As promised, here is a more detailed review of our trip. As you already know, I think you are fabulous and am so happy with the trip you planned! Thought of you when we were there and wished we could have stopped by to meet you if we were near you at all, but then we were quite busy as you know. :)
1. So glad we stayed in Cinque Terre and had that experience. Our accommodation was lovely and was actually a little house overlooking the sea. We did a ton of hiking (sore for days - lol). Unfortunately Love's Trail and the trail between Manarola and Corniglia were both closed but we did the two longer hikes (photo attached). We really enjoyed the vineyard tour and tasting. Quite authentic! It was just wine though (no focaccia). We did not even care about that -- just letting you know for future reference.
2. Florence hotel Tornabuoni: The room they assigned was not nice and we asked for a different room. We were quite happy with the hotel and location, but even happier after they moved us.
3. Florence Tour: Antonella was just fantastic! Loved her and learned so much! Florence was my favorite city. Loved the atmosphere and the vibe.
4. Uffizi: The Uffizi was kind of a disappointment. The one room with all the master works was roped off and visitors were only allowed to peer over the rope into a very dimly lit room. Couldn't see a thing. :(
5. Tuscany: We felt that both Siena and San Gimignano were both touristy. I think we had hoped to see more of the Italian countryside up close. Our driver was nice though and we enjoyed learning about Italian culture and politics from him. For future reference, our daughter did a vespa tour that she absolutely loved and was lots of fun! Also as an aside, we were thrilled with our daughter's apartment. It's spacious, beautiful and located right next to the Uffizi. She's having a great experience!
6. Venice: The St Regis is absolutely gorgeous! Wish we could have spent a day just relaxing there! We just happened to be there for the annual Regatta and I got a great picture of the boats (attached).
Also, we bought a gorgeous Murano glass sculpture and that was an experience in and of itself. We definitely helped the Italian economy while we were there with everything we bought! Can't wait for it to be delivered.
7. Rome: We were pleased with Hotel del Mellini - well located and the concierge was quite helpful. Wifi was not included with our rate which was surprising. The concierge recommended a wonderful restaurant that we loved and you should recommend to your clients. It's called Bacocco and it is near Campo de Fiore.
Our Rome tour guide was quite good though I sometimes had a hard time hearing him. Antoinella and our guide in Pompeii (I think Sarah), were my favorites.
Unfortunately the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain were both undergoing serious restoration - couldn't see anything. I know the restoring needs to be done, but selfishly just wish it wasn't when we were there...
8. Sorrento and Amalfi Coast: Loved Sorrento. Our hotel was quaint and it was nice being so close to the walking area and we did a lot of shopping. As far as our tour of the Amalfi Coast, we had a lovely lunch in Amalfi and we went to Positano briefly but never made it to Ravello. There was some type of festival going on while we were there and the traffic was horrendous. The only part of Positano we saw was the little shopping street and a view of the town. It was very rushed but that couldn't be helped because of traffic. As I said before, our tour guide in Pompeii was excellent! My birthday dinner was quite lovely and delicious.
9. Capri: One of our favorite days. We had such a lovely day and really enjoyed Andrea. It was a Sunday so he took his family on our tour. He has 3 young kids and it was really fun for me to see an Italian family up close for a day. It was a perfect way to end our vacation. If you have his email, I would appreciate it. I have some beautiful pictures of his children that I would like to send him.
All transportation worked out very well.
It was the trip of a lifetime! Grazie Mille for everything you did. I will continue to recommend you and will definitely contact you for our next European adventure.