Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

As we sit alone on chaise lounges after swimming at the indoor pool at our final hotel (we already lounged at their private beach in total solitude), we are looking out at a cloudless sky and the beautiful blue waters of the Tyrrhenian sea. We have been treated like royalty for 10 days, with wonderful drivers and incredible guides giving us the experience of a lifetime. Although we still enjoy planning our trips sometimes, there is something to be said for having everything done for you by a first-class tour agency. Spoiled? Just a bit!

Andrea’s team planned our 50th wedding anniversary trip to Italy with ease and professionalism. After speaking with Andrea via zoom, she planned a wonderful 10 days to Florence, Tuscany and Cinque Terre for our celebration. She recommended hotels, tours, and restaurants for us to decide upon as well as guides and drivers to take us around. Stefano and Alessandra followed up with us before and during the trip, making us feel like we were always being taken care of behind the scenes. We wouldn’t change a thing and only wish we had extended the trip a little longer! We loved all the hotels, which were in perfect locations, had wonderful breakfasts and were planned in the perfect order of the trip. The guides were outstanding, especially Chiara (Florence) and Andrea (Cinque Terre). The drivers were also outstanding, especially Mauro (beginning of the trip) and Gianni (towards the end of the trip). The food, the people, and of course the scenery was amazing and we can’t wait to return to Italy again.

Finding Andrea and her agency through The WOW List was easy and we would absolutely do it again in the future. Thank you everyone for our trip of a lifetime as we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary!

Outstanding 12-day trip to the Italian Riviera. Wanted to go to Italy, started with Lake Como and Andrea Grisdale was so patient with me listening to what I was looking for and helping me design the ideal trip. Never even went to Lake Como! Outstanding day in Milan getting to see The Last Supper when it opened with a driver who waited for us, then on to Serravalle outlet for great shopping before arriving in Santa Margherita.

Yacht tour of the coastline cancelled and refunded with one phone call when weather forecast looked rough. So easy. Great food tour with Guido in Ravello, amazing drivers, spectacular day with guide in Cinque Terre and loved Sorrento with yacht day in Capri. Amazing hotels chosen by Andrea. The BEST was our day in Pompei and climbing Vesuvius in a rain storm with guide Carmine. Storm front came in suddenly and somehow he found us a ride down the mountain…literally the only car on the mountain! What is that worth? I would have bought a car! I felt like every day we were being watched from a distance by Andrea’s office to make sure we were safe and on schedule. We felt so well taken care of and every time I called Marianne in the office to confirm something, she picked up the phone on the first ring. Best guides, best drivers and always on time. What is that worth?

Travelers Dan Gorbett and husband Mike Wellner on a private yacht exploring the Amalfi Coast with Positano in the background, Italy.

Dan Gorbett and husband Mike Wellner exploring the Amalfi Coast (that’s Positano in background) via private yacht.

We highly recommend utilizing Andrea Grisdale and her team for your Italian vacation. My husband and I toured Italy March 16th-March 31st. We started in Rome, then went onto the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Venice, Lake Como and finally flew out of Milan.

I really felt they designed the trip based on the criteria we gave them! The true gem of this experience was the local guides. Julia, our guide in Rome, was truly unbelievable. She took us on three different days of tours and I really felt like we experienced so much in a relatively short amount of time! We had similar experiences in every city to which we traveled. The tour guides were all local and were passionate about their cities. We had an art historian show us around Florence, and our guide who took us to the Murano glass-blowing factories in Venice was part of one of the families of artisans who have been doing glass blowing for hundreds of years.

Another highlight of the trip was the yacht day in Amalfi. They arranged for us to go down the coast to Capri and then our boat captain and first mate told us about the different aspects of the coast and the people who lived there while enjoying the sun and the water. In each different area the guides were able to give us recommendations of small “mom and pop”-type restaurants with truly amazing food. As expected on an Italian vacation, we had the best food and drinks of our lives.

The team provided us with an app that had detailed day-by-day instructions including meeting points and times. Our train tickets were all in the app and there was always someone to meet us at the train stations. The days were never over-planned. There was always time to slow down and enjoy the cities and the meals.

One particularly impressive action by the team was related to our trip home. Our flight home was changed at the last minute and the concierge from the company was able to adjust our morning driver from Lake Como to the Milan airport, and we were picked up at 5 AM on Easter Sunday!

We felt like we truly experienced a huge amount of Italy without feeling like we were always rushing from place to place. Their choices of guides, hotels, and experiences were phenomenal and we would absolutely use them for another Italian vacation!

This is our third trip to Italy with Andrea and her wonderful team. We approached Andrea with our “last-minute” travel urge of late September: We wanted to immediately fly to Italy for almost a month, during the peak season of October! We desired to revisit many of our favorite places in Rome, Siena, Florence and Venice. Andrea, Stefano and team delivered an amazing experience.

Obtaining bookings at top hotels during October was a challenge. In Rome, the Hassler and Eden were not available. Stefano suggested the Hotel Splendide Royal, which was fantastic. Moreover, we received a wonderful room upgrade, due to Andrea’s relation with the property. Likewise, our usual Florence hotels had been booked for months. Stefano suggested the Portroit Hotel, which again was a wonderful choice. As in Rome, we received an amazing Balcony upgrade, due to Stefano’s relation with the property! This special Balcony Suite would be highly recommended, since we were able to watch the Florence sunsets over the river each night. Spectacular!

Although we had an outline of places we wished to visit in each city, we did book a number of experiences, which were tailored to our interests in art, architecture and design. In Rome, we greatly enjoyed our private visit to the Galleria Colonna, recommended by Andrea and Stefano. Likewise, we enjoyed our private recommended visit in Venice to Palazzo Pisani Moretta.

In Venice, we stayed at our favorite hotel, The Gritti Palace. Andrea was able to book our requested room, with a balcony overlooking the Canal. Once again, not an easy last-minute booking at peak tourist time in Venice.

Generally, we judge our travel agents on how “problems” are handled during a trip. We are seasoned travelers, so we understand many issues will arise on our journey. However, this trip was like “clockwork,” without any issues. The itinerary was carried out with precision, as professionally and beautifully planned by Andrea, Stefano and their team.

Many thanks for the memories which are now part of our lives.

The WOW List: Best Local Travel Fixers Worldwide

by Wendy Perrin | January 30, 2024

How to Get an Extraordinary Trip: Wendy’s WOW Approach

by Wendy Perrin | January 1, 2023

Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!

by WendyPerrin.com | January 1, 2023

Where and When to Travel in 2024

by WendyPerrin.com | January 31, 2024

How to Get More For Your Miles and Points in 2023

by WendyPerrin.com | January 31, 2023

10 Top Dream Trips for 2023

by Brook Wilkinson | February 1, 2023

Our Latest Newsletters