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Has anyone used All Around Italy Tours


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We used All Around Italy (AAI) for our stay in Rome. We used them for pick-up from the airport, tours of the Coliseum and the Vatican, and drop off at the cruise port. Everything was perfect. Is it the cheapest way to go? Maybe not but its the most hassle free. Not only did we skip the lines we skipped all the hassle. The knowledge of the sites was incredible. I cannot say enough great things about their service. Fabrizio was so fun and informative. He took us to a great little resturaunt for lunch and even ordered for us. It was so so good! If you go to Rome you have to use All Around Italy! Trust me you will save so much time and get to see so much more of Rome!

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10 minutes ago, Dallasharley said:

We used All Around Italy (AAI) for our stay in Rome. We used them for pick-up from the airport, tours of the Coliseum and the Vatican, and drop off at the cruise port. Everything was perfect. Is it the cheapest way to go? Maybe not but its the most hassle free. Not only did we skip the lines we skipped all the hassle. The knowledge of the sites was incredible. I cannot say enough great things about their service. Fabrizio was so fun and informative. He took us to a great little resturaunt for lunch and even ordered for us. It was so so good! If you go to Rome you have to use All Around Italy! Trust me you will save so much time and get to see so much more of Rome!

 

I totally agree 100% !

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10 minutes ago, Fishing Guide said:

We have used them many times. We have used them in Rome, Naples Florence and the Amalfi coast. Fabrizio is fantastic. Best tour guide you will ever have. 

We were a group of 6, 3 generations on a Mediterranean cruise .We used AAI in Rome,Florence/Pisa.Fabrizio was our driver/ guide in Rome .He was gracious ,fun and informative.He took us for a quick lunch ,the best pizza ever...Francesco another great driver/guide took us to Pisa,Florence and for a Olive Oil Tasting in the heart of Tuscany. Guiseppe was always quick to respond to my numerous emails.I highly recommend All Around Italy for transfers or tours while in Italy.We would definitely book again with AAI on a future trip to Italy.

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6 hours ago, Buende3 said:

We were a group of 6, 3 generations on a Mediterranean cruise .We used AAI in Rome,Florence/Pisa.Fabrizio was our driver/ guide in Rome .He was gracious ,fun and informative.He took us for a quick lunch ,the best pizza ever...Francesco another great driver/guide took us to Pisa,Florence and for a Olive Oil Tasting in the heart of Tuscany. Guiseppe was always quick to respond to my numerous emails.I highly recommend All Around Italy for transfers or tours while in Italy.We would definitely book again with AAI on a future trip to Italy.


We are using them again this year in Livorno, Civitavecchia and Naples.  They don't do the Isle of Capri but apparently have a great contact there - same with Messina which we are doing this year and we're using a company they have suggested and he seems really lovely and responsive too .... 

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I used AAI a few weeks ago for a full day tour of Rome from Civitavecchia.  We had a fabulous day with Fabrizio. He was informative and funny and kept us totally entertained during our drive into Rome.  He showed us sites that aren't on most tours and got us into and out of crowded spots quickly. I did pre-buy Colesseo and Vatican tickets and he was able to work around those timed tours/stops.  I highly recommend getting a private guide (through AAI) for the Vatican if you're planning on doing that. 

 

AAI was fantastic and i would use them again in a heartbeat.

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Totally agree with all posts above.  Have used AAI many times for port stops as well as when staying in Rome for three nights, and everything was perfect.  Giuseppe and Fabrizio will have suggestions for each tour day, but you are able to let them know what you would like to see during a tour,  and they will help you plan your day.  I have also recommended AAI to many others, and everyone has been so happy and pleased, and said it was their best tour of the their trip. 

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  • 3 months later...

We used All Around Italy on a tour from Citavecchia to Orvieto. Fabrizio was fabulous. He took us everywhere we requested and explained everything. He also picked us up and dropped us off at our individual hotels. This is the 4th time we have used this company and would highly recommend them. They also picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotels.

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  • 3 weeks later...

All Around Italy is the only tour company I use when in Italy. Why? Because they are reliable, have had years of experience with cruise ship passengers, excellent knowledge of the local areas and great drivers / guides. 

Their prices are very comparable to other companies and their modern mini vans are very comfortable. All Around Italy can tailor a tour to suit your needs which is a great asset to time poor people / people on shore excursions who want to see the highlights and maybe some hidden surprises along the way … and that’s exactly what we got with this company.

All Around Italy.

https://www.allarounditaly.net/about-us/



I arranged two mini-vans seating 8 passengers at each port of call and they were there prior to disembarking and got us back to the ship with time to spare before “all aboard time”.



Our first port of call was Livorno. Today we visited 3 beautiful places in Tuscany - Siena, Monteriggioni and San Gimignano.



We drove for an hour or so through rolling hills, stunning scenery before reaching the walled city of Sienna.

  At Siena, because there were 16 of us, we had a guided tour to the main highlights of this amazing walled city where Laura provided a comprehensive overview of the city and its history. 

Really we could have spent hours here but our 1.5 hour walking tour was really sufficient to gain an understanding and appreciation of this fabulous site. I doubt we would have found our way around to all the sites in the 1 1/2 hrs we had there if we had ventured out without a guide tho' it's certainly do-able without a guide if you know where you want to go / what you want to see.



All I can say is if you have the opportunity to go to Sienna... even for just 11/2 hours ... go!!   You won’t be disappointed.



Our next stop was Monteriggioni - a very small walled town where Pilgrims used to call in here during the 13th Century to pray at the church.  There’s a small museum to the Knights Templar … here it was essentially a photo stop for about 30 minutes or so which was plenty of time to wander around, take photos and buy a few souvenirs. 



Our final stop was San Gimignano where we stopped for some 2 hours or so and each made our own arrangements for lunch. This walled city is known for the many towers the well-to-do built as a symbol of their wealth. 

The town itself is gorgeous and had lots of interesting shops and lovely places to eat and explore and like Siena, definitely well worth a visit or a longer stay.



All up the tour was around 9 hours and although long, it didn’t seem that long as Fabrizio kept us entertained throughout the drive through the beautiful countryside.






Our second port of call was Civitavecchia where our two minivans were filled up and taken to Villa d’Este - or Tivoli Gardens as it is sometimes referred to. 

I recall when we first went to Rome in 2008 having this place on my “to do” list ... and there it remained until this shore ex.

I can honestly say that everyone I spoke to was blown away by it... the scale, the symmetry, the opulence, the engineering, the architecture, the history ... the list goes on.

Villa d’Este was created by one of the sons of Lucrezia Borge... the eldest son inherited the wealth and title while other sons were found careers in the church or military for example.

In this instance, this particular son became a Pope and had much more power and influence than his brother who inherited wealth and power!!

We spent some two hours or so here with a specialist guide who also showed us some of the rooms of the “ villa” which is really a Palace. 

After our visit was completed, we drove to a small village Frascati  where we had about 30 minutes to wander through the square and the back streets, take photos etc.  It was a lovely village set in the  hills overlooking Rome ... not that we could pick out any sites of the famous sites if Rome !!

From here we drove past many villas which were most likely summer houses for those rich enough to afforded them.

After about 10-15 minutes we arrived at a local restaurant for lunch and sat down to a fabulous meal of anti pasta, pasta and dessert.  The pasta I had was Cabonara which is simply pasta, egg, pancetta ( bacon) , Parmesan cheese and pepper.  There was no cream in the sauce which many chefs tend to add ... it was made the traditional way and was excellent!  

Dessert was a “ cake” but it was what we in Australia would call a biscuit.  It had a round biscuit base with and other biscuit shaped like a donut over the top, smothered in icing sugar.  There was ether apricot or Nutella filling.  It wasn’t sweet at all but very nice. We shared a bottle of local Frascati white wine and it was very good.

From here we headed back to the port very happy with our visit to the Villa d’Este and our beautiful lunch.




Naples shore ex.



We had an ambitious day of touring here - Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and the Herculaneum so time was of the essence !!

Once on our way we passed through Naples ... not the prettiest of cities in Italy but certainly well located with great water views ... not to mention views to Vesuvius !!

With Vesuvius on our left and the Isle of Capri on our right we had the best of views as we motored towards Sorrento.

We stopped at a vantage point overlooking Sorrento to take photos of the view ... Vesuvius could no longer be seen however Capri was hiding behind our scenic vista of Sorrento.

Soon enough, we wound our way through narrow streets, past small groves of olive trees growing on sloping land with nets strung underneath to catch the fruit.... on our way to Positano.

We passed by houses built high on the hills and down the slopes to the seas... fantastic views but I wouldn’t want to move furniture into a house under those conditions !!

We had a short visit in Positano ... in part due to the delay (we were late getting clearance from authorities etc) in starting but also because we had a few places to see.

Positano is beautiful and no doubt very expensive.  We enjoyed a cup of coffee and two tiny cannoli... one with pistachio and the other was “ casata”.

From Positano we drove the beautiful Amalfi Coast road to the town of Amalfi ... the only place Princess can park their coaches ... apart from Sorrento.

We had an hour here so we could eat lunch and shop - we did both … it had been some 11 years since we were here and we enjoyed our visit more this time because we had a little more time here than allowed on our Princess tour in 2008. We shopped a little, ate a slice of pizza, took lots of photos and explored beyond the piazza / square.



Our next stop was Ravello set high in the hills overlooking the Amalfi Coast …We walked through the tunnel and into the town proper.  We were surprised to see a few kittens and several cats ... most were hanging out at the feet of diners in the outdoor cafe. 


Ravello is a lovely quiet escape for those who may work on the coast... very peaceful, not crowded or busy and not noisy either. I’m glad we made it there !!

From here we drove over winding mountain roads back towards Naples and our last stop, the Herculaneum. 

The views were great and the urban spread of towns at the base of Vesuvius was huge!

Our last stop of the day was Herculaneum at Naples.

Herculaneum was a town by the seaside not far from Pompeii.  Although only 5 of the estimated 20 hectares have been uncovered, archeologists have determined that it had a large population of about 5,000 people and many wealthy people lived here.

Herculaneum was discovered under some 15 metres of lava about 150-200 years ago (if I correctly recall what our guide said).

Because the ancient city was covered in so much lava, the city of Naples as we know it today was eventually built over Herculaneum although they didn’t know it some centuries later.

Apart from 3/4 of Herculaneum not being excavated today and a much smaller site than Pompeii, the difference between the two sites is that ash suffocated the population of Pompeii while heat killed the people of Herculaneum.

There is evidence that people sheltered undercover waiting to escape on boats however they could not escape the intense heat. Sadly, they lost their lives huddled together ... it was a very sad sight.

Unfortunately like many historic places, once Herculaneum was discovered, thieves tunnelled into the site taking jewellery and things they considered of value... unfortunately they destroyed many marble sculptures ..  they simply did not see the value in those items.

However what remains is quite amazing.  

Streets with wealthy people’s houses which would have been amazing ... imagine walking into a large room with a sunken marble water feature (water collected through an “ atrium” with a “hole” in the roof) and perhaps a marble statue immediately behind the marbled water feature.

The walls would be painted with colours of reds, blues, ochre colours ... some walls may have been tiled with marble of different colours.

There would be several rooms off the main entry area including a very small kitchen and toilet in the same room!

Some houses we saw had original mosaic tiles on the floors.  All had pipes to collect or carry water and those pipes were hidden in walls.

The towns sewage system linked up houses and the sewage pipes ran down hill ... possibly to the sea? I don’t know...

Some 2,000 years ago people bathed publicly in specially built bathing houses.  We entered one where there was a space for a sauna like experience... the roof was curved and grooved so when steam rose, the water droplets rain down the grooves and to either side of the room rather than droplets falling on the people ... so clever !

We saw a number of restaurants with large pots bedded into a marble bench.  At first we thought they were public toilets however we learned that only wealthy house owners had kitchens but they were small in comparison with these restaurants.

The restaurants ... of which there were at least 3 that we saw, also had painted frescoes with some paintings symbolising “ good luck” ... in fact it was a phalic drawing that was said to be a good luck symbol! 

Streets did not have sign posted names but rather symbols so that people could recognise where they were.

Perhaps the most amazing place we saw was  an Auditorium where some of the frescoes were really well preserved... it must have been stunning in its day.

We had some 2 hours with a specialist guide at Herculaneum and easily could have spent more time… surprisingly it was not crowded at all … perhaps because we went later in the afternoon.

From here we went back to the ship ... traffic was building up but we made it back in plenty of time, some 9 hours after disembarking the ship. Another great shore excursion from All Around Italy done and dusted !!

Bucket list items such as the Villa d'Este, Siena and the Herculaneum ticked ... I'd be happy to revisit them again !!

 
 

 

Edited by dougo in oz
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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone done a private Rome/Colosseum tour recently with AAI?  We seem to be having a hard time communicating.  I currently  have them booked for a private tour.  So we are paying xxx $ dollars for the tour.   As I understood, that is the price for to have someone drive us where we want to go (we're veering from the standard Colosseum/Vatican tours).  We want to do the underground/upper level tour of the colosseum which I understand you can only do through the Colosseum guides, which is fine.  So I will get the tickets for that when they become available.  But in the latest email from AAI, he states that when we first arrive at the Colosseum we will do the ground level tour with AAI guide for $xxx.  I said no, that's ok, we don't need a guided tour of the ground level, we'll just wander on our own until time for our guided Underground/Upper level, and he replied that we have to use their (AAIs) guide for a tour of the ground level.  Is that correct? I don't WANT a guided tour of the ground level.

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4 hours ago, lamb616 said:

Has anyone done a private Rome/Colosseum tour recently with AAI?  We seem to be having a hard time communicating.  I currently  have them booked for a private tour.  So we are paying xxx $ dollars for the tour.   As I understood, that is the price for to have someone drive us where we want to go (we're veering from the standard Colosseum/Vatican tours).  We want to do the underground/upper level tour of the colosseum which I understand you can only do through the Colosseum guides, which is fine.  So I will get the tickets for that when they become available.  But in the latest email from AAI, he states that when we first arrive at the Colosseum we will do the ground level tour with AAI guide for $xxx.  I said no, that's ok, we don't need a guided tour of the ground level, we'll just wander on our own until time for our guided Underground/Upper level, and he replied that we have to use their (AAIs) guide for a tour of the ground level.  Is that correct? I don't WANT a guided tour of the ground level.

 

Sorry I do not have any recent information....and I am not quite sure what you mean by ground level tour of the Coloseum or Vatican,  however I do seem to recall that we were advised (and had one) that a Vatican tour had to be guided.   I would be surprised if Fabrizio (owner) would do anything or suggest anything that was not on the up and up....as he was and seems to still be one of the most honest people we have had the pleasure to deal with.  From  recent comments on here I assume that to still be true.  Maybe there are some miscommunications as to what exactly you are wanting to do.  We were able to roam the outside grounds freely after our guided tour of the Vatican as I recall....but not inside.  I can not recall what we did exactly at the Coloseum but seem to recall we elected to have an escort there also.  (don't quote me on that one....)

 

Sorry I can not be of a lot of help.....

Good luck, and enjoy your stay in Rome..... Fabrizio and staff will surely give you a memorable tour once you figure out what is to be done.

Edited by Buck1949
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We have used them numerous times when in Italy. Fabrizio is by far the best guide we have ever had. From what I remember on our last tour to the Coliseum we had to have a guide and his partner was our guide and was fantastic with both the history and how things looked and worked then. We went to all levels and then to a restaurant for a fantastic lunch. We had to buy our tickets ahead of time for a certain time window. Also his partner is a baseball fanatic and I sent him Houston Astros jersey and hat from  the 2017 World Series  

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44 minutes ago, Buck1949 said:

 

Sorry I do not have any recent information....and I am not quite sure what you mean by ground level tour of the Coloseum or Vatican,  however I do seem to recall that we were advised (and had one) that a Vatican tour had to be guided.   I would be s

 

Anyone can buy a ticket and go into the colosseum....i think it's just the ground level that you have access to.  If you want to see the underground and the upper levels, you have to do a special guided tour.   But between the colosseum website and the emails with AAI, I'm having a hard time understanding how it works.  I think I will start a separate thread on the underground colosseum tour so maybe I can understand it better.

 

Thanks

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1 hour ago, lamb616 said:

 

Anyone can buy a ticket and go into the colosseum....i think it's just the ground level that you have access to.  If you want to see the underground and the upper levels, you have to do a special guided tour.   But between the colosseum website and the emails with AAI, I'm having a hard time understanding how it works.  I think I will start a separate thread on the underground colosseum tour so maybe I can understand it better.

 

Thanks

Ah.... ok.... in both places we elected to tour the entire area (as much as possible) so the ground level by itself, was never considered.  Good luck, hope you get it figured out.

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