Trafalgar Tour - Best of Italy

May 12 - 25, 2006

Trafalgar Tours - Optionals

These are the optional tours we took. Please note that this is purely personal reason why I took it and why I might have liked or disliked the optional. Also, you’ll have to keep in mind that since we went in May, the weather might play an important role.

I40 – Introduction to Rome by Night. We visited the Piazza di Trevi, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. I suppose that this is one optional that you could do on your own, but then you will miss out on the history from the local guide. I thought that this was well worth the cost. 30 euros.

I11 – Tivoli. We took the one that didn’t include dinner. We went early morning so we were able to beat the crowds. It’s a very nice excursion, the fountains and the buildings were nice to look at. My wife like this optional better than I. Personally, this reminded me of a smaller version of Versaille, so I was a bit unimpressed. Cost 39 euros.

I76 – Dinner and Evening Tour (Rome). We visited the Spanish Steps and had a wonderful dinner with Opera entertainment. I wasn’t too sure about taking this optional, but my wife insisted and I’m glad she did. I never liked opera but this was very entertaining. Also, the food was wonderful. 52 euros.

I72 – The Amalfi Drive. At first, I was against this optional. Why would I want to sit on the bus and see the coast when I would be doing that for the entire tour? My wife insisted we go on this optional. I am glad that she again insisted. This was the best coastal drive, nothing compared to it. Plus, stopping at the Positano was great. We had fruit and took in the breath-taking views. 23 euros.

I41 – Isle of Capri – Cruise and lunch. My wife didn’t want to do this optional. At the last moment, I convinced her to change her mind. The weather was great and the cruise was wonderful. Lunch at the Best Western was great as well.

I19 – Gondola Serenade. If you’ve never been on a gondola, you have to take this optional. I didn’t read about this optional in detail and didn’t realize that we would have a singer. We were lucky in that the singer and musician was on our gondola so we had the best show. Cruising the canals was very relaxing and enjoyable. 30 euros.

I49 – Venice by Night. I would break this optional into two parts and rate them separately. The first part of this optional is the walk through Venice at night and drinks in St. Mark’s Square. This was fantastic! Normally, if you were to have drinks by yourself in the square, it’s very expensive. A glass of wine could cost around 20 euros! However, the atmosphere in the square at night was fabulous. Well worth the cost!

The second part of this optional is the cruise along the Grand Canal. There wasn’t much to see and we were separated into two boats. Our TD and 2/3 of the tour were in the first boat. We were on the second boat. The TD’s voice was transmitted over to our boat, but in all honesty, there wasn’t much to see and with the noise of the boat, it was very hard to hear anything. I didn’t particularly enjoy this part of the optional. 42 euros.

I 71 – A guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and Doges’s Palace. My wife really liked this optional. I personally, thought that I would prefer to do this on my own. The benefit of taking this optional is that you have a local tour guide to explain and you don’t have to wait in a long line to get in. However, I felt extremely rushed and didn’t get to explore the inside of the church at all. 33 euros.

I18 – Lagoon Cruise with Lunch. One of the best optional tours we took. The included lunch was FANTASTIC! Although we didn’t have too much free time, the village was wonderful to walk around and take pictures. My wife went shopping, so she only got to see what I saw through my photos. 62 euros.

I6 – Borromean Island – Isola Bella Palace Tour. We were originally signed up for this tour but decided at the last minute to cancel. We wanted to sleep in. 32 euros.

I42 – Villas of Lake Como. This was a great optional tour. The weather was very comfortable and just relaxing on the boat was very nice. This optional took most of the day. 30 euros.

I29 – Medici Evening and Sumptuous Banquet in a Renaissance Palace (Florence). As you can read above, I really like this optional for the company and entertainment. It was the most expensive optional, but I thought it was worth it. 63 euros.

I25 – Jewels of the Renaissance (Florence). The best part of this optional is seeing Michelangelo’s David, period. Well worth seeing this masterpiece. 31 euros.

I75 – Visit to San Gimignano. Everyone who went on this optional tour commented on how much they liked it. Personally, I thought it was nice, but not as nice as Assisi. 30 euros.

Final optional was the Goodbye Dinner and Pizza Party. Again, the best part of this was interacting with our tourmates and saying goodbye. I forget the cost, but well worth it.

My wife and I participated in every optional but one, the Isola Bella Palace tour. Needless to say, we were very busy and didn’t have too much free time. None of the optionals were "ordinary", so no worries there.