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Simply Italy

22 Oct 2007 sharpec said

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I just got back from the Simply Italy tour a week ago, and let me tell you.... it was amazing.
First things first, for anyone considering doing a Contiki Tour.... please remember that it is a TOUR, not a sit on the beach vacation. You SEE things, and GO places. Which means early mornings and late nights. But, that is all part of the experience Smiler .

I found this tour very well organized. We saw and did so many things. Just to list a few:
Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence, Milan, La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Pompei... just to name a few.
This tour is well planned, well organized. I found that it had the perfect amount of travel time (ie: time on the bus). There were only two longer bus days in the whole tour, and even on those days, the longest we drove without stopping was 2.5hrs. The trip is planned out so that they break up the travel days with sight seeing stops and interesting things along the way.

The time in each city was also impressively planned out. You got to see a lot on the walking tours, and there was always enough free time. The tour guide is there to help at every turn, such as giving out maps before hand, and giving you points of interest that you may want to see at each city. Also points out the internet cafes that they are aware of, and banks, etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. I went with a friend of mine, but really there was such a mix on the tour. There were 47 ppl with us, from all over the world. It was great to meet them!
We saw so many things, did so many things, experienced so much. I can't wait to do some more traveling.

Just a quick note for anyone wanting to do this tour, please remember that this is ITALY. Things are NOT going to be the same as they are at home.

If anyone has any other questions, I would love to let you know. I totally recommend this tour.

Chelsea
- Simply Italy 2007 -
  • 31 Oct 2007 jhudson83 said

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    Hello Sharpec,

    When you wrote at the end of your message on 22 Oct 07, what were you meaning that “this is ITALY” and “things are NOT going to be the same as they are at home.”?

    Just curious… Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Thanks,
    Jonathan
    Prospective Traveler

  • 14 Nov 2007 sharpec said

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    I mean that some ppl came on our tour expecting the ins and outs of the country to be the same.
    Everything is different. The hotels are different. Bathrooms are different. Food and food prep is different. The culture is TOTALLY different. Italians are veeeeery laid back, nothing happens quickly there. The drivers are nuts… and amusing!
    Just dont go over to Italy with expectations. Go over with an open mind, and you will love your trip Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 3 Feb 2008 discogirl said

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    Hello I was wondering what you meant by things are different in Italy than at home,in regards to time schedules, interaction with tourists, etc..I have never travelled with contiki, and I am thinking about travelling with them. What is the food that is included like> continental breakfast, a danish or what? Thank you for your time.

    Rene


    quote:
    Originally posted by sharpec:
    I just got back from the Simply Italy tour a week ago, and let me tell you…. it was amazing.
    First things first, for anyone considering doing a Contiki Tour…. please remember that it is a TOUR, not a sit on the beach vacation. You SEE things, and GO places. Which means early mornings and late nights. But, that is all part of the experience Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> .

    I found this tour very well organized. We saw and did so many things. Just to list a few:
    Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence, Milan, La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Pompei… just to name a few.
    This tour is well planned, well organized. I found that it had the perfect amount of travel time (ie: time on the bus). There were only two longer bus days in the whole tour, and even on those days, the longest we drove without stopping was 2.5hrs. The trip is planned out so that they break up the travel days with sight seeing stops and interesting things along the way.

    The time in each city was also impressively planned out. You got to see a lot on the walking tours, and there was always enough free time. The tour guide is there to help at every turn, such as giving out maps before hand, and giving you points of interest that you may want to see at each city. Also points out the internet cafes that they are aware of, and banks, etc.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the trip. I went with a friend of mine, but really there was such a mix on the tour. There were 47 ppl with us, from all over the world. It was great to meet them!
    We saw so many things, did so many things, experienced so much. I can’t wait to do some more traveling.

    Just a quick note for anyone wanting to do this tour, please remember that this is ITALY. Things are NOT going to be the same as they are at home.

    If anyone has any other questions, I would love to let you know. I totally recommend this tour.

    Chelsea
    - Simply Italy 2007 –

  • 4 Jul 2008 Connie said

    Connie

    I did Simply Italy in Sept 2006 and i loved it (ok, i’m of Italian decent, so i’m biased). I agree with Sharpec, well organized, never a dull moment. Our guide was great, he gave us directions about how to skip a city or catch up later – so the folks who wanted to shop in Milan skipped the Cinque Terre, others skipped Milan and stayed at the Cinque Terre, no problems.

    As for culture, yes, italy is a bit different. People drive differently, they don’t line up for stuff, you have to pay about 50cents to use a toilet in some spots, shops close down for 2 hours in the afternoon etc. Don’t worry about any of this stuff – its not a deal breaker and in Italy, you can’t avoid it! Watch out for gypsies and pick pockets in crowded places, they’ll get you and won’t even know it.

    All our breakfasts were included, so were about half of the dinners. This tour has the least amount of driving i’ve ever done and the autumn is the best time in italy.

    Have fun!

  • 5 Jul 2008 coleo8 said

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    I also did Simply Italy with Connie— and we had a blast.

    When people say things are not the same in Italy as home…..they mean you are travelling to experience a different country, different culture and different people. Do not expect the same type of food or hotel accommodations as you do in the states. This does not mean conditions are terrible in Italy/Europe – just different, which is part of the fun when you travel.

    Like Connie said, some public restrooms you have to pay to use…some public restrooms do not have a toilet seat or a toilet…you actually have to pee in a hole.

    Some of the food may look weird, but don’t shy away from it. Try it…it’s about experiencing the place where you are at.

    It just depends on how you handle these things…some people laugh it off and have fun with it…others might be stuck up and snobby.

    Have a blast!!

  • 6 Jul 2008 sharpec said

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    Definetly I agree with Connie.
    You go to different countries to experience the culture, it is NOT just like home. And that is part of what makes the whole experience memorable, and incredibly enjoyable.
    I completely recommend the tour, I had the time of my life!

  • 8 Jul 2008 evalco said

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    For you who’ve been on the Simply Italy tour before, how were the hotels? I did the spain tour a few years ago and the hotels were fine, but I’ve heard the ones in Italy aren’t that nice. I don’t expect 5-star, but I don’t want a roach motel either. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 5 Aug 2008 sharpec said

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    The hotels were overall okay.
    There were NOT as nice as something we’d be used to here at home, and I am comparing that to something like a Best Western.
    They have beds. They are not super comfortable. Some hotels had bathtubs, others had just showers. One had a grate in the floor, with a shower head, in the middle of the room.
    But overall it was more than okay.
    It was just nothing exceptional, but ya.
    Actually, the hotel in Venice that we stayed at was a Best western…. I was so happy to see a bathtub!

  • 29 Sep 2008 Explorer1113703 said

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    Hi!! I was looking into the Simply Italy tour for May.

    Were the hotels located nearby great sites? Or were they REALLY far away from the good sites? Perhaps close enough to wake up early in the morning and stroll around the area for a coffee and pastry? Were the hotels were you stayed conveniently located?

    I am afraid of getting a dumpy hotel in the middle of no where. :-(

    How were the bus rides? Did they stop to much? How long were the rides? Did you get to towns in ample time to explore before nightfall?

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