Which tour is best? Help!

Jan 26th, 2001, 04:49 PM
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Which tour is best? Help!

Feeling quite inept after reading all the messages from independent travelers but we really do want to take a tour for our first trip to Italy and would really appreciate any comments or reviews on the best tours{or worst}around. Also would the end of June or the month of August be the best time? We will be traveling with relatives that do not want to do a cruise. Thankyou in advance for any feedback! Dee
Jan 26th, 2001, 05:02 PM
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Hi, Dee,

We are usually independent travelers but for our first trip to Italy, we did a formal tour for a week and then did it ourselves for over another week. I would highly recommend Tauck World Discovery. They are expensive but I really believe you get what you pay for. Everything about them is first class. Over twenty years we have done only two tours, both with Tauck and both were exceptional. When you hear about tour companies, be sure to compare apples to apples, location of hotels, meals, included tours, etc.. If I can help further, e-mail me directly.
Jan 27th, 2001, 06:09 PM
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The end of June would be better as, although it's slowly changing, alot of stores etc in Italy close down for August or a part of it. It's better to go when you can see and meet the locals. May and October is even better, late June will put you in the middle of high tourist season.

As for tours, I've been on a tour of Italy and can definately NOT recommend Trafalgar. They really push the optionals (an extra $500 each). I suggest you check out Insight or Collette if your budget doesn't allow of Tauck. Tauck is one of the best, from what I hear. I haven't been able to afford them myself.

Make sure you stay in the center of town, as some of your time off is 'hotel time' and if your in the center you can skip out and have some fun on your own. The meals provided on most tours are nothing to write home about, so being central will allow you to skip those as well if you so please.
Jan 29th, 2001, 05:19 PM
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for the last two trips to italy we have used italiatour. we are independent travelers, which they were able to accomodate, but they also offer other ways of touring. they can be reached at www.italiatours.com from which you can order a brochure. be sure you get the name of anyone you talk to. good traveling. G.
Jan 29th, 2001, 08:05 PM
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Thanks so much for the feedback I really appreciate it! Also to the person that emailed me directly that I deleted so quickly {habit}. Anymore suggestions would be welcome, I had only heard of Aitalia not the others, Thankyou!
Jan 30th, 2001, 06:06 AM
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We've been on 4 different Perillo Tours. You really get your money's worth. You have to decide on which area you want. We liked the Off the Beaten Track tour since we've been all over Italy's usually sites. The only problem is that sometimes the groups are a bit large, say 50 which could lead to some frustrations on the bus. We've been travelling independently lately but think a tour could be restful with no decisions to be made, etc. But at any rate, be sure to keep good track of your possessions while at the tour sites especially in Rome.
Jan 30th, 2001, 06:55 AM
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DO NOT GO TO ITALY IN AUGUST IF YOU CAN HELP IT. The entire country goes on vacation in August--seriously, both Italy and France (and probably other European countries I'm not familiar with)have national vacation regulations. Please plan you trip for the end of June. I've heard great things about Perillo and Tauck tours; Italiatours is the tour division of Alitalia--I haven't taken their escorted tours, but have used their air/hotel packages which are fabulous values with good hotels in the mid-priced range.
Jan 30th, 2001, 07:19 AM
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I took the Goahead tour of Venice, Florence and Rome in 1999 with a friend. I was very pleased with the tour as a whole. We had a great tour director and was not pressured at all to go on optional tours. We had plenty of free time on our own. The food was not great but we had some meals on our own to make up for it. I would use Goahead Vacations again. However, I am planning my own trip to London for June and enjoying it immensely. Have a great trip.
Jan 31st, 2001, 03:35 PM
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darn right about august. your best bets are in june or sept.
Jan 31st, 2001, 04:05 PM
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Dee, After reading the answers to your question...I wonder if April is too early to go to Italy. No matter, we already have our plans made.
Concerning tour companies : I agree with the person who did not recommend Trafalgar Tours. I have gone with better companies! We have toured 5 times with Globus, and are going with them again in April. Another great tour company is smarTours. They are budget priced, but we have found them to offer a tour as good as others who wanted twice the price! Happy Travelling!
Jan 31st, 2001, 05:43 PM
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wow! Thanks so very much for all the comments and suggestions on tours! It really has helped me and I made a trip to the travel agency today and got brochures on all those mentioned, by the way I will not go in August! Thanks again- Dee
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