We had an amazing vacation in Italy! To have everything planned for us by Maria Landers, was such a treat. And we had the Cranky Concierge monitoring our flights and checking in with us. Everything flowed smoothly for our trip – prior planning and all aspects of the itinerary for each day.
All the drivers in Italy were great. They were professional: always prompt for pick up and always waiting for us to take us back. We were so thankful not to have to navigate the Italian roadways!
Having guides was a spectacular way to see all that we did. Our guide in Florence was magical. Her knowledge and friendly personality made it such a delight to explore Florence and see the David! Our tour of Siena was great; a good balance of art, history, and life in Siena. And time with our guide was fabulous. She was able to enliven our experiences at both Casa Gola and the Truffle farm. She is so easy going and an excellent translator. Ancient Rome with our expert historian went so quickly. He is so knowledgeable and engaging – we left wanting more. Our night drive in Rome was so special. He showed us many great spots in Rome with his bubbly personality. And our final guide for the Vatican did not disappoint. She was able to weave a story as we toured the museum that culminated in the Sistine Chapel. And seeing St Peters, while Mass was going on and the sun setting was an amazing conclusion to an amazing vacation. We are so lucky to have benefited from all of the excellent guides.
One of our favorite experiences was cooking and having lunch at Casa Gola. As we drove up her driveway we knew we were in for a very special treat. Her place is so lovely. We appreciated the picturesque setting, her beautiful home, and the decor. It was so fun to help cook inside and outside. And the food was simply fantastic! We’ve been telling people that it was like Martha Stuart meets Pioneer Woman meets Ina Garten.
The truffle farm was lots of fun too. The dogs actually found truffles! It was special having the owner sit with us during lunch. We talked politics, current events and he even told us a joke!
All of the hotels that Maria reserved for us were excellent – centrally located, quiet, and well appointed. We really enjoyed Antica Torre in Florence with our big window overlooking the Arno and sunsets on the terrace and the big breakfasts. Being on the rooftop to see the city was the perfect end to every day.
Places visited over ten days – Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Montefalco, Bevagna, Rome