The Beating Heart of Italy

13 Days/12 Nights

4 to 8 Guests

Preferred dates

From $4,597USD pp

Northern Italy Itinerary: Veneto, Emilia Romagna & San Marino

Itinerary

DAY 1: Venice-tour starts on a Sunday

DAY 2: Exploring Venice

DAY 3: Off the beaten path Venice

DAY 4: Palladio Day! Vicenza

DAY 5: Beautiful city of Verona

DAY 6: Majestic Lake Garda

DAY 7: Emilia Romagna-Foodie’s paradise

DAY 8: Parma-Gastronomy day

DAY 9: Maranello (Ferrari and fun cooking)

DAY 10: Gastronomic capital Bologna

DAY 11: Ravenna and its UNESCO world heritage sites

DAY 12: San Marino and Gradara castle

DAY 13: Departure Day. If you wish to extend your holiday, this is a perfect location to continue on down to Florence and Tuscany.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit one of the most magical and romantic cities in the world: Venice
  • Enjoy a private boat ride to the Island of Murano with a visit to a traditional glass factory
  • Board your private boat for a half-day visit to the beautiful islands of Burano and Torcello
  • Promenade through the Bacari, Venice’s wine bars with your local guide
  • Explore the beautiful historical cities of Verona, Parma and Vicenza, and the beauty of Palladian architecture at villas La Rotonda and Villa Valmanara ai Nani
  • Taste the flavors offered by local Aceto Balsamico, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto producers
  • Meander through the picturesque streets of Bologna and its classic culinary meccas
  • Discover Ravenna, home of the impressive Christian monuments built in the 4th and 6th centuries AD and the last great capital of the Roman empire
  • Visit one of the world’s oldest republics, San Marino
  • Enjoy a visit to the medieval fortress of Gradara in Marche

PRICING: from $4,597USD per person (double occupancy)

The price for a private tour is per-person sharing a double room, and it varies according to the number of guests on the tour, because of minimum fixed costs that need to be covered. With this tiered pricing structure we are generally able to offer slightly lower pricing if there are a higher number of guests on the trip.

Overview

Venice, Vicenza, Verona, Lake Garda, Parma, Bologna, Ravenna, Gradara, San Marino

Remember, this tour can be customized according to your own interests and preferences.

Arrival & Departure airport: Venice Marco Polo (VCE)

 **FOR PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY**

If you love Italy and have enjoyed seeing famous sites like Rome and Tuscany, but are ready to try something new, then join me and discover Northwest Italy! This upscale tour showcases the fantastic food and wine, as well as the cultural and historical wealth in some of Italy’s most beautiful regions.

Indulge your mind, body and soul on a journey into the cuisine and culture of Northern Italy, as you discover what makes this part of Italy so charming. Admire the medieval, Renaissance and Palladian architecture of hidden towns such as Vicenza as well as the cities of Verona and Venice. Appreciate the depth and subtleties of the great works of art that abound. Explore art in cathedrals, historic piazzas, and astonishing museums. Savor the Italian “slow foods” philosophy and enjoy meals of delicacies and fine wines. Experience the visual and sensory treats, all while traveling amid the natural beauty of the majestic Dolomites, the alpine Sud Tyrol and of course the romantic Venetian waterways.

Discover the Po Valley with its waving fields of corn and rice paddies and some of Italy’s most handsome and prosperous towns. This is a land of legends spun by Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare, where grand dynasties fought for power and patronized some of the finest works of art in the world.

Whether it is eating a wood-fired pizza, dining alfresco, or tasting Amarone in a vineyard, great foodie experiences await at every turn. Enjoy private guided tours in Venice, Bologna, Parma, Vicenza, Verona, and Ravenna. From the Alps north of Lake Garda to the fertile plains of Emilia Romagna, this tour is truly a feast for the senses.

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY 1: VENICE - Tour starts on a Sunday

“Your visit to Venice becomes a perpetual love affair” Henry James

 Welcome to Venice! The Queen of the Adriatic, and elegant, unforgettable, hauntingly beautiful city and one of the world’s most enchanting, Venice was one of Europe’s great sea powers for 1000 years. No matter how many times you visit this floating city, there is always something new to discover.

After checking into your centrally located hotel, we begin our wonderful vacation together by meeting in the afternoon for an orientation walk and a visit to the impressive, unique St Mark’s Basilica on Piazza San Marco.  For Sheer “wow” factor, little can compare with the Basilica di San Marco and its 24-carat gold mosaics.

DAY 2: EXPLORING VENICE

After breakfast, you will meet your local expert guide for a private walking tour of this fascinating city that for centuries was Europe’s top superpower. But what will be unique is that she will lead you along its intricate alleyways, to lesser-known gems that few tourists see, where locals carry on their daily life. Your walk finished at the famous Piazza San Marco with a tour of the sumptuous Doge Palace (once the official residence of the elected officials of the Venetian Republic) and a visit to the Bridge of Sighs.

After lunch, your own private boat will take you over to the Murano islands for a visit to a traditional glass factory where glass masters have been creating the most intricate designs for chandeliers, vases, jewelry for over five centuries.

The afternoon is a time for you to discover the magic of Venice and indulge in all things Venetian at your own whim. You will have a chance to “get lost” in the city’s labyrinth of canals, bridges and small campos.

In the evening, you have the option to enjoy a unique Venetian tradition together: cicchetti crawl (Venice’s version of tapas).. What great way to discover another side of Venice, with good wine and new friends. Now that is Italian!

DAY 3: OFF THE BEATEN PATH VENICE

After breakfast, enjoy a private boat ride over to the lesser traveled islands of the lagoon. Get to enjoy Venice from the sea. Check out the precious and historical island of Burano, a colorful quaint fishing village with the brightly colored homes of the “buranesi” fishermen that appears worlds away from Venice.

Burano is best known for its exquisitely hand embroidered linens

After a lunch break, visit the island of Torcello, perhaps the most charming of the islands. It was the first of the lagoon islands to be called home by the mainland population fleeing Attila and his Huns, but today consists of little more than one long canal leading to vineyards and the oldest Venetian monument, the Cattedrale di Torcello (Santa Maria Assunta) whose foundations date from the 7th century.

Back in Venice, spend the afternoon exploring on your own, or simply sit at a café and savor the dolce vita! One unique experience would be to learn the traditional Venetian rowing style during a lesson. (Check with Audrey for pricing)

If you like, enjoy an optional gondola ride!

DAY 4: PALLADIO DAY! VICENZA

After breakfast, travel to Vicenza to visit the famous Palladio villas. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, hundreds of luxurious villas and gardens were built as summer homes throughout the Veneto by wealthy Venetians.

First, you will visit Villa Rotonda (for a private tour of the interior and the gardens), and then Villa Valmanara ai nani, with its sublime frescoes of Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo. After lunch, it's time for a walking orientation of Vicenza that includes Teatro Olimpico, the oldest working indoor theater in the world 1580 and a marvel of the Renaissance.

Vicenza and its surroundings are a mecca for the architecture lover, a living museum of Palladian and Palladian-inspired monuments and consequently Vicenza was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. But even if you have never heard of Palladio, you will find a stroll through the town very enjoyable. 

On your way to your hotel in the premier wine producing area in Italy, the Amarone and Valpolicella wine region, enjoy a visit at a storybook-setting village, Soave, known for its white wines.

The menu for tonight's included dinner is inspired by local traditions and flavors, by organic and bio-dynamic produce as well as by the natural seasonal cycle. Traditional dishes are re interpreted with style and dedication and complemented by the best wines of this region.

DAY 5: BEAUTIFUL CITY OF VERONA

Today is about visiting one of Italy’s most magnificent and picturesque cities, Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage site, situated on the Adige River and boasting wide pedestrian lanes and squares, elegant shops and cafés.  Shakespeare placed star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet in Verona for good reason: romance, drama and fatal family feuds have been the city’s hallmark for centuries. From the 3rd century BCE, Verona was a Roman trade center, with ancient gates, the third-largest forum after the Colosseum in Rome (Piazza delle Erbe), and a grand Roman Arena which still hosts live summer opera performances.

After Venice, this is Veneto’s most visited city and for good reason: it contains the best of Italy packed into a small space.

In the afternoon, Verona is a lovely place to spend a few hours exploring before returning to your accommodations set amid the rolling hills of the Valpolicella area to indulge in a swim in the pool (weather permitting), or a visit to the spa.

DAY 6: MAJESTIC LAKE GARDA

Today, get ready for some amazing views of one of the Northern Italian Lakes and the largest in Italy, Lake Garda, straddling the border between Lombardy and the Veneto. The Alps form part of the awe inspiring scenery on the northern part of the lake and cozy medieval little villages line the vine-clad hills to the south, with citrus orchards and olive trees dotting the landscape.

The morning is dedicated to visiting the picture perfect medieval town of Malcesine.  Malcesine is a lovely village surrounded by olive groves that sits at the bottom of Monte Baldo (2250m). If you like, take an optional gondola ride that rotates 360 degrees as you ascend to Monte Baldo (6000 feet high) for the view (weather permitting) or simply enjoy walking around discovering this small and scenic town full of cafés and craft stores. As you approach Malcesine, be sure to admire Castello Scaligero, a 14th century fortification.

DAY 7: EMILIA ROMAGNA- Foodie’s Paradise/Modena

Today, say goodbye to Lake Garda and the beautiful Valpolicella wine region as you make your way to the foodie’s dream destination of Emilia Romagna, the culinary heartland. Parmigiano Reggiano, Lambrusco wine, Prosciutto di Parma and Aceto Balsamico are the 4 most famous products of this region. Emilia Romagna is well known by Italians as a region where one simply eats well or, as they say “Dove si Mangia Bene”.

Along the way to your hotel in the region of Modena, enjoy a stop for your first of several tastings of the local specialties. It takes more than 25 years to get a few drops of the nectar, Aceto Balsamico, which can cost 1 Euro per drop. Learn about the production and take the opportunity to buy this sumptuous delicacy from the producers.

Onto Castelvetro di Modena, where your hosts for the next few nights, await your arrival:  Two brothers who have always loved cooking and who were trained by their grandmother. Originally from Savignano, a few kilometers away, they fell in love with the village of Castelvetro where they opened their Locanda.

While we're in the neighborhood, we'll visit the region’s most historic 'acetaia', a family-owned farmhouse where the famous traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena is made. We’ll savor the distinct and delightful aroma of this certified “black gold” and learn about the methods used to produce this artisanal treasure. From the 'acetaia' we go off the beaten path to one of the best prosciutto factories in the region. Here, you will meet a family that, for over three generations, has been committed to making some of the world’s most delicious pork products.

DAY 8: PARMA - Gastronomy day!

Today we rise early, but it will be well worth it!
Travel across rural landscapes, on the road to the hills outside of Parma, passing by agricultural fields and dairy cattle. You'll spot green valleys occasionally interrupted by rows of willows and poplars. Our first tour of the day is a traditional Parmigiano Reggiano cheese operation. Experience first-hand the production and storage of this world class cheese, and arguably Italy’s most famous exported international food product. Learn about a process, handmade by craftsmen, and using traditional methods handed down for more than eight centuries. You will have a chance to taste this delicious cheese in the little shop.

Then. we're off to taste the Prosciutto and Culatello at a 'Prosciuttificio', followed by a light lunch including all the culinary delights of the region. This afternoon, you meet your local guide in Parma for a city tour to visit the Duomo and Battistero, a city of Great Art and Refinement. This beautiful little town with rich history and outstanding monuments is one of Italy’s culinary “hot spots”. The old capital city of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza wo 4th place for “Best quality living” in “The Telegraph” in 2014. Parma is known as the home of Arturo Toscanini and Giuseppe Verdi, and its inhabitants exude a sense of well-being.

On the way back to your hotel, we'll stop to try the famous wine of the area, Lambrusco.

DAY 9: MARANELLO (Ferrari and cooking)

Today is an exciting day! The first included activity in your day is a visit to the home of Italy’s most famous super-car, the beloved Ferrari! You have the opportunity to spend the morning at the museum, and can choose to either test drive around the racetrack or take a nice drive on country roads (at an additional cost)

Finish the early afternoon with a walk around the pretty town of Castelvetro di Modena and enjoy the non-touristy atmosphere of this little town.

Strap on your apron! Time for your tagliatelle cooking class with your chef who will introduce you to the flavors of the local cuisine, and everyone will get to enjoy the fruits of your labor together at dinner. For those who do not wish to partake, no worries, just sip on a glass of wine while watching your friends in the kitchen!

DAY 10: BOLOGNA

Today, say ciao to Modena as you transfer to your last few nights’ accommodation in Ravenna on the Adriatic coast.

Our first stop is Bologna, (“where food is a magnificent obsession”). The gastronomic capital of Italy, and the location of the world’s oldest university once the stomping grounds of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, Bologna's historic center is one of the best preserved and largest medieval cities in the world. It is one of Italy’s most livable cities and is a center of cultural excellence. Walk under its miles of arcades and visit Basilica di San Petronio, Santo Stefano and Teatro Anatomico on a walking tour with your local expert guide followed by a light lunch of local specialties in the Quadrilatero, the city’s well-known food district.

No tour of Emilia Romagna would be complete without seeing Ravenna and its remarkable UNESCO protected mosaics. Ravenna’s mosaics, among the most important in Western art, evoke the city's storied past as the last capital of the Western Roman Empire after the fall of Rome in the 5th century. Today, Ravenna is sleepy, unpretentious, and a blessing for art lovers because it is rarely crowded despite having a whopping eight UNESCO World Heritage sites.

DAY 11:   RAVENNA and the UNESCO World Heritage sites

After breakfast, meet our local expert guide and explore this beautiful city. From Basilica San Vitale to the Mausoleum di Galla Placidia, it is a day of stunning mosaics spread over five sights dating back to 450CE. You'll take in some of the most awe-inspiring early Christian monuments built between the 5th and 6th centuries CE, such as San Vitale and Sant'Apolinnare Nuovo, containing incredible Byzantine mosaics.

DAY 12: SAN MARINO and GRADARA

After breakfast, you will be driven south to San Marino. This is an independent tiny republic at the top of a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea. From the city, you’ll have an outstanding view over the slopes of the Mount Titano. San Marino is said to be the world’s oldest surviving republic (since 301CE). A sole survivor of Italy’s once powerful city-state network, this landlocked micro nation clung on long after the more powerful kingdoms of Genoa and Venice folded.

In the afternoon continue on to Gradara, considered to be one of Italy’s best small towns, on the border between Marche and Romagna. Visit the fortress where love and death entangled for centuries! Gradara and its fortress represent one of the best preserved medieval structures in Italy. It is here that the tragic love of Paolo and Francesca, narrated by Dante in the Diving Comedy (fifth canto) it is claimed to have taken place. Take a walk around the ancient walls before driving back to Ravenna.

Tonight, we get together for our last dinner together! It is not a sad occasion but one of joy as we reminisce together about so many beautiful places we have seen, new friends we have made, and, all of the good food and wine we have savored.

DAY 13: DEPARTURE DAY

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Yes, it is time to leave this beautiful land with many wonderful memories, but we hope to see you back again soon. 

What's Included

What's Included

  • Unwind for 12 nights at charming, locally owned boutique style accommodations that offer Italian hospitality, comfort and local character (Breakfast included):
    • 3 nights in Venice
    • 3 nights in a lovely hilltop Relais in the heart of the Valpolicella area
    • 3 nights in a historic hilltop village
    • 3 nights in Ravenna
  • Gain insider access to the Italian way of life
  • Relax in the care of your dedicated local tour leader and driver-guide. Audrey, who speaks Italian and English fluently
  • Private transfers (pick up and drop off) at Venice Marco Polo airport
  • Private transportation throughout the itinerary
  • Enjoy the freedom of leisure time to choose your own optional experiences
  • Skip the lines with prepaid entrance fees and local expert guides to:
    • Palladian Villa la Rotonda
    • Villa Valmanara Ai Nani
    • Parma Cathedral
    • Bologna (Santo Stefano, San Petronio, Teatro Atomico)
    • Mausoleum Galla Placidia in Ravenna
    • Gradara Castle
  • Immerse yourself in hand-picked exclusive experiences: 
    • a private cooking class in a historic hilltop village
    • visit the Ferrari museum
    • private tours and wine tastings in the Valpolicella wine region (Soave, Recioto, Amarone, Ripasso della Valpolicella)
    • taste the flavors offered by local Aceto Balsamico, Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto producers
  • Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, City Tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees
  • Sample and savor regional cuisine at carefully selected authentic trattorias and restaurants with local wines

NOTE: In the grand European traditions, I believe that dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture and a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager.  I guide you to your favorite dish … or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. I choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. When we are at a cooking lesson or a wine tasting, rest assured that you'll go home with new knowledge that will increase your appetite for more. On every tour, I have included dinners as a group as well as nights on your own. Of course, you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.

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 and domestic airfare
  • Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone
How it works

Here is how it works

  • Schedule a consultation call with Audrey to discuss your dreams of traveling to this beautiful part of Italy!
    • Some things we’ll discuss: Your interests and the interests of your traveling companions, your desires for the trip, and your ages and energy levels. Have you traveled to Italy before? If so, which countries did you visit? What would make your trip perfect, or what do you envision as your ideal day while on vacation?
  • Audrey will start with this itinerary, but this is a custom trip, so we can also incorporate ideas that are specific to your group. You might say, “Yes, let’s go for it!” or you might want to discuss a few things, tweak some items, or compare different options. At the end of this phase, you will know the unique itinerary for your group. 
  • Each person in your small group pays a deposit, with final payment due 90 days before travel.
  • Audrey and her team will book everything for you, help you prepare for your time in Italy, and take great care of you and your companions during your stay in Europe. 
  • You’ll be given a customized, day-by-day itinerary that's unique to your group with all the details you'll need. It's essentially a personalized guide book — with only the information that's relevant to you. 
  • All you have to do is sit back, and enjoy your fabulous travels! Let Audrey and her team personally take care of you while you are in Europe!

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! 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 laundro-mats. 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 the day before from the United States or Canada if you are not taking the option of spending a few days on location prior to start of your tour. 

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. 

To discuss the details and customization options, click below to schedule a call with Audrey!

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

+1.720.695.4723 (USA)
+1.805.430.8112 (Fax)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)