Just thought I’d let you know that my son, Zach, and I had a superb time with Paolo(sp?) and Antonio at Vesuvius and Pompeii. The weather in Italy was not so great last week but THAT day was, by luck, perfect – sunny in the 70’s!.
Paolo was right on time at the hotel and offered some delicious history en route to Vesuvius, a lot of which referred to WWII sites (appealing to me). He picked a nice spot for us to have lunch (Kona Restaurant) on the way down from Vesuvius and then we caught up with Antonio. He was a most personable, fun-loving guide who made our trek through the ruins feel like we were really re-living the past. Most importantly, he was genuinely responsive to the challenging and odd questions of my 11-year-old. I appreciated that. Indeed, it showed up on the video clips my son made.
Paolo was more the intellectual of the two, more laid back and professorial and given to sharing his wealth of knowledge. Antonio was more boyish, the fun spirit, bouncing around, reversing step when he remembered something he forgot to tell us, and delighting in making something 3,000 years old come to life right before our eyes. He did good.
Thanks, again, for making this day’s journey a memorable one.
Linda and I have returned home safely to Texas and are about over our jet lag. Once again, we had truly memorable experiences courtesy of Le Baccanti! To use an American sports analogy, Le Baccanti hit another Grand Slam!! Please pass along our thanks and gratitude to your team and business associates for making our holiday in Itlay so enjoyable.
Paolo is the Silvia of Rome; although, I understand he lived in Tuscany for many years! He even has the same model of Mercedes mini-van! He was very professional, personable, and punctual (how’s that for alliteration), as well as informative and courteous. Silvia must be the better driver, however, as her van has a manual transmission (joke)!!
The art guide in Naples, Vincenzo (“Enzo”) was extremely knowledgeble of the art, architecture, archeaology and history of Naples. His command of English was also impressive and he had extensive travel experiences elsewhere on the Continent and the U.S. I think he was a bit surprised when he mentioned Dante and I told him that I had read La Divina Comedia. While he clearly was a proud Neopolitan, we sensed that Tuscany and Umbria were his favorite regions of Italy.
Castel Torre Pietro winery was a thouroughly enjoyable experience. Even though the estate production is only every day table wine, the actual castle grounds and winery are awesome!! Jim, our host (a native Canadian), was very attentive, humourous and open. With the tasting of the Chianti and Umbrian wines produced by extended family memebers, the actual wine tasting was also great. If you have marketing penetration with the cruise lines, then I think this experience would resonate with many American wine enthusiasts who are in transit to/from Rome/Civitavecchia.
The market walk in Campo dei Fiori and surrounding area with Martina was also a lot of fun and a unique experience (for American travelers)! Martina was great – she was persoanble, engaging, interacitve and passsionate about wine and wine/food pairings! All the spots she picked out were spot on (the exotic fruit and vegetable stands, the fish monger’s shop, the bakery, and especially the gourmet alimentari where we did some wine tasting)! The wines she picked out were fabulous and new discoveries for us. We will try to find the two that may be exported to the U.S.
Finally, “Cooking with Guido” was a perfect way to end our vacation!! Guido is a Bon Vivant and an excellent chef. We thouroughly enjoyed the experience and felt like part of a real Itailian family, if only for a few hours. We also ate everything on our plate even though we had been overindulging on the cruise ship for the past 10 days!
While I’m more of an arcaheaology, history, and architecture kind of person and Linda is more of a food, wine and cultural kind of person, we both agree that the Le Baccanti food and wine experiences that we have had in Itlay are very high on our list of most memorable European holiday experiences!
I’m not certain as to when we will return to Italy, but return we shall and when we do we will definiitely inlcude Le Baccanti in our plans. In the mean time we wish a joyous holiday season and a prosperous and happy New Year!
Art and Linda
Thank you so much for everything last week in Rome and Reschio!!! We love this tradition of summer, spending some lovely time with you!!! Thank you always for being so kind to our kids!!!!
Our kids are big fan of you!!! Today Hiroto pointed out a big Mercedes and said “Paolos car!!” It was very funny kentaro and Yuma were laughing!
We are missing your company, but we hope to reunite next summer if not sooner!! Please do drop a note if you are coming this way or Far East to Tokyo! You have us and the Kawada waiting!!
Hope you have a lovely rest of the summer (drive safe!) and we look forward to seeing you very soon again!!!
Big hugs from the Tamuras
we have arrived home and are recovered from jet lag! I had to email you to tell you how very, very much I appreciate your gracious assistance in providing us with such wonderful people to guide and tour us in Rome.
Our favorite two days were with Paolo in Rome on our six and one-half hours drive all over Rome. He was so professional and so very personal. We loved him and were so blessed by his tour of Rome that he provided. ….we loved Rome the best. Everything was just the best. …I will be giving your email address to other people that we all know who will be coming to Italy!
They could not find a better tour company than yours! Thank you again so very much. ……
WORD FROM OUR TRAVELERS:
I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful tour you arranged for my daughter, grandson and me from Rome to Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was a pleasure to meet both our driver, Paolo Di Gangi and our tour guide, Antonio Pessaro.
Paolo is not only an excellent driver, but his car was absolutely immaculate. He was very informative about the countryside and the history of the area on our way south.
Antonio, whom we met in Pompeii must be the absolutely best guide in existence. His English (as well as Paolo’s) is excellent, his knowledge of these two ancient cities is truly amazing. The hours just flew by as we were literally transported into the first century.
As a special treat Paolo showed us Naples by night on our way back to Rome, which was a wonderful ending to a most special day.
Thank you again for arranging a most perfect day for us; it was the highlight of our trip to Italy.
— Ruth Brimmekamp, Private Day Tour, Pompeii and Herculaneum, 2009
Thank you so very much for the driving tour. It was wonderful and lunch was equally delightful.
I truly appreciate your aid and assistance at both the airport and train station.
My first trip outside the US will never be forgotten.