Custom Travel: The Value of a Private Guide
January 28, 2015
One of the most underrated services a travel consultant can provide in Italy is a private guide. Adagio Travel works with only the best guides, all with advanced degrees, excellent English skills, and an unmatched love for their corner of Italy. Matching clients with the right guide is a service that we pride ourselves in. Clients can save substantial time and money by putting themselves into capable local hands, freeing themselves to enjoy Italy with all the senses. No more stumbling through nondescript corners of Pompeii with your nose in a book, eating in tourist traps, or ending up where all the other American guidebooks send travelers. See how our guide Bartolo makes a difference for our guests in the Amalfi Coast area….
Bartolo was a huge “find” on a scouting trip to the Campania region a few years back. A native of Sorrento and an experienced guide, he came highly recommended by a Virtuoso travel agent for whom he had served as a guide on a boat trip in the Bay of Naples. During our meeting in Herculaneum, I found him to be both affable and quite serious about his work. Clients appreciate the fact that he’s married to a lovely American woman, Andrea, who provides the perfect complement as well as insight into the expectations of my US clientele. They make the perfect team!
Soon after I met Bartolo, I asked him for a sporty 10-day custom proposal for a family of 5 with teenage children. He responded with a fairytale adventure that highlighted his beloved Sorrento and Amalfi Coast and even as far south as Paestum. The villa he found for them in Sorrento was being rented for the first time, and was spotless and perfect for a family. Each day included hiking, biking or boating and explored a different angle of this rich region. The island of Procida, one of three found in the Bay of Naples and still largely inhabited by fishermen, was a particularly memorable find and was ideal for exploring by bicycle.
Other highlights included visits to Ravello (with a hike down from Villa Cimbrone to the relatively undiscovered village of Atrani, where sea kayaks awaited); entrance to special parts of the Pompeii ruins that are not normally open to the public; walking the rim of Mt. Vesuvius, a still active volcano and biking the beaches of Salerno, with visits to a buffalo mozzarella farm and the Greek ruins of Paestum; and the grand finale: the world famous “Path of the Gods”, a hike of several hours from Bomerano down to the enchanting village of Positano.
In true Adagio style, Bartolo ended the week with a private cooking experience – right down the street from the villa, three generations of Italians creating masterpieces from the simplest of ingredients (fresh prawns wrapped in lemon leaves, homemade ravioli filled with smoked mozzarella and ricotta, and grilled fish caught that day). The final days were spent trekking around the Island of Capri, including areas normally not seen by tourists.
Here are some comments about our custom travel planning:
Thank you Claudia for making our first trip to Italy so memorable and wonderful. The accommodations ranged from superb to exquisite, the tours were outstanding, and the combination of sight seeing and active days was the perfect mix for our family. Your knowledge and guidance while planning provided us with experiences that we never would have had without your expertise.
Dave C., Boston
It has been such a pleasure working with you to formulate our itinerary. Thank you for your expertise, your patience and your enthusiasm as we fine tuned our plans!
Anne C., Boston
[Our tours] were well spaced out, and they gave us a good mixture of intensity and browsing. The guides were VERY well informed and excellent!
Sandra M., Boston
See more testimonials at Adagio’s Custom Journey page.
“What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?” W.H. Davies