And we Do!
This is Ana – Ana Serra – the founder and president of Selected Tours Italy Ltd., an officially licensed tour operator based in Rome.
We create and operate custom tours all over Italy, offering everything from a half-day’s sightseeing to multi-week adventures with all the trimmings. If you are planning on coming to Italy, one of the world’s great destinations (or you’re already here), your expectations are high! Let us show you the choices, adjust and broaden your expectations, because whatever you’re expecting isn’t nearly as wonderful as Italy can actually be…
What makes a good trip?
I formed Selected Tours Italy because I love Italy as only an enthusiastic, passionate, unjaded, once foreign (Gibraltar), now firmly entrenched Italophile can. I worked – and still work! – leading and guiding tours in the field as well as overseeing administration in our Rome office. By directly participating in exceptional client experiences, my staff and I know what makes a great tour, a fabulous day, an incredible week, and an enduring memory. We know that a soul-satisfying trip involves intellectual and spiritual engagement; a suspension from your every-day life; an immersion in local foods, wines, customs and life-view; a sense of ease and comfort in your body; a place to stay that is a sweet retreat at the end of the day; a dash of drama and romance;vand the opportunity to notice, smile, laugh and enjoy deeply.
The best guides – the most important people on our team
A big dollop of this enjoyment comes from assigning you skilled, personable guides with excellent English, men and women who are encyclopedias of local information and lore even as they know the best short cuts, viewing points and places for lunch. People attuned to your needs on tour, who can speed things up or slow them down to match your energy and enthusiasm. People who link you to the heart of Italy… people who make time fly…
We offer complete services and amenities…
Through hand-selected personnel and trusted partners, we offer airport, seaport and train station transfers; a carefully curated list of accommodations at numerous price points; combinable full-day and half-day itineraries in all twenty regions of Italy ( who else does this!); and naturally the piêce de resistance, the unmissable destinations of Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, the Amalfi Coast, Assisi and Cinque Terre. We get an extra adrenaline rush from organizing your special tours – the perfect proposals, weddings (Rome only at present) and honeymoons; generational and family trips; girlfriend tours; high fashion shopping; cooking classes or special events… We’ll take you to festivals, concerts, food and craft demonstrations that will WOW you!
Our process begins with in-depth communication, electronically or by phone, before we ever meet face to face. This is our priority! By understanding your needs and desires, we can offer you a personalized, exciting and honest itinerary – honest in the sense that it is well-paced and do-able; there are no hidden costs; it doesn’t promise the impossible (if you are the only person in the Colosseum, there is reason to panic!). It factors in high season crowds, the heat of summer and chill of winter, and the amount of stamina required for certain activities. We know our business inside out – how to fill up commute time so it isn’t dead time; how to keep you from being palazzo’d out or cathedraled alive; how to use our personal relationships to give you meaningful extras… Our extensive pre-planning makes your experience as seamless as possible, so that even in a country with a little chaos (like Italy!), there is food available when you need it, a little espresso to pick you up, and someone to point out the nearest clean facilities.
Or less, depending on your needs…
If you don’t need such extensive arrangements, don’t worry! We are happy to provide specific tours to flesh out your independent rambling – plus our logistics make it easy to get to less accessible attractions! Our shore visits offer more value, interest and agility than off-the-shelf cruise company port excursions. You can even contact us for advice and referrals on anything from the best gelateria to a great place for an anniversary dinner. We will help you navigate Italian trains, buses and car rentals, orient yourself in our ancient cities or set you up with a car and driver for complete and worry-free flexibility.
HOW DO WE KNOW SO MUCH?
Anyone can find information online, but the best travel experiences arise from first-hand knowledge and on-the-ground inspections. We evaluate everything we recommend with a professional eye – and if it doesn’t belong on our “I’d-like-to-do-that” list, we’re not going for it! Curiosity may have killed the cat, but we’re still poking our noses everywhere, updating our itineraries with new finds and more convenient solutions.
DISAPPEARING ACT… NOT US!
My staff and I are an email, phone call or WhatsApp away, both before, during and after your tour. My mantra is “Anything you need, just call me,” and that includes last-minute changes. Yes, I have many times gotten calls at 5:00 in the morning from clients struggling with jet lag – you know who you are! I pick up, and when the issue is resolved, I always add … “Try to sleep, sweetie. Just one more day and you’ll be on Italy time!”
YOUR EXPECTATIONS – BE A TRAVELER, NOT A TOURIST
In the end, many of our most treasured life experiences revolve around our travels. So here is our wish
for you – be a traveler, not a tourist. With whatever time you have, breathe the destination into your
psyche rather than landing so lightly you leave not a ripple. We offer you la bella Italia as we know
it and love it, so that the warmth and charm of Italy will stay with you long after you leave our shores.