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Day 1: Sunday - Rome - Siena - Florence
8.00am meeting point at destination italia's sightseeing o ce or pickup at the hotel from 7.30am to 7.45am, then departure by coach to siena, the beautiful medieval cityRenowned for the palio horse race. Discover the street, palazzo salimbeni, which is now used as the headquarters for the banca monte dei paschi di siena. It was built in the 14th century. Visit the main square of the town, piazza del campo, a beautiful seashell shaped square, where the famous palio horse race is held every year on july 2nd and august 16th. Don't miss the chance to discover the impressive facade of the cathedral dedicated to the virgin mary, covered with colorful local marble, where several artists such as michelangelo, donatello, and bernini have work. Before you go, don't forget to taste the typical local dishes such as "pici", homemade pasta, and the almond biscuits "ricciarelli", symbols of the town. You then head to florence, arriving around 2:00pm, and after check-in at the hotel, with the help of tour leader, you have the chance to visit one of the famous museums such as the u zi gallery, accademia gallery and palazzo vecchio. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant to taste a typical tuscan menu. Overnight in florence meals: D
Day 2: Monday - Florence
After breakfast meet our local guide and visit the fascinating backstreets of mysterious florence: from piazza del duomo, with its baptistery and santa maria del fiore cathedral, To ponte vecchio; from piazza della signoria with its palazzo vecchio and loggia dell'orcagna, up to the central avenues paved with stone, where you'll find authentic masterpieces whenever you direct your gaze. An intense and concentrated tour in the very heart of florence that will introduce you to the many wonderful "must see" places of interest. Free time for lunch and then in the afternoon your tour leader will take you to see excellent traditional local producers: visit one of the most famous jewelers where you can admire the collections of a florentine goldsmith master; walk around san lorenzo's leather market that o ers high quality products, made with high-grade leather. Processed according to the most traditional methods, it gives life to the classic elegance of florentine leather bags, wallet, shoes and jackets, that represent the essence of local artisan creativity. Finally, let your nose twitch in delight, whilst visiting an old perfume workshop, which still produces fragrances using the medieval monks' methods and recipes. Overnight at the hotel. Meals: B
Day 3: Tuesday - Florence - Verona - Venice
American buff et breakfast at the hotel, check out and departure to venice by coach. Along the way you will stop in verona. Explore the streets of this historic center, that was proclaimed a unesco world heritage-site. Be enchanted by the gem of the city: the ancient roman arena. Built in 30 ad, it is very well preserved and in the last century has hosted over 30,000 people for international music concerts, including the verona arena festival, a summertime opera celebration that draws classical music lovers from all over the world. After taking some photos of the arena, head to the former home of famed opera singer, maria callas. Then move on to juliet's house, the structure that inspired shakespeare's romeo and juliet. Wander back to piazza bra in time for lunch. Proceed to venice. Travel by boat until saint mark's square, where you will meet a local guide who will introduce you to the most important buildings, such us the doge's palace, the campanile, the clock tower and the library. Here you'll be told about the birth of the city and its glorious history. Walk in hidden venice, admiring its alleyways, lovely canals, picturesque campos (squares) at the end of the visit there is a lovely walk to your hotel for check in. After, you will a Typical dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in venice. Meals: BD
Day 4: Wednesday - Venice - Murano
American buffet breakfast at the hotel and then with your tour leader you will ride across the venetian lagoon to the colorful island of murano. Here you will get an inside peek into The world-famous glass-blowing factories of the island. Watch a glassmaking demonstration from a master craftsman and enjoy time to browse the factory owroom, featuring Finished works of art. Return to st. Mark's square for an afternoon at leisure and time for shopping and private visits. Overnight in venice. Meals: B
Day 5: Thursday - Venice - Sirmione (Lake Garda) - lake C
American buffet breakfast at the hotel, check out and departure for sirmione known as the pearl of garda lake, "the gem of all the peninsulas", as the poet catullus wrote. The visit to the village starts with the spectacular scala castle dating back to medieval times. It was built at the end of the 13th century by the lords of verona. Wandering along narrow medieval streets one reaches the parish church of s. Maria which houses many images and paintings to be admired, together with di erent altars and precious 18th century works of marble. Slightly uphill, one reaches the s. Salvatore church, which dates back to the 8th century. Optional boat tour to admire the park of the prestigious and luxurious 5 star hotel villa cortine and the nearby villa of maria callas, from here you will reach the entrance to the grotte di catullo. It is the most important archaeological area in the entire region of lombardy, with imposing remains of what was once a luxurious roman villa on the edge of lake garda. In the afternoon, proceed to como lake where your tour leader will walk you around all the historic highlights. As we stroll through the ancient streets in the heart of the town, surrounded by roman walls, we can admire beautiful romanesque and baroque churches, piazza volta and piazza duomo, with its charming old town hall building, called broletto, with its characteristic bell tower and the superb 600-year old cathedral. Depart to milan where you can enjoy a panoramic tour to see: sforzesco castle, the medieval piazza mercanti and piazza della scala, admire the marble façade of milan cathedral and the galleria vittorio emanuele ii, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Your tour ends in the historic piazza del duomo. In the evening check in at hotel, dinner and overnight at the hotel in milan. Meals: BD
Day 6: Friday - Milan - La Spezia - Portovenere - Vernazz
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to la spezia to embark on an unforgettable day dedicated to the discovery of one of the most amazing and enchanting landscapes In the world: "cinque terre". We will reach the first village of portovenere, a unesco world heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses, while narrow medieval streets, lined with shops, lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. By boat you reach vernazza, a characteristic small fishing village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in italy. The village is surrounded by steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce amongst the finest olive oil in the country. The last stop will be in monterosso, the largest of the five coastal villages. Its amazing beaches, beautiful reefs and the sea's crystal clear waters, make this small village one of the most convivial of the ligurian riviera. In the late afternoon return to la spezia by train and take the coach to lucca. With your tour leader, stroll through the cobblestone streets and bustling piazzas, to the old renaissance walls. Trace the city's roman past along via san paolino and piazza san michele and see the birthplace of local composer giacomo puccini. Admire the medieval buildings along via fillungo, peek inside san frediano church and visit landmarks such as the cathedral of san martino, piazza anfiteatro and torre delle ore. At the end of the walk transfer to your hotel for check in. Dinner and overnight in lucca. Meals: BD
Day 7: Saturday - Lucca - Pisa - Montepulciano - Roma
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Depart to pisa for a walk with your tour leader to the heart of the city. Admire the cathedral square with the duomo di pisa, campo santo, pisa baptistry, and, of course, the leaning tower of pisa - a unesco world heritage site. Take time for lunch and shopping and in the afternoon depart to cross val d'orcia, the area famous for its superb wine production and for its amazing landscape, symbolic of the tuscan region. Enjoy a stop in the most iconic town in the area, montepulciano. Surrounded by the ancient city wall, montepulciano is a symbol of the power and wealth of the noble families from the 14th to 16th centuries. Be enchanted by the beauty of piazza grande, with the magnificent duomo and palazzo tarugi; continue on to see the fortezza and the church of santa maria dei servi, one of the finest examples of renaissance art. Montepulciano is well known for the production of its fabulous red wine. The "nobile di montepulciano" is one of the most lauded italian wines in italy and abroad. Montepulciano has a distinct peculiarity, in that you can find several historic cantinas right within the city walls, which have been dug out underneath the prestigious palazzos. Take time to taste local wines and buy some souvenirs. Proceed to rome where you will arrive around 7.30pm. Check in at the hotel and overnight. Meals: B
Day 8: Sunday - Rome - Naples - Pompeii - Sorrento
Departure from your hotel (pick up from hotels will be from 6.30 to 7.00 am, please remember to order your breakfast box at your hotel the day before departure!) Upon arrival in naples we will take a walk in the historical centre to admire piazza del plebiscito, the royal palace, piazza del municipio, the gallery of umberto i and the san carlo opera house. After lunch in a typical restaurant with neapolitan specialities (water and 1 soft drink included) , with our local guide we will visit the pompeii excavations, unesco listed ruins. This ancient roman city was destroyed by the eruption of mount vesuvius in 79 ad, which buried and preserved it under a sea of volcanic ash for almost 1700 years. The archaeological journey through the ancient city will give us the opportunity to better understand how romans used to live at that time. At the end of the tour, we may be given the opportunity to visit a coral and cameo factory, to admire items manufactured with a technique dating back to ancient greek times. Proceed to sorrento, the gateway to the amalfi coast, with its colorful historical center and pretty waterfront, lined with fishing boats and the new marina grande cruise pier. Check in at your hotel in sorrento, dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Monday - Sorrento - Capri - Sorrento
American buffet breakfast at the hotel, and departure at 07.30-7.45am to the island of capri. You will board the ferry and arrive in marina grande. Once on the island you will visit the blue grotto (weather permitting), and stop at the famous piazzetta. A minibus will take you up to anacapri. After lunch in anacapri, you will return to marina grande where you will board the ferry for your transfer back to sorrento. Departure to pompeii where you will join the bus to return to rome. Arrival in rome around 9:00pm and drop o at the hotel. Meals: BLD
Day 10: Tuesday - Sorrento - Rome
American buffet breakfast at hotel and day of leisure to explore sorrento or have an optional tour to discover the amalfi coast visiting positano, ravello and amalfi. Meeting point at 2.30-3.00pm in your hotel lobby and transfer to pompeii where you will join the bus to return to rome. Arrival in rome around 9:00p.m (drop o guaranteed in termini station / Barberini square / destination italia once) . Meals: B
- 2 nights' accommodation in a 4* hotel in Florence.
- 2 nights' accommodation in a 4* hotel in Venice.
- 1 night's accommodation in a 4* hotel in Milan.
- 1 night's accommodation in a 4* hotel in Lucca.
- 1 night's accommodation in a 4* hotel in Rome.
- 2 nights' accommodation in a 4* hotel in Sorrento.
- Ground transportation by deluxe coach with air conditioning.
- Boat and train ticket in parco delle cinque terre.
- Guided tour of Pompeii, including entrance fee.
- Full day excursion to Capri
- Visit to the blue grotto (weather permitting/ entrance fee included)
- 9 buffet breakfasts.
- 6 dinners (drinks not included).
- 1 lunch in Naples Pompeii(water and 1 soft drink included)
- 1 lunch in capri (drinks not included).
- Multilingual escorted tour (english/ french/spanish).
- English/ french/spanish speaking local guides.
- Only one bag per person allowed plus one piece of hand luggage.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Affordable tours did a remarkable job on our trip to Italy. The itinerary was very detailed and, although there were a couple of minor changes during the week, we were extremely satisfied with the accommodations, the level of professionalism and knowledge of the tour guides, and would not hesitate to recommend them for your next vacation.
Guides were good, especially Gin.
While the hotels were rated 3+ stars, they are group travel hotels - fair rooms and buffet breakfast and dinner. It's OK as an experience and the food was adequate.
1. We were never informed that this would be a bilingual tour! Very disappointing and annoying! We could not bond with 3/4 of the guests or understand their questions and answers. We were the only Americans on most of the trip. 2. We were totally unaware of the fact that we could have upgraded our hotels. 3. 50% of the buses provided did not have Wi-Fi available. Some didn't even have overhead lights. 4. Buffets provided in Morocco's hotels were almost inedible. Very few choices and actually hardly anything was palatable. 5. The tour guide for Morocco (Idame ?) was unenthusiastic and did nothing extra to make this more enjoyable (doing his job-"phoning it in")One problem was the optional tour on April 16, Fantasia, was 65 but he was charging US$83. By any account I could find this was not a fair and equitable exchange rate.
Three nights in Queensttown at the Rydges was more of an economy motel than a first class hotel. The intra-country transportation was on passenger buses with many stops and pickups encounter from one location to another. Also I thought transfer back to airport would be private like the meet and greet but was a shared airport shuttle with several stops.
I know that the price was right for the tour that was offered, but the accommodation were not that great. I had done several tours before. even one in the Germany- Hungary area just a few days before, and I was always in a group where we all started together with a meeting the night before at the first hotel and the whole group stayed together for the whole tour. In this occasion there was people s joining the group and leaving all the time, And we were separated in two hotels, the nicer hotel for some of them and the second grade hotel for the rest of us. That made us feel discriminated and divided into two groups. Yes, you may think that we were being able to afford this tour, but I still think that for the price we paid, we did not get the value.
I have been traveling once or twice a year and so far this is the WORSE!!! Never imagined this kind of tour can still exist with so many choices around. Kanesia who booked us was wonderful. She was very professional and courteous but the tour itself was a nightmare from start to finish!! When we arrived at the airport, when we notify the lady holding our name card she just pointed to the driver and walked away without any word of assurance and explanation not even an eye contact! WOW! Next the driver dropped us off the hotel and that is it. No receiving party nor the hotel desk knows anything. Our daughter arrived later in the evening and nobody picked her up from the airport. She has to take a taxi alone in the middle of the night, a young lady in an unknown city. Paid extra to the driver for being grateful. All these times we tried contacting the local operator many times, NO ANSWER!!! Our schedule given to us (refer to page 3/10 on the attached documents, it says we are free the next day. Day 3 (Saturday) in Rome. The next day, we were suddenly awakened by the front desk saying that somebody is picking us up for a 3 hour Rome walking tour. We panicked and dressed so fast hardly able to comb our hair. During that time, the person who picked us up gave me the paper about today's schedule please refer to Italia Gartour page A indicated attached. The hotel had a very tight shower and not even a soap dish inside the shower.The trip after Pompeii was chaotic. Transferring from one bus to another. The guide was so disorganized exchanging passengers with another bus and we looked after our own luggage and wheel them to another bus. The hotel in Sorrento was a breather to be fair. Grand Hotel Vesuvio was nice quite and great location. Good food and staff. The brochure description of the trip from Sorrento to Amalfi was that we will be passing through breathtaking views and what happened we were separated from the other parties and we were driven through the highway and into the mountains then dropped off in a hotel in Maouri. We were on our own confused thinking we were in Amalfi itself. Again no receiving party at the hotel. We towed our own luggage and checked in and not knowing what is next!!! We have to inquire from the front desk how to get to Amalfi. Good thing he was very helpful even in broken English. The worse part is going back to Rome where our service voucher and revised itinerary showed we were booked with the Building Hotel. We were dropped off by the bus near the taxi station and it was raining so hard and we dragged our luggage in those cobble stone falling in line at the taxi line. We have to beg the taxi to take us in since there are 3 of us with luggage and it cannot fit in a regular sedan. When we arrived at the hotel another surprise that our name is not in the list and they are fully booked. Refer to the attached documents. We have to take another taxi to the proper hotel. THIS IS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE instead of a dream vacation. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!! I will spread the word and I hope you better drop this tour operator. SO DISORGANIZED and INCOMPETENT!!!!
1. The guide is making us take taxis and meeting them places since others are staying at different hotels. Definitely not what I have experienced in the past, I am used to the tour bus coming for us, when it says "transportation provided" 2. So far Day 2 and 3 are not as advertised. 9/29: Had to provide own transportation. Met group at 1030 at BMW Welt, left at 11, drove to Marienplatz, watched the glockenspiel. At 1215 we were dismissed, no tour of Munich did not visit the city's main attractions. Had to provide our own transportation to Dinner. 9/30: Had to take a cab to other guests hotel, did not leave until almost 9, did not get to Berchtesgaden until 11, after Eagles Nest I had to complain, because they were going to skip the lake, we were only allowed to go for 40 minutes, no possibility to take the boat trip. Had to get own transportation back from other hotel. Dinner was supposed to be provided but was not. She said it is not included but our itinerary says dinner and breakfast 9/30 10/1 Did not leave until after 9 did not have enough time in Rothenburg Ober Taber, Itinerary says "tour" of well perserved castle-but we did not tour it, we walked up to one gate and took pictures, 10/2 Bamberg was OK, should have skipped Bayreuth and had more time in Nuremberg 10/3 Wurzburg: was very nice, could have used more time, needed to get going earlier each day. Would have been nice to have a driving tour of Frankfurt upon arrival. Tour should have advertised this was a National Holiday, most all shops were closed. The guide did not seem to know much about each stop, could have benefitted from a local guide at stops, and or side excursions should have been available.
It said it included: "Holy Land crafted to CATER to Catholic individuals. Daily Holy Mass included." The guide was not Catholic nor the other couple which made things uncomfortable. I got to go to one Mass. I considered cancelling after the first day but felt it would not be fair to my grandson who was traveling with me. I do not blame the guide, he was great considering, but I feel I was miss lead. I could not recommend this trip to any Catholics. I have made Sita World aware of my opinion.
It was an amazing expererience
We had a wonderful experience and all of the local guides were top notch. Having a personal guide allowed us to see so much more in the limited time we had. Also, we saved so much time not having to wait in line for tickets, not getting lost and having to find transportation. It made our trip so much more enjoyable and relaxed. In addition, we learned so much about the local way of life. My children benefited from this greatly. For the slight additional amount of money you pay, you gain so much more value in your travel experience.
We had local guides, drivers and even an armed guard accompany us to all the sites. The guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and wanted us to feel completely safe and happy at all times. Abeer was our guide in Cairo and she was absolutely fantastic!! She helped us to understand the local customs and was very proud of the world class tourist sites we visited. Loay was our guide on the Nile cruise and he was equally helpful to teach us the history of the Pharohs. Both were proud of their country and proud to show it to us. One downfall was the constant prodding by the locals to sell us everything and anything. Also we had to pay to use the local restrooms and some locals were not very friendly about the amount of money offered!! Another problem was that our boat did not have 'working' wifi. We needed to stay in touch with business emails and reliable wifi is to be expected. Luckily Loay let me use his personal phone as a hotspot to obtain service - very generous of him! We travelled as a family of 4 and felt safe at all times. The drivers would drop us off at the sites and were always ready when we were to depart, no waiting at all!
SITA was not the operator of the tour, it was the tour of Baltic Visions from Riga. Unfortunately, the real tour operator was not professional enough. The tour manager even left the tour half way through. From that point it was the local tour guides only. On top of that, 90% of what was promised turned out to be optional, to be paid cash only!
The itinerary was not always correct. Messages at hotels was very helpful.
There was only one guided tour on this trip that was disappointing, and that was one which was booked through Florencetown, where we visited a winery in Chianti for a tasting and dinner. It really wasn't a winery but rather was a resort and very commercial. It did not feel authentic. However, all of the rest of the tours were excellent. The guides were hardworking, informative, and personable. There was very little we would change about this trip. The employees from VIT Incoming (the Italian tour company Sita worked with) did not disappoint. I loved them all! We did have some questions before the tour about the itinerary. The itinerary on the website did not exactly match the itinerary which was mailed to us. Also, the transfers were unclear. Once I talked with the Sita agent a few times, we were able to figure out the details, but Sita needs to double/triple check their itineraries before they are mailed. We ended up getting three mailed/emailed to us before they got them right. However, the Sita agent, Hardeep, was very courteous and helpful. He did say he would follow up with me after the trip, but he has not done so yet.