Review By Nicole S - Houston, TX - USA (August 2011)
Culture Discovery went WAY ABOVE our already high expectations! Perfect!!
After all the laughs and fun, no one was ready to say goodbye.
|Written By:||Nicole S|
|Location:||Houston - TX - USA|
|Review Source:||Trip Advisor|
|Type of Traveler:||Couple|
|Itinerary:||Soriano - Cities Lost in Time|
When we met three years ago on our first date we discovered we both have a passion for travel and meeting new people. Soon after getting engaged we started exploring wedding and honeymoon options. When we talked about Italy, the thing that was most important was an authentic experience. Neither one of us wanted to spend a week there being lost and just going to the well-known tourist spots. We wanted to be with the people of Italy and learn their way of life.
Both of us instantly fell in love with what we saw on the Culture Discovery website one Friday night. Along with the regular itineraries, they had just posted the “alumni trip” with 14 spaces open. By first thing Saturday morning, the trip was SOLD OUT. We did a little research on the web, and just like the reviews now, all were glowing. We called and talked directly with Michael and immediately had a great first impression. He took a lot of time going over what to expect on the trip. We knew it was a great fit and immediately reserved our spot.
We have both had a great deal of insider experience traveling. One selling travel worldwide for 15 years, the other as a travel writer for a magazine reviewing fantastic destinations. Our expectations were high. Now that we have finished the trip, everyone asks for the highlights – as soon as we joined the Culture Discovery Crew, it was ALL a highlight! The villa was incredibly unique (used to be a 12th century bakery, carved from stone) - very generously appointed for us to really enjoy our stay.
Between the cooking classes and special tours, it is a full itinerary – if you want it to be. When the Culture Discovery crew talks about making people feel like family, it is 100% true. They are generous in every way. When they tell you what is included, it’s included, even plenty of cold bottled water on the bus for our excursions.
We are so glad we did absolutely everything on the itinerary! We immediately noted the careful thought behind all that was scheduled and there were even incredible surprises along the way we were able to enjoy. The sites and people of Italy we were introduced to were things we never would have found on our own. All of them felt like once in a lifetime experiences that were made just for our group. However, if there are days you want to stay behind and rest or do your own thing, that is okay too – you just let them know. The cooking classes work the same way – it was very relaxed and easy. You can participate, watch, or take a break, grab a glass of wine and sit outside on a gorgeous patio and chat - you can do as you please, no pressure. The recipes were AMAZING and unique, yet easy to learn. We are actually successfully making them at home and getting rave reviews!
On the first day, everyone meets for an informal orientation and most of our group was pretty quiet during our initial meet and greet. Carol and Bill (two of our gracious hosts) giggled and said that is how it always happens - they said by dinner that night “the magic starts to happen” and by the end of the week there would be tearful goodbyes because we would not want to leave our new friends. Not sure how it happens, but they were 100% right. We all had a great time that night and the fun and friendship continued through the whole trip. After all the laughs and fun, no one was ready to say goodbye. We have already talked about going to visit people we met, and we are staying in touch.
We are telling all our friends, and actually, even random strangers who overhear us talking about the trip about Culture Discovery. The entire Culture Discovery Crew goes way beyond the extra mile in every way and we can’t wait to see them again!
|Sample Photo from this Itinerary|