- Small group travel - our average number of participants is 14 - gives you a highly personalized and unforgettable experience that you won't find on a large group tour with 40-50 participants.
- Unique itineraries, all personally designed and experienced by us. Our itineraries are a wonderful blend of the major sites and delightful places that we've discovered off the beaten path where you'll find fewer tourists.
- All included - no optional hidden cost excursions.
- Best value – our lower prices and high quality make us a great choice for small group tour travel. All of our departures are guaranteed so you can book with assurance.
- The best historic hotels, most are 4 star or 5 star, dating from the 13th to 19th centuries. Located inside historic districts to maximize your free time on tour.
- The best small restaurants with carefully chosen menus and great wines - all included, as much as you like.
- Exceptional native tour managers and local guides – experienced, informative, attentive and fun! Seeing Italy, Spain and Portugal with Italian, Spanish and Portuguese tour leaders is essential to an authentic experience!
- Leisurely pace – your average day on tour begins at 8:30 or 9 am and there is ample free time for your own explorations daily.
- Minimal coach time – we want you to experience your destinations on foot, not from the highway. On average we spend two hours a day or less traveling, along scenic roads wherever possible. Our coaches are all very comfortable 28 to 40 seat air-conditioned Mercedes.
- International groups – most of our tour participants come from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Ireland which makes for a very entertaining mix! Read what they say about us on our Comments page.
Amber Road Tours is an award winning US tour agency with 17 years experience providing the best small group tours in southern Europe. We are based in Spoleto Italy with administrative offices in Charleston, South Carolina. Our intimate knowledge of southern Europe is an advantage that our tour guests have enjoyed since 2003. All of our itineraries are personally designed by us, based on our experience of living and working in countries that offer an extraordinary wealth of history, culture, art, architecture and natural beauty, not to mention incredible food and wines.
Amber Road Tours, Inc is registered in the state of Florida and is an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Florida.
Sonya Conti, originally from Northern Italy, is a graduate of the Università degli Studi di Milano in Fine Arts. Before joining Jonathan at Amber Road she worked for many years as a translator for travel magazines and book publishers.
Jonathan Bassett, an alumnus of Florida State University, organized and led tours from the USA prior to moving to Italy in 1995. He taught English in Italian middle and high schools for several years, working as a tour manager for a large company during the summers. Finding the large group tour experience inadequate for seeing and experiencing the Italy that he knew and loved he created Amber Road Tours.
Jonathan and Sonya live in a small village outside of Spoleto, Umbria. Their house was once part of a 15th century monastic complex and later an 18th century scuderia (stables) of a nearby villa.
Lisa Sample is a graduate of the College of Charleston in Hispanic Studies and Hospitality & Tourism Management. She manages our Charleston office and is the itinerary co-designer for our trips to Spain.
Lisa developed a passion for traveling at an early age and enjoys helping others see the world while promoting cultural awareness. Her fascination with Spain began during college and deepened during her year of living and working there. Twice yearly she returns to develop and improve our itineraries.
Lina Drusiani, is a graduate of the University of Bologna, her native city, where she worked for many years as an accountant. She assists with provider management and accounts for all our tours.
The charming Mariaelena Ciacci is from San Quirico d’Orcia in the beautiful Orcia Valley in Tuscany. She has worked with Amber Road Tours since 2005 and is a licensed local guide for the provinces of Florence and Grosseto.
Tours: Tuscany/Umbria, Tuscan Hill Towns, Sicily
Tiziana Manganiello is a native of Spoleto, Umbria and took her degree in foreign languages and literature from the University of Perugia. She also studied in Oxford, London and Salamanca, Spain. She’s been a tour manager on coach and walking tours for 15 years and in the off-season works in theater production and direction.
Tours: Tuscany/Umbria, Tuscany/Liguria, Tuscan Hill Towns, Amalfi Coast to Apulia
Andrej Vatovec is from Koper, Slovenia. A graduate of the University of Ljubljana, he has worked as a tour manager in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia since 2000. He speaks all the languages of the ex-Yugoslavia.
Tours: Croatia & Bosnia, Friuli/Slovenia
Laura Serafin is a graduate of the University of Padova and has a Masters in Planning and Management of Cultural Events from the University of Ferrara. She is the coordinator of the tourist office in Castelfranco and is a licensed local guide for the Veneto Villas and the province of Treviso. Her home is on the hills of Asolo.
Tours: Veneto/Alto Adige
Federica Wagner was born in Luxembourg but has spent most of her life in Italy, residing in Rome. She has a masters degree in English language and literature from the University of Milan and is a licensed interpreter and translator of French and English. Federica has worked as a tour manager for many years and is our Italian Lakes expert.
Tours: Milan & Lombardia, Amalfi Coast to Apulia
Sean Retana Vallely was born in Madrid to an Irish mother and Spanish father. He holds a degree in medieval history from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. An active tour guide for over a decade, Sean has a particular interest in exploring the humble and remote landscapes of interior Spain, heart of his own Castilian culture.
Tours: Galicia & the Basque Country, Andalucia
Saverio Renda is from Monreale, Sicily. He holds degrees in Art History and Foreign Languages from the University of Palermo. He’s been working as a tour manager and local guide for 20 years. In the off-season he tends plants and trees on his tropical botanical garden near Marsala.
Laura Enrici Bellom is a graduate of Foreign Languages and Tourism at the University of Turin, her hometown. She studied languages abroad, being fluent in English, Spanish, French and German. She has a strong passion for traveling and for getting in touch with different cultures and people from all over the world. Laura has worked as a tour manager for many years and she always seeks to convey her passion for Italy to travelers in an entertaining manner, hoping this will leave them with a lasting memory of her country.
Tours: Amalfi Coast to Apulia, Italian Lakes & Milan
Miguel Silva is from outside Lisbon and has been working as an official tour guide in Portugal and as a tour leader across Europe and Asia since 2007. “My passion for people, learning foreign languages and traveling around the globe allows me to have ‘the best job in the world’. During my free time I enjoy cooking, riding my motorcycle and discovering new places with old friends and family.”
Enrique Gonzalez My fascination with Spain started early when I became interested in the history and the arts of my country. As I got older and as a native Madrileño, I began focusing specifically on the culture of my city, Madrid, where I have now been guiding for almost 10 years! I am particularly interested in 19th century history and Spanish art and am a great fan of painter, Francisco de Goya, just one of the many masters you can find in Madrid!
I began traveling all over Spain as a child, thanks to my father who knew every corner of the country. As a passionate historian and lover of Spain, I am proud to show my beloved country to all travelers from abroad. This journey will take us to the deepest heart of Spain. Adelante!
Tours: Madrid & Central Spain