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Italy- Desperately need Recommendations for Tour Company!

Italy- Desperately need Recommendations for Tour Company!

Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Italy- Desperately need Recommendations for Tour Company!

I am traveling to Italy for my 60th with my husband and best friend and am overwhelmed by the online reviews for and against various Tour companies like Odessy Unlimited, Collette, Globus, Insight, etc. We want to concentrate in the Tuscany area with excursions to other cities. Love great food and experiences. Also want to go when the weather is perfect! Please any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Yellowbird55 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 471
You could easily travel on your own. Stay in Florence for a few days and take a bus or train to other locations for day trips like Arezzo, Lucca, Pisa or Fiesole. Then take a bus to sienna and do the same
For San grimignano etc? you can research restaurants in each location easily through this site. have a wonderful time.

If you really want a tour, I have heard good things about both Odysseys Unlimited and road scholar (used to be Elderhostel).

wanttogo is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I doubt you will find a tour group that will spend as much time in one place as you will want. If you do - fine. But most whirl through the country in 8 or 9 days.

If it were me I would organize the trip exactly as I wanted on my own and bag the idea of 7 am starts and long days sitting on a bus.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 249
I like to travel in May when it's not too warm, not too crowded.

Much of the fun of travelling is the advance research. Gather some info on the towns you'd like to see, and based on what you enjoy most....museums, wandering, learning about history, music, etc. and make a plan. Unless you are really worried about being on your own, I'd plan the trip myself. Staying in Florence is a great idea, (easily worth an entire trip, IMHO)and day trip to towns/cities that interest you. And since you are travelling with a friend, you may want to consider an apartment instead of a hotel room for 3.
Calabria62 is online now  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
<< Also want to go when the weather is perfect! >>

You need to define perfect weather. I have a friend who thinks perfect weather is 100 degrees F. and 100% humidity (actually she can't recognize humidity so she doesn't care how humid it is).

If you hate rain then don't go in the winter. If you hate heat then don't go in the summer.

If you want to concentrate on Tuscany you're best bet is to choose a location and hire a private guide.

Road Scholar is a respected tour company and they have a tour of Tuscan villages. You could combine this tour with travel to other cities (whatever they may be) either before or after the tour.


Before booking a tour read the detailed itinerary to see what's included and what is not and find out where the hotels are located.

I would avoid Globus tours as they are low end.
adrienne is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Look at Untours---no tour group will do what you are wanting.

bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Why are you desperate?

Seems a bit excessive to me that someone would become desparate about finding a tour company.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 18
We used Amber Road Tours a few years ago and would use them again. They focus on small group tours and the one we went on included time in Florence along with many small towns in Tuscany. The owners are husband -American & wife- Italian who live in Italy and know many out of the way places. They don't advertise much and rely on word of mouth which is how we ended up using them.

Congratulations on your upcoming milestone birthday. My husband and I just retired so I have dusted off my Fodor's ID so we can plan some travel!

MrsWally is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
I think tours are great for people traveling alone. However we just returned from an Italy trip and have planned another one for the spring. The Italy parts mostly by train, although we did do a 2 day car rental on the last one. With the internet research planning is very easy, plus it is a lot of fun [particularly reading menus!]. All our potential plans we check out here.

A friend took an Italy tour and was very disappointed in the food. We on the other hand had sensational meals.
RonZ is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Here are a zillion ideas:

RonZ is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 315
Tuscany Tours. We just returned from a small group tour in Florence, Cortona and Radda in Chiant....with a day in Siena and some wonderful out of the ordinary experiences. They do small groups, also will arrange for unescorted travel. Pam Mercer. [email protected]. I don't get a kickback. I just think they planned a wonderful experience and would rely on them 100% for trip planning. BTW-Florence is an "embarrassment of riches," and worthy of a number of days. Yes, you can do day trips...and you can also do Florence and some other "base camp," and do day trips. If you don't want to drive, hire a driver. The Tuscan roads are windy...and you might be drinking some wine.
NativeNewYorker is offline  
Nov 7th, 2013, 08:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Thank you all so much for your very helpful replies!
Yellowbird55 is offline  

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