In the day and age of “DIY”, Pinterest, and an infinite number of online resources that help people plan their perfect Italy vacation, you might think that private tours have had to take a backseat but that would be far from the truth. While the background noise in self-guided tourism is all about collecting so-called “hidden gems” from past travelers, the real hidden gem these days is in fact, the private tour. If you require convincing, keep reading. Here are SIX fantastic reasons why you should choose a private tour for your next Italy experience:
For a country as rich with treasures as Italy, one of the biggest stressors is trying to decide what to check off your bucket list and what to save for a future trip. Looking into private tours is one way to decrease the stress involved with planning your days, gone are the sleepless nights spent navigating Italian websites that only work 50% of the time, trying to book train tickets, museum tickets, and booking restaurants. A private tour includes all of these things so you can get back to more important pre-vacation prep like wardrobe shopping and pasta-dreaming.
It allows you to kick back, relax, and truly enjoy your holiday
Often when we travel, things don’t go as planned. This should be every tourist’s mantra in Italy because this is the country that will drive any planner or perfectionist out of their minds. All that planning you did before your Italy trip? Much of it will be futile due to a combination of factors which include but are not only limited to: unexpected closures, lost reservations, public transportation strikes, excessive crowds, and just Italy being her wonderful, chaotic self. The stress of trying to rearrange your perfectly planned, hour-by-hour schedule can be avoided by putting your trust in a private tour. Rather than running from your rushed bucatini alla Matriciana taking the metro line in the wrong direction, only to arrive late to your reservation at the Vatican Museums and be denied entry, a private tour lets you relax and enjoy every, single moment.
Tailored to your tastes.
Some people may be inclined to take larger group tours in order to see as much as possible in a small amount of time but often, these types of tours include very generic itineraries that are a mishmash of sightseeing that is of interest to some but not to others. You’re essentially wasting time seeing superfluous attractions and as everyone knows, time is of the essence when travelling.
Private tours give you the luxury of tailoring to your tastes. Forget about living someone else’s Italy dream vacation, you can do everything you want to do and nothing you don’t with a private tour. Pick and choose from tours that are anything but generic or chime in with your two cents and create the perfect itinerary with the expertise that comes from minds that are focused on YOU over everything else. Whoever or whatever you have in tow: whether it’s three kids or a twenty-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set, a private tour will cater to your needs from sunup to sundown.
All the insider secrets and more
Every tourist wants insider secrets, the hidden gems. But if you’re on a tour with 50 other people, the charm of a hillside Tuscan town inevitably loses some of its appeal. It no longer feels like your little secret when you’re sharing it with so many other tourists at the exact same moment. It’s also hard to peruse the winding streets and feel like a local when you have a florescent lanyard around your neck and are constantly craning your neck to follow a bobbing stick with a flag. Private tours give you the secrets without the neck ache, along with that atmosphere of subtleness which is the true game-changer. Tour companies that use big groups are going to be restricted in where they can take guests; for example, wine tours need to have the space to accommodate the numbers and so you might end up missing out on the smaller, more characteristic vineyards. Not the case with private tours, which can take you into every nook and cranny and around every alluring side street.
Interaction with the locals
It’s a known fact that 3 is a magic number if you’re wanting to meet people spontaneously in a social situation. The smaller the number, the less intimidating it is to initiate interaction, and such is the story with a private tour. You can linger in shops and restaurants with your guide and actually partake in conversation with the locals in Italy which is one of the best ways, if not THE best way, to get to know a country and a culture. Guides and locals alike won’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people or questions that they need to address and therefore, can dedicate precious time to you and your traveling companions. You get that undivided attention that allows you to delve deeper into the cultural (and maybe even linguistic) layers of your Italian experience.
Feel like a VIP
Italians pronounce “VIP” differently from English-speakers, rather than pronouncing each individual letter, you’ll feel like a true “veep” on your private Italy tour. Reservations and skip-the-line priorities will have everyone else wondering who you are so make sure to bring a pair of oversized sunglasses in case the paparazzi catch on. Jokes aside, bring sunglasses, they are an essential accessory in Italy during the summer months and Italians are almost never without them. While this is a minor advantage in comparison to the aforementioned five, it nevertheless deserves a mention. Everyone loves the feeling of being the focus and why shouldn’t you be the star of your own holiday?
Amy Doherty, founder of Luxe Travel explains why she created a bespoke, private tour company in Italy.
“There are many offerings in the tour market in Italy that cater to groups and the ‘cookie cutter’ experience. I wanted to create something different – tailored experiences that would create unforgettable memories for my clients. The Luxe team ensures that we understand each client’s requirements and needs and propose fresh, interesting itineraries as a result. The benefits of a private tour mean that we are free to adjust the tour as we go depending on emerging interests or needs of the clients, even during the actual day. We also love guiding children and families – the greatest compliments we receive are from parents telling us that their child wants to study more history as a result of their tour as they have been able to completely engage with their guide and not experience Italy as part of a ‘herd’. This is what makes a private tour the best possible experience for clients young and old.”
Headache-free planning, the opportunity to truly enjoy your vacation, tailoring and customizing sights and experiences, getting the inside secrets, being able to interact with the locals, and finally feeling like a VIP…these are six reasons why you should choose a private Italy tour for an unparalleled experience in one of the world’s most beautiful countries. With so much to see and a lifetime required to see it all, a private tour is the best way to make the most out of your time in the bel paese.