Our SELECTED Private Tours of Italy
La Dolce Vita – 11 Days
Rome done right – 8 Days
Sicily: a Tribute – 10 Days
Landmarks of Italy – 10 Days
Umbria: The Green Heart of Italy- 9 Days
Terra Sancta – 9 Days
Cinque Terre Escape from Milan – 10 Days
Cinque Terre Escape from Rome – 10 Days
Sailing Italy: Egadi Islands – 7 Days
Biking on the East Coast of Italy – 7 Days
Rome & the Amalfi Coast – 6 Days
How would you like to have someone else plan an exceptional Italian experience that is better yet less expensive than if you did it all yourself?
From an incredible heritage tour in Calabria to an amazing visit to the Vatican museums and everywhere in between, Ana and Laura can help make your time in Italy magical.
It all started when my wife (who plans everything in detail) reached out to Selected Tours Italy about a heritage tour of Calabria for my 50th birthday. Ana began by scheduling time on a video call to find out where we were planning to visit and also what each of us enjoys during our time on vacation. She then set to work customizing a package of experiences, hotels, and transportation that would get us to each location efficiently and comfortably. Prior to this call, we had some things already booked on our own including a tour of the Colosseum using a large tour company who’s name begins with a V. The difference between Ana’s tour of the Vatican and the “V” company‘s tour of the Colosseum was stark. Ana met us at a set location near the Vatican entrance, she was very friendly and engaging, providing us with all the details for our visit that day. She then proceeded to tour us through the vastness of the Vatican and St Peters hitting all the main points while being mindful of our timeline. The following day, the large “V” tour company’s guide was late and went through the motions, talking the whole time and not really caring about what we wanted to see or providing an experience. Did I mention Ana’s tour was less expensive than comparable large company tours?
Then came our visit to Calabria where we went on a heritage tour that Ana arranged with our guide Pino. Our guide met us on time at our hotel and took us on a several hour trip through the history of my family. He also brought a professor from a nearby university along, as well as copies of all the historical documents of my grandparents and great grandparents. We visited the houses where they grew up and the church where they were married, including a private meeting with the current priest of 40 years. Pino had spent a significant amount of time researching to make our visit incredible, even inviting a distant cousin who shares our same last name to meet us for coffee.
For the last part of our amazing journey to Italy, Ana arranged transportation from Positano to Naples with a side trip to Mount Vesuvius and a winery for lunch/wine tasting. Both our driver Mario and the Vesuvius guide Paolo were fluent English speakers who were eager to provide us with plenty of local history while we traversed the incredible landscape of the Amalfi Coast and Mount Vesuvius. The lunch and wine tasting on Mount Vesuvius was the finale to our visit, yet far exceeded our expectations.
There are so many more things I could mention but in the end our overall experience was excellent. You can tell that Ana and Laura as well as their team of drivers and tour guides truly understand what being Italian is, and the hospitality that comes along with that. They are eager to showcase their amazing country and provide all visitors including those of Italian heritage who want to revisit their roots…. a truly unforgettable experience. I cannot recommend Ana and her team highly enough. We will return soon and are already working with Ana to plan our next Italian adventure. Gracie mille Ana and Laura
Date of experience: September 2021
First thing I’ll mention in this posting: I hardly ever write reviews. That said, I cannot recommend Ana and her Team at Selected Tours Italy more enthusiastically!
When I learned that Italy was allowing visitors and that my son was available to travel with me this summer, I was concerned because I didn’t know where to start in the planning process. Thankfully, my father saw my predicament and recommended Ana having been on one of her Rome Tours.
After contacting her through email, the process started with a zoom call to capture my trip requirements, desires, ideas and budget constraints. Ana & Laura were incredibly helpful with brainstorming ideas and recommending activities! A draft itinerary followed shortly thereafter and I was blown away with the professionalism and organization. Little side note: I had initial concerns when my request for itemization of costs wasn’t granted (per policy), however when I received the total I was pleasantly surprised to find the quote was within just a few euros of my estimate! An incredible value given the organization, details and organization they were offering.
Once the itinerary was finalized and we had sent over payment, I thought we might not hear from them for awhile. Was I wrong about that! Ana & Laura were incredibly helpful in guiding me through the covid travel requirements for airlines and Italy, making the process incredibly smooth and stress free. The value didn’t stop there. Laura set up a group chat so that we could communicate while there! It was like having a personal concierge throughout the trip! They were able to communicate changes with reservations. For instance, train times changed and they sent me new tickets. Museum times and visitation protocols shifted but we never knew because Laura was checking things behind the scenes and proactively guiding us the whole way. All in all, the logistics handled by Ana and Laura made for the smoothest trip I’ve ever taken. The value of Selected Tours Italy services with logistics, scheduling, organization and last minute change handling cannot be overstated!
Ana guided our Rome City and Vatican Museum tours. Upon reflection on our whole trip, my son and I agreed that the times with Ana were among our favorite while in Italy. Everyone should have an opportunity to see Rome through her eyes. She is passionate about it and her energy is infectious. Side note here: Ana & Laura know how much to schedule in a day without overdoing it. They were incredibly thoughtful in the sequencing taking care not to overwhelm or tire us out! Side note #2: We were SHOCKED by how few tourists we encountered while in Italy. Everywhere we went it was like this. Clearly the word had not gotten out since we were able to enjoy everything we saw and every place we visited with little to no crowds. This will change soon and I’m soooooo grateful we were able to experience it this way. The Italian people are always so friendly and gracious but it seemed everyone was even more so…everyone seemed so glad we’d come!
Ana made recommendations for some of the activities and excursions we might consider and I’m so glad we took her recommendations as they were some of the highlights of the trip. I could go on and on and on…it really was the best experience I’ve ever had…and not just in Italy (I’ve been several times) but in international travel. I’ll be coming back to Italy often (especially since my father just moved there) but I’ll never return without Ana & Selected Tours Italy’s involvement and guidance.
One last note…my son and I left Italy with two new friends in Ana & Laura. They remain two of the most delightful people I’ve ever met in my travels. They made our trip a top priority and they ensured a once in a lifetime travel experience for my son and I. I’ve already referred two other friends who are considering travel to Italy this year and I know for myself, I’ll be back soon and when we’ve decided timing, Ana & Selected Tours will be our first call!
We rented a car and left Florence for Tuscany where Ana had booked us at a small castle run as a B&B. It was centrally located and easy drives to all the points of interests(and Wineries) that we wanted to visit.
Needless to say that we have continued to keep in touch with Ana and so look forward to being with our Italian friend again.