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“Extremely overpriced”

Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours
Ranked #52 of 226 Food & Drink in Rome
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Attraction details
Owner description: Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours provides private, custom-designed tours throughout Italy: *Unparalleled, personalized customer service from start to finish*Art & history tours*Food & wine tours, tasting tours, market tours*Cooking Classes with home and professional chefs all over Italy (featured in the NY Times) *Food Workshops*Art classes such as mosaic, fresco, drawing or painting lessons, artisan tours*Walking Tours*Chauffeured tours and transfers *Experiences with art experts, archeologists and historians to sommeliers and chefs. *Hotel, restaurant, and train reservations We specialize in the best hidden gems of Italy~
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I turned to Italy Hotline for the gastronomic tours with an emphasis on cheeses and wines. Excursion cost was 230 Euro per person. During the tour two cheese shops and several shops (capucino, pizza blanca, gelato etc) were visited. On the same route we saw other touristic groups. I thought it was a typical excursion, not a special solution. And it is extremely expensive for the content.

3  Thank PolinaT16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy_Hotline_Tours, General Manager at Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear Polina,
Thank You for taking the time to review the 3-hour private “Walking Food Tour with a Concentration on Handmade Cheeses” that you booked in Rome in June 2013.
I am sorry to hear that you were not entirely satisfied with your experience, and would like to make some comments about this tour.
All our 3-hour private walking tours in Rome cost 250 Euros – this price excludes entry tickets, transportation, gratuities and tastings. All our tours are 100% private and the price is calculated for a private group (that may consist of a single person, a couple, a family or a group of friends) of up to and including 5 people, lead by an professional expert in the field.
Since yours was a last-minute request and you were only one person, it was our pleasure to make an exception and offer you a discount of 25% and the tour at the rate of 230 Euros including all food and wine tastings. Your tour guide was Sarah, a professional sommelier and food expert, who only frequents the highest quality Slow Food specialty food shops and enotecas during her private food and wine tours.
Since you requested a special focus on cheese, Sarah took you to one of the finest cheese shops in Rome where you tasted a total of 10 different artisan-produced cheeses. You also sampled pizza ebraica, pizza bianca, olives, sundried tomatoes, gelato, cappuccino, and more cheeses at an excellent enoteca. Here Sarah conducted a tasting of both red and white wine. Sarah offered to have you also sample some suppli and ciccoria, but you said you were satisfied with everything and did not want to taste anything else.
Rome is a city that is world-renown for its wine and cuisine, and yours was a tour in the heart of the city center. The places that Sarah took you to are the best authentic, Slow-Food enotecas, bakeries and specialty shops which have been written about in guide books, online articles, and magazines and newspapers like Travel + Leisure, the New York Times, the Guardian and USA Today, as well as countless local Italian publications. It is inevitable that others have heard about these places and choose to come there too. This, however, does not make the quality of the food and wine you tasted anything less than excellent.
We pride ourselves in working with experts and showing our guests the authentic side of Italian cuisine and culture. Once again, I am sorry you felt the price you paid was too high. I can assure you, however, that our prices are competitive for a 3-hour fully private experience with a professional sommelier, all food and wine tastings included.
Warm regards,
Ally
General Manager
Italy Hotline Custom & Gourmet Tours LLC

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60 - 64 of 146 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

I recomend to everyone. These guides are very knowledgeable and educated in Italian Culture. They are always on time and their transportation is very clean and reliable.

2  Thank mifa49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy_Hotline_Tours, General Manager at Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Thank you very much for your review! We are pleased that you found our guides friendly and knowledgeable, and our chauffeurs and transportation reliable and of a high standard.
Kind regards,
Ally
General Manager
Italy Hotline Custom & Gourmet Tours LLC

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

In mid July we traveled to Rome and would highly recommend using 'Italy Hotline'. Once we arrived, we had a private chauffeur service from the airport to our hotel, the car was on time, comfortable and the driver Marco gave us a mini tour in English of all the sites we passed by which was lovely!

later that night we did an "Evening Rome Highlights" tour which was very relaxed and enjoyable, a 3 hour stroll with Ally who was very knowledgeable, good company and knew the streets of Rome like the back of her hand, (we would have been lost without her!) together we saw the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Keats and Shelly's house, Via Condotti, and the area of Monti. All the attractions were quiet and had a lovely atmosphere at night, especially the Trevi fountain where we made a wish on a Euro coin.

Ally recommended and made a dinner reservation for us and scouted out an excellent place which had plenty of vegetarian options and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal. We had truffle pasta , local cheeses, amazing antipasti and were spoilt for choice with deserts!

We'd definitely recommend Rome Hotel Grifo as its really central, a few minutes walk to the amphitheater and lovely restaurants and cafes nearby.
All in all a lovely trip to Rome, millie grazie to Ally and her colleagues and we look forward to visiting again!

4  Thank Zara I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy_Hotline_Tours, General Manager at Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear Zara,
Thank you very much for your review!
I am pleased that you were happy, upon arrival, with your Rome Fiumicino airport transfer with Marco and with the hotel I recommended and booked for you in Rome’s Monti district.
I’m happy to have shown you a glimpse into Rome’s amazing history and beautiful art and architecture on your one evening here, and I hope it made you curious to learn more.
I’m glad you enjoyed your dinner in Rome, I hope you will be back! There’s so much more to discover (and eat)!
Kind regards,
Ally
General Manager
Italy Hotline Custom & Gourmet Tours LLC

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Reviewed August 23, 2013

I went to Italy and was recommended Italy hotline by a friend who had used them from the UK. Ally and Serena from Italy hotline helped us find some wonderful spots! In particular we loved the cheese tasting. Ally joined us for this as our translator as we wanted to find an authentic place (that didn't speak Italian) and we certainly found it!

We had a two hour tour of the cheese factory where we saw fresh Mozzarella being made and we even tried it straight out of the machine, it was delicious! Following that we had a tasting of the several varieties that the producer made, again absolutely delicious with multiple rounds of cheese and wine being served.

Italy hotline also planned a few other activities for us during the week which was there, all of which were fantastic, and I can safely say we would have never have found without their local knowledge. I'd just like to say thank you to them for making our trip so great!

3  Thank JaiPops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy_Hotline_Tours, General Manager at Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear Jai,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review.
Garfagnana is an off the beaten path area of Tuscany and I was so pleased when you contacted me about planning this trip! It was my pleasure to act as your translator at the cheese farm near Lucca. Hearing the artisan’s family history, watching him make the cheese, and then tasting it minutes later was an unbelievable experience, and I am so glad everyone appreciated it.
I enjoyed spending time with you and your friends, and hope to welcome you back in Italy again in the future!
Kind regards,
Ally
General Manager
Italy Hotline Custom & Gourmet Tours LLC

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

My 12 year old daughter and I went to Rome on the 9th of August. After reading reviews on Italy Hotline here on trip advisor I decided to go with them.

Ally was a gem in every way you would expect from a tour organiser and more. First of all I contacted her very last minute and regardless of the fact that she was on holiday and didn't have the best wifi connection she did everything and went out of her way to ensure I was well received and all of my requests were taken into account.
In Rome Ally arranged two glorious tours for us with the fabulous Silvia...Now Silvia was our tour guide, but she is not a run by the mill average tour guide, she is a amazing personality who is a mixture of class, manners and professionalism. I have been to Rome before but with Silvia made it come to life with her passion and knowledge. The more I would want to learn , the more she was thrilled to share the incredible amount of knowledge she had on the subject of Rome's history. She has this ability to engage all age groups, in fact, so taken back are my daughter and myself by her colourful recounts that we are now inspired to read more on Roman history...This is the trappings of a successful cultural holiday IMHO!...So my proverbial hat goes off to you Silvia!

The care of Italy hotline didn't end there: Ally arranged my transfers from the moment I arrived in Rome and even when my daughter and I left en route to Capri she arranged that Silvia accompany us to the train station and even settle us into our designated seats...and yes Ally was the one who arranged the train tickets for us too.
Thats not all, because when we arrived in Naples Ally also arranged that a driver was waiting for us with a designated sign who in turn helped us with our luggage and then drove us to our ferry to Capri.

Everything Ally did was liaised via email and whatsapp correspondences, again it was last minute, during her holiday and even after she returned beyond her office hours. She would even check in after the part of our holiday ended with her when we went to Capri to make sure we were happy and enjoying the trip.

Ally treated us like family, and I cannot thank her enough for her amazing care and attention to detail. It goes without saying, Italy Hotline is very highly recommended.

3  Thank Alanoud-Alattiya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Italy_Hotline_Tours, General Manager at Italy Hotline Custom and Gourmet Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear Alanoud,
It is wonderful to hear from you, thank you for the kind review!
It was my absolute pleasure to plan your vacation for you and your daughter, and I am so glad to hear that you were happy both with your correspondence with myself, and with your tours with Silvia.
Silvia truly is a remarkable guide, and I am so happy you were able to appreciate her kindness and great personality, as well as he professional qualities as an excellent tour guide. Your daughter was a wonderfully engaged, curious girl and Silvia enjoyed sharing her knowledge about the history of Rome with such an enthusiastic audience!
I was very happy to hear that you had gotten to Capri safely, and enjoyed the rest of your holiday. We take a personal approach to our guests’ holiday planning, and genuinely want to make sure that everything goes according to plan: I am glad it showed!
Please do not hesitate to give me a call the next time you are planning a trip to Italy. Maybe, with a bit more notice and a bit more time, we can have you see a few more cities!
Kind regards,
Ally
General Manager
Italy Hotline Custom & Gourmet Tours LLC

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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