Welcome to Ciao Tours - Your Window on Italy
Unique, Personalized, Independent Tours of Italy
Thank you for Visiting our Website. Italy is definitely experiencing like no other, the Global concern over the Corona Virus. The Italian health system is one of the best in the world and is concerned over each citizen.
Monday, May 04th, 2020, is the start of Phase 2 and a time for a bit of celebration. People will be able to start opening up businesses, museums and tourist sites. The Italians are now allowed to visit relatives and move around their provinces.
More restrictions will relaxed as the days go on as long as the population stays healthy.
Ciao Tours has been a boutique Tour Operator for the past 22 years. It is our GUARANTEE to all our past clients and future clients that we will still be here after the situation is resolved.
“Do what you know how to do, and do it well!” This team of Canadian and Italian women has been together for many years because Italy, and Canada, is where we live and raise our families. We have succeeded in Italy by building relationships based on trust and dedication, which in turn makes our clients’ experience in Italy the very best! We pride ourselves on knowing the family ran wineries and Agritourisms intimately and are eager to show our clients the warm and friendly hospitality they have to offer. I personally invite you to Italy to become part of our family.
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!”
Hi Arlene, We hope this finds you and your family well at this very difficult time in our lives.
Ken and i want you to know that Italy and all of the wonderful people that we met last fall are in our hearts. We hope that Laura and Claudia have been able to keep healthy as well as all of the guides and drivers who were so kind to us.
We should have written sooner but we do want you to know that the trip was fantastic. There was never a missed step from pickups, informed guides, accommodations, attractions and restaurant recommendations.
One thing that we added that we thought was amazing was the cooking class at Rosa del Venti.
We spent the better part of 5 hours with Barbara and Mama, we learned so much and had such a good time, lots of laughs and wine. They both hold a special place in our hearts as does Luigi, our driver on the Amalfi Coast.
It was truly a memorable trip and we thank you.
Take care, stay well.
Ciao Tours were great to work with. They helped us plan the ideal trip which included train as well as driving.
We packed allot of sight-seeing in the first seven days with train trips in between and then driving from Bologna to the Dolomites area.
We were going to see Padova (Ciao suggestion while driving) on way to Basano.
From Basano del Grappo we were to take train to Venice and then on own do Prosecco tour in Asolo, Grappa tour in Basano and then see Marostica.
From Basano we were to drive to Verona via Vicenza and then to Desanno del Garda and finally Milan with our own side trip to Turin.
NOTE: Ciao had their associate Didi with us daily to verify everything was going well as well as help with any problems. Ciao provided drivers at key times. I didn’t think I needed a private driver but they were correct. The driver and when provided was perfect.
The trip started with Rome (3 days there) with a side trip to Naples and Pompeii.
Hotel was Hotel Modigliani, excellent staff, a small boutique hotel located near Trevi and Spanish steps. It is small maybe 12-16 rooms. Wrote about it on Tripadvisor. Both Ciao and the Hotel suggested the same 3 local trattorias. We ate at all 3 and enjoyed them immensely.
The two days in Rome was with a GREAT GREAT Guide Valentina, PhD in Humanities with + 25 years experience. She guided just my wife and I through Old Rome , 4 hr tour one day and a 6 hr tour of the Vatican. Note: Because of the Conavirus, there were large crowds or any crowds in some of the sites.
She had a IPad which had a program with which she could point toward an area which we were seeing and show the 3D Model of what it the area looked like in its glory. I had a course in Art during College but during our tour she explained much symbology of composition, the meaning of colors as well as why and who the figures represented.
The last day in Rome we took a trip to Naples for sightseeing in Pompeii. The train carriage was business and very nice 1.5 hr trip to Naples. A driver, Roberto, picked us up at the train station and took us to Pompeii where Michael, a guide for 15 years ago with a degree in Archeology, gave us a tour. Some areas of Pompeii were closed for restoration while the baths were closed for Coronavirus regulation. Pompeii had maybe 30 people which we saw. Since we didn’t have the crowds, Michael had the opportunity to show us places which usually were very crowded and were his favorites. After the tour, Roberto picked us up and gave us a tour of Naples with a stop for Neapolitan Pizza. We could have done more, but we wanted to limit our exposure so went back to train station early.
We took a train to Florence and stayed at Hotel Faenza, see my TripAdvisor review.about a 6 minute walk from station. The hotel walking is approximately 15 minutes from Uffzi and 15 minutes to Petit Palace. Centrally located very clean. In Florence, we did the Uffzi and Accademia on our own the first day and would have a guide and do Bobbli and Petit Palace on following day. We had Luca as our guide and unfortunately, that day they shutdown on the museums. He did the best he could and was very knowledgeable (+25 years experience). He praised Ciao since its customer’s tended to be more flexible and want to experience a place not just see the same highlights. Luca mentioned that a guide can get burned out explaining the same place , Uffzi is great place but you can only explain the same painting and sculpture with being bore. Luca brought to the Petit palace area and showed us a MicroMosaic craftsman as well as a Hand Print maker. The MicroMosaic was fabulous, would loved to buy one but a small 3×3 piece was 450 euros while the print maker had prints which we could afford and did buy one. While in Florence, the Hotel helped us book our early return flight out of Bologna. We returned early since areas which we would have gone were shutdown. Didi was helping us with the return change.
The original Bologna train was cancelled and we took a second one. We were met by a driver and taken to Hotel Touring, see my Tripadvisor review.. Great Location, great staff who with Didi’s help let us stay an extra day. We were suppose to be there only one day but due to us canceling and flying out, Ciao arranged for the hotel to let us stay another day, even though hotel was being closed due to virus. The staff at the Hotel were very supportive. Bologna was supposed to be a Foodie Trip but we spoke with our guide Helena and changed it to include seeing sites which were open as well as food places. Helena, I believe that was her name, also had +20 years experience. She was very knowledgeable as well as fun. We saw what we could and did some tastings. I could tell the guide was disappointed that she could share more of her Bologna.
So how do I sum Ciao and the Italy trip, perfectly planned with great Guides, hotels, sites and activities. The flexibility of Ciao helping us in this unfortunate situation made us grateful that we used Ciao vs some other tour guide..
Cannot recommend this company enough!!!
From start to finish the entire booking experience and trip were incredible. Arlene and her team are absolutely amazing.
We spent 2.5 weeks with our daughters starting in Rome and working our way to Venice. Every transfer, tour, hotel and recommendation were perfect. I could not have possibly pulled this off without Ciao.
They saved us so much time and headache. We had no worries ever and their local liaison Claudia was in touch the entire time.
Was a trip of a lifetime and one we will cherish forever!!!
Oh and our best friends also booked at the same time but in the opposite direction! We were able to meet up with them for one night in Cinque Terre. So special!!
Hello Arlene & everyone at wonderful Ciao Tours.
My Wife Janette and I just wanted to express our sincere gratitude to all of the fantastic people at Ciao Tours in Canada & on the ground in Italy.
This was our 2nd time using Ciao for our 2 week trip to Italy. Our 1st time was in 2010 for our Honeymoon which was equally fantastic, thus our returning to Ciao for this trip.
The travel arrangements, accommodations, food & sites to see were all on point and designed to fit our personalities and desires based on our conversations with Romina at Ciao who did a great job.
Thank you Romina for putting together such a perfect trip. And the guides in Italy & Ciao employees on the ground there were 2nd to none. The drivers were very professional, good drivers in very nice Mercedes’ and always prompt.
Didi checked in with us often using “WhatsApp” . If ever we had a question or needed anything Didi was only a quick text or call away. Thank you Didi for making sure we had a smooth trip all along the way.
Guide Michael in Naples was excellent and very knowledgeable. More impressive was his true love for his City. We could feel his pride, care and concern for Naples & Italy.
Alessandro was our guide at Mt Etna. The weather was not good the day of our drive and walking tour on Mt Etna but he still managed to make it a educational and fun experience. Again, he was very knowledgeable and proud of his Town.
Michele showed us all around Syracuse and yet again, a top notch guide with great love and knowledge of his beautiful Town and its historic sites.
Last but most certainly not least, Simone & Valeria who were our guides in Calabria, Cosenza & Rende. 4 generations of my Fathers family are from Rende, both my Grandmothers & Grandfathers. I provided some genealogical research I had to Romina at Ciao and she passed it along to Simone and him go to Rende and do further research to see what if any further information he could provide me on my family. Well, Simone & Ciao blew me away and provided me a priceless memory of which I can never repay them for. Simone was actually able to find the street my Grandfather grew up on and most likely the actual home. We walked the streets of Rende for an hour. We visited the Church where many members of my family were Baptized, Married and attended services. And then-Simone told us that he found a relative of my Grandmothers. He spoke to her Daughter who is a Police Officer in Cosenza and she said that her Mother would love to meet my Wife and I. Simone & Valeria took us to the home of the 83 year old Gilda (Pincenti) and we were greeted as family by her, her Daughters & granddaughters. We talked for hours using Simone & Valeria as translators and it was an emotional visit as my family in the US has long passed.
We shared stories, wine & food and words are simply not enough to thank Simone, Valeria and Ciao Tours for the once in a lifetime experience.
Until next trip…..