My wife and I wanted to do a self-directed walking tour to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We wanted to follow our own schedule. I found Girosole online, and began a dialog with Luciano. He helped us plan an itinerary.
FIRST great strength: FLEXIBILITY. We were trying to meet up with friends, and when we were planning our trip, Luciano worked hard to meet our schedule requirements. He is very patient.
Once in Italy we asked to add a day to go visit Pompeii and other ruins. They arranged for us to get an escort to the sites. When we wanted to spend an extra night in Positano (instead of taking a ferry back to Naples) the last night, they worked with us to change the transportation.
SECOND great strength: GIANNI. Gianni helps you on your trip itineraries and is a font of information.
Once we arrived on the ground, we met up with our guide, Gianni, who picked us up at our hotel and brought us to our starting point, Ravello.
Gianni helped us develop our daily walking plan for the trip. He provided extensives, printed plans with maps, pictures and text instruction. Every time I swore I was lost on some trail, a waymarker appeared that was outlined on our instructions. He was very flexible on setting it up.
If we needed advice for a place for dinner, his suggestions exactly fit our instructions. Since we were doing a lot of walking, we requested places to make us sandwiches in the morning so we could eat on the trail. He found several different places that provided delicious, rustic sandwiches at great prices.
A caution: "Walking" may be a misnomer. It is gorgeous country on the Amalfi coast, but it is not rolling hills. You should be reasonably fit, and prepared to do 5-10 miles of walking in a day. Climbing Mt. Molignano may not be for everybody.
THIRD great strength: Gianni will be there if/when you need him.
You get issued a phone, and we used it when we really needed something. Gianni was easy to reach. He could answer most any question. We did get lost at the end of one long trail, and he helped get us back on track.
When we REALLY needed help he wlas there for us. We messed up a hotel reservation we had made ourselves, he pitched in and helped us find a new place when the town was pretty full.
Lastly, Gianni wants you to have a great time, and he delivered when we needed it.
FOURTH great strength: unbelievably beautiful country.
Path ot the Gods, Positano, Capri, Pontone, Ravello (infinity view). You have spectacular scenery, all closely packed together.
--In Ravello, try staying in the Toro as opposed to the Della Marra. The Della Marra is wonderfully located off the square, but it's pretty rustic, the "breakfast" was minimal and they did not open for breakfast until late.
--Bring your hiking shoes.
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