I’m so glad you reached out because I’ve been meaning to write you and let you know about our trip. This trip was very special to me because it’s probably the last overseas trip for my parents. It was also special because me and father were able to visit our ancestral “home towns.” I wanted this trip to be stress free and enjoyable for my parents and you succeeded in making that possible. The memories made during this trip will be cherished.
Here are the highlights:
1) Our drivers were excellent! We especially liked Daniele and would give him an A+. He was always on time, gave us great information about Italian culture and the places we were visiting and thoroughly enjoyed our time with him (as well as Laura-Donna who joined us on our driving tour of Rome). All other drivers were great and we really appreciated Salvatore who drove us along the Amalfi coast taking us to areas less frequented by tourists and who also recommended a great restaurant away from all the tourist traps.
2) All of our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable about the places we visited. My mom loved the Vatican and Pompeii tour. For her, these were the highlights of our visit. My favorite was the Capucin Cript (Daniele was a great guide), the Pantheon, and Pompeii (Italo was a great guide).
3) Pizza making class in Sorrento: I think this was my dad’s favorite as he can’t stop talking about it! I thought this would be his least favorite, but he and my mom and I had a great time and we all would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone traveling to the area.
4) Aquino and Atripalda: I was looking forward to this the most. Many thanks to Daniele who found the ancestral home of San Tommaso (I did not find this in my own research). The village was beautiful and one of the most memorable parts of the trip for me. Atripalda was a bit depressing. The town was very run down and I can understand why my great grandfather left for a better life. However, driving through Avellino was beautiful and Daniele found us a restaurant in Atripalda that provided the best meal for my dad during the trip. I have pictures of my parents at this restaurant that I will always cherish.
5) Hotels: We were pleased with all the hotels but the Excelsior was a definite A+. When we arrived, they gave us an upgraded room (and I finally got two good night sleep) and we had the BEST view of the Bay of Napoli. Every hotel had a great breakfast and the staff at the Mascagni was wonderful and friendly from the front desk, to the breakfast staff to the bar staff (particularly Daniele who gave us great recommendations for three great restaurants).
6) Area Tours: Rome, Naples, Amafi, Capri were fantastic!!! Our guides were wonderful, knowledgeable and we would highly recommend these tours and the guides. Thank you also for working Catholic mass into the schedule. Attending Sunday mass in Italy is something I will always remember and the church was beautiful.
Things to improve: The only thing I would recommend is a longer tour length at Pompeii and the Coloseum. We probably could have spent another hour at each location.
Thank you for your time and patience in making this a memorable trip for me and my parents. I can appreciate how challenging it must be to satisfy the needs of three different travelers. Thank you also for providing the phone. Not only was this helpful for finding information about the sites we were visiting but also allowed us to check weather and feel we had a means to “connect” with someone in case needed. Came in useful when we forgot a package in one of our drivers’ vehicles. And my dad loved the chocolates:).
I’m still going through photos and plan to select a few scenery shots to frame. Once I do, I’ll share these with you.
I’ve already recommended your agency to friends & family. I already miss Italy and hope to return someday.
Sincere thanks for a memorable vacation.
Happy Easter to you and your family.
Jennifer Aquinas (Springfield – VA) – April 2019