Trains: Easy to use. We did have one issue in Florence. Our train was delayed. The train staff was not “user friendly” unless you speak Italian. I would advise travelers to look for an Italian that speaks English. They will tell you what you need to know, and will be more helpful than the train staff.
Hotel was in an excellent location. It was within walking distance to water taxi and the rail station. It was away from the congestion of St. Marks Square, but easily accessible to all of the “hot” spots. Rooms were very clean and very quaint.
Tell all future travelers that they need to use the water taxi system for the length of their stay. It will give you unlimited access and you may also reach Lido and Murano by using these same tickets.
The morning city tour (on foot) was very nice
Venice three island tour: TOTAL TOURIST TRAP. This tour took you to a Murano glass factory, where you were shown a five minute demonstration. After the demo, you were herded to the glass shop where you were to met by pushy sales people selling glass. The other two islands were more of the same. If you want to see Murano, take the water taxi, experience the town on their own. It was our last day, and we were not able to go back. We were disappointed that we did not get to see Murano.
Hotel Bellettini: The hotel was located in great spot. Close to the dome area, and a train station. The staff was very friendly. The hotel is older, and for its two star rating, is very clean. I do not think that all of you clients would like it. It had a very “dorm” like feel. We enjoyed all of the college kids that were studying abroad.
Tour of Florence: Tour guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable. It does require a lot of standing and interest in the arts.
Florence Monday morning tour: Excellent.
Pisa: All clients that they should climb the dome to the top. Go and purchase tickets when you get there, so if there is delay in your climb time, you can go and visit other sites while you wait.
Rome: Hotel Accademia: Location was excellent. Close to numerous major attractions. It was within walking distance of the Metro that will take you to Vatican City. Beds were not very comfortable.
Full Day site seeing tour (with lunch). Morning tour of Sistine Chapel. Tour guide was excellent. Lunch was good. Afternoon tour to the Catacombs. The Catacombs were interesting.
Hotel Plaka: Nice, clean, great location. Walking distance to the Metro which will take you to the Acropolis, and the Plaka district. The hotel has an excellent view of the Acropolis at night, and is within walking distance of the ruins.
Ferry ride to Santorini: I could not begin to explain how bad this was. If I were ‘Joe the smoking camel” I might have liked it. I have never seen so much cigarette smoke in my life. I would never tell anyone to take this ferry ride unless 1) they are a smoker, or 2) they don’t mind being surrounded by clouds of chain smokers.
Delfini Villas: Hotel was excellent. Rooms are not very fancy, but the service provided by Reni and Sema were unforgettable. The view here is incredible. Hope to come back here again someday.
Ferry ride Mykonos: This was a different company, and was non smoking. Made all of the difference in the world. If you have someone that wants to go to these two islands, you can take the ferry from Athens to Mykonos, and then from Mykonos to Santorini. It is less travel time and smoke free.
Grand Hotel and Resort: Resort incredible. Accommodations: We were upgraded to a two bedroom suite, had our own pool. It was perfect way to end the trip. Even without the upgrade, this resort is spectacular. Customer service was excellent. Would definitely recommend this. It is NOT located within walking distance to Mykonos, but the taxi fare was 7 Euro, and a bus ride was 1 Euro. The bus stop is right outside the hotel.