What a wonderful time we had in Italy – the tour was fantastic, the medieval villages enchanting, the meals and accommodations were very good for us. Maria Elena was wonderful, helpful … just a sweetheart that we are happy we got to know over our two-week stay in Tuscany! I have been praising your organization and the tour and Maria Elena’s merits and the local guides stories … I’ve given two referrals up to now and it’s only my first day back to work… I’m sure there will be more to come! Thanks again for offering such a complete package for small groups (that was another plus!) Until we meet again… maybe in Sicily or in 2013 when you come up with a tour that will include a mix of France and Italy! A dopo!
Comments Leave a comment
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Apart from the sites and locations visited, we found traveling in such a small group to be excellent. It certainly beats a full coach load of 44 any day. Walking and traveling through the beautiful countryside and small villages, we felt we were closer to experiencing the ‘real’ Italy than we had on previous trips. The standard of hotels was excellent and the quality of meals both at hotels and the selected restaurants very satisfying. As tour director, Mario was superb. His general knowledge of the regions visited was first rate and nothing was too much trouble; just ask and he would arrange/fix/find/get/respond/etc. We found him to be very helpful and dependable; a great asset and ambassador for Amber Road Tours. We certainly would be interested in doing small group tours through other selected regions of Italy and would appreciate any advice you could provide with respect to your intentions in this matter. Thank you for a wonderful travel experience.
This was our first trip to Italy and our Tuscany tour exceeded our expectations. All accommodations and meals were wonderful. Anna Sagaria, tour leader, was gracious, informative and knowledgeable about the history and customs of Tuscany. Carmelo was an excellent driver and our fellow tour members were very compatible and lots of fun. We found Tuscany fascinating – beautifully scenic and historic. We enjoyed all the towns and events on the tour itinerary but two most memorable to us were the Etruscan necropolis and the abbey of St Antimo (beautiful setting, very peaceful). Tour is highly recommended.
Nigel and I very much enjoyed our recent tour with Mario at the helm. Mario was very informative and also very funny and entertaining. The variety of the tour was great, the accommodations excellent and the dinners and lunches lovely. Keep up the great work.
Our recent tour was one of the best I have taken. Everything was fantastic, from the guide, Mario, to the places we went – Carrara, Lucca, and Colonnata lunch. Dinners were superb. Mario was great – jokes, stories, and service were great. He never rested and was always there for us if we needed anything. Thank you for everything.
I want to let you know that the Tuscan Tour that my husband and I took this past July was up there as one of the best vacations we have ever taken. We had a wonderful time. I can’t wait to take another tour with you – thank you so much for making this trip such an enjoyable one.
Just want to let you know that we had the time of our lives on the Tuscany tour in May/June. Loved the selection of towns we visited, the wine tastings were exceptional, and Mariaelena made everything the BEST. Go girl! Still talking about the great places we stayed. We are singing the praises of Amber Roads.
My time on the Amber Road trip was fantastic – the people were super, Carmelo is a fantastic driver with a really bubbly personality and permanent smile on his face… and Mariaelena an unbelievable gem… her warmth, knowledge of Italy, giggle and personality are an absolute asset to your business… I will definitely be joining you for more trips in the future.
Everything about the trip was so special – towns, accommodations (comfort and location), meals, guides, group size, comfy little bus, and our glorious weather! I could easily sign up for the same trip in a heartbeat. I look forward to traveling with Amber Road again in the future!
Just a note of thanks about our delightful [back to back] tours with you in Italy.
We enjoyed both of them so much and it was a real pleasure to see you in Spoleto. Our room in San Gimignano had the best view I think I have ever had in any hotel. The rooms in Ravello,Trani, Matera and Gallipoli were all excellent. The restaurant meals you provided in Amalfi/Puglia were all gut-bustingly wonderful. We continue to tell all of our friends to get on your tours. Luca was, of course, as much of a delight on the second tour as he was on the first. And in Anna, who was helping him, I believe you have discovered a treasure.
Our best wishes for your new tour in the Veneto, which we hope to take. Of the scores of trips we have taken world-wide the three we have taken with Amber Road have been unmatched.
This was a terrific tour. The itinerary was a great mix of small towns off the beaten track and better known locations, interspersed with wine tasting, visits to tombs and monasteries. We can’t believe how much we covered in less than a week. The hotels were great, the food superb, our driver Carmelo was outstanding and the group was fantastic – we had a lot of fun together. What turned an already exceptional tour into something very special was Mariaelena. Her warmth, obvious care for all members of the group, terrific sense of humour, infectious enthusiasm for Tuscany and her personal insights into life in this part of Italy were just remarkable. She is a truly wonderful person and an incredible Tour Guide. Barbara and I usually like to travel independently and were not fully sure about signing up for this tour, however after this week, we have no doubt that we will be touring with you again very soon.
We would like to say thank you for another memorable week in Tuscany [our 4th tour!], made extra special by Mariaelena’s magic touch! Carmelo our driver was also superb. Everything ran smoothly as expected, and we really enjoyed the company of all the other members of our small group. It was nice to see you both in Pienza-our favourite place. You can’t beat the view from our room there. We hope to see you again soon!
Just a brief note to say thank you for sending us off on a memorable journey with your best guide, Mario! What a great time we had with your tour company.
This was our very first Amber Road trip and certainly not our last. In my mind and in my heart, I can still see the spectacular views, feel the charm of all the magnificent hotels, reflect on all the fascinating history, and still taste the culinary delights of the regions. Being so in love with this beautiful country, it was my sixth trip (with several different tour companies), and my first time to the regions of Puglia and Basilicata. The architecture has left me in complete amazement. From the ancient cave dwellings in the “Sassi” of Matera, the white-washed houses of Ostuni, the rich Baroque architecture in Lecce, to the limestone “Trulli” homes, with their gray conical roofs, in Alberobello. I loved the small group of warm, friendly people, the unique itinerary where we found few tourists, the quaint and beautiful hotels, the fabulous menus that were chosen for us in our included meals, and the very knowledgeable local guides. Above all, our tour manager, Luca, and guest tour manager, Anna, proved to be exceptional – both being very accommodating and informative, with top notch personalities. We shared many laughs. You can hear the passion, for their country, in their voices and see it in their eyes. What a delight to spend two glorious weeks with them. Thank you Jonathan and Sonya, for creating Amber Road Tours, and for designing an itinerary, which for me, was the best Italy vacation I’ve ever had.
We had a wonderful time in Tuscany in June. Your well-planned tour removed all the usual hassles of negotiating unfamiliar roads and finding accommodation each night. We had a very relaxed holiday, due in large part to Mariaelena’s consideration for our comfort and enjoyment. Her sense of humour, approachability and knowledge made the tour a memorable one. [We are] deeply grateful.
The tour was every bit as advertised and SO MUCH more. Our group was congenial and our tour guide, Mario, kept us entertained and organized throughout. Our driver, Tiziano, was friendly, personable, and above all professional. I will AND HAVE strongly urged friends to consider Amber Road Tours. It is such a different perspective of Italy. Much more personable and you really feel like you get to know the history, culture, and people of the area. Each city had its own charm and the panoramas took your breath away. I don’t think there are enough superlatives for me to use in describing the tour and how it is laid out. Again thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime.
Over the weekend we received an email from Gambino Vineyards. It sure brought back so many great memories of our Sicily trip. The Gambino vineyards and winery on the slopes of Mt. Etna were beautiful. The tasting of their wines along with the local cheeses, meats and bread was a great way to end the day’s travel. Fortunately, we had the foresight to buy a couple bottles of their wine. Our balcony in Taormina was the perfect place to enjoy them.
As with our first Amber Road tour, the experiences were outstanding. The hustle of Palermo was exciting . . . the more time we spent out and about on the streets, the better it all became. The hotel was a welcome quiet retreat in the heart of the city. Mariaelena’s stories of the hotel’s history made it even more enjoyable.
Our memories are too many to recount here. The historical sites we visited were so impressive. The food was outstanding, both for our scheduled meals as well as the tour manager suggestions for “on our own” evenings. The hotels and inns were always more than just places to overnight. In addition to Palermo and Taormina, the hotels in Ragusa and Siracusa were really well done and in great locations.
Like our first trip with you, the folks we travelled with were all congenial and made the experiences even more enjoyable. We think some of that might be attributable to our driver, Giuseppe and tour manager, Mariaelena. Their enthusiasm and friendliness were contagious and highlights of the trip. We would love to visit again as we learned that Tuscany/Umbria and Sicily offer two very distinct and different experiences . . . both outstanding.
We had such a wonderful time on your Sicily trip this past May. Mariaelena is a wonderful asset to your company and she made our tour outstanding with her kindness , knowledge and warmth. Hope to travel again next year with you.
We had the time of our life. I loved the tour because it brought me to areas of Italy where both sets of grandparents were from. This was my seventh time to Italy but I had never been to Apulia or Basilicata or to Otranto, Lecce, etc… Your choice of lodgings was fantastic. The food was excellent, and of course, so much, but who complained??? Bruce and I had our 25th anniversary dinner on the terrace at the Villa Maria and it was perfect. I was very enlightened as to the industry and sophistication of this part of Italy despite all I had heard to the contrary. I was amazed at the vastness of the valleys and plains, the fruit and olive orchards and vineyards… I thank you and your crew for giving Bruce and I the best tour we have had in Italy ever…
Roberta and I have now returned from a most remarkable trip. We wanted you to know how very much we appreciated every aspect of our Tuscany/Umbria tour. For us this was a ‘bucket list’ item and the first escorted tour that we ever took. We had high expectations before it started based upon your agenda and your personal emails answering our every question. The venues, the hotels, the meals, the transportation, Mario, Tiziano, the local guides, our fellow tourists – all more than met our expectations. Meeting the two of you was icing on the cake! You even arranged for 13 days of perfect weather – thanks! You can be sure that we will encourage our friends to contact you if Italy is their destination.
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicily this May. It was everything I expected, and more. The accommodations were superb on the whole tour (in Taormina it was hard to get yourself to leave the hotel and its grounds). The places we visited were well planned and interesting in every way. The local guides added much to the places visited. I especially enjoyed Luigi, the local guide at the Valley of the Temples – an Agrigento native and resident, who speaks wonderful English with a slight brogue. How great is that! Mariaelena is a great tour manager, leader, storyteller and a friend to all. Thanks for the great tour and your help with pre-tour reservations.
We had the time of our lives!
My clients couldn’t rave enough about your company and their tour – they loved it and said they would go on another trip with you anytime to anywhere! Thanks so much for taking such good care of them.
Thanks again, Jonathan, Sonya and Amber Roads for our wonderful trip through Sicily. Jerry and I loved our trip to Southern Italy last year with Luca and were just as happy this year touring Sicily with Mariaelena. She could not do enough for us and kept us laughing with her wonderful sense of humor. Since we came in a few days early Jonathan recommended Cefalù and what a great choice that was. We’re looking forward to the North Italy tour next year.
The tour was excellent. Well planned and flawlessly executed. The hotels were very good. The meals that you provided were wonderful. Mariaelena and Giuseppe were outstanding. She is a gem. The tour participants were very nice – a friendly and intelligent group. It did not hurt that the weather was perfect. I will do my best to spread the word.