Traveller's Comments

Comments Continued                                                              Recent Comments


Robin —

Greetings from Italy! Trey and I are having a blast! All of Italy is beautiful, but the Amalfi Coast has been our favorite! We’re in Chianti right now and the Locanda Le Piazze is absolutely gorgeous (just like you said it would be)! We love it! Thanks so much for your planning, your tips and Italian advice…..it has come in very handy. You’re the best!

Trey and Anna Sturgis
Houston, Texas
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My husband and I were planning a two-week vacation in Italy during the summer of 2001. We were overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on where to stay, places to visit and restaurants to eat in…..then we spoke to Robin Good about our destinations, our style and preferences and our budget. We stayed at wonderful, smaller family run hotels that we would never have found on our own. She set up our rental car and gave us great recommendations for restaurants and planning our itinerary. Most impressive was the bound ten-page itinerary of her experiences at various sites that we carried with us during our trip. Robin’s level of knowledge about Italy, her responsiveness and customer service orientation to our questions are first rate. Another of Robin’s strengths is that she really listened to what we wanted to experience on our vacation and customized our itinerary and hotels to our requests. I would highly recommend Robin Good and look forward to speaking to her about our next vacation.

Michelle and Paul DeGroot
Clifton, New Jersey
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Robin —

It is Sunday and Jeff and I are in Bologna at our relatives’ house. We are having a great visit. Santa Margherita was wonderful — we also visited Portofino. Both are beautiful towns. Jeff and I wonder how you find these places. The train has been working out great for us. We only had a 10-minute walk to our hotel in Santa Margherita. We want to come back. We’re off to Venice tomorrow. Again, thanks for planning this dream vacation for us. Arrivederci!

Mike and Jeff Nola
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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We cannot say enough about the great times we had on our two trips to Italy that our friend Robin Good planned for us. We are constantly thinking of the great memories and many good times we had there - it was truly dreamlike. Thanks to Robin and her passion, attention to detail and great taste, we had two experiences we will cherish for the rest of our lives!

Mike and Karen Sepp
Carmel, New York
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Hi Robin,

I wouldn’t plan a trip to Italy without your advice. You have helped me plan two terrific vacations, and I trust your knowledge of accommodations, tourist sites, food, and transportation more than any of the popular guidebooks. In fact, I took copies of all of our e-mail correspondence on my trips, so that I could refer to them as I traveled. As a recent college graduate, I travel on a tight budget. I was amazed at how far my funds went. You helped me make the most of my money without feeling like I had taken "cheap" vacations.

On my trip last May, your suggestions about daytrips from Amalfi were fabulous. My friend and I explored Positano, Capri, Vietri, and Sorrento. We skipped visiting Pompeii, but were really glad to have visited Herculaneum. I love Rome, but was really glad to get off the beaten track to see Italy’s scenic coast.

I can’t thank you enough for all the time and effort you have put in to helping me plan my Italy travel.

Best,

Flannery Higgins
Waterville, Maine
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Hi Robin,

What a trip! We can't thank you enough for the perfect itinerary and amazing planning. It really was the trip of a lifetime. I want to go back NOW! It's hard to say what the highlight was since we loved each location, but we really did have a soft spot for Locanda Le Piazze in Chianti. I think I may have to go back and stay for four or five nights! Look forward to the next trip we can plan with you... Jennifer

Jennifer and Jason Nyhan
Los Angeles, CA
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Robin thinks of everything and plans a stress free trip! Her knowledge of Italy and how to get around it are extensive. She plans trips with a variety of places to see and things to do — all with "just you" in mind.

Jeanie Carstensen
New York, New York
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Robin Good has planned all of my trips "across the pond". The excitement that builds the months before taking a trip is always a bonus to the actual trip, especially when you know without a doubt that you will truly enjoy what is in store for you. Let’s face it, vacation planning can be very stressful. It’s crazy true. Having all of the logistics such as airfares, hotels, rental cars, trains, water taxis or vaporettos (in Venice) and even where to park your rental car planned out just for you — takes the stress out of vacation planning. Robin affords you the opportunity to take a deep breath, relax, wear a smart grin and enjoy the true nature of what a vacation is all about. I have my mind on sunny piazzas, incredible wine, amazing art, beautiful architecture, places for pottery, places for limoncello……..but most of all, I take time to meet the wonderful people often tucked away in places that are off the beaten path — rich in history and culture…..Robin knows how to plan a trip!

Clayton Elmore
Houston, Texas
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Robin - I'm sitting on the balcony at the Santa Caterina Hotel sipping a glass of Limoncello as I take in the astonishing beauty of the Amalfi coastline. Thank you for the excellent suggestion that I pamper myself for a night or two at this exquisite hotel. Not only is it plush and gloriously Old World, but the staff couldn't be more gracious and warmly "Italian." Where else but in Italy, would the desk clerk insist on personally hauling my daily cache of newly-purchased pottery up to my room so nothing is damaged (your recommendation that I save my money and my back for pottery purchases in Vietri was priceless). The entire trip has been just fabulous - thank you for everything! Do you think they'd let me stay here forever?

Maria Lane
New York, New York
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Our trip was so easy thanks to Robin. Starting with our arrival when we picked up our car, every detail was outlined in our "manifesto". Each day was an adventure without the worry of where we were staying when the sun went down…..the maps, pictures, shopping and site seeing tips were wonderful! It’s four years later and we still look at our itinerary and remember our wonderful journey. Thanks Robin!

Nancy and Dennis Kissman
Boca Raton, Florida
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My trip to Italy could not have been planned better. The traveling, once we were in Italy was so easy and no time was wasted on the roads……we landed in Milan and flew out of Rome. We visited 9 different cities and villages. So many great places! Our "manifesto" which was created by Robin was very detailed. It gave information on the city or village we were going to visit, our hotel information, restaurant information and other local information like food and wine from that area. I have never seen anyone with such a detailed manifest. I strongly recommend Robin Good to anyone traveling to Europe.

Deyla Garcia-Tanner
Spokane, Washington
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Robin —

I don’t know how to begin thanking you for all you did for Jeff and I on our trip to Italy. It was, for both of us, a trip of a lifetime and we have "tons" of great memories. All of your hard work in planning and organizing it, made it even more memorable for us. Again, thanks for everything. I hope this watercolor from Venice will bring back memories for you.

Sincerely — Mike Nola
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Making travel arrangements can be taxing even to the most seasoned traveller. All of the calls, the faxes, the time differences, the language barriers, etc. add up to a lot of time and stress that most people just don't have. We spoke with Robin Good when we started planning our honeymoon trip and to this day (one year and counting) we feel extremely fortunate and thankful that Robin helped us plan our trip. We had done plenty of travelling within the United States, but had never been abroad. Upon our arrival in Rome and our first hotel stay, we realized how much work and frustration we had avoided by letting Robin plan the trip for us. She did all the work!!! Robin doesn't just put together one package and try to make it work for everyone. This was no cookie-cutter trip where we had one or two choices to make. This was a service that catered to our individual needs and requests. All of the information we received in our vacation planner was accurate. Our rental car was waiting for us upon arrival, the hotel reservations were all confirmed and the dinner recommendations were right on target. Our vacation planner included suggestions for restaurants, museums, shows, tours, day trips and shopping for every city we visited. We were able to plan each day at our convenience without wasting any time - thanks to Robin. If you are travelling abroad, Robin's expertise and wealth of information is indispensable - you really get to make the most out of your vacation. We trusted her with our honeymoon and it was the best decision we made. We will never go on another vacation again without Robin's advice and TakeoffItaly.com.

Maria and Jeremy Armstrong
Brooklyn, New York
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Robin —

I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to "your" Italy. For my first trip to Italy you gave me the highlights and must sees…..and threw in some small villages to make me fall in love with the country! All right, no one loves it as much as you…..you are obsessed! You said we’d go from the sublime to the ridiculous — we did and I loved it all! When are we going back?

Laurie Kennedy (sister)
Durham, North Carolina
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Robin Good’s travel itineraries and suggestions were impeccable. All her trips were tremendous successes, from the delectable food at the suggested restaurants, to the excitement of daily excursions, to the ever enjoyable nightlife ideas — Robin was right on target. Everywhere we went, I felt safe and all arrangements were exactly as she said they would be (even the tiniest details were addressed). I will have Robin do all of my itineraries in the future because she truly cares about the traveler and wants them to have the best vacation possible at the best prices.

Kathleen Bird
Scranton, Pennsylvania
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Robin —

Talk about easy! Your knowledge of places to go, what to see and where to eat is fabulous! You definitely know your stuff. Our trip felt personally planned because you listened to what we liked to do and then made suggestions and plans just for us. Your helpful hints were invaluable — the trip was hassle free and memorable.

Sue Beck
Houston, Texas
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Hi Robin —

I could write a book about what I liked about Italy. All of it. The work you did on planning the trip was just terrific. You were professional, prompt with all the questions we had and without exception every inn we stayed at was perfect. You sure know all the best places to stay at the nicest prices. Of course I had my favorites, Pienza, Assisi, Rome, really anything in Tuscany was wonderful. We are planning to do it all over again, with your help I hope! You were just great. Good luck! Talk with you soon…….

Barb and Wally Enright
Southport, North Carolina
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Every detail of the trip was attended to and planned expertly — it took all of the worry out of the equation so I could concentrate on having a good time. The customized "manifesto" perfectly described all of the places on my itinerary and included every bit of information I needed and then some — including insider tips on restaurants, places to visit and shops that only the locals would know about.

Alison Jacobs
Totowa, New Jersey
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Loved every minute of the trip! Well-organized and took into consideration different tastes and interests of our small group. We stayed in wonderful picturesque places. Really felt like I was actually in Italy and not another chain hotel/theme park. All the hard stuff was already done when we arrived. All we had to do is enjoy!

Colleen Striegel
Spokane, Washington
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Robin is one of the most meticulous planners I know. It was such a comfort to know that whatever circumstance faced during our travels — we had the paperwork and background information to make the trip memorable and hassle free. A trip planned by Robin Good will be the most comfortable experience of your life.

Jan Anderson
Sonoma, California
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In addition to receiving detailed information on cities, hotels, shopping and dining — you also receive the added bonus of personal notes and thoughts. You will learn what the places you visit are truly like and the things that make each city special. These things will make you want to return to Europe again and again.

Patricia I. Claure
Houston, Texas
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Hi Robin,

We've been pouring over the information you sent. It's overwhelming at this point, but I think it'll make more sense once we're there. You've got so many really great ideas and information!
Thank you for planning a great trip!

Priscilla, Ron & Samuel Wagner
Manhattan Beach, CA
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Dear Robin,

We had a fantastic Italian Adventure. I must say that each city and area we vistited was a surprise. We really enjoyed Podere Terreno, Roberto is a fantastic host as is Pier Francesco and Marie. We met some of the most interesting people, and we also met a couple that plan to visit us, No Kidding!!
Your Manifesto was absolutely precise as to what we wanted to experience for our first Italian visit. We will more than likely send some business your way!
We really enjoyed the Almafi Coast as well the Chianti and Emilia Romagna area. Should we return to Italy we would like a Villa for 1 week in Amalfi, as well 1 week Chianti.
Thank you Robin for making our Italian dream come true!
Kindly, Pat and Bob

Bob and Pat Bailey, Southport, North Carolina
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Hi Robin,

We had a lovely time in Italy! The whole trip went amazingly smoothly. Except for a couple of days of rain and cold (hail in Florence!), the weather was great!

Thank you so much!

Priscilla, Ron and Samuel Wagner
Manhattan Beach, CA
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In May 2003 Robin booked a three week trip for me to France, Italy and Switzerland. She booked all of my hotels for me and planned my entire itinerary of which cities I needed to visit and how many days I would be in each one. Having her plan my trip was wonderful. Everything couldn't have been more perfect. The cities that she had me visit were beautiful and each one was very interesting and full of history. This was my first trip to Europe and I absolutely loved it. She made the trip very enjoyable. It was such a relief to me to have someone else do all of the planning and booking of hotels. It took a lot of stress away from me. All the hotels that I stayed in were very quaint and unique and the staff was very friendly.

If you are considering a trip to Europe, I would highly recommend that you let Robin plan a trip for you. She has personally traveled in Europe and her knowledge of what to see and do is priceless. I absolutely loved my trip am looking forward to when I can go back again.

Sincerely,

Sue Greenhoe
Holland, Michigan
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OK - the quick hit:

Florence: Incredible of course.....spent a lot of time at the Ufizzi....totally blown away by Michelangelo's early sculptures.....
Positano: Hot again, but beautiful.....I really did enjoy trekking up and down that hill, although I have to admit that lugging my luggage up those steps the first time nearly took it out of me. The wedding was beautiful.....Lindsay wore a beautiful, traditional gown and Mike wore a tuxedo. The vows were simple, sweet and surprisingly gender neutral. I plan to use them when I marry a couple of friends in the Bay area this Saturday. After the ceremony, we were picked up by Dominic (he owns the pharmacia down near the bottom of the hill) in his black Mercedes and he took us to a look-out point overlooking the town and the bay, where a photographer took more pictures. We were right by a fruit stand and everyone was so pleased to see the bride and groom....
Monday, we went out to Pompeii, which by itself made the trip worthwhile. Stunning.
Rome: I feel in love with Rome. What a city. I hardly saw anything. Spent most of my time hanging around the Vatican - amazingly, I wandered over one morning just in time for a Papal address. What a spectacle. I couldn't have planned it better....I knew about the church's collection of antiquities, but I didn't realize its extent, or the fact that so much of it can be seen by the public.....I happened across a little bar off the Piazza Navona, which is owned by a guy from an Italian family who lived in Toronto until he was 15. Because he's bi-lingual, he does quite a trade in English-speakers, including ex-pats, so I met some interesting folks there, a large contingency of who are in television production. Lots of students too. He turned me on to a great little restaurant just a block or two away, called Francesca's. It was more of the traditional Italian family restaurant, where the tables are all jammed together so you get to know the people around you. It was great fun....
The whole thing was just incredible and I intend to return as soon as I can. I'd like to go to Positano at Christmas; they have that little creche at the big curve there, where the steps lead off to the Conca D'Ora 0 it's a stone village built in to a big rock right there, and at Christmas the down does its nativity festivities there.....seems like a great time to be in Italy.....

Don Adair
Spokane, WA

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You should DEFINITELY publish a guidebook. In fact I was surprised that your website was free because it was so thorough and informative.  I have looked at Frommers and Fodors online, and they just aren't as candid about neighborhoods to stay in and general reviews.
 
Audrey Prins
New York, NY 

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Hi Robin- We returned last week from Italy and I just wanted to thank you for planning such a wonderful trip...truly a trip of a lifetime! We fell in love with the Amalfi coast and Tuscany and hope to return again soon. The hotels were all great....but we especially loved the Marincanto in Positano....all of it was great and we are so appreciative of all of your assistance. I will certainly refer you to lots of people and contact you when we are lucky enough to again be planning a trip to Italy or France. Thanks again and take care!

Kelly Hensley
Los Angeles, CA

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Hi Robin,
 
Thanks so much for everything! I love how thorough your planning is... you have taken so much stress out of the process for me.  I can't wait to do everything you have outlined!
 
Audrey Prins
New York, New York

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Hi Robin:

Well, I'm getting crazy but not quite there yet, so thought I would drop you a line. Just wanted to thank you for all your work on our upcoming trip. As usual, you were great to work with.
We are about ready to leave here this Thursday at 9am and tomorrow is packing day, so thought I would do this now. I went over all the reservations last night and it looks as though all is correct and up to date. You do good work! A little apprehensive about flying on the 9/11 date since the media is playing it up heavy. But I am sure all will go well. Probably the safest date to fly. Thanks again for all the hard work and I will get back to you when we arrive home. Take care....Barb

Barb and Wally Enright (second trip with takeoffitaly.com)
Southport, NC

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Robin,

YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!! I CAN NOT express my appreciation for how quickly you are jumping on this (granted the amount of time that I have given you due to my procrastination). But...you seem to be doing too well of a job because ALL of these sound great!!!!!! What I will do is discuss these itineraries with my fiancé and see what really stands out to her. Once we narrow it down, we can start to get the ball rolling (the sooner the better). I believe that with your help our honeymoon is going to be nothing but FABULOUS!!!!

Please feel free to contact me at ANYTIME if you come up with new thoughts or suggestions. Thanks again for all your help Robin.

Mark Rhee
Los Angeles, CA

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Robin-

For starters, thank you SO MUCH for working it out so that Mechelle can stay. Things got a little bleak around here yesterday afternoon, but by the evening all was back to normal with us absolutely loving everything about Varenna and Lake Como.
I realized after we spoke last night that I forgot to mention that we would like to return the car to the same office we rented it from as opposed to the airport as originally planned. As it's just 2 blocks from the central station, and we plan on catching an afternoon train to Roma this seems the obvious thing to do. We would call the office ourselves, but figured with the language barrier and all that it might just be easier for you to drop them an e-mail.
Thanks again and we look forward to receiving the information on Roma and a place to stay Wednesday night in Milano.
Ciao,

A. Weeks and M. Collins
New York, NY

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Robin.....ciao!  I am back, Mechelle is still enjoying the good life.  We had an absolutely fantastic (Italians love that word) time.  Thank you for your email.  Our trip started out just a little rocky, but could not have been better after that.
 
Tuscany was hands-down our favorite place, although each city we visited was unique and amazing in its own way.  Podere was just awesome!  We loved everything about it.  Roberto was so cute and told the best anecdotes.  Dinner was fantastic....I've never had so much wine in my life.  And dessert wine!  Francesco took us to a local bar after dinner the first night that was so fun.  On the second night, they had a big roast!  I guess they only have a roast once or twice a year.  It was great.  Dessert wine and cigars by the fire after dinner....amazing!  Every night of the trip after Tuscany, at some point, we wondered what they were doing at Podere.  I am seriously considering moving there and living the simple life.  You think Marie Sylvie would adopt me?
 
Best regards,

Jennifer Barendrecht
Los Angeles, CA

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Robin:  You are a genius...and a terrific trip planner..
Here is the "note" I promised on our trip...
 
1...Orvieto....Great little hotel, with wonderful staff who always went the extra mile for us.  An elderly lady who did most everything there got the highest marks.  She also was the "manager" of the breakfast and made awesome cappuccino.  Loved the whole area, and it was a great place to relax to recover from the jet lag. 

2..Assisi....Still a really charming place to stay.  People there also helpful.  Gave us a room with no phone, and there was no hair dryer.  Manager came right up and gave us another room, which was bigger and had two wonderful windows with great views.  Food in Assisi is great.

3...Radda.....Wow.  We really enjoyed this place and did lots of side trips for the day from here.  Breakfast was really good and dinner was too.  Roberto is a good cook and Marie-Sylvie is just as nice as he is.  Loved the UNITED NATIONS feel at the dinner table.  Wine was very good and the room was lovely. All of Chianti was lovely and we traveled all over the place during our time at Roberto's. 

4..Siena....Probably my second favorite place.  Hotel Santa Caterina was wonderful and that staff also was so helpful.  They have a garden out back that is like "Secret Garden" the book. Just beautiful, and we both sat and wondered each morning over breakfast how they ever found anyone who could actually put it all together.  Flowers, greens, plants everywhere and a beautiful view.  A bus stops out front of the hotel  takes you right into the walled city.  Plus, there is a wonderful trattoria that they
recommend within walking distance of the hotel.  We were exhausted each night and went there twice.  Very local, very Tuscan. 

5..Lucca....Very nice place even tho under construction.  Room was lovely, bed comfortable.  I wasn't as fond of Lucca as Wally was.  The shops are so high end, I couldn't afford to even look!!  Yes, it is a lot more "ritzy" than the other towns we stayed in.  Prices also, were higher.  I was surprised at this.  I don't picture anything in Italy, except the cities to be so uppity. 

6...Santa Margherita......Our favorite.  Wow.  Great host and hostess, food, wine and the views over breakfast and lunch were unforgettable.  I want to go back.  The room was so cozy, rustic yes, but had such charm. Not an easy place to get to, which is why we decided to just eat there each night.  Food was better than we could have gotten in town anyway!  But the view, the stars at night, couldn't be any better than that.  I think his meals were better than Chianti and they were really good.  This Roberto has a real knack.  We went to Cinque Terre and loved it.  We have absolutely awesome pictures from everywhere!!  Took a boat over to Portofino.  Also, met a lot of nice people from the states.  I have to stop raving about this place. 

7....Florence.....The blackout made this place a bit difficult for a morning, otherwise we enjoyed it.  As I mentioned on the phone, having no phone during the night til 9am put me off a bit, but it is a pretty place and so convenient to everything.  My first trip to Italy I came home and said I wasn't as crazy about Florence as the other places, and damn I still feel that way.  Just isn't my favorite. So crowded, people aren't as friendly, high prices and confusing!  We got to the place we missed last time, Uffizi, and that was lovely. 
Rome.....My favorite of the cities.  The Due Torri was a favorite and such a nice staff.  Definetly a good find Robin.  We love Rome and seeing the Pope really was a thrill.  Great food, nice people, all in all we loved it.  The train from Florence to Rome was an experience.  We did turn in the car to the Florence airport...another experience....but the train was something.  The morning after the blackout, it was a madhouse in the station.  Crazy Italians everywhere, screaming and talking with their hands.  It was fun even tho we had no idea what we were doing.  Thank God we had purchased our tickets at the station the day before on a stand alone computer there. 

So......it was an extraordinary trip.  Our hats off to you friend. You did an unbelieveable job for us.  What a bargain.  Thanks again, Robin for a memory that will last forever.  Barb&Wally 

Barb and Wally Enright (trip #2)
Southport, NC

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Dear Robin, 

Please accept my apology for not responding sooner. I do not know where my manners went. Anyway, our holiday in Italy was just wonderful. It was memorable beyond belief. Linda and I fell in love with the country and its people, as well as its food! I will try to provide a brief summary of my comments on each locale.
Florence was a great place to start. We walked all over the city, day and night, did a lot of damage shopping, and had wonderful meals. The accommodations were a bit of a disappointment. The room was not just hot, but there was very poor air circulation. So, it did not make for a restful sleep. The young woman who handled the front desk was very polite and helpful. Her replacement was a witch, and had no interest in assisting the patrons with directions, etc. I can not recommend it, even with the low price. Your restaurant recommendations were lovely. Thank you for booking them for us. 
The drive from Florence to Tuscany was quite interesting. I turned what should have been a 1 hour drive into a 5 hour drive. I found it almost impossible to find my way out of Florence. Once I accomplished that, I found the road signage very confusing, and made several wrong turns. But, the good news is that we made it.
Borgo Argenina was perfect, as was Elena. The room was tasteful, and her decoration of the home was fabulous. Elena was very helpful in terms of recommending places to go, etc. We made a couple of trips into Siena, which we enjoyed very much. Again, we did quite a bit of shopping. The old city was interesting to say the least. We also went wine tasting several times, and visited some castles. The countryside was beautiful beyond words. 
Then, on we went to Lucca. The accommodations were superb. The hotel staff was so accommodating and helpful. The town was charming, and we wandered all through its maze of streets. You booked into a great restaurant, one of the best of the trip. 
We loved Varenna and the surrounding towns, all of which we visited. The hotel was nice, and upscale, but not as unique as either Borgo Argenina or Lucca. We took the train into Milan as well as Lecco a couple of times. We enjoyed Milan, but were glad to get back to our lake retreat. Lecco had some of the best shopping of the trip. As before, the food was terrific. We even extended our stay in Varenna an extra two days, to make it 7 days in total. We loved it. 
The drive back to the Milan airport was another experience in getting lost. It was good that we left very early, and built in time for me to find my way. We both had difficult experiences at the airport, where they were very strict about luggage weight. We both had to remove stuff from our carry-on bag, and put it in the checked luggage. All in all, the holiday was just what we needed. We definitely plan to go back, maybe next time with Linda’s children.  
Robin, I would like to thank you ever so much for your wonderful “manifesto.” It was quite helpful in planning our adventures. I also want to thank you for all the work you put into making our holiday memorable. 

Wishing you all good things, 
Barney Cohen 

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Robin,
The package arrived at 11 this morning. We're impressed! This is exactly what we were looking for.

Grazie mille,
Gary Van Savage
New Jersey

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YES! It is so great (the manifesto). You are amazing!

Thank you.
Sandi Yi
Los Angeles, CA

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Thank you very much. Your reply is our first good memory from the trip that hasn't even started. I will forward your reply to my wife...Thank you for all the help I received from your site. It was the only site I needed.

Gary Gold
Florida

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Robin - thanks so much for your help--it is making a world of difference! All the best -Carol

Carol Diggs
Catonsville, Maryland
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Robin, I am just blown away. I just received the trip-plan - you've far exceeded my expectations. Use me as a reference any time.

Jim Siegel
Catonsville, Maryland
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I just spoke with my mom and they received the manifesto. They were blown away! She's been a little apprehensive about going so far away and not being in her element. I think she now feels much more comfortable thanks to all the great info, planning and tips you gave them. I can't thank you enough!

Maria Lane
New York, New York
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Manifesto WOW! Gloria and I are speechless....you really did a lot of work in our behalf...we really don't know how we can express our appreciation...but when and if you get back to our neighborhood you must give us an opportunity to do so...

Ed and Gloria Lane
Westbury, NY

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We got the manifesto and it looks great! Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas and hard work. I have not gotten through all of it yet, but will let you know if we have any questions. We are so excited! Thank you,

Susan and Steve Rolie
Long Beach, CA
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Robin,
Just tonight Pat and I were remembering our Italy trip from last year...and drinking wine from our Gallo Nero glasses we bought in Radda in Chianti...
Thanks again for planning this wonderful trip and I hope you are doing well.

Bob and Pat Bailey

Southport, North Carolina
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Hello Robin.

We just got back and the trip was fantastic. Your work was super. We loved Titagno (sp?) - It would be worth staying the week. Rome hotel was great - and the owner treated us sweetly and they love you.

FYI - directions in Orvieto were good - but you would alleviate some concern if you indicated that it was 26 KM and that you go past the closest town - Prodo(?). just a note. It would be hard to find at night.

Thanks for everything. We really appreciated it. We also saved $105 over the ship transfers to Rome by taking the train - It was easy and super -- a cab to the train at the port cost $10 Euros.
Hope to travel again with your help.

Jim Siegel
Maryland
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Hi Robin,
Evan and I just received the Manifesto, and we love
it! It is so great. I have been over it twice
already.

Wendy Liu and Evan Cooper
Los Angeles, CA
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Thank you Robin for all of your help with our honeymoon. It was outstanding!

Tessa Lyons and Eric O'Connor
Los Angeles, CA
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Robin - Thank you for your help. Those few emails went a long way. Everyone was so nice to us. Orvieto and San Gimignano were just amazing...

Gary & Debby
Florida
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Hi Robin! The trip so far has been wonderful! every city gets better and better (hotels too!). thank you for doing such a wonderful job for us. We just arrived in positano (hotel is amazing!) and curious on how we get to capri from here...please advise. Thanks!

Sandi Yi and Eric Trimble,
Los Angeles, CA
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Your website "Take Off Italy" is wonderful.  I "copied and pasted" everything for my second trip to Italy.  Thanks for all the great information!!

Denise R. Ashworth 

Shamong, NJ
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Hi Robin! Got it (the manifesto) yesterday it's awesome! And thanks for the cookbook! I took a quick look at it and thought - hmm - lots of basic photos etc - this'll be good to give the first kid who leaves home....then I looked more closely and changed my mind. Keepin it. Way too many great looking recipes!

Kate & Ted Herman
Hastings On Hudson, New York
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Buon Giorno -

It's been awhile with a lot of obstacles along the way including the addition of two new family members - William Edward and Spencer Edward Lane - but I'm finally getting an opportunity to write and tell you how wonderful our trip to Italy was thanks primarily to your efforts.
Your guide was absolutely the center of our tour - the restaurants, hotel and transportation advice was so important - I really don't know how we would have fared without it. We saw and enjoyed so much more than our stores of energy would otherwise have allowed.
Florence was dazzling and Rome beyond words. Thank you Robin, it was wonderful.

Best Regards,
Gloria and Ed Lane
Westbury, New York
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Robin,

I got it! Wow! There’s a lot of information! I can’t wait to read it all. I plan on doing that this week. Thank you Robin!!!
To be honest, I am getting excited but also nervous…don’t really know why!?

Take care, Katrina

Katrina and Michael Tripp
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
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Hi Robin,

I just wanted to say thank-you for all the work you put into helping me/us get this trip together. Our favorite place was actually the Amalfi Coast. We got kind of lucky. A wealthy French art collector took interest in one of Evan's sister's sculptures (she's the one who lives in Rome), he purchased a sculpture and invited us down to the coast to stay a night on his boat (he was renting it for a week). After that, the hotel we had booked in Positano was nice - great view, everything. I spent my birthday dinner at the Saraceno restaurant from your list and it was great.

From there we left Positano and headed to Tuscany. Very pretty place, the wine tasting, everything was great, and went to Radda, Castillina and Greve. It was "siesta time" and much was closed - it was still neat though.

Florence was great - not enough nights - a great city! Venice was crowded. We liked all of the hotels. The room was small in Certaldo, but I really liked the turtles in the garden.

Thanks a lot - I've already recommended you to several people.

Wendy Liu
Los Angeles, CA
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Robin,

You rock!!!  Thank you so much. The manifesto is the most comprehensive travel information I have seen. I'm very impressed and Chris is extremely grateful.  Excited, busy packing, overextended (and he has to check his email from my house). He is looking forward to meeting you Tuesday nite.

Take care, travel safe,

Betsy Regan
Easton, MA
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Grazie mille for all your help and effort Robin!!!!
Derick and I are truly grateful and thankful for all your expertise! The overall presentation of our manifesto was extremely impressive to say the least. But, 'travel tips' is what has been exceptionally helpful the past couple days. I poured thru that part the minute I took it out of the fedex box...was almost late to go see clients that day...

The excitement has FINALLy kicked in!! Last night after I left my last Italian class it suddenly dawned on me right then and there that in 3 days I was leaving to go realize my dream of vacationing overseas...How cool is THAT?!!!!

Anyway, we're pretty much packed. Truly appreciate the weather info...yeah, I think Derick and I will need to pack some heavier clothing for Varenna...good to know on this end before we leave...These last couple days, we'll just be going over last minute details and adding items we may have forgotten to pack.

Thanks again
and Addio Bella!
Pamela and Derick Dimry
Castaic, CA
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Robin,

We had an incredible time in Italy. Our manifesto was so well organized. Thank you! Having everything right there in front of us made the trip that much smoother and more relaxing!

Our favorite hotel was the one in Tuscany. What a retreat! The staff was fun! And the views...breathtaking.

Our favorite meal was the Buon Ricordo restaurant in Florence! Yum! And I got a plate!!! (Actually I got a total of two, one in Venice too)!

Our favorite dining experience was with Laura at the hotel in Varenna...she was great and the food was amazing!

We struggled in Rome...we thought was were getting into a taxi and it was actually a private car....that was tough! Long story. It was very touristy and a must see, but I don't think we would ever go back. We did really enjoy the Piazza Navona and the surrounding areas.

Positano was amazing! We spent a whole day on the hotel's beach. Those steps are a killer! :) And the breakfast was fantastic! We bought some pottery there and then went on to Vietri!!! You're right!!! Pottery Alert in Vietri! We bought some items there as well.

Tuscany was picturesque!!! The food, wine, towns.....were out of this world!! We brought back some wine too.

Florence was just as I remembered it. That's where I lived seven years ago when I was in school and it has not changed. We did tons of sightseeing there...and SO worth it! My husband bought a few ties and some shirts too. He is very happy wearing them today...what great styles and colors. The only issue we had in Florence was trying to return the car. We thought it was right by, if not connected to the train station. So we drove around for about an hour looking for it, finally we had to stop at the tourist center.

Venice was beautiful!! So crowded though and it was a little tough getting our luggage over the Rialto Bridge to our hotel (by this time our bags had really filled up e.g. pottery, lemonchello, and wine).

In Lake Como it was rainy most of the time which was actually kinda nice since we were a little tired of doing the tourist thing. We went to Bellagio and Menaggio and just took our time. It was nice. We also had a chance to go up to the castle in Varenna. And I would stay in Varenna again over Bellagio. Laura called us "Tripps" every time she saw us....she's funny!

My husband had a tough time in the beginning. He works a lot so he thought it was going to be a vacation, like drinks on the beach, etc. So he had to get used to the fact that it was an "adventure" not really a "vacation". He was really out of his element which took some time getting used to. Each day brought a new experience...a good one!

Robin, thank you again!! It was a trip of a lifetime! So many wonderful memories for us...I am actually working on a scrapbook this week! :)

Katrina Tripp
Colorado
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Robin!!! I'm so sorry I haven't gotten back with you!!! I have just been terribly busy last week and this week at work...deadlines...

Anyway, we had a wonderful time! Did you get my package? I mailed it to your office. We definitely would like to go back but not for a couple years...And when we return, we'll do some things differently - We'll take more money than we had allocated for extras, we'll do the major cities as day trips - we sooo loved Varenna and Pienza--mainly because they were small towns (easy to navigate), which were more personable and so much more peaceful. For us, it was easier to relax in these places and really appreciate our surroundings. The days spent there were more of a vacation for us...I would also like to go back to Florence--I felt they had the best shopping (again, only as a daytrip). And we definitely want to go back to Varenna (same hotel, same room - the Olivedo) - it had a gorgeous view of the lake and that room was by far the most spacious of our entire trip.

We were glad to get back to the states, but again, we loved the overseas experience and I was so glad to finally take the vacation trip of my dreams. We had a lot of fun! Derick took over 1100 digital photos, plus we had two throw-away cameras. He managed to whittle the # of digitals down to 900. But that's still so many for me to go through so I'm just looking at them a category or two at a time, and getting those categories printed--bit by bit.

Well, that's it for now....I've really gotta run and get back out and pick up some ads....

Ciao-ciao! and thanks again for everything!!!

Pamela and Derick Dimry
Los Angeles, CA
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Hi Robin -

Quick note to say we had a great trip!!!!! Thanks in no small part to all of your assistance in planning :). When I get a little more time, I'll try to send more specific details on a city-by-city basis. Just wanted to say thanks again! Be in touch soon.

Tracy Kwalek and Christopher Regan
Boston, MA
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Hi there!

What a great birthday present to receive today - we're all booked and confirmed! Woo hoo! Thanks again for all of your hard work on this. I'm sure we will have numerous questions as the days go on (and we get closer to our honeymoon). It's been wonderful working with you and I'm certain that our honeymoon is going to be spectacular! We're both so excited!!!

Sallie Anne Petrucci and Paul George
Plainsboro, New Jersey
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Hello Robin,
Thanks so much for doing this. I hope that your business is a booming one -- you are obviously very committed to getting things just right for your clients. I'm already scheming about when we might be able to take advantage of your services in France! Though probably not for a long time, as we have a blended family of five children and travel is really a luxury for us -- which means we shall enjoy Sicily all the more!

Thanks again, Robin. And - enjoy your trip.

Miranda Hawkins
Oakville, Ontario, Canada 
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Hello Robin,
That's fantastic! Larry is out most of today, but he will be similarly pleased when he returns to your message. We have really enjoyed our exchanges with you and think your service has been great. Thank you so much for your careful attention.

Miranda Hawkins
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
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Hi Robin,
I, too, wanted to thank you so very much for all the terrific service. We look forward to receiving your information package, and, of course, to the trip itself. Have a wonderful holiday, if we're not in touch before then.

All the best,
Larry Hill
Oakville, Ontario, Canada  
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Hi Robin,

Thanks so very much for that fantastic information package. It arrived today.

I've just finished skimming it, excitedly, and will look it over more fully tomorrow. Miranda will be home soon and I know she'll be thrilled to see it.

We have a major snowstorm going on in Toronto today and it will get worse tomorrow. Aren't you glad you're in Texas?

Larry Hill
Ontario, Canada
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Hi Robin,

I have spent a long time reading and enjoying your site AND taking
advantage of all the valuable information you have put on-line.
Althought we can't have you plan our trip (we are retired Texas educators so we are penny - pinchers in order to travel!) I would like to send you a small check to show my appreciation for the work you have done and the knowledge I have gained by reading the very helpful information on your website.

Please let me know an address - I'd like to send you a token of $25 just to say thanks!

Warm regards,
Carol Stuard
Eastland County
Texas

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Hello Robin,

A quick note to say thanks so much for all your organizing. We are having a wonderful time in Sicily and are singing your praises everywhere -- including at the Villa Tasca, where, of course, they remember you. I am using their computer now so I will hurry off, but I just wanted to say thanks and we will send you a longer review when we get home.

Miranda Hill
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Robin, I am so looking forward to this trip and all the wonders to behold. Waited many many years and am waiting with goose bumps to get there. Thanks again for all of your help.
Sincerely,

Bev Maile
Boston, Massachusetts
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ROBIN, The package was delivered as promised and it is a work of art. I cannot believe the work you did on this trip. I was explaining it to my doctor this morning and he would like you to do his 25th anniversary in Italy for two weeks. I need your permission to put you in touch with each other. This is the most beautiful manifesto I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I love the funiculare and look forward to the ferry to Capri. Thank you again and again.

Beverly Maile and Kathy Jones
Boston, MA
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Hi Robin,
I received the package. Thank you so much.
The binder is excellent. I love it.
Thanks for your help.

Amy Pollack
Tampa, Florida
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Robin,

Got the "manifesto". We are SO excited about our trip! Spring is arrving here in DC, crocus and daffodils blooming, cherry's starting to bud, almost 60 degrees, etc...can May be too far away? Lots to review. Will get to you with questions.

Ciao,

Don & Ann Metz
Potomac, Maryland
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Dear Robin,

I was just introduced to your fabulous website by a friend, Kate Herman. While I was visiting her office, I was admiring her pictures from Italy. She told me about the wonderful vacation you planned for her family this past August. Kate couldn't rave enough about your services! I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
Janet Kelly
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Robin,

We did receive the manifesto! I've been sawmped at work and traveling and kept forgetting to email you. Thank you! We're so very excited about our honeymoon! You included so much helpful detail that it will be difficult to choose which things to do. I've read all of the content sections, but Paul's yet to do so. Thanks again!

Sallie Petrucci and Paul George
Plainsboro, New Jersey
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Robin,

Rec'd (manifesto) today. Quite impressive. Thx.

Thx again.
Don Schaffer
Roswell, Georgia
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Robin,

I received the trip information today. It looks great. I have only had time to read about Rome so far, but I am already counting the days.

Thank you!

Aimee Nosalik
Chicago, Illinois
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Robin - You're absolutely, positively the most beautiful human being. We're so indebted to you. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii. Thanks so much for everything. We've been really stressed around here and hope to be able to focus more on our trip next week. We're having a huge retirement party for Beverly tonite and I'll have a glass pinot grigio for you.

Love, kathie

P.S. You've been in my thoughts and I've been meaning to write to you but you know the scoop. My deepest sympathy on the Dude, I lost my Christmas puppy this year also.

Kathie Jones
Boston, MA
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Hello Robin,

We had a fabulous trip! Thanks so much for your guidance. This trip to Italy was one of our best vacations. The Hotel du Lac was a quaint place to stay in an amazingly beautiful area. The hotel staff made you feel welcomed, with tips, advice and friendly conversation; especially Janet who worked in the bar and Gitano at the desk. The restaurant Il Cavatappi was closed for renovations.

Podere Terreno was all you had said it was, once we were actually able to find it. We must tell you that the directions given are based on foreknowledge of the area, since the roads and small towns are not labeled. Thanks to locals we were finally successful and could write better directions for future guests. Roberto was a wonderful host and cook; our evening meals were a delight. Don is fairly certain he would not have ordered wild boar in a restaurant, but discovered it was a favorite. We were treated to the company of Elena, Pier Francesco's girlfriend, who spoke great English. We've invited them to visit when they come, perhaps in the fall, to meet with Roberto's distributor in Alexandria, VA.

The Palazzo Brunamonte in Bevagna far exceeded our expectations. We have been instructed to send a big hug to you from Carmen. She's a bundle of energy! She gave us a private tour of the Plazzo and we got the best room in the house because of your relationship with her. We've had a hard time adjusting to not having a nice gentlemen make our cappuccino for breakfast. We loved this quaint, walled city! Walking the streets we became familiar with the locals. The lady at the gelateria would fill our piccolo cup with enough that we actually shared it. Watching the old men play cards, the matrons watching the school children, seeing nuns walking the narrow streets, etc., became a routine part of our evening stroll. Don became quite adept at getting the great Mercedes in and out of the narrow streets and parking area. Another treat was the Lorto Degli Angeli. We indeed had a delicious meal in a very chic restaurant.

We especially appreciated your advice to keep driving toward the center city instead of choosing the first "P" sign that you see. We always found the best parking, often free. Your shopping tips were very helpful.

Florence is indeed a very easy city to navigate and you can walk everywhere easily. While the Hotel Dei Pucci is in an excellent location, we would have a hard time recommending it. The entry doesn't really look like it does on their web site. The nice table is missing; however, they do have a water cooler but it was out of water and/or cups on the weekend. Osteria #1 is indeed the best meal you'll have in Italy. Don ate the specialty meal of lobster and got the plate--I got to taste; yummy! I had the veal scaloppine was it was the best I've ever had. The decor in the restaurant and the service is first class. It was a memorable experience from the complimentary champagne to the complimentary sweet wine and biscotti (also the best we had in Italy). Thanks for getting the Uffizi tickets. They were completely sold out. Just to let you know so you can update your records, the Sotterraneo is no longer accepting visitors. They consider it too dangerous.

The train trip to Milan was easy and now we feel ready to tackle longer train excursions. The duomo in Milan is a must see.

Robin, thanks so much. We would not have had such a wonderful, varied experience if it wasn't for your guidance. If we can give you more information or answer any questions, please reply. We have enthusiastically recommended you to our friends.

Caio,

Ann & Don Metz
Maryland
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Dear Robin,

I received the manifesto this morning and from my quick glance, it looks amazing! I can’t wait to dive into looking at it tonight. I can’t possibly thank you enough for setting everything up for my mom and I. We are looking forward to it more and more everyday! Also, thanks for the cookbook. I’m a cooking fiend!

I’ll let you know if I have any questions!

Best regards,
Amanda Henry
Los Angeles, CA
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Robin, Cara,

Buon Giorno! We are loving discovering Italy...She is sunny and welcoming...mysterious and haunting...and everywhere - heart-stopping beauty! It takes my breath away - we are savoring our last night in Italy (Venice) and our Italian adventure has been a dream come true...molte molte grazie Robin...Our accommodations have been wonderful, as have food and wine (of course) - we are tasting and seeing everything we can. The Italian sun has blessed us everyday and the people have embraced us with their warmth. Art is everywhere...and gorgeous fragrances - lavendar, rosemary, jasmine, lemons - aahhh! More to come later - I can't thank you enough! La Dolce Vita!

Baci,

Karen Willett
Boston, Massachusetts
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Robin,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you...
Thank you for the great manifesto! I have spent a lot of time looking through it and highlighting my top priorities. I will meet with the Ross' tomorrow and we will finalize our details, YEA!.

Thanks also for making dinner reservations for our first night in all three cities. I might have to follow your lead and start collecting those plates :-).

I also went out to Magellan's travel site and ordered all the stuff I needed based on your recommendations.

Question: Do you normally convert some dollars to euros in the airport before you leave or is there a better place to do that?

Thanks again and I will let you know how wonderful our trip was when I get back in August. W

Wynelle Dunham
New Jersey
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Dear Robin,

Thank you!
I'm so excited. You have been really thorough and thoughtful and great!

All my best,
Maria Firmino-Castillo
Washington, DC
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Hi Robin,
I got the manifesto. I took a glance at it and it looks great. My son is flipping thru it excitedly - I can't get my hands on it 'cause he's monopolizing it. That's a sign that it's 'gonna' be very very useful. Question: the restaurants with the *$* sign are the less costly ones I assume (as I asked). Thanx!

Heartfelt thanx,

Maria Firmino-Castillo
Washington, DC
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Received (manifesto) this morning - and it looks GREAT! I'm going to open a bottle of good wine tonight and read through my manifesto...!!

Connie Bantz
Spokane, WA
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Robin,

Received the manifest this morning. I've taken a quick look at it and it seems to be packed with useful information.
Thanks again.

Lori McNulty
Rowayton, CT
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You are just as crazily organized as me and I love you for it! What an AWESOME manifesto! It looks just like my wedding planner book! I'm so excited. Robin, this is really great and more than I expected and how cool are you, adding a cookbook too!?!?!? I've really enjoyed working with you over the summer and appreciate all you've done. You're a wealth of priceless information and I just know my trip is going to be 1,000 times better because of you. Thank you so much! I can't wait to take this home and read it cover to cover.

Thank you for your professionalism combined with a friendly and kind demeanor. I'll miss planning with you...maybe next year I'll have to go to France! :-)

I'll email you from our trip...

Best, and thanks a million times over,

Jennifer McLean and Simon Romanski
Boston, Massachusetts
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Wow - just got the manifest. How impressive and how helpful this is going to be. One question -- on all the restaurants you suggested for Oct. 3, what do you recommend? It is my birthday on Oct. 3 and my husband wants to do something nice. In all your suggestions, which one do you think we will like the most? Doesn't necessarily need to be pricey, but fun and great food. You gave me so many to pick from, I am having trouble and need your help.

Penny Halpin
Colorado
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Robin,

Thanks so much for the book. It's beautiful. I haven't worked my way through the manifesto yet but on brief inspection it looks good.

Thanks again,

Paula Nelson
Tarrytown, NY
(third trip with www.takeoffitaly.com/www.takeofffrance.com)
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Dear Robin,

Words will never express the most wonderful trip to Italy you arranged for Kathy, Pam and me.  I have a life-long dream to relive, photos and a diary to complete the memories of a lifetime. 
Thank you so many times over.

Beverly, Pam and Kathy
Massachusetts
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Robin -
THANK YOU SO MUCH! It is fantastic! We can't wait to read every word!!!!
Thank you for the wonderful cookbook too!!

I'll be checking in as soon as we read it all this weekend.

Thanks so much,
Natalie Mitchell
Valley Village, CA
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Dear Robin,

Just wanted you to know that we had an absolutely fabulous time. Everything worked out well and am so appreciative for the directions etc. What a difference it makes having the directions and suggestions of where to go. The only hiccup (which was just a last minute change) was the drive from Certaldo to the Banfi Winery. It was much too long to drive after having a 5 1/2 hour dinner and with wine, so we got another hotel in Montalcino called Hotel Captaine (which was wonderful with fantastic views over miles of vineyards). I would recommend this hotel to anyone staying in that area. But, again, thank you again. I will be passing your cards around. You are the only way to see Italy! P.S. The Banfi dinner was the most incredible experience I have ever had. Not only the setting, but they only had 5 tables in the entire restaurant with 3 people at your table at all times. The dinner was 5-star plus with their best wines served with each course. It literally lasted 5 hours. We will be talking about this forever!

Penny Halpin
Colorado
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Robin!

I don't think that I have written since I returned from our honeymoon! How are you? I hope well.

Simon and I had an AMAZING time in Italy! Really, it was truly the best time of our lives and we can't wait to go back. Positano was our absolute fav. and I think I could live there. We may go back for our one year anniversary if the euro isn't too bad. The Marincanto was one of the best places we have ever, ever stayed! What a place! We loved it. I get the chills thinking about it!

Rome, Multipulciano, Frascati, all amazing as well. We had a BLAST. We ate, we drank, we did site-seeing, we relaxed, met about a million people, it was just incredible. We also drove like maniacs on the autostrade. It was awesome!

Your binder was the BEST. Really, it was over and above what I expected and it was an amazing help. You are so knowledgeable and it really came through in all your suggestions and tips and tricks. The driving signs were so helpful! Your service was exactly what we needed, and you took care of everything. Planning a wedding leaves no time for planning a honeymoon in Italy, but that was fine because you really took care of it all. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We posted photos! http://www.jennyandsimon.com/ Would love for you to take a look. If you care to peruse wedding photos as well, feel free. The wedding was a dream. We had the best weather for the four days we were on Cape Cod for our wedding weekend. So lucky we were.

I will continue to recommend you to anyone I know going to Italy.

Would love to hear from you!

Warm wishes,
Jenn McLean and Simon Romanski
Boston, MA
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Hi Robin!
It's been awhile, but Jerold and I wanted to thank you for planning such an wonderful trip for us! We had a GREAT time. The hotels were wonderful, food was AMAZING (you were right, I have never had such amazing food in my life) - everything was just perfect. We saw so many wonderful sights - too much to put it all into words.
I can't WAIT to go back. My Mom and Aunt want to go in June, so looks like I'll be planning to go again! :)

Anyway, just wanted to drop a note and say thank you and Happy Thanksgiviing!

Natalie Mitchell
Valley Village, CA
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Thank you for the kind wishes, Robin.

And more of the same back to you.

Miranda and I had a lovely time in Sicily, nearly a year ago, thanks to your great work on our behalf, and we were just recommending you to Miranda's parents the other day.

We'll be sure to use you again if we have the opportunity to return to Italy.

Best wishes,

Larry Hill
Ontario, Canada
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Hi Robin,
Looks like we're all set for our trip. Thank you so much for the thorough manifesto. I don't have any questions before you go on your trip - enjoy!

Also, wanted to let you know that I gave your contact info to my boss. He is planning a trip to Italy with his wife this summer and could use your help.

Best, John
Los Angeles, CA
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Hi Robin,
I apologize for not writing sooner to tell you that we received the manifesto weve been in and out but I was actually going to write you tonight. Anyway, we did receive it and are so impressed and excited! Everything looks wonderful, youve done an outstanding, efficient job, and weve been poring over it for the past hour. We are so looking forward to our trip and cant wait to share all our adventures with you. Hope you have a safe journey and well definitely touch base before we leave. Again, thanks so very much for everything.

Diane (& Ernie)
Newton, Mass
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Robin -

Just wanted to let you know that Carol and I just returned from Spain and had a GREAT trip. Thanks for your good, hard work. Here is some feedback for other travelers:

Madrid - just great - museums and Royal Palace were great. We added in the Navy museum which is by the Prado - free and very nice with short hours - 1000- 1400. The hotel Victoria4 was terrific - just off the Puerto del Sol and refurbished last year. They upgraded us to a suite.

Toledo - Hotel Cigaral (Silken chain) was 5 star but a little far from down town. We found a great local luncheon spot and had a real Spanish 3 hour lunch - with enough drinks.

Merida - Great stop. The ruins were terrific - we went to 5 sites. The hotel Melia Merida was 5 star and very nice - perfect location on the main square -- they were having a festival on the Sunday that we arrived

Zafra - Hotel Plaza Grande very nice - more that the 1 star implied. The town is not meant for more than one night. Nice convent on the main street where a invisible nuns at the convent sell cookies from behind a revolving door.

Seville - Hotel Cervantes very nice with good location (if you can find it). Cathedral , Alcazar and church with Macarena were all nice. We caught Flamenco for 12 Euros and ended up in the front row.

Ronda - what a treat. views and town were idyllic. Hotel - Reina Victoria was great - built in 1912 with absolutely great romantic balconies. Ronda is a can't miss.

Granada - we loved it. Great feel and the Alhambra was great. Hotel Saray was a real fin - great location and first class 4 star. Nice walking distance from the downtown. Had street parking available.

Chinchon - super last night town. Hotel - Condesa de Chinchon was first rate with 6 Euro parking. Their restaurant Iberia was great and they give you 10% off when you stay at the hotel. Good shopping - very nice.

We loved the trip. The weather was very nice peaking at 76. Thanks again.

Right on! I would suggest a stop in Jerez de la Frontera--the land of sherry! I have been there before and enjoyed the tours of the bodegas--sherry cellars. Jim and I got lucky with a little shop in Ronda that let us taste a few types of sherry. We bought a liter of very nice sherry for under 4 Euros. Lovely! As always, a small car is best!

Thanks, Robin, for all your great help! It was fun to talk with you before we went.... All the best, Carol


Jim and Carol
Maryland
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Robin - Just scanned this quickly- AMAZING. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!

L. Schroder
Hebron, CT
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Robin:

Well tomorrow's the day. We leave Tampa midday. Before we leave I wanted to thank you for all your help. This trip came together exactly the way I had hoped. The Manifesto is manifique. Much more detail than I expected. A great tool. I've told many other people about your services and I'm sure you'll be hearing from some of them in the future. We'll let you know how things turn out. Thanks again for all your help.

Mille grazie,

Ted & Sue Rader
Florida
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Hi Robin,

Sorry its taken so long to get this to you; it seems the few weeks since weve been back have been hectic, though with what, who knows?? Anyway, we wanted to let you know that we had a great trip and enjoyed everything tremendously. Your manifesto was a great resource and we referred to it throughout, though there was so much that we just have to go back in order to do it all! All in all, we had a fabulous trip and we cant thank you enough for your detailed and efficient planning. We would definitely recommend you (and already have) to anyone who is planning this type of independent travel and hope that we can use your expertise again in the very near future.

Thanks again,
D & E Silver
Newton, MA

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Robin,

Bill and I had a wonderful trip and I wanted to drop a quick note of thanks for your help. The itinerary document was invaluable- we'd pull out the individual pages and use for the day as opposed to lugging the whole document. For individual sites, Cimbrone was a highlight as well as the entire town of Ravello. For lodging, Marincanto was great- despite an odd concierge in the evenings, delle Torre Argentina was a fabulous location with a more than adequate room, but the height was Dionora hands down. The room, the setting, the perfect location- and Guilio! He gave us fabulous tips and was the most engaging/charming person we met on the trip. We're raving to everyone we know about Dionora! Meals- all were amazing but Le Logge del Vignola in Montepulciano was tops.
Both Bill and I fell in love with all 3 areas and will definitely be returning to Tuscany if not Rome as well. We had unrealistically high expectations which were not only met but exceeded. The sites, the people, the food and wine: all intoxicating.

Again, thank for all your help.

All the best,
Lynn

L. Schroeder
Connecticut
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Robin,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks. My parents received the manifesto and have not stopped talking about it. They are showing it to all of their friends....they have never seen any type of presentation like it before. (I have not yet seen it, but am looking forward to getting my hands on it this weekend) If you did not send some business cards in the package, please pop some in the mail...I'd be happy to pass them along to any interested parties.

Jean
7 days and counting!
Norwalk, CT
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Hi Robin,

The manifesto is wonderful! There is so much info in here that I am not sure I need to bring a heavy guidebook along on the trip. Everyone that has seen the manifesto is very impressed. I am going a little crazy trying to get everyone packed (as minimally as possible), but I am sure that if we forget anything, we can find it in Italy!

Thanks for all of your help.

Please pop some additional business cards in the mail. I have a few friends that are interested in contacting you.

I'll touch base with you when we all return.

J. DesRochers
Norwalk, CT
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Robin,

I never actually had an opportunity to tell you what an amazing time we had on our Italian Honeymoon back in May, 2005 All of the accommodations you secured for us were wonderful! Our two favorites were the Marincanto in Positano (it was like being in a dream--lush flowers, our own private beach, amazing ocean views from our room and our shower, excellent food, etc.!) and the Antico Doge in Venice.

Driving was a bit hectic at times, but primarily because of the infrequency of signage and the fact that the directions were a bit difficult to follow. But, we managed to get everywhere we needed to go. Varenna was very relaxing, especially after the long flight and the food at the Hotel Olivedo was out of this world...we took a day trip on the ferry to Bellagio and were a bit disappointed--we thought it would be more incredible than it was.

We stopped by Verona on the way to Venice and besides a good bellini and lunch, it wasn't terribly impressive. Venice was simply stunning. We wandered the canals, had some lovely meals and did a bit of shopping. Some of our best photos came from Venice--just the way the light dances off the water and the buildings makes every photo unique and beautiful.

Florence...oddly enough Florence was our least favorite place we visited. The artwork was amazing and the food was delicious (we especially recommend Trattoria Burrasca on Via Panicale which is a family run place with the wife serving and the husband cooking), but we found the city to be quite crowded with tourists and very dirty. We just didn't feel very welcomed in Florence, it was odd. Our hotel accommodations were fine, but actually locating it by car proved to be a nightmare (but thankfully laughable enough to tell our grandchildren about one day!). We did have the best gelato ever at a place just on the museum side of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge!

The Osteria del Vicario in Certaldo was lovely. Even though the town was quite a distance away from some of the other places we wanted to visit in Tuscany, it was still a nice hideaway up in the hills. We even got to witness a wedding! The "Bar" in town was great. Essentially it was a family-owned establishment that was a pastry shop in the morning, a lunch spot and pub in the afternoon and early evening, a nice spot to get an evening beverage and a gelato, and it also offered billiards! We day-tripped to Siena (don't go there on Market Day--parking is impossible), San Gimignano (we loved it there), Montalcino, and Montepulciano. San Gimignano was our favorite, I think. Driving through the hillside provided priceless views and great photo opportunities.

The trip from Tuscany to Positano took forever, but the drive along the Amalfi Coast made it all worth it. The views were breathtaking and Positano was our favorite part of the trip. We had these grandiose plans to go visit Pompeii, but they all went out the window when we realized how relaxing it was to just sit on the beach and walk around. We had an amazing dinner at Constantine's--a true family restaurant with awesome food, incredible views of the city and a really fun driver who picked us up at our hotel and drove us back. Sitting around talking with Constantine, some other tourists and the staff was a true highlight. We took the ferry over to Capri and think that if we had stayed there a few days it would have been more enjoyable. It was super-crowded during the day and we took a dreadful boat trip to the Blue Grotto which we never ended up seeing because it was so crowded. Positano is much more beautiful and friendly in our opinion.

We could have stayed in Rome for 3 more weeks and still not seen everything we wanted to see. My brother and sister-in-law had arranged a private tour guide for us while we were there and we would highly recommend the company (Land and Sea Emotions). They had used Guilio, the owner of the company (trav@intels.com), but we had Rotilio and his tour was informative, comprehensive, fun, and super enjoyable. We would not have seen half as much on foot and learned as much as we did with him in his comfy Mercedes. Hotel Lililum was nice. They were the only hotel who did anything special for our honeymoon and the champagne and fruit on arrival made our day!

We did a little shopping all over and mainly focused on things we couldn't find back in the US--pottery, jewelry, etc.

All in all, it was an amazing way to spend our 2 1/2 week honeymoon. We're so very fortunate to have been able to stay where we did, see all that we did and soak up all of the culture. Our memories will be with us forever.

Thank you for all of your work, Robin--all of your tips and the manifesto were very helpful and we have recommended your services to several colleagues and friends. We'll definitely head back to Italy in a few years and hope to visit southern Italy (and hopefully finally hit Pompeii)! We'll be in touch!

Sincerely,

S. & P. George
Plainsboro, New Jersey
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Robin,

Thank you. It has been a pleasure working with you! I've probably referred you to 10 people already.

S. O'Connell
New Bern, NC
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Hi Robin,
 
I went home and took a look at our lovely trip book that you put together - it's amazing!  My dad is so happy!  I have one final question for you - my sister and I are leaving positano on the 14th during the day for Rome.  What would you consider the best (easiest/safest) way to get to Rome?  Is it possible to go straight to Rome via train or bus or would we need to go to Naples?
 
Thanks so much!
 
L. Rao
NY, NY
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Thanks Robin!... Manifesto looks great… you’ve covered so much! (I’m right now making a 2-sidied copy of your notes to take on the trip, so I can preserve the original J )...  
Thanks Robin!... You can’t even know our excitement right now!!!!  Can’t Wait!!!
 
I’m off to buy the luggage locks and a few other little goodies for the trip!
 
K. Alltop
Massachusetts

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Thanks for all the work you've done.  I only wish you could go with us so we could meet in person.  Cindy
 
C. Trask
Riverside, CA
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Thank you so much for all your hard work!  We all greatly appreciate it!  I am getting so excited!

Thank you again,

Erin
E. Hughes
California
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Robin - Received...thanks, it is really inclusive and we really appreciate it!
 
JB Deren
Plano, TX
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Hi Robin!  We made it back (from Italy) and are still kind of decompressing from all we took in.  Thanks for all of the great planning.  I'll be sure to send you a link to some photos.  
 
L. Daggett and D. Colgan
Connecticut  
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Thank  you for everything!  We are getting very excited & can't wait to see the manifesto, the electronic one looks great.  Cindy
 
C & G Trask
Riverside, CA
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Hi, I've been crazy busy since we got back, but Natalie was correct.  The trip could not have been better because of all the prep you did for us!  We all had a great time.  Hotel Smeraldo was as Natalie said, I can give you more details if necessary, (we made a list), but basically the "vibe" there was so poor that we left.  We probably would have stayed if the staff were better, but we were so happy once we moved.  Hotel Due Torri was darling and the staff was great.
 
Driving out of Milan was a little stressful, for some reason we spent an extra hour trying to leave town!  Once we got out, it was a little easier.  We figured it out about the time we got to drop off the car!  Ha!  
 
I can't thank you enough for setting everything up.  We loved all the restaurants you reserved for us.  The hotels, connections & various transportation modes were all perfect.  
 
We had 2 great private guides, one in Venice and one in Rome.  Both were fabulous and fun.  If you want their names and #s let me know.
 
So, thanks again, you must know we are happy customers!  

Cindy, Grover, Natalie and Trey  
California
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Hi Robin,
The trip was fabulous and just about everything was perfect – we all loved Italy!  Unfortunately, we just were not comfortable in Hotel Smeraldo (unhelpful attitude of staff, smelly/somewhat rundown rooms, and extremely uncomfortable beds to name a few things), so we decided to check out after one night and go to another hotel that you suggested – Hotel Due Torri.  

Perhaps we caught the staff at Smeraldo on an off day or there was a change of management or staff since you’ve been there . . . .  Anyway, my mom can give you more details or a rundown about that.  Anyway, we loved the Hotel Due Torri – adorable, clean and the staff was very friendly and helpful.  Thanks again for all your help and guidance!

Sincerely,
Natalie
Los Angeles, CA
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I just got your Manifesto when I returned from lunch. Chances are that it the mailroom got it late on Friday and only now delivered it.

I have only thumbed through it. It looks FANTASTIC.

This morning while waiting for some software to load, I was going though a printout of your Tips web page, making notes, and emailing Amanda to make sure that she brings home things that she will need.

One thing that just popped into my mind - what about internet access in hotels or are there "Internet Cafe" type places. We are taking a small laptop to watch movies on the plane, down load our digital pictures, and if possible, check email.

Talk to you later.

Thank You, Mark

M. Kauder
Phoenix City, AL
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Robin,
 
I wanted to take a moment to let you know about our trip and experiences throughout italy.  Overall you did a wonderful job in setting the itinerary, suggesting restaurants, hotels, etc.
 
If I could do it over again I'd probably prefer to stay in Milan vs. Lake Como this time of year. Had it been the summertime, Lake Como I'm sure is a "must see".   Overall we found driving to be pretty easy (well my Dad & I anyway, the ladies tended to stress a bit), the only challenge was getting out of Milan to the autostrade towards lake como.  Maybe a slight warning would have been a good 'heads-up', but that portion maybe inevitably difficult for a first-timer.  Lets just say it brought our family closer for an hour or so (haha).  Really you just have to get used to the roads and signs and round-abouts.
 
Cinque terre was very charming and beautiful, and the bed/breakfast we stayed at had nice hosts (Giovanni & Stefania).  It was a bit more lively compared to Lake Como despite being off-season.  Backpackers and travellers like ourselves were around Cinque Terre which was nice to see after Lake Como was so dead...I compared it to the movie - The Shining - haha!
 
Venice was awesome.  I would classify that place as the "Disneyland" for tourism/travelling.  I wont go back though unless I have a romantic partner demanding it!  (Its all Florence/Rome for me).  2 full days was probably enough (especially for me, the younger single guy) and the tour guide we had was key.  Elizabeth Morelli is very knowledgeable and quite a pleasant guide. It was a great experience.  Also the hotel and owner (Tomas) was wonderful.  Overall a great experience.   OH,  and L'Osteria Santa Marina was 5-star.  Great food, drink and desserts!!! Awesome.  I have 1 additional restaurant to suggest for your future tour guides:  ALLE TESTIERE.   It is small and quaint, but hip and very very good seafood (best monkfish and razor clams around supposedly).  A bit of a splurge like Osteria SM, but well worth it.  Food in venice was the highlight for me.
 
Florence was probably my favorite.   I just need more time in Rome and that would change.  The hotel and concierge there were wonderful. Good restaurant suggestions, especially the restaurant on Via del Oro (I forget the name of the restaurant).  5-star once again.  For me Florence was easier to figure out, good art and buildings like Rome (but not quite as good just different) lots of good shopping also, and just a small version of Rome from what I experienced.
 
Rome you can't say enough.  I / we only had enough time to pack in all the sight seeing of churches, museums, the Vatican, etc.  I really want to go back and dive into the night life of Trastevere area, which seemed very cool.  WE had dinner over there one night in a restaurant suggested by the new (2nd hotel) which was awesome.  You should get the name of that restaurant from my parents.  It is  "non-touristicy" as the concierge suggetsed.   And sure enough I run into someone I know from southern California at that restaurant.  But a great recommendation regardless (in Trastevere area).   I came away with so many amazing pictures of sculptures art and buildings in Rome. What a city!!
Again thanks for your help in getting it all lined up, Italy is an amazing country!!!!  I am envious of your job!! Well the traveling part of it anyway!

Cin cin,
 
Trey
 
Riverside, CA
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Robin,
   I wanted to thank you for all of your work on this trip.  We are all really excited!  Your name has been batted around the office at SM quite a bit recently and everyone that has worked with you raves about the trips that you have planned.  I predict that you have quite a bit more business coming.  Happy holidays and Happy New Year.  

Sincerely,
Melissa
Los Angeles, CA
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Robin - this looks wonderful.  I am very excited.  Thank you for all your
work on this and for accomodating my travel schedule.

Happy holidays,
Michael
New York, New York
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Hi Robin,

I returned last night from Italy and want to thank you for your amazing manifesto.  Positano was a magical place to bring in the new year.  Everything else was equally wonderful and my only regret was not being able to join the group in Matera.  Thanks for getting me the room at the Mach2.  You’re right – the restaurant was great :-)

Happy new year.

Michael
New York, NY

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Robin - The trip was FABULOUS. I do love Italy, and I saw more of it this time. Thank you so much for the treasure of Matera. What an amazing place and one I would never have seen had it not been for you. New Year's Eve in Positano is an experience not to be missed in one's lifetime!!!!
 
Thanks -
 
R. Hughes
California
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Hi Robin,
 
This note of gratitude is very belated, but I wanted to thank you nonetheless.  We had a fantastic time in Sicily and southern Italy. The hotels were great and your manifesto with suggestions for restaurants and a legend of road signs came in very handy!  We still have tons of pictures to sort through - but I've attached a few. Once again, thanks for a wonderful vacation!  We'll be the first to recommend you should any of our friends need help planning a trip to Italy!
 
Best of luck in the new year!
L. Rao
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Hi Robin,
 
I am sorry that I have taken so long to write you about our trip.  We are all still talking about it!  It was the trip of a lifetime and hopefully not the last one.
 
All of your suggestions were right on the mark.  While the boys played golf (another story for another time) my mom, Maria and I went to Campo dei Fiori...we had a blast.  We bought beautiful fruit-saw lemons the size of melons- and bought t-shirts, of course. We watched the world go by and sipped espresso. Ernie and I came back the nite of one of the world cup soccer games and watched the game from one of the restaurants. We actually went back a few times and hit some of the food shops for our picnics.  We spent an entire day at the Vatican, from breakfast with a priest that my parents knew to the Papal Audience to touring St Peter's and the Vatican Museum.
I could have spent an entire day just watching the crowds at Piazza Navona and at the Pantheon.  Great shop for cookies and sandwiches.  We got to see many of the sights, but decided to take it slow.  
 
Driving was interesting.  I now wish that we had rented the GPS system before we left, because we did get lost a few times.  It took us a while to get used to Italian traffic signs.
 
The other towns we visited were also beautiful.  Sulmona was beautiful. We wandered around the town for an entire afternoon, stopping in the shops and buying lots of confetti candy to bring home.  There is also a small fabric store that sells dishtowels and table linens(which of course I had to buy).  We ate at  Vecchio Muro-delish!  We found the house where my grandfather lived and took lots of photos.
 
Matera was spectacular.  It poured rain almost the entire time that we were there, but we just waded our way around the old town.  We even saw a wedding reception from the balconies of our hotel.
 
Alberobello was amazing as well.  Il Poeta Contadina was indescribable.  The chef and wait staff were fantastic.  They came out and described each thing that we ordered to all of us and let me know which things Maria could or could not taste(she has food allergies).  The trulli were really something special to see.  
 
Of course nothing could be better than Positano!  The views from the Marincanto were spectacular!  We ate dinner at La Sponda in La Sirenuse the nite that Italy won the World Cup-the waiters pulled us into the kitchen to see the end of the game.  You should have seen my mother's face when all the waiters hugged and kissed her and twirled her around! I'm just sorry that I didn't get any photos of that!
 
We took day trips to Capri(we could have missed this as Postiano is much better and more beautiful in my opinion) and Pompeii-amazing, but HOT!
 
I didn't get to do much shopping and did buy a set of dishes in Positano, but they were sent back by customs as they had very high levels of lead in them.  So I guess I'll just have to go back!
 
We had a truly amazing time...one none of us will soon forget.  I think I took over 400 photos and still didn't get one of the Sunflower fields or vineyards.  We didn't eat enough gelato either!
 
None of this would have been possible without your guidance and help.  All of us thank you and hope we can do this again soon!  
 
Many Thanks!
 
Jean & Ernie DesRochers and family.
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Hey Robin - I just wanted to let you know that Jeff and I had an amazing trip!  Not a single problem (aside from occasionally getting lost in the countryside).  You sent us to some really great restaurants.  I seriously don't need to eat for the next month.

When I get a chance, I will send you are more detailed email giving you some feedback on everything.

WJ Roy

Los Angeles, CA

You are making us feel so special and I am so grateful we found you.  Looks like we made a lot of headway this week.  When we book this, we have one more to go and then obviously the itinerary can be done down the road.
 
Thanks again Robin for all the time and effort you are putting in to this.
 
C. Federici
Norwalk,CT

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You are making us feel so special and I am so grateful we found you. Looks like we made a lot of headway this week.  When we book this, we have one more to go and then obviously the itinerary can be done down the road.
 
Thanks again Robin for all the time and effort you are putting in to this.
 
C. Federici
Norwalk,CT

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Robin,

The document is fantastic!    Wow.  It will be a tremendous thing to have. Let's see...I need a pair of shoes.... :)

-Scott
Durham, NC
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WOW------ There is a lot to read. Nice job…..do you think we need to make restaurant reservations before we go. Do all places we are going have the special restaurant where you get to keep the dinner plate?My wife says thanks for the cook book…it is great.
 
We met another client of yours Saturday night…the Cafero’s from Norwalk. They are all excited too.
What do you recommend to get to the hotel from the airport when we arrive.The maps are great..now to learn how to read them. Do you have a suggestion for a small book with Italian words. I will have my blackberry with us in case we need some help from you. It will be strange to be out of our safe territory.
 
Thank you so much….more to come when we come home…..

A. Perrone
Norwalk, CT
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Thank you for all of your assistance with planning,
advice, making reservations, etc.,  Robin.  I am so
looking forward to this trip!

Gloria Colvin
Florida
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Robin,
 
Thanks so much for your assistance!  I am looking forward to the trip.
 
Lou Ann Rogers
Durham, NC
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Robin,
 
We are preparing to leave for Italy on May 10th, so HOPEFULLY this will be the last time we'll have a question for you.  We're so excited we're almost bursting at the seams.  And you are a big part of that excitement by taking a lot of the guesswork out of the trip.  We feel as though it is going to be the trip of our lives.
 
Thanks again,
 
Teri and Ed Webster
Riverside, CA
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Robin - Wow.  It (manifesto) arrived today and it is amazing and included an outstanding cookbook.  This has been a terrible day so having this as a diversion waswonderful.  Thanks Robin.

Cynthia and Lou Ann we probably should get together one time before we leave
to go over this and make sure we jive on things and have some plan for the
days. The train trip to Frienze may be a good time to all talk together if
we are not gawking out of the windows.
One question Robin-Do you have any idea how long the cooking thing is
intended to last (#hours that morning)?  If it is going to take up a lot of
time from sightseeing we may want to rethink it, or is that terribly gauche?
So--28 days  M
 
M. Kincaid
Palm Harbor, FL
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Robin

Just received the manifesto today.  Thank you.  It looks great!  

One last thing, I did some more research and found out that Steph's family is actually from Sondalo, not Sondrio.  Do you have anything up there/ suggestions for a day trip up there?  I was going to try and contact her family there, but I thought I would ask you as well.

Again the manifesto looks great.  Thank you for your insight on destinations and places to stay.  It was a big relief off my mind.  Also the cookbook looks fantastic!

Have a great week.

C. Turl

San Diego, CA

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Robin - The trip was wonderful……Everything worked out well. The guides were excellent . In fact on one of the Rome walks, there was a couple that you set up with us. The ancient civilization walk was a one on one with us. This was spectacular. Gwen did the Vatican walk and she was just amazing. Positano and the restaurants you recommended were fantastic. La Tagliatte picked us up and brought us home. We drove the coast with no problem as you said. The maps were good but the street names were so hard to find so at times you just had to follow your instincts. You never really get lost if you follow the sun. Florence and Rome were great. We bought jewelry and jackets and other things you women buy in Florence. David and Uffizi were amazing - just breathtaking.
Thank you so much for your assistance and answering my many Emails. We are thinking about Sicily next year and back to Positano or Minori with some friends. Robin , you are great.

A. Perrone,
Norwalk, CT
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Thanks Robin.  We had an amazing time in Italy
Brian and Kate
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Dear Robin,

We've received the manifesto, it is wonderful, thank you so.much.  If we should happen to decide to do something else, is it usually a problem to cancel a dinner reservation?  I think that it is my only question!

Nancy
N. Curatolo
Pleasantville, NY
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Hi Robin - Thanks for answering my many questions -  that should be it from us.  You have been the best, I've been telling everyone all about it.
 
I'll email when we get back.  I appreciate your expertise, warmth and caring, you do it all so well.
 
Take care!
 
N. Curatolo
Pleasantville, NY
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Dear Robin,
 
What an incredible trip, the towns we visited and the people we met along the way were amazing.  We all thank you so much for all your insight.  We've just gotten back, much to do, I will be in touch with a few photos soon.  Taormina and Erice were the favorites, with Villa Carlotta being the best, renovated and just gorgeous with the best attention we have ever received.  (Although the others, not one complaint!) They upgraded our "suite" and we had a private terrace that was so beautiful.  Antonio and Riccardo were so wonderful.  And the breakfast, a feast from fresh baked eggplants, caponata, fruits, frittatas, we spoke with the cook and she is incredible.  Tenute Plaia is also very, very special, an oasis.
 
Gratefully,
 
Nancy, Frank and Evan
Pleasantville, NY
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Hi Robin:

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

I did receive Jacqueline's train ticket.
 
I also received the Manifesto and I am just thrilled with it.  Thanks for all of your hard work and guidance. I am certain this manifesto is going to make our trip superb!

I also love the cook book. I will surely think of you when I use it!

Again, thanks for your guidance and patience (especially with last minute Vatican changes!).

You have been a wonderful resource, and I have recommended you to all of my friends.

Warm regards,

barb
B. Cafero
Norwalk, CT
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Hi Robin-

The manifesto is amazing. I can't believe what an incredible job you have done!  Thank you so much. This will be our "bible" while in Italy. You have made it even more than I had ever imagined and I know our honeymoon will be wonderful because of it.  Can't wait to try out the recipes in the cook book, you really do an amazing job!

Many thanks!
B. DiMartino
Malvern, NY
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Hi Robin:

Just wanted to let you know that we had the most wonderful time on our trip to Italy.  It was truly the trip of a lifetime, and we are still on a cloud.  

Thanks so much for your assistance.  All 4 of the hotels were just great.  The locations were perfect.  We especially liked Hotel Porta Faenza in Florence and Il Borro in Tuscany.  The Hotel apartment that we rented in Rome (Hotel Portoghesi) was also very nice and enough room for the 5 of us.  My parents had the rooftop suite which was lovely.  The only problem was that the elevator did not go up to the room level so they had to deal with about 13 steps to get to the room.  But they managed that alright.

We also loved your restaurant recommendations.

Everything went perfectly.  When we arrived at the airport we were very surprised and thrilled to learn that we were flying business class.  I purchased economy tickets so I still cannot figure out how that happened, but the trip started out great  and got better from there.

My son Chris said that on a scale of 1 to awesome, the trip was awesome.

Thanks so much for all your advice and help.  We will definitely go back again some day and hope you will be available to assist us again.

Let me know if you would like any more specific feedback on the hotels, tours, etc. and I will be happy to give you more info.

Thanks again!

B. Cafero
Norwalk, CT
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Hi Robin:
 
The manifesto just arrived and it is far beyond my expectations!  The details are unbelievable.  I can't wait to share it with the others.  
 
I appreciate you making the extra copies and the cookbook is wonderful!
 
Thank you for everything!
 
Carol
 
p.s. we'll stay in touch
 
C. Andreoli
Norwalk, CT
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Hi Robin,

We received the manifesto yesterday and I looked at it briefly last night
after work.  It is so well organized!  I can't wait to read through it in
detail over the weekend.

G. Barro
Torrance, CA

 

 

 


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