Welcome to Ciao Tours - Your Window on Italy
Unique, Personalized, Independent Tours of Italy
Over the past 20 years Ciao Tours has built a reputation as a boutique Tour Operator specializing solely in Italy. “Do what you know how to do, and do it well!” This team of Canadian and Italian women has been together for many years because Italy, and Canada, is where we live and raise our families. We have succeeded in Italy by building relationships based on trust and dedication, which in turn makes our clients experience in Italy the very best! We pride ourselves on knowing the family ran wineries and Agritourisms intimately and are eager to show our clients the warm and friendly hospitality they have to offer. I personally invite you to Italy to become part of our family. Buon Viaggio!
The highest compliment you can give Ciao Tours is to recommend us to your friends, family & business associates. "I nostri clienti sono sempre parte della nostra grande famiglia…grazie!”
Thank You Ciao Tours for another wonderful, well-organized tour in Italy!
Our drivers were excellent-friendly, helpful and very skilled-Matteo Suti, our driver for three days while based in Montepulicano was exceptional. He was a traffic guide as well as an excellent driver and certainly went above and beyond. He showed us some special places that were not on the itinerary but he fit them in as time permitted.
And our Guides (except for Vinci) were wonderful! We learned so much from them and enjoyed their company immensely!
The apartments in both Montepulicano and Lucca were really good and the contact people unbelievably helpful!
But the Icing on the cake was out stop in Siena and to visit with Alessandra and having lunch, compliments of ciao Tours. As the expression goes, that was the Piece de resistance!!. The food and service at the restaurant were excellent (thank you again ) the visit with Alessandra was very special to us all-she is a real gem!!
Honestly, we could not have asked for more from this trip. But, of course, non of this would have been possible without Ciao Tours and their excellent, hands-on team.
Thank you, Arlene, Alessandra and all the team at Ciao Tours for making our return trip to Tuscany, an amazing experience!!!
Hello again Romina!
We had such a great time in Italy. So many great memories!
As promised, here is some feedback on our trip:
What we liked:
2. The Ciao tours booklet. Very complete. Chockfull of great info. Easy to follow along. Lots of things to pick and choose from on free days. Kim found your restaurant recommendations particularly helpful.
3. Being “followed”. It’s amazing the peace of mind we got from Didi following us. She helped with reminders, dinner reservations, logistics etc. It was easy to relax quickly knowing we had someone watching over us!
4. The pace of the tour. With the exception of November 6 (see below), we found the pace of the tour pretty much perfect for us. Activities in the morning, free time in the afternoon. Busy days, then free days. You clearly put a lot of thought into sequencing the tour.
5. The cooking class. A highlight for us. We really enjoyed Paolo and Lisa!
6. Super Luca the Walking Encyclopedia. Our guide Luca in Florence was so knowledgeable. He kept our attention for the full 4 hours. He adapted the tour very quickly to our interests based on the questions we were asking. Great sense of humor, polite, well spoken, very good English. All the guides were good but Luca stood out.
7. Hotel Metropole. Five star and the breakfast was insanely good!
Some comments and suggestions:
1. November 6 was too busy! It was the only day we could not do everything that was planned. We did the 4 hour walking tour with Luca and the Uffizi but skipped Accademia. Also, the amount of time allotted for Uffizi was not quite enough for us. Too much to see in a few hours, our tickets were for a 4:45 reservation and it closed just after 6:30 (maybe off-season hours??). Security on the way in took some time!
2. Hotel Pierre. Room was nice enough and location perfect relative to the Duomo, Uffizi etc. However, it was noisy (tourist market across the street) and the breakfast was really subpar.
3. Consider simply booking the car rental WITH the GPS included. Realistically, the GPS is indispensable.
4. Consider explaining to people early in the process that only one person needs an international driver’s license because the car rental includes only one driver and to add a driver is something like 10 Euros per day (I might have the number wrong). In our case we both got international licenses ($40 each at AMA here in Calgary), but said no the charge for the extra driver fees as we felt it was too much. So we spent $40 we otherwise wouldn’t have.
5. Perhaps review opening hours for tours after November 1. For example in Greve, Enotecca Falorni is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting Nov 1. Most things were closed in Castellina for fall hours. Still, beautiful to walk around!
Garzie mille mille for such a wonderful tour. So well done!
Neil and Kim
Just heard back from Ken and Kim today.
They are so happy with the trip!!! They said that everything was wonderful.
The hotels were great and the locations and sightseeing was fantastic. The Cinque Terre was their highlight for sure.
They wanted to extend a huge thank you for everything!
Trip was wonderful and Alessandra was great about reaching out and helping us modify our trip with the additional request for the personal tour of the Coliseum.
Enzo was a great driver and gave us some great tips on things to do in Sorrento and where to eat.
Both of the guides in Rome (Thomas and Irene) were terrific. Michael also did a great job in Pompei and Naples. Cooking experience was a lot of fun.
We could have gotten a little more complex in the dishes we made but the simplicity and great taste of the ravioli and sauce were definitely things we took back with us.
Francesca was outstanding and is a great teacher!
The only improvements I would make are:
– We’re used to queen or king beds vs. having 2 single beds pushed together but made up separately. We requested queen or king but I’m guessing the hotels you worked with do not have those types of beds. Let your customers know what to expect when they’re booking a superior double room.
– We booked our ferry to/from Capri the morning we were traveling there thinking it’s late in the season and we didn’t have to worry. Unfortunately for us, we only got to spend a few hours on Capri since the latest ferry we could take back was 3:00. I’d advise travelers to book the ferry well in advance. I’d also advise them to plan what they want to see and possibly use the local taxi tour guides. We did a lot of walking around, trying to avoid touristy places and wound up at the lighthouse (which didn’t have any bathrooms).
– The Victoria Hotel was in transition from summer to fall so even though it was unseasonably warm, they would not enable the air conditioner to be turned on so we had the windows wide open with a lot of street noise. They had towel warmers in the bathrooms but told us they don’t use them until the winter. First time I’ve come across that.
All in all, a fantastic trip.