The spaces in between
Italy | May 2 - May 10, 2024

Kat B.
Rosemont, CA | Reviewed on May 13, 2024

We did three cities in Italy in just over a week with at least one structured guided tour in each stop. All of our tours were informative and interesting to us. I think our Venice tour surprised me the most. I enjoyed Venice but after walking around and sampling foods with our guide, I really appreciated how much of a low-key place Venice really is and our guide Gianni was accommodating and so easy to interact with.

As our specialist, Melanie, did a fantastic job keeping in touch as needed and also helping to make adjustments on the fly as plans can and will change. During our planning I hadn't thought too hard on what I call the spaces in between - getting to and from public transportation to our hotel and where to meet our guides. Melanie had all of that taken care of it made a world of difference in how relaxed I could be to enjoy the sites, sounds, and experiences without worrying about logistics and our next steps. We were able to BE in Italy and not just whirl winding from one thing to the next. I would absolutely do something like this again and if we make it to Italy again, hopefully Melanie can sort us out then too.

Hotel Review
Hotel Olimpia

The staff were lovely. We felt so welcomed. We had a mini-suite which was awesome for keeping luggage out of our way and a space we could move without feeling too cramped in smaller rooms (which is understandable in such an old city with limited expansion options). I LOVED the exterior shutters as a great insulator against noise and light as we came to terms with jet lag. The hotel's location was great for us. It's on a quiet canal, just off some busier streets and areas so we didn't feel like we were in the thick of things, but everything was accessible.

Authenticity & Character
Cleanliness & Comfort
The cleanliness was great. The shower is a little small if you're bigger or taller, but not unreasonable.
Activity Reviews
Walking tour to discover the best of Venice with "Cicchetti " experience
Walking tour to discover the best of Venice with "Cicchetti " experience

Our guide asked us what we had seen already, which I appreciated. He was able to make some adjustments on the fly and get us out the busier, touristy areas to see more of the quiet side streets and canals, but still lots of historical information and a chance to sample some local fare. It felt more of a behind the scenes tour and a more intimate sharing of Venice.

Quality of Experience
Our tour was a conversation, not just a lecture.
Amarone Wine Tour
Amarone Wine Tour

Our driver/guide was so welcoming and kind. He did a great job of herding all 8 of us to two different wineries and letting us get to know each other. He was upfront with what he knew and what he didn't and was happy to try and get the information if possible. I felt appreciated.

Quality of Experience
I just felt appreciated and not just a tourist.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Conversation, not just lectures.
It was actually nice to drive outside the city for a bit and the van was comfortable and clean.
Local specialist: Melanie Rapuano
Melanie Rapuano
Local specialist in Italy | Replied on May 14, 2024

Hi Kat and Pat,

a big huge thank you for booking with me and for trusting me to make this not just a holiday but a trip to experience Italy! I still remember you saying I'd love to see Venice but not all the tourists, so I'm really pleased you enjoyed Venice and discovered a more ''secret'' side which is exactly what you wanted!

It really has been lovely planning this trip and working together to make it just right, I can't believe it's over already!!!

I look forward to planning your next trip to Italy.
A presto,