We concentrated on Florence and Rome with side trips to Sienna and Cassino. Though the weather for the first 1/2 was a bit rainy, it did not slow us down. Our hotel in Florence was absolutely spectacular. I don't think there could be a better one that addressed our needs! 2 blocks from il Doumo (we could see the dome) and yet super quite as we faced away from the street. We walked everywhere. Our day guide for Florence was wonderful and informative. Our wine tour and dinner into Chianti was lovely.
Our driver from Florence to Italy was absolutely amazing. He talked us into a quick stop at San Gimignano, and we are over the top happy that he did. Not to be missed! We then spent time in Sienna and it all just made us want to come back for more.
Rome was Rome. Big, bustling, exciting, lots of people and sights to see!
Our guide for the Vatican was also wonderful, as was the one that took us on our last evening tour of the squares. Both super informative.
We did visit the Coliseum and Forum as part of a 'small group'. it was still about 15 people and though totally acceptable and expected, we both realized we had been totally spoiled by the private tours!
One of our highlights was by the Exclusive wine pairing dinner. Though my mother had been tired from a day of walking all over, this was simply not to be missed and are so happy we included it in our experience! The Casa Bleve was simply outstanding in every respect. From appetizers and Prosecco in their wine cellar next to the 1st century Roman wall, to the cacio e pepe, to the phenomenal service, to the guide (Alessandra)...all beyond expectations! I am grateful the date mix up was corrected for so as not
I've attached a few photos from the trip.
So other than the two issues I mention above, all else was fabulous!
That it was almost thought free. With all the pre-planning done and receiving of emails the night before with who our guide would be for the next day...it was effortless. Also, personal guides for just my mother and I were absolutely amazing and totally spoiled us!
There were 2 issues with the planning:
1. On 16 May, we were scheduled in the evening for an exclusive dinner and wine paring. When we met the guide from Carrani, she said that they did not have us booked for that night, but for 16 JUNE! After about 15 minutes on the phone with the restaurant (Casa Bleve), it was agreed that they could bring 2 extra people, but it was very close that they could not. This was distressing at the time.
2. On the final day, 19 May, we were supposed to have private transportation using 'modern and luxurious cars and limousines' as quoted on our voucher. The driver showed up in an ordinary shuttle van. Quite disappointing way to end an otherwise spectacular trip.