Sicily with paul, Italy - Oct 16 - Oct 21, 2017
Several accommodations were outstanding - Palazzo Failla Hotel in Monica and Hotel Olympia in Venice were great and exceeded out expectations. However, the hotel in Catania, Hotel Alla Giudecca was in a good location but was pretty "spartan" and dark; the kitchenette for our purposes was unnecessary. The hotel in Catania, Hotel Etna 316, was also only marginally acceptable. Again it was in a good, central location. Problems include: it had poor air conditioning; our room was literally connected to the breakfast dining area and was noisy; the host who greeted us, Marco, was rude and obnoxious, and instead of answering our basic questions about the neighborhood, safety, etc, he felt compelled to brag about himself and avoid answering our questions. Also, somewhat curiously, they demanded to hold our room key at the front desk when we went out.
The tour guide in Siracusa, Eva Greco, was outstanding and should always be recommended for her knowledge and personality. Our guide in Venice, Fiona Giusto was also very solid.
The transports to hotels and back to the airport were also very dependable, calling the hotels to remind/confirm our departure times.
One of the highlights of the trip was wine tasting and lunch at Cantina Planeta Buonovini. They had a great presentation, excellent wines, and a great lunch in an outdoor setting.
Giorgia was very responsive to the several questions we had while on the trip, and sent reminder messages to us about tour times and connections. Her choices for accommodations and tour guides were, overall, excellent.