Top Tours in Italy

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Italy Ports
Capri, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, portofino, Rome, Sardinia, Sorrento, Taormina, Venice
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#1
Lenexa, KS
16 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Has anyone used Top Tours in Italy for tour in Rome? They were rec. by our TA but I haven't seen anything else about them. There are 8 of us planning on a 3 day tour after cruise. Thanks for any help...
#2
California
25 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by kssunrise
Has anyone used Top Tours in Italy for tour in Rome? They were rec. by our TA but I haven't seen anything else about them. There are 8 of us planning on a 3 day tour after cruise. Thanks for any help...
Did you end up hiring this company? let me know what your experience was.
#3
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I think you are doing good to research, you can search here, use google, tripadvisor or a host of other travel sights to see what their reputation is.

I always do my own research in combo with recommendations from any soruces to finalize on my tour operators.

Research and the internet are free resource, use them
Originally posted by kssunrise
Has anyone used Top Tours in Italy for tour in Rome? They were rec. by our TA but I haven't seen anything else about them. There are 8 of us planning on a 3 day tour after cruise. Thanks for any help...
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#4
California
25 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by chipmaster
I think you are doing good to research, you can search here, use google, tripadvisor or a host of other travel sights to see what their reputation is.

I always do my own research in combo with recommendations from any soruces to finalize on my tour operators.

Research and the internet are free resource, use them
Other than his own website, I can't find reviews on this company on tripadvisor or other company review sites.
#5
Eatonton, GA
156 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by kssunrise
Has anyone used Top Tours in Italy for tour in Rome? They were rec. by our TA but I haven't seen anything else about them. There are 8 of us planning on a 3 day tour after cruise. Thanks for any help...
We have just returned from a TA cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice over a 28 day period. When faced with the daunting task of figuring out what to see in each country, we looked at the excursions offered by the cruise line. On first glance, they looked expensive, but we weren't sure. Why they allow a comment section to rate their excursions, I will never understand. It really made me start to look elsewhere. Thankfully I found this site and started getting the names of private tour operators. We couldn't have been happier with the outcomes.

In brief, the private tour companies offered tours at about half the price as the cruise lines. They always were easy to find once disembarked, and did wait if you got stuck behind the 100+ people line for the cruise excursion, although there are methods for avoiding that. We were loaded into modern, upscale passenger vans and were able to tour in small groups of 8-15. When our group was 20, two vans and two guides were provided. Best of all, we never were asked to do a "shopping" stop, as was always the case with the cruise excursions. (apparently there are kickbacks to the cruise ship for these) Because of the small size of the group and the vans vs big buses, we were able to see much more in the time allowed. We were always delivered back to the cruise ship with plenty of time to spare. I would recommend taking a private tour over trying to do it on your own, especially if you have never been to that city before.

ROME

We took the "Best of Rome" tour with Top Day Tours. Here is their link. http://www.italytours.eu/

Oscar organized the tour for 20 participants on a very busy week in Rome just before two popes were canonized. The price of the tour included skip the line tickets to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican. We toured with two guides and had headsets so there was no problem with hearing them. Upon leaving the ship in Civitavecchia, we traveled about an hour into the city of Rome. We headed straight to the Vatican and were processed thru to the entrance to the Sistine Chapel's outer rooms. We stopped for about 10 minutes for our guide to show us a book with all of the major paintings and art work inside. I was in a hurry to get started until I realized later that once inside the Chapel, there was to be silence, and without this preparation, I would have little idea of what I was seeing. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Plus, we had walked right by the 2 hour line to get into the inside, and realized that the cruise ship passengers were in that line! After seeing the Sistine Chapel, we went into St. Peters Basilica, and saw Michelangelo's La Pieta. Amazing. The Basilica is huge, so we spent the best part of an hour there. We were never rushed.
Once leaving the Vatican, we rejoined with the other tour group and headed into ancient Rome. We were driven by the Forum and stopped by the Trevi Fountain, were we had a break for lunch on our own. Reunited, we walked thru squares and fountains until we reached the Pantheon, where we stopped for about 30 minutes. On our way out of town, we passed by the Colosseum, which was magnificent, but our time and out feet did not allow us to stop. My husband and I felt that this was the best tour of the entire cruise.
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1998 Carnival Eastern Caribbean
2010 HAL Statendam Alaska
2014 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam TA Europe
2014 Carnival Freedom Western Caribbean
2015 HAL Eurodam Copenhagen to NYC
2017 HAL Noordam Sydney to Vancouver
2017 HAL Kongingsdam Rome to Ft. Lauderdale
#6
Australia
763 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
That sounds great, stargazerceramics!

I like the fact they offer shore excursions at €99pp for shared tours! Such an inexpensive option, especially if you want to see a bit of everything!

Does anyone else have feedback on this company?
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#7
45 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...ome_Lazio.html

trip advisor information for Top Tours in Italy, Nick Solipaca, is the operator

We are looking at using them too, but I have just started researching them as well.
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#8
California
25 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by yellohj
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...ome_Lazio.html

trip advisor information for Top Tours in Italy, Nick Solipaca, is the operator

We are looking at using them too, but I have just started researching them as well.
I did not have a very good experience DEALING with Nick Solipaca. I am so glad I did not end up hiring him. I can't imagine what it would have been like if he was our tour guide and got pissed off along the way!!! I may have saved some of his emails to me.
#10
Eatonton, GA
156 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by sherribug
Stargazerceramics, when you took this tour did they pickup/dropff at the port entrance or the ship? Thank you so much for the detailed description of the tour.
Hi Sherribug,

Our memory is unclear on whether they picked us up right outside the ship or at the port gate. Sometimes HAL does not allow the private tour operators to get close to the ship and they either hike in with a sign, or you have to look for them outside a gate. You should clarify that with the tour operator if possible. In any event, we never had a problem finding the tour.

I always communicated with Oscar at Top Tours, and never had any dealings with Nick. I would not discount the company based on one person. We took tours with them in several countries and never had a problem.
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1998 Carnival Eastern Caribbean
2010 HAL Statendam Alaska
2014 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam TA Europe
2014 Carnival Freedom Western Caribbean
2015 HAL Eurodam Copenhagen to NYC
2017 HAL Noordam Sydney to Vancouver
2017 HAL Kongingsdam Rome to Ft. Lauderdale
#11
31 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
As a Brit who spends a lot of time in Italy I really don't know why anyone would want to hire a tour guide to go anywhere, the main cities of Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Naples etc are just crying out to be explored independently, if you are stuck just jump on a city sightseeing bus which always stop at the main tourist spots. Sorry if I'm not being helpful but honestly you will enjoy it more if you do it on your own.
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