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Looking for Advice re Simply Italy

28 Jul 2010 Wanderlust said

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I am considering a number of different tours to Italy for September 2011, Contiki's Simply Italy being one of them. In trying to make an informed decision, I have a few questions regarding this tour:

1. Was the tour too fast-paced, or did you feel that you had sufficient time to check off the items on your "must see/must do" list?

2. Were the hotels you stayed in clean and comfortable, with private en-suite facilities (with working plumbing!).

3. Were the hotels you stayed in conveniently/centrally located, or did you have to spend a lot of your own time and expense getting to the places you wanted to visit in your free time?

4. Contiki is targeted at the 18-35 crowd; did you find there was a good mix of ages on tour, or was it mostly full of the younger demographic (25 and under) with a focus on partying/drinking/clubbing, etc.?

Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers Smiler
  • 28 Jul 2010 JenShep said

    JenShep

    Hi Wanderlust
    1. It was fast paced, and very full, but the reallity is that you are only really spending two nights and one day in most places. June to September is the high tourist season which means it will take longer to do everything. you could spend two weeks in each of the places you vist and still not see everything. If you go make a list of the top ten things you want to do/see at each place. You’ll find half of them will be covered by Contiki the rest you can do in your free time.

    2. I had not problems with any of the hotels i stayed at they weren’t 1st class but they were not Hostels. The buildings are old, european 3 star hotels are not the same as Australian or Amercian classed hotels. The only person i had to share a bathroom with was my room mate.

    3. As i went in december i know contiki didn’t used the same hotels as usual. but non of them were more then a 20min walk from the city centre. or a 5 min walk to the metro (which cheap to travel on 1.50 euro at most)

    4. Cannot speak for other tours but we had big mix of age groups, the youngest was 19 the oldest was 36. Not everyone was out drinking every night, i remember one night we were all falling asleep at dinner time.

    If you would like more info my email is jensep49@hotmail.com, or read one of the travelogs people have writen about the tour.

  • 28 Jul 2010 AlnJon said

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    Hi there! I just did this tour in May this year and absolutely loved loved loved loved it. I loved it because you saw absolutely everything Italy had to offer and in the best way. If we hadn’t had gone on this tour we never would have seen the amount of things we did see. I’ll answer your questions below: -

    1. Was the tour too fast-paced, or did you feel that you had sufficient time to check off the items on your “must see/must do” list?

    The tour was quite fast paced however because you get 2 nights in most places it is far less rushed than most of the other Contiki tours which give you an afternoon in a place. It was enough time to do everything you REALLY Wanted to do. If you go to a museum in florence to see David (don’t – the one outside is the same and you can take photos of it – you can’t take photos of the real one) it will take up a huge chunk of your day and you won’t see much of Florence other than that museum. Of course there are places that you want to stay longer (sorrento – amazing) but that is always the case.

    2. Were the hotels you stayed in clean and comfortable, with private en-suite facilities (with working plumbing!).

    Hotels were just fine – better than I expected, especially from the reviews on trip advisor. Nothing gross about them, definitely private bathrooms and clean. that is all you really want because trust me – you barely see your room unless you are sleeping.

    3. Were the hotels you stayed in conveniently/centrally located, or did you have to spend a lot of your own time and expense getting to the places you wanted to visit in your free time?

    The trip is planned so that when you go to a new place you drop your stuff at the hotel and then the bus takes you into the places you go (venice being the exception). They plan things for you everynight except 2 or 3 nights so you aren’t feeling like you’re trapped far away. The only night we actually wanted to go somewhere was when we arrived in Venice (you don’t stay in Venice it is far too expensive) we wanted to go in that night but you have to get a train and water taxi and too complicated when you’re dead tired anyway.

    4. Contiki is targeted at the 18-35 crowd; did you find there was a good mix of ages on tour, or was it mostly full of the younger demographic (25 and under) with a focus on partying/drinking/clubbing, etc.?

    Our contiki tour was fantastic. Our youngest were 19 and oldest 31. Most were around 25 -26. You do have the option of going out a couple of nights but it is ALL optional. We didn’t go out at all except for the first night in Sorrento, the last night and to a couple of bars during the tour. Most of time you don’t get to bed until 11 or 12pm and most wake up calls are around 6 or 7 so we were too tired to go out. However some of the younger ones did go out to everything – but they all got sick.

    DO THIS TOUR! You won’t regret it

    Alex

  • 29 Jul 2010 Wanderlust said

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    Wow! Thanks JenShep and AlnJon for your thorough responses. You’ve definitely alleviated some of my concerns about this tour. Coincidentally, earlier this morning a friend on facebook recommended this tour to me (without my even having asked about it!). It seems like a very popular and well-regarded tour. I’ll definitely take it into consideration when I go to book my trip to Italy (it’s a little early yet – I don’t think Contiki has their September/October 2011 tour dates published yet!).

    Cheers,
    Wanderlust Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 18 Nov 2010 Cass said

    Cass

    Hi There,
    I am really interested in the Simply Italy 2011.
    I will be doing this tour solo, so I was wondering if there were people on your tour that came solo?
    I am actually considering end of August early september.
    Thanks
    Cass

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