One of the things on my “bucket list” was to go to Tuscany. As a birthday gift, my son and daughter-in-law gave me a trip for two with Amber Road Tours. My sister arrived from California and we were ready to go! We were picked up in Florence by our guide, Tiziana and driver, Ubaldo, who made this the trip of a lifetime. We cannot say enough about Tiziana’s professional, caring, attentive, warm, personality. No detail went uncovered and she went out of her way for us each day. This was a cultural tour that included many off-the-track villages; my son researched a long time and chose Amber Road wisely. We saw Tuscany and Umbria through the eyes of a proud, knowledgeable guide who was born and raised there, has traveled extensively, but came back to her roots. Her pride in the people and of her country came through strongly. It is humbling to stand on tiles and lean against walls that are centuries old. We had private guides in many of the cities we toured and the education we got on the art, history and culture of that early period in two weeks was like a college course. Each guide had pride and knowledge and was eager to answer all our questions and share their city’s heritage. We ate dishes and drank wine that was the specialty of the region we were visiting. We were so happy to meet the owners of Amber Road Tours, Sonya and Jonathan; It is so obvious in meeting them that much care has gone into every detail by Amber Tours and their guides to be sure food, accommodations, and all stops will provide a pleasant, unique, and memorable experience!
Tuscany / Umbria tour Comments Leave a comment
We didn’t respond immediately because we didn’t want to colour our comments with the amazing feelings we had upon returning to Montreal. However the bottom line is that this was the best trip/tour we had ever experienced. The reasons for us to feel this way became very clear a week after this tour ended. First there was Mariaelena our tour manager who aside from being very knowledgeable about the region we visited, was charming, friendly and my how she loves to laugh, which became very contagious. We laughed more in 12 days then we probably did over 12 months. Mariaelena had many anecdotes about life in Italy-besides sharing her own personal stories- which really gave us all an unexpected education. Our bus driver, Tiziano, is a wonderful soul with his own brand of humour and became part of our touring family, adored by all 13 of us, provided the smoothest drive one could hope for on the roads in these regions.
The tour was well planned, the hotels well chosen and the many meals we had together always were great culinary experiences and became the foundation for the 13 of us to magically gel as a group- in a way like an extended family.
The landscape was incredible and to truly appreciate it, one had to be on the bus with windows that were invented to allow travellers to enjoy the passing scenery. Tiziano would stop the bus from time to time to give us a chance to take photos or to simply admire what was in front of us. We never felt rushed and enjoyed some free time every day, which was a great way to balance our time. Finally, it was very nice to meet Jonathan and Sonya, the owners of Amber Road Tours, who are both humble, approachable and answered any question thrown their way.
We thought that the tour was outstanding! All of the details were carefully and thoughtfully attended to. Our tour manager, Tiziana, and our driver, Paolo, were professional but completely personable; knowledgeable, kind, caring and fun to be around. Tiziana provided a unique view of the region\’s history and culture — along with great and \”right – on\” recommendations for restaurants, shopping, and sites. The local tour guides were all wonderful — providing multi-dimensional perspectives and context for the sites. The group meals were outstanding and really gave a true taste of the regions. We enjoyed meeting Jonathan and Sonia and felt that this aspect gave a truly personal touch to the tour.
We truly enjoyed our Tuscany/Umbria tour. Luca was an exuberant and entertaining guide, and throughout the tour, we felt we received a genuine feel appreciation, and learning for the tastes, charm, and rich culture of the area.
The Tuscany/Umbria tour with Amber Roads exceeded our expectations. We were looking to see as much as possible without feeling rushed and there was plenty of time to explore and dine on our own. Traveling on our own, we never would have discovered some of the unique places such as the mountain village of San Momme, the dying town, the olive oil museum, and the world’s smallest theater, which were fascinating. The hotels were a nice mix of historic and contemporary. Our driver Tiziano expertly maneuvered the bus on winding roads that we would not have dared to tackle in a car. Luca, our tour manager brought the daily destinations to life with his colorful descriptions and commentary and he recommended the best restaurants, shopping and activities for times on our own. The local guides were very knowledgeable and provided more detailed histories. The smaller size of the group allowed us to get to know everyone and made the trip a pleasure-quite different than the large tour groups we saw along the way. All in all a very enjoyable experience and one that we would highly recommend.
I have been on many tours including Tauck, Smithsonian, OAT, Colette, River cruises……but this one tops them all. The boutique Hotels were wonderful. The group dinners were top notch…NO “rubber chicken” banquets. The best restaurants in town-each one better than the next with all the great local wine you could drink! The local guides were charming and entertaining….our tour leader Luca was honest and forthright and a delight. The group size manageable and generally congenial….certainly multicultural. When you hit a country half way around the world, you want a local experience, not a watered down “Americanized” visit. They will certainly see me again!
For first timers on any tour this was a very good experience. Tiziana is a wonderful Tour Manager, very knowledgable and took great care to keep everyone happy. Paolo (driver) was also a great man to have around, always courteous and helpful. The group fit together very well and enjoyed each others company.
Our tour group met at Florence Airport then travelled to Hotel Villa Cappugi in Pistoia – the beginning of 12 days of relaxation and enjoyment with tour participants from USA, Canada and ourselves from Australia. Amber Road has set a format that includes: three nights in most cities, very comfortable accommodation, no fuss, no rush, time to take in the views. Minimum distances travelled on a daily basis, no early starts. Free time during the day and in the evenings. Six evening meals and three lunches included. Professional tour guides in Lucca, Florence, Orvieto, Assisi, Spoleto and Siena. Beautiful scenery – valleys and mountains. Historical fortified hill towns, churches, museums, monasteries, wineries, and olive groves. Delicious regional food accompanied by the best Italian red wine. Altogether we had a fabulous holiday thanks to Amber Road and their Tour Guide Tiziana and Driver Paolo who gave us the best time with history, advice, direction and local knowledge, wherever we were. We will travel with Amber Road again before long.
What a memorable tour! We thoroughly enjoyed the Tuscany/Umbria tour. The tour director, Luca Renzini, was fabulous. He was entertaining and kept us well-informed. The hotels provided were first-rate in the five towns we stayed in. We feel the tour was also well thought out so that “time on the bus” was minimized. The guides on our walking tours were excellent — very enthusiastic, entertaining and informative. The meals provided by the tour were very good and we thoroughly enjoyed the wine. The smaller size of the tour group was especially nice, as it allowed us to get to know each other better and have more fun together. We saw many wonderful sights; however, this tour is more than just seeing sights, it also provides a lot of experiences of what it is like to live in this beautiful area of Italy. We highly recommend this tour.
Our recent tour of Tuscany/Umbria was truly exceptional. As we were the only couple staying in Pisa before the tour began, we were so appreciative of the private driver that drove us to Pistoia, where our tour began. We had similar door to door service for our return to Pisa airport. As to the tour itself, the towns were unique, the landscapes amazing, the hotels good, and the included meals fabulous- better than the restaurants we went to on our own. The wine certainly flowed! The private guides provided in several of the towns were uniformly excellent, and we loved our visits to the female owned winery, the smallest theater, the olive oil museum, the birdcage funicular in Gubbio- the list goes on. Our visit to Civita di Bagnoregio was a highlight- we shall remember the roundtrip hike for quite a while. A critique would not be complete without mentioning Luca, our tour manager. He was well organized, knowledgable, and kind. When one of our fellow tour mates became ill, Luca went with her to the pharmacy and helped her obtain medication. When we joked around in typical American fashion, and Luca at first did not understand, it was a joy to see his face light up as he finally “got the joke.” All in all, this was the best guided tour we have ever taken, and hopefully we shall find another Amber Road Tour to take in the near future.
Superior TOUR LEADER. LUCA. And great tour very representational of the area WE saw a lot of the little towns without one having to self drive those Italian roads! Special attention of doing different things like going to an all female winery and seeing a Benedictine and Augustinian monastery was great. There were was just the right amount a free time to explore areas and select dining choices. Group size was just right. It was very thoughtful of Jonathan and Sonya to personally meet the group in Spoletto
Amber Road was a joy to deal with from our first phone call and our tour of Tuscany and Umbria was fabulous! Our guide, Tiziana and our driver, Paolo were a great team. She was so knowledgeable about everything, always upbeat and on top of every situation. We saw and learned so much, it’s hard to put it all in order. The hotels were very special as were the included meals, lots of good wine too. We have been totally spoiled by the people and efficiency of this company. Can’t wait to travel with them again!
My first time in Italy and I loved it! The smaller towns were just what I wanted to experience and the local guides were so knowledgeable and passionate about “their place”. Our guide Luca kept us informed and really took care of us. Loved all the restaurant recommendations and enjoyed all the meals we had together too. Great group of people to travel with! What a beautiful part of the world, I would travel again with Amber Road.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip through Tuscany and Umbria. Every day was a new and rewarding experience. Our tour manager, Luca, did an excellent job with good humour in making certain that all activities ran smoothly and efficiently. The selection of tour guides for towns and cities was first class. We enjoyed the selection and variety of meals and as well the restaurant suggestions on free days. The group dynamic added to our enjoyment. Our driver Tiziano was both a charming fellow and an excellent driver. In short, a memorable trip to Italy.
My fiance and I returned from an amazing Amber Road Tours of Tuscany/Umbria last week. We traveled with a wonderful, congenial group of 20 people. Our tour guide, Aldo, inspired us with his passion for his homeland of Italy, his charismatic personality and infectious laugh. He was intelligent and extremely knowledgeable. Our skillful driver, Paulo, was charming and made us feel safe on some of the narrow and tortuous roads. The diversified itinerary was a perfect blend of scheduled excursions, restaurants and hotels. Meals shared with the group were a highlight for us. They were filled with warmth, camaraderie and laughter. About Tuscany and Umbria….the art and history are fantastic, and the countryside is enchanting with magnificent (take your breath away!) scenery. We would have seen and experienced only a fraction of what we did had we traveled on our own. Our trip was everything we imagined it would be – and much more! We highly recommend Amber Road Tours.
Terrific tour guide brought out our individual personalities. Traveling companions were very compatible, a testament to their being drawn to the same quality of tour ingredients that were advertised. Local guides were chosen for their knowledge and ability to get to the important points to be made during a scheduled daily tour timeframe. The tour was operated in a professional manner. The hotels were comfortable if not exciting.
This was our first organized group tour as we have always travelled independently in the past. We chose Amber Road Tours based on previous reviews. What a great decision! The tour was fabulous, meeting and exceeding all of our expectations. Having perfect weather and being in a really good group made everything very enjoyable.
Amber Road has really organized and planned out their tours very well. It was a perfect mix of guided touring and free time. We especially enjoyed being in small hill towns in the late afternoon and evening when many of the other tourists had departed. Group lunches and dinners were really fun and the food was excellent. The Tuscan and Umbrian scenery is spectacular.
All of our hotels were comfortable and in fantastic locations. Almost all had roof terraces where you could meet with your fellow travellers.
Luca, our tour manager, was superb. He was helpful, entertaining, charming and very informative about the cultures and differences in the places we visited. Tzitsianio, our driver, did a great job of getting us around hilly terrain, small towns and narrow, switchback roads. We felt safe at all times. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with Jonathan and Sonya for dinner in Spoleto. We would definitely travel with Amber Road Tours again. The difficult part will be choosing which tour to do!
Italy was enchanting. Each hilltown had its own personality and flavor, which added variety to the trip experience. Our tour guide, Tiziana, could not have taken better care of our “groupo” and went out of her way to help solve a serious return flight problem. The meals introduced us to Italian cooking so that we experienced a vital part of understanding central Italy. This trip will appeal to travelers who enjoy art, architecture, Italian countryside, shopping, and Italian food. Amber Road Tours offers an exceptional itinerary into central Italy with porterage and comfort, which many other travel companies do not provide. Selecting a favorite experience is impossible, as all experiences were memorable. Traveling into the heart of Italy, in comfort and style will appeal to the majority of travelers. Do be aware that hilltowns mean steep climbs, which add charm to settings and unimaginable great views, but also require good traveler fitness. Traveling in small groups results in a feeling of one big happy family where bonding occurs. Go, go and enjoy beautiful Italy. You will not regret making this trip.
The trip was wonderful. Our guide, Luca, was informative, helpful and very entertaining. He told good carabinieri jokes. The weather was optimum, and that helped make the tour even better. The included meals along with ample wine were a big hit with everyone on the tour. We enjoyed the variety in lodging, and each one was unique and very acceptable. The drivers were great and the tour guides were very knowledgable. Each stop had its own unique features and allure. On our own meal stops, often suggested by Luca, were never disappointing. Our favorite was at Le Vecchie Mura in San Gimignano, where we ate on the terrace while overlooking the valley below. It was stunning, and the food and wine were fantastic. We were lucky we got there early as Luca suggested, as the place filled up quickly. We also enjoyed meeting Jonathan and Sonja, the owners of Amber Road Tours, at dinner in Spoleto.
We have been on over 25 group tour all over the world and this was one of the best. Well organised in terms of places visited and the intinery. Our tour manager, Luca, was first class, his knowledge of the places we visited and the way he “managed” the group was very good. We enjoyed staying in small towns and not major cities which meant after a day site seeing we were able to have a meal at a local restaurant and take a walk around the town without being crushed by fellow tourists…
We will certainly recommend Amber Road Tours to our friends and be looking at other tours we might join in the future.
This was my fourth Amber Road Tour so you must be doing it right. Tuscany and Umbria were beautiful and I loved the hill towns especially Gubbio and Spoleto. Our tour guide, Tiziana was exceptional and she looked after her gruppo superbly. Paolo, our driver was such a gentleman and so kind. The hotels were varied, a couple very old, which I always appreciate. Our meals were also very good and I enjoyed the local food and the wine. Although I’ve been to some of the places before it was still wonderful as the local guides are always so knowledgeable. I look forward to my next tour.
Marie and I had the most wonderful time on our recent tour of the Tuscany and Umbria regions of Italy. This tour was a first of its kind for us and I would most highly recommend it to anyone considering a tour to these beautiful places. The Amber Road Tours itinerary was special in many ways … but here are a few of the key ways in our opinion –
– Our tour manager was exceptional. She was totally knowledgable, exceptionally personable and possessed a warm and inviting personality. In short, she was fantastic!
– No way to top the tour manager, but our bus driver was tremendously warm and personable also. In addition, the town guides we had in several stops were exceptional.
– The small size of the tour was ideal. It allowed us to connect to our fellow travelers and have a great time with them. The small size of our group also allowed us to visit many sites that larger tours would have had a difficult time getting to or would not have been allowed at all.
– The entire experience was first class all the way.
– Finally being from Charleston, SC home of Spoleto Festival USA, it was wonderful to see beautiful Spoleto, Italy and visit with the warm people there as they they prepared to celebrate the 57th annual addition of the original Spoleto Festival a week and a half after our visit. This made the tour that much more special for us.
– This is a trip we will never forget.
We have just returned from our wonderful tour of Tuscany/Umbria with Amber Road Tours. The well planned itinerary in the most beautiful surroundings was made even more special by having Tiziana our lovely and knowledgeable tour guide supported by Paolo the kindest most helpful driver ever. It was also great having such a small and friendly group. The hotels were excellent and very well situated so we were able to explore the glorious historic little towns at any time on our own. We were also most fortunate in having Tiziana give us guidance on where to shop and the best places to eat. The tour more than exceeded our wildest expectations and we can’t wait to go on another Amber Road Tour.
This was my first tour ever, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this area of Italy. After this experience I would go on any of their other tours. I am not the only one with this thought, I believe that this was the fourth ART tour for one of the participants in my group. I was one of the 11 participants in this tour. I had been careful to select a small tour. The size of the group was perfect. I found everyone to be friendly, and compatible. Tiziana our tour guide was very knowledgable and a great guide. Paolo, our driver was also a great choice, and very careful and friendly. In a couple of cases he “stood up for us” after some Italians were rude to one of us(which happens in all countries). That was very nice to observe. The selected agenda, hotels (2 were built in the 12 and 13 hundreds, and food could not have been better. I had post Italy travel plans and Tiziana was very gracious to make suggestions. I arrived a day early, and the ART office made excellent suggestions on hotels and transportation choices. As a single traveler, I always felt safe on the trip, when I was alone, during our free time.
Our Tuscany and Umbria trip with Amber Road Tours was delightful and satisfying in every respect. The itinerary was very well chosen and included almost everything that we would have done had we been traveling on our own. The pace was quick, but we still had time to explore neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops . We could never have learned as much about what we saw had we lacked the insightful and often humorous commentary of our tour leader. He even initiated us into membership of the “crazy people” of one town with some unique cultural events. The restaurants and hotels that we visited were all excellent. The local guides who met us in major cities and cathedrals were also informative and responsive to our questions and interests. We were a small tour group and perhaps that contributed to the camaraderie and fun; but even had we been a larger party, we expect that we would have received almost as much individual attention. We also appreciated our dinner with Amber Road directors Jonathan and Sonya. All in all, it was a fabulous trip that we will enjoy in our memories and photos for many years to come. We certainly will consider another Amber Road tour or a return visit to Tuscany and Umbria.