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Guys, I just got back from my Italian Espresso tour and it was really fun! Both the people and workers were great to be around and the sights we saw were amazing! I still do wish we'd have a little more time in Rome, but it was definitely a good mix of things to see! It really is an Italian Espresso, where you get the best of Italy in such a short time! You get a good half a day of free time in Florence, so I'd suggest reserving a ticket before, since some people tried reserving it on the same day and as you can understand, the number of tickets were limited. Definitely pack light, but I'm sure most things you don't even need sometimes! I only had 12kg going there with 15 kg going back and even I thought it was heavy!
Our tour manager (named Giuseppe, I hope you're lucky enough to get him as your guide!) was so great that even if you didn't have anything planned for free time, he'd give you advice on how to use your time in the most efficient time! :) Once, I was the only one who wanted to look at the church and even though he had to get back to his office, he went with me so I wouldn't get lost on my way there. I was surprised at how he really helped each and every person! One thing I'd like to suggest to everyone is be on time! We were always all on time except two girls who were always quite rude, so we actually had to leave them in Rome and leave to Florence. We waited and waited, but we literally can't ruin everyone else's vacation for those two.
The hotels we stayed at, yes, they were smaller than hotels here. I expected that already and I researched them before going to have more realistic expectations. The beds were quite comfy the first two hotels (especially the one in Florence), but was slightly hard for the Venice one. It didn't really bother me though. The rooms were clean and the breakfast had quite a good selection of food (here, the Venice one was really good with all of its' food options). Me, the only problem I had is that some of our rooms in the Florence and Rome hotels didn't have a shower curtain, so it felt a little weird. The one in Venice had sliding shower doors though, so it was nice! Also, it's true that you stay outside of Venice, since the prices are realllly realllyyy high to stay on that island. Luckily, I had a good roommate so I hope you'll all do too!
The optional excursions were DEFINITELY all worth it. They were much better than the included ones at times (I'm talking about the meals, not the tours). The tour guide in Rome was really funny, so I hope you get him as your guide. "Contikiii, Contikiiii, follow the guide!". You'll laugh when he says that!
Before, I didn't want to see the leather demonstration or the glass-making demo, but they turned out to be really interesting! I do recommend you to see them then! I mostly walked with either my group of new friends or the whole tour group, because it was really fun with them. Just be prepared to walk a lot and not sleep too much. The meals in the evenings are yummy, but I couldn't finish my plates because they had so much food! I pretty much survived on only breakfasts and dinners most of the time. Don't forget putting sunscreen on EVERY part of your body that's exposed. I thought that my big hat would protect my neck (it did a noon though, but only then) and I forgot to put some sunscreen on. I got a really bad burn, but some high quality cream from Florence helped me get through it! :)
I can answer any questions you guys have for your tours!
Review written Jul 2011Read more reviews » Write a review