TECHNICALLY, YOU GET COMPONENTS FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVEL IN ITALY, SWITZERLAND OR FRANCE
At the minimum, we provide hotel accommodations and the major transportation between your destinations, usually trains. Your arrangements may also include sightseeing tours or transfers between airports, hotels and train stations, or a car rental, or a cooking class. You travel on your own, without a tour leader, and not as part of a group.
BUT ~ WHAT YOU GET FROM US IS MUCH MORE THAN HOTEL ROOMS, TRAIN TICKETS AND TOURS….
A REAL PERSON ANSWERS THE PHONE HERE
We’re accessible. There’s no phone menu. If the phone
lines are tied up, and you have to leave a message, we try to get back to you the same day.
WE’VE BEEN THERE
We send our staff to Italy (and Switzerland and France) to check it all out. It’s a rarity if someone on our staff hasn’t trod the ground you’ll be walking, taken the same transfers, visited the same galleries and museums, inspected the hotels we’ll book for you, and taken the tours you’ll have.
CENTRALLY LOCATED HOTELS
When we say central, we actually mean it. Location is the first requirement for any lodging we use. When we look at a destination, we start with the hotels that are best situated. Then we visit them and judge the quality of the accommodations, picking the best of the lot. If hotels we like are not available for your dates, we don’t propose alternatives. We’re not satisfied just to find you a room. Anybody can do that.
We don’t sugar-coat Italy or what we do. We’ll tell you if we think we’re a good fit for your trip. We’ll be direct about what might put you off about a trip to Italy and about independent travel in Europe. See Are You Ready for Italy? and Are You Ready for Independent Travel?
OUR TRAVEL TIPS
No small thing. We’ll give you tips and observations on what to see and the practicalities of travel. You’ll get lots of notes that aren’t in the travel guides. We look for the rough edges and point them out, to make you better prepared. You get the benefit of experience from people who’ve been there
Including the owner, there are 5 of us. You won’t get the big company run-around. You won’t get lost in the shuffle. And you won’t get a cookie-cutter vacation plan. What you will get from us is more time and more personalized attention.
Our policy is simple. Your privacy is assured. We do not sell or trade your name, address, telephone, fax, email, or credit card information. This information is only shared with hotels and travel suppliers as necessary to make your reservations.
WE LISTEN TO YOU
Every trip we do is customized to some extent. Every one of our clients is different. So when we lay out your itinerary, pick hotels and train departure times, and suggest sightseeing tours or gallery reservations, we start with what we know about your experience, your expectations and your budget.
WHAT YOU DON’T GET
We stick to what we know. That means we don’t take requests to book hotels we don’t know or like. We keep to those parts of Italy that are represented in our packages. We don’t make restaurant reservations or recommendations. We also don’t do opera or other theater reservations.
WE’RE A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED TRAVEL AGENCY
Like a traditional travel agency, we work with you on a personal basis, so we can adjust itineraries and choose hotels and services we think will fit yourparticular needs. However, we are specialized to the point that we won’t take on your personal plan for Italy unless it fits with what we do on a regular basis. A general travel agency, on the other hand, is there to seek out the services you specify, whatever and wherever that may be. That’s not us. If you have a unique itinerary, with very specific destinations and hotels you’ve identified in your research, you may be better served by a general travel agency — or by putting it together yourself.
WE NO LONGER SELL AIR TICKETS
The simple reason is that most people who come to us for their Italy travel arrangements want to shop around for airfares, or use frequent flyer miles or some kind of rewards to buy their tickets. It made no sense for us to spend our time trying to be yet another airfare source. Our specialty is providing land travel arrangements, and now we can focus on doing what we do best.
In today’s travel news… TRAVEL BOOKS: There are lots of books on Italy that are useful to some extent. I will only attempt to single out one of them that I think has unique appeal and utility. It is entitled DAYTRIPS … (read more)
The ItalySource “Top 8 or 10 or so” list. We love these trips, of course, but we’re not sure why they’re selected more than others. Maybe one of these will become a fave of yours?