Testimonials Praising our Private Tours

Madeline Schnapp, Sepastapol, California: “Our day with Laura couldn’t have been more enchanting. Captivating a modern 12-year-old preteen in history and art can be a challenge.  However, Laura kept my daughter and me interested and fascinated on our tour of Florence with her stories of the lives of Dominican monks, the death of martyred saints, the intrigues and politics of the Medici family in Renaissance Florence, and the grace and beauty of the Michelangelo scupltures in the Medici tombs. Laura’s voluminous knowledge of the history of Renaissance Florence was astonishing. As a result of our day with Laura, my daughter was so intrigued with the life of Michelangelo she promptly located a book on the life of the sculptor and has been reading it ever since. Thank you Laura for a wonderful and educational day!”

Theresa Mackey, Renton WA: “I have told all of our friends and family that if they ever travel to Italy that they must contact you for tours. You and your guides really were the reason that our trip was so wonderful.”

Stephanie Maierson, Houston, Texas: “It was absolutely the most fantastic trip I have ever taken. Tuscany was breathtaking; better than I ever expected. It is the only place that I have traveled to where my photographs don’t do the scenery justice. Our guide was delightful-knowledgeable in every aspect. The 4 days that we spent touring the area were informal and informative. We saw sights and artisans that we would have never seen on our own plus everything that a tourist would want to see in the area. We also laughed until we were hurting. I can’t wait to return to Italy. My first call will be to Custom Tours.”

Jill Leiderman, New York City: “Laura is a gem. Her love of Italy’s culture, art, history, architecture, food and people is infectious. She infused me with an immediate appreciation for the country and prompted me to crave eating, smelling, tasting, touching and seeing everything possible throughout my visit. Not only is she well-educated and willing to share her knowledge with her clients, but she also has a wealth of creative insight which encourages people to go further and farther in their travel pursuits. I only wish she’d master all the countries of the world the way she knows Italy and then take me with her on a once-in-a-lifetime global journey!”

Sallie and Mike McKetta, Austin, Texas :“Our family cannot thank you enough for our wonderful visit to Italy. We know that we got to see Italy in a way that is reserved for the lucky. We not only learned more than we could have in any masters program, but we also got to meet your friends, eat at your favorite hangouts, try new foods, consume way too much wine and feel like special friends. We miss those wonderful days of striding behind our precious guide, rounding corners to special surprises, looking up at masterpieces, stopping for gelato (too many times), enjoying our guide’s many friends who would run out of doorways to give us warm Italian greetings, and having big lunches and early bedtimes. I miss talking to you, planning and laughing…”

Michael Martino, Plymouth MN: We have returned from our trip and wanted to thank you for the part you played in making our Florence experience so special.

First, La Residenza was outstanding. Great people, great location, and comfortable. A family highlight was sitting in the rooftop garden after returning from Chianti and eating the cheese, bread and salami we had purchased while enjoying a bottle of Chianti.

Chiara was a wonderful guide through Florence. She really gave us a flavor for the city and the art. She was especially good at gauging the interest of my family and guiding to appropriate sites. She enlightened us on the history, art and sites of a city she clearly loves and is passionate about.

Riccardo was also a great choice for our family. He brought us to some amazing things in Chianti and was engaging and informative. My family and I will tell you it is the single best day we spent in Italy. I, in particular connected with Ricardo as we compared stories growing up with Italian grandparents.I thank you again for making our time in Tuscany so special.Please share with them a heartfelt thank you from the Martino’s.

Megan Flynn, Chicago IL: Vivian, I wanted to drop you a note to THANK YOU again for your efforts in coordinating a tour for my family and me while in Florence. Chiara was delightful! Our entire group really enjoyed her enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for the city. We were fortunate to see many highlights during our brief time in Florence – and we’re all very pleased and grateful for the memories.Thanks again for your efforts!

John A. Bonya, Pittsburgh PA: I’ve been meaning to write since Beverly and I got back from Italy last month.  I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my cooking lessons with Sharon Oddson.  She’s a great teacher and her daily classes were a fine learning experience. Thanks again for all your help in directing me there.

Linda Charles, Carmel CA: We are having a wonderful stay in Florence, especially yesterday’s tour with Chiara! She was super! Tomorrow off to the countryside looking forward to meeting Nicoletta in Siena on Wednesday.

Sorry I didn’t send this sooner, but we had a great time with Nicoletta! She was so fun to be with and her knowledge of Siena was fabulous. It was a super introduction for us, and our friends that have been to Siena several times loved it as well!
Thanks to Nicoletta and thanks to you!

Ron Sullivan, Cle Elum WA—I wanted to thank you for arranging our tour in Florence and let you know that we had a fantastic tour.  Please thank Chiara for an excellent tour.  Her knowledge and experience of Florence were above and beyond what we could have expected. Chiara was right on with places to explore which allowed us to really get a sense of life in Florence.