I had to tell you about how fabulous our trip was. First of all – the hotels in Rome and Florence were terrific! The Albergo del Sol on the Piazza della Rotondo in Rome was wonderful – a boutique hotel in a historic building in the perfect (!!) location. Literally on the sware facing the Pantheon and within very comfortable walking distance (< 10 blocks) of many other “must see” sights in Rome (trevi fountain, piazza navonna, etc. I will recommend it to all of my friends. I attached a picture of the view out of our window. The windows were triple glazed so there was no trouble with city noise. We will request this hotel again on our next trip to Rome!
The Antica Torre tournabuoni in Florence is a super deluxe hotel on par with a parador in Spain. I attached a picture of Arno from the window of one of our rooms and a picture of the view from the terrace outside the breakfast room. Another hotel perfectly situated for walking to EVERYTHING – we were maybe 5 minutes from the Duomo, 3 minutes from the Uffizzi and no more than 10 minutes from the Accademia. The staff were fantastic. This was a very memorable stay! You can recommend it with confidence to anyone wanting a stay in Florence that they will never forget.
And of course we enjoyed the Ca’ dei Conti as before.
The guide in Rome, Franca, was terrific – both boys enjoyed her tremendously. She new exactly how to keep the interest of a 13 year old boy while the rest of use were marveling at the wonders of Italy.
All of the transfers worked exactly as planned except for the transfer from Florence to Venice, which could have been a disaster but ended satisfactorily. The land portion of the trip ended almost an hour earlier than expected. The driver simply left us the Piazzale Roma with our luggage with storms threatening saying that we would be picked up later by a water taxi. (Despite protests!) Our concerns were heightened by an inability to to contact Avanti tours at first, and when we learned from a helpful citizen that there are actually 3 places in the Piazzale where water taxis collect tours. (As it turns out, we were left at the wrong one.) We eventually got through to Avanti and they sent a representative ASAP. Once we connected with the Avanti representative we were quickly moved to the correct dock and transferred to Ca’ dei Conti before the rain started. Avanti responded very professionally as soon as we connected and were very apologetic, saying that they will not use that driver again. There is no need to complain to Avanti about their Venice representative, but I would communicate to them that the driver should not be used again.
It was a terrific trip and we made memories that will last a lifetime. All of us agree that we wouldn’t change a thing and we would do it again in a heartbeat.
Thanks for making it possible!