Luxe Associates Travel founder Amy Doherty answers your questions for planning the perfect Italian holiday
It’s my first time in Rome. Where do I start?
I’d recommend our Strolling Rome’s Heart tour, which is the perfect introduction to the Eternal City. Your friendly guide will take you to visit some of the city’s most gorgeous sites, including the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori. Caught between ancient Rome and the modern, buzzing city, you’ll also squeeze in a coffee and gelato on the way for a real taste of La Dolce Vità. Roman Holiday here we come!
I don’t speak any Italian at all… is that a problem?
Not a bit. We can help smooth every step, starting with your airport transfer, where a friendly English-speaking driver will be waiting to pick you up and take you to your hotel. All our tour guides speak fluent English and perfect Italian, so they can help you interface with the people we meet along our tours, as well as translating key signs or answering your questions. We’re always happy to recommend hotels and restaurants with English-speaking staff.
I only have a few hours in Rome. What can I see that really sums up the history of the place?
You probably won’t want to miss our Glory of Rome tour which takes you through the wonders of the Colosseum and Roman Forum, as well as visiting the Palatine Hill which affords some breathtaking views across the city. Otherwise, our Popes, Patrons and Painters tour is a great introduction to the treasures of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and the extraordinary St. Peters Basilica.
I’m passionate about Italian food…. What do you recommend?
Let us guide you through a real Italian fresh food market, sampling produce at some of the best stalls, followed by a perfect lunch at a typical Roman trattoria on our Culinary Walk – the ultimate Roman foodie excursion! If fine wine is your thing, make some time one evening for our Roman wine tasting experience, where an expert will guide you through six different local vintages. You can also learn how to Cook as the Romans do with a professional chef if you’re more interested in getting stuck in yourself! On all our tours, there’s usually time to stop for a drink or a quick snack to make sure you’re also tasting the best of Rome…. Otherwise, let us put together a bespoke gastronomic experience for you with one of our custom tours.
I can’t walk too far… are there any guided tours of Rome which are suitable for the less able?
You can still steep yourself in Roman history with our tour through Hidden Ancient Rome, where we drive to some key sites just outside the centre and then take a short stroll to understand them better. Our Cook as the Romans do cooking class is in a single location so you can focus on the gastronomic experience in comfort and style. We’re also happy to create especially for you a private driving tour of Rome. All of our Rome tour packages can also be customised to meet the needs of any members of your party, so don’t hesitate to ask – there’s always a way!
I want to visit Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Can Luxe Associates Travel guide me there?
We offer three different tours of Naples alone, tailored for different tastes. Strolling Naples’ Heart is a walking tour exploring history and culture in the city. Even more adventurous travellers can visit Napoli’s sites via Vespa or Fiat 5000, in our Classic Vespa Tour of Downtown Naples, as a passenger of one of our licenced drivers. Or how about our Naples Food Tasting Tour, where you’ll be whisked across the city on two or four wheels to sample the best in Neapolitan street food, pizza, ice-cream and coffee – amongst other treats!
The splendours of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum can also be experienced with dedicated historical excursions, or you can relax on the water with our glamourous Capri Boat Tour. If you’d like to sample the best of the Amalfi Coast let us do the hard work and transport you to the pretty seaside resorts of Positano and Amalfi as well as the refined majesty of Ravello with our Amalfi Coast Day Trip.
What about northern destinations - do you offer tours of Florence, Venice, Milan or Verona?
We offer tours of all four of those cities, so you’re in luck!
Florence first-timers might want to try Strolling Florence’s Heart, our introduction to Renaissance Italy, or our Florence Food Lover’s Tour, sampling the best Tuscan and Italian cuisine. Art aficionados can join our dedicated Tour of the Galleria dell’Accademia & the Uffizi to gaze upon masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Giotto. If you’re arriving by boat to Livorno, we can meet you with a car and bring you on a City Tour of Florence, with optional stops at Pisa and Lucca as well.
Venice remains one of our most popular destinations, so choose Luxe Associates Travel to explore St. Mark’s Square, the Basilica of San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, or visit the islands of Murano and Burano with us. There’s also the option of a Venice Food Tour or a city stroll culminating in a gondola ride.
I'm coming to Italy as a pilgrim. Do you lead tours to religious sites?
We certainly do. Apart from our key pilgrim tours in Rome, including Trinity: Rome’s Papal Basilicas visiting St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major and our in-depth tour of St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums, we’ve also created a daytrip to Assisi to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis. You’ll visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Basilica of San Francesco and the Church of St. Clare to uncover the story of this remarkable saint.