In this issue of the Bollettino di Gina’s Italy, I would like to share thoughts and realities about foreign travel. Those who have traveled with Gina’s Italy know what Gina’s Italy offers. However, others who are still comparing may not be aware of what there is to consider. Here are a few items that I have discovered both on a personal experience and in conversations with those who have taken the big tour company trips. With Gina’s Italy, Discover Italy, really Discover Italy!
When a big tour company uses the verb, “see” in its advertising what does it really mean? Will the participant ‘see’ from a bus? Will ‘see’ be from afar or up close? With Gina’s Italy ‘see’ means enter and experience up close.
When a big company offers big name hotels what does that mean for the participant? Is the front desk friendly and helpful? Is the room a less desirable in a 100+ room hotel? With Gina’s Italy you will be in a smaller hotel in mid-range category or best category in the small country inns.
When a big company says “private guide or visit” does it mean a walk while someone many feet away is talking to only a few? Does the pace alter to accommodate the slower walkers? Does the guide answer questions or offer flexibility? With Gina’s Italy your guide is your ally. You are able to ask questions or even encourage a digression to another site because of an expressed interest.
When the big tour companies offer meals, what do the meals consist of and where do the meals take place? Are you sampling food that has been prepared at the moment or are you eating pre-arranged courses that have been held until your arrival? Are you given ample time to enjoy the food or are you rushed through so you can get to the next event? What is the setting you wish for your dining experience? Would you expect to dine at a truck stop? With Gina’s Italy, meals are an experience in the culture. Food is a big part of Italy. When we sit down to any meal, we enjoy the local fare, local cheese, wine, and bread. In Italy we dine. We interact with our waiters or chefs.
With a big tour company what does “small tour” really express? Will it be a group of 16 travelers? 18? 24? With Gina’s Italy a group tour typically consists of 8 travelers. With Gina’s Italy you can and will receive personalized attention. Our sincere interest is to make it possible that you enjoy your special trip. Do you need help with a purchase? Do you need stamps? Ask Gina, she is there to assist in the foreign situation. Rather than feel a part of a big impersonal group you will feel a member of a family creating experiences as you go.
With the big tour company offers ‘free time’ what does it mean to the traveler? Is the tour manager there to help with suggestions and show places on a map or assist with reservations? Or does the tour manager say “tomorrow let’s meet at_____” and then disappear? With Gina’s Italy free time means you can be independent and adventure off on your own or you can stay with Gina who will personally take you to a place of interest. There are few hours in which Gina is not available to assist, translate, or escort. Did you see a scarf you wish to purchase? Gina will backtrack and help you purchase just the color you prefer. Did you need help with finding a taxi? Gina will show you where the taxi stands are.
When deciding where to spend your travel dollars, do your homework. Not all tour companies are the same. When looking at a tour for Italy, think about Gina’s Italy. With Gina’s Italy you will Discover Italy, really Discover Italy.
For photos of past trips, why not take a look at the Gallery on Gina’s Italy title page: Picture Gallery from Gina's Italy tours
Here are two testimonials from recent travelers with Gina’s Italy:
“David and I both know we wouldn’t travel back without you, Gina! With your knowledge, your love of Italy and the connections you have made with such great places to stay and people to stay with…why would I ever want to figure it out on my own? …We will never forget out experience with you and our group. I was truly blessed to find you through www.ask.com. God was watching over me that day! My criteria for seeing Italy was a small group tours not a greyhound bus where someone announced “look left, Colisseum coming up” while I was on the right side of the bus missing it!” Kellie, Idaho
“Allowing this was my first trip to Italy, I cannot imagine it getting any better! Gina, you instructed many weeks prior to our trip…paperwork, clothes, customs, phrases, what to bring, what not to bring. Without all the info, I would have been lost!! The size of the group was small enough to know one another and to have someone to talk and visit with. The hotels were perfect. I don’t think I will ever stay in one of the ‘big boxes’ again! …I think you had a really good itinerary which covered the highlights and allowed for flexibility. I thank you for the trip.” Jean, Oregon
Thank you again for your enthusiasm and attention. Feel free to share and forward this issue to friends and family. Your referrals are important and are appreciated. Do you have a special trip in mind? Organize family and friends and plan an unforgettable trip. I look forward to hearing from you.
Gina's Italy, LLC ©2002
All rights reserved