Tour Italy Now gets great feedback from customers who tour with us to Italy. You’ve probably seen the testimonials we run in the right-hand column of the website and also on our Testimonial Page. We recently received a detailed email from a couple from Mt. Sinai, New York. Lathika and Chandra Nair had taken the Dolce Vita Tour this past October, and sent along a lovely writeup of their activities, along with lovely photographs of some of Italy’s stunning attractions. We thought it would be fun to share their dispatch and a photo with the Tour Italy Now community. Many thanks to Lathika and Chandra Nair for taking the time to send their impressions and share the details of their tour of Italy with us.
With no further ado, here are highlights from their trip, as relayed by Mrs. Nair.
On the day we landed, we did a tour of the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum. After the tour, we had dinner at Pizzeria San Marino which was a 10-minute walk from our hotel. Great pasta, very good gelato, ambiance and friendly hosts. We booked the above mentioned tour, the Accademia gallery tour in Florence, the Pisa tour, the Venice by night tour and the gondola ride with the tour group who offered these to us on the bus from the airport. Almost everybody on the bus chose all of them. We had people from U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Lebanon, Canada and Australia. We had a great group of people. We created a Facebook page called “The Great Italy tour of 2011” and are hoping to keep in touch and exchange pics too.
We got picked up at the hotel in Rome. Tour director Alessandro Bartolucci (very calm, funny, informative guide), stopped at a rest stop. The coffee and food are great at rest stops, so unusual compared to the U.S. We did the sites in Assisi (very serene and beautiful), had lunch at a small pizzeria in Assisi (great food) and gelato too, then went to Siena, had a great time exploring Siena, shopped, had gelato again along with panforte and ricciarelli (desserts known in Siena- delicious). Got to Florence and relaxed.
Florence, we did the Accademia Gallery tour (was awesome, nothing like seeing Michelangelo’s David in person, to me one of the greatest, talented engineers of that era). Then continued on to the day tour, had lunch at a pizzeria near Santa Croce, continued on to the Pisa tour (incredible to see in person), and then back to the hotel.
From Florence to Bologna, we walked about, had Mortadella sandwich (supposedly known in Bologna) in this quaint little family cafe called Cafe Mercato, along with torta-di-mele for dessert. (Were we gluttons or what?) We walked the market streets and enjoyed the town with its very fashionable people. Then we rode to Padova, a very sleepy but sweet town. It was a cloudy day, but as we were getting ready to leave, the sun came out and the sky looked so beautiful. It was a very relaxing day. After reaching Venice, we took a tour of Venice by night. This tour was incredible. Alessandro did such a wonderful job with this tour, taking us through alleys and little streets, the main sites with an explanation of the important sites. This was a beautiful night, adding to the great trip.
Started with Murano glass factory, beautiful workmanship. Tour of Venice by day, gondola ride, walked a lot, had a beautiful day. We had lunch close to Rialto bridge at Ostaria dai zemei. We had crostini, which were delicious, with with dessert — creme-e-pere and coda aragosta — from Pasticceria targa nearby. We just walked, explored, walked into restaurants, looked to see what they were serving and picked the place. We tried to go to places where the locals ate. I think either way we could not go wrong. The food in Italy was just incredible. We had coffee at Osteria-al-Pesador, I think near Rialto Bridge, walked around all evening and skipped the dinner at the hotel and ate at Ristorante Serenissima Pizzeria (had pasta, tiramisu- very good food). Then took a bus back to hotel.
Venice to Montepulciano – a beautiful ride and a nice quiet town. Good wine, olive oil. Walked about and relaxed. Got to Rome. We decided to find the restaurant you mentioned near Piazza Farmese, but in the end ate close by in the square, in a place called Hostaria Farnes, with a couple from our group. Great food, wine, dessert and company. Took a cab back to hotel.
Tour of Rome as in itinerary, St. Peter’s Basilica (incredible), walking tour of Rome, lunch near Trevi Fountain and gelato at Bar Gelateria :). Walked some more, took subway to Vatican museum to meet the group for the tour. Incredible, the Sistine Chapel and Museum. I had this notion that the Sistine Chapel was a bigger room, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Had dinner at La Lampada, very good food, and people. Walked and explored Rome by night and took cab ride back to hotel.
Now, who can read that without getting excited about a tour of Italy! What do you think? Let us know! Share comments below, tweet to your friends and family, drop in on Facebook and get social with Tour Italy Now! For the love of Italy!