Simply Italy

Tour Length
12 days
From
US$2125
Overview Reviews

  • Vanessa
  • Vanessa
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

SImply Italy was Simply Amazing!

23 Jul 2013 - 04 Aug 2013

I just got back from my third Contiki trip. My first was Russia, Egypt was my second and Simply Italy was my third. Russia was pretty good, Egypt was excellent, but Italy was unbelievably amazing. Simply Italy was by far the best Contiki trip I've taken to date. Our tour manager Laura and our driver Cornelius were an excellent team. Laura was what really made the trip fabulous though. She provided us with maps at every stop and always explained things so well. She always answered our questions and her Italian was amazing and beautiful even though she was a kiwi. Everything was so well organized and Laura, our tour manager, always made sure to balance sightseeing with partying. She made it clear to us that it was our holiday and that we would also help make it what we wanted. If we wanted to party she'd take us and if we wanted to sightsee she'd recommend things for us. Boy, could that girl walk though! We ate tons of food on this trip, but boy did we burn/walk it off.

The tour overall was excellent. The only thing I'd change is our stop at Pisa and the mall. We had 1.5-2 hours at a design outlet mall, which I didn't really care for. In Pisa, we were only there for about an hour. My friend and I really wanted to climb Pisa, but an hour didn't leave us with enough time to do so. We thought it might have been because of driving hours though. That day we drove from Milan, I think, all the way to Rome so it was a long driving day. More time in Pisa would have been super though. I could have easily used another day in Florence and especially one more in Venice. Venice is so amazing it's almost a shame to only spend a good full day there. I really enjoyed this one country focused tour though. We did spend some time on the bus, but it wasn't overly excessive. I think focused tours that spend time in one or two countries only are the way to go.

Overall, the food was amazing. My recommendation is to go off the beaten path and find a place where locals are eating and away from tourists. Some of the places we went with the whole group were hit and miss. This pretty much sums up food on Contiki in general. After three contiki trips I can safely say that dinners you find on your own will be better. They aren't trying to mass produce food so you get better food and service. We had an amazing all you can eat pizza dinner in Sorrento, but another night in Sorrento we had an optional dinner we paid like 40 euro for and it was just way too salty and we went home hungry. We had some undercooked pasta in Florence in an included dinner, but that was were the bad meals ended. Every other meal was quite good. The included and optional dinners were, however, better on this tour compared to Russia and Egypt so I was happy with that. Watch out for the places closest to tourist areas. This sandwich/pizza place across from the Colosseum in Rome was very pricey and not too great. Our Sprite was literally 5 euro, which was like 10 dollars Canadian. I guess I can check off another point from the bucket list as I can officially say I I had a 10 dollar Sprite. The pizza was as hard as the colosseum there too, but we only had 45 mins for lunch that day and there wasn't much else around. The best pizza and pasta we had were places we found on our own. Be careful of ordering in Le Spezia as we ordered pesto pasta thinking we'd have enough time before our meetup time and we were wrong. We literally had to inhale our food and were chugging our drinks and devouring bread sooo fast as I think the servers are on island mentality. One other couple we talked to also experienced slow service there so I'd recommend eating lunch in La Spezia first and then seeing the castle or swimming. The beach in the Cinque Terre was amazing though. Our guide said it's rarely super hot and nice so we were very lucky. The fruit shake place across from the beach is amazing too! It's expensive, but it's all made with real and fresh fruit right there in front of you. You can also order ridiculously huge alcoholic drinks. There was an optional hike you could do instead of the beach, but my friend and I were tired of stairs so we opted for relaxation at this point in the tour. I'm glad we went here too as I don't think I'd have known about it from just exploring on my own.

Overall, the hotels were really good. Wifi was hit and miss. Wifi in Italy is like food in Cuba. Overall, Wifi connections just sucked! Some hotels connected well, but at the Regent literally it would get overloaded and the wifi would have to kick someone out before it logged someone else on. The Regent in Rome was just okay. It was far better than the horrible Victoria hotel we stayed at in Egypt. Basically, if I have running and hot water on a Contiki now it's pretty much fab, so it was okay in Rome. The hotel in Sorrento, the Grand Flora, was decent and had a pool which was great, but I didn't care for a tile floor. Then in Florence the Club hotel was super. Rooms were small, but very nice and the lobby was very stylish. The Holiday Inn by Venice was fine and the beds were bigger and softer, which was nice. The local pizza place down the road was really good too, but they didn't know how to handle such a large crowd. It took forever to order. If you go there, I think it's called Pizzeria Al Calesse, then do take out as everyone that did got the food right away and didn't have to wait forever and ever just to order. Le Spezia had an okay hotel. The lift was so small here though that we could only fit one person and a bag in the lift/elevator at a time though. I think the pipes were very old though as our shower just turned on in the middle of the night. Either it was water pressure or this hotel is haunted... We also locked the door at night to find it unlocked in the morning. Okay, maybe I'm going for haunted/ghost on this one?! The hotel in Milan, the NH, was amazing. It's too bad they couldn't all be that great and then we headed back to Rome.

In terms of souvenirs to bring back, leather is big in florence. We went to leonardo's, which was pricey, bur you know it's the real stuff. With contiki you could get your initials imprinted in your purchase for free so that was cool. They also had these really cool puzzle rings that have to be put together like a puzzle in order to wear them. I think that's the only thing I regret not buying. It's hard because you want to balance out your money and it's not like you can window shop in italy and then go back and buy stuff. Venice is where to get glass and masks. If I had more money I would have bought an expensive glass piece. They can ship right from their shop and they have insurance incase anything happens. One couple got a lovely love bird piece. I ended up just getting small earrings. It's expensive, but in the demo this guy like throws the glasses around very hard and they don't break so you know it's good quality. Overall, the demos on this tour were very good and I really enjoyed them. We did skip the lace demo in Venice though. Some people went for the air-conditioning, but lace wasn't really our thing. Masks were amazing in venice. Basically, just look for paper mache as sometimes the italians will order masks from china and sell them. If they are paper mache or you see someone making them then they are the real deal.

Well, I hope I encounter more amazing tour managers like Laura. She did say our group was really amazing and everyone got along so well. I am a teacher so I can understand how you could get a bad group, okay group or amazing group. I suppose that part is all luck, but overall I've been lucky and had some really good groups. Egypt was just okay though when I went as a huge family of cousins packed over half of the bus so it was harder to meet people. It all kind of depends on who signs up for your tour. I am turning 26 in a week and hope I can save for and do a few more contiki trips before my time is up and I'm too old. I also went with a friend on this trip who did contiki for the first time and she just loved it so now she's also recommending contiki. I'm so happy we had a great tour manager and driver that really helped to make the trip amazing. I can't wait for my next trip! I just hope I don't get sick again. I've come home sick all three times I've done contiki. This time I got hit especially hard as it's been almost two weeks now that I've been sick. I think next time I will bring more money for souvenirs though. I took 1000 euro to spend, but I could have easily spent 1500-2000 euro between leather, glass, masks, drinks etc. If you are looking to make new friends and are looking for a safe, organized, fun and amazing time then do a contiki! You won't regret it!

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: Organized, Amazing, Beautiful

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  • Janet
  • Janet
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Just do it!

07 Apr 2013 - 18 Apr 2013

My first Contiki, and what a way to start! Visited so many incredible places with incredible food. It never felt like we were on the coach for too long at a time either, as all of the longer journeys were broken up with shorter excursions, e.g. Pompei and Pisa. Me Time optionals are well worth the extra, especially the meals, as it allows you to sample the typical fare from each area, and there is always lots of wine on the table! Make sure you book The Last Supper viewing in advance, so as not to be disappointed when you visit Milan (they only let in a few people at a time, so it tends to sell out a couple of weeks in advance). The hotels were good. Some better than others, but all were perfectly reasonable and comfortable - we even got upgraded a couple of times, which was nice! Tour manager and coach driver were amazing as well. This trip is definitely fantastic value, and a great way to see the highlights of Italy

Review written Jul 2013

My Contiki was: Food, Culture, Socialising

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  • Caroline
  • Caroline
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply the best!

26 Jun 2013 - 07 Jul 2013

It's commonly known that Italy is a beautiful country; and for a first visit there, it was exactly what you can expect and even much, much more! The trip was truly action-packed and memorable thanks to our incredible and brilliant Contiki staff (Enzo and Giuseppe) and our fun and friendly group (we all bonded very easily, it was great and it made the whole trip so much more fun!)
In 12 days, we covered so much ground (from Rome to Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Florence and then Venice, Verona, Milan, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Vatican, etc.) that you get the feeling you get to see it all. Everywhere we stopped, we wanted to stay longer (especially in Sorrento and Capri!). Beautiful cities and landscapes, amazing food and wine (Yes, I'm a French woman who enjoyed Italian wine much to the amazement of our tour manager, Enzo!), fun nights out, lots of culture (I recommend the walking tours in Florence, Venice and Rome) and playful moments at the beach (great memories from Portovenere and Monterosso). Accommodation-wise, it was incredible. We stayed in great places. My favourites are the rooms in Sorrento, Florence and Milan. Fabulous! Best value for money!
Time flew by in an instant but all these great memories will stay forever. I strongly recommend you do all the optional activities, they're worth every penny (especially the dinners such as the fancy one in the restaurant on the hills of Florence and the farewell dinner in Rome). All in all, you get to experience La Dolce Vita and you won't be willing to leave at the end of the trip but at least you know what places you want to return to (for me, Sorrento, Capri, Florence and Cinque Terre). Ciao tutti!

Review written Jul 2013

My Contiki was: Bellissima, Unforgettable, Wow

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  • Jenna
  • Jenna
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy

26 May 2013 - 06 Jun 2013

Fantastic 12 days! Saw so much of Italy, learnt about the culture, ate some truly amazing food and met some great people from all over the world! Got to see the big cities like Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence but also the smaller places like Lake Garda and the Island of Capri. It was well organised and our tour manager (Erica!!) went out of her way to make sure we had the best time!!!
Thanks Contiki!!!

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Memorable, Delicious, Jam packed

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  • Lee
  • Lee
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 0 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy, Simply Amazing

26 May 2013 - 06 Jun 2013

It's actually incredibly hard to actually put into words my true feelings towards my Simply Italy trip that I've just come back from. Especially as right now, I'm back home in the UK and having some holiday blues. But let me take it to the beginning.

It's fair to say that most people going on this tour must have been a little nervous beforehand. And I certainly fit the bill for this. The apprehension that you might not really get on with your room-mates / fellow tour members was certainly one that was strong in mind.

Our tour manager, Erica, gave an introduction - and her bubbly, energetic personality just got absorbed by the room. Before long, we started to meet our fellow travellers and within a few minutes, I knew that this trip was going to be perfect. And it was.

My roommate was probably the craziest/out going guy on the tour - which is far from my personality. But I wouldn't have changed him for the world. We clicked within a few seconds of our introduction - and I feel privileged to have spent 12 days with him.

The way that our tour worked was that within a few days, natural friendship groups formed around the travellers - which was great. As exploring each city/place as a big group of 40+ was always going to be a no go. So in your friendship groups, you generally go off together and see the things that you all want to see. But at the same time, there are enough group activities going on (and on the coach) to really get to know everyone else at the same time.

There's not one person out of the 40+ members of our tour group that I didn't like. I felt there was a lot of like-minded people to me there and it was great to have spoken to every single one of them throughout the 12 days.

It’s hard for me to give you a flavour as to my favourite day – because I feel like it would be unfair on all of the other days! Florence was probably my favourite place to visit, peaceful and completely beautiful. But having said that, every single place we visited had something different to offer and gave another unique perspective on the fabulous country which I now know Italy to be. I feel content that I’ve seen the major highlights of Italy and really got a great flavour for the culture – thanks to the trips and from our Italian tour manager Erica (who gave us helpful advice; speaking Italian, gestures, recommendations of places to see in our free time).

I purchased all of the optionals on the tour. And generally, a large portion of the group did as well. My only initial concern with the optionals was for the prices of the meals. But in hindsight – the places we went were excellent, the food great (although a set menu) and usually unlimited wine. I’m honestly glad I paid for all of these as it was another great way to spend some time with my new ‘Contiki family’.

Without a shadow of doubt, I would urge anyone who is even remotely interested in seeing Italy to book the Simply Italy tour with Contiki. The Contiki motto is 'No Regrets' and I can promise you, there will be no regrets if you are lucky enough to get to go on this tour.

As for me, I'm already looking at future Contiki tours and how I can fit that into seeing my new found friends from around the world!

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Amazing, Incredible, Wow

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Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Erica Belli is the best tour guide ever!

25 May 2013 - 06 Jun 2013

I loved having Erica as my tour guide. She went above and beyond with her efforts to make sure everyone was comfortable and having the time of their lives. Her happiness and enthusiasm was contagious and made the trip unforgettable. She is the reason I am so many others on the Italy tour had the best trip of our lives.

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Amazing, perfect, Fantastic

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  • Emily h
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy

Simply Italy may 2013

18 May 2013 - 30 May 2013

This tour was among the best trips of my life. I was a little nervous at first about the age bracket given I'm 32. Even though the majority of the group was under 30 age was not a factor because everyone bonded regardless. There was a good combination or both singles and couples, although I wouldn't have minded if there were more singles. The variety of places we visited was truly the most exciting thing about the tour. If you are interested in seeing lots of Italy this is definitely the best one to do. I am basically obsessed with the Italian culture and couldn't get enough. Our tour manager Christina was outstanding. She brought us to see so many great things including a super hot nightclub in Milan where I met the most gorgeous guy I have ever seen. Another of my favorites was Sirmione on lake Garda at the foot of the Dolomites. So incredibly spectacular. If you are on the fence about booking this trip, my best advice to you is do it a soon as possible. You will not regret it.

Review written May 2013

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Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

01 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012

I had the best time, made the best friendships. Our tour guide was fantastic.
Do all the optionals they were def worth it.
Accommodation overall was pretty good

Review written May 2013

My Contiki was: Cultural, Fun, Interesting

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  • Gil Ofir
  • Gil Ofir
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 5 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Awesome trip!!!

12 Jul 2011 - 24 Jul 2011

I went on the Simply Italy trip in July 2011 and had a fabulous time. We visited cities, swam around the island of Capri, sailed across lakes in the north and visited vineyards in the Tuscan countryside. We went site seeing, shopping, sailing, and partying. It was a perfect way to see Italy, and the company was fantastic (as was our Contiki tour guide)! I highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants a taste of Europe and the Mediterranean!

Review written May 2013

My Contiki was: Wonderful, Fun, Exciting

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Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

May 2012 Simply Italy

19 May 2012 - 31 May 2012

Best vacation ever. Worth every penny, and more. Great value, food, sights, and people! The age range was perfect-- so easy to make friends. Most of us went out almost every night. There was always something fun to do, and even chilling was great when we were too tired to party. Our guide, Laura, was awesome! She helped us find the best food and entertainment, and she had as much fun as we did.
Italy is fantastic on its own, but the Contiki tours, dinners, and other group activities really enlivened the whole experience. All the optionals I participated in and the accommodations were great. Drinking in a gondola in Venice is a MUST-- I only wish it had lasted longer!
The entire trip was a perfect length of time. By the end of it, we were exhausted.
I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Review written Oct 2012

My Contiki was: Delicious, Awesome, Exciting

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  • DemiAnn
  • DemiAnn
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 14 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Perfecto!

01 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012

This tour is honestly the most perfect way to explore Italy. It was so in depth and I left Italy feeling like I had properly explored the country and really got to experience the culture.

The day trip out to Capri from Sorrento is just incredible, one of my favourite places. I highly recommend doing the optional boat trip around the island. Jumping off the cute wooden boat into the gorgeous ocean was an awesome experience. Sorrento is so cool as well, explore the smaller side streets for local products and buy some limencello! The coastal towns of Cinque Terre are amazing as well.

The nightlife in Florence is incredible! The hotel was super close by as well so take advantage of this and have a crazy night out! Venice was just breathtaking and so surreal. Definitely go on the gondola ride for a true Venitian experience. Of course Rome was fascinating, its literally a walking muesum. You will enjoy every moment in this city. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to increase your chances of returning to Italy!

The food is simply delicious too! Pizza from the Naples region is the best as they are famous for their tomatoes, so so yum.

Matt and Cornelius were the best crew anyone could ask for, so informative, cheeky and so much fun! Lots of Aussies on my tour and we all got along so well and had a blast.

This was the perfect Italian experience that I'll never forget!

Review written Sep 2012

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Delicious, Mind-blowing

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  • Default_avatar
  • Thinus
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy

Simply Italy Review - July 2012: Tour Manager Mathieu Morelli

01 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012

The Simply Italy tour is a rich mosaic of unforgettable experiences. From small towns and isolated islands to great cities, from excellent beaches to enriching museums, upmarket shopping and sublime dining, the jam-packed schedule lacks nothing. There is enough to suit party animals and relaxed travellers alike. The trip maintains a perfect balance between free time to do your own thing and fun group activities. But one of the truly outstanding factors, for us, was the tour manager: Mathieu Morelli. His style, flair, personal dedication and inexhaustible energy adds a touch of magic. From what I have read from other reviews, and heard from other travellers, this is simply not always the case. This manager is unique.

Review written Jul 2012

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Enriching, I want to go back

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Simply Italy

Simply Italy

04 Jun 2011 - 16 Jun 2011

This trip was an amazing experiance. You will meet wonderful people and have a great time. You See so many beautiful parts on the country and history. The hotels were very comfortable and Breakfast every morning was great. The tour guide was wonderful, i thought she reallly made the trip one of a kind. If your thinking about taking this trip the choice is really about preference. It is not a relaxing trip. You are always on the go, always seeing something new. You wake up very early and have to be ready to go between 630-730 basically every morning and are on the bus touring hours at a time. It really depends on what your looking for in a trip. Do you want to sit back and relax all day sitting on a beach and go partying at night or do you want to experience and see as much as you can before the trip is over. There was some relaxing time here and there when out on certain islands. Dont forget to carry a bathing suit, or tags or swimmers where ever you go. There was two times that i could have gone swimming but didnt realize that our guide had said to bring our bathing suits, but where she came from they call them tags ;-( All in all great trip.

Review written Jun 2012

My Contiki was: Culture , Beautiful , Exhausting

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Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Detailed Simply Italy Tour Review

05 May 2012 - 17 May 2012

May 5th 2012
I woke up in the morning at 4:30am and had a shower, got dressed, and had breakfast. We left home at 6:45am and got to the airport at 7:30am. I checked in with no waiting line at the Air Canada counter. I got my tickets and had a tea and a muffin from Tim Horton’s while waiting to go through security. I went through security where I met Sarah while waiting for our plane, who was also going on the same trip I was. We sat at gate A3 and talked until it was time to board the plane. My seat was 16F by a window. I watched The Vow. I looked out the window and saw the great lakes under me. They are much bigger than I imagined. Toronto looks so green and big from above. We flew so close to the highways underneath us! When we landed we walked around for a while and then made our way to our gate where we sat waiting for our boarding time. Our flight boarded at 7:5pm and I sat in seat 22A which was supposed to be a window seat but there was no window, just the wall. At 2:07am Rome time we were served supper. I had chicken and veggies with cold corn salad and a brownie with orange juice. I am happy there are no delays! We didn’t have individual TV’s, just overhead ones. They were playing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and the Iron Lady. The plane was very cold. It turned dark at about 2:40am Rome time, 8:40pm Toronto time. I should probably go to sleep now. All my worries about the flight and thinking I was crazy to go on this trip are still lingering, I hope they disappear as soon as I get there!

May 6th 2012
It was very hard to sleep, probably because I was so anxious and nervous. My nose, eyes, and lips were so dry. I woke up at 8:08am Rome time. We were served blueberry muffins and juice and tea. I looked out the window in front of me and saw the Italian coast and a big peninsula with a long river going from it. I made it, I am in Italy!! Only one hour left to go before I am on the roads that lead to Rome. I expect it to be beautiful and busy. I don’t care if it rains or shines I will explore all afternoon! We landed and walked off the bus to the tarmac and took a bus to the customs terminal, from then we went through customs and I got my passport stamped! I went to the bathroom, gross! I picked up my bag at the baggage claim. I met up with Sarah and caught a ‘taxi’ and got to the hotel 95 euros later!!! Make sure you take a certified taxi and ignore the men that are waiting inside the door of the airport. I checked into the hotel- Hotel Regent- and went to my room, # 151. It was small but decent. The only thing I didn't like about the hotel was that is was far from any attractions. I put my stuff away and went with Sarah around Rome. My umbrella was broken so we got rained on and got lost. We gave up and found our way back to the hotel. Not a good way to start the trip! I hope it gets better; I wanted to buy stuff today and take pictures. We dried off and then went out again in the rain. Sarah, Sara (from Florida) and I went to a gelato/pastry shop. I had my first gelato, Sorrento lemon gelato. I got really bad blisters on my ankles, they hurt really badly. We met for the group meeting at 4pm. The wifi was broken so I couldn’t message home. Our tour manager is named Vinni, he is really funny and is an amazing tour manager! The meeting lasted until 6:30pm. Then a bunch of girls on the trip and I went to a pizzeria connected to our hotel for supper. I shared a margarita pizza with a girl named Katie. The pizza was delicious, the best pizza I have ever had! After that we went to a pub called Carrots for a drink. We went back the hotel, had a shower, organized my suitcase and set my alarm for 6am. We are supposed to have breakfast at 6:30am and leave at 7:15am. I went to bed at 10pm after blow-drying my hair and clothes. I hope the weather is nice tomorrow. Pompeii and Sorrento tomorrow! I spent hardly any money today, I think only 62 euro for the ‘taxi’ and food. Weather: Rome- rainy, warm, 20 degrees

May 7th 2012
We woke up at 6am and got ready and packed. We went down for breakfast at 6: 30am. I had a croissant with lemon in it, cornflakes, fruit juice, and fruit salad. At 7:15am we boarded the bus and left at 7:30am. They didn’t measure or weigh our bags. We drove a while and got stuck in traffic. We first stopped at the designer outlet, where we tried a local cake called baba. It is saturated in rum and is covered in syrup. We had an hour to shop and I bought a couple things for my sister, but the shops were very expensive. We then drove to Pompeii and had a guided tour of Pompeii by a women with radio headsets. This optional is a must do!! I bought some souvenirs and then left on the bus for half an hour ride to Sorrento. The views from the bus were amazing - Mt Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples especially! We got to our hotel ‘Hotel Central’ and went to my room, # 310 with a balcony facing the main road in Sorrento. This was one of my favorite hotels that we stayed at. The fresh air feels so good, we explored a bit and bought postcards and chocolate. I went back to the hotel and bought 30 minutes of internet usage. At 6pm we left the hotel, walking to a place with a view of the coast and Vesuvius. We had a welcome glass of prosecco and some appetizers. I didn’t like prosecco, I found it very strong and bitter. We took many photos and then we walked to the location for our pizza party. We first had salad, toast, and water. Vinni took us to the back of the restaurant to show us how to make traditional pizza. He put flower all over our faces! We were given 3 kinds of pizza: margarita, mushroom and zucchini; corn and mushroom. Then we had a lemon cake called grandma’s cake and lemoncello. (Make sure your lemoncello is ice cold other wise it does not taste good!) It was warm and really sour, it burned down my throat! After, I went souvenir shopping and then got melon and fruit de bosco gelato. I walked back to the hotel and organized my stuff before going to bed at 12:30am.
Weather: Sorrento- cloudy, sunny, hot, 25 degrees

May 8th 2012
This morning we woke up at 6am, got ready and had breakfast at 7am. I had a pastry with nutella on it, a sugared bun, fruit salad, and yogurt. Nutella is everywhere in Italy. Then we walked down the street to a long case of stairs all the way down a hill to the sea port. At 9am we got on a ferry ship that took us to the island of Capri. I took gravol because I knew from past experiences I get motion sickness on big boats. I was light headed but I made it. Then we got off that boat and got on another smaller motor boat. It took us all around the island. On the other side of the island it was very wavy and I got a little nauseous, but I didn’t get sick. We floated by the blue grotto entrance but couldn’t go in because the tide was too high:( Then we went to the green grotto. There was an option to swim but I didn’t and was glad I didn’t because people who did got stung by jelly fish. Then we stopped at a public beach and spent some time sitting at the beach and looking in the local shops. We floated right through the Faraglioni rock formations. They are much bigger in person. From the boat we saw a natural arc formation on the cliff side. Then we went to the white grotto entrance and saw the waving boy statue on the cliff side. We got back to the marina at 12:30pm. I went to the bathroom and then got a gelato that was coconut and lemon flavoured and bought postcards. I bought a ticket to go up the funicular where I met up with Sarah and Sara. We walked around trying to find the gardens. I bought some paintings from a lady. We never did find the gardens and I decided to go back down the funicular and bought a lemon slushy. I then went to the free public beach and sat in the shade to write in my journal. It was a beautiful day! I then joined the girls that came to the beach; we picked rocks and hung out until 3:30pm. We met Vinni at the marina and boarded a ferry back to Sorrento. I fell asleep on the ferry. After we docked, we walked up many stairs to the top of the cliff where Sorrento sits. It seemed like a million stairs. My legs were really tense afterwards. I went to the hotel and went of Facebook and got ready for supper. We went to Il Borgo Sorrento restaurant in the upper Sorrento mountain area. We were served 4 courses and bread. The first course was broccoli, peppers, zucchini and eggplant. Then we were served 2 kinds of pasta, they were really good. After, we were served veal and buffalo mozzarella with potatoes and peas. Finally, dessert was a lemon cake with crème on it for Annie’s birthday. We also had red and white wine; I don’t like them because I find them very bitter. We left on the bus and Vinni sang the Italian national anthem and told us about tomorrows activities. We got to the hotel at 10pm. I packed m stuff and went to bed around 12am. I got really burned on my feet, chest, and one arm. Ouch!!
Weather: Capri- sunny, warm, subtle wind, 18 degrees

May 9th 2012
This morning I woke up at 6am and got dressed to finish packing. Then I went down at 6:35am and sat in the lobby until breakfast opened. I had yogurt, fruit salad, pastries, and a sugar bun. We left at 7:15 am and slept on the bus for 2 ½ hours. We stopped at an autogrill, owned by the pope, and got crackers, cookies and went to the washroom. We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ movie on the bus. As I looked out my window I saw many sheep and a farmer working in his land. There are also many poppies covering the ground. We got to another autogrill for lunch and I bought a Capri sandwich. It was very good! Then we started our trip to the castle winery. Leonardo Davinci is from Florence area; he actually does not have a last name because he was an illegal son and could not take the last name of his father. Davinci mean from Vinci (a small town by Florence). When we got to the castle winery we got out of the bus and were shown where the grapes/olives are taken to be crushed. Then we went to the winery entrance and were told that the largest olive tree they have only produces 40 ml of oil. We were given rosa red wine which was not horrible and then we were guided through the wine cellar. It had huge barrels with dates of when they started to be fermented and how much barrel holds. One barrel held 7200L of wine! Then we were told that the cellar used to be the castle dungeon. We then went to the wine tasting. 4 kinds of wine were served. I tried the first and the last wine, both of which I did not like and did not finish. I just ate the cookies you were supposed to dip into the wine. There was also sheep cheese and toast with extra virgin olive oil on it and chilli pepper jelly. The food was really good! Our driver is amazing! He turned and drove down a street backwards with both sides congested with parked cars and Vespa’s. It was really scary. We arrived at our hotel called Hotel Grifone and went to my room number 102 with free wifi downstairs. Our room has a balcony! We got ready quickly and headed to supper by bus and by walking. We had breadsticks, salad, spaghetti with meatballs, and tiramisu (It was really good even though it is coffee flavoured). Then we walked to the Red Garter karaoke bar which was funny. A girl and guy were grinding, a girl shook her booty and 2 men stripped down into their birthday suits! We left at 10:50pm and walked past Ponte Vecchio at night and got on the bus. Weather: Tuscany- sunny, some clouds, warm, 23 degrees

May 10th 2012
Today we woke up at 7:30am, got dressed and went for breakfast. I had nutella on bread, a croissant, cereal that tasted like corn pops, and fruit salad. Then I went on wifi. We left at 9am on the bus for a very short ride to the river in Florence. We crossed the river and went to the leather demonstration. It was very interesting. You can tell if something is fake by the smell, touch, stamp, cost, and by what the vendors do to try to sell their products to you. Then we had a chance to buy stuff, everything was so expensive, I bought 4 bookmarks for 20 euro! I also bought 2 bracelets. Then we had free time until 11:15am and I walked around Piazza Della Signoria, took photos, and bough postcards and a Pinocchio pen because Florence is the home of the original Pinocchio story. We then had a walking tour of Florence’s main sights. She told us about Michelangelo and the Statue of David, the Ponte Vecchio and the duomo and cathedral. Hitler did not destroy the Ponte Vecchio because he liked it too much. Then we had free time. I walked around the duomo and bought paintings. Gypsy vendors are crazy; they surround you and follow you until you buy things from them. Then I went to the San Lorenzo market. It was very busy, full of shops selling the same things. I saw a lot of fake leather and silk goods. I walked to Franchesco Vini for lunch. I had ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach with bread and chocolate mousse. I highly recommend this resturant, it is close to the leather demo place from earlier in the day. After, I walked to the bridge and took photos. Then I went back to Piazza Signoria to wait for Vinni to come. We went back to the hotel to get ready for the photo and the evening events. We left at 6:30pm. We went to Piazza Michelangelo for the group photo; it was a beautiful view, definitely the best view of the city. There were painters painting and selling art. Then we made our way to dinner in the Tuscan hills with spectacular hills and view. First we were given a welcome glass of prosecco which I didn’t mind. We had bread, salami, bread with olive, ham, and pork liver on it. The first 2 were good but not the brown one. We then had pasta with tomato sauce and oils, as well as ribollita with bread and vegetables which looked like stuffing. We then had pork, potatoes, with a side of salad. Many people got drunk off wine. Dessert was dessert wine and almond cookies. We then travelled to Space, a disco club in Florence, with loud music on the bus. We got out first drink and shot free. The shot tasted like apple vodka and I got a blue drink with coconut, Bacardi vodka and other ingredients. We danced and had fun! I went back to the hotel with four girls in a taxi. I got organized and went to bed at 1:30am.
Weather: Florence- sunny, hot, 30 degrees

May 11th 2012
This morning we woke up at 7am, got ready, and went for breakfast. I had bread and nutella, a croissant, peaches, coconut loaf, and water. We left at 8:30am onto the bus and drove to Pisa. I slept most of the way there. When we got there we parked in parking lots and walked over to Pisa. It looks interesting. We took some photos and got souvenirs before walking back to the bus. Illegal street vendors were everywhere trying to sell fake watches, bags, and sun glasses. I didn’t spot any gypsies though. We drove to La Spezia and walked around Portovenere until it was time to catch the boat. We walked to an old castle church that was on the cliff edge. A lady gave us a sample of focaccia bread and pesto. We left on the boat at 2:45pm. I took gravol and started to feel really sleepy. We travelled by boat looking at the sights of Cinque Terre taking pictures often. We docked at 4:45pm and walked under a tunnel to the old part of Monterosso. I went for lunch to the beach bar with Sarah, Andrea, and Annie. The food was delicious. I split an order of bruschetta with Sarah. It had huge chunks of tomato and olive oil on them. Then I ordered a strawberry milkshake and pesto lasagna. Then we left the beach bar and went to Slurp Gelato and had chocolate and mint gelato. I took photos and looked in shops and wrote in my book. At 7:10pm we caught the public train back to La Spezia and walked to the bus and drove to Hotel Ghinaldi. I was put in room 302 with a balcony, again! I packed, organized, went on the internet, and went to bed at 12am.
Weather: Pisa and La Spezia- HOT, sunny, 30 degrees

May 12th 2012
This morning we woke up at 7am and got dressed and packed up before going for breakfast and to pay for my water. I had a croissant, an apple, a boiled egg that crushed when I tried to break its shell, and a pastry that was very salty – so I put nutella on it. I had water to drink. We left the hotel at 8:30am. On the way we passed around an email list and gondola seating chart to fill in. I slept until we got to the autogrill at 10:30am. I got a water and bounty chocolate bar. We met back on the bus at 10:50am, we drove for 1 ½ hours to Milan. We got off the bus infront of the castle sforenzco. We had to meet back at the fountain at 5:50PM. Vinni walked us to the duomo. We took photos and couldn’t go up the duomo because Sarah and Sara didn’t have their knees covered. We went to the Emmanuelle galleria and stomped on the bulls balls which brings good luck. Then we went to the Leonardo monument and took more photos. We walked around, it was scorching hot out. We found Luini’s and ordered a panzerotti with ham, cheese and tomato in it. It was so good! Then they found a H+M and looked around and saw nice stuff but I didn’t buy anything. We looked at some other stores and then found the gelato store GROM. I had strawberry, pistachio, and chocolate gelato, it was really good gelato! We looked in more shops but the clothes were really tightly fitted. I bought some postcards and then walked to the castle and park. Illegal people were trying to sell us bracelets; one of them put it on my shoulder and wouldn’t take it back so I put it on his shoulder! I bought a slushy and then walked into the park and found a shady spot under the trees to sit for a while and relax. We went to the peace monument which is the original, where the French monument was replicated from. Then we sat on a park bench for a bit. While walking back through the park we saw a jesus pride parade with cops clearing a way for it. We sat at the fountain talking to Vinni about his pet birds. We walked to a place for supper. We were served risotto, veal, salad, tomato, and crème puffs. Then we walked to the bus and went to the hotel that was far away from the city, a different one from the itinerary – Country Hotel Borromeo. Our room number was 130. Very nice and spacious room! I bought an hour of wifi for 3 euros. I changed into my pjs, organized my stuff, and wrote in my book before going to bed at 11:30pm.
Weather: Milan- Way too hot, humid, sunny, 20 degrees

May 13th 2012
This morning I woke up at 6:30am, got dressed, straightened my hair, and went on the internet to say happy mother’s day to my mom. It is raining out and is very windy! I went for breakfast at 7:30am. I had a croissant, pineapple, and pie pastries. I had red orange juice?! We left the hotel at 8:15am. There was pollen floating everywhere, it looked like snow. We drove 2 ½ hours to the autogrill and got nutella to go and a water. We drove another hour and got to Sirmione. We could not do the cruise because of the weather. So we had 2 hours to explore the town. It was very very windy! We went into the Castle Rocca Scaligera. It was cool to see but it was very windy. We took photos and climbed steps to the very top of the castle watch tower. I then went to the Bar Al Cigni and got a ham, cheese, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. Then after I ate my sandwich and I had gelato with chocolate and pistachio. I walked around some more after picking up souvenirs. Then at 12:50pm we met up outside of the castle gate and left for Verona. On the way there I fell asleep for a bit. We heard the story of Romeo and Juliet and were paid back 9 euros for the cruise we couldn’t go on. In Verona we walked to the arena and then went through a shopping area to juliets balcony in a courtyard. We all took turns rubbing the right breast of the Juliet statue – it brings good luck and love. Then I bought some postcards and took photos of the locks everywhere. I walked by an embroidery place and a girl working there asked where I was from and my name, she embroidered my name into a piece of paper for free. I went into a couple stores but didn’t buy anything. Then we met back up at 4:10pm. We took the bus to the hotel where we dropped off our luggage in room 411, had a shower, and went for supper to a restaurant Vinni recommended ( Vecio Decimo) down the street across from the gas station, behind the market. I had 4 cheese pizza, it was okay, not the greatest. But it was cheap, only 10 euro for a whole pizza. Then we went back to the hotel and hung out for a bit before going to bed at 11:30pm. The hotel was a Best Western on the mainland off of Vencie. It had a balcony and was spacious. Weather: Lake Garda/ Verona- cloudy, windy 10 degrees

May 14th 2012
This morning we woke up at 6:15am, got ready and went for breakfast. I had toast with nutella, a pastry, a croissant, an apple, pineapple, and orange juice. We left 8am sharp from the hotel. We walked 5 blocks to the train station. We got out tickets activated and then got on the train. We arrived in Venice’s St Mark’s Square at 10am after taking a boat from the train station. We then walked through the square to the Murano glass blowing demonstration. It was amazing how the guy was so quick, he made a vase and a horse sculpture in a minute. Then we had time to look around. I bought earrings, a vase, and a bowl. Then I bought postcards and met up with the group at the winged lion statue symbolizing St Mark the evangelist. At 11:30am we did a walking tour of Venice with an old French lady that was funny. She walked us through St Mark’s Square and told us that Venice was built on wood piles and that is why they are sinking with affects from the tide. It is very touristy in Venice. Within 5 years the citizen population has gone from 200000 to 65000. Citizens moved from Venice to the mainland and commute every day to work in Venice. Within the next 50 years Venice will sink completely, especially since cruise ships float right along the square with the engine vibrations. We then walked through Venice to a small castle with a column staircase and to Ponte Rialto. We took photos and then we were free to explore for ourselves. Sarah, Sara, and I went walking around trying to find an ATM, masks, and a cheap place to have tiramisu. We found a place selling it for 6 euro. It was really good! We got lost in Venice and while trying to find our way back we ended up in the same place we started after going in a big circle. When we found the square we went up the bell tower costing 8 euros. It had amazing views of the water and canals. Then we went back down and took photos in the square until 3:50pm. We met the group for the lace demonstration which was really interesting. Then we had a gondola ride through the small canals of Venice. It was amazing to just sit quietly and look at the structures of the buildings and bridges. It was very peaceful! It was cool to see how the water has risen past people’s windows and doors. After our ride on the gondola we went for supper to a restaurant on the water front. I had vegetables, cheese with honey and jam, spinach pasta, tomato penne, roast beef, potatoes, and salad with orange prosecco. For dessert we had panacotta, it was very good- one of my favorite desserts! The people sitting at my table had a little too much wine and were quite drunk. At 8:30pm we caught the boat to the train station and then took the train to the mainland. We got to the hotel and went to bed at midnight. Weather: Venice- warm, sunny, 20 degrees
May 15th 2012
In the morning we got ready at 5:30am, went down for breakfast and had orange juice, nutella on toast, pastries, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Then we went back to our room, packed and left on the bus at 7:15am. I slept for the first 2 ½ hours until we stopped at an autogrill for a bathroom break. Then we drove another 2 ½ hours. We wrote our tour reviews and I ate my crakers and tried to sleep. I slept for a while but as awoken by the peepee song as we stopped at our last autogrill of the trip for lunch. I bought an Apollo sandwich with chicken and tomato in it and a white kitkat bar. Then at 1:30pm we started our last leg to Rome. Rome was the largest civilization in the world before 753 bc. Italy became a country in 1861. Italy started the fascist trend that Hitler rose from. Italy joined Hitler in his activities of the holocaust. The official name of the country is republic of Italy. Italy was 1 of 6 first founding countries and was one of the 7 wealthiest countries in the world. Italy is experiencing social issues and political issues with the mofia and corrupted government, especially in the south. The Spanish steps lead to a French church, with the Spanish embassy beside the stairs. The trevi fountain is dedicated to Neptune and 3000 euro a day is thrown into the fountain. You are supposed to hold the coin in the right hand and throw it over your left shoulder. The pantheon means temple for all gods, it is the most well preserved temple, 2000 years old. It is no longer a temple, it is now a church. The flags colors mean different things- white means purity, red means passion, and green means hope. We got to Rome at 2:30pm and were dropped off at Piazza del Popolo where we walked down one of the most expensive streets in Europe, via del corso and via del condotti, to the Spanish steps. I climbed up the steps all the way to the top, taking videos and pictures. At the top I bought 2 paintings from a man. Next we walked to the trevi fountain. It was beautiful and much bigger/ grander than I imagined it to be. There is one horse who is calm- representing hope and future, the other horse is furious- representing the past wars and conflict. I went to a store and bought an I heart Rome shirt and postcards. Next we walked to the pantheon. WOW! It is 2000 years old and it is still standing in great condition. I went inside of it and saw the three burials. Also I saw the gigantic hole in the ceiling where romans used to collect water coming down from rain into holes in the floor. Then we sat on the bases of the columns until Vinni lead us to Piazza Navona. It was full of painters selling art. We went for gelato from GROM. I got salted caramel, vanilla, and pistachio. Then we walked all around the piazza admiring the three fountains and the paintings. After our time at the piazza Vinni lead us to the restaurant where we would have supper. We walked up across ponte Umberto, toward the Supreme Court building, beside Piazza Cavour filled with palm trees to Gran Caffe Visconti restaurant. We had angry pasta (spicy pasta), salad, chicken, and a coffee dessert. Then we walked to catch the bus. We got to the hotel- Hotel Regent- and went to our room, # 170. It is much bigger than our room from the first night in Rome. We went to a café for wifi and I had strawberry and chocolate gelato. Then I went back to the hotel, had a shower and organized my bag. I went to bed at 12am. Weather: Rome- warm, sunny, 20 degrees
May 16th 2012
In the morning we woke up at 6:30am, got ready and went for breakfast. I had a croissant with nutella on it, fruit salad, and orange juice. We left at 7:15am on the bus to the coliseum and forum. We rode on the bus for about 30 minutes. It was very beautiful; I stared at it for many minutes, lost in the columns and arches. We walked down toward the entrance where we met up with our local guide ‘grandpa’. He led us through the coliseum which was amazing. Half of it fell due to an earthquake; it is 2000 years old and took 8 years to build. Slaves became gladiators and fought each other or animals. Then we learned that it is made of many arches of brick and limestone with support beams inside them. We then walked past the Arch of Constantine and down the street to the entrance of the roman forum. It was just like Pompeii with the same cobble streets. We heard about the political beginnings of the Roman Empire and saw where Julius Caesar was cremated. After, we had a lunch break at an expensive café. I had a calzone that was too huge to eat. We went toward the bus pick up area and it started to rain out. Next we drove to Vatican City. We got radio headsets, waited in line, and went through a security check before entering the museums. We started talking about the Sistine Chapel. We had to walk up the circular walkway because the escalator broke. We went to many museums, a candelabra museum, Egypt museum, carpet museum, statue museum which were all packed full!! One lady wad pushing me with her baby and people were being very aggressive, budging the line and such. We went into Sistine Chapel which was not allowed to be photographed. It was amazing. Then we went into the Vatican entrance, men have to cover shoulders and have to wear long pants, girls have to cover their knees and shoulders. I didn’t think it was made to be what it is advertised as way too overrated. There is some kind of door that is only opened every 25 years and has something to do with the newly elected popes. We went outside to St. Peters Square and got souvenirs and went on the bus at 4:30pm. We got to the hotel and got ready for our final dinner. I wore my skirt and striped shirt. We left for supper at 6:45pm. It looked really cool inside the restaurant. They had performances every course. It was fun. We took lots of photos! First we had veggies and salad, shrimp pasta, ravioli, beef, green beans, potatoes, cake, and water. We left the restaurant, walked to the bus, drove and dropped off some of the group at a club, and the rest of us went back to the hotel. I went for gelato – chocolate and pistachio went on the internet, packed and went to bed at midnight.
Weather: Rome- sunny, warm, little windy, 20 degrees

May 17th 2012
This morning I woke up and got ready at 5:30am. I was extremely tired. I went downstairs at 5:50am and went on wifi and said goodbye to some people. Then I went for breakfast at 6:30am. I had a croissant, fruit salad, and orange juice. Then I went upstairs to get my luggage and went back down stairs to the lobby. I sat there on wifi for a while, took some Tylenol and Echinacea which made me feel weird. Then at 7:30am Kendall, Sarah, Jill, Taylor and I caught a van taxi to the airport. We all hugged Vinni goodbye before we left. We got dropped off at terminal 3 of the airport and paid for the taxi- 75 euro total. We took turns going to the bathroom and then said our goodbyes to Sarah. We went to check in at the Air Canada booth. My bag weighed 20.4kg. Then we waited for the other girls to get checked in and went upstairs to McDonalds. I had an orange juice and a hash brown. Then we wandered the airport realising that once you go through security there are stores to shop in. We went through security and then I went through passport control and walked down the hallway to gate G area, went up an escalator, and then took a train to the gate area. Make sure you leave a lot of time to get to your gate, the airport is very confusing and has many unexpected passages you have to go through. I met up with Sarah and Andrea from Ottawa. We all tried to get internet but couldn’t connect. We boarded the plane at 11:05am. I have seat 21k- with 2 window views! No one was sitting beside me so I put my stuff under the whole seat in front of me and I had more room to spread out. We took off at 11:50am. It was so clear outside that I could see the boats in the water and the details of the land. Further on I saw the Swiss alps. We were served lunch, pasta with olives and cheese, a potato salad, a bun, a cookie, orange juice, and water. After that we were given tea and our customs papers for landing in Canada. I wrote in my journal for a bit. At 1:30pm Rome time I went to the bathroom on the airplane for the first time in my life! It was very compacted; you had to press the faucet at the same time as you wash your hands. Then I looked at the Rome and Vatican book I bought. The only thing I didn’t get to see that I wanted to see that was in the book was the mouth of truth. There is a lot of cloud cover now. Once again they didn’t have individual TV’s the movies they were playing were really old. It was now 4:40pm Rome time. I have listened to my ipod, deleted photos, and slept for a while. They gave us vanilla ice-cream and pretzels for a snack, it was really refreshing. I slept for a bit more and listened to my ipod again. I slept for a bit more and listened to my ipod; they had the seatbelt sign on telling us not to take them off?! It’s a little cloudy outside but not turbulent. It seem like this flight is lasting forever. I looked out my window and saw ice on the ocean we were flying over. It looks so cool! You can see chunks together and parts that have melted off. I wonder where we are flying over, north Canada, Greenland, or is there just a lot of ice on the ocean?! Now I see mountains. It must be Greenland and north Canada. We have a little more than 2 hour left until we land in Toronto. We watched a movie called Rum Diaries. It was very weird. 1 ½ hours left! We were given hot wraps with beef, gravy, and tomato in them and water. I organized my stuff for the rest of the time. We landed at 3:20pm in Toronto Canada! First we walked down a long hallway, cleared customs, claimed baggage, dropped bags off, went up an escalators, went through security, got my hands and feet swabbed, and went to Tim Horton’s. I got a tea, water, and a muffin. I went to gate D35 to wait for my flight at 9:30pm. 4 hours left before I get to go home. I went on wifi and ate my food; I suddenly become really home sick while I was sitting on the floor in the corner of the airport with no one around. I am extremely bored and becoming anxious about getting home, I have 3 hours left… I miss normal people so much; I miss my people, my family, buddy and my bed and pillow. I had so much fun but there comes a point when you are just ready to go home. I wish I could be having supper right now at home, watching TV shows and play with buddy. I was quite excited to use a toilet with a seat and liquid hand soap. I slept on the floor for a while and then I went to the washroom at 8:50pm Toronto time. We boarded at 9pm. I had seat 16A (window seat). We had individual TV’s so I watched The Help and then looked at the map as I fell in and out of sleep. The flight lasted 4 hours. I didn’t use gravol at all! On the way down my right ear popped and it hurt, I could not hear out of it. I was given orange juice. We landed at 11pm. I went to the bathroom and then went through the gate where I saw mom, dad, and Missy. We waited for my bag as I drank my tea. Then we drove home. Weather: Rome- sunny, 20 degrees

- My tourmates were awesome, we all got along and had alot of fun together
- I did all of the optionals and I am glad I did because they were all really great!
- the bus was good, it didn't have any outlets and the washroom could only be used in emergencys.
- I highly recommend this tour, it was very informational and busy, but we always had free time. I saw everything I wanted to see!
- our bus driver and tour manager were amazing!
- get lost in Venice
- eat gelato everyday
- try everything on your plate
- don't worry, everything will be fine!
- pack your suit case and then take out half of your clothes- you wont use half of the clothes you pack.
- take echinacea to make sure you dont get sick
- You dont have to go out every night, take some nights off to get a good sleep
- you will do and see so much- write in a journal every night
- there is wifi at every hotel- some have a small cost and some are free
- I budgeted for 80 Euro a day and came home with 50 Euro.
- you need plug adapters - but you only need a voltage adapter if you have electronics that are not 120-220Volts. I used my ipod charger, ipad charger, and my hair straightener (dual voltage straightener) without a voltage adapter.

Review written Jun 2012

My Contiki was: Amazing, Busy, Memorable

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  • Tony
  • Tony
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy

07 Apr 2012 - 19 Apr 2012

WOW what a trip!!! Tour manager Katia was amazing. If you are debating on shorter/longer trip go with the longer trip you will not be disappointed. This was a trip of a lifetime and I'm already saving for my next one. Two words if you are thinking of going on Contiki DO IT!!!!

Review written Apr 2012

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  • Kevin
  • Kevin
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy is Simply Amazing

07 Apr 2012 - 19 Apr 2012

My first tour with Contiki was amazing and I love it. Our tour manager Katia was great. I would definitely follow her to Spain next year as well. I get to see and experience most of Italy in a short period of time. I love Rome and Florence the best and will definitely go back again in the future.

Review written Apr 2012

My Contiki was: Amazing, Beautiful, FUN

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  • Kevin
  • Kevin
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy is Simply Amazing

07 Apr 2012 - 19 Apr 2012

My first tour with Contiki was amazing and I love it. Our tour manager Katia was great. I would definitely follow her to Spain next year as well. I get to see and experience most of Italy in a short period of time. I love Rome and Florence the best and will definitely go back again in the future.

Review written Apr 2012

My Contiki was: Amazing, Beautiful, FUN

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  • Shane21
  • Shane21
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy tour

07 Apr 2012 - 19 Apr 2012

This was the best trip ever, I totally recommend this trip to everyone. I also recommend that if you do this trip be sure to do all the optianl things.

Review written Apr 2012

My Contiki was: Awesome, Exciting , Memories

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  • B1NZ
  • B1NZ
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Simply Italy - Simply Amazing!!

17 Jul 2011 - 28 Jul 2011

My wife and I traveled on this trip in July 2011 and were not disappointing, Contiki gave you a taste of all the major sights of Italy and our guide Christina was fantastic, We made a lot of new friends and were sad when we had to leave our Contiki family at the end of the trip.

Probably the highlight for us was the boat cruise around the Island of Capri and swimming through the green grotto. We had one day were the weather and train strikes didn't play their part and unfortunately we missed the Cinque Terre boat cruise although we were bused down to Monte Rosso to spend the day there instead which was a lovely place.

If you want a taste of Italy then I suggest you do this trip, allow a few days in Rome at the end of the trip to see a few more of the sights of this historic city.

Review written Dec 2011

My Contiki was: Fantastic, Fun, Amazing

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  • Jen
  • Jen
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries
Simply Italy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing Race

24 Sep 2011 - 06 Oct 2011

The hotels in Milan, Florence & Venice were the best (with the best breakfasts as well) the concierge in Sorrento and in Rome hotels were very rude, in Rome they wouldn't even give extra towels until 7am (when had a 7:30 departure) so make sure you are getting any extras in the evenings! Optional dinners are not recommended, the included dinners are okay but are prepared ahead of time so are cold when you get them, which is why I do not recommend the optional dinners either, while they are pricier, you can still get better food in the same locations by going in smaller groups to other locations.
Be prepared for long days on the bus! Recommend a travel pillow for sleep ease on the bus as you spend a lot of time sleeping on it! For the most part our group slept more on the bus than we did in the hotels. Be prepared to party like a rock star in Florence because it is by far the most epic place you will go! Space was awesome as was the red garter karaoke place. We went to Danielles Karaoke place in Sorrento as well and it was a great time (has a pole in the middle of the dance floor, one of the guys that works there is quite the pole dancer!) Pisa is great but we only had an hour to take pictures, if your group is as camera happy as ours definitely eat before you take pictures because our group ended up either not eating or not using the bathrooms because we spent so much time taking photos! Overall it was great though! Such a fun place to take pictures for a photo competition!
if you get the impression from this tour that there is only one day on the beach, be prepared because there is absolutely 3-4 days where you will be on a boat and on a beach, bring a swimsuit because half of our tour did not & spent days where we could have been on the beach sitting in the shade resting our feet instead of in the water! Definitely more water days than is let on in the itinerary!
There are at least 2 days (verona and La Spezia) that are stop over days, you have a few hours in different cities leading up to where you are sleeping!
The recommended restaurant by our tour manager at the place we stayed in Venice was good food but terrible service because we were "contiki" even though we did not come as a group they treated us poorly and our food took 3 hours to come even though others were seated, served and left before we ever received our food. Worst experience of the trip!
Overall our guide was great, she had a lot of knowledge about the area, but none of us really learned much because she talked through our naps! :)
make sure you learn everyones names early on, we didn't do a "get to know you" until half way through our trip! it makes the trip so much more fun when you know peoples names!
You will see a lot of things on this trip, most of them you won't remember until you look through your photos, it is basically the amazing race of italy!

Review written Oct 2011

My Contiki was: rushed, party, epic

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Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Accommodation

  • 11 nights twin or triple-share hotel accommodation
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges

Exclusive Team

  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations

Exclusive Food

  • 15 meals:
  • 11 continental breakfasts
  • 4 Regional Dinners: pizza making experience & local trattoria dining

Exclusive Inclusions

  • Scenic drive along the coast
  • See Mt. Vesuvius
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Me Time

  • Pompeii Guided Walking Tour
  • Cruise around the island of Capri
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On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$177
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Layaway
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