Jan and Mark Laret
Thank you again for arranging the Best Family Vacation Ever!! It was the experience of a lifetime.
I was concerned that four cities in 12 days would be too hectic, but your transportation arrangements made it all perfect and efficient. Drivers and tour guides were waiting for us at each city. We were whisked off to a new adventure.
Concordia in Venice was a great location, cute bar, very helpful staff.
Rooms were fine.
D’Orologia in Florence was our favorite location on Piazza Santa Maria Novella. We loved it! Bar food was exceptional, rooms great.
Hotel Dei Mellini in Rome was awesome, modern, well maintained, great staff, good location.
Activities: We planned it just right with one big outing each day and then time to explore on our own, rest, shop. The hotel locations made it easy and comfortable to venture out on our own.
Highlights were San Marco Basilica and Doge’s Palace, though a little long on art history. Burano was fantastic, Alvise was our favorite guide (and he’s gorgeous!) Gondola ride of course.
In Florence, Accademia and Uffizi were great, again a little long. Boat ride on Arno was fun, your surprise of Proseco on terrace was outstanding and much appreciated.
We loved the wine country, however the Vespa tour is only for experienced motorbike drivers. They wouldn’t let Casey or Lexi drive after a few minutes of training. The scooters are heavy and hard to control, the roads are narrow and steep with considerable traffic. The girls were disappointed but ended up enjoying the day as passengers of Mark and Parker. I drove a Vespa myself— it was exhilarating but a bit scary. I wish there was an option for smaller mopeds on quieter country roads, because it’s a fantastic concept. The wine tasting and lunch was a true highlight. We shopped a lot in Florence and appreciated our proximity to great the shopping district.
Pompeii was mind blowing. We had no idea the scale. Our guide was exceptional. We learned so much.
We loved Minori and appreciated your recommendation for the quieter town. We happened to be there the night of the Santa Trofimena festival and and enjoyed seeing it. A highlight in Minori was our free day spent at the spa on the beach (available to anyone for a fee, not just Villa Romana guests). It was expensive but well worth it to have a more private beach location with a seaside pool and food and drink service.
The boat tour of Amalfi Coast was awesome, another great guide who took us to quieter spots for swimming and a fantastic beach club for lunch. We stopped in Amalfi to shop and got a glimpse of how crowded the other towns are. The boat captain also arranged through a friend for us to have dinner at Torre Normanna in Maiori, an 800-year-old fort overlooking the sea. It is a must for other travelers!!
Our driver who picked us up in Naples and drove us to Pompeii and Minori, then returned us to Naples three days later was expert at driving those crazy roads!
Rome: the tour of Colisseum, ancient ruins and Trevi Fountain was very good but an especially hot day, so we shortened it a bit. We explored Spanish Steps on our own while shopping. We really enjoyed our Vatican tour, the guide navigated the crowds well and focused on major pieces.
In conclusion, we are so grateful to you for an extraordinary experience. We have never used a travel agent before and would readily recommend Cultural Italy and especially you!!!
All the best! Grazie Mille!!
Jan and Mark Laret