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“The Best Day of Our Trip!”

The Enthusiastic Traveler One Day Tours
Ranked #141 of 872 Tours in Tuscany
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Owner description: My passion for Italy inspired me to live here.My discoveries inspired me to share.The landscape of each region, typical and special foods, small wine productons, the cast of special Italian characters, and beautiful architecture affect me in the same way I hope to affect you, Perhaps even to change and re-invigorate you, and give you a new perspective about life. To approach it in a new and different way. The Italian way!
Coupeville, Washington, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The Best Day of Our Trip!”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I am just returning from a two week holiday in Italy with my son Michael.
While I loved every moment in Rome, Sorrento, Naples and Tuscany, by far the best day of our trip was the one arranged to perfection, by Doumina, in Cortona.
Our lovely guide Stefania was completely committed to our tour, going well above and beyond expectation. She insisted on commencing with our tour though she had been in a serious car accident only moments before she was to meet us.
Stefania is effervescent in her enthusiasm for the people and the countryside in and around Cortona, and her enthusiasm is infectious.
Our first stop was at the Mameli Family sheep farm in a rustically beautiful setting. We met Giovanni the shepherd, and toured the barn filled with happy sheep and their lambs. We learned about making cheese from Elisa and her parents, and observed the process. We were treated to a delicious lunch which enabled us to taste a variety of the best cheese I have ever encountered. The family was so gracious and welcoming. I felt right at home!
Our next stop was the Il Falconiere Winery. Imagine fields of grape vines and olive trees overlooking the picturesque valley. Stefania introduced us to Benedetto, who toured us through the winery and talked with us about the process of wine making. We tasted many varieties of wonderful wine as well as their exceptional olive oil. It was so delicious!! I shipped several bottles of both wine and oil home to Seattle.
I thought surely our tour was complete, but Stefania had more to show us. We drove up the hill toward Cortona to St. Francis' Convent. It is an ancient setting built into a hill with a creek running through it. All the windows were lit with single, candle shaped lights. It was a peaceful and majestic space.
From there we went into the town of Cortona which was completely captivating. We were fortunate to be there during the holidays. The lights lit all around the town were festive and welcoming. We toured one of the churches, and learned from Stefania about the history of Santa Margherita, and the love and reverence the people of Cortona have for her.
Stefania shared a wealth of knowledge of the customs, the culture, the history and the community of the special place she lives. She was incredibly knowledgable and interesting and she shared so much with us. She was also was warm, kind, and generous at every turn of our tour. Our time together continued well into the evening, and even then, Stefania and her husband drove well out of their way to show us how to get to the highway for our return drive back to our hotel, further north in Tuscany.
When I reflect on our Italian vacation, my mind keeps returning to our day in Cortona.
Thank you ever so much Doumina! I look forward to planning future visits to Italy with your expertise and guidance.
Beth Sirlin

Visited January 2013
1 Thank BethFrenchSirlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Act like A Local”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

My wife and I visited Italy for the second time and decided we would book private tours throughout our visit. We wanted to see Italy as a local would. We had the fortune to connect with with Doumina who advised us on accommodations in Tuscany. We stayed in the beautiful hillside town of Cortona at the Hotel Villa Marsili. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the numerous historic sites in Cortona. The residents were extremely friendly and there is a wide selection of intimate restaurants to sample exceptional Italian cooking. Our tour with Doumina started with exploring the Etruscan Tombs. She offered a historian's perspective on the Etruscan civilization which helped us appreciate the significance of the tombs. We then hiked through the lush countryside to a 13th century Monastery where Doumina had set up a picnic...an elaborate picnic under the Olive trees, offering a 4 course Italian feast with local wine. it was a day to remember. Doumina has a wonderful and pleasant personality. it is obvious she loves her work and she will certainly make you feel at home on your visit to Italy.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank trav3ldude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cortona, Italy
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Professional and Fun”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I have had the pleasure of working with the enthusiastic traveler many times and the level of professional and fun the groups have when they are together is fantastic. Doumina allows the groups to have unstructured days yet at the same time, so many opportunities to learn and see Italy from an insiders viewpoint. I can attest first hand, that coming to Italy with The Enthusiastic Traveler is a highlight for all.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank roberto r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Resource in Italy!”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

The name of Doumina's Company is very accurate. She is incredibly enthusiastic not only about the beautiful country of Italy, but also in creating a true "Italian" experience. She was very helpful to everything from accommodations, car rental and what to do while we were in Tuscany. We stayed just outside of Cortona, which was a great location to many of the hilltop towns and the entire Tuscany region. I return to Italy each year and I would highly recommend using Doumina as a guide on your next trip. Thank you so much, Doumina!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Marla H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allyn, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wine and Cheese...Grazie!”
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Thank you to Doumina; The Enthusiastic Traveler, for planning such a wonder tour of Tuscany/Umbria. Not only did I enjoy the stay at Poggio del Sole, but the pre-tour in Rome and the post-tour in Verona were also excellent. Very nice accommodations both places and central to what I was interested in learning more about.

The wine and cheese tours were most fun, as everyone had the chance to learn 'hands on' the preparation of pastas, cheese, and sauces, plus great tours of several family owned vinyards.

The days were well planned but one was not obligated to tour every day....one had the chance to lay back, read an rest too. This is what a vacation is all about.

Now, I'm truly a wine, cheese, olive oil and pasta snob....No 'fatties' in Italy, to speak of. Why? because everyone walks or rides a bike. Lets get moving America, get healthy!

Remember, "Wine with Food"!
Ciao, Brenda B. from Allyn

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Brenda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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