Cathy and Larry Schweinegruber – Tour Italy 2016 (April)

My husband and I recently went on a 17-day tour with Niche Italy and give it a 10 out of 10 rating! We began our tour in beautiful and charming Venice and ended it in the indescribable city of Rome. We visited Verona, Florence, Sorrento, the Amalfi coastline, Pompeii and more. In each of the cities we were escorted by an experienced guide. The guides in each of the cities were local, knowledgeable and certified specifically for the tour they were providing. Every effort was made to insure that we were where we needed to be for our city tours and tours of the museums, etc. This exceptional care resulted in utilizing our time efficiently without feeling hurried or unsure of what lay ahead. Our accommodations were wonderful and in each case great care was taken to position us where we could freely walk the city and if possible, give us a spectacular view from the hotel room. In Venice we could open the beautiful old wooden shutters and overlook the lagoon. In Positano our balcony overlooked the sea and the breathtaking coastline and beautiful village. In Rome our hotel was previously a peaceful convent and every effort has been taken to preserve the ambience for the guests. And then there were the meals. Both lunch and dinner were included on most days and included the cuisine of the region and the opportunity to experience the local people. Oh, and the people! We loved every one of the small, intimate restaurant owners who took great care to make us feel welcome and provide us with the best of Italy. We felt like family. Now that we are home the most asked question that I get from people about our trip is, “what was my favorite part of the trip”? Its too hard to narrow it down to one great experience but to satisfy them I describe our private boat trip on Lake Garda. Following a lovely morning at a local winery and tasting the best wines of the region we were taken to a nearby village on the lake where we walked to the docks to embark on our boat tour where we viewed lakeside villages and hillsides of olive orchards and vineyards. Following a leisurely tour of the lake we approached a palace where we were greeted on the dock by the Butler (it felt like I was in a dream!) who escorted us to a beautiful restaurant in the palace where we were seated overlooking the lake and treated to a delicious lunch – always the best the region has to offer. If you asked my husband what his most memorable experience was then he would say the trip to Capri. In Capri we were greeted by our private guide and driver who escorted us in an open-roofed taxi to a small family owned winery where we tasted the best white wines in Italy. We rode the chair-lift to the summit and enjoyed a magnificent lunch at a restaurant where we were served by the owner. The food was prepared and grown by the owner or fished from the sea surrounding Capri. There aren’t enough adjectives to give the experience the credit it deserves. You MUST take a tour with Niche Italy to experience this for yourselves. I will never forget this trip as long as I live and am eternally grateful to Niche Italy for preparing and executing for us this V.I.P. tour. Ciao sweet Italy!

Cathy and Larry Schweinegruber