“Our garden tour with Italian Tours was like traveling with old friends. Beautifully organised at a pace everyone could enjoy. Everything had been ‘pre tested’ by our guide and leader Luca. From the hotels, which were intimate and perfect and the local fabulous ‘ casalinga’ restaurants, to the tours of absolutely amazing gardens some of which were owned for centuries by the same family and you got to meet the fascinating people who actually owned them. It was such a special experience….. we have booked again for this year!”
Rosemarie, The Great Gardens of Italy 2016
The small group tour -‘The Road Less Travelled – Puglia Tour’, was a fabulous trip to be part of. Philippa and Luca of Italian Tours are the ‘dream’ tour leaders – relaxed, consultative, informative and expert in meeting the needs of their clients. As experienced travellers, the easy pace of the trip suited us well with enough free time to independently explore the features and food of several localities if we wished.
The itinerary of this tour to a less ’touristy’ part of Italy is varied and at times surprising – we appreciated the exemplars of the local culture through which we were guided. We loved the insights into its regional agriculture, the exploration of its ancient Greek/Roman origins, the unique local architecture, the fabulous local regional food and the time spent in the natural environment of the Gargano Peninsula.
The occasional use of local guides added to our depth of understanding of the region and the choice of interesting and well located hotels added to the quality of the tour. We highly recommend this small group tour to a region of Italy that has many surprises.
Bronlyn & Gary, The Road Less Travelled, Puglia 2016
We explored Puglia with 14 friendly like minded travellers in October 2016 guided by Luca and Philippa of Italian Tours.
Contrary to some group tours, there was no hassling, early departures, pressure to buy etc, rather on 3 days we visited fascinating farms and vineyards in different regions savouring the delicious local products over a long lunch in a beautiful setting. The UNESCO sites were stunning and Luca has a great depth of knowledge and history that he generously shares in his delightful way.
Philippa and Luca make a great team and we would love to go on all their varied destinations. The hotel selection and long stays make for a relaxing holiday with something different and interesting each day.
This company had been on our bucket list for some time and it certainly lived up to its reputation.
Merran, The Road Less Travelled, Puglia 2016
For anyone looking for an alternative to the well-known tourist beats of Italy, I can thoroughly recommend The Road Less Travelled tour of Puglia. Of the many highlights the tour offered, I particularly enjoyed the beautiful cities of Lecce and Trani, the rural trulli, and the fascinating limestone cave dwellings at Matera.
Luca’s vast knowledge of Italian history and culture added to the experience as did all the other things important for an enjoyable visit – staying in high standard accommodation, eating at restaurants specialising in the local food and wine, and travelling on comfortable transport. Finally, Philippa’s suggestions on the best places to shop were an added bonus!
Marie, The Road Less Travelled, Puglia 2016
As an octogenarian with blistered feet, it was a blessing that guide Luca was kind and patient, as well as very well-informed botanically and historically about the gardens we visited.He made very effort to accommodate our individual needs, and varied the style of restaurants at which we ate.
Highlights would have to be Guardino Torrigiani, the largest private garden in Europe, and refreshments with the Marquis, and a personal tour of not only the 400 year old hedged garden of Castello Ruspoli, but of the castle interior, whose kitchen rivals that of Monet’s at Giverney.
Joan, The Great Gardens of Italy tour 2016
Many thanks Italian Tours for two wonderful holidays. The small group sizes naturally led to adaptability, personalisation, and inclusion. The itineraries were full of interest, and Luca’s and Philippa’s seamless organisation , knowledge and commitment ensured an enlightening and entertaining experience of the best in authentic Italian culture, food and history. We greatly appreciated the many opportunities to dig down into local culinary traditions and foods particularly those sponsored within the Slow Food Movement, the privilege of many visits to private gardens, residences and regional food producers that are not on a beaten tourist path, and the expertise and insights of local guides for cultural and city experiences.
Ian & Sue, The Great Gardens of Italy, 2015 and Tastes Tour, Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta 2016
What a wonderful fortnight the “Garden Tour” was with guides Luca and Philippa. You could not ask for more……always friendly, kind, attentive and generous, sharing their deep love and knowledge of all things Italian. They were able to adapt to the vagaries of the weather and forced last minute changes to the itinerary with ease. We travelled in comfort with excellent drivers and stayed in well appointed, centrally located accommodation. The small group was able to explore more than just stupendous gardens, enjoying cultural insights as well as regional foods and wines of course! Highly recommended.
Linda & Brian, The Great Gardens of Italy tour 2015
We have visited Italy previously, once with a large group and twice independently, but Italian Tours was definitely the most enjoyable. The carefully chosen hotels, cultural visits and local food and wine experiences, combined with a small friendly group, were decidedly a bonus.
Paul, Milan and the Italian Lakes Tour 2013
The Great Gardens of Italy tour in 2013 with Italian Tours was a spectacular tour for gardeners and tourists. The itinerary and accommodation was beautifully planned to allow a small group to enjoy local Italian food and culture in style at each destination and at a civilised pace.
Carol, The Great Gardens of Italy tour 2013
Having visited Italy many times before, our small group tour with Luca and Philippa was a joy and added to our love of that country, its history, people, wine and food. They provided many experiences only possible when travelling with people very familiar with the local areas. Their smooth and unruffled organisational skills ensured we came away with even more treasured memories of a wonderful country.
Maureen & Graham, Milan and the Italian Lakes Tour 2013
The small tour groups, the flexibility if needed, personal touches and the prior bookings made by Luca and Philippa of all the museums, theatres and galleries put the joy back into travelling”
Judy, Tuscany and Umbria tour 2011