My wife and I had a guided tour of Capri with Giovanna Donadio (39-338-466-0114) on September 23rd. The weather was perfect, and we had a blast. Giovanna met us at the ferry dock in Sorrento at 8 AM and took over from there. She had a finely tuned itinerary planned that really helped to avoid the crowds and maximize our enjoyment. Getting an early start really helped in that regard. After arriving at the Marina Grande dock in Capri, we first took a convertible taxi to Anancapri town and then the chairlift to Monte Solaro. Great views and no crowd!! Returning to Anapcapri, we had a short walking tour of the town with more beautiful views followed by another convertible taxi ride to Capri town. There we had another pleasant walking tour of the town ending with spectacular views of the coast and the iconic Faraglioni Rocks. Giovanna was a very gracious guide, full of energy and information. We had lots of fun! Giovanna then arranged for a delicious lunch at a quiet and romantic restaurant in Capri town followed by a 2-hour private boat tour circumnavigating the island in the afternoon. What a great way to end our day in Capri. Although the blue grotto was closed, the views of the island from the boat were stunning! Overall, I would highly rate Giovanna and our entire experience on Capri. It wasn't cheap (180 euro for Giovanna's morning guided tour, 220 euro for the afternoon boat tour, 40 euro/pp round trip on the ferry, 30 euro per taxi ride plus lunch and tips), but the experience was well worth it. My wife and I agreed it was the highlight of our vacation (edging out our 2 days in Cinque Terre where the weather and views were equally as spectacular!). Giovanna's dinner recommendation at Donna Sophia that evening in Sorrento was also a winner!
It's easy to see why Giovanna is recommended in Rick's book as is her husband, Francesco del Pizzo (39-333-238-4144), who we hired for an amazing Amalfi Coast/Paestum tour the following day, our last full day in Italy. At Francesco's suggestion, we left early (7:45) and arrived at Positano, our first stop, before it got too crowded. Since the traffic heated up after Positano and our final destination was Paestum, we didn't spend too much time sightseeing in Amalfi, but were still able to make several stops along the way to enjoy the views. Francesco knew all the key spots for photo ops. After a late lunch in Paestum at a local "buffalo mozzarella" farm, we visited the archaeological park. Although it was a rather long drive from Sorrento, it was well worth the visit and highly recommended! The Greek temple ruins were indeed impressive, and the overlaying Roman ruins were extensive. We really enjoyed it, a nice way to experience the history of Italy after witnessing the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast. Afterwards, Francesco drove us back up to Salerno where we caught a Frecciarossa back to Rome for our return flight to the US the following morning. This was also not an inexpensive tour, but the personalized service and door-to-door transportation from hotel to train station were key benefits. Overall, it was an awesome last day in Italy! Francesco was a very knowledgeable, friendly and polite guide (not to mention an experienced driver!!) whom we would enthusiastically recommend. Both he and Giovanna made our last days in Italy truly memorable!