I just returned from the best vacation of my life. Laura Postolis from Cultural Italy is a travel Goddess. I have traveled extensively through different tours, cruises and travel agents. The trip to Italy she set up for myself, my mom and my daughter exceeded all of our expectations. You are going to want to call her immediately after reading this review. Laura and I worked together on the itinerary for a few months prior to my vacation, she listened to what I wanted, and what I didn’t want and put together the most perfect tour package. Never in my life have I had a trip to multiple cities, go so smoothly, there was zero stress for us during our trip. We did not go with a tour group this is a tour she set up for the three of us. Laura meticulously thought through each and every detail of our trip. There were maps and pictures to help us find where we needed to be to go on our tours.
Venice-was marvelous, the Hotel Locanda Vivaldi was quaint and in a perfect location to walk to all the sites in Venice. The staff was friendly and the room was very nice. We had a group tour of the Doge Palace and St. Marks, our tour leader was interesting and knowledgeable.
A driver picked us up and took us to Verona, a beautiful city we stayed at the Escalus Luxury suites, the staff was friendly, and the hotel was in the center of the city, where it was easy to walk around.
A driver picked us up from Verona and drove us to Florence, we stayed at the beautiful Hotel IL Guelfo Bianco, and our room was spectacular, with high ceilings and a lot of space. The hotel staff was fantastic, friendly and helpful. They went above and beyond for anything we needed. In Florence Laura set us up with a fabulous cooking class - a must if you visit Florence, we made potato soufflé, eggplant, homemade pasta, chicken and Tiramisu. The class was a perfect size about 10 people, we laughed, we cooked and had a blast. Once the cooking was done, we all went downstairs where they served us the delicious meal we just made, with wine. At the end they gave us a recipe book for everything we cooked. The chef was delightful, it was one of the many highlights of our trip. The following day we had our tour of Florence with the fabulous Laura Cirri—she shared her incredible in depth knowledge of Florence. This was a private tour with just the four of us, she shared, interesting facts about the beautiful city of Florence without overwhelming us with information. Took us for coffee, showed us how the locals do it. She is perfection. We really enjoyed our tour with Ms. Cirri.
The Chianti vineyard dinner was fabulous, this is also a must. We arrived by bus to this beautiful family run vineyard. There were tables and antipasti set up for us on the top of the hill near the restaurant. There also provided blankets for everyone, as it got cold once the sun went down. We were served tasty Chianti and met the rest of the guests before heading down the hill to one of the most delicious meals we had eaten. There was so much food and wine. Everything cooked to perfection. Everyone who attended quickly bonded and were fast friends by the end of the night. Did I mention the delicious wine? It flowed freely. Good thing we were on a bus on the way home. This was another highlight of our trip.
The following day we had a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano, our driver and tour guide was the incredible Jonathan from Tuscan travelers. Jonathan kept us laughing with stories and history of the area. He was the perfect host and made our tour of these two beautiful cities fun. We were a bit tired and sluggish (remember the wine from the night before?) He showed us some of the most beautiful spots around the area and would always pull over so we could take a photo. We adored him. If you get to Florence, have Laura book you with Jonathan!
From Florence we went to Rome, Laura set us up at the lovely Infinity Hotel, in the heart of Rome. The tours we did in Rome were educational and inspiring. We did a small walking tour the evening of the first night. This was helpful as it helped us know where things were for our next few adventures. The tour guides were very nice.
After three days in Rome a driver took us to Ceccano where we stayed at the quaint Hotel La Villa. The beautiful woman who runs the hotel was incredibly nice and accommodating. She made us feel like family. We enjoyed our stay at that hotel.
Our final days were spend it Positano at the Art Hotel Pasitea. Positano is picture perfect, the town is gorgeous, there is great shopping. The factories that create the beautiful lacy clothing is in Positano. Let me start with our hotel, it was beautiful, our view from the balcony was the water. It was perfection. The staff at the hotel, especially the two gentlemen behind the desk. Tony and I am sorry I can’t remember the other name were the best. They were incredibly helpful, charming, and funny we adored them. They made our trip even better. The room was spacious, clean and had a lovely balcony with a view.
This trip was just fabulous, we had the best time, it was relaxing, exhilarating, educational and most of all fun. Laura Postolis we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You made this trip everything we wanted and more.