I don’t quite know where or how to begin this thank you note! Everyday of our two-week vacation [9/4-20/16] in Italy was as good as or better than the next and all were superb!
Months ago we decided to travel to Italy, it was at the top of our “bucket lists.” We thoroughly researched tour agencies from the top to bottom. Then in passing we mentioned our planning to Anita and Cindy at CC’s. We knew they had taken customers to Italy a year before, and we weren’t able to make that tour. They told us of Niche Italy and Marco. Who?! we said. There was little information on the web, none of our immediate friends had every heard of the either. But Anita and Cindy were adamant, “this is the person to arrange your tour and the way to go [it had been their 5th trip to Italy]. We took a deep breath and stepped into your Niche. Not only do Anita and Cindy have a great restaurant, but terrific judgment too!
Perhaps I should start with the individualized planning that you did for us. The cities/sites, historical experiences, food and wine, and accommodations were so far beyond our expectations. We watched hordes of tour groups pass us by, those in the end of the line were straining to hear the guide, despite the high-tech audio equipment they all toted. Few questions could be asked and answered as the guide had to move the horde along in very short order. We soon realized how fortunate we were only to be foursome who had the means to travel as such and not enmasse. Our curiosities, questions, desires were all met with patience and in-depth responses from our guides.
Each city from the north to south was amazing in its own right. Each guide with their backgrounds in fine arts, history,…enhanced/taught us about all that we were wide-eyed taking in. The guides’ personalities, attention, and knowledge created an immersion making every site, every meal, every sip of wine, and every drive special. Michaela, Annarita, Fulvia, Sylvia, and the amazing Verdiana…are all very, very special people. I can’t avoid mentioning two of our drivers, Massimo and Libero! Not only are they amazingly skilled at safely negotiating the streets of Italy, but they are courteous, engaging, funny, and good people. Lucky doesn’t begin to describe how fortunate that they are available as part of Niche Italy! Above all else you, your staff and the warm people of Italy made our time the best holiday of my life.
The Positano surprise, lunch with your mother at her home. has no words to describe it. What a beautiful and welcoming woman she is. We so enjoyed her and appreciated being her guests. I hope she will visit Pittsburgh again someday so we can return her kindnesses.
Everyday, we asked each other, “OK, what is your favorite thing that we’ve done so far?” Very soon we realized that were no answers to be found. Every historical site came to life through Niche Italy guides, every meal was a gourmet tasting with the owner or waiter telling about the origin of the dish, its farm/sea-to-table freshness, and preparation. So many bites were “OMG, have you tasted anything like this before!”
As I continue looking over our thousands of photos, I must add how unbelievable the visits were to master artisan workshops [masks, glass, inlaid marble/wood], each vineyard/cantina, and cooking lessons. They all added such diversity and wonder of our vacation! Here’s a toast to you!
[Photo of our “wine toast” would not copy, so I’ll send it separately!]
There are really not enough words to share what all this has meant to Barbara, Bob, Carol and me. We absolutely hope to return to Italy! We will let all know, that have a moment of more to listen, just how wonderful Marco’s Niche Italy is at creating a lifetime experience. Marco, you have found your Niche and created a grand niche for us as well.
Grazi, grazi my friend,
[Travelers: Lee and Barbara Reichbaum, Bob and Carol Hoyland]