Trafalgar’s “Flavours of Italy” Tour  » Travel  »
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  • It was a dream trip for me not only because the itinerary sounded divine, but because of the cost as well
  • Now I know the significance and importance of the Colosseum, and that’s why its appearance was disappointing
  • I found it really odd that Trafalgar wasted one of our days to go shopping on a Sunday, when most of the stores in Europe are closed
  • I thought it was tall and awe-inspiring, but unfortunate that we couldn’t take pictures
  • I’d recommend anyone go to Italy on their own before going on this trip

    • by anettgen
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      Many people who haven’t visited Italy themselves like to quip assumptions like: “Never a bad meal in Italy” or “That must be one of the top countries in the world to travel to”. I’m here to tell you that for me, Italy – at least the particular trip I went on – was disappointing.

      In May and June of 2009, my husband and I finally got to go on what I considered my “dream” trip for a long time, Trafalgar’s 11-day “Flavours of Italy” tour. It was a dream trip for me not only because the itinerary sounded divine, but because of the cost as well. This particular tour was the equivalent in price to two of our normal vacations, so we set out expecting to get our money’s worth.

      The first full day (listed as ahem, Day 3 on the tour), we did a quickie tour of Rome that included the Colosseum. The Colosseum is one of the big reasons I came to Italy, but surprisingly, it turned out to be mainly a pile of dirty ruins quite similar to others I had seen before in Europe not the


      glossy, white postcard image of my youth. Now I know the significance and importance of the Colosseum, and that’s why its appearance was disappointing. This stint to the landmark (combined with how graffitied and gross Rome is) was the first tip-off that the trip was looking lackluster, but I tried to brush it off and give the remaining days the benefit of the doubt.

      The next activities consisted of a drive to the small, barren town of Greve and a series of what I felt were uninspiring tours through tiny wine factories. I found it really odd that Trafalgar wasted one of our days to go shopping on a Sunday, when most of the stores in Europe are closed.

      Another day our group all shuffled to a local market where we were supposed to pick up items to cook our own meal with. I was looking forward to this day when I read about it, but it turned out to be a very slow and useless process. Our given guide wasn’t very attentive to the group, so my husband and I ended up wandering off looking at dead chicken ...


      • heads.

        When we went to the restaurant to prepare the few items the guide had gathered, I became so grossed out by the display that ensued that I barely ate anything. The owners had all thirty of us chopping tomatoes with unwashed hands, when we had just come from a market of decaying meats. I could have gotten past that, but then the head chef – who kept touching his face and running his fingers through his hair very obviously - proceeded to handle the tomatoes with his bare hands. I got it on video so I could laugh about it later, but at the time I couldn’t believe we were expected to consume things under those standards.

        A good part of the trip is when we went to Florence to see the actual David by Michelangelo live. I thought it was tall and awe-inspiring, but unfortunate that we couldn’t take pictures. Going to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa was okay too, but kind of like Stonehenge in that it’s so hyped up that it’s less impressive in person.

        San Gimignano was a side tour that we took, and

        it turned out to be better than most of our included tour. We toured some torture museums there and perused a lot of neat shops, but weren’t given nearly enough time to enjoy it all at these medieval towers.

        When we went to Venice we were given too much time with nothing to do, but I will say the gondola ride is the one thing that really lived up to my expectations in terms of what I thought Italy would be like. My husband and I were forced to sit across from each other because another, older couple snubbed the “love seat”, which I was annoyed by, but fortunately that did not detract from the magical experience too much. Our friendly tour guide put us on the boat that had the music at least, which was nice.

        All in all, this trip was about painfully long dinners of subpar food (American “Italian food” is way better) and an excess of historical talk in lieu of actually doing things. Definitely not worth the almost $10,000 we ended up paying. I’d recommend anyone go to Italy on their own before going on this trip.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in October, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 38810862310531/k2311a108/10.8.09
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