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- Italy Tour: Herbert Schulz
Italy Tour: Herbert Schulz
Great trip, great arrangements, great accommodations.
Better than expected.
We are likely the most seasoned travelers you will find; having traveled in over 70 countries and my wife in half as many.
During my 30 year diplomatic career, I often arranged VIP travel, including that of four US Presidents and numerous dignitaries.
You provided a level of service and advice that demonstrates and reflects that you know your business and tailor it to the client.
The two weeks we spent in 9 different locations, was perhaps too ambitious, but only because we did not get to spend more time in Verona and Milan; Enna would have been our first miss and perhaps skipping the night in Tortorici would have given us more time in the North, which we both found more to our liking. For Sicily, two nights in Palermo and two in Taormina could have sufficed.
Accommodations in Enna were adequate for a one night stay, and I would rate it # 9 out of nine, for that reason. In Tortorici, the service and accommodations were excellent, but once on top of the mountain, you felt isolated; we were the only guests, and had our “own” household staff. Felt like an Ambassador in Residence. Rate it as our # 8 out of nine. The Hotel in Palermo is well located and parking was less of a challenge than at most other stays; easy to walk to and from, with the Open Decker tour bus stop a couple of hundred meters away. Staff tried to be helpful, but when it came to giving directions or making suggestions for places to eat, they need help. We rated it # 7 out of nine. Service, Menu, Prices and the Fish, at the Tratoria LA CAMBUSA, made it worth wile going there three times. It is on Piazza Marina, only a 3 minute walk from the hotel. The self serve, 20+ variety ANTIPASTI for 8 Euros is an absolute treat, especially when accompanied by good wine. The Hotel Vila Sonia in Taormina, we rated #2 out of nine. Met the very gracious owner and his wife, she also manages food and beverage. We celebrated our Wedding Anniversary in their Restaurant. This would have been worth another days stay.
The hotel in Argegno, which we rated #5 out of our nine, is well located and accessible. We arrived at close to 9 PM, and were lucky that the Chef agreed to extend his staff to feed us. Eating times and habits are a bit different the closer one gets to order and civilization. A lake boat trip is not to be missed, especially going over to Bellagio. Ensure familiarity with the boat schedules, they confuse even the sailors.
Our # 1 rating goes without qualifications to the B&B at Lake Garda. Every aspect of our stay, from arrival to departure, was impeccable. Dr. Bonaspetto, the most cordial host, owner/ operator and architect of the Estate, made us feel as customary house guest s. Breakfast, with home grown or created fare, resembles a brunch scene at Raffles, crowned by the magnificent panorama of Lake Garda a mile below. In Eppan, we rated the castle our #3. Well located to access Bolzano and Merano, we enjoyed the setting and most of all the hospitality of the Countess. It is not often that we are awakened to the sound of roosters and peacocks announcing day break.
The hotel in Verona, in addition to being in the best possible spot in town, had only one downside which could have been fixed if we’d had another day. We rated it our #4, but were it not for the ones we preferred, it could easily rank higher. It would be helpful, for those driving to the Hotel, to realize that parking is readily available, both in a garage (22 Euros) or close by, in spite of the Hotel being located in a “pedestrian only” zone.
Milano was our shortest stay. Arrived at about 3 PM and left at 8 AM following to catch our flight. Of necessity, we could not have done better. The accommodations are new, very clean and functional. Parking in a locked “box” garage, is both safe and convenient, especially if your time frame for departure is critical. We give it our #6 rating, but only again because we preferred the others for location and convenience. One should assume one hour to get from the B&B to Malpensa; probably more on a week day.
I am sending you this in hurried fashion because my 15 pound Himalayan “Tartufo” needs some attention. He spent 2 weeks in a pet motel and will take some stroking to get over not having been pampered.