The only way to see the real Italy
My longest review ever, but I can’t do justice with a short paragraph:
I was introduced to Amy by a friend in Australia when talking about our upcoming European trip, and I am forever grateful.
I contacted Amy with our dates and we went from there, we discussed options, what might be appropriate given we were travelling with our daughters (ages 9 and 11) and Amy knew exactly what would work.
Our first tour was “Strolling Venice’s Heart” with the lovely Giorgia, a passionate Venetian who shared her city with us in a way that it didn’t feel like a tour. She kept both the adults and kids engaged the entire time. We ended our morning with a gondola ride, we all loved it and were sorry to see Giorgia go. Giorgia left us with some fab restaurant recommendations and tips for other places to visit (like the rooftop of the department store near the Rialto bridge which gives you a view over the rooftops of the city). We also tried the restaurant and it became the “best lasagne of the trip”.
Our next tour was with the hilarious Eleanora in Florence, who again is so passionate and knowledgeable about her city. She had the girls eating out of her hand with a competition, and quizzes as we worked our way around the city about the artists and history (a week later the girls were quoting the facts they learned to Amy in Rome ????). We were taken into a paper store to see it made, a bakery to taste Torte Alla Nonna and other local specialties (grandmothers cake was the family favourite!) Our 3 hours were over and again, we were sorry to have to leave Eleanora, we learned so much, laughed and loved it. She too recommended a fab wine bar on the other side of the river away from the tourists - amazing wine!!
Finally we met the amazing Amy when we arrived in Rome, first with the “Strolling Rome’s Heart” tour. We had been in Rome for 24 hours and walked those same streets but what a difference having a guide like Amy and her team makes. Amy has so much to share with us, so much history and so many anecdotes and delivered in such an engaging way.
Amy provided books for the girls that had them seeking out certain things in each site (a treasure hunt of sorts) and it kept them so engaged and in the end sharing insights with us!
Our second tour was a couple of days later and was customised by Amy for us to include the Colosseum, Forum & Palatine Hill tour, but also the Basilica of San Clemente as it sounded too good to miss.
It was. Another wow moment, walking down and unassuming set of stairs from the 12th century church into the 4th century church directly below it, then, down a further set of stairs to the Roman church!! So much more than we expected and we would never have known about it had it not been for Amy.
Amy had some fabulous books for the girls again for the colosseum and whilst the cold weather (ice) kept us from being able to visit the arena floor, we were still able to enjoy all it had to offer, complimented by Amy’s knowledge.
We then moved across to the Forum and Palatine Hill, more wow moments, more fabulous stories and we were grateful to have Amy with us rather than be in the huge tour groups walking about following an umbrella with a headset to be able to hear their guide.
Amy (and Giorgia and Eleanora) constantly checked that the pace was ok for the girls (including toilet and snack breaks), that we were seeing everything we wanted to see, made numerous recommendations of restaurants and other sites and museums to see, we felt so well looked after, it truly is a personalised service and I can not recommend Amy and her team highly enough.