We had the trip of a lifetime, thanks to all of the arrangements thru "In Italy".
Campo de' Fiori was a perfect location. When Hassan checked us in he suggested a walk (really a hike) to a fountain in Trastevere where you could overlook the city. We did that and hit it just at dusk - it was beautiful. When we walked back down we ate in Trastevere and found it less expensive than some other places in Rome, and very good. The apartment was great. We would go to the market and the pastry shop in the morning and get our breakfast. The laundry in the apartment worked perfectly.
Villa Odino was probably my favorite place. We purchased train tickets to Venice from the hotel and they provided transportation both ways to and back from the train station. We just had to call when we were leaving Venice and they were there to pick us up. We used your restaurant suggestions as well as the room service one night. All of it was perfect. It was so nice to sit out on the outside tables in the evening and relax.
We took an all day boat tour right from the hotel to Torcello, Burano and Murano. There were only five of us on the tour so it was great. The driver let the five of us decide how long we wanted to stay on each island. We really wanted to have lunch at "Da Romano" on Burano, so that worked out perfectly. The driver even arranged for us to arrive in Murano just in time to see a glass blowing demonstration. On the way back to Villa Odino, the boat driver broke out a bottle of champagne for the five of us to share. It was a great day.
We wanted to stay in the Venice area for five nights so we could drive to a couple to towns where our relatives immigrated from. That worked out perfectly. We arranged meet a 2nd cousin of my husband and brother-in-law. They live in Frassene' near Agordo, at the foot of the beautiful Dolomite Mountains. We also met some long lost relatives in Agnone. We booked that with you also, through your paqrtners booking.com. Valentina was wonderful as our host at Borgo San Pietro. She told us where the cemetery was and also arranged for an English speaking tour of the Marinelli Bell Foundry in Agnone. It is a thousand year old family owned business.
In Soragna we had a lovely time. Locanda del Lupo was a perfect stop for us. My husband and brother-in-law are farmers so one afternoon we drove through the countryside and saw the harvesting of tomatoes. The boys really enjoyed seeing rural Italy. There was an English-speaking lady at the desk at Locanda del Lupo and she arranged for us to see the cheese production, salami production as well as a wonderful cheese museum. All of it was within walking distance.
Rapallo was also wonderful. We had dinner at their restaurant one night. We wanted Bellini's but they were out of the white peaches and asked if we wanted it with strawberries. It was absolutely wonderful - so good that we ordered three more. We took the local boat service to Portofino and Santa Margherita and shopped - a lot.
All of the transfers, lodgings and tours went off without a hitch. My husband was impressed with all of the places that we stayed. They were all clean and in perfect locations for what we wanted to do.
When we picked up the rental car in Rome, we did the paperwork in one location and the had to drag our luggage about 3 blocks to pick up the car. The directions given were not totally clear and we had to ask a few people along the way, but we made it. I think it would have been so much nicer if someone could have brought the car to the office location. We could not have survived our days with the car without the GPS - it was wonderful. Also the dropping off of the car in Florence was a little scary - nowhere to park when we got to the location. But they told us to drive around the block to a little plaza which was just around the corner from the drop off location. They came out and inspected the car - not a scratch. They called a taxi to take us to the apartment and we were good.
Also, just a note - on our way to the airport in Florence, the taxi driver rear-ended a car in front of us. Both drivers got out, waved their hands a bit and then the taxi driver drove us to the airport and the other car followed him. His radiator was punctured and steam was blowing everywhere, but we made it. It's a good laugh now - no one was hurt and we made it home safely.
Thanks for helping with all of our arrangements and answering all of my e-mail questions. I will certainly recommend your website to anyone. In fact on our Tuscany dinner tour, I gave your website to two other groups of people we met. They were impressed that we had apartments to stay in.
Hi and thanks and for the e-mail.
The trip was really nice. You couldn't beat the weather, 35-38 c the entire time. We did everything that we had set out to do plus a little more. The accommodations were all very nice. All the descriptions were accurate and for the most part we were very satisfied.
Villa Odino was exceptional. The villa was beautiful and quiet. The pool a Godsend! Breakfasts were astounding...so much so that my 19 and 17 year old boys were up nice and early so they wouldn't miss it.
We took the train to Venice and it was not only very quick it was also very, very economical. Upon arrival in Venice, we needed to exchange some American Express travelers cheques...that were already in Euros. Here is where the trip took a little bit of a wrong turn. As it was Saturday and the banks were closed, we used the exchange services at the train station. BIG MISTAKE. They charged us 50 Euros in order to exchange 300 euros. People at our hotel (from Belgium) said that it was extortion. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and after the beggars (standard fare in Italy) and everyone hustling to get you into their restaurant, the exchanging of money was pretty much the last straw.
Not to sound too negative, we will not hesitate to return. Thanks for your assistance as I know we did not give you much notice before we left.
Dear Kristin and staff of In Italy,
Just got back from a wonderful vacation in Venice, Padua and Treviso. You were right, driving to small towns in Italy adds another dimension to the trip. The Villa Odino was so pretty and so quiet and serene. Thank you again for a lovely trip and if we ever go back to Italy, you will be the first one I will call.
We had excellent trip in spite of the extremely hot weather. It was in the high 90s every day except for the one we spent in the Alps. The Villa Odino was wonderful and getting advance tickets for the Doges Palace and the Accademia was a great idea. The lines for all sites were very long. Some unexpected things - the A4 autostrada is a truck route and traffic is horrific. Also, signs directing visitors to tourist attractions and further destinations were almost nonexistent. Thus, we never got to see the Roman ruins in Aosta. Your website was truly excellent.
We enjoyed the most tremendous holiday by staying at Villa Odino. Incredible staff! Amazing facilities! Wonderful food! Exceptional service! Couldn't ask for anything more.
We will definitely book with you again!
Thought I'd let you know about one of the sensational things they did for us: we asked them to book us a wine tour and tasting. They did this for us and more! Our day started at 09:30 with a drive to a family owned winery. The family spent time with us explaining their process for creating their wines, we walked through their vineyard and we tasted their wonderful Prosecco grape wines. The second stop was another family run winery which had just had a visit from a prominent store in Calgary (where we live) - The Wine Shop - and they ordered some of this winery's late harvest reisling. Finally, the last stop was at Panoramico Ristorante for a late, late lunch. Absolutely fantastic!
We cannot say enough good things about our experience with Villa Odino and your organization. Thanks for helping us have a great holiday!
We had a wonderful time in Italy....all your accommodation was better than expected having found your site on the web and booking relatively late in the season. In particular Villa Odino gets a special mention for being so well run....staff were polite and spoke good English. Very easy to get into Venice by train 25 minutes and in the height of summer it was with relief that we returned at the end of the day to Villa Odino and the swimming pool. One night my family had takeaway pizza on their dock on the canal next to the hotel...sublime. Thank you so much. I have already mentioned your site to two family members who are planning to head to Europe.
First of all, I have to say that your site was spectacularly helpful to us on our first trip to Italy. Wonderful. We booked everything except airfare through you--car, hotels, cell phone, advance tickets at museums etc.--and everything went perfectly.
We enjoyed Villa Odino in Quarto d'Altino as our base for exploring Venice. The train station was perhaps two miles away, and then a 20-minute ride got us to Venice. Only problem was that someone scraped our rental car in the train station parking lot--have not yet heard from AutoEurope as to what if anything this will cost us. We weren't that impressed with the culinary options we found in Venice, but one real winner was Osteria al Ponte "La Patatina" on Calle Saoneri in San Polo. We were the only English speakers in the place, and my wife was the only female aside from the waitress and bartender. It was full of local businessmen and laborers at lunchtime, and the food was fresh, authentic, and well-priced. For dinner outside of the city, Ombre Rosse in Preganziol was truly memorable. An old farmhouse, with dining tables set up outside, again, we were the only non-Italians in the place. They had no printed menu, so when we had a little trouble interpreting our waiter's recitation of the evening's offerings, the chef/owner himself came out to help us. We frequently spotted him again over the course of the evening as he came out of the kitchen during lulls to sit with some chums and drink wine.
We hope to visit Tuscany next year, and will certainly use InItaly.com again when that time comes.
We absolutely loved the accommodations. Villa Odino outside of Venice was perfect for getting into Venice by train and for driving around the Prosecco area in the North. The owners and staff were very nice and helpful at all times. Although we loved Venice we are very glad we stayed outside of it in a really nice and peaceful setting. If I were to do it again I might only stay in the Venice area about 4 days instead of the 7 that we did. I can't think of anything that we didn't expect that was negative.
I would advise people to pay attention to your advice and buy detailed maps of every region they are going to. We would never have gotten around without them. Thanks for your wonderful information and suggestions. It's obvious you have done your homework.
Yes, we are back from our wonderful Italy trip and had a great time. Your website was certainly helpful and we were happy to have reservations at the hotels prior to leaving. Our stay at Villa Odina exceeded our expectations. We are thankful we didn't stay in Venice (too busy for our liking) and the Villa was very nice. Close to the rail station where for 4 Euros we parked our car, and were in Venice in 20 minutes. Natasha and her family were very warm and very helpful. They would book tours, restaurants, sell train tickets and the breakfast was indeed very substantial, we didn't expect all the fine food that awaited us every morning. The stay was wonderful, and the bed was so comfortable, we hated leaving for that reason alone! The rooms were a good size, immaculately cleaned and nicely furnished. We asked for a quiet room and that is precisely what we got. We would definitely return if ever in Venice again.
We definitely plan to return to Italy and do the southern areas... Thanks for all you help in making us confident about this trip, we will definitely use your site again and again.
We had a great time at Villa Odino, although too short! Due to time constraints we were only able to spend two nights, but we would have stayed longer if we could. We would definitely go back there and plan to in the next couple of years. We were traveling with two small children (2 and 5) and they were more then accommodating. The breakfasts were delightful. I can't honestly think of any minuses.
We had a fabulous holiday in Italy. We travelled through Europe for 9 weeks and drove 10,000 kms. Italy was the last 15 days of our holiday and it was the perfect ending to 9 weeks. Italy always gives me a buzz and this time was no exception.
We found the accommodation we booked through In Italy to be absolutely fantastic. The quality of the properties was outstanding and the hosts were excellent. Villa Odino was the perfect place to access Venice. I have stayed in Venice on 2 other occasions and found this a welcome change. The hotel offered a shuttle service to take us to Quarto D'Altino station. They also sold us train tickets, which was great. The train went straight into Venice and we came back to the station when we were ready and they came and picked us up. It was a nice bonus not to have to drive the car!! There aren't alot of restaurants in the region, but there was a really nice one in the town of Quarto D'Altino. Sorry, I can't remember the name, but there aren't too many!
All the properties were fantastic at accommodating our requests. After travelling for 9 weeks, Francesco was great at providing drying facilities for our clothes. A few more properties could think about this. It was really helpful for us. Marmorata Hotel offered internet and a restaurant on the premises, so we didn't have to venture out for dinner after a long day sightseeing. All hosts spoke English, which was of great assistance to us, as our feeble attempts at Italian were no match. They were very gracious and would do anything for us.
I must say I was a little hesitant booking over the internet, but would have no hesitation using your site in the future and have told my family, friends and colleagues. The information on your site is excellent. I love the photos of the properties and the rooms. The instructions on how to get to the properties were excellent. We could not have done without them. Thank you very much for producing such detailed instructions. They made life so much easier.
Thanks for the great places to stay,
We had an absolutely wonderful time at Villa Odina. Our expectations were exceeded--by far. We loved it and made some great memories that will last a lifetime--like becoming engaged to be married!
We really enjoyed the restaurant "Osteria" in Casale recommended by your concierge.
We loved Belluno and especially a restaurant there called "Ristorante Terracotta."
We especially loved Lago di Garda, and the towns of Riva di Garda and Gargnano.
We hope to be back someday soon.
This was our first trip to Italy and the first use of your travel service. The trip and your service, although limited, were excellent. Villa Odino is a class act with a very good location for getting to Venice using the train, very frequent and close by. The staff and accommodations were excellent.
One thing I did not realize until we arrived was how close Villa Odino was to Venice. It's right on a river and very close to but isolated from the freeway. It's within a mile or so of the train station so most people who stay there use the train to visit Venice. It's just 4-5 local stops away. The museum and opera tickets were all available as arranged without any problem. Also renting a cell phone was very worthwhile.
Villa Odino was beautiful and just a 20 minute train ride to Venice. They actually upgraded us to a suite there because our deluxe double rooms were not available.
Thank you so much for all of your help. We are definitely looking forward to our next trip to Italy (perhaps Rome next time?) and will be glad to contact In Italy for our accommodations.
Mary C. S.