; she who knew how to make it come alive. We were able to climb Mount Vesuvius on our first full day to help us to gain perspective. The flexibility of our arrangements to wander both Herculaneum and Pompeii on our own was invaluable. The smaller and more personal nature of the Herculaneum excavation made our day there one of the most memorable of our trip. Pompeii has many of the same kind of mosaics, villas, and much more beyond what Herculaneum has, and was memorable and enjoyable as well, but the unique aspects of Herculaneum made quite an impression on us. Using what we learned from the Pompeii guide the day before, as well as what we remembered from documentaries, we were able not only to understand and absorb much of the known history of Herculaneum but to feel closer to it.
An “extra” bit of history that was not in our original travel request was Paestum. On day trip you suggested, we were guided through the Greek and Roman ruins of Paestum and introduced to water buffalo mozzarella; both are unforgettable! Our hotel room in Sorrento, our “home base” for the first half of our trip, had a great view of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius and was a wonderful place to relax after a day walking around ruins. The second half of the trip was very nice, first traveling by hydrofoil to Isola d’Ischia and staying in a beautiful resort. After four days of exploring ruins, the beauty of the island of Ischia and our accommodations were stunning. Although there too briefly to take advantage of the SPA offerings, our stay at the resort was relaxing and refreshing. The service of the staff was top-notch and the view from our patio was amazing. While our trip was focused on history, and we did explore the medieval castle on the island, the luxury of our stay on Ischia was very enjoyable.
Traveling by hydrofoil to Naples and experiencing the history, cuisine, and culture of the city, was the perfect ending for our trip. The Naples Underground tour and the chance to explore the National Archaeological Museum completed the historical aspect of our trip nicely. From our hotel, we were able to walk to both, as well as many other sites of interest, giving us the chance to explore some of the city on our own. Although we were not focused on the cuisine, we could not help enjoying the pizza and gelato every chance we had!
Thank you very much for your dedication to making our trip spectacular!
Julie and George