Simply Italy » Review by Jen
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 2011event 0.3