We recently took a trans-Atlantic cruise with Rome as the end point, We then wanted to take a small group escorted tour through Italy. I looked for a tour group that would fit our schedule and Story Land & Sea did. I'm so glad that we went with this outstanding tour...everything was beyond our high bar expectations.
We had 3 days before the actual tour started in Venice. Story L&S made transportation and accommodation arrangements for us to stay in Sienna, Tuscany for 3 days with day trips to Pisa and Cinque Terre. The hotel was wonderful and the day trips were great.
Upon our arrival in Venice, we met our fabulous tour captain, Caron and our fellow travelers (1 other couple). The Italy Great Cities Tour included 2 nights at Venice, 2 nights at Florence, 1 night at Cortona, Tuscany and 3 nights in Rome. At each location we were met by fantastic city guides who provided information about each location...also including skip the line entrances to all the sites.
The focus of this tour was to see the major attractions at each city but more importantly to get a taste and feel of the culture at each location. Five dinners were included in the tour with 3 optional dinners which we did. The restaurants were all family owned back away from the touristy areas....with spectacular food and wine. Caron would make recommendations at each meal...she was always spot on. If I had a complaint, it would be there was too much food and wine! It was slow eating at its finest.
We took the deluxe option (higher standard of hotels with the dinners) which was worth every penny. Each hotel was in the center of the city which allowed us to walk everywhere. This tour did not include big buses that did drive by's...we walked everywhere which enabled us to really "see" each city. The hotels were fabulous with nice beds and amenities...not chain hotels.
I can't say enough great things about this tour...I could use every superlative there is to describe the tour. Caron ensured that everything went smoothly...luggage transfers, hotel check-ins, dinner reservations...just everything. We were there to just enjoy every moment without any stress.
Forgot to mention, the last night of the tour in Rome we were surprised with our dinner location. We were taken to a private penthouse apartment with a terrace that had a beautiful 360 view of Rome with a chef who prepared a wonderful and delicious meal. What an experience! We have so many wonderful memories from this trip...gondola ride with accordion player and soprano singer (so beautiful), a charming Tuscany villa, a small vineyard with a homemade lunch and wine tasting. too many to list here but all arranged by Caron and Story L& S.
We are experienced world travelers and this was the best small group tour we have taken. We hope to use Story Land & Sea for other Italy destination tours in the future.