Guest Book

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!”

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013 & EARLIER

Good morning Romina,

We have been home a week now, and thoroughly enjoyed our whole trip.

This was our first time to Italy, what an amazing place.

We choose Ciao tours by reviewing their webpage, and we were not disappointed.

Ciao tours delivered exactly what we asked for in our customized tour. All of the drivers and tour guides were friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

Ciao tours gave us more than a 100%, more likely 150%.

All four of us would highly recommend Ciao tours to family and friends and would call upon you for another trip.

Wayne and I will always remember our 40th wedding anniversary in Italy.

Catherine

The Brooks Family, Vancouver, BC, May 2017

Hi, Arlene!

I am writing to say thank you very much to you and your whole team for all your efforts in planning our vacation and looking after us on our trip.

It was without doubt our very best vacation! 

Many of our friends have asked what was our favourite place but I find the question impossible to answer because truly each place we visited was special.

Everywhere we went we were well looked after by the hotel staff (they were always aware of any travel arrangements too) and all of our tour guides were exceptional.

Ciao Tours is clearly a very highly regarded company throughout Italy and certainly Dewayne and I are two very satisfied clients! 

Pam and Dewayne Penner

Pam & Dewayne Penner, Cranbrook, BC, May 2017

We really enjoyed our trip!!

We will definitely call you when we make a return trip to Italy!

Thank you for taking such good care of us!

You exceeded our highest expectations and we will definitely refer our friends to you! 

Thanks again,
The Johnson Family….Nancy, Chuck, Katie, and Sarah

The Johnson Family, Hartselle, AL, May 2017

You all did a fantastic job planning and executing our anniversary trip!!

Everything went very very smoothly and all travel and tours were on time and staffed with great friendly people.

The hotels were excellent as well.

We enjoyed every minute and we will recommend you highly! 

Thank you again and please send Claudia our thanks as well.

Thomas

DeAnne & Thomas Keady, Cary, NC, May 2017

My husband and I just returned from our third trip to Italy (always using Ciao Tours for our adventures).

As with our last two trips, this trip was flawlessly planned and executed by the team at Ciao. 

Didi checked in with us all along the way, and our drivers (DeAnna, Alessandro, and Jerry) and tour guides (Thomas in Rome, Michael in Pompeii, Elisabetta in Verona, and Valeria in Milan) were top notch! We also enjoyed two wonderful cooking lessons (fabulous Cristina in Modena, and Chef Lucca at the Hotel Florida in Lake Garda), and a food tour in the Modena region that exceeded all of our expectations!

Ciao is our “go to” travel company for Italy!

Their attention to detail is incredible, and we feel a sense of “family” because they pride themselves on the relationships they build with their contacts in Italy.

We are already planning our next trip, and cannot wait to call Arlene to get started!

Nina

Nina & Lee Reeves, McKinney, TX, May 2017

Good morning Romina,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

We had a fabulous holiday!

I want to thank you & your team for working out all the details, we throughly enjoyed everything.

The best was we didn’t have to worry about anything, as you had it ready & prepared. Our tours went wonderfully and we feel very blessed that we had been recommend to Ciao Tours.

We will & have already recommended you & your company.

Please thank Didi, it was fantastic to have a contact in Italy looking after Us.

Thanks you for blessing me & my family,

Susan

Bristow Family, Saskatoon, SK, May 2017

Our 22 day Sicily and southern Italy trip was a dream.  After the first debacle with my passport on day one, all else went great.

I have to say: Thanks to Ciao Tours for handling us as total VIPS.  We were not sure what to expect.  This trip was just Peggy and I, no group and custom to us.

Our drivers surprisingly came on time everyday in their shiny black Mercedes. Pino, in Catania Luigi, Naples airport to Sorrento Alessandro Mario,for 9 hours for Ravello, Amalfi and Positano.  Also 7 hours from Sorrento, to Caserta and Rome our last full day.Gino (Luigi) Ciaramella for Sorrento to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius and wherever we wanted him to go.

They were handsome intelligent well dressed men who were bilingual that acted as our personal assistants and drivers for the day.  Problems could easily be handled by our driver or our agents Laura and Claudia (here in Italy).

We often went to the head of a line at tourist spots and had special tables waiting in some restaurants.  We did not deal with buses , taxis or trains, just the boats around Sorrento.

Every tour guide had a college history degree and was highly intelligent. Alessandro, at Mount Etna (not the driver) Federica,at the Cantina Marilina Winery in Noto Sicily.  Michael La Ferla, in Siracusa (lived in Philly for awhile Temple College) Ester, in Catania Laura, in Pompeii Simona, in Naples  Michael, Castera

The cooking class with Francisca at Fattoria Terranova, Sorrento. We also hired our own trip with Fulvio Esposito as a guide on a rugged hike at Capri.

The hotels were in the areas that interested us.  We could choose 2,3,4 or 5 star service hotels.  No matter what you pick, they are all clean and positioned just right. Other than the one Siracusa hotel with an AC problem (which Laura intervened), it was corrected the next day.

If you want to see Italy right, contact Ciao Tours.  They have offices in Canada and Sienna Italy. They will customize a trip in your budget, and help you find whatever you are looking for in Italy. They can give good suggestions or totally do it for you.  However they do not make your flight plans, but everything else they handle.  Go big or go small they can do it.

We would highly recommend Ciao Tours. They get 5 stars from the Blues!

Glenn & Peggy Blue, Wrightsville, PA, May 2017

Caterina, Arlene and Didi,

We would like to thank you for a wonderful trip to Italy.

It is the first time that we have used an agency to organize the entire trip for us, and it was amazing.  We loved all the hotels and the Agriturismo Il Palagio.

It was so nice to be greeted at the Florence airport after a long flight from Calgary and delivered to our first hotel.

We have recommended your agency to several people, including the other passengers on our Sail Croatia cruise, which followed our Italian adventure.

A great trip

Jane & Bill Hay

Jane & Bill Hay, Calgary, AB, May 2017

Hi Arlene, thank you!

It was an amazing trip and we both thank you for guiding us through it with such care and excellence!

Gail was indeed surprised, a once in a lifetime experience for her!

We could see, as the trip went on, evidence of your expertise and the value you gave us with outstanding guides, and prompt transport.

Thank you and best wishes!

Paul & Gail Mclain Lugowski

Paul & Gail Mclain Lugowski, Cloves, CA, May 2017

Thanks Romina, we had a very nice time and it has been a pleasure to work with you over the last few months.

Laura and Claudia were great, I appreciated the check-ins.

I discussed with Claudia that one of the drivers wasn’t the best and she appreciated the feedback. He was quite opinionated and inflexible. However, most of the hired guides and driver were great in particular Alberto in Florence, what a very intelligent and knowledgeable man.

Special credit goes to Gustavo who walked our daughter through her check in and gate, then came back and helped the rest of us manage through a cancelled flight. He stayed the whole time, then walked us through the airport so we wouldn’t miss our re-booked flight.  This took a couple hours. A very kind man, say thank you to him once again.

Shelley Zagajewski & Family

Zagajewski Family, Calgary, AB, May 2017

Buongiorno Romina!

Thank you for your welcome home email.  We are still lost in memories of our recent experiences in Italy and adjusting to being back home.

It was an amazing trip!  So many places and so much to see and do.  Still processing much of it.

Claudia was wonderful and we both appreciated her support and assistance.  It was so helpful to get her phone calls when we arrived at a new place and sometimes we required her guidance.

Would be happy to provide feedback on our experiences.  Can’t think of anything negative ….. just need a bit of time to collect our thoughts.

Steve took hundreds (and hundreds) of photos.  It was a dream for him and he took so many beautiful artistic photos.  We would be happy to share some of them with you and he will definitely “like” Ciao Tours on facebook.

We will be in touch.

Grazie.

Lorri & Steve

Lorri & Steve Simone, Calgary, AB, May 2017

Hello Romina, It was a fantastic vacation!!!!!!!!!!

As far as feedback is concerned, let’s start with the good stuff:
• We found the process of working with Ciao to design our vacation pleasant and professional
• Everything was extremely well organized – we simply followed the book and supplied maps and everything happened like clockwork. We felt very well taken care of the few times we needed help – Didi was there and took care of everything
• Hotels were all centrally located and served as great hubs to explore from

Of particular note: Rosa dei Venti (Agriturismo in Tuscany) and La Ciliegina in Naples were outstanding!!
• Our guides (with one exception listed below) were friendly, knowledgeable, and clearly passionate about Ciao and their jobs

Potential areas for improvement:
• We found GPS coordinates for parking and hotels extremely helpful (provided in book for 80%+ of locations).  Wherever possible, update guide to provide GPS coordinates for remaining areas
• Our Vatican guide was only so-so.  You could tell this is a hobby for her – when she was not speaking with us she appeared to be checking personal social media on her phone
• The day trip to Capri, albeit one of the highlights of our trip, was a little oversold.  We were unable to visit the blue hole as there were too many tourists and the Limoncello ‘tasting’ was only one small drink.  That said – it was still one of our favorite days and we would recommend to anyone.  The small group tour was a great way to meet new friends!
• We loved Pathway to the Gods and would recommend to anyone.  That said – none of the recommended guides were available (we spoke with four of them) and the tour companies were booked solid, so we decided to do it on our own.  As experienced travelers, we were fine, but for the less experienced travelers they should have a guide and we recommend Ciao book this in advance as part of the package rather than leaving it to the client to try and find one

Thanks again for everything – we will highly recommend Ciao to any of our friends planning a trip to Italy.

Scott & Angela

Scott & Angela Ackerman, Rewood Meadows, AB, May 2017

Hi Arlene, we had a wonderful trip.

We enjoyed every location for each special thing for the various regions.

Our guides in each location treated us very well and were very good at telling us all there was to know in each location.

There was only the one thing we would change if possible shorten our time in Pisa.  Also I would try to communicate better regarding the flight number so when we were delayed we could’ve helped out our driver sent in Rome.

We would definitely go to Italy again!

Lynne and Steve

Lynne & Steve Newhouse, Cranbrook, BC, May 2017

Romina it was so nice to receive your phone message when we got home on Wednesday night.

We most certainly will be forwarding some pictures on to you.

Rosa dei Venti was a gem.

We most definitely will be recommending Ciao tours to anyone who wants to travel to Tuscany.  As well, we still want to go back with Karen and Larry, hopefully next year.  I will be liking and commenting on Facebook.

Next time I go to Scarpones I will check to see if you are free for coffee. I would like for you to meet Bryan as well, for he had a much deserved vacation.

Again, many thanks.
Lynne

Lynne Weseloski, Calgary, AB, May 2017

Hi Romina,

Jesse and I had a fabulous time on our trip! Everything was very organized, thought out, and all of our experiences were fantastic. The tours were all excellent, and we especially loved the cooking class in Sorrento and the private tours in Rome and Pompei. The hotels/apartment and rooms were all great and Claudia was very helpful. The only thing we would say is that we probably didn’t need a private transfer in Florence as our hotel was so close to the train station, but overall we had an amazing experience! Thank you so much for all of your help and advice, it really made our trip one to remember. We haven’t saved any of our pictures yet, but we have many great ones!

Thank you again!
Krista

Krista White, Calgary, AB, April 2017

Hi Arlene We had the best time ever! The Castle was the bomb…. I will get something posted asap

 Thank you so much!  We LOVE Ciao Tours.

Jerry Mooney and family, San Diego, CA, January 2016

The trip was fantastic and both Ron and I returned with wonderful memories – here a quick synopsis of our trip.

Rome:I think I can speak for Ron when I say that we fell in love with Rome – it is a lovely city and very easy to get around.

The tours to both the Coliseum and the Vatican were great. Thomas (our tour guide) was very patient with our questions and stopping for photos, etc. When we finished at the Vatican – Ron and I walked back to our hotel which was a very enjoyable walk along the Tiber River. We managed to take in La Traviotta and The Three Tenors (St. Paul’s Within the Wall), Opera Highlights (Basilica di San Vitale) and then the opera Nabucco at the Terme di Caracalla which was definitely a highlight as they used the ruins as a part of the set. The Rose Garden Palace was a lovely hotel and quite close to everything. The Crypts & Catacomb tour was nice but it felt rushed and probably something that we could have done on our own as it would have allowed more time – we actually went off on our own after the final portion rather than stay on the bus.Other highlights were, of course, Trevi Fountain which has been refurbished – unfortunately, the Spanish Steps were being cleaned, etc. but we did manage to see the area. Piazza Navona was lovely as I’m a huge fan of the Dan Brown books/movies J

Sienna:The wine-tasting tours was great – especially Andrea, the wine guy. The gentleman that provided the first wine tasting when we arrived was lovely and we actually went back to the restaurant across from his shop for dinner on the second night. They were all very informative and the bus trip to the different wineries was very scenic. Lisa, I believe, provided a afternoon tour when we first arrived which was great but we felt that after she showed us the town there wasn’t much else to see.

Florence: Quick opportunity – would have been nice to have more time. Ron and I both enjoyed the high-speed trains – 300 km/hour – wow. Being a lover of speed I think I could certainly enjoy driving the highways of Italy and could imagine driving my Volvo C70 along the Amalfi Coast. Bernardo, I believe was our guide, he was very informative and a delight. As mentioned more time in Florence would have been nice as we really didn’t get to see anything else in the Academia Gallery except David which, of course, was spectacular.

Sorrento: Fabulous – the boat tour to the Isle of Capri was a highlight – Alfonso, the boat owner, provided a lovely experience as well as the group was enjoyable. As a group we opted not to do the wait for the Blue Grotto but instead enjoyed two dips in the Mediterranean as well as enjoyed the Green and White grottoes. If any customers ask – the walk from the boat drop off to the top where the bus would take you is only 2900 steps (both ways) – a relaxing climb and provides lovely scenic views.Our hotel was located away from the main part of Sorrento which meant that we didn’t get to explore the area as much as we would like – didn’t feel like walking after spending each day doing a tour. The hotel had a lovely view from both our room and restaurant area. We found another restaurant not too far away which we visited for supper. Great food and lovely walk to cap off the evening. Tour of the Amalfi coast (Positamo, Amalfi and Ravallo) was lovely but did seem rushed – the scenery was lovely and our guide managed to slot in a boat tour along the coast line. Ravallo peaked our curiosity as it appears to hold a yearlong music festival. The noise from the crickets was a lovely reminder why perhaps Carlo Collodi decided on a cricket when writing Pinocchio J

Naples/Pompeii:Would have liked more time in Pompeii as I feel that we just scratched the surface – as indicated less time in Sienna may have allowed more time in Pompeii. Our guide for that day was very informative as well as our driver Emiliano.

Food: overall the food was wonderful. Enjoyed a taste of limoncello as well as grappa. While in Rome every night was capped off with lemon gelato.

Definitely would return to Rome and the Amalfi Coast – next time Milan and Venice.

Thank you for arranging everything and Ciao Tours was very accommodating and did an excellent job in making our first trip to Italy enjoyable and memorable.

Bev & Ron Garnett, Lethbridge, AB, July 2016

Ciao Arlene, Romina, e Didi!

Simao a Bari, stanchi e Sani! Abbiamo restituito la machina, e quests sera andiamo fare la pizza con Silvia!

Vi ringraziamo tanto tanto per il nostro bel viaggio.

Okay, enough of that!

We want to thank you Arlene first of all….and Romina and Didi!   You did a great job on our trip.

Right from the beginning we had confidence in all of you.   You proved us right. We really have no complaints whatsoever. Everything was so well planned and our itinerary booklet was fabulous!

The hotels were excellent ( except for room 136 at Taormina!)

Your guides were fabulous! They were on time, accommodating, intelligent, and very interesting and helpful.

We are now in our room at le Nazioni with a marvellous view of old Bari and the ocean! What more do we need.

Arlene, would recommend your Ciao Tours to anyone at all, really.   And I’m happy to be travelling with your help and your teams’ help again next spring.

Ciao for now, and again, GRAZIE TANTO!

Albert & Lucia Merlo, Calgary, AB, October 2016

Hi Arlene, sorry we haven’t replied yet!

We have done a lot of travel around the world, but this was hands-down the best trip we’ve had in our lives.

To be honest, at first, I was a little hesitant about having private drivers, private tours, and everything organized by a third-party, we have never done that before.

I have to say, it was worth every penny and more. There were no headaches or worries, no concerns about getting ripped off for getting lost.

The itinerary, duration of stay, areas visited, tours, accommodations, everything was perfect.  We really don’t have any constructive criticisms, everything was so organized and clear.

We have been spoiled for all future travel!  We have already highly recommended your service to close friends and family, and will continue to do so.  Grazie mille!!!

George & Karen Zimakas, Niagara Falls, ON, October 2016

Good morning Arlene,

Sorry for the late response, just wanted to let you know we had a great holiday overall.

Many highlights for us! I think if I ever go back which I know I will, I will have a day or two in Venice without tours just to get sleep and get your bearings.

Thanks again for everything the memories will never leave me! Tara and I both said what an incredible trip. Wish we were still there!

Arlene Stjerneberg, Comox, BC, October 2016

Hello Romina!

We had a wonderful time! We were very happy with the service from Ciao tours. Our hotels were amazing, everything very organized. We really enjoyed our wine tour and cooking class, probably our favourite days.

This trip did start off a bit rocking with our transfer to Rome and almost missing our train but we made it with literally seconds to spare haha! Cliff had a problem with a faulty Segway that he spoke to Laura about and she mentioned a possible refund on that tour?

All in all we would highly recommend your service to any of our friends and family. I will send a few photos. We even found the cashmere shops in Florence and I came home with a beautiful scarf.

Thank you for all of your hard work and thorough service. I really enjoyed working with you.

Bonnie & Cliff Russell, Saskatoon, SK, October 2016

Good Morning Romina,

On behalf of Lesley, I would like to thank you and your company for providing us with one of the most memorable vacations we’ve ever been on. As you know this was a “bucket list” trip for us and Ciao exceeded our every expectation.

All of the hotels, guides and transfer people you provided us with were better than we were expecting. I do not want to give you a step by step accounting, just be confident that we were extremely pleased from start to finish.

With regard to individual observations… the dinner with Maria Luisa and Eddo was definitely a highlight and we are honoured and privileged that we were her only guests for the year.

With regard to planning, we probably could have used another day in Venice and another day in Florence. Venice was so unique we could have explored it for another day and not seen everything, Florence the same (also Lesley and Nancy could have used more time in the leather market 🙂 ).

 The Felsina winery was very interesting, seeing where and how the wine and olive oil was fascinating, the only thing that could have improved it was during our wine tasting and light lunch we were provided a private room..great… but we were not provided with an itinerary for the meal i.e how many courses, how long it would take etc. also, the olive oil and wines were provided to us but with no instruction as to how to taste it properly or what we were supposed to be doing.

The person helping us left the room and did not give us a wine or olive oil tasting lesson.

If not for the fabulous lunch the day before in Sienna where we were taught by an expert we would have been on our own and would not have enjoyed the experience half as much. This was a minor thing for us but for future travellers who do not get the benefit for the lunch the day before i can imagine the experience would not be that enjoyable.

 This information is only provided to you so you can know what is going on on the ground at your various service providers, it did not in any way lessen the overall experience.

 In conclusion we would once again like to that you and all of Ciao Tours for a wonderful once in a lifetime trip. We would highly recommend you company and please feel free to us any or all of this email and an endorsement.

Craig & Lesley Lawrence, West Vancouver, BC, September 2016

Romina,

Bess and I had a trip of a lifetime to Italy with many wonderful experiences.

Thank you!

Howard & Bess Pearse, Calgary, AB, October 2016

Hi Arlene,

Wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful vacation.

We loved every bit of it. Ciao Tours did a fantastic job arranging the entire trip. All arrangements went off without a hitch.

All of the hotels were excellent but are favourite was the La Minervetta in Sorrento. That place is amazing. One of the most unique and beautiful hotels we ever stayed in.

The guides and drivers were really good and the vehicles were in great condition. The arrangements you made for the car rentals and train tickets worked perfectly. The train ride from Catania, across the Straits of Messina and thru Calabria to Cosenza was really interesting and fun. While we expected beautiful scenery in Sicily and weren’t disappointed, we were shocked by the beauty of Calabria.

I also want to offer special thanks to Claudia for keeping tabs on us. It was a great feeling to know that if we had a problem we could call Claudia and she would get us thru it. 

If you have any questions, please contact me. Otherwise, thanks a million for all you did to make our trip extra special.

Tony & Cathy LaRocco, Downers Grove, Il, October 2016

Arlene, Just wanted to say thanks again for helping make our Italian trip a success for the second time. 

Your choices of places to visit were excellent based on our desires and needs.

The hotels that you suggested were perfect and the guides were helpful and enthusiastic. All the information that you provided us with was relevant and useful.

Our “Italian experience” was wonderful and, I believe, would not have been as much a success had we not had the guidance and expertise of Ciao Italia Tours. 

Rick & Cathy Klassen, Cranbrook, BC, October 2016

Dear Arlene,

Lucca guide Eleanor from my home town Vancouver was special treat! All driver guides arrived on time and were very knowledgeable enjoyed our time with them all.  Villa San Michele WOW loved it for lunch! No trouble with the trains very fast moving!

Hotel Bristol very elegant but super friendly Sorrento great !Our day with Nino discovering Amalfi coast, Ravello & Amalfi, lots of fun nice man!  What a zoo so many tourists!

We enjoyed Teatro Tasso Sorrento musical.  Thanks for that surprise. Siena Hotel La Villa beautiful and everyone very friendly. I must say that breakfasts at all Hotels were super good didn’t need lunch most days. Our morning with Lisa very nice in spite of the showers.  Very friendly. Great walk about with her.  Met Alessandra had great time at Eno-Ristorante.  Lovely man gave us great wine tasting before lunch with.

Alessandra thanks to Ciao Tours!  Very much liked your Alessandra very kind to us. Took us to our hotel good thinking after the wine tasting!

Mike enjoyed all the wine tasting!  In Pienza  bought some of their Pecorino cheese very good.  Mike did buy Chianti wine to take home. We both loved Siena & enjoyed our time there.

San Gimignano was very nice had lunch at Ristorante Peruca built in old wine cellars.

All & All Great trip Thanks Ciao!  Have been telling everyone must go with Ciao only way to see Italy!

Mike & Geraldine Sharun, Nanaimo, BC, September 2016

Buongiorno Tutti:

I cannot express properly in this context how much it meant to me and how much your organization of that trip was absolutely perfect.

Everyone asks if I went by myself and my reply is “yes”, but not really. Ciao was with me the whole way and I never really felt alone.

From the book and all your instructions, information, pre-booked tickets – absolutely fabulous!

Even the cell phone – maybe one day I should get one and not be so “old-fashioned” huh??!?

I could go on and on but I will end this epistle and just say that I would proudly recommend you to anyone so thank you for the trip of a lifetime!

Yours sincerely, Sheri

Sheri Robb, Duncan, BC, September 2016

Hello Arlene,

It was a great trip and Didi made sure everything ran smoothly. You and your team did a great job for us. Thank you.

Scott & Karen Paly, Ashville, NC, October 2016

Going to Italy and booking Ciao Tours has been the highlight of my life and I  will definitely recommend us to other people in the future.

I am so impressed by Didi, and we loved being looked after by her on a regular basis. I call her my “Guardian Angel”. ☺

I am so extremely impressed by the guides we had (Valeria, Esther, and Alessandro) to the point that Andrea and Mona want would like to send them some gifts from America.

Thank you Again!

Andrea San Filippo, San Diego, CA, March 2016

Tour guides for each trip were knowledgeable and helpful.   Very great part of our experience.  Also very flexible to our needs.

The cooking lesson was so nice and really gave us a feel of Tuscany

The private transfers and drivers were so very very helpful.   We could have confidence we would be going in the right direction.  That was much needed for us.

The hotel in Venice was lovely and felt like the four star we signed up for.  Also the Tuscany accommodation was a perfect location.

The accommodation in Cortina were nice because of the people and food. I would prepare people for it being old and somewhat rundown but such a nice feeling of skiing community.  We liked it.

The wine tasting was nice and we enjoyed being with Claudia.  We weren’t even that disappointed that it was just wine and not olive oil as originally promised because it was so so lovely and the person working with us was great.

The train arrangements went perfect without a hitch.

We loved our trip and couldn’t have done it with out you all.  

Bagwell Family, Traverse City, MI, March 2016

The trip was fabulous thank you. You made it very easy to get around the instructions were great.

The Apartment in Venice was beautiful, the breakfasts were wonderful, location was great and they cleaned the room everyday! The kitchen however only had dishes and a stove, no pots and pans, oven, microwave, kettle or toaster, still we would recommend it. Hotel in Florence was also great in all regards. Apartment in Rome was perfect, very conveniently located near a coop.

The tours you recommended were good, we especially loved Lucca. All the guides and drivers were terrific and very helpful. Several of them said they appreciate working for you. Our guide in Rome, Antonella was exceptional and very helpful. She gave us great transit info so we never took a taxi once. She read us very well and showed us exactly what we wanted.

We were a little disappointed with Pompeii, very crowded this time of year. The brochure Gartours provided says one “language only tours” but they picked up someone at lunch who only spoke Spanish. The tour guides did the best they could but having to wait for things to be explained in two languages really slowed things down. Between how busy it was in Pompeii and having to wait for them to talk in both languages I don’t think we saw as much as we could have. Aside from Pompeii we would totally recommend everything. I don’t use Facebook but will ask my sons to like you.

Melanie Bourdon & Family, Winnipeg, MB, March 2016

Incredible holiday!  Thank you so much for arranging such a fabulous tour of Italy!

The tours, the transportation and all the events were incredibly well organized; everything fell into place flawlessly.  The guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic; they were flexible, making our tours personalized and tailored to our interests.  We had so little time in Italy, but you made the very most of every minute we had.  It will be a trip we will never forget.

We highly recommend Ciao Tours to anyone who wishes to experience Italy in a most unique and exceptionally enjoyable way.

Anna & Peter Stys, Calgary, AB, May 2016

We had a wonderful trip, thank you.  Everything Ciao Tours planned for us in Venice was superb.  We loved the hotel and its location, our tour with Silvana was great and left us wanting more so I would probably say we could have done another 3 hour tour on our last day because there are just so many hidden treasures to discover!  And Silvana is very knowledgeable – it was a pleasure to meet her.

I guess if there was one thing I would change it may be the gondola ride.  Not sure it was worth it and our gondolier only told us a little bit of what we were seeing, and was on his cell phone a bit.  It wasn’t really anything special although the boats themselves are beautiful.  But we really enjoyed seeing Venice.  It’s truly a wonder.

Our bike trip through Sicily was also great, definitely lots of biking but we saw many, many interesting historical sites as well, and the food was outstanding!  All in all it was a fantastic holiday, thank you all so very much.

Cindy & Tom Mellings, Calgary, AB, May 2016

We have returned from our trip to Italy and want to thank you and your team for the spectacular trip you all planned for us. We turned to you on the strong recommendation of my parents, whose experience a few years ago was similarly excellent.

The trip, as laid out by Ciao Tours, allowed us to experience things we never would have otherwise experienced. The wine tour and lunch in Chianti region at Castelnuovo Berardenga stood out as a real highlight for us, but there were so many other experiences that enriched our tour, they’re simply too numerous for us to mention.

The accommodations were all outstanding, the tours excellently organized and conducted by knowledgeable professionals, and the logistics of the travel from location to location all were outstanding. So enjoyable was our experience that we will no doubt be returning for further exploration of that beautiful country. And Ciao Tours will be the first call me make.

Thanks once again for pulling together such a superb trip for us.

Terry Kellam & Michael Gelmon, Vancouver, BC, May 2016

First of all we like to thank you for putting the itinerary together for us and to Alessandra in keeping in touch with us and making sure everything was in order while we were in Italy.

It’s my first experience with Ciao Tours and you certainly impressed me tremendously with your professionalism and your customer services.  

I must also thank and congratulate Arlene on putting together Ciao Tours and having such wonderful staff.  I wished I had met and thank both you and Alessandra in person.  But it has been a pleasure talking to both of you via eMails and phone.

This was our family’s first trip and hopefully not our last to Italy.  Even though we ran into couple days of foul weather conditions, overall we had a wonderful time, the beautiful scenic tour of the Amalfi coast; the ancient ruins, the beyond description St Peter’s Basilica, the incomparable arts, the beautiful fountains and monuments in Rome; the tranquil but busy towns and sceneries of Cinque Terre and the surrounding areas; the numerous and exhausting museums in Florence; the magical Venice; and not the least Italian cuisine.  It was beyond description and I was intoxicated with the history, the culture and scenic beauties of Italy.   The cancellation of the Capri trip and touring Venice in thunderstorm were disappointing, but when it was time to leave Italy, I had this conflicting feeling, on one hand I was very tired and felt 18-day was simple too long for us; but on another hand I wished I had more time to explore everywhere we had visited, particularly a 1-day trip to Tuscany was simply too short.  I would have stopped right here and finished with a heartfelt thank you.  But you did ask for my comments on the services and here are some of my post-trip thoughts on Ciao Tours services:

  1. All the hotels are conveniently located.
  2. All the drivers/transfers and guides were excellent.
  3. It was our first time to Italy and we had no knowledge of the Italian rail system at all.  The first train trip from Naples to Rome was without incident.  However, our second train trip from Rome to Monterosso was eventful and panicky: there was, if everything is on schedule, a 18 minute interval between trains, but in actual fact there was less time as the first train from Naples to La Spezia was late.
  4.  The booklet Ciao Tours provided was very helpful.  We followed some of the suggested walking tours in the booklet and had dinner in some of the suggested restaurants.  But with the era of smartphones and tablets, I found the booklet a bit heavy and inconvenient to carry around.  The booklet has to be produced using a word processing software, you might want to explore the possibility of a version that could be downloaded to a smartphone or a tablet.  Then you could even link web addresses and maps/directions to restaurants and points of interest.  Then you could offer your clients the options of hard copy or e version.

It’s a rambling eMail and I would end by once again thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for our family.

Fred Lee & Family, Toronto, ON, March 2016

Hello, and thank you! Sorry but I do not subscribe to “Facebook” so I will not be able to follow you on that service.
Regarding the trip, all of your representatives were excellent and proved to be helpful, extremely pleasant and very knowledgeable.

We met Didi on a soggy afternoon for the luncheon / wine tasting in Siena and she was great, also your guides in both Siena and Florence were excellent and provided in-depth information, context and history; as well information on the best gelato vendors – my granddaughter was delighted.

The villa in Pergine Valdarno was everything expected and more because being located right on the village square gave us a sense of belonging and the residents were friendly, pleasant and welcoming.

The owner Irene was everything you could wish for in a gracious and welcoming host, she was always available and offered many really excellent side trips which were not touristy; also we had 2 extremely delicious meals at her house along with family members and other guests.

The vehicle rental company was easy to deal with, but certainly a lot less formal/ professional than the others ( Budget/Hertz/ Avis) in both their none existent pre-rental preview of the vehicle and the return process, there was no one to check the vehicle in or go over the vehicle to check for damage and or a full tank which was a bit disconcerting. The vehicle operated without issue but was not clean either inside or outside on pickup.

The vineyard tour was excellent and the people were marvellous, it got rave reviews from everyone.

The cooking class in Cortona was very good and Barbara and her Mother were gracious hosts and excellent cooks, but significantly less hands on than the dinners with Irene.

The hotel in Florence was perfect and the location was excellent, but finding it was the challenge. The clerk at,check in, said its not unusual.

Finally I would like to thank Romina for her patience and for putting together a really memorable trip.

I will most certainly recommend your service to others, I was very pleased with all aspects of the tour!

Philip Evans & Family, Toronto, ON, June 2016

We had a wonderful time!! Tour was wonderful and we meet many wonderful people. Didi was wonderful to check on us!

The only spot for improvement would be the hotel in La Spezia. Location was great but they were not able to properly handle all the tour groups they had at the hotel at one time. They ran to of coffee cups, water, silverware and it took forever to get someone to help. I did share this with Gar Tours via survey. Otherwise trip was perfect.

Your travel itinerary was spectacular and the best I have seen. All the details were priceless!!! I will be recommending Ciao Tours to all my friends! It was wonderful working with you and I look forward to working with you again. I have attached a photo and will definitely like Facebook page! 🙂

Misty Rigas & Family, Rome, GA, June 2016

Thank you to Arlene and all the staff at Ciao Tours.

What a team! Everyone is so nice and really goes the extra mile to make sure your Italian vacation is a wonderful experience.

We went to Rome for 3 days and had a great time. Thomas, our guide for 2 days, was very knowledgeable and a great companion. Hotel Cecil, was very clean and the staff always friendly and helpful.

Tiffany & Dave Kapsha, Cranbrook, BC, June 2016

Hi Caterina & Romina, Thanks for all your efforts in making the Ciao Tours part of our trip very special.

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the locations of the hotels you selected in Rome, Lake Garda and Milan.

The Tuscany stay was better than either of us would have ever suspected.

The combination of B&B, wine producer and restaurant in Volterra was so fantastic. Our cooking class was fun and we enjoyed the dining experience at Claudia’s family restaurant (Ristorante Del Duca).

On the note of restaurants we were so thrilled with the ones you picked for us. Particularly in Volterra at Ristorante Etruria and Bice Ristorante in Milan we were treated to above and beyond good service.

The only notable challenge we had was trying to get a good sleep in Italian beds. The hotels we stayed in had either hard or harder mattresses. It might be worth some time for you to source out in future any hotels that brag about comfortable mattresses.

We will be sure to send people your way.

Jeff & Michelle Simpson, Calgary, AB, June 2016

The Perez family had a wonderful time in Italy.

The tours, transfers and apartments were perfect.

Claudia was exceptional with reminders and staying in contact all the time. She was lovely to talk to and we felt secure talking to her on every subject matter. The booklet that ciao tours put together was an excellent reference to Rome and Florence. Just loved it!!!

In terms of making suggestions: the tour guide for the coliseum and Vatican was rushed and we were in the sun too much. It would have been better if she had a pamphlet explaining the paintings on the Sistine chapel instead of standing out in the sun, as I witnessed other tour guides. As a result, my daughter got heat sickness and I couldn’t see the Vatican.

But otherwise an exceptional vacation and will be recommending ciao tours to my family. Thank you again.

Perz Family, New York City, NY, July 2016

Hi Arlene, Thank you, thank you, thank you! We had such an amazing time in Italy thanks to Ciao Tours. It was so comforting to know we had nothing to worry about everywhere we went with friendly people always on hand to pick us up and wonderful Claudia checking in every time we arrived at a new destination.

We were always pleasantly surprised by our accommodations and the staff at each location were wonderful – especially Claudia at the Agritourismo near Volterra, such a beautiful location.

Of course there were many highlights to our trip: Rome and the fabulous tour guide Valentina along with our concerts where we got to see Andrea Bocelli twice in one week – even Pope Francis was at the Rome concert! Venice was better than expected (although the trip from the train station to the hotel for the taxi was tough dragging our suitcases as I always over-pack – I’ll know better next time!) Vaporettas were so easy to use and a great way to get around. We both loved Tuscany and will spend more time there next time.

Until the next time Arlene and of course we have recommended you to everyone we know.

Freda & Kevin Walshe, Calgary, AB, July 2016

Hi Arlene, Just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate you, Laura and the whole organization. Everything was absolutely perfect. This was the best holiday Karen and I have ever had.

Every time we got to a new place there was a new experience or adventure. When we landed in a new place Ciao Tours was right there to make sure we got to our hotel or on the train or to the airport.

The accommodations exceeded our expectations, every hotel was clean, elegant, well-managed and the people were friendly and helpful.

Our tour guides Thomas, Luca, Lisa, and Silvana were knowledgeable, interesting and really nice people to spend the day with. We both believe that without the guides we would have been looking at things we know nothing about. It was nice have everything explained to us so we understand the history behind the artifact.

We had a nice time with Laura at the wine and Olive oil tasting. She is not only a very nice person, but she made absolutely sure we were safe and comfortable at all times.

I have told many people already about Ciao tours so maybe you will get a referral in the future.

We would like to thank you and Laura for making our 30th anniversary a memory that will last forever.

Rodger & Karen Woodhouse, Nelson, BC, July 2016

Hi Arlene, Thanks for your note. The trip was fantastic. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Admittedly, we probably would have put Rome on the front end of the trip and just headed home after the Villa as it was tough to gear ourselves up again to get back into hotels, walking tours and finding restaurants, especially in the oppressive heat.

That said, the Ciao tours components were all fantastic.

The mask making was a real highlight for the whole family and not at all what I expected. It was quaint and incredibly authentic and the girls were tremendous. They even finished off our masks and dropped them off at the hotel.

I know you didn’t book our hotel but he Hilton Stucky was a real highlight for us as well. So easy to get over into the main attractions but so nice to be able to get away and hang out by the pool and the incredible view…just feedback for maybe some families looking to have a retreat from the chaos and heat in the summer.

The Gladiator school was really just a function of everyone being out of gas and the logistics of where we were staying. Beautiful hotel but not very convenient. The fact that it was free and a 5-star did help though.

Again, we were so impressed by the fact that everything worked out and was on-time and without hassle. We will certainly send anyone your way, even from CT, to help plan their trips.

Scott & Sharon Boyd, Hartford, CT, August 2016

Hi Arlene. We want to say Thank You so much for our wonderful experience with Ciao Tours. From the moment we arrived in Italy everything ran as smoothly as possible.

And even when it didn’t (i.e. Siena!), it was handled so quickly and did not negatively impact our experience at all.

Lisa was a wonderful tour guide in both Florence and Siena. She spoke clearly and slowly so we could hear and understand everything she was saying. We were so thankful we were with her in a small group instead of the massive tour groups we saw.

The information she shared with us made our experience in Florence so much more special. She was so patient with our children as well, which made the tour that much better. In Siena, she handled the large group so well.

Everyone came away with knowledge of Siena and the Palio, which of course led to betting all the next day as to who would win the race. We can’t say enough good things about her.

Didi handled the Siena day so well. We were able to enjoy our lunch and still have the tour with Lisa, without ever feeling rushed or pressured. It made us feel so safe to have her following our journey and checking in with us at each stop.

All of our drivers arrived on time and with car seats (with the exception of the last trip to the airport, but a minor detail).

We were so impressed with all of our accommodations and loved them all for different reasons. The hotel in Florence was excellent for the location, large room, great breakfast, and the amazing roof top patio (which we sadly didn’t explore until our last night!).

Hotel Metropole in Santa Margherita was exactly what we needed after Florence. The kids LOVED the beach and the pool. The food was excellent and the room had an incredible view.

Podere Marcampo was such a wonderful experience. Claudia was so welcoming and the kids took to her right away. The views from there are like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We loved the pizza making and wine tasting. The food at the family restaurant was one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

Overall, we had such an incredible experience and one that will stay with us for a lifetime. It was daunting heading for such a journey with a 3 and 5 year old and we couldn’t have had a better time.

We wouldn’t change a thing, and can’t thank you and your team enough for the wonderful job.

PS-We’re so sad to see what’s happening in Italy right now with the earthquake and many, many aftershocks. We hope everyone from Ciao tours and family is safe.

Ryan & Sally Boyd, Calgary, AB, August 2016

Hi Arlene, Daniel and I sure enjoyed our journey. He was quite thrilled with everything we saw. The guides in each city were most helpful. It was great to see the sites and hear the history of all we were observing.

Roberto, in particular, was amazing and incredibly helpful with all his suggestions. Didi was super about checking in with us regularly to make sure all was proceeding as planned.

Thanks for your meticulous planning. We’d definitely recommend your services to others.

Paola & Daniel Picone, Kelowna, BC, August 2016

Hi Romina, Our trip was fabulous thanks to you and all of the great planning. We enjoyed each hotel and the tours were very comprehensive. All three guides, Thomas, Ilaria and Luca were very friendly and certainly knew their “stuff”! Our drivers, Diana in Rome, Andrea (though he didn’t really drive us in Venice), forgot the nice lady’s name who took us to the train in Venice and Luca, who took us to San Gimignano from Florence were also very nice and helpful.

And Alessandra was most helpful too – even when we made a mistake and got off the train too soon on our way to Venice. She told us what to do and all worked out fine – it added a little unexpected excitement to that leg of the trip! She was always there if we needed her.

This was a wonderful trip and we couldn’t have been more pleased.

Kathy & Steve Heilig, Arlington Heights, IL, September 2016

As with all things GOOD, our trip ended all too soon. Thanks to Ciao Tours for another memorable trip to Italy – 3rd time traveling with Ciao Tours. And special thanks to Claudia who was always in the background making sure that things went off without a hitch. PS: We can confirm that there are NO bad Italian wines!

Michael & Delmarie Rosseker, Calgary, AB, April 2015

Hi Arlene. Laurie and I just wanted to let you that we had a fabulous trip to Rome. Didi had already called by the time we got to our hotel so we connected right away. Christina was extremely knowledgeable for our walking tour. She put everything into context which was really helpful. Laurie and I were wondering if she could let us know what we saw on our walking tour in particular the names of the churches that we visited. She was great for the Vatican tour as well – again very knowledgeable. We did the Borghese Gallery on our own but I think we would have preferred having a guide. The audio tour was confusing at first but it also lacked information on many of the pieces. We loved our trip to Naples and in particular our trip to Pompeii. Michael was excellent and brought the whole place to life for us. We would have missed so much if we had gone on our own. He promised to send us a summary of what we saw which we would appreciate receiving. He suggested we do this through you. We really enjoyed our drivers Francesco and Sylvia. Both were very good drivers which you have to be when driving in Rome. They were very professional and punctual. We would ask for them again as well as all our guides to help us with our next tour of Rome. Thank you for making our trip special.

Katie & Laurie McCunn Smith, Calgary, AB, March 2015

Hi Arlene! Just wanted to thank you for everything you and your staff did for my clients. They were in today and raved about the trip. She said everything was perfect and there wasn’t one thing she could find fault with. My client said the cooking lesson was fantastic..in fact everything was. And she said your staff contacted them at least once a day, and when the issue with the airport arose, they called her at least 3 times. She said because of that, she never worried about anything. So thank you again for doing such an amazing job for my clients. I hope I have the opportunity to send more clients your way, down the road!

Sherry Rooks (Travel Plus), Whitecourt, AB, May 2015

Good to hear from you Ylenia, Yes, we did have a fabulous time. People ask me what I liked best and I have to say I liked it all best! I would highly recommend Ciao to others because of your attention to detail, your follow-up (through Didi) in Italy, and the quality of your guides. We can see you have built a strong relationship with them: several commented that they love working with you and one noted she appreciated that you come to Italy every couple of years or so. Their knowledge is fantastic and they seem to be well respected in the tourism industry (based on how they interacted with people in different venues). Barbara and her family were very welcoming: we both loved the cooking course. Barbara’s family came to share the meal. A couple that goes there often also joined in so it was a great conversation group. Oh yes, thanks for the aprons. One of the great things about having private tours of busy places is that you can avoid line-ups. Even when there were line-ups in places where we had tickets the guides were able to scoot us around them: Thomas was particularly good at that. We would strongly recommend the tour of the museum in Naples: it is a fabulous way to pull together all that you see in the archaeological sites. The guide there (name has left me) was great. Even though Naples is not all that pretty we appreciated walking through town with him and getting a feel for a totally different city.

Jean & Leighton Miller, Calgary, AB, May 2015

Thank you and all of your staff for organizing such a lovely trip! We enjoyed every minute of it. The private tours (and the guides) were exceptional. We truly appreciated how much more we learned and saw with the private tours. The hotels we stayed in were high quality and central to so many sites and activities. The villa in Volterra was right out of the movies. We spent a lot of time on the veranda enjoying the view (and drinking wine of course). Claudia was such a lovely lady and very helpful. The wine tastings were also out of this world – such great food and wine! We couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Thanks for the perfect weather too! Again thank you for making our anniversary trip one we will never forget!

Jolene & Jeff Senn, Oscoda, MI, May 2015

Hi Arlene, I just wanted to thank you and everyone at Ciao for all your help with our trip to Italy. My experience was limited to the last few days and principally with the walking tours but as per our last trip with you to Italy everything was fantastic.I ‘ve coped Laurie in case she had anything to note but I would specifically say that I found the tours with Giovanni absolutely exceptional. He is a pleasure to walk around with and learn from and his knowledge of Florence/Italy and its art, history, architecture and culture was encyclopedic. The entire group of us really appreciated both his knowledge and his warm delivery style and ability to help with questions. So, thanks very much again for your kind help and we look forward to reaching out to you whenever we find it is time again to get back to Italy (which is becoming one of those places that is always in the back of your mind as a place that is a great pleasure to travel to).

Ross Bentley & Laurie Robson, Calgary, AB, May 2015

Hi Ylenia! Wow… We had the most wonderful vacation!! It was clear Ciao Tours had put great effort into making our 20th anniversary trip so special. Our accommodations were great and even our rooms within the hotels seemed to be especially chosen for us. We had great views and peaceful nights. All of our tour guides were highly informed, engaging and overall charming. It was the stories not read in tour books that we loved the most and each of them offered one or more such stories. Our drivers were amazing! They were always on time, informative and overall kind and thoughtful people. Hearing from Laura gave us great comfort. Although we stayed fairly close to our plan, we knew Laura was there to help us through any changes or bumps in the road. Highlights definitely included our cooking class with Claudia and biking trip. One area for improvement was our trip to Capris. Our boat operator failed to mention that buses operate sporadically to town and we were led to believe that we could easily accomplish Anna Capris and Capris in 3.5 hours. However, it took us over an hour to get to Capris by bus. Had we known, we would have got a taxi or perhaps a taxi could have been arranged. Other than that, our trip was well thought out and perfectly executed. We would and will recommend Ciao Tours to anyone interested in a magical vacation to Italy. Thanks so much!

Neil and Lori Dunsmore/Smith, Calgary, AB, May 2015

Arlene, Claudia and Ciao Tours staff Before the memories fade of our wonderful holiday in Italy, we want to thank you again for the exceptional service you provided us. Any small problems or questions we had were resolved almost before they appeared. Your advice on restaurants, transportation, etc. was excellent. Laura introduced us to authentic Tuscan cuisine and she and Francesca became a welcome part of our group during the evenings they provided dinner. Francesca even presented us large group photos of each meal. We thank you all. An additional “Grazie” for the wonderful drawing of the main square in Siena which was presented to us for our anniversary. Unfortunately we were not in Siena long enough to accept Claudia’s offer of a tour of this beautiful city. Some of us did spend some time there and were fascinated with it’s Main Square and other charms. We would love to go back someday to see the horses race.

Mills Family, Calgary, AB, May 2015

Hello Ylenia – We had an absolutely wonderful trip. All the hotels were well located and well appointed – good size rooms with modern spacious bathrooms. The hotel near the Rome airport (The Golden Tulip) was a pleasant surprise – beautiful outdoor pool and bar/ restaurant – it made our final night of our trip really enjoyable, when we expecting your run of the mill boring airport hotel. It was so nice to have all the travel arrangements taken care of and have drivers pick us up upon arrival. All of the drivers were very pleasant – the only exception was the driver that picked us up at the airport on our arrival into Rome on our first night. I can’t remember his name, but he spent the entire drive on his cel phone, sometimes juggling two phones and must have had at least 10 conversations on his phones, while driving at breakneck speed! Fortunately, he was the exception. Our guides Antonella, in Rome, and Lisa, in Florence, were both so informative and very nice. It was invaluable to have guides like this when there was so much to see. Our wine and olive oil tasting in Siena was so enjoyable and it was great to meet Didi. Our driver to and from Siena, Marco, was so pleasant and a wealth of information. I’m so glad that I took our neighbours’ recommendation and booked through Ciao Tours. The trip was worry free and everything that Ciao planned for us was top notch. Thank you so much for all your help! I could never have planned this trip on my own.

Jim & Katherine Hathaway, Calgary, AB, June 2015

Arlene, I recently returned from an amazing trip with five friends to Rome, Tuscany and Florence (the Bentley/Robson trip) for which you arranged much of the touring and transfers and I wanted to take the opportunity to say what a truly fantastic trip it was and how much I appreciated the obvious care you took in making the arrangements. From the moment we were picked up at the airport in Rome, through a week of travel and touring, right up until the last driver dropped us off at the airport in Florence, we were exceptionally well looked-after. The hotels you arranged were superb and the drivers were all very professional, courteous and kind. In particular, I need to single out both Tomas, our guide in Rome, and Giovanni, our guide in Florence for very high praise. Their encyclopedic knowledge of all things art, history and architecture was outstanding and made the trip an absolutely unforgettable experience – I only wish that I had the memory capacity to remember half of what they were able to impart about the tours on which they took us! I felt that I was on tour with educators, not just “run of the mill” tour guides – they weren’t just going through the motions of standard tourist facts, but their love of their subject matter was evident in their ability to impart so much knowledge, answer our many questions with patience, and be generally wonderful and engaging. Please pass along my thanks and appreciation for making this a trip I will never forget. I know that it cannot have been easy dealing with the logistics of making arrangements for our group, maintaining the secrecy, and addressing needs or demands of a group of six women, and for your patience and care I am truly grateful. I am holding on to your business cards with the clear plan that I will be calling on you to help me make arrangements for my next family trip to Italy – a trip I hope we will be taking next summer/fall – and I will be recommending that anyone I know who is considering a trip to Italy, get in touch with you and Ciao. Thank you so much Arlene for everything you’ve done.

Lori McMorran, Vancouver, BC, May 2015

Hello (finally) Ylenia, We are now settled back in Canada, and are in Kelowna, where the weather is very, very hot. Thank you so much for your note and we are more than happy to let you know what we thought of our Ciao tour. It can only be summed up in one word AMAZING. I will give you a brief overview of our trip – hope that’s ok! From our very first steps on Italian soil your staff (Ottavia) was incredible. We were over an hour late arriving into Venice and as it was so busy we had lost our water taxi booking but Ottavia got onto her cell phone and managed to pull out her very many strings and got us to the hotel in style. Our room at the hotel was disappointing, but our introduction to Claudia was just brilliant, she called front desk and within an hour we were in a much lighter brighter room. She is an incredible lady as you will see later! As you know Caio did not pick this hotel, we did. Our guide for our tour, Silvana, was very distracted by La Biennale but we had an enjoyable tour with her. All connections from Venice to Milan were perfect (even down to Ottavia carrying a suitcase over a very large bridge!). We arrived early pm and were met at the train station and taken to our hotel, where 40 minutes later we were met by Valeria who gave us a very detailed tour of Milan, she was such a joy to be with and her knowledge was exceptional. We had tickets for the Last Supper the following day and she gave us all the information that we would need for then also. We loved her. The hotel was very nice in an excellent location. As we pulled into the train station in Milan, Claudia was on the phone to us to say that our driver was meeting us outside the barrier rather than inside the barrier – her timing was incredible. On then to Parma, where sadly our hotel, Hotel Palace Maria Luigia, was not of a 4 star quality and the staff and room were very poor. However our room did have a view over the rooftops, even if it didn’t have working air conditioning! Would not recommend it. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Parma and our private tour of the food valley with Christina was superb. We loved being with Christina (sadly we didn’t get the name of our driver) she was a wonderful guide for the day and we enjoyed all three visits, the dairy (our tour guide Anna from Consorzio Parmigiana Reggiano was an incredibly knowledgable and great fun lady, about cheese and Canada!!), the pig farm and delicious lunch and the vinegar farm. Excellent day. The car pickup in Parma went smoothly, again thanks to Claudia. We arrived at the office to find no one there, but Claudia was on it and within 15 minutes we were on our way. On into Tuscany to Guardestelle. Such a good recommendation, thank you. We had asked for a large apartment which we received, but sadly it was in the very bottom (basement) of the building which unfortunately made it very dark. Having said that we had a lovely outside table which was perfect for a glass of wine and even the one night we cooked dinner! If we were to go back we would not pick this apartment. I see from the Guardestelle website that they do not actually have this room (Andromeda) on their site. But this did not stop us from enjoying Guardestelle, which we loved. Susanna and Fausto were wonderful hosts and we had such a fun afternoon at our cooking lesson and we have our Caio aprons to remind us – thank you! The town of Poggibonsi, on the way to Guardestelle, has terrible driving directions, we went around it about 3 times, and since we have been home we have discovered other people who found out the same thing!!!! We got lost finding Siena, but that was our fault – we followed GPS rather than Claudia’s detailed instructions! Unfortunately there was no map with our package, and we ended up inside the walls – not good! I had come down with quite an ear infection and the incredible Claudia came to my rescue. She arranged for me to see her doctor and she came with us and took care of everything. She then came with us to our wine and olive oil tasting with Ameone (sp?) which we loved. Ameone was such a fun person and VERY knowledgeable, we thoroughly enjoyed our wine and olive oil tasting. We cannot remember the name of the restaurant where it was held, but it also was excellent. That afternoon we spent touring the city with another one of your great guides, Lisa. Our wine tour at Felsina was also another excellent recommendation. Our hotel in Florence, Hotel Pierre was excellent, again the perfect location. We met our guide Giovanni on our arrival day and had a very good tour of the city, he is a very knowledgeable guide. On to Rome where we were met by our driver Valentino, who was prompt, friendly and excellent on the several times we used him during our stay. Highly recommend him. Our hotel, Rose Garden Palace Hotel, was again excellent, in a very good location, even if it was just across the road from the American Embassy! Our tour guide Antonella was exceptionally knowledgeable and we had two great days with her touring the city. We cannot speak highly enough of Claudia, she followed us by phone every day of our trip, she ensured everything was as it should be and that we were happy and safe! A truly wonderful lady, who we thank with our whole hearts for making this trip so special. The whole trip was incredibly well planned and everything worked very efficiently. We feel that we had a wonderful experience discovering Italy and would not hesitate to recommend Ciao to all our friends, in fact we have already done so on many occasions. Last but not least is you Ylenia, you were so very kind and helped me plan my thoughts for our trip so well, we REALLY could not have done this without your help also. Thank you. Best regards and I will take you up on the offer of coffee when I get back into town!

Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, Calgary, AB, May 2015

Arlene, All I can say is WOW! Everything you put together for us was simply fabulous. Didi, Thomas, Lisa, all the drivers/transportation, everything went off without a hitch! My family of 6 went on to London on our own and really felt what a difference it makes to have help from experienced guides and drivers. I’m seriously amazed at how you were able to put together such a wonderful experience for our family. It is a trip we will never forget, and will definitely contact you the next time our family is in Italy!

Graner Family, Minnetrista, MN, June 2015

Hi, Arlene, What a pleasure it was to travel with Ciao Tours and know that all the details were taken care of – tours, travel arrangements, accommodations. All we have to do was enjoy ourselves. We very much appreciated Laura being in touch with us many times during our stay in Italy. The cooking class with Claudia at the Ristorante Del Duca was exceptional!! We certainly were hands-on but I am not sure they served our pasta to anyone! All the guides and drivers were exceptional. We were able to see so much more than we would on our own and they were all so knowledgeable. It was a pleasure spending time with each of them. The only downside was having to return home when there was still so much more to see. However, there is always another time!

Roy & Diane Ponte, Calgary, AB, June 2015

Hello Caterina!  We had a wonderful trip! We are so happy that we chose Ciao tours! It was very very hot but we persevered. All of our tours and tour guides were very interesting. The trains were great. We loved all of the hotels and we especially liked the convenient locations close to the trains. The car was very nice but a little tricky at times driving standard. The driving directions were very good – we would not have been able to do it without them. We really appreciated Claudia keeping in touch and contacting us at every new hotel. It was very nice to meet her too. We had just the right amount of time in each place. We are already thinking about our next Italy trip! Maybe we will use you again. We will recommend you to our friends.

Myra & Roman Mushka, Edmonton, AB, July 2015

Dear Arlene, My apologies in the delay getting back to you. I can’t believe that summer is almost at an end. I really wanted to thank you and your entire team for putting together a memorable vacation for our family. Your team took such good care of us. Claudia was always checking in on us, making sure that we were well tended to. Your guides, Michael and Antanella, were excellent. They were polite and very knowledgeable. And most importantly they knew how to captivate our children’s attention. Our kids still talk about them!! This has been one of our best trips and that’s because you and your team. I really wanted to thank you!! I will happily recommend you.

Matovichs Family, Toronto, ON, June 2015

Hello Grazie, Thank you for your “welcome home” email. We had a fabulous trip but unfortunately arrived home with colds so on top of jet lag we are a little slow getting back into our normal routines. Our experience with Ciao Tours has been fabulous – everything our friends said would happen did and we loved it. We were met at the airport as planned and then a call from Didi greeted us as soon as we arrived at our room in the Victoria Hotel. From there everything went exactly as planned. We enjoyed our guide, Paola, and does she know her stuff – history, religion and how to get her clients around!! We got a real education but were happy there was no exam. We were returned to the airport in plenty of time to make our flight to London and our driver (Deana ? sp?) was excellent at giving running commentary both on arrival and departure. The hotel was very good with attractive restaurants and bar (roof top) but location was a little far from the core and after 4 hour walking tours was too far to walk back to and we found ourselves using cabs. This wasn’t a problem for us but some guests might like to be closer in. We would certainly use Ciao Tours again and will not hesitate to recommend your services. Thank you for helping to make our trip the success it was!!

Dick & Sue Williams, Calgary, AB, September 2015

Hi Arlene, What a great trip, we had a perfect time. Our first night in Venice, we got lost trying to find our way back to our hotel…..too much fun and too much wine. Venice was really enjoyable and getting used to the water taxi was actually pretty easy. Your choice of tours again was very good. Our entire trip from Venice to Florence by speed train went well. Your organization skills are fantastic and having representatives from your company at each city was very good, they always called to check up on us. Didi’s commitment to making sure everything runs smoothly was awesome and we thank her for that. We really liked Florence and your day trips along with our personal guides worked very well, Roberto was great. Renting a car from Florence to Tuscany was a riot. Talk about getting lost…remember European action with Chevy Chase going around and around on the turn abouts well that was us until we read all the names then took the right way. We found our way to a wonderful apartment in the Tuscany valley. Wow, Monia, the owner, was outstanding. She made sure our stay was perfect even offering us to help ourselves to their fresh vegetable garden. We cooked a few meals in our well equipped home and drank many glasses of wine. Your choice of tours were a blast and very informative. This valley of grapevines was very relaxing and mind soothing and a huge change from the very busy cities of Venice and Florence. Our final leg of our trip to Rome was a little long and very busy on the freeways but we managed and returned the rental car without a scratch. Our Rome stay was organized very well. The location of our hotel was perfect where we were able to walk everywhere. The Coliseum and Vatican where outstanding we were very happy all our tours were skip the line because some places the lineups were 4hours or longer. We have to mention that the restaurants were very accommodating to ensure my wife had gluten free meals. One restaurant even went out and bought gluten free pasta to be prepared the following day, what a treat that was. The restaurants name was Angeletti, it is just around the corner from the Hotel Duca d’ Alba. Our trip was fantastic and we thank Ciao tours for coordinating a tremendous trip that we will never forget.

Greg & Diane Harty, Brooks, AB, September 2015

Good morning Didi and Arlene, Andy and I are back at home this morning. I just wanted to say what an absolutely wonderful experience your team provided for us on this trip. Andy and I have so been looking forward to taking this trip for such a long time and every expectation was exceeded thanks to your team. We never worried about where or what to do at any time, the book provided was so informative, and the personal guides were all incredible. Also, the communication from Didi throughout the trip made us feel very confident that if something were to go wrong, we had someone available that could help at any time. I can’t thank you all enough for the lifetime memories you provided for us. We have already mentioned Ciao tours to several people we met along the way on our trip and will continue to do so in the future. I hope to contact you all again in the future to plan another trip of a lifetime! Thanks again,

Leslie & Andy Hillerich, Covington, KY, September 2015

Hello, Sorry for my delay in responding. It always seems like there is so much to do when you get home. Shawn and I have gone back to work to and it is very busy. What a spectacular trip we had. Laura was fantastic. Always called to make sure we were doing okay and that things were going well – great communication. This was a very nice touch. Some of the hotels said to us that no other tour company does this so it made us feel proud. I don’t know that there would be anything to change. We were so pleased with how everything went so well. The guides were awesome and they sure knew their stuff, we never had to wait for any pickups – the drivers were always there on time. The tours we had arranged were great and so educational, the book you gave to us was super great. So easy to follow. I have already “liked” your face book page. We would highly recommend your services to anyone who asks us about Italy that is for sure. Till the next time. I hope one day we will meet again. Thank you so much for all you did in arranging a very special holiday for us. We enjoyed it very much. Once we get our pictures organized I might send you a few….

Margaret & Shawn, Calgary, AB, September 2015

Please pass along our sincere gratitude to all at Ciaotours for making our 30th wedding anniversary custom private tour of Italy such a wonderful experience! After much research we chose Ciao tours because they seemed to have a real connection to Italy. This was our first trip overseas and as inexperienced travelers, we would be relying heavily on their knowledge. From our first inquiries, through many many emails, to planning our itinerary and putting together some last-minute romantic surprises Ciaotours exceeded our expectations. We spent 2 weeks in Italy and experienced the romance of Venice, walked with Renaissance masters in Florence, sampled wines in a castle in Tuscany, watched the sun rise on Vesuvius from our balcony overlooking Sorrento, toured the dramatic Amalfi Coast and lived La Dolce Vita in Rome. Ciaotours made our dream vacation a reality. Our accommodations were impeccable and centrally located for easy access to the sights, train travel and transfers were easy and well executed. Restaurant recommendations were all spot-on and our guides… well we wished we could have spent more time with all of them. Silvana in Venice thank-you. The rose-petal shower on our gondola ride for two brought tears to my wife’s eyes. Roberto in Florence thank-you for sharing your knowledge, the sunset walk up to Piazza Michaelangelo you suggested was spectacular and for defending the volunteers being disrespected. Danielle, for showing us Tuscany and Chiara our gracious host at Castello della Paneretta in Chianti, grazie ! Nino, our guide for the Amalfi Coast, thank-you for lunch in Scala, you are a true gentleman and fellow romantic. Tomas, we could not have hoped for anyone better to guide us through Roman history thank-you for letting me have my moment in the Sistine Chapel, I may or may not have wept. Last but not least, the omnipresent Laura, thank you for checking on us throughout our fantasy and your help with my romantic “surprises”. Grazie, grazie mille ! For an authentic and worry-free Italy we would recommend Ciaotours to all. Ciao!

Patrick & Paulette Chaisson, Courtice, ON, September 2015

Hello, thank you for the welcome home. We had a great trip, Ciao did a wonderful job for us. We would recommend you to anyone. There are two things you should know about. The driver who picked us up at Florence Airport was very rushed for personal matters as far as I could make out. He left us and our luggage on the corner of the block where the Pierre Hotel was situated, about 100 meter from the hotel. I felt he should have helped us into the hotel with our luggage. The staff at the Pierre was wonderful, the service was great, breakfast was great, even the room was great – very comfortable. However, room 107 I believe, was known by the staff as something of a problem. The only window looked out on a wall about 1 meter away, so it was very dark, also a major drain ran somewhere next to the room, there was the sound of running water all night. If we were there longer, I would have asked to have the room changed. But, the trip was great. These are not complaints, they are simply things I thought you should know about. We would definitely use Ciao again and we would definitely recommend you to friends visiting Italy.

Ron & Mary Ann Leach, Calgary, AB, September 2015

Hello everyone. We are back home after a trip of a lifetime. Italy was always somewhere we wanted to go and it exceeded all our expectations. It was wonderful from beginning to end and so nice to have Laura there to check on us and to know she was available in case we needed her. I know you were not well and hope you are feeling better again, thanks for everything. Haven’t downloaded our camera pics yet but these are some favourites from our iPhone. We think you all did a wonderful job arranging our trip. We were concerned about large groups on our tours but they were a perfect size. Our only issue was our two day tours in Rome as they were quite large and our tour guide Angelo although very nice and informative was very hard to understand and hear if at the back of the group especially at the Vatican. If we had any recommendation it would be to have two ear phones rather than one as might be easier to hear without traffic and other noise in our other ear. We want to give BIG thanks to our tour guide Diego(spelling might be wrong) He was amazing and definitely made the tour to Tuscany our favourite part of the trip. Would highly recommend him and have a pic of him below. So easy going and fun plus we learned so much. Marco who was our tour guide for Isle of Capri was also excellent. I believe it was Renzo that took us to the airport in Rome and he ended our trip perfectly. He was wonderful. Your attention to detail was exceptional. In closing, thanks Arlene for all your arranging and help. Your booklet was perfect and made it so we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Thanks Ciao Tours, would highly recommend you to others and hope to use you again one day.

Peggy & Harry Donnelly, Kelowna, BC, September 2015

Couldn’t have asked for a better time and planned tour, than what Ciao did for Lois and myself. Except the 1 day of rain, of course. Everything was as described in the Ciao agenda / itinerary, and there were absolutely no surprises along the way. All guides were fantastic, very knowledgeable and fun to be with! The one small item that you may not have encountered before was the transition between Civitavecchia cruise terminal to the Maggiore car rental location. Seems the taxis were only looking for the big ticket rides into Rome, and wouldn’t give us a 5 minute ride into town. However, we found a “boss” of the local tour company hawkers (trying to sell day tours into Rome) and he took care of us in his Mercedes ….. we tipped him well. Other than that, we will definitely plan another trip thru Ciao and can’t thank you enough for putting such a wonderful itinerary together for us!!! CIAO Bella!!!

Bruce & Lois Thompson, Pickering, ON, October 2015

Hi! What a wonderful, perfect and delightful vacations! Everything went well, drivers were there at the respect time, guides were awesome and very knowledgeable. The itinerary you made for us was just to the point, not to much just enough for one day. It was not over crowed with too much activities. I’m already following you on Facebook! We can’t thank you enough! Looking at the photos, there’s nothing that could have been done differently! Again it was a perfect vacation! Thanks to the team! Everyone that I had contact with were friendly and delightful! No complaints at all!!

Maillet Family, Bouctouche, NB, October 2015

“Touring Italy with Ciao Tours was the best experience in travel we have ever had. Because of their keen attention to detail, the usual stress associated with foreign travel was non-existent!  Their drivers are excellent – courteous, friendly, prompt and very skilled. We were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tuscany! The tours, lunches and cooking class arranged by Ciao Tours were first class and unique. We went to places we never would have discovered on our own. A very special thank you to Alessandra in Siena. Throughout our stay she did her utmost to ensure our first trip to Italy was the best vacation ever! Thank you Ciao Tours!!

Cathy & Peter MacDonald, Toronto, ON, September 2014

Hi Arlene! As promised, we wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful trip! We were pleased with all aspects of the trip. The hotels were well-situated, had spacious rooms and helpful staff. The booklet you gave us, is not only a beautiful memento of our trip but was exceptionally helpful because of its level of detail and suggestions. Thank you! We made it through Tuscany on the strength of the directions in the booklet without a GPS! Didi was also very attentive by checking-in with us every few days. She was also very responsive to any email communications from us. It was comforting to know that she was available to us and making sure that everything went smoothly. The drivers were also very good. Everybody was on time, the vans were clean, the drivers polite and friendly. The last driver, (Deanna) was particularly impressive. She was not only a great driver, but also acted as a bit of a guide as we drove to the airport. The private guides added so much to our enjoyment of the trip! They were all very professional and knowledgeable about the cities and the areas we visited.However we wanted to particularly single out Bernardo in Florence. He was exceptional! He was so interesting and entertaining with anecdotes about Michelangelo and Leonardo… Not to mention that he is a very nice man! I would recommend him to anyone going to Florence hands down! The highlights were definitely my birthday gondola ride in Venice (with our serenading gondolier Mattia!) and the cooking evening with the Michaelis! I have attached a few pictures of the trip. The view from Podere Sant Elena was fantastic! Thank you for organizing such a varied and entertaining trip for us! Thank you for the wine, the book and the aprons! Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Diane & Orest Koblansky, Toronto, ON, September 2014

Hi Arlene, Just a note to let you know that the whole trip was beautifully planned and went off without a hitch. Many thanks to your team here for all the planning and attention to detail and mille graze to the team in Italy for all their time and attention and for taking excellent care of us and making sure we were always where we were supposed to be.Deanna is lovely and friendly and we had good chats with her as she pointed out some interesting history of Rome during our car rides. Alessandra in Siena – great lady -what else can I say. Loved talking to her on the phone as she called us to check on every stop during our travels. So helpful and friendly – I have to meet Alessandra in person one day!!! Our tour of Napoli would not have been the same without Michael, cannot say enough about how interesting and knowledgeable he is about that whole southern region let alone Napoli. He was a great teacher and was always making sure we were OK with the walking what with the heat and humidity – we are NOT used to!! Michael’s knowledge of history was amazing as he showed us through the National Archeological Museum kept us entertained for sure. He showed me to some great shopping where I got a couple gifts, to a great place for lunch and to an excellent pastry shop where I got the best sfogliatelle. Was so kind and a genuinely awesome person to spend a day with. In Roma – Our Crypts and Catacombs Tour with City Wonders was excellent. Rebecca our tour guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and you could see that she genuinely LOVED her job as tour guide. We want to give Rebecca a huge shout out and if there is any way we or you can do this Arlene, please let me know. This tour was awesome and fun and saw the most amazing things. Our tour of the Jewish Ghetto, Tiberina Island and Trastevere was very cool as well. We all really enjoyed it and our guide (can’t remember his name ugh….) was great as well. He passed on so much information and knowledge and it was so interesting, time just flew by. Guiliano was the driver that dropped us off in Napoli and then was with us for the two days on the Amalfi coast. Also a very kind person. He made sure we saw some of the most amazing sites like the Emerald grotto, the Fjord in Furerro and gave us great suggestions for our lunches. Gave us lots of time in Ravello & Amalfi and then in Positano the next day to sight see and shop etc. Our tour of Assisi was also excellent – we loved that town such peace and calm and our tour guide (also named Alessandra) was also a wonderful lady who shared so much knowledge and history with us – she was excellent. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Again, many, many thanks to your Ciao team for everything. We and an excellent vacation and totally stress free due to the pre planning and arrangements made by you and your team. Wish I could thank them all in person – will have to meet you one day for sure!!

Best regards and a big Italian hug to you all – – – ciao and mille graze ……

Carla, Stephane & Ryan Picone, Trail, BC, September 2014

As we set out on our journey to Italy never could we have imagined the exceptional service that we would receive from Ciao Tours. There are so many people who we would like to acknowledge. It began with Arlene and colleagues who arranged an adventure of a lifetime. From the time we arrived in Venice our contact Laura called us on every stop to make sure things were going well or to tell us what to expect the next day. Our tour guide Lisa in Siena gave us a sense of the pride that goes on as the people of Siena were preparing for the Palio. Our wine tours were amazing with colorful characters and fabulous wine. Our cooking class with Lisa and her husband Paolo was so much fun. We were treated like family and made some amazing food. We’ll never forget Bernardo, our guide in Florence who was more like a story teller as he gave us a history class like no other. When our friends left us in Florence we carried on and went to Sorrento. The Hotel Cristina had a breathtaking view of the bay of Naples. Our private driver Sal or O’mericano as he’s known to everyone in Sorrento was a gem. He drove us down the Amalfi coast stopping in Positano and Ravello. It was a day that we’ll never forget. As we look back at all the things that we did we’re happy that we booked with Ciao Tours and will do it again in a heartbeat.

Carmen & Robert Imbrogno and Kim & Garry Allen, Calgary, AB, August 2014

Hello Arlene; Overall our trip was wonderful. We will use our Ciao itinerary to comment on each of the legs of our trip. The Itinerary was INDISPENSABLE! The restaurant recommendations were very helpful and excellent with the exception of one. We spoke with Alessandra about this – Antica Trattoria Da Bruno in Pisa. MONTEPULCIANO/SIENNA/TUSCANY Fabulous ALL AROUND. Our tour with Janet was fun and very informative. The Villa was exquisite as were the breakfasts. We had our Anniversary dinner at La Grotta which was on your list AND highly recommended by Janet. It did not disappoint. The drive through Tuscany was wonderful and we managed to navigate the streets of Sienna to our Hotel. We parked the car at the FREE parking at Pollicino and used the bus to get into town and out when using the car to tour the area. Worked very well and actually ended up getting two free rides as the bus had stopped for us but we had not yet purchased the tickets! Very kind bus drivers! The Felsina wine tour and lunch was wonderful. Great tour of the vineyards and cellar and an excellent “light” lunch…. not so LIGHT! Delicious. The one day Tuscany bike tour was great. Riccardo was prompt at our hotel. The bikes provided were very high quality. He drove the “support” vehicle and we rode. Riccardo did an excellent job of planning the flattest route possible as we had requested through Alessandra. Brian covered 60Km including back up into Sienna and Nancy 40km. ( was continuing to deteriorate in health) The picnic lunch prepared by Riccardo was very well done. The wine tasting and hosted lunch with Alessandra was fun. It was very informative and the Sommelier was great fun. The meal was lovely. Our cooking lesson with LISA and PAOLO was FABULOUS. Probably the highlight experience of the trip. We felt so privileged to be guests in such a beautiful Tuscan home. The hosts were SO warm and welcoming! Oh and bonus, we learned lots about life in Italy! Our driver to the airport was prompt. The VAT reimbursement program worked marvelously and we saw our credits on our Visa within a month of our return. It was very much worth the effort of the paperwork. All in all, our Ciao tour experience was a great success. We have been, and will continue recommending your company to all of our friends and colleagues.

Nancy & Brian Sulzer, Calgary, AB, May 2014

Arlene, Thank you for the note and the follow-up. We had a great time in Italy. The services provided by your team were exemplary. Laura contacted us multiple times to make sure we were getting the service we were expecting. Both Roberto and Valentina were excellent and very passionate. The help with the train connections once we missed our original connection from Switzerland was very helpful. Laura provided alternative trains and their associated numbers for a Florence connection. Without the train number we would not have made the connection. The departure boards do not state Florence as a destination. Without the number we would not have known to catch that particular train. The information was invaluable and we did not even request the assistance. Laura offered without our asking. Thank you for your services and we will refer your services to anyone we may know that is planning a trip to Italy.

The Brown Family, North Carolina, July 2014

Dear Arlene, In short…we were very impressed! Everything went exactly as you printed it in the amazing trip book you provided…several people commented on the quality of the book as I pulled it out on many occasions; in restaurants, hotels or when looking for a particular site. It really never left our side. Venice – The night Jackie and I got there we ate at Acciugheta…WOW. What a way to kick off our time in Italy! Silvana was very good and we all enjoyed the fish and fruit markets in Rialto. Gondola ride was really great! Boy is it different than the last time I was in Venice 26 years ago! Still it was very cool do to the trip…. Felsina wine Tour – First thanks for the car! It ended up being a manual Peugeot station wagon and I loved it!!! Wow did I have fun driving those roads….we had to swap who got to ride shot gun as those in the back tended to feel a bit queasy with the windy roads…but I loved it! As you know we loved this tour with Irene..she rocked with the kids…I think Taylor may have had a little crush! The light lunch was anything but….amazing! Loved the wines, olive oil and the cellars! The kids really liked Brolio Castle and walking around it. We finished in Radda for some Gelato then hoofed it back to Villa Poggio di Gaville…for a swim in their monstrous pool with a nap. Rimini – We really loved it here. For sure more of an Italian resort town for Italians but they took us right in! Again Taylor and I were glued to TV’s at the local café/bars cheering the European teams on! Too bad Italy was not in the knockout round…it would have been crazy! We did a morning trip to San Marino that was enjoyed by all. Rome – Wow and Wow. Right from Deana who, as you know, was our driver to Thomas (Rock Star) to Olympia our Gartour guide…it was way cool! We loved Deana…she threw little tips to us and filled us in on some of the sights! Thomas was amazing. Deana said he would be and he was. He knew just how to play to the kids, told jokes, filled us in on his life in Rome and in short was most pleasant! It tipped him 30 Euro…hope that was enough…he deserved it! Gartour was perfect for us on the Vatican tour…by that time the kids could not have done another tour! The headphones allowed them to wonder a bit and still take it all in! BTW all the write ups and information you put in the book are invaluable even more so after you have seen it all! We love Ciao tours and I am so glad Ro referred you! We will be telling anyone we meet, who is going to Italy, to consider using you! We also really appreciate the extra transfers you threw in…It really meant a lot and was greatly appreciate!

The Lynas Family, Calgary, AB, June 2014

Hello Arlene, I have had a chance to chat with everyone in the group since they’ve returned. These are general comments from everyone as all agreed that everything about the trip was superb. First of all, they really loved your very professional ticket and itinerary booklet. Everyone commented on how unusual it is these days to receive nicely presented information. So often tickets are just e docs now, and it’s nice to have something a little more substantial to refer to. They liked the extra details in the booklet, especially info about the electricity and internet services available as none of them had travelled here before. We all agreed that we could not have had a better little hotel that the one you booked us in. We enjoyed the family owners, and we loved their breakfasts! They were kind enough to have all our rooms ready early so we could check in immediately, and their son carried our bags up the stairs. Every one of us had a different room, so we all eagerly went to each other’s room to check them out. My room mate and I particularly liked ours. It was a very small room, but we had the cutest little balcony to sit on for our morning cappuccino. The rooms were clean and the bathrooms modern. Everyone was very happy. the property was located in a very convenient spot, and even though there are lots of twists and turns in the footpaths, we all managed to find our way around easily. it was an excellent experience here. Everyone thanks you for the wine. They were all different bottles, and we actually had some left over for the cruise. So we took it onboard, and toasted on our cabin balconies as we sailed past St mark’s Square. That was a lovely memory! The gondola ride was a great experience for first timers. Between us all I think we took over 500 photos in that 1/2 hour! It was nice to go along some canals that were less traveled and busy and gave us a good idea of the kind of atmosphere we would experience in the next few days. The private walking tour of Venice was the highlight of the trip for everyone. Silvana was a wonderful guide. She speaks perfect English and explained the customs, and all about life in Venice. she explained the history of the city and gave us all sorts of interesting information about the city. All of us enjoyed her tour and we were happy that we met her in the beginning of the trip. She took us over to St marks Square and wanted us there for 12 noon to see the Basilica illuminations, but unfortunately it didn’t happen because of the death of a VIP in the city. she had another appointment and had to leave, but suggested she come back a few hours later to go into the cathedral and do a full tour of the building. We all eagerly accepted the offer, and she gave us a very informative tour. We all appreciated her wealth of knowledge and her love of the city. she certainly went above and beyond for us. So overall, an excellent trip! As you can imagine, we all were glad we were staying on the island. Very convenient, and you just get the feel for the city much better. Thanks again for your expertise and your enthusiasm for my small group. You made me look very good!

Kelsey Janssen, Expedia Cruise Ship Centres, Duncan, BC, May 2014

Hi Ylenia – What can I say? David and I had a trip of a lifetime, however I’m trying to figure out how we can do it again! This cannot be our only visit to Italy. The guides: You have partnered with the best. We particularly enjoyed Chiro (spelling?) in Sorrento, he made sure that we had fun, saw the important sites, shopped at the best spots, and that we had a wonderful lunch with a great view in Ravello. Dave & I & Chiro sang Italian songs to pass the time when traffic slowed down, and then Chiro gave us a CD with these Italian songs. We also thoroughly enjoyed our drivers Orlando and Diane in Rome, Simona in Sorrento, our guides Thomas, Valeria, Raphaella, Bernardo, Lisa and Alessandra. We enjoyed talking about Italian politics, world/Italian economy and general life in Italy with all of your guides and drivers. Each one of your guides were full of personality. Without the guides, we would not have learned as much as we did about the sites that we visited. They are each incredibly knowledgeable and all so passionate about their cities and Italy, and that added something special to our tours. One of our favorite days in Tuscany was visiting Siena. The restaurant where Ciao Tours graciously hosted a lunch was so interesting (An Etruscan home/wine celler? Doesn’t get any better than that.) The lunch was one of the top meals that we had in Italy, the history of Siena is so interesting (contrades of the palio). Getting to know Laura was a highlight for both Dave and I. She is a very special person, we enjoyed talking to her so much, her passion for Italy is engaging. Another favorite day was visiting the Fattoria di Felsina where we had a great lunch with very tasty wines and a tour of the vineyard and the cellar. Irene was our hostess, we enjoyed talking to her about wine, food (we fell in love with pecorina fresco), Italy and politics, and she also has a passion for her country. And of course our lunch at Rosa dei Venti was very memorable and was a very delicious meal, both Dave & I felt that we were being treated as if we were an invited guest to their Michele family home. The Italian people are wonderful – so warm, friendly, and passionate about life. And the food– everything tastes better in Italy – chicken, bread, butter, eggs, vegetables and fruits. Thank you very much for planning this trip for us. It was perfect. If CIAO Tours has potential customers who are looking for a referral, please feel free to contact us for this. Also if Laura or any of our friends in Italy are ever in Calgary, please feel free to pass our contact information to them as we would love to hear from them again.

Vivian & Dave Baldwin, Calgary, AB, May 2014

Hi Arlene, we would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude for planning our wonderful vacation to Italy. We had a fabulous time and experience! Didi was awesome and would check on us regularly, as well, all of your extended team members and partners were professional, courteous, personal and had expertise in their respective field. They all ensured we were comfortable and had a great time…

Thank you once again!

Sarosh & Baku Wakia, Calgary, AB, May 2014

Dear Arlene, I have to say that our trip was FANTASTIC! It was the trip of a lifetime for our family. We had been planning on going to Italy for many years. Ciao Tours made the trip “stress free” which was most important to me. I would have been the one to do all the planning and I didn’t have the time nor the knowledge. You have great connections and all of your “people” from Didi to our personal drivers were so helpful and thoughtful. Everyone was wonderful and we were truly “taken care of”. It was worth every penny we spent. We all agreed we would not have changed a thing. We all loved the fact that the guides could get us into the museums and cathedrals ahead of the long lines. Being an accountant, I am very detail oriented and so is Ciao Tours. It meant a lot to us to have everything planned out down to the smallest detail.

As you know, your name was given to me by a client of mine. They had used Ciao Tours so many times that I knew we needed you to plan this trip. We had an idea of what we wanted to see and you made it all happen perfectly. I have already given your name out to others here in MN. My husband and kids kept thanking me for arranging the trip. I couldn’t take any credit as Ciao Tours did it all. Everything happened according to your “resource guide”. It was our bible! We had it with us every day.

The apartment in Rome and all the hotels we stayed at were perfect. We had the best guides in Rome, Florence and Venice. Bernardo is the best – he made Florence so interesting. He is so passionate and knowledgeable. My college age boys really connected with him. He is a gem. I had never done a trip with personal drivers and guides. We learned so much from the guides that you could not have learned from a book.

We found many of your suggested restaurants and our guides also gave us names of restaurants and suggested sites to see. We were never disappointed. The food was marvellous. Our cooking class was so fun – great food, wine and Lisa and Paulo were awesome. Italian food and wine is the best!

Mark and I will go back to Italy and will be calling you for the next trip planning!

Thanks so much for making our trip the best vacation we ever had!

Ciao Tours is the best!!!!

Tricia Maddox & Family, Minneapolis, MN, May 2014

Gail McKernan and Brian Morwood-Clark, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank Ciao Tours for arranging such an amazing trip to Italy for us! The way I look at it, normally we’d have spent huge amounts of time researching all of the below items had we not gone with Ciao Tours, and still have had some uncertain conclusions. Ciao Tours clearly knows what the best elements of an Italian vacation are, from every aspect. Putting our trust in Ciao Tours far exceeded our expectations and gave us memories that we will never forget. Our recommendation to others would be – you only have so much time in life. If Italy is on your bucket list, make it easy and special with Ciao Tours.

  • Accommodations – We loved the boutique hotels and agritourism you selected. Each was in an optimal location within a short distance of everything we needed, staff were friendly and the rooms were lovely.
  • Transportation – sometimes moving locations in a foreign country can be stressful, but the arrangements made really saved time and took the worry out of this part of our vacation. Our drivers were always on time and provided great introductions to the places we visited. And their driving skills were top notch as I know I would never survive driving in Italy!
  • Guides – I’d never thought of having a private guide before, but I would definitely do it again! Each of your guides was very knowledgeable, and approachable, as it’s easy to ask questions and really understand what they’re telling you when you’re one on one. For example, Thomas in Rome was very professional, provided personal perspective on things and his stories really brought the things we saw to life. We don’t feel like we missed out on seeing anything!
  • Support – Laura was exceptional at finding us and checking in with us along the way. Although we had no problems at all, it was good to know that she was there.

Thank you and your team, again, for a fantastic vacation.

Gail & Brian McKernan, Vancouver, BC, May 2014

Arlene, The trip to Italy was a 10+ and in large part because of your services. Nancy and I both believe there is any way we could have enjoyed our trip as much as we did without your attention to detail in the planning portion of the trip.

The hotels we stayed at were what we asked for and were great….especially the locations. After you listened to what we wanted to see and do in Italy, you planned each day to perfection with the arranging of personal drivers, taxi’s or train tickets. The resource book with our daily itineraries was so helpful as it walked us through our plans for each day. Your tips on how long it would take to go from point A to point B was always right on. We never stood around and waited for anything! The helpful suggestions for restaurants and places to see was invaluable. We looked through that every day no matter what city we were in.

The one day when we were in Siena (sp?) we used the resource guide to find one of your suggested restaurants. It took us awhile to find it, but when we did it was awesome. Our waitress knew Ciao Tours and knew you. The service and the food was exceptional. I could go on, but the main thing is we loved working with you, your staff in Italy, the contractors like our personal driver in Italy…..they were all exceptional. Your fees are well worth every cent we paid. Without a hesitation we will use Ciao Tours on our next visit to Italy and without hesitation will recommend your services to anyone we know traveling to Italy!!!

FYI – DiDi did reach out to me several times while we were in Italy to check in and make sure everything was going as planned for us. Our conversations were short because as I stated above EVERYTHING went flawlessly each day and I only had good things to report when she called. It was nice to know that she or someone was a phone call away there in Italy if we needed it.

Thank you for all of your help!!!!!

Van & Nancy Erickson, Minnetonka, MN, May 2014

Our Dear Arlene: On behalf of our group we would like to say thank you so much for the wonderful tours and contacts you provided for us in Italy; and especially for the exceptionally professional guides and drivers you sent our way.

Our whole group agreed that Ciao is a company we would recommend to any of our friends and family. Our contact in Italy, Laura was in contact with us every step of the way during our 3-4 weeks and couldn’t have been more helpful. The fact that 6 of our family returned to the Naples/Sorrento area a second time and spent a second and third day with Ciro our guide-driver, was a real bonus for us. He became like one of our family.

The very professional tour book, you specifically produced for each of us, was the envy of many other tourists we met along the way. We passed on your contact information to them. We used our guide book a lot when we were traveling on our own to our next destinations by train. The tour book was really a reflection of all the work you put in to help custom design our tour to meet our needs.

Touring Italy is a fond memory for us and we are so lucky to have found your company’s website.

Please pass on our thoughts and thanks to Laura (your Italian director) and all your drivers and guides in Italy who made this a special holiday for our group.

Arlene, thank you again so very much!

Barbara & Tom, et al (Palmer Group), Edmonton, AB, May 2014

When returning to Italy Ciao Tours will certainly be a part of our trip. We especially appreciated the knowledge of our guide which deepened our experience. Also the hotel in Rome was wonderful, the location was perfect and the staff were professional and efficient. Your communication and organization was exemplary. Look forward to traveling with you again.

John & Dorothy, May 2014

First, let us say how much we appreciate your effort in making our Italy vacation fabulous. We really had a great time, and much of that was due to Ciao Tours. At our age, we want someone available to guide, direct and teach us as we go. That is exactly what we received, and we’re so glad for the experience.

So, we are going to write a nice review of Ciao Tours in Trip Advisor. We want other people to realize what good planning will mean for their tours. We are very glad that we used Ciao Tours!

Thanks very much!

John Bodenburg & Nancy Helmer, Florida, May 2014

Everything was great! We had a great trip, love Italy!! Ciao people were all very nice classy people I was very impressed with them all. Didi was always checking in with us the people we had as tour guides were excellent, fun & informative! We loved having the private tour guides. Next time we would have added a private guide for the Uffizi in Florence as well. The Castle in Chianti with the lunch was over the top! We had our driver take us after to San Gimignano (spell?) and another town afterward. We went on our own to Sienna the next day. We loved San Gimignano & Sienna! Thank You so much for everything, & for our birthday surprises! We took the bottle of wine for Georges birthday and went to the square where the statue of David is and drank it there and watched all the people! It was very fun!

Can’t Wait to go back!

George & Jane Tamberi, California, October 2014

Hi Ylenia, We did have a wonderful time in Italy and Ciao Tours played an enormous part in how smoothly everything went, from the private tours to the train rides. We also appreciated Claudia’s calls at every new destination checking to make sure all was well. It was also very nice to meet her for lunch and put a face to the pleasant person on the other end of the phone. We would definitely use Ciao tours again and would and have already recommended them to others who are interested in traveling to Italy.

Linda & Willi Schmid, Calgary, AB, September 2014

Hi Cristina and Didi, I am finally settled in Vancouver so I have a moment to tell you how wonderful my trip was. I have to tell you first how much I have bragged about your company, the way you set up our itinerary, how helpful it all was, all the personal touches like Didi calling us and checking to see if everything was OK upon arrival at Rome. Thank you so much Didi for paying that $1.50 ticket for us. Such a small amount of money and so much stress!!! I didn’t want to get a fine. We couldn’t back up our car and get into another line as there were cars behind us beeping their horns. As well, thank you for keeping in touch with us by email immediately. I never felt deserted or stressed. Your service was great! I really appreciated it as we were in a strange country with different rules. I am sorry that we missed out on Assisi but the stress of driving (getting lost and no GPS to guide us) to Siena then to Cortona was too much. We did not want to get on the road again with our car to find a parking lot, etc. Don’t know what to tell you other than that…..Two 60 year old women trying to find their way around Italy!! ha ha. My only complaint would be Maggiore Car Rental. No wonder there was no line up there. They were very rude. Gave us a GPS that was not in English, then gave us another one that had no directions to use it. They would also not come out and help us with it. It wouldn’t take the coordinates or the address you gave us to get to Siena or Cortona. When we got back and explained the situation about the GPS they didn’t care and said we had to pay for it anyways. All of the hotels you chose for us were great but the best place of all was Relais La Corte dei Papi. We had a little house to ourselves, an outside patio and we were close to Cortona town….easy to find for us! David and Gabriola his mother were such wonderful people, always helpful and so friendly. Tuscany was my favorite of all the places we went to. The biking throughout the Tuscan area was unbelievable and the lunch that Ricardo made us was delicious…prepared by a man….who could ask for more. The Truffle Hunting was another over the top experience. Unbelievable….They were the nicest, kindest and so down to earth people and when you see how hard they work, yet how happy they are, it just wants to make your heart melt for them. Mac drove 3 hours to get us and bring us back and in between showed us an experience of a lifetime. The train rides were comfortable and thank you for recommending first class. Having all of our tickets ready and being able to bypass all the line up for tours was totally first class service for Ciao. I cannot thank you enough for the best service ever for my bucket list trip of a lifetime to Europe. I have never been there, didn’t know what to expect and you made my travelling so much easier and comfortable. You were worth every penny I paid for this trip and for all the trouble you went to set up our plans I think we purchased a great deal!! Thank you so much and if I ever go back to Tuscany I would definitely use your services again. Thank you Cristina and Didi again for your close attention to our trip and you can be sure that I will be recommending you.

Vicki Stinson & Mavis McLeod, Vancouver & Calgary, October 2014

My husband and I had a “dream trip”. It became a reality when we booked with Arlene of Ciao Tours to leave for Italy September 22 to October 25, 2015.  We were not world travels so it was going to be a great adventure in more ways than one. In January Arlene came to the house. She asked us what our dream trip would be. She listened, suggested and planned the most amazing trip, a rip of a lifetime. It was filled with days of tours, day s of res, cooking classes, 18 days of car rental to visit the beautiful countryside and unique towns. Private tour guides and drivers showed us Italy’s history and charms. Our accommodations were first class, offering beautiful views great location and very helpful staff. The guide book with itinerary was so appreciated. In it was helpful trips daily tours and suggestions with “spot” on directions for driving or walking. It contained brief descriptions and history of each town, where to park, eat and even contact phone numbers. The “3” cooking classes were the highlights for us, my husband especially. We also renewed our wedding vows in San Gimignano. It was made even more special by Arlene herself and Maria Luisa sharing the day. The weather ever cooperated as it was one of the nicest falls experienced in years. I could go on and on. It felt and still does like a dream. Our trip was beyond our expectations all thanks to Arlene and her “team”. A truly memorable lifetime adventure.

Joanne & Tony Chilton, Cranbrook, BC, September 2014

All we can say about Italy 2014 is WOW !!!!!!.

We thought last year’s trip was the best — and it was when it came to BIG cities. This trip was the BEST as it was completely different in that it introduced us to “rural” “small town” Italy. We certainly received an education in Vineyards/wine, olive trees/oil and cheese making from experts in those respective “‘crafts”. We started with Venice as we had not had our fill of this magnificent City in 2013 — well, we will need to go back as we have discovered that there is STILL a lot more to discover. Last year we challenged you to equal or exceed the 2013 trip, especially the weather we experienced in 2013. We don’t know how you managed it this year but we had a phenomenal trip along with phenomenal weather for our 2014 travels (an unbroken string of blue skies and warm sun). Bologna was certainly not on our ” bucket list” but it was truly a great experience — cheese, balsamic vinegar, and best of all, the agrotourismi of Elizabeth and Roberto and their “nonnas”. The experience making, and eating pasta under the watchful eye of Nonna Giorgi should not be missed. Bologna is a wonderful area and has a great old town — it is a worthy addition to anyone’s bucket list. . The undisputed highlight of the trip was the truffle hunt in Village of Pettino Mack, Franchesca and their extended family were gracious, accommodating, and more than willing to go out of their way to make sure he had a great time……………and we DID!!! Searching out truffles was left up to three Brittany Spaniels with more energy than can be imagined — they found about a dozen truffles in short order. We highly recommend scrambled eggs with fresh grated truffle sprinkled on them, accompanied by generous amounts of Prosecco in a meadow high in the hills of Umbria surrounded by about 200 sheep and their guard dogs (Mack and Franchesca have about 400 sheep, and thirty- four dogs) We learned (once again) to make pasta (eggs and flour and a lot of kneading and rolling) which was cooked for us as a part of a FABULOUS meal served outside at the family home — and yes, plenty of great wine finished off with the obligatory “grappa” (definitely an acquired taste). Our stay in San Gimignano was fabulous. It’s a great area to explore and get to know. The scenery is second to none, the people are friendly, and the history of the area provides an excellent learning experience. All in all our visit went flawlessly — planes and trains were on time, great weather (see above), excellent side trips (cheese making, balsamic vinegar production, prosciutto curing, learning to make pasta, touring Enoteca’s and riding Vaporettos in Venice, and the walking tours hosted by the most excellent guides). We finally were able to meet Claudia — at last a face to the voice on the telephone! Thanks for making our trip safe and memorable, Claudia. Thanks to Ciao Tours for another Great Trip We are already planning to visit Cortona in 2015!!!

Michael & Delmarie Rosseker, Calgary, AB, October 2014

Dear Arlene and Ciao Tours Team Members: It is a real pleasure to write you and provide some feedback on our experience with Ciao Tours. You and your team were instrumental in making our recent trip to Italy a total success. We are currently experiencing post trip depression which, in itself, is a testimony to how well the Ciao Team did in helping us plan and execute our trip. First and foremost, we would like to let you know that planning the trip with you and your team was first rate. Ciao Tours is thoroughly knowledgeable about Italy and provided us with lots of terrific advice. Added to this is the wonderful “guide book” that you assembled for us which made it unnecessary for us to lug around other weighty tomes. Your book provided rich insights into each of the places that we visited. As well, by including travel tickets and museum vouchers in the book, we never had any confusion as to “where stuff was”. Second, the people that you have on the ground in Italy are very special. Each guide we met was professional, knowledgeable, personable, punctual and generous with his or her time. In addition, your team member, Didi Nota, made us feel connected to Ciao Tours by checking in with us every so often to make sure we were doing well. It was a pleasure to meet her in Sienna where she performed outstanding simultaneous translation duties at a private wine and olive oil tasting. Third, you have some wonderful contacts in Italy when it comes to cooking schools! We thoroughly enjoyed our agritourism visit to Rosa dei Venti located near Cortona. What a magnificent Tuscan villa with the most accommodating hosts we have ever met. Stefano and his sister Barbara were wonderful and having an opportunity to explore Tuscan cuisine with Barbara and her mother was truly outstanding. Our private visit to Daniela’s Cooking School in Rome was another terrific experience. Daniela was an excellent teacher not only in helping us create a unique meal but also in helping us to understand regional differences in food preparation. As we noted on Trip Advisor, cooking should always be this interesting and fun. Finally, we are timid travellers. This was our first trip to Italy and wanted to enjoy the trip and minimize the stress of travelling. Ciao Tours made this a reality. Transferring from airports and train stations to hotels was made simple. Bypassing long lines at various galleries and museums was made effortless by Ciao. We will return to Italy. There is so much to see and experience. When we do, we can assure you that you will receive a call from us to help us figure out the best way to do it. Thank you for all that you did.

Walt, Jo Gifford & Harry Cumming, Toronto, ON, September 2014

Dear Arlene, May I extend a huge thanks to you and Joanne for putting together such an excellent tour experience for Sue, Leslie, Joan and I in Italy. With the limited time we had, it could not have been more perfect. You gave us a whirlwind tour of so many places, all uniquely different. It was the ‘best’ taste of Italy. All of the hotels were superb , with excellent locations, staff and amenities. The Ciao tour guides were absolutely outstanding. Thomas in Rome, Luca in Florence and Lisa in Sienna generously shared their knowledge with us. Our heads were spinning at the end of the day, as we tried to absorb all the historical facts, stories and anecdotes. The Ciao drivers were also excellent and got us to each hotel and destination safely and on time. The icing on the cake was of course, the marvelous weather. It made the boat tour around Capri an enchanting experience. We all will be basking in fond memories of Italy for years to come!

Donna Jopling & Friends, Calgary, AB, October 2014

Grazie Mille!! A thousand thank yous would not be enough to express our gratitude for organizing such an exceptional trip! All of our accommodations were ideally located, had friendly staffs and the included breakfasts were delicious! In particular, the apartment overlooking Sorrento Bay and the Agriturismo in Tuscany were amazing. We felt like we became a part of the community! Our private Tour Guides were wonderful ambassadors for their cities. Their passion, knowledge of their city and their personable approach helped us truly appreciate and understand Italy so well. Please pass on our appreciation to Silvana – Venezia, Valeria – Milano, Lisa – Sienna, Roberto – Firenze, Michael – Napoli, and Thomas and Deanna – Roma. Friends have asked us what the highlights were but there are so many incredible memories! From our private boat ride, “Aperitif” at Palazzo Stern, and dinner at Osteria Ai Do Farai (Venezia), the amazing Cooking Lesson with sweet Claudia and Ivana at Ristorante Enoteca Del Duca in Volterra, the Wine and Olive Oil Tasting with Iome and Alessandra (Sienna) – who knew how important corks are? – to viewing the Last Supper (Milano), seeing the real David (Firenze), and the ancient sites in Roma, every activity was truly remarkable. Many other tourists were so impressed when they saw our special, personalized Ciao Tour booklet! We had everything at our fingertips – train tickets, car rental vouchers, attractions information and vouchers, local history, restaurant suggestions and, more importantly, the directions to each new lodging were very precise. A special thank you to Alessandra for checking in and ensuring things were going well. It was simply 5 Star treatment! We will definitely book another Italy visit with Ciao Tours!

Glenn Dobie & Heather McKenzie, Cranbrook, BC, October 2014

Hello Arlene, Sorry to be so late in getting this to you. Time flys the older you get. My husband and I were so please with the trip to Italy and the detail to planning that was involved. The souvenir itinerary book a “GREAT” idea. I have told so many people about Ciao Tours and I hope to get some extra business from my continuous ravings about our trip, I would love to go again and you can be sure you will be at the top of our list. You and Maureen did a wonderful job and I can’t thank you enough.

I have enclosed a picture of Luigi and I overlooking the Amalfi Coast. I noticed your name in the cookbook so I hope you enjoy it.

Bev & Luigi D'Agnone

Arlene,

I wanted to let you know that we were very impressed by your organization of our trip to Italy. Your drivers and knowledgeable guides did an amazing job – always on time – always personable. We felt very secure and relaxed. The accommodation was excellent. It was a pleasure to be in “old town” in the sites we visited… it made the experience all the more memorable. For us it was “The trip of a Lifetime” (except that now I have the travel bug and I’d love to do it all over again next year).

You can bet that we will be recommending your organization to anyone we know who wants to see Italy.

Bev Dahl & Dan Kilburn

Hi Arlene,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that i have spoken to my clients, Jim & Linda Lamb, about their recent trip to Italy. They had a great time, were able to see what they wanted plus more. They were very pleased with your services and said their guide in Venice was “awesome”. I want to personally thank you for helping give them a “trip of a lifetime”. I appreciated your time and patience as we were planning everything and I (as well as the Lamb’s) will certainly recommend your company to anyone looking for tours of Italy. Many thanks!

Bev Moess, Tier One Travel

Hi Cristina,

We had a great experience with Ciao. All of the staff, guides, and pre-arranged events were excellent The suggestions that were made were regarding our trip planning were very useful. I have suggested to a couple folks who are planning to go to Italy in the next few months to contact Ciao.

Brad & Tracy Heck

Hi Arlene,

Thanks to Ciao for a wonderful trip – it was aptly named Italy 101! We saw allot of Italy, it’s wonderful culture, history, and people. We probably walked a minimum of 5-6 hours a day, slept like babies at night with great food and wine in our bellies ! We had fantastic weather except for a few showers. We loved the food in Rome and Tuscany the best. Any restaurant that we went to that you recommended was excellent – we also went to many off the beaten path and it is hard to have a bad meal in Italy ! All of your guides were excellent – Antonella was fantastic, a very genuine and dramatic Italian with incredible knowledge,( I loved Rome, surprised myself how much I loved it) Nello, a character ( an hour tour of Pompeii, in my opinion would be adequate), Lisa in Siena is fun, knowledgeable and passionate about showing you this great place, ( one of my favorite places) Luca in Florence was fantastic, Silvana in Venice was lovely. They all brought Italy alive for us and gave us the knowledge to understand the history, culture and people – I always asked them to start in the market as this is the heart of the people for me! The horse meat counters and cow’s intestines and stomach linings gave me pause, but learned about why people ate this!

Arlene, Simone was lovely, and a great driver. I loved Tuscany and Rosa dei Venti – this is a very special place with a very special family. I was sad to leave there! Barbara, Stefano and her mom are delightful and perhaps the most genuine hosts I have ever met in my travels. Their home and land are magnificent, the cooking lesson was lots of fun and it was very special to have my daughter and her husband there with us. Thank you for the breakfast foods and wine. While we were there, we went to Cortona, Montepuchiano, Pienza ( that valley is stunning) Siena and several other little places that we discovered. We met some friends from Seattle there also and cooked a wonderful dinnerin our apartment.

Didi was great and very helpful. We had a great time at the wine and olive tasting and lunch – the wine master was a fantastic guy and I think that I understood every word he said in complete Italian- ( of course that could have been the wine!) I could be a Tuscan without difficulty.

Thank you and Didi and all your fantastic guides and people on the ground there!

Cathy & Doug Good

Hi Arlene,

I wanted to thank you again for coordinating our fabulous trip to Italy. Claudia was fantastic and would call us just about every day making sure that everything was okay. We had the most beautiful weather. It only rained a couple of hours in Verona and a few hours one day in Santa Margarita. We were so lucky !!! Probably our two favorite places were Lake Como and Monfore D’Alba. We especially enjoyed the Grand Hotel Tremezzo and the Villa Beccaris. They were fabulous in every way. The little town of Monfore D’Alba was charming. There was a Marco Polo festival going on and the entire little town was decorated. Thanks again to you and Claudia for making this truly a memorable and fabulous trip for us.

Cathy & Tony La Rocco

Hi Arlene, Our trip to Italy was incredible. Thank you to Ciao Tours for helping make a dream come true for Tony and I. Everything was made so easy for us and there was very little we would have changed. The tour guides were fantastic. Thank you again for making this trip a memorable and special one.

Cathy LaRocco

Hi Caterina,

thanks for your email, just wanted you to know that we had a great time in Italy and again Ciao did a first class job for us. All the guides, drivers, hotel were outstanding and made our trip perfect. I look forward to another trip to Italy soon I think it will be family trip with our school aged kids.

Cathy McClelland

Arlene,

Overall, your staff were great! Didi and Claudia were wonderful and were there if needed. They called and checked up on me, and although I didn’t have any concerns, it was nice to have a ‘voice’ close at hand if needed. Would I use Ciao Tours again ~ absolutely! You and your team were wonderful, took great care of me as well as my group, you ordered sunshine for our trip…. it was fabulous! The girls had a great time and enjoyed it.

Celina Mason

Buon giorno Cristina, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving; Once more I want to Thank You for the tour you put together for us ladies. All the staff were very knowledgeable, helpful, and fun to be with…. We would like you to pass our Thank You to Claudia, Lisa, Axlesandra, Marco, and to Mirko who was always on time, and very good at his job. He was also very entertaining and reliable. Thanks again Cristina to all your co-workers and you for putting a tour together for us that quite honestly we will never forget .

Christine Lakusta

Hello Cristina,

Thank you for your email. We had a wonderful time in Italy, much thanks to Ciao tours in making our trip as enjoyable and stress free as it was. The itinerary was an informative reference, and a nice touch, thank you.

Our driver, Deanna, was at the airport to greet us and my fears were alleviated when I discovered she waited for us even though our flight was delayed. We appreciated all of her historical and local information that she shared on the way from the airport. She also had a car seat for the baby and that was also appreciated. We opted to take only the Baby Bjorn carrier with us and it was the best way to travel with a 5 month old. Strollers, car seats, etc. would have been too cumbersome with all the steps; trains and planes.

We were able to pick up our Roma passes without any problem and were able to skip the long lines at the Coliseum. Next time I might fore go the pass if I was only going for a few days as we weren’t able to use it to its full potential. Because of the location of our hotel (Hotel Artemide) we were able to walk almost everywhere.

Our tour to the Vatican City went without a hitch and our tour guide, Tomas, was fabulous. His knowledge of the history and symbolism of the Vatican was remarkable and thoroughly enjoyed by all. He was able to make it interesting for the young members of the family as well. We also appreciate his effort as well as Ciao Tours, in getting the extra ticket for Rebecca at the last minute. The train tickets were great and we were able to get where we needed to be without any problems. It was the best way to travel.

I would like to thank you all for the great care and detail you took to make this a most enjoyable trip. I would strongly recommend your company to friends and family.

Darlene & Bryan Howg & Family

Hi Cristina, we had a great time and we were really impressed with the service from Ciao Tours.
The chauffer was on time at the Ship dock and when we flew out of Rome.
The Guide in Rome, Gracia , was fantastic. Her knowledge and the way she guided us around really made our two tours very memorable. We watched other so-called “private tours (12-20 people) with headphones and that would have driven me crazy.
Can’t wait to do another tour. Need at least a week in Rome to see everything. I also want to visit Venice and Florence, especially for the Opera in Florence. I think there’s an annual Puccini event.
Thanks for everything!

Dave & Avril Rogers

Thanks Arlene it was a great trip and worry free. All of the hotels were very nice, and the guides were very friendly and informative. And a special thanks to Didi who was in contact with us on each and every move. You obviously have a great organization that is first class you must and should be very proud of it. Again Thanks to all.

Dean & Kathryn Cook

Buon Giorno, Arlene!

I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how much Michele and I enjoyed our trip to Italy. I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations! Italy is a beautiful country with friendly people, delicious food and great wine (not to mention the history!). Michele and I were so pleased with our itinerary. Although we only had two weeks, it felt like we were able to experience so much; from sipping wine in a castle in Chianti country to touring Florence with Carlo, to hiking through Cinque Terre and finally scrambling around the crazy and unique city of Venice.

Any chance I get I tell people about the wonderful service you provide. Our trip would not have been half as good if it weren’t for all the hard work and planning done by everyone at Ciao Tours. We did not have to worry or think about a thing. You had everything covered. All we had to do was be up everyday to enjoy new sites and experiences. OK, I’ll admit, the trains stressed me out a bit, but it’s healthy for one to leave her comfort zone every now and again!

Caterina did a great job reviewing our itinerary with us before we left. We really appreciated her calling to follow up as soon as we returned home. All the drivers were exceptional as well. They were always on time, with clean vehicles and pleasant to talk with. You were not kidding – Marco is extremely handsome. I’d have to put him in the top 5 best looking males I’ve seen. Hee Hee.

And, finally a BIG thank you to you, Arlene, for all your patience as we hammered out our itinerary 67+ times, put the trip on hold, fired up the trip again and phoned & emailed you numerous times with questions and changes. You were always very accommodating and fun to chat with on the phone. Thank You and Take Care!

Deanna Steiger & Michele Peterson

Hi Arlene:

Thanks again for organizing such an amazing trip for us.

Diane & Steve Szetela

Hello Didi, Ron & I arrived home safely on Thursday; importing colds along with souvenirs. We are just getting back to normal now.

We have such wonderful memories of our time spent with Ciao Tours.

It started with Deanna picking us up from the ship to transport us to Rome where Thomas waited to show us the sights. Thomas was superb. His knowledge, that he generously shared with us, his foresight to have pre-bought tickets for the Coliseum so that we could go right in, the restaurant he recommended for lunch everything was first rate. We cannot express our thanks enough that we had the good fortune to have Thomas escort us to Rome’s highlights. We saw more and learnt more in one day that others we talked to had done on a number of trips. Everything was so incredible and interesting that our day flew by so fast. We also wanted to thank you for the taxi fares that were included for us in Rome. I had twisted my knee the day before and was challenged to get around. The taxi made it possible to get in all the sights we wanted to see.

Naples turned out to be a very busy city in the morning so Lino took us to Hurculeum which was a real treat and then on the Coral factory. A treat for us was to try a pizza in Naples in one of the restaurants recommended by our guide. In the afternoon we got a city tour and escorted back to the ship. A good day.

Venice – we met Hillary at St. Marks Square and she toured us through all the small streets, bridges off the beaten path. We also got to go into the St. Marks Basilica. The most important point for me is that Hillary, like Thomas knew all the history, all the details, all the stories and kept us captivated. We had wanted to see not only the common tourist spots but also the local spots and Hillary did that for us. Showing us the markets with wonderful fruit, vegetables, fish (some of which we had never seen before) and meat shops. She is so personable. That night at dinner one of our table companions that was an airline attendant that had visited Venice many times and started asking us questions about things he didn’t know. Hillary had taught us so much that we could answer all his questions.

Your tours made our holiday for us. Thank you so much.

Dianne & Ron Stewart

Hi Arlene,
We received your telephone message as well yesterday, we returned safe, sound and tired Saturday afternoon and are back at work going a little crazy trying to catch up.

Thank you and all of your staff who made this one of the most enjoyable, fantastic trips ever, a dream come true honestly. You have an incredible team, from Didi in Italy to all of the guides and drivers etc. etc. They were all just super!

I know we would not have had the same experience if we had not chosen Ciao Tours, you made it easy for us and we learned so much, no travel book would have filled us with the information and history the guides did.

We have several people already asking for your information and will continue to pass it on.

Edie & Kevin Sellick

Good Morning Arlene, The trip was wonderful. This is our first time staying at a bed and breakfast and I can say with confidence we started at the top of the bed and breakfast experience. Silvia and Paolo could not have been better hosts. We can’t thank them enough for allowing us dinners in their home – it made all the difference. Getting around Tuscany was very easy. Our tour to Sienna was wonderful and the guide you sent to us was friendly and of course knowledgeable. A pleasure to spend the day with. Thank you for your assistance in setting up an amazing holiday experience.

Erica Lebbert

Hi Cristina,
We had an amazing time in Italy. Hard to be back. I certainly miss having wine with my meals, my morning espresso and the amazing food and sights.

Absolutely loved Italy, and the work that your team put in made it extremely enjoyable and stress-free. I would not hesitate at all to recommend Ciao Tours to anyone wanting to travel to Italy.

Thanks again for everything! Looking forward to returning to Italy, hopefully in the near future.

Erin & Mel Colborne

We want to thank you again for helping us plan our wonderful adventure through Italy.  We both feel that this was one of the best trips we have ever been on……… partly because we were in romantic Italy but mainly because you helped us organize such a terrific itinerary. We saw all the things we wanted to see (and more), drank loads of great Italian wine and ate way too many carbs!

From our walking tour in Rome to our wine tasting at Verrazzano winery the fun never stopped and as an added bonus we learned so much about Italy. I can sum it up with one word….priceless!

Ciao and grazie,

Evelyn and Jay Hamiton

Dear Arlene,

Franco and I just arrived back in Calgary last night from Europe. We wish to thank you and all your associates for again planning a great trip to Italy. We had a wonderful time, saw many beautiful sites. The view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, from our room, was breathtaking. All the drivers and tour guides we met were all very kind, helpful and professional. Also we very much appreciated the periodic calls that we received from Claudia, she made us feel well taken care of. Thank you all very much and we look forward to our next adventure in Italy.

Franco & Luisa Imbrogno

Hello Cristina and Arlene,

What can I say – WOW!! We had the experience of a lifetime and loved every minute of it. Thanks to Ciao Tours for making our 30th wedding anniversary celebration our best anniversary to date. The itinerary was so well laid out and worked like a charm, everywhere we went we had the wonderful Ciao Tour rep Claudia checking in on us and making sure we had all the right contacts and were pleased with our excellent accommodation. Sorrento and the balcony and sea view accommodation exceeded our expectations.

The tour guides demonstrated a passion and great knowledge of the beautiful cities we toured. Our cooking experience with Paulo and Liza was top class and they treated us like royalty, can’t wait to try out some of the recipes. The drivers were very courteous and friendly and such a welcoming surprise to see when we landed at each destination.

All in all I have and will continue to highly recommend Ciao Tours to all my friends, it was worth every penny.

Thank you both for making this such a wonderful experience for us and I showed Sandra and Colin McGuire our photos last night and praised your great tour company, they can’t wait to take off in a week or so to Italy.

Best of luck and a sincere thanks from both Kevin and myself.

Freda Walshe

Dearest Cristina,

Thank you very much for your welcome-back note. In short, my Italian experience with Ciao Tours was WOW!

I’ll be sending out a more comprehensive note over the next few weeks (currently – need to focus on my team and work) – but know that I’m coming back from my Italian experience with the heart and head filled with amazing memories. I am a fan of Claudia ! She totally surprised and delighted me throughout the journey .. Very well done – I truly felt like a very special guest ! Grazie mile.

Genevieve Comtois

Cristina thanks for your note. Our trip to Italy was absolutely outstanding and an experience of a life time. The tour you put together was outstanding and your staff in Italy were all first class.
We thank you very much for the outstanding memories created during our trip.

George & Laura Croft

Arlene, I just wanted to say Thank You for putting together an outstanding trip to Italy.
Everything was wonderful from the professional guides , tours, wine tastings , restaurants ,hotels and the places /things you suggested to do . Our contact in Italy ,Claudia was very responsive , helpful and a great resource when needed.
The directions to and from various destinations throughout Italy were very accurate and easy to understand. Even more accurate than our GPS.
This is the second time my wife and I had the pleasure of working with you and your team and again you exceeded our expectations.
Our trip was outstanding and we can’t thank you enough for helping make our vacation so special.
Ciao.

Gerry Calabrese

Hi Arlene Thank you for your note. We had a wonderful trip and really enjoyed Italy. Everything was great and your organization was very professional in everyway. Each part of the tour was right on time and very well organized. Thanks again for making our 8 days go by far to quickly. Thank you!

Gord & Michele Brandon

We had a “fantastic” trip. There was nothing that could have been made it better. Travelling the way we did with all plans made and someone in touch with us was like having Mom always there.

We have recommended your company’s name to many of our friends and they are planning to be in touch. My favorite bit of information I like to tell them is that women have the company so every detail is taken care of.

Thanks for everything to you and Laura.

Helen Miller

Hi Cristina, We are very sad to be back – Italy was amazing. I would first like to thank everyone at Ciao for organizing such a wonderful and memorable experience for us. Beyond a shadow of a doubt you exceeded all of our expectations. The materials you gave us and the support you provide allowed us to travel through Italy with ease.

Thank is about it. I have told many friend and colleagues about Ciao.I think you can expect a call from at least three or four people that will be planning Italian vacations next year.

Thanks again for everything, your entire team is amazing.

Jackson White

Hi Arlene,

Thanks for your kind note and for all your efforts in making the arrangements for our fantastic Italy trip. Travelling on a long-haul flight with a 17 month old is not an experience I will repeat in the future, but once we actually got to Tuscany, everything was wonderful. Thanks again for all your help with the arrangements – it was a great trip!

James & Kristi Obright

We are now back from our fabulous holiday. We all had a wonderful time. Your choice of hotels, itinerary, tours, tour guides, drivers was outstanding. Italy is now one of our favourite spots!

Thanks for taking the time to put such a great package together for us.

Jan, Hans & Daniel Jonasson

Dear Ciao Tours, We enjoyed a vacation to Italy this fall organized by Ciao Tours and wanted to let you know what a fantastic time we had. We spent fifteen activity-filled days travelling in a foreign country confident that everything was planned and organized to the last detail. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have managed to do or see even half the things we did had we tried to plan this trip on our own.

Jennifer Vézina & Howard Brekke

I am writing this letter to express how impressed I was by our amazing trip to Italy with Ciao Tours!
We had a great time in Italy. Highlights were Tuscany and the tour at the Gagliole Winery. Our cooking class with Lisa and Paolo Bosco was fantastic! The food was incredible and they are a wonderful couple. Venice was very crowded and it was very hot the whole time. The guides were all very good and answered lots of John’s questions. The sailboat was awesome and everything worked so well. Thank you for everything and all the special touches in our rooms. The calls from Didi were so nice. Thank you!

Jill & John Myer

Hi Arlene,

Buon Natale!

We enjoy your newsletters very much and we are as delighted by your success as you are.  From the perspective of two of your customers, Roberta and I want to thank you and all of your staff for the wonderful travels and excellent attention we have invariably received.  Your success is richly deserved.

Our latest Rome/Venice arrangements were superb.  Our earlier Tuscany trip was complicated, but executed flawlessly.  Neither of us will ever forget David, within a short walk from our hotel, or the agriturismo location overlooking San Gimignano.

I’m sure there are many others who join us in saying a resounding thanks for all of your efforts.  We sing your praises to every serious traveler we talk to.

Thank you all, and Merry Christmas!

Jim & Robata McMahon

We’re back home, and getting readjusted from our trip.

Roberta and I just wanted to tell you that everything was terrific and all your connections went off like clockwork. Even the part I was most concerned about: being met in the lobby of Hotel Bruno at 4 am and water-taxied to the airport.

Your rep there was most congenial, got us loaded onto the boat and off to the airport, with great efficiency. In fact, Claudia, the staffs of both hotels, and their locations and arrangements were all great.

Ever since our Tuscany trip, I’ve sung your praises to anyone who even mentions going to Italy.  And I certainly intend to keep doing so.

Jim McMahon

It has been two months now since Melissa and I returned from our amazing Honeymoon. We talk about Italy constantly. I am still not over the food and I fear I will never recover. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for introducing us to Italy. Melissa and I were engaged for four years and have been together for eight. From the first time we discussed what a dream honeymoon would be for us we both dreamed of Italy. It is very rare that reality exceeds expectations, especially when you have dreamed of something for years, but that is exactly what this trip did. There is absolutely no way we would have had the opportunity to make this trip a reality without Ciao.

Tammy and Arlene, you are some of the warmest people I have ever met, I mean that sincerely. The experience you gave my wife and I will last us forever. I have nothing but positive things to say about the places we stayed, the tour guides, the personal transportation, the drivers, the restaurant suggestions, and all of the materials you sent us. Overall, your dedication to detail and the attention to the travelers thoughts and feelings is what made this trip so special. I really can not put into words how this trip effected us. I know for a fact there is no way we would have ever traveled all over Italy without your help. Thank you so much.

Jimmie & Melissa

Follow up on our AMAZING TRIP:

All hotels/villa you chose were great. Tour guides were great. Cooking class. bike ride and olive tasting were also well chosen. Totally a great trip!!!

Thank you soooo much for an amazing trip to your great country. We will be back sometime for another planned trip to Italy.

Joanne Lennon

I am writing this letter to express how impressed I was by our amazing trip to Italy with Ciao Tours!

Even before we left for Italy we received a welcome package with a travel bag, customized guide book, maps, hotel brochures, and travel tags.The detailed tour book was custom made for our tour and generated excitement over our upcoming trip. I traveled with 4 people (myself, my husband and two girlfriends) and none of us had been to Italy before so we didn’t know what to expect. Ciao Tours helped us to prepare for our adventure.

Once we arrived the detailed directions and well planned ititnerary helped to make our trip run smoothly. It was also nice to have a contact at Ciao Tours to call just in case we needed help or missed our train. Our contact was Laura and she was so wonderful. She called us right away when we checked into our first hotel in Rome and was so welcoming and excited for us. She checked in with us at each hotel and made us feel so special. We requested a last minute change of plans as we wanted to squeeze in a trip to Capri and Laura made it possible. She was so amazing!!!

Our accomodations in each city were wonderful. We enjoyed our breakfast everyday and the staff was very friendly and informative. What we really enjoyed most were the individualized tours by our informative and energetic tour guides. We had Antonella in Rome and she was very efficient, full of life, knowledgeable and fun. In Pompeii which was unusually hot and pretty miserable our guide Luca was one of our favorites because he made Pompeii come to life and we almost forgot how hot it was that day. He was great! In Sienna we had Lisa Barbagli who educated us on the history of Sienna including the famous Il Campo and the celebrations in the differect sections of the city based on the winner of the races.

We could imagine the races and crowds of people gathered in the center of the city during the famous horse race. In Florence we had Luca Santiccioli who was born in Sienna but also a proud Florence citizen. He gave us a wonderful walking tour and such detailed information about the history of the two powerful families competing for power in Florence. Luca had so many recommendations of the best restaurants, and gelato places which we loved. Last but not least we ended in Venice with Silvana Bortolini. She was so amazing as well and provided us with so much history and information during our walking tour of the city. She also gave us the best recommendation of my favorite meal in Italy so I am extra grateful to her.

We had a very special and memorable trip thanks to Ciao Tours and will definitely be coming back to visit Italy hopefully soon! Grazie Ciao Tours!!!

John & Lori Chang

Hi Caterina,

I must compliment you on choosing hotels that were very convenient to the activities in each of the cities we visited.

Our cooking lesson at Zeppelin in Orvieto was one of the highlights of the trip for all four of us. We had so much fun cooking with Chef Lorenzo and his interns, and by the time we sat down for lunch we were stuffed! I would HIGHLY recommend this to any of your clients. The same can be said for our wine and olive oil tasting in Siena. It was great to meet with Laura, who is so proud of her hometown, and have her come with us to the restaurant to introduce is to Alessandra, who led our tasting. We also really enjoyed our tour of Florence with Giovanni. He was so knowledgeable it was unbelievable!

Venice was another highlight of the trip for me, and Hotel da Bruno was in an excellent location. Your advice to buy a card to ride the vaporetto was very good and we enjoyed touring the city this way. We also enjoyed a tour of one of the glass factories in Murano, courtesy the hotel.

We really appreciated Laura checking in with us throughout our trip – it was nice to know that if we needed help we could get in touch with her easily.

Thank you so much for your work in getting everything organized for us, I will certainly recommend you to anyone I hear of planning a trip to Italy!

Judy Epp

Hi Cristina,

Our trip was great! The tour guides and drivers arranged by ciao tours were excellent and really did give us a great background of the areas toured and guidelines on how best to spend our time when not assisted by a tour guide.

It was a pleasure to meet Alessandra and did appreciate her attention to us while travelling. Although we did not seek her attention it was nice to know that she was there should we have any concerns that we needed addressed.

We had a great trip! Thank you for your attention and we will recommend ciao tours to our friends!

Karen & Peter Stickls

Arlene, we had a great time. And thanks for all the organizing. it was all very efficient with no glitches.

Kate & Shelley MacNeil

Hi Arlene,

We really did have a fabulous time in Italy-but, really what is there not to love!  There were sooo many people and places that made our honeymoon incredible – I really must say Antica Torre was absolutely exceptional – I have never had such great and friendly service in my life.  I would recommend that hotel and the people who work there to anyone – in fact I have been raving about them.  Just so you know – one lady in particular went out of her way and bought Mike and I two bottles of their room scents – over 150. euro without giving her any money until we got back to Florence that evening.  So amazing and such great staff!

Thank-you sooo much for everything – for your wonderful staff who were amazing and we were very appreciative of Claudia checking up with us and on us.  She was great!  Couldn’t be happier about our experience and of course can’t wait to go back.

Kate Hamilton

Hi Arlene, Just wanted to send you a note to thank you very much for arranging our tour of Italy.

We had a fabulous time, due very much to your arrangements and your wonderful staff in Italy.

They were with us every step of the way and so very personable and helpful!! Claudia and Didi are terrific.

Thank you again for all your help, and we will recommend you to anyone travelling to Italy, as will Dean, Cliff and Veda who were also very pleased with your service!!!

Kathy & Lyle Cook

Hi Christina, I had a bit of time this afternoon so I thought I would send this off to you before I let is slide too long! As I said – we had a terrific time. Please tell Claudia that we really appreciated all her phone calls and concern for us! What a super nice person she is!! You all are! And you all do your jobs very well. I believe that your organization of the trip is what made it so enjoyable. All your suggestions were spot on! It was great! Keep up the good work and I will make sure the word gets around!! Ciao!!

Kathy (Marion & Devon) Bauer

Dear Cristina,

We had a great time and everything was great thank you! Italy is amazing!!!

Kelly Sembinelli

Good Morning, Arlene

Ken and I would like to send you this note of appreciation for all of the effort and diligence put into out trip to Italy from you and all the staff at Ciao Tours. Thomas was exceptional as our guide through the Vatican and around Rome the following day. We found him extremely knowledgeable and energetic!

Our walk through Venice, with Silvana, was informative, full of history and sense of wonder at life on waterways.

Florence was truly a wonderful city to view through Lucca’s eyes. He has such passion for his great city, showed us places of craftsmanship where one would not normally go.

The driving day through Montalcino with driver, Marco, was wonderful. To get into the country and see the beautiful land. We asked many questions of Marco, and he was so amiable and expressive in his knowledge and views.

It was so nice to meet up with Claudia, after having spoken with her many times on the phone. She was very attentive and supportive.

Lisa in Sienna, also showed her passion for the history of the city and the art. Talked of family life, compared notes on same.

We really enjoyed our tour with Janet.

Ken

Hi Arlene,

We had an excellent trip and Alessandra was very helpful – thanks to you and your team for putting together a great program and for the continuous support. We will strongly recommend your service for other Italy travellers that we know.

Ken & Denise Grondin

I wanted to send you a note to thank you for arranging our recent trip to Italy – we had a wonderful time with lots of memories to cherish forever – all of the arrangements made by you (apartments, drivers, guides, cooking lesson etc) went off without a hitch – I would highly recommend you to anyone travelling to Italy, in fact , I have already recommended you to my friends thanks again and we’ll contact you again next time we travel to Italy !!

Lisa Moore & Family

Dear Arlene and Cristina,

My wife and I would really like to thank Ciao Tours for putting together a wonderful holiday for us. We were in Italy for three weeks all told, and we packed a lot in. We started in Rome, and then travelled to Pompeii, then onto Sorrento. We toured Capri, and the Amalfi coast, including Positano and Amalfi. We then went onto Florence, and then Venice. From Venice we rented a car and drove to Modena, where we saw all things Ferrari. (It’s a guy thing). From there we went to the Cinque Terra and then onto Pisa, and continued into Tuscany, where we saw San Gimignano, Volterra and Siena, and then drove back to Rome to return the rental car.

Everything went right according to the plan laid out in our itinerary.

Every place we stayed we showed up at the hotel and everything was in order, they were expecting us, and we had no unpleasant surprises. The accommodations were all first rate. In Sorrento, especially, we had the best room in the entire hotel, thank you Ciao tours for that little surprise. When we left Rome, we had to meet a driver at the train station in Naples, and no problem, he was right there on time, waiting for us. Our train tickets were all handled for us, no problems, our vouchers for all of our bus/walking tours were all handled for us, no problems. Our guides whisked us to the front of all the line ups, we didn’t have to wait in any long lines (that was very much appreciated at the Vatican, let me tell you). The guides were all very professional and spoke fluent english. We had to pick up a rental car at the airport in Venice, and it was all handled, no problems. The driving directions in our tour book were very accurate.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say every single detail of our holiday had been handled expertly and professionally. It was only after we got back home, and we had a chance to reflect on the holiday, that we came to realize just how much work Ciao tours had really done for us behind the scenes, and it became apparent just how much thought they had put into planning our vacation. They even carefully managed the pace of our holiday. We started off very busy, with bustling cities like Rome and Florence, activities every day, a very busy schedule. Busy, yet not overwhelming, they were careful to leave us time for ourselves to explore places on our own. However, near the end of our holiday, the pace was much more relaxed and laid back and we had more time to ourselves to take it easy. I think that was better than if it had been arranged the other way. While in Italy, we met other people that had planned their own vacations, and they were constantly sweating all the little details and worrying about their next moves, where we had none of those worries, everything had been handled for us, we just had to show up and have fun. We even got a phone call from Didi at every single destination, right in our room, checking up on us and making sure everything was in order. That was a really nice touch. We got to meet Claudia in Siena for our wine and olive oil tasting afternoon. How many tour companies go out of their way to dispatch an ambassador to meet you personally on your travels? That’s red carpet service in my books.

I would highly recommend anyone considering an Italian vacation to book with Ciao, and we’ve already recommended Ciao to several friends. Thanks once again to all the good folks at Ciao Tours for planning a memorable vacation for us.

Lorne & Lori Stafford

Dear Arlene,

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally, and on behalf of my clients, Keith & Helen Herzog, thank you and your staff for the wonderful tour arrangements you completed for us at the very last minute before the Herzog’s departure for a month long journey to Europe including two weeks in Italy.

Meeting over lunch last week, Keith, Helen and I talked in length about their experiences in Italy, The Herzogs had only good things to say about the troup arangements in Rome and Tuscany and found all the guides to be personale, completely knowledgeable and ver professional; the felt very comfortable in every situation and that the level of ease and comfort contributes to a very satifying outcome. Everything worked pretty seamlessly for my clients and thier time in Rome and Tuscany was greatly enhanced not only by the tour arrangements you provided them but by the support of the staff who were available to welcome them and answer any questions along the way. Please pass along their thanks to your crew in Italy for a “job well done”.

My thanks, Arlene, for helping me work out all the details on short notice. That kind of response and outcome will make it easy to call you first when I am planning special programs for Italy.

Marica Gilbert, Winsome Travel

Good Morning, Arlene,

Ken and I would like to send you this note of appreciation for all of the effort and diligence put into out trip to Italy from you and all the staff at Ciao Tours. Thomas was exceptional as our guide through the Vatican and around Rome the following day. We found him extremely knowledgeable and energetic!
Our walk through Venice, with Silvana, was informative, full of history and sense of wonder at life on waterways.

Florence was truly a wonderful city to view through Lucca’s eyes. He has such passion for his great city, showed us places of craftsmanship where one would not normally go.

The driving day through Montalcino with driver, Marco, was wonderful. To get into the country and see the beautiful land. We asked many questions of Marco, and he was so amiable and expressive in his knowledge and views.

It was so nice to meet up with Claudia, after having spoken with her many times on the phone. She was very attentive and supportive.

Lisa in Sienna, also showed her passion for the history of the city and the art. Talked of family life, compared notes on same.

We really enjoyed our tour with Janet, in Pienza. Was so interesting to have views from someone who lives in one of the smaller hillside towns. The town itself has stunningly beautiful views!

Again, Thank you to all, drivers, transport people and especially the guides who truly brought the vibrancy of history to life.

Marilyn & Ken King

Dear Arlene, My thank you note is saved on my computer as, “the best, the best, the best”, and honestly, (I feel so guilty saying this as I am ½ Greek, and the land of my people Greece would certainly disown me) – but truly Italy and all the arrangements made by Ciao Tours – well, let’s put it this way, I cried when our Italian Summer holiday book arrived – unbelievable the detail, the information and the first week we returned I cried every time I tried to explain about our incredible trip; I so wanted to be back to the land of my new people! A thousand thank you’s for a very, very memorable trip, all courtesy of Ciao Tours!

Marina Tuthill & Meredith (MiMi) Hardie

We wanted to express our appreciation for the great job you did on organizing our fantastic trip to Italy. Your care and attention to detail inspired confidence in all your arrangements. Our accomodations were not only clean but very conveniently located. Your directions and transfers were accurate and minimized our wait times as well as stress levels.

We were pleasantly surprised by Laura’s genuine concern and follow-up during our travels throughout Italy. It was reassuring to know that we had that support in the event of any problems.

The people that you lined up to assist us in making the most of our trip were gracious and helpful. While in Sorrento, Maurizo enriched our drive down the Amalfi coast by adding a lot of color with his stories and descriptions of the local towns. We had one of our favorite meals in a restaurant that he suggested in Ravello. We gained a new appreciation for Italian olive oil and wine from Alessandra’s knowledgeable presentation. She was particularly charming and gracious as she explained the finer points of enjoying Tuscan cuisine. Rita was an absolute joy to tour around Sienna with. Her pride and knowledge of Sienna’s history, culture and politics and the joy she took in sharing it with us was obvious. Eddo and Maria Luisa made us feel like we were part of their family for the cooking class and dinner that we enjoyed afterwards along with their daughter and grandson. And yes, Tammy, this was a highlight of the trip for Mark as well. Thanks for talking him into the cooking class. Mark and Eddo also seemed to share a common love of good Italian wine.

Once again, thank you for all the assistance you provided in making our trip such a wonderful experience.

Mark & Heather Kolaczek/Sommers

I just wanted to let you know what a great time our group had in Italy. Your arrangements were absolutely perfect!  Our hotels were all terrific, the information you provided for trains etc was invaluable and your booklet was never out of reach !  I can’t thank you enough for ensuring that everything about our trip went smoothly.  We traveled “without a hitch”, thanks to you.  I will definitely recommend you to anyone I know who is thinking of travelling to Italy.  First class job, and we want you to know that it was much appreciated.  This was a trip of a lifetime for my husband and I and you definitely added to our experience in a very positive way.

Mary-Anne Lyons

Arlene, I just wanted to thank you and Ciao Tours for a wonderfully organized trip! Evan and I had an amazing and unforgettable trip together. From being picked up at the airport, to the phone calls checking up on us, to people meeting us (Venice) to orient us, to being picked up at 3:00 am to go to the airport…we were so well looked after. Everything was wonderful. Thank you SO much again for all your work!

Maureen Moore

Hi Cristina,

Thank you for your note. We had a wonderful time in Italy and our tour was a great success – nice people, excellent guide and driver, and a wonderful itinerary. We would certainly recommend Ciao Tours and hope to travel to Italy again sometime.

Meg Crawford

Dear Arlene and Cristina, The tour you arranged for us was PHENOMENAL!!!!!!” We’ve been back in Canada for a month and are still marveling over it. It was the BEST, and this will present a problem for you. We are planning another trip to Italy in 2014. How will you ever exceed our new expectations?

On our 2013 trip everything went flawlessly. It all began with our extremely “fuzzy” wish list in Calgary, culminating in an extraordinarily detailed itinerary and “turn by turn” navigation instruction. Thanks to the Ciao Calgary staff for a job very well done. In Italy, airport pick-up, hotels in all our travels were excellent – can’t say enough about the Hotel Palazzo Vitturi in Venice – trains were on time and we’re not sure how you arranged 14 days of blue skies and sunshine!

Our “personal” guides were fabulous – Thomas in Rome led us through the Vatican and the Streets of Rome in an effortless and delightful mix of art, history, politics, and popular culture. Luca in Florence possesses an intimate knowledge of that wonderful City. He knows it inside and out, from where to buy the most expensive shoes to finding the best Gelato in town, including where to find a Valentino Rossi (Italy’s TOP motorcycle racer) T-shirt for our Son. Monica provided a wonderful insight into aquaculture – the Venice fish market is a must see – and provided us with enough insight into the convoluted street/canal system that we were able to find out way (most of the time – only getting lost a couple of times). And, oh yes, she does know how to “get to the front of the line in a “crowded” St. Marks Square. We also briefly met Silvana at our scheduled Gondola ride. She was able to cut through some minor red-tape and language issues, ensuring that our Gondola Ride was perfect.

We did not ever meet Claudia, but she was ever present – by mobile telephone – making sure we arrived where we were supposed to, when we were supposed to, checking on our accommodations, and our itinerary, and also helping us to find Valentino Rossi souvenirs. It was reassuring to know that she was always available and watchful.

It was a memorable trip and we look forward to returning to Italy in September 2014. Thanks to all at Ciao Tours.

Michael & Delma Rosseker

Hi Cristina,

We had a fabulous time. Everyone in our group thought the tours booked through Ciao Tours were phenomenal and we were so glad that we had worked with your company. The tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful and we really enjoyed each one of them. The wine tour day was probably our favourite. Sienna was amazing and Leisa was a fantastic guide. Her passion of the area was evident and made our time there very special.

Claudia was wonderful and connected with us a few times while we were there. Which made us feel like they were ready for us and everything would go smooth.

The restaurant that you had suggested and made reservations at what perfect as well. We had an awesome night dinning on the patio, eating great food and drinking wine. It couldn’t have been better.

Thank you so much for your connection to great people in Italy to make our short trip so enjoyable. We did make the most of it and decided that we would just sleep on the plane ride home. Which we did.

When I go back with my family, I will definitely call you again to arrange a new Italy experience.

Michele Simpson

Hi Cristina,

We had a fabulous time. Everyone in our group thought the tours booked through Ciao Tours were phenomenal and we were so glad that we had worked with your company. The tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful and we really enjoyed each one of them. The Rome hotel location was absolutely perfect. The hotel staff was helpful and welcoming. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

The wine tour day was probably our favourite. Sienna was amazing and Leisa was a fantastic guide. Her passion of the area was evident and made our time there very special.

Claudia was wonderful and connected with us a few times while we were there. Which made us feel like they were ready for us and everything would go smooth.

Thomas took us around Rome and we hired him for a few extra hours. He was free for the afternoon so he stayed with us until 5:00. He was very knowledgeable and made the day so enjoyable. He really took us under his wing, showing us how to navigate the trains and made us feel safe everywhere we went (crossing streets in Rome can be quite interesting).

The restaurant that you had suggested and made reservations at what perfect as well. We had an awesome night dinning on the patio, eating great food and drinking wine. It couldn’t have been better.

We did end up taking the train back from Lecce to Rome instead of hiring a car. The train was the best way to travel. However, we did have a great day driving to Lecce, stopping in Pescara for lunch right next to the sea. It was fabulous.

Thank you so much for your connection to great people in Italy to make our short trip so enjoyable. We did make the most of it and decided that we would just sleep on the plane ride home. Which we did.

When I go back with my family, I will definitely call you again to arrange a new Italy experience.

Michele Simpson

Hi Arlene,

Sorry I missed your call this morning. Yes, our trip was absolutely amazing. Our only regret is that we didn’t book our whole time with you! Truly enjoyed our walking tours, wine and olive tasting. Our time in the Tuscany area was a welcomed calm after riding a bike on very busy narrow roads along the Amalfi coast. Thanks on behalf of us all!

Michelle
Hi Arlene,

I know this note is far overdue, but I did want to send you a note after our conversation to thank you again for a perfect vacation.You and your staff made our trip to Italy something we will never forget.We keep talking about when we are going to go back again and we have only been home for 3 months!

Everything in the trip was seamless, from the drivers picking us up at the airport, to the check-in at the hotels, to the tour guides. Both Francesca and Luca were fabulous tour guides! They made sure that we knew all the highlights of Rome and Florence and they were both so well educated in architecture and history. They could answer all the questions we had and more! Excellent service by both!

Tuscany was so special and made even more special by staying with Sylvia and Pablo! They were the most amazing hosts and truly made our trip to Italy spectacular! They gave us directions and tips everyday to the must see places and all of them were worth visiting. Our meal on our first night was so delicious and we were made to feel welcome from the minute we arrived.

The breakfasts everyday were lovely and so tasty and what a view each morning…we are missing that so much! The most special evening was our cooking class and dinner, what a perfect way to celebrate turning 40! I am still dreaming about that cake and the fun we had that night.

Lastly, the wine tour day was awesome! Touring Barbi and Fontodi in one day with the most amazing food and drivers to get us to and from was impressive.

And to have birthday cake at each location, well that was over the top…I think everyone was getting tired of my 40th by the end, but I must say you truly made it memorable!

Overall, I cannot say enough about the tour and the people that work with you along the way to make everything run smoothly. We would definitely recommend your company to anyone wanting to see Italy and truly take in its unique wines, food, history, architecture and more.

With much appreciation,

Michelle McKenna

Hi Arlene,

I wanted to THANK YOU for the amazing trip that you put together for James and I. It was our first time to Italy and we will definitely be going back! The hotels and the tour guides that you had lined up for us were extremely helpful and professional- Franceso at Hotel Vitturi in Venezia helped us out quite a bit with local customs and attractions. He also went out of his way to ensure we were taken care of when 70% of Venice was under water.
We will for sure be recommending Ciao Tours to anyone who’s planning on going.

Thanks again!

Mika & James Nakashima

Kimberley and I want to say thank you to Ciao for the excellent job they did setting up our dream tour through Italy. I know that we didn’t really know what we wanted and couldn’t give you direction but you still did an excellent job of pulling the tour together.

Our favorite city was Sienna, our favorite people were at Marcampo/ del Duca. We tell more stories about the cooking lesson than anything else.  (even driving in Italy which I very much enjoyed once I figured out directions)   Highlights would also include the hotel in both Florence and in Sienna were fantastic, perfectly located and very friendly and helpful. The hotel in Rome was also very good, we just didn’t spend as much time there as we did in the other places. I was a little disappointed with the accommodations in Cinque Terra, The room was ridiculously small and I honestly could not turn around in the shower. I do realize this was a late addition to the tour once we found out we had a couple extra days. That said, Cinque Terra is absolutely beautiful and we would definitely recommend it and return.

One aspect of the trip I would recommend to anyone, particularly novice travelers like us, is the guides through Sienna, Rome and Florence. Rome, In particular was memorable.

In short, the trip lived up to our expectations and was worthy of a 25th anniversary gift yo ourselves. I will carry the memories forever.

I believe that the trip was a success due to the insight and professionalism of the staff at Ciao. My early conversations with Arlene and the in person meetings with Caterina set the stage perfectly.
I want to make particular note of how much we enjoyed dealing with Alessandra. The day spent with her at the wine tasting was fabulous but far more important was the care and attention she gave us , everything from helping with dinner reservations to assuring me the train tickets were in order. I can sometimes get a little worked up and she managed to keep me calm throughout the trip. I can’t thank her enough.

Thank you again, We anticipate going back to Italy and will not hesitate to make you our first call!

Murray & Kimberley Schmidt

Arlene, The guides were great and everything went exceptionally well. Francesco was amazing on the Vatican tour. Very smart and one of the best. Not a single glitch. We will definitely use Ciao tours again.

Neil Devhand

Hi Arlene

Just wanted to thank you and all of your colleagues here and in Italy for an amazing trip! Deb and I had the trip of a lifetime. All of your suggestions and directions were just what we needed to have a wonderful time. I can’t say enough how great the trip was. All of the guides and drivers were very special people. We loved our wine tasting and olive oil teaching in Sienna. The hotels were amazing. Many thanks for all of your work and care in planning our trip.

Many thanks!

Pat Lamb

Arlene, I wanted to tell you how wonderful our tour was last year. You have completely spoiled us for future travel. We absolutely loved all the arrangements that you had made for accommodation, transportation, activities and guides. We have extolled the virtues of Ciao Tours to all our friends and will continue to do so every chance we get.

Peter & Marie Lewin

Hi Christina Overall we had a wonderful trip. People ask us what the highlight was and it is hard to sum up. We loved the hill towns in Umbria and Tuscany. Madis villa is beautiful and in a really nice location.Our guide in Rome, Antonella, is a beauiful person. She was a joy to hang out with for those 2 days. We would go back to Rome in a heart beat. All of your arrangements were great and the staff at all of the hotels were very helpful. Thanks again.

Peter & Shannon Kidd

Thank you Arlene!

We had an absolutely amazing trip. The details provided were wonderful, the walking tours lovely (we especially enjoyed our Sienna tour with Lisa), the cooking lesson so much fun (and delicious), all of the accommodations were excellent (especially the Agritourism) … we LOVE Italy!

Thank you so much to everyone at Ciao Tours for all of your hard work – it truly was a great vacation!

Raylene & Rob Charron

Arlene and Cristina,

We have arrived home safely! a bit exhausted but happy. Thanks again for everything. It was a busy trip but needed to be in order to see everything

Great Family Memories to treasure. Didi was great keeping in touch with us throughout Italy. The guides were fabulous!

Reynolds Family

Arlene,

Just a brief note to let you know how much we appreciated the planning that you did for our trip to the wine country of northern Italy. The guides that you organized were great, and the accommodations were excellent. Altogether, it was a most enjoyable holiday. In fact, the other couple travelling with us said that it was the first holiday that they had taken that they didn’t want to end! Please pass on to Claudia our thanks for her help in Italy. She was available to help when we asked, and her “mother hen” phone calls to us to make sure that all was well made us feel like someone knew how much hand-holding we needed. Let’s see… you organized our trip to Tuscany. Now Piemonte. When we decide to do the South of Italy, we will be in touch! Many thanks!

Richard & Maureen Swift

Thank you, Christina. We had the most amazing time in Italy and a lot of it is because of all the help we received from Ciao Tours.

The guides, Adriana in Rome and Silvana in Venice were excellent and they showed us so much in such a short time. Their knowledge of the history of each city was astounding and only added to the awe we were already experiencing.

The drivers were reliable and helpful in sharing their knowledge of various points of interest as we passed by. All arrangements for tickets were in order and the information booklet provided was very much appreciated. All in all, we felt well looked after and didn’t need to worry about a thing while we were travelling.

We also appreciated your efforts in trying to contact us in Italy even though we weren’t carrying cell phones. Somehow you always managed to make contact – amazing! We would highly recommend your organization to anyone travelling to Italy.

On behalf of David, Irene, Doug, John and Elsie, thank you again for helping to make this vacation so memorable!

Rita Janzen

Dear Arlene,

Yes we had a wonderful time and are ready to go back. Maybe next year. I’m just now getting caught up on garden and house work so I’ll take a few minutes to report. Everything was as promised. Our pickups were on time and Laura was most solicitous. I’m also glad you suggested we stay in Positano rather than Amalfi. All the hotels were very clean and comfortable and all the breakfasts were satisfactory.

Robert & Madelyn Cacchione

Dear Cristina! Ciao has spoiled us for travelling any other way. The assistance with transfers eliminated the usual travel stress and all of the people that helped us were very friendly. Thanks for making this a holiday we will always remember!

Sandra, Colin, Connor & Justin

Arlene, just a short note to thank you and your team for arranging all the details for our recent trip. Everything was wonderful.

We had a great time with Nadia on our Vatican & Ancient Rome tour days. She was a wealth of information and such a great personality. We thoroughly enjoyed her. You can tell she loves her job.

Our accommodations were great. The drivers were wonderful and friendly.

PS the restaurant reservations in Rome for our first night at La Giara da Marco was excellent. So good we went back for dinner on our last night in Rome as well.

Thanks again to everyone on your team that made our trip such a memorable experience.

Sandy & Brock Winter

Hello Caterina;

YES I did and I received a GLOWING, AMAZING review about Ciao tours. He LOVED you guys, you were AMAZING and went above and beyond in every way. My client could not stop raving about everyone he encountered from your company and I will DEFINITELY be booking with you again in the future and I have told everyone in the office about it so you will probably be seeing some more Crowfoot AMA bookings. Thank you to you and everyone for taking such fantastic care of my clients. The fact that the tour guide went WITH my client to the police station to translate and help them out when things got stolen from their luggage (which was an upsetting time for them) was so impressive to me. I really can’t thank you enough!

Sara Woods, AMA Travel Calgary Crowfoot

Dear Arlene,

Thank you and the rest of the Ciao Tours team for the memorable experience in Italy. We asked that we be “babysat” and we got our wish – Laura made sure that we felt safe, looked after and entertained. Signor Aimone Piazzi stole the day in Siena with his discorso on vines. Kudos to Ciao’ guides – Silvana, Lisa, Luca and Thomas were very knowledgeable (and being an art and history buff, I made sure that I tested them with some sneaky, esoteric questions…). Podere Sant’ Elena in Tuscany was exquisite. Oh, yes, and driving in Italy… your driving instructions literally saved us in Pisa when our GPS kept repeating “turn left after 800 yards” for the umpteenth time…

Sonja & her cousin Deanna

Hello Ciao tours,
We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for making our first trip to Italy everything we dreamed of and more. All of your staff were so pleasant to deal with and we greatly appreciated having Didi check in on us every time we moved locations. It was nice to know we had someone in the country we could contact if we had questions or needed any recommendations. Although, the independent tour we took was so well organized we did not need any help.
Overall, we were very impressed with the level of detail and organization that you created for our personal trip to Italy. Travelling to this new country was completely stress-free for us and we were able to just enjoy every day to the fullest. We would recommend Ciao tours to anyone travelling to Italy (and have already!) Thank you for making our first trip to Italy so memorable, we’re sure it will not be the last. Grazie!

Steve & Lauren Melnychyn

Morning Arlene, We cannot thank you enough, our Hotels were amazing, Tour guides so knowledgeable, we saw things that we know we never would have seen without them. Our transportation and transfers went off without a hitch. We definitely would have spent some wasted time in Venice if not for the young lady who met us, sorry I can’t remember her name right now.

We got together over the weekend to look a pictures and one comment that came up was that we wished Ciao Tours worked with other counties.

So needless to say we have passed your name on to others, one friend in particular will be contacting you shortly. I will send you a few of our pictures shortly just to show you what a wonderful time we had!

Thanks again so much!!! Until we go to Italy again, thank you!

Sue & Mike Loeffler

e had a fabulous time!!!  I would love to tell you all about it.  We can’t say enough good things about Ciao and how well organized everything was.  Thanks again for arranging everything.  It was awesome!

Susan & Richard Sawka

Fabulous! Lots of laughs, great food, magnificent things to see and do. Ciao was great, especially the cooking day in Tuscany (probably the highlight of the trip but there were many)!

Susan Fraser

Hi Arlene and Ciao team,

We are back from Italy and we LOVED every single second of it! Thank you for all the hard work and organizing your team did. The booklet that was put together of our itinerary was so helpful. We had that book with us at all times, it had all the details we needed. Once we landed in Venice Luca was waiting for us with a sign at the airport and helped us get to our water taxi. After the long flight is was nice to come off the plane and know there would be someone there to take care us. Laura called us when we arrived at our hotel in Venice and followed us through our trip touching base with us at each of our stops. We have such a wonderful time and enjoyed each place. It was a good mix of city and country and of tours and down time on our own. The organization of it was perfect. You made our trip easy and carefree. Thank you so much!

Tammy & John Shewciw

Dear Arlene et al,

We’re back, safe and sound with a host of happy memories to savor in the weeks ahead.  And many many thanks to all the planning and work all of you have done on our behalf.  It was such a wonderful trip and we were all so impressed with every aspect of the planning process and the final itinerary is so professional and detailed…a real keepsake!  It was this attention to detail that made it unfold so smoothly.

I can’t say enough how well the trip went, thanks to your planning and detailed explanations.  We ALL had the trip of a lifetime …. And the family is still speaking to each other!!!  It was a great celebration of  our 50 years together!

Thank you all from all of us.

Verna, Bryan, Kathryn, Tricia, Gordon, Emily & Erin (The Pryce Family)

Hi Caterina & Arlene!

We had the perfect honeymoon! It was everything we hoped it would be. Everything you arranged for us worked out great! It was so nice to have someone like Laura who was checking in on us to make sure everything was OK.

Thank you so much for all of your help in planning our vacation. We had a wonderful time and can’t wait until our next trip!

Tracy & Wylie

Hi Arlene, I know I’m a bit late but I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip to Italy this fall. Special thanks to our tour guides – Thomas in Rome, Luca in Florence, Silvanna in Venice and Lisa in Sienna. Each of them were passionate about their city and went out of their way to make our experience special. The hotels were were great and we were totally impressed with all the care you and your staff went to to make sure all the details were taken care of. Our personalized guide book was accurate to the smallest detail and took most of the worry out of our trip – I didn’t know that was possible for us! There were many others not mentioned that helped along the way and each one made our trip special, all the way down to the proprietor and his wife in that special restaurant in Rome that you arranged for us. So glad it was close to our hotel! We also really enjoyed our wine tasting and lunch at Eno-Ritorante where the older gentleman was unique and full of character. you and your staff were great! Please pass alnong our thanks.

Trent & Judy Taylor

Hi Arlene,

Our drivers were great, especially Ciro, took full advantage of the trains and boats whenever we could. Didi, checked in on us at every location and did a great job.

All in all a great trip, thank you so much for your help in planning, it was hard for me, as I research my hotels pretty thoroughly when I travel (a little OCD), but I’m glad we booked Positano otherwise may have been a little disappointed in the hotels selected, however, having traveled to London, Paris, Moscow, St Petersburg, and Prague I know the 3 and 4 star are so much different than the US.

My daughter is a photographer and took over a 1,000 pictures. She is busy with wedding season but here are a few pictures, I’ll send you more when I receive them.

I have a couple of people that I will be referring to you for trips!

Vicky Treais

Hi Everyone!

We just wanted to drop you a line and share with you are feelings about our Italy trip. We are so glad that Jay and Evelyn gave us your contact information! What a pleasure being picked up at the train, taken to our hotel, taken to and from the train again, and to and from the hotel. Didi was amazing, calling us and making sure all was well, it’s so nice to know that you have someone to call.

Thanks to everyone at Ciao Tours, Arlene, Didi, et al, we had a fabulous trip! Next time we go we will call again, and we will be sure to tell our friends about you

Ciao!!!!

Viner Family

Hi Cristina,

We had a fabulous time as you can imagine. All in all a really great trip thank to you all at Ciao! I won’t hesitate in recommending you for a single second!

Wendy Carey

Hi Arlene,

Well we’ve had a week now to get over our jet lag. I’m not sure why coming home is always so much harder. I just wanted to send you a note to say a big huge ‘THANK YOU’. We had such a fabulous trip and we owe it all to you, Laura, Claudia and everyone else at Ciao tours who organized everything. From the accomodations, to the tours, to the transportation, everything went so smoothly. There is honestly no way we could have had such a wonderful time without your help. We were taken care of beyond our expectations. The hotels were first class and the tour guides felt like you were hanging out with a good friend. We learned so much about Italian history, which was absolutly fascinating.

Unfortunatly the weather did not cooperate in Siena but as Lisa, our guide, said “Shit Happens”. She was so cute. I hope Claudia was not offended when we decided so skip out of the Palio dinner. After the busy time in the previous 3 citys, the cancellation of the trial and the poor weather, we just didn’t feel like waiting around for the dinner. We watched the Palio on T.V. the next night and it was very cool. We also really enjoyed Volterra, what a neat little town. The cooking lesson was a highlight for all of us, what fun! The only thing was it was perhaps a bit long for the kids. It was about 5 hours in total. I didn’t end up getting the recipes from Ivana, I was hoping you might be able to get those for me. What a beautiful spot they have and they were so hospitable.

It was amazing to finish the holiday at the Cinque Terre. What an incredibly beautiful place and our hotel was amazing. We were able to relax and enjoy the views and hike between the villages. I honestly cannot think of anything you could have done to make our trip more enjoyable, we will recommend Ciao Tours to anyone we know that is going to Italy. I only wish we could use you for everywhere we want to travel!!

Thank you again for everything you have done to make this a trip of a lifetime!!!!

Wendy, Jason, Kara & Cale Downey
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