APARTMENTS AREN'T MY THING - CAN'T I JUST STAY IN A HOTEL?
Yes, you can. We will gladly set that up for you, but hear us out, won't you? You live more like a local when you're in an apartment. You have more space, can entertain, will come and go as you please, and have a little home away from home during your stay. We will gladly put you in a hotel, though, if you know that's what you really want.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE GLUTEN FREE/PALEO/VEGAN, ETC.?
If you have a super restrictive diet, this trip probably is not for you. Here are some typical conversations Sara's had with Italians:
Sara: "I don't eat meat."
Italian: "What? Why?"
Sara: "Because of health, environment, blah, blah, blah."
Italian: "But you can eat chicken, right?"
Sara: "Uh, no."
Italian: "Yes, yes. Chicken - mangia!!"
(Incidentally, she gave up vegetarianism after her first trip to Italy)
Sara: "We can't serve alcohol to these college students. Some of them are not old enough by US law and I'm responsible for them."
Italian: "Okay, okay - no alcohol.
Sara: "Uh, I said no alcohol."
Italian: "Right! It's just beer and wine. It's fine!"
Sara: "No, it's...never mind." (shrugs and takes a giant swig of wine)
Friend: "I'd like that cooked medium, please."
Italian: "But that's terrible! You should eat it bloody."
Friend: "I don't want it raw, I want it medium."
Italian: "It won't be good that way. One time I got really sick from eating my meat too rare...but I still eat it rare."
Friend: "I really don't want it rare, okay?"
Italian: (pained look on face) "okay..."
-15 minutes later-
Friend: "I said medium! This is practically crawling off the plate!"
Italian: "Right. Medium. This is medium."
Friend: "No it's--never mind." (shrugs and takes a giant swig of wine)
As far as Italians are concerned, you best not be messin' with their food, or their wine. They'll tell you what you want to eat. Va bene?
Who the hell is the person telling these stories? Find out here.
WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?
Everything is outlined here.
WHAT ABOUT TRIP INSURANCE?
We don't offer travel insurance, but we highly recommend that you purchase it. Here are some links to get you started.
DO I NEED TO BE IN GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION? DO I REALLY HAVE TO HIKE AND RIDE HORSES?
You need to be in good enough physical condition to walk a lot (no cars are allowed in most historic centers in Italy) and climb stairs (Italy does not have the ADA). If you choose to stay in an apartment, there is a 99% chance that you'll have to climb stairs, as the ground floor is almost always retail space. As far as your luggage, don't worry. Someone will help you with it. As for the hiking and horseback riding, those are just options - but keep in mind that no matter what we plan, we don't make it so strenuous that only elite athletes could keep up. A horseback ride could be something like a lazy stroll along the beach, with some eating and drinking in the middle, followed by some more lazy strolling. We're not talking stunt double action here.
After we get a sense of what the group wants, we'll start building an itinerary. If there seems to be an even split between super active people and those who are more low-key, we'll probably split into two groups on certain days. Please note that if you're booking less than 60 days prior to any given trip, it's possible that the itinerary will already be set.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE ON THIS TRIP?
This is a boutique, hand-picked experience. Because of that, we keep groups to around 20 so that you'll get the attention to detail you expect and deserve.
CAN'T I JUST USE MY AMERICAN CELL PHONE WHILE I'M THERE?
Yes, but should an Italian (like an on-site service provider, for example) wish to call you, they will likely want to call an Italian number to avoid the euro per minute cost of talking to you. In fact, if all they have is an American number, they probably won't call it. Just a note that if you use your American phone, it is at your own cost.
WHAT ARE THE APARTMENTS LIKE?
We've taken great care to find some of Lucca's most beautiful places with all of the amenities you would expect: wi-fi, satellite TV, dishwasher, washer and so on. More info on how we pick the apartments can be found here.
WILL THIS BE A GOOD FIT FOR ME?
If you enjoy a little bit of colorful language and goofiness, come the hell on over.
If this is you around colorful language and goofiness:
well, you make the call!
More on who would most enjoy this experience right here.
WHERE IS THE CLOSEST AIRPORT?
The closest airports are in Pisa and Florence. Airport pickup/ground transportation is only included for Pisa and Florence. Pickup/transportation from other cities could be arranged with advance notice, and at an additional cost.
I HAVE A MILLION OTHER QUESTIONS KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT IN PREP FOR THIS TRIP.
We probably have most of the answers right here in this travel guide (heads up that you'll be asked to join our community to get it). Also, don't forget that a pre-trip personal consultation via phone or video chat is included in your package.
WHO ARE YOU GUYS? WHAT MAKES YOU SO QUALIFIED TO DO THIS?
Glad you asked. In a nutshell, we've been doing this for years, and for over a thousand people. Click here for the longer version.