We really enjoyed your tour. When we were in San Gimignano, our last day there, looking out on the beautiful Tuscan landscape from our balcony window, Bob said “this has been the best trip I have ever taken, and I don’t want to go home”. Believe me, that’s a lot coming from Bob Jackson. We enjoyed seeing you and enjoying your hospitality in Spoleto. That was special having you there three days. You really impressed our tour group, which incidentally was a wonderful group. Again, we congratulate you and thank you for all you do for your guests on your tours.
Tuscany / Umbria tour Comments Leave a comment
I’m sure you have received emails from everyone who was on our Tuscany & Umbria tour in May describing how delighted they were with the tour. I too wanted to pass on my warm thanks to each of you for providing me with such a wonderful touring experience. The professional, courteous and kind service you provided was second to none. I don’t think I have ever experienced such a wonderful tour or such a great bunch of people on my travels! I have only great things to say to my family and friends about this wonderful tour and the time I spent in Italy seeing and experiencing the beautiful quaint villages and cities. I can see why you love this place and call it home.
I would like to say a special thank you to Luca and Ennio for your professionalism, knowledge and humor on the tour – it was just great! Your team has thoroughly spoilt me for any other tour I will do, as they will have to live up to some very high standards!
I know you want comments on ways to make the tours better and I have really tried to find suggestions for improvements…but I can’t! Everything about the Tuscany-Umbria tour was perfect. Luca was a wonderful guide, hotels were excellent, food was delicious, our traveling companions were lots of fun and the variety and pace of the tours and sites visited was just right! I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
It was a pleasure to finally meet both of you in Spoleto. I had a fantastic time on this trip. The quality of hotels and restaurants were excellent. Our guide, Mario, was so charming and had us laughing every day. He even fixed my watch. What a guy! We all wanted to take him home with us. Carmelo, our driver, was very professional and made us feel so safe on this trip. He always greeted us with a warm smile. Thank you so much for giving me a memorable trip and I look forward to taking another Amber Road Tour soon.
Words are simply not sufficient to describe how amazing the Tuscany/Umbria tour was to me. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and so much more! For many years I dreamed of visiting the small towns in Tuscany to experience the Italian culture first-hand. You helped make this dream a reality. For 13 wonderful days I enjoyed spectacular panoramic views, outstanding foods and wines, charming accommodations, lovely hill towns, and the most congenial group of people I could ever have hoped for. Add to that our adorable and gracious Ennio and our intrepid leader, our prince of Umbria, Luca, and it was pure perfection. The only downside of our tour was that it will be nearly impossible for any future tours I may embark upon to measure up. Mille grazie a tutti!
It has been a month since we returned from our trip and we are still singing your praises. We have told everyone about Amber Road Tours and how you have tweaked the itinerary to make it absolutely marvelous. The real tribute to your planning is that:
1. Herb HATES group tours – we have always driven ourselves through Italy, Spain, Ireland etc. BUT he LOVED this tour.
2. We will definitely take another Amber Road Tour…..and believe me that speaks volumes.
We have great appreciation for what it takes to select these wonderful hotels, create an exciting yet relaxing itinerary and keep the price manageable. Thank you for everything. It was perfection.
We rate the April 2008 Tuscany / Umbria tour 10 out of 10! Wonderful towns and villages, hotels, food, wine and an excellent, safe and full of fun driver in Ennio helped make the 13 days so memorable and enjoyable. But best of all was enthusiastic and bubbling Maria. Her love of Tuscany was so powerful and infectious that it rubbed off on all of us. Her vast knowledge of history, culture and language was remarkable. She is a delightful, helpful and caring young woman and an absolute gem!!!!
Once again – THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your tours seem to be unique and I wish you did them in a few other places as it is easy to find small group adventure tours (not for us) or specific interest (too single minded) but yours gives lots of breadth and interest and plenty of opportunity for additional exercise which meant we could get away from the crowds to some very special and quiet parts of the towns. And we just loved Maria Elena. She was so caring and knowledgeable in every way, not domineering but firm when needed, and lots of fun. She is a treasure.
We loved our tour of beautiful Tuscany-Umbria in April. You have put together an amazing tour, great hotels and the best tour guide – Maria Elena. She is so knowledgeable and great fun. We all loved her. It was so nice to be part of a small group and to be able to see all the back roads and out of the way places as well as the great cities. It was a pleasure to meet you both and we wish you every success at Amber Roads.
Because this was our first time in Italy, we didn’t want to have to plan our entire itinerary, find accommodations, rent a car, etc. Being on a large coach with 40 other people and staying at a different hotel each night was not an option we were willing to consider. We researched as much as possible on the Internet and typed in “small group tours in Italy” under Google. What a hit when Amber Road Tours came up – it seemed to offer the perfect itinerary and group size. The very best part of our tour was having Mario as our guide. His knowledge of Italy, passion for life, and fantastic sense of humour was infectious. Each day we were excited about what adventure he would take us on. We can’t say enough about our trip! Consider us your unofficial Canadian representatives for Amber Road Tours.
We have been home for a week now and find with the many times we are asked how was our holiday, that your Italy tour was the stand out time of the many wonderful places we visited and experiences that we had. The location and hence the atmosphere of the accommodation you choose for the tour adds so much to the whole experience.
I recall when we first met at Firenze, that you said if we like good food and wine that we will enjoy this tour. That turned out to be so true, along with a good deal of history. With the fortune of being part of a great group of 15 people from around the world that got on so well we would say we had a great time. We can’t express the satisfaction we got from our time with your tour. So thank you again!!
It seems incredible that 3 weeks ago we were in Tuscany. Full marks for the best tour. It was superbly organised & we have to hand it to you. Your choice of itinerary was excellent – how much more pleasant to go to some of the smaller, less well known towns than always the better known towns filled with large tourist groups who don’t, in my opinion, get to see the “real” Italy. The hotels were well-chosen, very comfortable & always in a good location within easy walking distance of many of the local sites & shopping areas. The view from our balcony in the Hotel La Cisterna in San Gimignano had a view to die for. And oh how I miss the Tuscan/Umbrian food… I am totally hooked – please don’t forget to send me recipes, Sonya! The restaurants we were taken to (as well as the ones Luca suggested when we were on our own) were unbelievably good. The joys of a small tour group is that one can go to the family owned & run restaurants. Luca, with his delightful sense of humour which he never let slip despite our endless teasing, is a first class tour manager, very interesting & very knowledgeable. He is never too busy to deal with any situation or offer advice. Ennio is a wonderful man & excellent driver, always cautious & seems to have endless patience. We were also blessed with wonderful weather & could not have asked for a nicer (& more fun) group of fellow travellers. We enjoyed meeting both of you & hope we shall see you again some time. Your Amalfi itinerary is enticing. I am very keen on doing this tour next year or the following. I do hope Luca will still be the tour manager. Thank you for the wonderful time we had. Wish we were back there now. Look forward to our next Amber Road Tour.
Our heartfelt thanks for organizing such a superb Tuscany/Umbria Tour (May 3-15/2007). Your local knowledge was certainly evident with your well thought out itinerary, and your choice of delightful accommodation and wining and dining experiences for the group. Luca, as our tour escort was a sheer joy. We appreciated Ennio’s capable driving and the fun he and Luca had together as we traveled along was infectious. Meeting you both in person made the Tour even more special for us.
We are so glad you included in the Tour a guided visit to the Torgiano Wine and Olive Oil museums, where, besides learning about the beginnings of both these industries, were able to view, from only cm. away, priceless ancient Etruscan and Roman artifacts, all beautifully displayed.
Top marks Jonathan and Sonya All in all you have given us the best quality tour we have ever had. Thank you again.
Jim and I have been home almost a week and we are still enjoying our Italy trip so much that it seems to be the vacation that keeps on giving. We visited places we would never have thought of or known about and learned so much more about Italy and her history. Thanks again for a wonderful vacation in Italy…..you two are very good at what you do.
I need to tell you what a wonderful and fun holiday I had while in Tuscany and Umbria. I read some of the comments of other participants with your tours and just can not come up with an original thought. I have to say that I agree with every positive comment made. It was the best time and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of it all. I will be looking forward to seeing what you put together for the Amalfi Coast and hopefully that will be something I can plan for in the future. All the care and attention you put into the tour comes shining through. Thank you for making possible such a wonderful experience.
…what cherished memories!! We were so fortunate to have such delightful travel companions however the trip could not have been such a success without your organizational skills, thoughtful tour selections and attention to detail – a credit to you both. As we said on departure it was a pleasure to meet you, to have experienced the professionalism and kindness of Luca and to have enjoyed the happy company of Ennio. Thank you all sincerely for such a wonderful holiday.
Just wanted to let you know we had one of the best vacations ever with you this past month. The food was one of the highlights!!!. The restaurants that you chose and the menus we had were great. We thought our group was a great mix of fun and interesting people and certainly added to the intimacy of the trip. The towns, tours, and tour guides were terrific as well. We especially liked the Olive Oil Museum. We thought that Luca was well informed and extremely helpful throughout the tour. His sense of humor was refreshing. We like the fact that he took the time to try and help us understand Italian culture and language. Ennio was equally enjoyable, helpful and entertaining – he is an expert bus driver!! Thanks again for a fantastic vacation.
Having travelled a lot all over the world I can honestly say that this trip was one of the best I have ever taken. I was a bit afraid to join this “mostly couples” tour but it worked out pretty well. Tuscany and Umbria are two little jewels under the Italian sky.
I just loved the hilly countryside with those romantic little churches surrounded by elegant cypress trees. The many small towns we visited were as varied as the landscape and each had a charm on its own. Jonathan and Sonya made a fabulous choice of selecting excellent hotels and restaurants. We were lucky to have with us two incredible people: Carmelo, a friendly and patient driver, and our sweet Maria Elena, whose knowledge of Italian culture and history made this tour a memory for life.
The trip was fabulous, Maria Elena and the group made it a 13 day party and we loved every minute of it!
We have just returned from a wonderful tour of Tuscany and Umbria. Our guide, Luca, was very well informed and could not have managed the details of our travel any better. Our driver, “Uncle” Ennio, was very skillful and showed unshakable concentration behind the wheel as well as being warm and affable when he was not driving. Other tour providers we have used with complete satisfaction pride themselves on showing “backdoor” Europe. Amber Road delivers every bit of that intimate experience…and more. We have never had a better mix of comfortable–even elegant–hotels and rooms and fine food. Your “step-on” guides are second to none as to information and delivery. For us, Amber Road Tours is the ultimate in small group travel to interesting sites in Italy.
Every day was a new adventure into areas that we would not have found without the tour. We have traveled Europe several times on our own and enjoyed it, however, having a guide each day to take us places that were filled with history and tell us the stories behind the history made our trip to Italy fascinating and completely unique. OK, honestly, maybe the unique part was Mario! He was a wonderful guide, filling everyday with laughs and fun while able to make sure everything ran smoothly. Giacomo was a great driver, polite and caring and always making sure we were comfortable. The itinerary couldn’t have been better. The hotels, the restaurants and the city tours & guides were all put together to give us a look at Tuscany from very small, quaint villages to cities like Florence. We took so many pictures and have so many memories that even after being home for six months we are still talking and laughing about our trip! I guess the only bad thing is that now we have trouble eating Italian food – nothing compares to actually being in Italy, we may have to take another trip just to get some good pasta and wonderful pizza!! Again, thank you.
Your recipe for the perfect tour is a prizewinner! This visit to Tuscany and Umbria is probably my last overseas trip – and what a finale! The tour was beautifully orchestrated and the inclusion of Luca and Giacomo was a masterstroke. We were the happiest bunch of travelers, and these young men endeared themselves to us all. It was a great pleasure to meet you and Sonya and I wish you many blessings.
I was looking for a small group tours and specifically I wanted to see Tuscany in depth, not the big cities but the countryside. The tour was all what we were hoping for and more. There was no “big bus hustle” which made the whole experience a great pleasure. The trip was wonderful! Jonathan and Sonya did a fabulous job in creating itinerary for this trip. It was a great combination of sightseeing, personal time, relaxation and walking. There was no rush, no very early departures, everything was very comfortable. The winery and wine museums were very educational and lots of fun, especially wine tasting. All included dinners and lunches were delicious and all restaurants were very well selected. Accommodations always were excellent. Our small group got along well together. Meeting Jonathan and Sonya was another pleasant experience. Very rarely, if ever, you have a chance to meet the” bosses” and most importantly express your comments about the trip. We enjoyed very much their company. It is obvious that they love that region and want to share their love with us. Thank you Jonathan, Sonya and Luca for creating a program that gave us an opportunity to experience Tuscany and Umbria at the level that we were dreaming of. We will never travel with big groups again. We will recommend your company to everyone who wants to enjoy beautiful Tuscany, excellent wine, great food and fun Italian tour managers.
Ralph and I want to thank you again for the care, expertise and love you both so obviously put into organizing our tour to Tuscany and Umbria. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that did not surpass our expectations. It was the best trip of our lives. Mariaelena would not fit in my suitcase, or I would have brought her home with us. What an extraordinary and generous soul she is. Our best wishes and gratitude to you both…..lovely, and most appreciated that you took the time to come and meet us.
It requires a leap of faith to deal with a company entirely over the internet, but you put us at ease and we are very fortunate that we found you. Thank you both for a unique tour experience. The quality, care and attention to detail made this a memorable trip to cherish for years to come. It was a perfect blend of fabulous food and wine, breathtaking scenery, fascinating towns, history and just the right amount of free time. Each hotel we stayed at was unique and had a location convenient to all of the sites and amazing views. The opportunity to experience Tuscany and Umbria with an intimate, small group led by Maria Elena and her knowledge of the region, its history and treasures was absolutely priceless. We had the most fun mix of touring companions and met some truly wonderful Italians who made the trip incredibly personable. Maria Elena took us for wonderful walks (willingly making adjustments to our fitness level) and showed us parts of Tuscany and Umbria we never could have discovered on our own. Her warmth, enthusiasm and love of Italy are contagious, especially for Val D’Orcia, her “valley.” We could not have asked for a better guide. Carmelo was an amazing driver, impeccably dressed, courteous, always on time, and happy to make unlimited stops for “picture moments.” Your local guides were all entertaining and informative.
Days filled with great experiences, tastings of excellent wine, olive oil, and cheeses, touring monasteries and ancient hilltop towns…and did I say excellent wine tasting? Our best memories are always of small things, and on this trip we felt that we had become involved in the local life in some little way. We became immersed in the Italian culture through artists, winemakers, tour guides, restaurant hosts, and innkeepers and tasted dishes we never had before – wild boar, truffles, spelt. It was a pleasure meeting both of you in Spoleto and chatting over dinner. Julian and I loved every minute of our trip and cannot wait to go back again. In fact, we are already planning our next one with the rest of our mates – perhaps the Amalfi Coast or Sicily! Again, thank you for giving us the opportunity to experience life as it was in the past and still is in Tuscany and Umbria.