This exclusive itinerary, a grand tour of Italy, was designed for a Jay C, his wife Ellen and family, in celebration of his 60th birthday (10 adults and 2 children under the age of 5) with Audrey as their Tour Manager. This is is one of the many examples of what Travels with Audrey can do for you in Italy. All tours are custom-designed and private. Here is what was included in their all-inclusive tour package and the places they visited:
This package includes 14 nights including daily breakfast (because of the children, Audrey chose hotels with pools when possible)
LODGING IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Travels with Audrey hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you’re in the historical heart of cities and towns.
- 4 nights in Venice, a historical palazzo walking distance to Piazza San Marco
- 2 nights in Florence, in a quiet historical neighborhood walking distance to major sites
- 1 night in Cortona, with stunning views over the valley below
- 3 nights in Rome, historical heart of the city with views of the Pantheon
- 2 nights Amalfi Coast, Praiano, each room with a balcony and sea views
- 2 nights in Matera, luxury cave hotel
- 1 night in Bari, a cozy B&B, near the airport for an early morning departure
Watch the video of their experience below:
REGIONS VISITED: Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia
- Private water taxi transfer from Marco Polo airport to hotel
- Full day private guided tour in Venice (entrance fees to the Doge Palace, Basilica di San Marco, private boat transportation for the Murano glass factory tour and the island of Burano)
- Gondola ride in Venice
- Private 3 hour guided walking tour in Florence (including entrance fee to the Accademia Gallery for Michelangelo’s David)
- Private 3 hour guided walking tour of ancient Rome (including entrance fees to the Colosseum and Roman Forum)
- Private 4 hour guided tour of the Vatican (including entrance fees Vatican museums, Sistine chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica)
- Orientation walks by Audrey in Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Cortona, Assisi, Civita di Bagnoregio, Rome
- Private guided tour of Pompeii (including entrance fees)
- Full day Amalfi coast with private guided tour in Ravello (including entrance fee to Villa Cimbrone) and free time at the beach
- Private walking tour of the Sassi of Matera
- Private walking tour of Alberobello, Rione Aia Picola
- Private transfer from Bari hotel to the airport
MEALS: Welcome dinner in Venice; dinners in Florence, Cortona and Rome; Farewell dinner in Matera.
Exclusive experiences included:
- Tour and tasting of Aceto Balsamico followed by lunch on local specialties
- Private tour, tasting and light lunch at our exclusive winery in the Chianti Classico wine area of Tuscany
- Tour, tasting and lunch at a winery near Pompeii (grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius)
- Tour, tasting and lunch at a lemon grove on the Amalfi Coast including the making of Limoncello
- Tour, tasting and lunch at a Water Buffalo farm for Mozzarella di Bufala
- Visit of an olive oil producer and grove with 3000 year old trees for a tour/tasting and lunch in Puglia
Total tour package price $6,505USD per person not including international flights
Bobbi wrote this on behalf of the family: My family and I recently traveled to Italy with Audrey. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and all agreed that Audrey enhanced our trip way beyond anything we could of organized ourselves.
Audrey is well networked with local hotels, guides and transportation services. What that meant for us, is that we got the best rooms in the hotels with views, we traveled in Luxury Mercedes vans and mini-buses with friendly, knowledgeable drivers. Our Guides to the many venues enriched our tours with their vast amount knowledge and enthusiasm. And they could get us in to venues skipping lines that were blocks long. Amazing! All of Audrey’s contacts respect and adore her and make sure her clients get the best service.
We had an ambitious itinerary traveling from Venice, all the way south to Matera and Audrey organized it all. We went to many of the most well known sights and places, such as Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Tuscany. However, we also went to many off the beaten track places that Audrey knew that were wonderful, such as lunch and wine tasting at the Chianti winery, a private dinner prepared by our own chef in Rome and to some Greek ruins that were incredible in southern Italy to mention a few.
I highly recommend Audrey. She is a warm gracious woman who works very hard for you and keeps your group organized. She saves you hours of logistics time, because she knows the regions and people well. Paying the money up front in the beginning was scary, but we had heard about her and took the risk. She really took care of us.
Our family all agreed that our small group tour was far more satisfying than a larger tour could have ever been for not much more money.
From Kate: I agree with Bobbi, our customized tour eliminated much stress from our travels and allowed us to have more time to enjoy. We had two children on the trip, ages 4 and 2. Audrey was very patient with them and was so thoughtful to include adventures for them along our way, including an unexpected stop at a water buffalo farm, which was the highlight of my 2 year old’s trip! Weeks later she is still talking about the baby water buffalo. Thanks, Audrey!
From Jan: Thank you . . . thank you . . . thank you Audrey! Our adventures to Italy as a private family group was the only way to go. Audrey offers the professionalism and knowledge to add great aspects that you wouldn’t get on a trip you had to spend months planning on your own – travel, hotel accommodations, locations to see (the obvious and off the beaten path ones), great restaurants and where to go (and not go) for the best Gelatos! It was an adventure of a lifetime that we will relive over and over for years to come. From the balsamic tour, olive grove tour, wine tastings, private chef dinner, these opportunities would not be available for bigger tour programs. These experiences allowed us to briefly immerse ourselves in Italian culture and cuisine. In addition to what I mentioned above- the lemon grove was so amazing. Also, the hotels chosen.
About Travels with Audrey’s included dinners
As Europeans, for us dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture, a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager. Our approach to dining is truly unique just like each of the regions of Italy. The Italian chefs and families are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which we travel. We guide you to your favorite dish … offer you a choice of local specialties for a group set menu or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. We choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. It’s an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience.
Travels with Audrey is committed to the Slow Food Movement which was founded by Carlo Petrini in Piedmont, Italy in 1986. This “movement” strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages the farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic to the local ecosystems found throughout Italy.
Tour Manager Services, Audrey De Monte
WHAT DOES A TOUR MANAGER DO?
Traveling with a tour manager means you have a built-in concierge during your trip. The tour manager makes sure the logistics of your trip go smoothly from hotels to transportation, helps you with special requests along the way, offers cultural information and travel tips (being a local expert), offers orientation walks in various locations on tour, walks you to that market or site that might be hard to find on your own, recommends favorite restaurants, helps you arrange your plans for your free time and is there for you in case of safety or security issues.