this tour is a fast paced "taste" of Italian highlights. you're in a different city every day. not much down time to just relax and chill except during the bus travel time between cities. hotels and meals were appropriate. first time doing lunch on my own though enjoyed the time to wander and choose. Italy in July is HOT and BUSY and our tour manager took that into consideration so the students still enjoyed
/ Group leader Atlanta, GA / Posted on July 22, 2017
First couple days were fun and full of activity.
The remaining 8, not so much. It was expensive, the food was not very good and the same thing over and over. Tour guides and group leaders were too interested in doing their own thing and keeping all the kids confined to the hot hotel rooms with nothing to do. Too much screaming and yelling for every little thing by Tour guide and group leaders.
What we were told the trip would be like and how it actually was especially day 3 and on, totally opposite.
Places we saw were pretty but the experience was not.
Very misleading and disappointed because of how much it cost
DCT1287 / Student traveler Midland, TX / Posted on July 21, 2017
Overall the trip was amazing; however, I think there were some things I wish I would have known prior to the tour. I didn't realize what kind of weather we would be experiencing and the fact that air conditioning wasn't always available to us is kind of a need to know. The person that put our tour together was good at informing us on the importance of walking and drinking, but failed to prepare the students for the type of clothing that was needed, the electrolyte replacement that was absolutely needed, and the overall cooling of the body. Tour director was amazing, but we had a little more flip flopping than I had anticipated. It worked out and I was able to see all that was promised, but for someone who enjoys a little structure flip flopping is hard.
If there is anything that I could recommend or change it would be access to breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was the same, and did not give enough nutrients for the amount of walking we had to do before lunch. Dinner, was rough because it was the same food four/five nights in a row. Pasta, chicken and potatoes and a dessert. Like, chicken is great, but I'm in Italy. I want to try the food that they have. the sixth night dinner was especially hard because we went to a restaurant instead of eating at the hotel and the restaurant didn't prepare enough food for the amount of people we had so we ended up ordering pizza later that night. Also, I don't know about Italy, but some red meat would have been awesome, and veggies... access to veggies and fruit.. Yeah, I missed that.
Tour director was awesome. Tour guides.. yeesh, some were hard to understand and I'm not sure if that was because the whispers kept breaking, or the accent was so strong. The tour guide we had in Venice was cute and showed us the quiet life but didn't give much history to the museum that we looked at.
I would never, ever, ever go to Italy during peak tourist season and summer time ever again. It was hot and full of all the peoples :D
SunshinePattycakes / Adult traveler Utah, Utah / Posted on July 19, 2017
Overall I can confidently say how amazing the trip was due to the amazing company I had with what the trip allowed. Reflecting back on it, I don't really regret anything during the course of the trip but there were still many flaws to be had despite how lovely the trip was. For the value of the trip, I would've expected much more and although it was an educational trip, it was still a vacation over anything so to have our schedules cluttered with tour guides that rambled on about specific sights got really tiresome at a certain point and made our experience at Capri not as relaxing as my group wanted it to be. When you think of Capri, which keep in mind was an excursion that we paid for, you think of laying on the beach and having an amazing time not treking up to a perfume demonstration. Tour guides who were obviously affiliated with EF, ending each of their guides with an elaborate demonstration of their quality goods such as glassmaking, leather and perfume that was distasteful as they treated us like tourist who could be wowed into opening our wallets. Now, many of the persons in my group were younger in age or students accompanied by their parents, and it was shocking how they were trying to selling children exquisite souvenirs like 500euro wine glasses. Another thing was the poor quality in the selection of food, to which shouldn't be expected when spending so much money on this experience. For many of the days, our group ate countless dishes of chicken and potatoes, with spaghetti bolognese as our starter that by the fifth day, many of us sought eating that local restaurants instead of that dreaded meal. It didn't help that we spent so much time on that dreaded bus and early wake up calls, but what can I say? You gotta do what you gotta do. Hotels were for the most part well, besides our one in Florence that considered a "shower" a curatin and a drain in the ground. But on the other hand many of it was great when you have a great group of individuals to share your mutual struggle with; and who can complain when you're in Italy? If you're looking to just enjoy your time with friends regardless of quality, you shouldn't have anything to wory about. But if you're expecting staying at the hilton, room service and rapid WiFi, this is not for you.
/ Student traveler Morristown, NJ / Posted on July 08, 2017
It was really a life changing experience. I have wanted to go to Italy since I was little and this tour was everything I could have hoped for and more! I wish we could have taken more time to appreciate everthing around us, but I understand there was so much to do and see in the time we had. Overall, one of the best investments I have made. I would highly reccomend a tour like this to anyone that has been dying to go to italy and learn about the history, culture, ect. Thank you EF!
ILovePasta / Student traveler Utah / Posted on July 07, 2017
amazing locations, service needs to improve
our family participated in this tour of italy, and while we enjoyed visiting the 7 locations, we lost three days for transfers and spent a lot of time driving around on a bus. the first started with a transfer to milan from Rome and then we were met by an EF representative, who put us on another bus for a transfer to our hotel near Venice- the driver did not speak English,he did not know the route and became very angry at our group that it was taking too long. it should have been a 3-4 hour bus ride, but it turned out to be over 7 hours and we did not get to the hotel which was over an hour past Venice until 10 PM. luckily we had an italian speaking member in our group so that she could calm the driver down and get him to continue to drive us-- his driving was erratic and kept swirving in and out of the lanes. OUr tour guide was fantastic and tried to add additional features and kept the group calm. the food was less than desirable, and the fact that within the same dinner service, different people received different meals, because the kitchen ran out of the promised meal, and our own group leader had to assist in serving the dessert in order to get the group out in a timely fashion. the hotels were definetely lower quality and did not have many amenities, even AC would be sporadic at best and when the few hotels did have a pool, it was usually closed by the time our group arrived. EF needs to upgrade the accomodations to make this trip worth while
acpdeedaw / Student traveler Portland CT / Posted on July 06, 2017
This trip was very informative. We saw a large number of cities and sites during this trip. The food was OK, although there were several which were lacking in consistency(people received different meals as the hotel ran out of the advertised items). However, overall this was a great experience.
Guiseppe / Adult traveler Portland, Connecticut / Posted on July 06, 2017
Grand Tour of Italy!
As chaperones, my wife and I experienced a trip that had very few issues, much of it due to the knowledge, communication skills, and professionalism of our tour director -- she was awesome! Also, we were given a pace that was reasonable and enjoyable, with many cities and sites readily accessible, given our tour group status. Food and lodgings were above average, though we missed air-conditioning in a couple of our rooms. Our only complaint would be the climate and the need to walk long distances, but we understand that it was summer and our bus could only get us so close. All in all, it turned out to be a wonderful trip...!
vjamaro / Adult traveler Hanford, CA / Posted on June 30, 2017
Our Tour Guide Made the experience
Recently went on the Grand Tour of Italy tour with 140 high school students and teachers/parents. It was a great experience. The entire trip was very organized and pleasant. There was generally a good balance between sightseeing and relaxation.
Hotels were adequate to good. It was frustrating that we had to stay so far from the sights which then required at least 2 hours of drive time to reach our destination, but that proved to be a benefit with our stay in Montecatini Terme, outside of Florence. It was a wonderful hotel and we really enjoyed exploring the town and Montecatini Alto.
My only complaint was the variability of the tour guides in each city. Some of them were wonderful and interesting, while others droned on about architecture for an hour and a half and spoke so quietly that you couldn't hear them. But I wonder how much control EF has over the specific tour guides assigned by the local company.
Our tour guide was tremendous. He was so pleasant, up beat and organized. What a gracious guide. He deserves a raise!!!
LolaLover2 / Adult traveler Columbus, OH / Posted on June 29, 2017
Best Trip Ever!
Our EF Tour had all components necessary for an amazing experience -- top-notch guide, an abundance of learning, immersion into the culture, history, and food, interaction with each unique environment, and free time to explore! Every aspect of this trip was well-planned. Our EF Tour Guide was phenomenal, taking specific interest into individual needs and questions, while providing an exceptional time for all. We built life-long memories on this trip!
/ Adult traveler Greenville, SC / Posted on June 28, 2017