Welcome to Ciao Tours - Your Window on Italy
Unique, Personalized, Independent Tours of Italy
Over the past 22 years Ciao Tours has built a reputation as a boutique Tour Operator specializing solely in Italy. “Do what you know how to do, and do it well!” This team of Canadian and Italian women has been together for many years because Italy, and Canada, is where we live and raise our families. We have succeeded in Italy by building relationships based on trust and dedication, which in turn makes our clients experience in Italy the very best! We pride ourselves on knowing the family ran wineries and Agritourisms intimately and are eager to show our clients the warm and friendly hospitality they have to offer. I personally invite you to Italy to become part of our family. Buon Viaggio!
The highest compliment you can give Ciao Tours is to recommend us to your friends, family & business associates. "I nostri clienti sono sempre parte della nostra grande famiglia…grazie!”
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…..
Dear Romina, Claudia, and Everyone at Ciao Tours
From start to finish, it was a delightful experience. WOW! Our trip to Italy was magnificent!! How can we thank you enough?
You accounted for every detail necessary to deliver a flawless experience. You proposed diverse options and patiently handled all of our questions and changes 🙂
You created essential space between commitments for rest and spontaneous activities. We ate like royalty — distinctive, scrumptious meals, both fancy and casual. Every single person – The Ciao Staff, the tour guides, drivers, partners – they were classy, fun, fascinating, reliable, helpful — delightful in every way. You managed our Assisi detour; you found a fabulous Vivaldi concert in Florence in response to our last minute request. Our most difficult next decision will be to explore another country or to come right back to another region of Italy!
If I sound effusive, it’s due to our genuine enthusiasm and appreciation. You even managed to order perfect weather, LOL. Every superlative applies. No wonder you have been in business for 20+ years. We look forward to recommending Ciao Tours at every opportunity. “Siamo grati per la tua competenza e amicizia. Grazie per averci presentato in Italia! Torneremo!” — Thank you Google Translate
I’m sitting here on a snowy afternoon wishing I was still in Italy. I have your book so I’ll just go through the places we were and make some random comments:
Sorrento – Amazing hotel. The balcony was stunning. The water was too high on the day we were at Capri to visit the Blue Grotto but we did take the boat trip around the island and then walked all over Capri. The drive on the coast was great and Enzo, our driver was most informative and entertaining. Did not like Positano – way too many tourists but could die happily in Ravello. Had a magnificent lunch at Da Salvatore. Also had great meals at Da Emilia and L’Antica Trattorias in Sorrento. Different environments but the food was great. Our tours of Naples and Pompeii were led by Michael who was so knowledgeable. The history part of me was very happy.
Palermo– Hotel was central and quite modern in style. Our guide was good, just not as good as Michael. Loved touring the markets. The day of our tour was also the Day for Climate Action which meant there were thousands of teenagers in the streets. The guide managed to shepherd us around them which deserved special commendation. The dinner reservations you arranged at Trattoria Biondo were fabulous. Also had another very good recommendation from the hotel.
Agrigento – Another superb hotel. Dragging our suitcases up that final circular staircase was certainly worth it when we stepped onto the terrace. There was a little mix-up with the guide as the assigned one didn’t show, but the lady who eventually came was very good although I did feel a little rushed at the end. La Corte del Sol – Loved this place. We did stop in Ragusa for lunch on our way but should have done some more research on it. Wondered around some but were not sure what we should have been looking for, Also drove into Modica but picked the lower town instead of the higher one and could not find parking anywhere so just kept on driving to the hotel. Loved the cooking class, but we were so full from the class we could barely eat supper. Lyle chops better than I do but I was better at making pasta. Totally enjoyed Syracuse. We wondered around on our own after the tour, then stopped at Noto on the way back. Quite liked it. Great place for a glass of wine on the main street. On another day we asked them to arrange some visits to wineries for tastings and they arranged two. One at Planeta came with a tasting and apertifs and/or lunch. We did not stay for the lunch but would, if I was doing it over. I think we were still full from the cooking class. The other winery was LaFavola. The woman who hosted was very interesting as was her story of the winery. If you could come up with a third winery to visit, that would make for a great day and all the wine lovers would be happy.
Taormina – The hotel was very good. I know there was a problem the first night because our room did not have a balcony, but they picked up our tab for dinner, including the wine. And…just down the hall there was a “public” balcony for that wing which we had all to ourselves that night. It’s a real touristy town but we enjoyed it. The day spent on Mount Etna was very special. The guide was incredible – as good as Michael but not being a science person I probably didn’t appreciate the depth of his knowledge. It was very windy that day so keeping out balance was important. That day was testament to the success of Lyle’s two knee replacement surgeries.
Tropea – No problem getting on the ferry. The hotel was certainly central and quite comfortable. The 3 stars must be for the size of the room which was small but otherwise the décor was innovative. There was a problem with the parking arrangements but fortunately Alessandro rescued us. Unfortunately, this was the only day that we had rain so although we did manage to walk a some of the beach in the morning and climbed to the sanctuary, the afternoon was spent on lunch with a good bottle of wine.
Matera – Loved it – would move tomorrow! The suite in the cave will stay in my memory forever. Great guide for the walking tour and the lunch at the end was a nice change even if my stomach was not particularly receptive. Had great dinners here – one recommended by the guide and your suggestion of Antica Trattoria Lucana. Also ate at the hotel which was excellent. Loved the omelets for breakfast.
Alberobello – This was an interesting place but as I mentioned on the phone, three nights here was too much. We arrived in the afternoon and did our tour with our least favourite guide of the entire trip. But after you have seen the trulli there is not a great deal to do. It is a convenient spot to go and visit other places but I think one night would have worked for us, leaving to visit the caves the next day and then heading to Lecce for two nights. A day trip from Lecce to Ostuni would probably work or stopping there on the way to Bari. Our guide in Lecce was excellent. I think we would have enjoyed the plazas, restaurants and shops in Lecce more than Alerabello. On the positive side, we did find a another restaurant for you in Alberbello – Favola in Tavola. It was recommended by the hotel and was excellent. Also holds about 18 people. Also ate very well at La Cantina.
Bari – I think by the time we got there we were tired and so just hunkering down at a hotel close to the airport worked for us especially since we had such an early flight to Malta.
That’s it. Hope this helps. If we ever decide to do northern Italy, will be in touch!
Thanks so much for everything. We will continue to recommend you to friends and family.