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Trish Aug 17th, 2002 05:41 AM

Anne Robichaud Tours of Umbria
We are in the process of planning one of Anne's day tours of Assisi and Spello this October. Have any of you taken one of her tours? If so, your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Rex Aug 17th, 2002 05:44 AM

search "Robichaud" here on this forum. You will find many strongly positive reports.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

up Aug 17th, 2002 08:15 AM


Trish Aug 17th, 2002 10:49 PM

One of the reasons I am asking, Anne will not be available during this time, so have any of you had one of her fill in guides?

Helen Donegan Aug 19th, 2002 01:16 AM

Let me know if you got sorted out Trish.<BR>

Santa Chiara Aug 19th, 2002 05:49 AM

A dissenting view about these tours. We spent at least half the day in tourists' shops, mostly her friends and relatives. The first hint should have been when the tour met at a "glass art" shop. I was disappointed in the quality of the tour, due to this overexposure to shopping, and I thought it was overpriced for what you got.<BR><BR>But, be aware that I am not a shopper, and I have been known to go entire vacations without buying anything but a postcard. This tour would definitely appeal to those who shop.

xxx Aug 19th, 2002 06:27 AM

We were going to set up a cooking class with Anne. She was unavailable on our date and put us in touch with two other women who do cooking classes (an ex-New Yorker and an Italian chef). They were great. She was very helpful via email on general questions and we had a great time in our cooking class so I think her recommendation was a good one.<BR><BR>The substitute cooking class was probably a better fit than Anne herself as they really put us through an intense class for five hours. I think Anne does a little more introduction type cooking class. Both are great, just depends on your interest in cooking (we're serious cooks and really wanted to learn alot).<BR><BR>FYI the email contact for our cooking class was: [email protected]

x Aug 19th, 2002 07:13 AM

Thanks for your opinion SC. I've always been interested in these tours that everyone raves about, especially those given by the expats highly advertised on the message boards. I personally don't want to spend my day with an expat stranger, paying them to shuttle me around and pretend they're an expensive "friend." From the sound of a lot of people who post, they've got them fooled.

Nan Aug 19th, 2002 07:29 AM

We also were planning on using her, but got the same feedback that Santa Chiara wrote about. Also some of the people scheduled to be in our aquaintance's group canceled so she increased their cost per person.

xxx Aug 19th, 2002 08:21 AM

A word in their defense, if you're not interested in shopping you could tell them that in advance and I'm sure they would skip it. A tour guide is not a mind reader and it's up to the buyer to make their expectations clear so they're not disappointed.<BR><BR>Regarding a "stranger" taking you around, we have found that using a guide can show you things and provide history you may have otherwise missed not knowing the area. We do tons of research and reading in advance and have still had guides tell us things you don't find in the books. Books give you the general facts and guides often fill in little details that are interesting.<BR><BR>We tour 90% on our own, but usually hire a guide for one day on things that may be difficult to do on your own (in Spain we used a guide to cover alot of ground one day seeing Segovia and La Granja and in Tuscany we used a guide to take private tours of several wineries).

wendy Aug 19th, 2002 05:29 PM

Santa Chiara hit it right on the head.<BR><BR>We saw kick backs going left and right and this is even AFTER we wanted a private trip, not introductions to 'friends'... as well as prices going up on the spot...<BR><BR>A terrible shame as she could have really done something special with the 'hidden' aspects of the area...<BR><BR>

Santa Chiara Aug 19th, 2002 10:51 PM

xxx, I was a single traveler who joined a group of people unknown to each other. How was I to know this was going to be a shopping expedition when it was advertised as an insiders' look at Assisi? <BR><BR>I agree that tours done well will give you insight and lead you to the undiscovered. But I don't relish paying $100 to have someone show me pictures from a guidebook, which is what happened in between stopping at all the tacky tourist shops.

Helen Donegan Aug 25th, 2002 12:48 AM

I sometimes bring people around Assisi when I have the time - I love to show them the parts most don't usually visit, a lot of the time we are outside the old walls where there are no shops!<BR><BR>I have never brought anyone to a shop yet, some ask me to find a special object etc. that they are looking for, I give them suggestions of where they can try but they do this when they are on their own (unless of course they particularly ask for help and we go together after the tour).

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