We just returned from the 9-11-23 Bellissima Northern Italy small group tour, and here are my overall comments. This is our 4th Tauck tour and first time to Italy. First, it is a great itinerary, but fairly fast paced, we are on either side of the 70’s age. Lots of walking on uneven cobblestones. It gave a good “first taste” of northern Italy, with two nights in each town – Milan, Stresa, Verona, Bologna and Venice. Bags out at 7 am on the travel days. Our tour director Vincenzo was very intelligent, a big fan of history and architecture, a very experienced tour guide with a very long resume. The WhatsApp group he started a few days ahead of the tour provided a lot of information on a lot of subjects, and he included the details of the schedule as we went along, as well as photos of each stop. We are able to download the total file to save as a pdf.
Our group of 24 were well-traveled, punctual, and bonded very well. All couples except for 2 women traveling together. No one got sick. Some masked in crowded spaces. Everyone was pleasant to talk to, and by the end of the tour, several friendships were made. The food was great, and plentiful. Bus seats were rotated daily, and there was lots of room in the back to spread out. Weather was good.
Instead of photos, I have scanned the daily schedule for you detail-hungry travelers like me. Note that this is for THIS particular tour and tour guide, so your experience will most certainly vary.
The hotels are mostly fabulous and historic in nature. The rooms were mostly on the small side, most without tea kettles or coffee makers. Room upgrades are apparently given if available, starting with the people who had booked their tour the earliest. That was new to me.
While we realize Italy was the center of the universe for thousands of years, personally we would have preferred several fewer church/cathedral tours and more food/wine excursions, and learning more about Italy’s current affairs. We teased Vincenzo that Tauck needs to start a “Savoring Italy” tour, with cooking and shopping classes, as well as foodie tours.
All in all, it was truly a fabulous adventure, and we would recommend it to anyone who can walk a couple of miles and stand for an hour or so as needed.
We just returned from our Spirit of the Desert tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, there were a couple of pre-ordered box meals 🤦🏻♂️ due to covid restrictions at a couple of the lodges, and yes 😷 had to be worn on certain indoor situations, and yet, it was a great trip! Each of the national parks we visited were geologically different and stunningly beautiful. The (small planes) flights over the canyons also provided a magnificent perspective not fully appreciated on land. The raft on the Colorado River was more of a gentle float, but still nice. Our tour director was great, along with local guides/guests providing insight of the areas. In the end, we felt the modified itinerary succeeded in making the trip special.
We just returned from the Tauck Switzerland tour. I blogged our trip which you can see at https://www.mikeandjudytravel.com/2023-2Switzerland-01.htm
It was a good trip with a couple of issues but I enjoyed seeing that part of Europe.
L'Shanah Tovah to all who honor and celebrate their Jewish faith. I hope the new year brings you health and many wonderful travel experiences.
After our trip to Egypt we are scheduled for our trip to Morocco. There was a terrible earthquake there where many people were killed. It is very sad! Our Morocco trip is scheduled for November 7. We haven't heard yet from our TA or Tauck but keeping the people of Morocco in our thoughts.