Italy's Secret Treasure: Friuli Venezia Giulia

8 Days/7 Nights

4 to 6 Guests

Sept. 12 to 19, 2022

From $3,500USD pp (double occupancy)

Discover an unsung jewel of Italy

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival day in Venice

DAY 2: Day on the Adriatic Sea

DAY 3: Collio wine tour and tasting

DAY 4: Mosaics, prosciutto experience

DAY 5: Roman jewel of Aquileia

DAY 6: Udine with the most beautiful piazza in Italy

DAY 7: Gorizia, Gradisca d’Isonzo

DAY 8: Departure Day

Planning to spend more time in Italy before or after the tour? This is an excellent region if you are looking to visit other regions in Northern Italy. Audrey offers extensions to Croatia, Slovenia, Austria & Germany.

A travel experience like no other

  • Experience a delightful journey enjoying Italy with the locals
  • Intimate group size of 7/8 like-minded travelers
  • Explore unique places your friends have never been to
  • Sample some of Italy’s most distinguished wines
  • Savor traditional meals with a variety of local recipes
  • Boutique experiences in off the beaten path locations

NEXT CHANCE TO GO: September 12 to 19, 2022

PRICING: From $3,500USD pp (double occupancy)

Overview

Arrival airport: Venice Marco Polo (VCE) or Trieste Airport (TRS)
8 days/7 nights (7 nights in Buttrio, Friuli Venezia Giulia)

Are you looking for a holiday in beautiful Italy off the main tourist trail? You found it!

Your first question is undoubtedly "Where on earth is Friuli Venezia Giulia?" It may be hard to believe, but there are still fantastic places in Italy that are not overrun with travelers. Relatively unknown outside Europe, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a wonderful place with incredible food and wines. The New York Times called it "Italy’s secret garden".

With five languages, four national parks, cultured cities, sandy beaches and Alpine mountains, fascinating history, exceptional walking, gorgeous towns and fabulous food and wines, the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia has all the ingredients for an unforgettable vacation. With its mountains, plains and seashores, all less than an hour's drive apart, Italian writer Ippolito Nievo fondly described Friuli as a "little compendium of the universe".  The only thing missing are the tour buses!

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Monday - ARRIVAL DAY

Upon your arrival, your host will pick you up at the airport (Venice or Trieste), and bring you to your picturesque Italian countryside accommodations near Buttrio known as "La città del Vino", your home for the duration of your vacation with us. After a warm welcome by your host, and some time to get settled, enjoy a visit to the cellars and vineyards of a nearby winery followed by a delectable Italian dinner. Over the next amazing days you can look forward to sampling the wonders of this exceptional region.

DAY 2: Tuesday - REDIPUGLIA, MIRAMARE CASTLE, TRIESTEItaly's Secret Treasure: Friuli Venezia Giulia

On the way to Miramare Castle, visit the World War One memorial of Redipuglia, one of the largest in Europe. Next, visit Miramare Castle, where Charlotte of Belgium and Maximilian of Hapsburg spent the few happy years of their lives.

After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of Trieste, the capital of Friuli Venezia Giulia, set between the blue waters of its gulf, the green hills and white rocks of the Carso Plateau. The city bears hardly any resemblance to other Italian cities. Having being governed by the Habsburgs for centuries, here you can feel a typically “Mitteleuropean” atmosphere, and its stunning buildings, historical cafés and the cuisine have retained all the charms of that era.  On the top of San Giusto Hill, you will admire  the remains of the Roman basilica  and the beautiful Cathedral.

Break for a coffee in one of the many historical cafés of Trieste, meeting point of writers and intellectuals.

DAY 3: Wednesday - CIVIDALE DEL FRIULIPonte del Diavolo in Cividale del Friuli

After breakfast, we spend the morning at Cividale del Friuli, a UNESCO heritage village, known for its lovely atmosphere when strolling around the narrow cobble-stone streets leading to the charming main square. Beforehand, we enjoy a visit to a local producer of the Friulian cake, "gubana". Upon arrival in the town, we enjoy a guided tour and visit the main attractions such as the Devil's BridgePiazza Paolo Diacono and the Longobard Temple.

In the afternoon, after lunch in a lovely local restaurant, we visit a distillery in Nimis for grappa tasting, and close out the day with a tasting in the famed Collio wine region.

 DAY 4: Thursday - SPILIMBERGO, SAN DANIELE DEL FRIULI, VALVASONEProsciutto di San Daniele in Friuli

Today, enjoy a guided tour of the frescoed buildings, the Cathedral and the famous Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, the mosaic school that has fostered artists from all over the world. 

In the afternoon enjoy an excursion to San Daniele, well known for the incomparable taste of its exquisite prosciutto, which is said to be the most delicate in all of Italy. After sampling this prosciutto in a local restaurant, we visit a prosciutto producer.

Before returning to Buttrio, we stop in Valvasone, one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy, with the typical medieval lanes, the Castle and the Cathedral, where a wonderful Venetian sixteenth organ is preserved.

DAY 5: Friday - AQUILEIATours of Aquilea

After breakfast, we head off to departure to Aquileia (UNESCO heritage site) for a guided visit of this Roman jewel, the most important archaeological site in northern Italy. You'll see the forum, remains of public baths and private houses, Roman roads with visible chariot tracks and the ancient Basilica which hosts stunning Byzantine frescoes and one of the largest and most spectacular early-Christian mosaic floors of Western Europe! Savor lunch in a local restaurant with appetizers and samplings of local delicacies and wine.

On the way back, we stop at a family-run balsam producer located in the hills of the Colli Orientali del Friuli in a typical Friulian farmhouse, specially renovated to create an Asperum house. Enter the musty aging rooms between the barrels to discover the unique and artisanal processing method of the balsamic Asperum. Then sit down at a table in the welcoming tasting room and taste the various Asperum condiments, at different stages of the natural ripening process, accompanied with typical local cheeses, chocolate and local wines.

DAY 6: Saturday - UDINE

An Understated Jewel: Udine and its Piazza Della Libertà

Today, we visit Udine, the historical and geographical heart of Friuli. With your local guide, we visit the main monuments: Piazza Libertà, the city’s “living room” in typical Venetian style, Via Mercato Vecchio, with its elegant shops, Piazza San Giacomo, where the locals gather in the surrounding cafés, and the Archbishop Palace, where you can admire the masterpieces by Gianbattista Tiepolo, a painter that started off in Udine and became known as a young and gifted talent.

Spend the afternoon at your leisure, shopping at the beautiful boutique shops in town.

DAY 7: Sunday - GORIZIA, GRADISCA D’ISONZOGradisca d'Isonzo

After breakfast, we depart for Gorizia to discover the footprints of the ancient Austrian aristocracy. With your local guide you will visit the main monuments such as Piazza della Vittoria and the church dedicated to St. Ignatius, with its distinctive onion-shaped bell towers. All around you, you will see damage sustained during the First World War. Not to be missed is a visit to Piazza della Transalpina, where you can still see traces of the local “Berlin Wall”, which divided the city between Italy and Slovenia (once part of Yugoslavia).

After lunch, embark on a guided tour of Gradisca d’ Isonzo, a town-fortress that was erected by the Venetians in 1479 against the attacks by the Turks. Before returning to your accommodations visit a local cheese producer for a tour and tasting.

DAY 8: Monday - DEPARTURE DAY 

Transfer to the airport included for today.

On this day you may choose to fly back home (included transfer to Marco Polo Airport), spend a few days in Venice, take a Prosecco hills tour with me, spend a few days in Slovenia or extend your vacation for another 4 days in Croatia. I can also help you with a private tour itinerary for an extension into Austria and Germany.

Highlights

Stunning locations, historical cities & charming villages

With its pristine forests, aqua-colored lakes, national parks, and the majestic peaks of the Friulian Dolomites, Friuli allows you to experience nature in its purest state. Because we average just 4 to 8 guests on each vacation, our footprint is small. We can take our time and appreciate the wonders around us. 

  • Visit Cividale del Friuli, a UNESCO world heritage site founded by Julius Caesar in 50BCE
  • Tour the opulent rooms of Miramare Castle where Charlotte of Belgium and Maximilian of Hapsburg spent the happiest years of their lives
  • Visit Gorizia and its Piazza della Transalpina, where you can still see traces of the local “Berlin Wall”, which divided the city between Italy and Slovenia
  • Participate in a mosaic workshop at a world-famous mosaic school in Spilimbergo, a charming medieval hamlet
  • Follow in the steps of the Romans in Aquileia including the magnificent Basilica, which contains the largest mosaic floor of the early Christian age in Western Europe
  • Visit Trieste, the little Vienna by the sea
  • Visit Udine, the historical capital of Friuli with what is considered to be the most beautiful piazza in all of Italy
  • Enjoy guided walks with your host on one of the many hiking trails in the Julian Alps, Carnian Alps and Friulian Dolomites

Savor regional foods

The food of Friuli is as diverse as the region itself.  Friuli also produces some of Italy's finest ingredients, particularly San Daniele ham and Montasio cheese, while the farmers’ markets of Gorizia and Pordenone are legendary.

  • Stop at one of the few laboratories in Italy where you can take a journey into the world of chocolate from seed to chocolate from seed to confection
  • Visit a farm to taste the local cheese of the region
  • Soak up the atmosphere in small traditional trattorias, called osmize or frasca, that only the locals know about
  • Discover why Friuli is called "Heaven for white wine lovers"
  • Embark on a sensory journey at a family-run Acetaia for a tour and tasting of balsamic vinegar made from Refosco and Friulan grates and aged in barrels of different precious woods
  • Visit a local Gubana producer to learn all about the typical Friulian cake
  • Learn all about Grappa followed by a tasting at one of the oldest distilleries in Friuli
  • Taste the famous D.O.P. San Daniele ham at a local producer
  • Enjoy the Habsburg café culture by sipping coffee in one of the historical cafes in Trieste, a meeting point of writers and intellectuals
What's Included

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Unwind for 7 nights in charming, hand-picked accommodations that offer Italian hospitality, comfort and local character (standard rooms, including daily breakfast)
  • Relax in the care of your host, Audrey, who is fluent in Italian and English 
  • Private transfers to and from Venice Marco Polo airport
  • Private transportation for the duration of your tour
  • All entrance fees for excursions
  • Hand-picked experiences and insider access to the Italian way of life
  • Information packet before departure
  • Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, City Tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Passport fees, visa fees, immunization costs, entry clearing fees (when applicable)
  • Optional enhancements like room upgrades
  • Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of your itinerary
  • Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
  • Personal charges such as laundry, phone calls, SIM cards or room service
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), unless specified in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Your international airfare
  • Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone.

OUR GOLD STANDARD 

We've personally tried, tasted and tested every single experience, ensuring quality and authenticity.  If it doesn’t meet our personal Stamp of Approval, it won’t be on your tour!  Zero tourist traps, subpar service, or second rate food.

Activities to Consider

Want to do more? Do you have specific interests? If any of the additional activities listed here capture your interest, just ask Audrey!

WWI sites

Some of the most treacherous battles of WWI took place in the Italian mountains. The battles in the mountains and valleys bordering Slovenia and Austria, were like nothing the world had ever seen or has seen since. 

Sip your way along the Strada del Vino

The Strada del Vino, a wine route of Friuli's Super Whites Wine Area, which is an area focused on a small group of high-quality wineries. Here, you will find wines inspired with the tastes of Chardonnay, Malvasia Istriana, Riesling, Pinto Grigio, Sauvignon, Tocai and more—all inspired by the Celt, Roman and Austro-Hungarian influences in the region and resulting in a delicate and tasty recipe. Colli Orientali D.O.C. (controlled designation of origin) area produces among the most prestigious wines in the world.

Grape Harvest Experience

grape harvest tour in friuliPartake in the grape harvest in the Colli Orientali D.O.C. (controlled designation of origin) area, that produces among the most prestigious wines in the world (for vacations in late August into September only).

This is also the best time of the year to discover the wineries and meet its passionate winemakers. The fragrance of the grapes will enchant and awake your five senses.

Olive Harvest Experience

olive harvest experience in friuli

Olives are harvested between the end of October and the beginning of November, and cold pressed on the same day of the harvest. In the morning, pick your olives (2 to 3 hours), followed by lunch with the owners, and in the afternoon partake in the actual production of olive oil! Sample the fruits of your labor: an excellent oil with a golden green color, characterized by an intense fruity aroma and an unmistakable taste: hints of fresh grass, almond and artichoke notes with an initially pleasant sweet taste, followed by a bitter spicy aftertaste. Don't forget to take home a bottle or two!

Truffle Hunting Experience

white truffle hunting in friuli

Available from Fridays to Sundays, from 1st October to 31st December.

This excursion takes you to the “Baredi Woods” where you are guided by experts fond of truffle-hunting, looking for the precious white truffle. The path may vary according to the weather conditions. Lunch included at a local "agriturismo".

Full Day Excursions 

Full-day excursion to either Slovenia or Austria, give you the possibility of tasting the gastronomic specialties of these neighboring areas, which have for many centuries influenced the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

SLOVENIA: located only 20 minutes away from the estate, Slovenia is a small country renowned for its beautiful coast and charming little port towns, stunning caves, characteristic alpine lakes and a wonderful middle European capital. Our day in Slovenia includes a visit to the spectacular Postojna cave complex, which can be explored partly on foot and partly by electric train, and a visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia's attractive medieval and cosmopolitan capital. We'll visit the cathedral, the Triple Bridge, the famous open market and the medieval historic center before heading back to your accommodations in Friuli in the late afternoon.

AUSTRIA: the Austrian border is only one-hour drive from your accommodations, so let's take a chance to spend a fantastic day in Carinthia, visiting the enchanting medieval town of Villach full of shops, lovely courtyards and outdoor cafés where you can savor the exquisite Austrian cakes. After lunch (not included) a short drive will take us to the charming lakeside town of Velden, Carinthia's most elegant holiday resort. We'll have some time to stroll along the splendid promenade and take an optional boat ride for a delightful cruise on the calm waters of Lake Wörth, against a backdrop of snowy peaks. Return to your accommodations in Friuli in the late afternoon.

Important Notes

Travels with Audrey RECOMMENDS YOU BOOK EARLY Hotel availability may occasionally be an issue due to popularity, capacity of unique accommodations, and/or high season. A supplemental fee may be applied if our normal set of hotels in each city is not available. Hotels are booked based on availability at time of booking. If a specific hotel is not available, a similar quality or location will be chosen. Your hotels will be finalized about 90 days prior to the tour (after receipt of full payment) and will be available in your pre-tour documents mailed to you within 30 days prior to your tour.

Accommodation information

There is frequent confusion over the terminology used for hotel rooms. A “double” room is recognized as meaning a room with a double bed, which may be two single beds pushed together. A “twin” room is a room with two single beds. A “single” room tends to be smaller than double or twin rooms. Triples are usually two-bedded rooms plus a roll-away cot and not recommended for comfort. Some properties offer 1 double and 1 single bed, or 1 double and 1 pull out sofa

Please note that the hotel staff assigns rooms to guests. Some rooms may include stairs. A specific view is not guaranteed. As we work mainly with luxury historic inns and small upscale boutique hotels, rooms differ in size and layout. In general, Italian bedrooms and bathrooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and basic toiletry set. Please contact us if you have specific requests/needs.

Prepare for Your Trip

European travel in general involves a lot of walking, much more than we are used to in the US. Most of our tours include city walking tours, visits to hilltop towns and villages, and meandering through cobbled streets. Keeping active and incorporating long walks into your busy schedule in the weeks before your departure will make your vacation much more rewarding.

  • Don’t Overpack: A challenge even for some experienced travelers! Plan to wash or dry clean some clothes during your travel. Some hotels and villas we choose offer laundry and dry cleaning services and towns and cities have laundromats. Most also provide hair dryers. Toiletries and cosmetics can also be purchased at your destinations. Please contact us if you need some assistance.
  • It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Europe. Please verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. 

The first day on tour is your arrival day into the city in which we meet. So you would be flying no later than the day before from the United States or Canada. It is your responsibility to get to the city and hotel where and when the tour begins. When making flight arrangements, please allow sufficient time to claim luggage and clear customs in order to join the tour on time. For all recommended pre-designed tour packages, we meet for our first orientation walk of the tour at 3:00PM (15:00) on tour start date in the hotel lobby. The tour ends when you check out of the hotel on your last day on tour.

Note: Please make note or inquire with us as to the meeting time on that first day on tour. This should be done prior to you making any flight or train bookings so that it is clearly understood that the arrangements will fit in with our times. Your train or flight should arrive between 09:00AM and 12:00PM-noon (no later) on Day 1 of the tour to allow you enough time to check in to your hotel, freshen up and meet for the orientation walk with our other group guests.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination.

Pricing

  • All prices are subject to change until a deposit has been made for your tour. Please bear in mind that each hand-crafted pre-packaged itinerary showcased on the website represents a typical itinerary, and the actual details may vary due to season and special events. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Itinerary changes are also made to improve the tour and your experience. Prices are subject to change with global exchange rates. Please be aware that equivalent dollar costs are based on exchange rates and are contingent upon a fluctuating currency market.
  • All quoted prices are subject to changes based on Euro dollar/US dollar exchange rate, until balance is paid. Once the deposit has been received, the price is locked, regardless of exchange fluctuations prior to the tour . Variations in price will be made only if Euro value increases 5% or more from the time of reservation to the time that balance is due. Any variations in price, which may or may not increase your balance, will be communicated by email.

General Information

  • Air Conditioning: Hotels and mini-buses/vans used are air-conditioned for your comfort. European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system; most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system may be less than what you may have in your own home. Some hotels in Europe do not operate their air conditioning systems on a year round basis, but only during certain months of the year.
  • Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility. You must be able to walk up and down hills, on uneven surfaces and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Itinerary Changes and Price Flexibility: We pledge to make every effort to operate all pre-designed tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or transportation as deemed necessary.

Please note: while we do our best to adhere to our published itineraries, they may be changed at the discretion of the tour leader (local host) due to weather conditions and any other unforeseeable circumstances.

  • Holiday and Museum Closures: Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many state, religious and civic holidays locally observed.
  • NO SMOKING: Sorry but there will be no-smoking allowed in the vehicle or during guided tours. Italy, France and Spain have banned smoking in all public buildings, including hotels and restaurants (enclosed spaces only, with the exception of sitting outdoors while eating). Some hotels may be able to provide smoking rooms if necessary. You will need to let Audrey know ahead of time.
  • Currency and Exchange Rates: The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaus and at most of the hotels listed on your itinerary, though you will get a better exchange rate at the banks. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Travelers’ checks are less accepted, especially by local merchants; expect to pay a fee for using travelers’ checks. Foreign currency is not accepted.
  • Your Credit and Other Bank Cards Abroad: Before your departure, we recommend you contact your bank before departing on your vacation to inform them of your travel plans to ensure that your ATM, credit and debit cards will work and continue to work while you are abroad. The banks have automated security measures in place that flag transactions outside your normal spending patterns. Failure to do so may result in a temporary freeze being placed on your account.
  • VAT: Many countries levy Value Added Taxes (VAT) on consumer goods and services. (The tax rate may be higher for luxury items and lower for basic goods.) As a rule, if you are not a resident of the country (or of the country’s intergovernmental economic community, e.g., the European Union) in which the purchase is made, you may be entitled to a VAT refund and should inquire about the refund policy where you shop.
  • Electrical Current: The electrical current in France, Italy and Spain is 220 V, 50 Hz, AC. If your electrical devices do not conform to this standard, you may need to bring the appropriate converters and adapters.
  • Even though tips to guides, staff and restaurants are included, it is suggested that you put aside approximately $100 (US) in combined gratuities for your driver & tour leader for your trip (and any voluntary additional restaurant gratuities are at your discretion).

The purchase of TRAVEL INSURANCE is strongly recommended to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

Discover the Authentic Experiences You've Been Searching For

Local living and boutique hotels - Where you stay matters

All seven nights of your trip will be spent in a beautiful wine area of Friuli. We believe that where you sleep is an important part of your overall travel experience. We choose truly special and unique locations, that reflect authentic local charm.

Pre & Post Tour Options

This is an excellent region if you are looking to visit other countries or regions in Northern Italy during your holiday. From Friuli, you can visit Austria, Slovenia & even Croatia, with just a few hours' drive. And you are only 120 km (74 miles) away from the scenic canals of Venice. Here are a few options to consider:

2 Weeks in Italy Itinerary with Amalfi Coast

The Soul of Venice

4 days/3 nights

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Beauties of Northern Croatia

5 days/4  nights 

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Gems of Slovenia

4 days/3 nights

What Audrey's clients are saying...

Custom Italy Tour Package

Jean and Alan

Denver, CO

We highly recommend Audrey and here’s why: she planned the vacation exactly the way we wanted it. Every detail was planned out, up to personal drivers and personal tour guides. We didn’t have to worry about anything. She provided additional info for places to eat and things to see and she was always there if we had a problem or question while on our trip. The Personal Guides were outstanding-very friendly and knowledgeable and the tickets to bypass the lines were exceptional. Hotels were centrally located for easy walking and all very clean and friendly. We really enjoyed Audrey taking us to the Venice that most tourist don’t get to see, especially our “Venetian Bar Crawl with wine and Cicchetti”. We were fortunately very lucky to have Audrey as our driver-guide from Rome to San Marino and eventually to Venice. She was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area we were driving through. It was such a pleasure to work with Audrey: our trip was OUTSTANDING because of the care and personal attention she gave to us from our initial planning to our final itinerary.
View Jean & Allan's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide from Rome to Venice)

Monteriggioni

Kelly and Dave

Brampton, ON, Canada

My husband and I just completed a tour of Italy arranged with Travels with Audrey. Everything was perfect, I mean, really perfect! I’m sure Audrey even arranged the weather!! The hotel recommendations were impeccable, as were the restaurants, and each of our guides along the way was extremely knowledgeable, personable and such a pleasure to spend time with. It was a trip completed at our pace, acknowledging our wishes, but with some gentle (and much needed) guidance. We feel we’ve not only gained a real knowledge and understanding of the sights we’ve seen, but a real appreciation for the rich history of Italy and the lives of its inhabitants today. Some olive oil and a few pieces of ceramic have been picked up along our travels, as well as about 2,500 photos, but more than that, our lives have been enriched by our experience, and we’ve gained a new friend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you Audrey! 
View Kelly & Dave's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy, with Audrey as driver-guide in Tuscany and orientation walk in Venice)

itineraries for family vacations to italy

Jay C and family

Littleton, CO

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 have 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 travelled 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 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.
View Jay C's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

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Bill & Gail / Lil & Tom

Dallas, TX / Tulsa, OK

We just took a tailored two week trip with our best friends.  Audrey developed our travel plan to Edinburgh, London, Normandy and the Loire valley.  It was a DREAM TRIP.  The hotels were all very good and the food was superb.  The best thing about the trip was the personal guides that Audrey set up for us; they were extremely knowledgeable, personable and entertaining.  Audrey drove us around in France and was our guide in the Loire.  A great trip! 
View Bill, Gail, Tom & Lil's private tour package details and what they consider to be most valuable about my service
(Private Customized Tour to Edinburgh, London and France. In France with Audrey as driver-guide)

greek temples in italy

Marti and family

Ann Arbor, MI

I would like to thank you for making our family vacation so special. Everything went without a hitch, from the tour guides, to the dinners you planned. We LOVED everything! The special personal chef night was fantastic, just perfect! I know traveling with toddlers is not always easy but you made it seamless. I really appreciated you giving them places to go that the girls would enjoy, and the hotel with the pool, great choice. You know that I chose to book with you because you were our guide five years ago and we really enjoyed ourselves then. I’m so happy we found you again. Booking with you was easy and I will not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends and family.
View Marti's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

Italy off the beaten path

Kathy and Rich

Ann Arbor, MI

We had a family adventure with 13 of us, ages 1 to 67 years old, related as brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren.  Audrey spent two weeks with the whole gang as our Tour Manager and then my husband Rich and I stayed on another week with Audrey to see sites in Northern Italy with her as our driver-guide. The whole trip was AWESOME.  We made marvelous memories together.  Audrey was terrific at meeting the needs of this diverse group.  She took us to special spots that we had visited with her 5 years before.  That is one of the reasons we selected her to help guide us and she far exceeded our expectations.  She also added many new treasures to enjoy and share with each other.  Audrey is organized, knowledgeable, fun, flexible, curious, thoughtful, energetic, discreet, adventurous, and sentimental. We enjoyed Audrey’s tour and her company as she shared her favorite spots with us along the way.  We ate things that surprised us  and went to places that we would never have found on our own. Audrey was our constant guide and friend.  Tomorrow night I am meeting with the family to begin planning a trip with Audrey to France in the fall!
View Kathy's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy and Audrey as tour manager, followed by 7 days of a Private Customized Guided tour of Northern Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

Italy off the beaten path

Janet and Tim

Seattle, WA

After some research online we found and liked Audrey’s website and decided she would be a good fit for the kind of tour we had in mind, which entailed the availability of Audrey as our driver-guide who confidently drove us around well-known and lesser-known regions of Italy allowing us to discover little known locations and enjoy wonderful food and delicious wines along the way. The best part of it was the complete ability to let the trip just happen, without having to worry about anything. From driving itineraries to hotels, private guided tours in Rome and the Vatican to wine tastings and suggestions for places to eat, Audrey took care of it all for us. I would absolutely recommend Travels with Audrey, especially if you are looking for a private tour and do not want the hassle of planning or driving in a foreign country.  Audrey introduced us to parts of Italy we did not know existed! Our understanding and appreciation for Italy are now so much deeper that we would like to go back and re-visit some of those areas. By far the most notable experiences included observing the truffle hunting dogs at work in Umbria.
View Janet & Tim's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

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Angela and family

TX, USA

My family just got back from a 10 day trip to Spain with Audrey and it was AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel again without her! Audrey took care of everything…hotels, transportation, obtaining tickets to sites, shows, etc., which left us to just enjoy our trip! We had told her in advance which activities and cities we were interested in and she made it happen. She was even able to squeeze in some extra activities (like wine tasting!) while we were there. Audrey is so nice, and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed her company and her love for the country. If you want to have a great vacation without any worries, you have to use Audrey!
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Beth and family

Dallas, TX

WARNING! You may never be able to travel without Audrey again. We have used Audrey’s services twice in the past, once to Italy and once to Spain. Our most recent trip was to Spain. This trip exceeded our expectations in many ways. First of all, individual travelers are different and have different needs. Audrey takes this into account and tailors the trip to the specific personality of the group. For example, our group had a mixture of adults, young adults and teenagers. Audrey arranged the transportation so that we were never rushed in the morning, had ample time to eat breakfast and set off to a day of sightseeing feeling rested and excited about the day. We visited all the typical tourist spots, but also had intimate “one of a kind” trips to a vineyard, sherry bodega, cooking class and olive oil factory. The longer drives were broken up by timely stops in unique towns. All this adds up to a one of a kind experience that really allows you to feel the culture of the country. We left the hotel planning up to Audrey and each hotel was centrally located, unique and clean. Audrey has extensive knowledge about the countries that she offers and a love for travel and the people. You cannot go wrong with a trip with Audrey. Try her once, and like us, you will be back for more. 
View Beth's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Laurian & Gerald

Grand Junction, CO

We had a lovely time on this trip, thank you for your expertise in organizing it! Initially we were unsure about using a tour organizer without a personal recommendation and had the usual concerns about cost and quality.  We have had reasonable experiences in the past using the web to find tour organizers and, in this respect, the testimonials on your site were very helpful. We didn’t have to worry about the many specifics of doing what we wanted to do, in consideration of the fact that we had a very specific and peculiar itinerary: it was wonderful to have someone personalize our tour. Two things were very useful.  First, the identification of good quality yet small hotels that were well-located.  It would have been difficult to do this ourselves based on web searches.  Second, your arranging the tours and specific activities for us so we didn’t have to search for those.  In most cases, these activities were also located near our hotels, so the whole experience was very low hassle! Our best experiences were in Granada with Antonio as guide to the Alhambra and with the flamenco show there, which was excellent, though designed for tourists. The winery in Portugal was a great find! Everything was very high quality. In closing, we would absolutely recommend your services to others.
Thanks again!

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Tom and Dom (father and son)

Denver, CO

Dominic and I came back from our two week trip to Portugal and southern Spain.  It was a great father & son trip and we had a great time!  From Lisbon, to Evora to Seville to Cordoba to Granada and finally Madrid, we had a great time.  I would highly recommend the private car with driver and local guides that Audrey arranged for us.  It was the best way of seeing the sites without any crowds, exactly the way Audrey envisions and offers in her tours. What a great way to see more of the country.  The food recommendations Audrey provided us with in the various towns came in very handy and were very accurate.  The accommodations she chose far exceeded our expectations. The prepaid tickets arranged by Audrey for the Bullet train and the Prado saved us a lot of time. We enjoyed ourselves and look forward to booking any future trip that will measure up to this one and highly recommend Travels with Audrey.
View Tom's private tour package details
(Customized Itinerary Package, father and son vacation to Portugal and Spain)

private tour of scotland

Mike and Ellen

Indianapolis, IN

Our trip to Scotland was magical. With the help of Travels with Audrey we were able to enjoy a stress free trip in a country that prides itself on being laid back. The visit was centered in the Highlands, we had certain requests that were not only met but exceeded. The driver assigned was fabulous. An Irish chap who was the friendliest and most accommodating chap you can imagine. He was familiar with the territory and found the most interesting little spots to stop for a “lovely picture and maybe a cup of tea or coffee before we get on our way”.The variety of Hotels, Castles, Guest Houses and B & B’s made for an exciting time. The Distillery tours (2) were fun and informative and tasty. The scenery of the Highlands and the roads ventured to make the most of the tour made for a great journey. We had only one variation where a ferry could not be guaranteed to run, the driver was able to modify that on the run and found us an alternative town, Oban, that was one of the highlights of the entire trip. All in all from Edinburgh and St Andrews to the Isle of Skye to Oban and Sterling it was a couple of weeks that will live in our fondest memories.
(Customized Itinerary Package to Scotland and London, England)

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Gregg & Maureen / Coleen & Don

IL & NJ

Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!
View photos of their experience
(Private Customized Guided Tour with Audrey as tour manager, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany). 

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Tony, Dan and family

Atlanta, GA

We were fortunate enough to have had Audrey De Monte serve as Tour Manager for our 10 day family trip to Europe. The tour was a 10-day multi generational family tour (grandparents to teen age grandchildren) of the cities of Paris, Venice and Rome. Audrey was extremely well organized and always provided multiple suggestions to make sure that everyone was having a great time. She knew the cities well which enabled us to get access to great reasonably priced restaurants that served authentic local food which was not an easy task for such a large group. She kept our group on time and always offered suggestions for other activities when we had free time. She made this family trip a very precious memory for all and for that we are grateful. Thank you Audrey!
View photos of their experience 
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Paris, Venice and Rome, with Audrey as tour manager)

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Terry and Bill

Toronto, ON, Canada

We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Travels with Audrey for organizing our personalized tour of Paris, France – from the pick up at the dock in Lyon to the train station – to the pickup in Paris to drop off at our hotel – we felt very special for the efficiency and courtesy provided by Audrey’s personnel.We enjoyed our excursions to Versailles; the Louvre and Notre Dame – instructions provided were well illustrated and we had no difficulty is locating the meeting centers. Our hotel was quaint and close to the downtown core – we were able to walk around visiting various sites with ease and comfort.Would highly recommend Travels with Audrey to friends and family who may consider visiting France.
Many thanks!

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Eleni, Anne and family

Toronto, Canada

My family and I just returned from a vacation to Italy, planned by Audrey. I had never been to Italy before, and I didn’t know where to begin planning. Audrey’s knowledge of Italy is incredible. We gave her some ideas, and our budget, and she planned the most amazing trip for us! Each step was perfect. The hotels were beautiful, and we loved private tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Florence. The cooking class she set up in Sorrento was one of the highlights! We kept raving about how flawless and easy each part of the trip was! And Stresa, a place we never even knew about, was breathtaking! If it wasn’t for Audrey, we would have never gone there! She planned every detail, right down to the train tickets. Audrey, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You made our trip perfect and memorable. We will definitely be booking with you again!
(Customized Itinerary Package for a family vacation to Italy)

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Contact

Travels with Audrey LLC
Audrey De Monte

+1.720.339.2364 (USA)
+1.805.430.8112 (Fax)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)

9249 S Broadway
UNIT 200 #209
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129