We're back now from our European trip, and want you to know that the two trips we took with your help were outstanding! We took the half-day tour of Pompeii, being picked up at the Naples ferry dock by Rosario, a very nice man and pleasant car on a hot day. He capably maneuvred us through the impossible Naples traffic and delivered us into the hands of our Pompeii guide, a distinguished gentleman named Giovanni Aversa, who was an old hand at guiding, and extremely interesting. Both trips were memorable and well worth the cost, enabling us to move right on through the crowds and get the most benefit from the experience of being in fabulous Italy.
Many thanks for all your good help and attention during our planning stage, and best wishes for the future,
Thank you! My mother and friend Cindy and myself had an absolutely WONDERFUL time in Italy - thanks to the INITALY website!
We took 2 tours - the all-day Pompeii/Vesuvius and the all day Capri. From what I understand most tourists don't stay in Naples - they take day tours from Rome. WELL, let me tell you that while Naples isn't really set up for tourists, it IS the perfect place to be for those day trips!! We spent most of our day at the sites and only 2 hours total (each trip) traveling.
For both trips we had Michela. She was EXCELLENT. She taught us some Italian. She explained the archeology of Pompeii, of Vesuvius and Capri. She told us HOW they excavated places - how we could tell Roman from Greek from "really" ancient pieces. We also enjoyed our lunches. We felt that we ate (or tried to) like the Neapolitans - not like a tourist. We enjoyed the wines and the fish and the bread and the pasta - YUM!
The Capri trip started out a bit rocky as most of the people got seasick from the rough ride to the island. Michela & I walked to the Farmacia, where she asked for some medicine for our queasiness. We were scheduled to take a cruise around the island and visit the Blue Lagoon....one more boat ride and we all would have tossed our cookies ....so we stayed on land and did a major walking tour instead - it was wonderful. Since we had extra time, we got to run into a few more shops. Our trip back to Naples ended with a beautiful rainbow at the harbor!!!!
She also told us about the cultural differences between the south and the north and from our experience - she was right on! She also took us to the post office on Capri where we fumbled thru our Italian and managed to buy postcard stamps - I think she translated our horrendously accented Italian behind our backs - heeheehee. And since we were in no condition to drink she told us about limoncello. Luckily we got to try it later on in our trip. If people want a "real" tour - ask for Michela!!
A few notes:
-In Firenze most of the museums are closed on Mondays - I missed that when I made reservations and we were there on Monday - I didn't get to visit the Uffizi (boohoo)!!
-It is a very good idea to have a 50 Euro coin or two in your pocket at all times as you may have to pay to use the "public" toilets. In Capri it was 1 Euro to get inside.
In Assisi, one toilet area had a cashier (!!!) and the other had a gated entry that required a coin of some kind (it took a 50 coin and a 1 Euro coin that I saw).
-It is also a good idea to have packets of tissue for your nose and as backup in the toilets!
Thank you so much for all the information on your website and the helpful people on the other end of the phone! Our trip to Italy was a success because of you. I want to thank you all so much! Please feel free to use any (or all) parts of this email as an outstanding endorsement of your company and the companies associated with you. When we go back (and we will) I'll be back on your website!
Thanks again!!! Ciao!
Dear In Italy,
Upon our return home, I feel justified to write and thank you for the excellent tour. I am not sure if our guide was Mrs Gratia or Mrs Oria, but please thank her very much. She was full of enthusiasm and knowledge, which made the whole tour really enjoyable.
Thank you again,
We did have a marvelous vacation thanks in large part to you. I meant to email you immediately upon our return but have had problems with the computer. I have a few minor items that I would like a response to, but I will email those to you in a separate email.
The private tour of Pompeii/Vesuvius was one of the highlights of our trip. Our guide, Michela, was superb and our driver very capable. They both had a wonderful sense of humor. It was great to get off the train in Naples and have someone there waiting for us. The lunch was only marginal but the gelato was the best we had on our entire trip. We really appreciated being able to bypass the lines especially at Vesuvius. We arranged a tour of the Vatican without using Initaly, a mistake I will never make again. It couldn't even compare with what we experienced in Pompeii!
Thank you so much for your help with our trip, Jessica. We had a lovely time and will highly recommend Initaly to anyone we know.
Thanks for your note; I was going to write you about the tours anyway, but was nice to hear from you first!! Both Flavia in Florence (with driver Daniele) were so very nice; Flavia was extremely knowledgable about Florence, and all things, and was very very accommodating to find things in which we were interested, taking us to the Leather factory and churches in which we had an interest.... We were disappointed that she had another appointment at 3 p.m. since the tour was so expensive I would have thought we would have had her the whole day... our only complaint!! tho Daniele did try his best to make us happy (very nice young man)!!
The trip to the Amalfi coast was less expensive and we got more "bang for our bucks" if you understand me... Your tour guide, Rosalba and the driver "Gennoa"(probably misspelt) were excellent and were not only with us (both of them) for the whole trip, but a lunch was included which was a 3 course DELICIOUS meal right on the beach at Amalfi... We were picked up at 8:30 and were taken back at 7:30 when the ship left & we were taken back at the last minute so that we saw as much of your beautiful Italy as possible; both Rosalba and G wanted us to see as much of Italy as we could and went out of their way to give us an extra special trip, which it was!!
Both guides and drivers could not have been nicer people and thank you for picking such good ones for us...
We went on to Venice by ourselves and enjoyed that very much too; one day we would like to go back to Naples and hope that Rosabla will still be with you; she is a gem. Will contact you again as soon as we decide to "do" Italy again.
Thank you for asking.
Our guide was Michaela (although I have her card, I can't seem to lay my hands on it right now so I apologize for the lack of her last name and possible misspelling of her first name). She was at our hotel well before our scheduled time and our driver was right on time. Michaela's English as infinitely better than my Italian and she was not the least bothered by our occasional request for a repeat of something we didn't understand. The weather was unpredictable and she responded beautifully by rearranging our day to take advantage of a break in the weather and a short strike at Pompeii. Given her strong academic background, her information was factual and vast. This well suited my husband (a former professor) and was perfectly acceptable to me (although a bit more local color would have been nice too). Lunch was adequate and convenient but not the intimate non-tourist meal we would have enjoyed.
As a special treat she took us to a local bar (café) for an after lunch coffee treat (my husband would dearly like to know what it was called) and recommended a pleasant resturant for a quick pizza after our long day.
In all honestly, we have done tours in Italy before (although not through your group) and we found this one to be over priced. While I recommend your organzation to others and will use you again, I would not recommend this tour not because of quality but because of price.
Dear In Italy,
We had a great time on our visit to Mt. V and Pompeii. It was pretty hot that day, so we were wiped out by the end of the day, but we still enjoyed it. I wish we had stayed longer in Pompeii itself, although as hot as it was, we probably did good to go as long as we did. Our guides did a good job of making it a fun day! I would certainly recommend others to use your services.
Thanks for the welcome home note. I had a wonderful vacation in Italy and Germany.
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was, of course, the wonderful tour which your company presented to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. I was delightfully surprised to have a driver, so the tour guide could give us all of her attention. We were VERY pleased with Elisa's background, and her professionalism. She did an excellent job. I am developing some very serious eye problems, and she and my friend did a great job of keeping me from falling off the mountain.
Thanks again for your promptness, and the excellent tour, it was well worth the price!
Dear In Italy,
The biggest hit for the kids in Italy was the tour that we arranged through In Italy of Pompeii and Vesuvius. Our guide, Micheala worked for the local university and was very knowledgeable and great with the kids. We got to climb to the top of Vesuvius and then go down to Pompeii--which Michaela really made come alive for us as it is her favorite place in Italy. Again, we would highly recommend that tour--especially for those with families. In fact, we'd love to have Michaela's e-mail address as the kids would like to stay in touch with her. Is there any chance that you would have that? Thanks again for everything.
You beat me to the punch! I was going to drop you a line this week, after the smoke clears. Everyone was absolutely fantastic!! Our hike to the top of Vesuvius with Elisa was spectacular, and she is so knowledgeable that it was one of the very best as far as information was concerned! Both she and our driver, Enzo, were a total delight.
The trip through Pompeii was a bit rushed, but still very good.
Without a doubt, Pompeii was the highlight of my trip. Considering the number of places I visited (Marrakech, Casablanca, Rome, Naples, Pisa, Florence, Paris), that is quite a recommendation. Even though the weather was less than cooperative, the day was still a success. Why? Well, the city of Pompeii was very fascinating in it's own right but the entire tour experience was just right.
As outlined in your instructions, we contacted the local person in Naples the day prior to our tour. With his suggestion and the help of our concierge at the hotel, we secured train tickets for the short ride from Rome to Naples. We were met by Michela as we got off the train and escorted to the waiting driver and car. The driver was well dressed, drove safely and was professional in his mannerisms. The car was also fairly new and comfortable. On the way to Pompeii we stopped for coffee. After a short drive we arrived at Pompeii where we promptly began our tour. The tour lasted until around 2 in the afternoon. We then went to a restaurant for lunch. Lunch was good and it gave us some time to discuss what we saw and to learn more about each others lives. After lunch we were met by the driver again and we stopped at the entrance of Pompeii to pick up some books. After that, we did a quick tour of downtown Naples. Finally, we were dropped off at the train station where Michela showed us exactly which platform our train would depart for Rome. The day in Naples ended very positively.
I must say I had concerns about handing over $500.00 to a company I found via the internet for services to be performed in the future..... in another country! Number one, it's a lot of money for a tour; number two, the quality of the tour has many variables that could make it less than optimal. By design, it all came together and considering myself an experienced traveler, I would rate my Pompeii/Naples experience very very favorably.
On a personal note, I found Michela to be very courteous, patient, spoke clear and concise English and very interested in showing and explaining to us the ancient city of Pompeii. Her enthusiasm was very evident and it was clear she took pride in her city of Naples and her heritage. Being that she is an archeological research student, I couldn't have asked for a more knowledgeable guide. I am very glad that she was our tour guide and that we had a safe and courteous driver.
In closing, the money was well spent and my experience in Pompeii will always be remembered. You delivered as promised and in such a way that I am 100% satisfied in your services. If your other tours are similar to the one I took, then without a doubt In Italy will be a huge success.
The attached picture is typical of the many times we would pause for an explanation and to simply "take in" the sensations of the experience.
We were extremely pleased with the reservations that we made through In Italy and we would highly recommend your services to anyone who is traveling to Italy. As you may recall, we booked two activities through your company and everything was 100% perfect.
We took our train ride from Rome to Napoli (Naples) where we were greeted by Michela, our guide for the day, at the train station. She took us to the van where the driver was waiting and we proceeded to Pompeii. It was nice to be in an air-conditioned vehicle as it was hot in August!
At Pompeii, we waited a minute as Michela skipped past the line and got our entrance tickets. Once inside Pompeii, Michela guided our party of four through the ruins. She was very knowledgeable about the events leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD as well as the history of the town itself. Two of us had been to Pompeii before with a tour, but this private tour allowed for a personal glimpse of the city that was much better than the tour we had used in the past. The ages of our group ranged from 15 to 64 (with two of us in our 40's) and taking this into consideration, Michela didn't run us ragged through the streets. She kept us moving at a nice, leisurely pace. We all had bottled water with us, but she carried an extra couple of bottles in her knapsack for us just in case, which was very thoughtful. When we had seen more of Pompeii than we had ever seen, it was time to head out to our lunch which was included in the price of our tour.
Elisa greeted us at the restaurant, and after making sure that our tour was going o.k., got us settled into a table and we had a great lunch of pizza and soda. Before heading to the top of Mt. Vesuvio, we had a few minutes for some postcard and souveneer shopping.
Back in the van, again, thankful for the airconditioning, we began the winding ride up to the top of the volcano. Our driver was very experienced with the roads and curves and did an excellent job of safely getting us everywhere we went.
The van can only get so far up the mountain and the final trek to the rim of the volcano has to be made on foot. Now, this is a pretty steep climb and it takes a good bit of time, but again, Michela did not rush us in the least, and all four of us (including our 64 year old Grandmother) made it to the very top! Along the way, Michela continued to entertain us with her knowledge of volcanoes, and the famous eruption which destroyed Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum.
The top of Mt. Vesuvius is fantastic, and offers an unparralled view of Naples, the Bay of Naples, the islands, and Pompeii. We happened to time it right and a volcanologist was giving a lecture about Vesuvius (in English) near the volcano's crater which helped supplement the information already given to us by our guide, Michela.
Walking down the volcano was easier than walking up but still a little tricky. Michela continued to keep us moving at a pace that was comfortable for all of us. Back in the van, we headed back to Naples.
We had made a little mistake with our train reservations and we were not scheduled to leave until 9PM. Michela came to the rescue and helped us get our tickets changed. She took our tickets into the main train station to see if she could get our reservations changed to an earlier departure. Success!! Anyone who has travelled to Europe knows that trying to get tickets changed can be, at best, a challenge; but, Michela took care of that for us with no problems. The change in reservations allowed us about 45 minutes before the next train left. Michela and her driver had met us at 9AM and it was now nearly 6PM, yet she offered to give us a tour of beautiful Naples (her hometown). She also took us to her favorite gelato place, and INSISTED on picking up the tab. "This is my treat" she told us. She was indeed correct when she told us that this was the best gelato anywhere (we put her to the test and tried gelatos all over Italy, and none compared to the ones we had in Naples.)
It was a little sad when our tour finally did come to an end more than nine hours after we had been greeted at the train station, and we had to say goodbye to our guide who had treated us so politely and with so much enthusiasm.
A few days later, we were able to use the second part of our In Italy package as we went to the Accademia in Florence. Now, I could go on and on about the beauty of Florence, but instead, I will just say how happy we were to be able to skip the very long lines of people waiting to get into the museum as we were indeed on the list and able to walk in and see the statue of David at exactly the time our reservation stated.
In conclusion, we would like to once again say Thanks for everything you did to ensure that we had a fantastic time while we were in Italy. You answered our e-mail questions quickly and got all of our tickets and information to us in a timely fashion. We were a little wary of ordering online as we were not sure what to expect. Well, we were 100% satisfied and will highly recommend your company to anyone who is planning a trip to Italy. You can be sure that we will be contacting you and In Italy again when our travel plans take us back to Italy.
Mark J/Charles B
The tour of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius was wonderful. The tour guides pleasant and knowledgeable. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will recommend you to our friends. I have no criticisms. I would, however, recommend you suggest your clients wear some type of closed shoe or hiking boot when going up to Vesuvius. We wore sandals and, wow, did our feet get dirty. Thank you for a wonderful tour.
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