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Yes, Italy is Everything You Dreamed It Could Be!July 30, 2015

It’s always helpful to get feedback on a trip from travelers – in fact, we ask them to share any pros and cons! This recent traveler to Italy reported mostly positives with a few helpful hints to learn from:

Many, many thanks for guiding us to a very special vacation! We had to really think about any negatives because they certainly weren’t obvious. But since you asked for pro and cons, we tried to give you something for future planning. Overall, though, the vacation was a 10 out of 10.

Here are some random thoughts:

Hotels

Regina Hotel Baglioni was a beautiful hotel and a great location for our daily activities.  They accommodated us with adjoining rooms on both visits, which was really critical. Otherwise, service was “good” – not too interested in catering to the kids.

Santa Caterina was heaven on earth. The staff, accommodations, location, and views were “the best.”  We were planning on taking a day trip to Capri on Saturday, but we loved the hotel so much that we stayed in Amalfi.  We especially loved walking the mile to Amalfi center – it was a bit adventurous for us given the crazy driving all around us, but very special.  From the center, we took a boat to Positano instead of a taxi – this was a great way to go on a very hot day.

 Trains

Great call on the trains being late – we were prepared for the hour delay getting back from Naples to Rome.  The first trip (Rome to Naples) was terrific in every way.  A great way to travel for sure.

 Tours

Absolute Italy:  FABULOUS. Drivers were cheerful, professional, and informative – always on time and very good with the kids.  We had the same guide at both the Vatican and Ancient Rome tours and he was spectacular.  In every picture I have of him, he was bending or kneeling down talking to the children.  Very knowledgeable, very dedicated, and very resourceful through any speed bumps. Our Pompeii guide was also very knowledgeable and did a very good job. We sent a note to Absolute Italy praising Claudio, Daniele and Peppino.

Sites/Attractions

A friend recommended we visit the Hotel Colonna, grab a Prosecco and take the elevator to the 6th floor roof for a spectacular view of Rome. We had the rooftop to ourselves and it was a great way to start the trip.

We loved Vatican City and Ancient Rome – We could have spent more time there, but the time we allotted was perfect for the kids.  These visits were extra-special because of our guide.

Pompeii was at the end of the trip and the kids were a little ragged but they absolutely loved it.  Hard for kids to get their heads around the history of the city, but it was something they will remember forever.  We spent a lot of time in one particular house (9000 square foot palace), which was tremendous.  Our guide spent time on the history of the Vesuvius eruption, which was terrific.

Outside the tour package, the Pantheon was tremendous – the kids really got a lot out of that visit. We also loved spending a little time in Piazza Navona. We had a memorable time exploring Trastevere one night – a lot of action and great pictures!

We saw Domus Romane, an uncovered palace found by archeologists during a subway excavation. It included a very cool light show and an amazing look at a largely intact house from 2000 years ago.

Restaurants

Santa Croce was AMAZING and a great start to our Amalfi trip – terrific views and great food.

Perhaps the highlight of our trip was our time at La Tagliata – were welcomed into the owner’s “home” with a tour of his farm, we sang, danced, ate great food and drank wine all night!

We stumbled upon Il Tari in Amalfi and had dinner there. When I asked what fish they had, the waiter grumbled, walked away from us and came back holding two newly-caught fish in his hands, asking me which one I wanted. We got over the fact that they weren’t interested at all in speaking English and had a fabulous meal there.

Daniele recommended Il Pomodorino, walking distance from our hotel.  We had such a great experience at lunch that we went back for our final dinner there.  Big, bright, air-conditioned, and excellent food!

We had a snafu with accessing cash one day (due to our bank), and before we could get it rectified, we arrived at one of the restaurants and realized they didn’t take the credit card I had available! Instead of turning us away, they welcomed us and told me I could settle up with them later. We had a great meal, lots of fun and the kids learned a valuable lesson about customer service and hospitality!

Overall, we didn’t have a lot of down-time but never really felt rushed. Your planning for us was flawless! Thank you for making our trip so very special! 

Now, if you’re ready to discuss your dream trip to Italy (or anywhere else!), contact us.

(Photo courtesy of Hotel Santa Caterina)

 
 
 
 
 

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