Hi all. I posted here some time ago when I thought I might be going to Italy soon, but sadly I wasn’t able to make it happen. I am now pretty confident I can make a trip happen in April or May 2020, but I am feeling kind of overwhelmed by options and looking for advice from some more seasoned travelers!
My husband and I have never been to Italy. We are late thirties/mid forties between the two of us and in good enough shape to handle a brisk pace. I am trying to plan a trip to include another couple. They have been before, and are looking for a more off the beaten path experience (fwiw, my husband is also fine with this despite not having seen the major sights).
I know I could research and book an itinerary on my own and save money, but I think this being my first trip to Europe since my early 20s that I prefer to get my feet wet in an environment where there is a point person for any issues/problems and some level of imposed organization. I contacted a reputable land tour company that normally works with TAs and they presented a trip that came in around 4K pp excluding air and included hotels in Rome, Florence, and Sorrento, as well as private transfers from and to the airport as well as to the train station and first class train fare between Rome-Florence and Florence-Sorrento. Tours included private half day of the coliseum/forum and Vatican in Rome, catacombs tour in Rome, Academia tour in Florence, full day Cinque Terre tour, private guide at Pompeii, excursion to Capri, and drive along the Amalfi Coast with private driver. It covers 11 nights.
It sounds great, but lacks 100% private transportation with a dedicated guide, and I don’t think my friend will find it compelling as she has already seen Rome and Florence. I think she would be much more interested in the itinerary for Village Italy, which sounds like an absolutely amazing tour. But it seems wrong to miss Rome on my first visit to Italy, and I don’t see an efficient way to spend time in Rome before or after this tour based on where it starts and ends.
My other thought was do Heart of Italy, since it is fairly reasonably priced for a tour, and then add on time in small town Tuscany or Umbria, but that would again require a level of planning and research I don’t feel super confident about.
So, I’m kind of all over the place. What do all of you think?