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.
Tuscany / Umbria tour Comments Leave a comment
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.
This was my first Amber Tour Tour and it exceeded all my expectations. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Our small group consisted of Australians, Canadians, and Americans who could not have been more compatible. The Italian country side and medieval hill top towns in Tuscany and Umbria were spectacular. To me it is incredulous that early Tuscans, Romans, etc could have built such magnificent cathedrals and hill top towns with their mighty defensive walls in the absence of anything like modern building equipment.
Our tour leader was most knowledgeable in the history of the area as well as in the current political climate in Italy. Our city guides were equally informative. We had superb meals at great restaurants and also the recommendations for dining on our own free time. Our bus driver, Paolo Collotti, was equally great. Not only was he a most careful driver, he was so kind and helpful to us all. He was a joy to be around. If you have not been to Tuscany and Umbria on a Amber Road tour, please do so as you will be well rewarded.
Our fourth Amber Road tour, through Tuscany and Umbria, was lovely, with terrific travelling companions and an amusing tour leader, who would no doubt do well as a stand-up comedian – his multiple definitions of a couple of Italian words had us rolling about the bus laughing. I am always surprised that a guide will give up his own free time to allow us to spend time with him at lunch or dinner; I rather think it must be somewhat tedious to have to spend that extra time with the group, but he did this with good grace and he chose interesting restaurants for us to dine at. Usually, all of went together, which made for lunches and dinners with much laughter.
Thanks again to you both for having such a wonderful tour company. You obviously take tremendous care in your choice of areas to visit, your tour leaders, hotels and restaurants. We will keep telling people about Amber Road Tours!
Our Amber Road Tour of Tuscany and Umbria was simply fabulous. We explored the fascinating towns and villages we had read about and we marvelled at the views. We learned about the art, architecture and history from excellent guides and shared delicious meals with new friends. Our tour guide Luca was charming and knowledgeable and our driver Paola was excellent. We are looking forward to doing another tour; the only problem will be deciding which one!
Small group travel is the best way to go! We visited places we would not have seen on our own. The trip was well organized; our tour manager, Luca, was terrific. All local guides were informative, pleasant and easy to understand. It was a memorable trip.
Our trip to Tuscany and Umbria was all we had hoped for and more. The itinerary was extremely well planned, with many unusual and creative experiences mixed in with the traditional sights. Timing was impeccable…we always had just the right amount of time wherever we went. Having so much free time was also a huge plus. The meals we shared as a group were simply outstanding, with menus offering the opportunity to try traditional Regional dishes we might not have selected on our own. Who knew wild boar was so delicious? Luca Renzini was an exceptional guide: knowledgeable, efficient and charming. Our group of 14 lovely people were pleasant, interesting and respectful of each other’s time and interests. We are recommending Amber Road to friends and family with total confidence and will be back for another adventure next year!
A brilliant itinerary of Tuscany/Umbria – certainly one of the best tours that we have ever done. The small size of the group certainly contributed to our enjoyment, but staying out of the busy touristy areas, was a huge plus for us. It was great to see smaller villages that the big bus tours simply wouldn’t go to. The food was excellent and has obviously been well thought out with the good mix of restaurants and family-run restaurants. Lastly, but certainly not least, our tour leader Aldo was very knowledgeable and passionate about the history and culture of Tuscany/Umbria, and his great sense of humour was not only endearing but kept us laughing. We would not hesitate to recommend Amber Road Tours to any of our friends and acquaintances.
We have now been home a week following our Amber Road travels and must write and thank you for a wonderful tour of Tuscany and Umbria. The tour was perfectly planned, the hotels excellent, our guide Luca had exceptional knowledge combined with a great sense of humour that we all appreciated. Our driver Tiziano made us all feel safe as we traveled the “amber roads”. And what a wonderful group on our tour – a mixture of Americans, New Zealanders, South Africans, and Australians all compatible and all enjoying each others company and of course add a delightful Spanish lady and two Italians (1 Tuscan and 1 Umbrian) and I think we had the perfect tour combination! This was our first Amber Road tour and hopefully won’t be our last -we are looking with interest at your tour of South Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro maybe for 2015! It was great to meet both you and Sonya in Spoleto.