Simply Italy » Review by Heather
This tour was amazing!! And as my first Contiki I could not have been happier. First of all, Megghy was the most amazing tour manager you could possibly ask for. She went above and beyond in everything she did to make sure you were looked after and got to see what you wanted. As a Celiac she made sure I had gluten-free food at all the included dinners and was able to answer any and all questions you may have had. I booked a couple of things on my own that I really wanted to see and she was able to make them fit with the schedule and ensured I got to see everything I paid for, even though I didn't book them with Contiki. She was always super upbeat and positive and really made the trip what it was, which was awesome!
Alessandro was also a fantastic driver. He managed to squeeze a 50 passenger coach through spaces I wouldn't have attempted with a smart car! He tried his absolute hardest to make sure the coach was always comfortable and clean and I'll miss his shouts of Energy Energy!! whenever we were passed out, comatose, in the heat.
The people on the trip were also all fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people. Everyone got along really well and were all so fun and accepting. This really wasn't a party tour (something I'm very glad of) but we always managed to have a really great time. I met so many amazing, like-minded people who made me appreciate more fully just how big the world is and how many things there are to do and discover. I already miss all my new friends but now have 50 more couches to crash on all over the world!
As for the tour itself, it exceeded my expectations tenfold (and I had some pretty high expectations). Even though we were always busy it was a good busy and I never once felt rushed. We had ample free time in every city (even the one hour in Pisa was long enough to get pictures and grab a quick bite to eat) and there was a good balance between touring and wandering. We didn't do all the optional dinners which gave us more free time to explore the cities, eat some amazing food at local restaurants and really get a good feel of Italy. My Mom and I did a bus tour a few years ago and we both felt rushed and like we didn't get to see anything. This tour was the exact opposite. I felt like I've seen and experience Italy (not just one of two cities but the country as a whole) and while I'd love to go back (does tomorrow work?) I certainly don't feel like I need to go back. We saw and did all the major attractions everywhere we went and still had loads of free time to explore on our own.
This trip was the most fun I've ever had and was one of the best experiences of my life. I definitely came home a different person from the shy, introverted girl who left Canada a few weeks ago. The combination of people, sights, experiences (and amazing food) really made for the best time possible. If you're debating with yourself about whether or not you should do this trip (like I was) I can assure you the only disappointment you'll face is if you decide to stay home. Just do it, I promise you won't regret it!! Or as Megghy would say: Dominate, don't hesitate!
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3