If you've just returned from a tour we'd love to hear from you.
Bologna, Parma & Ravenna Tour
My wife and I have just returned from the tour of Bologna, Parma and Ravenna which we enjoyed very much.
We should like to thank our excellent tour manager, Geraldine. She was professional, helpful, attentive and efficient throughout.She was unfailingly pleasant and good-humoured.
A first rate tour manager makes a real difference !
Review by Peter Bennett on 21 October 2016
We have just returned from our tour of Bologna, Parma and Ravenna and were totally delighted with everything as usual. Your people go to much trouble to ensure everyone has an amazing experience. We cannot speak highly enough of Geraldine, she is kind, thoughtful and so helpful. Nothing is too much trouble for her and she always goes just that bit further to make sure we are all enjoying ourselves. All your tour guides are brilliant but she is one of the best. Mind you Richard in France is someone very special, one of a kind and so much knowledge.
The hotel was fantastic, well situated, great staff and loved the breakfast! What a superb place to holiday, all that history and culture, so pleased we decided to visit that part of Italy. Your standards and organisation are really excellent, we loved the ‘whispers’, what a great idea, and we can see no reason to ever use a different company. We’ll never forget the trouble you went to last year in Paris when the Eurostar was cancelled and you were so good in finding a hotel for the night and booking tickets for the next morning, This is the sort of thing people remember and why using your company is so enjoyable and takes all the stress from travelling.
Review by Graeme and Chris Yeates on 7 October 2016
My wife and I have just returned from the Bologna/Parma/Ravenna tour and we have to say it fulfilled our every expectation. Geraldine, our tour manager, was an extremely efficient manager and guided is through the 5 days with humour and courtesy - your guides at Parma and Ravenna were also top class and gave us the flavour of these very beautiful cities.
All in all, a very informative and memorable visit to 3 Italian cities all with their unique character.
PS .Your telephone contacts weren’t bad either
Review by John & Judith Bonser on 7 October 2016
We would like to congratulate Riviera Travel, so few things in life match up to expectations, but this trip to Bologna certainly did. Starting with Geraldine, who so beautifully organised us so we didn’t even notice, and continued a reassuring presence throughout our stay, through to all the excellent guides who “whispered” words of wisdom and knowledge in our ears. Of course the architecture, food and wine were sublime, but Riviera made it a true travel experience .
Review by Maggie Welberry on 29 September 2016
This wonderful tour of Bologna, Parma & Ravenna featured the delicious Melanie & Luciana, sharing their knowledge in abundance with such great humour. Riviera Guide Geraldine with her efficient timing, skills and expertise reminds us why we choose an organised tour. History came alive, the culture better understood and many Italian traditions appreciated. Andiamo.
Review by Graham Clark on 26 September 2016
A wonderful time in Bologna in the very capable hands of Geraldine - a tour manager par excellence. This trip can only be a taster of Emilia Romagna in the 5 days but what a taster! The tour was so well organised that we didn’t waste a minute and yet none of the trips seemed rushed. The tour guides were excellent, as was the hotel and the coach drivers. Lovely to have the freedom to go out for evening meals in La Grassa. Many thanks Riviera
Review by Judith Middlemiss on 21 September 2016
What a great tour! Just super. Bologna is a wonderful city, well worth a return visit. Riviera have done it again! And thanks to Geraldine for being such a good tour manager. Very professional but also very friendly. Just ordered the brochures for next year.
Review by Malcolm Rudrum (for the Netley Gang) on 15 September 2016
Excellent visit, loved Bologna, and the two visits to Parma and Ravenna were very enjoyable, with very memorable local guides!!
Geraldine our tour manager catered for our every need in an efficient and pleasant fashion, first class.
Review by Janet and Peter Dawkins on 7 September 2016
This note is to say how much I enjoyed my recent trip. Bologna, Parma and Ravenna are fascinating cities. I also wish to mention the role played by your local rep Antonia. She was efficient, knowledgable, friendly, and elegant. I hope you appreciate what an asset she is.
Review by John Roach on 25 August 2016
Having just returned from our Italy trip, once again we would like to say thank you for lovely holiday. Everything about the trip was perfect,flight,great hotel,perfect guide, Antonia, great excursions with excellent guides.We must mention the amazing guide in Ravenna, Lucianna, what a character, never to be forgotten. As we don’t have a brochure for 2016, could you please send us one.
Review by Michael Hubbard on 25 August 2016
Returned from our trip to Bologna a week ago and still enjoying the memories and sights.
The tour was brilliant and well worth going on; tour manager Frances was an absolute delight, real fun to be with and full of useful information about the country, its people and customs. The guides in Bologna, Parma and Ravenna were excellent and very informative, with many useful and amusing details. My wife and I can recommend this holiday.
Review by Stephen Westcott on 25 August 2016
Thank you for an excellent holiday which was enlightening and enjoyable. The guides were superb, very knowledgeable and amusing!
The hotel was very satisfactory with excellent service and breakfast.
Frances was fantastico and could have not been more helpful or have done anymore to enhance the experience.
We very much look forward to our next break with you in Rome in November.
Again many thanks to everyone at Riviera for great service through out.
Review by Anne & Kendrick Jackson. on 25 August 2016
Another well planned, well guided, interesting and informative trip with Riviera. Bev Lewis our guide super, just the right balance of help, info, efficiency and fun. 3 city guides, all different styles but again full of info, and the local touch. Base hotel in Parma in just the most convenient spot. Bev came into her own on departure at Marco Polo airport, being redeveloped, and chaos. She managed to get us checked in in advance of a massive crowd of hundreds checking in a line that would have been more than an hour’s wait. Thank goodness.
Review by Wendy Hubbard on 6 August 2016
One word to describe the holiday: first class, from the super hotel to Bev, the tour manager. Our friendly group bonded superbly and Bev’s recommendations for sights and eating places were spot on. The tour guides were a cross between Brian Sewell and Margaret Rutherford, but every site was brought to life with their humour and great knowledge. You won’t regret going on this tour for culture and cuisine! The restaurants will appeal to most tastes, but don’t expect too much spaghetti bolognese!
Review by HENRY PAULINSKI on 24 July 2016
We chose this tour carefully, having never been on a package trip before. We had an excellent trip, guided by Geraldine. Care and attention to detail along with a good sense of humour made her the perfect “hostess”. The main reason for us taking this tour was to satisfy my wish to see the wonderful mosaics in Ravenna. The surprise element was in the discovery of Bologna and Pisa, both interesting and cultural centres. From the Guides to the Drivers, everyone was very professional and fun.
Review by Jeannette lea on 4 June 2016
A very busy three and a half days, but everything went very smoothly and we enjoyed it hugely.
Plenty to do and eat in Bologna, and Ravenna was a treat. Glad to see Geraldine receiving well deserved compliments, she was excellent.
Review by Jonathan Morgan on 2 June 2016
We have just returned from yet another of your tours! This one was as usual a well thought out combination of information and leisure. The hotel was of a very high standard and the staff friendly and attentive. Geraldine was extremely well organised,an asset to your organisation. Well done!
Review by Frank Mizen on 31 May 2016
Just returned from your Bologna, Parma and Ravenna Tour, three fairly intensive but immensely informative days in a very worthwhile but little known region, a great trip for foodies. The local guides in each town were real characters but Geraldine, the Tour Manager was exceptional, friendly, informative and her local knowledge added much to the trip. Sadly no sooner than we were getting to know members of our group it was time to return home.
Review by Hugh Richards on 23 May 2016
Having just returned from a holiday to Bologna we felt we should inform you how much we enjoyed the visit. The trip was further enhanced by the efficiency and friendliness of the excellent guide Geraldine.
Review by Maureen & Roger Sweetman on 19 May 2016
Our second trip with Riviera Travel & we were not disappointed. From the original planning information, including the handling of a brief telephone query, to the travelling to Bologna, the organisation was superb.
Geraldine, the Tour Manager, was brilliant, anticipating needs & questions.
The hotel was comfortable, close to the centre of Bologna & our rooms were ready for our early arrival!
The day trips / guided walks were well organised; I was originally unsure about the Parma Ham & Balsamic Vinegar visits, but they turned out to be very interesting - Balsamic Vinegar on ice cream - try it!
The best outing has to be to Ravenna with its superb mosaics.
I would have wished to have another day on this break, but that is probably the nature of a great holiday.
Review by Robin Leveridge on 14 May 2016
Just a note to confirm that we enjoyed our recent tour and would like to thank all at Riviera for offering excellent service.
In particular, Harley and colleagues in the office were very helpful regarding our booking and flight details, as were the, drivers and hotel staff.
Geraldine’s management of the tour was excellent in all respects. She was very personable and always available, and the local tour guides provided key information in an interesting and succinct manner.
Our hotel stay was very comfortable.
Thank you very much.
Review by David and Anne Morgan on 13 May 2016
Simply enjoyed every minute,... our tour manager Geraldine made it extra special. A very well organised itinerary, with excellent guides on each of our walking tours. The hotel was great, staff very helpful and rooms spotless. Can’t fault it!
Flicking through the brochure to book our next holiday with you, confident we’ll have a good experience.
Simply thank you ... time away is so precious to us
Review by Shirley Bowen on 9 May 2016
This may have been called the ‘guinea pig’ tour as it was the first one, but it was well organised and a lot of thought had gone into the planning. Our tour manager Janet was helpful, pleasant and competent with a great sense of humour. The hotel was very comfortable with attentive staff, the tour guides in each town knew their stuff well and the visits to see how prosciutto and balsamic vinegar are produced were very interesting and informative. Bologna, Parma and especially Ravenna were lovely. Clearly a lot of us had booked the tour in order to see the Ravenna mosaics, and they were stunning. Just one plea—would it be possible in future to extend the day in Ravenna to drive to San Apollinare in Classe as well?
Review by Jenny and Dave Clough on 22 April 2014
Some say never buy the first of anything, but we ignored this to go on your company’s first tour to this area. In a nutshell the short visit was splendid, with the right balance between organised tours and free time. Being based in a single hotel for the four nights was a good decision, and the proximity of the comfortable hotel to the centre of Bologna was appreciated. Bologna, like many old cities, is a place for walking. The guides for Bologna and Ravenna were informative with a well-judged modicum of great humour. The guide for Parma was OK but we felt was not as effective as the other two, who were older and clearly more experienced. But this is to nitpick. Janet, our courier, was top class and well informed. She is a real company asset. This was our second holiday with Riviera, taken because we enjoyed their tour in Croatia. There will be a third.
Review by James Anderson on 22 April 2014
We were on the Bologna / Parma / Ravenna tour In Brief—excellently organised. Hotel splendid. Coach provision and driver, excellent. Tour Leader Janet Deri—first class. Knowledgeable, informative, but without being ‘overpowering’. Local tour Guides - in Bologna , Anna excellent with energy and extensive knowledge put across with humour. In Ravenna, guide was splendid as well and kept the party well organised as well as being informed, as time was precious. The tours of the Parma Ham curing plant and the Balsamic manufacturing process were well presented, informative and with ‘appropriate’ refreshments. In summary—a faultless 4-day break and very competitively priced. Thank you and all in your company who are responsible for this good experience. We will hope to travel with Riviera Travel again, very soon.
Review by A Leaver on 24 April 2014
I write at the instigation of the tour leader, Janet Deri, to let you know how successful we found your new venture.. It was just the right mixture of independence and organised touring with plenty of free time. The local guides were very good and Janet created just the right atmosphere. For us, the fact that it was B and B was a plus as we enjoy finding places to eat when we are on holiday. Your hotel was in an ideal position, near the centre of town yet quiet and close to a coach drop point â€“ not easy when the centre is pedestrianised.
Review by Chris Fraser on 24 April 2014
Have just returned from this wonderful tour , which was extremely well organised and well-paced. Our tour manager, Aideen, was superb, warm and approachable, quickly getting to know all tour members and carried all with a great sense of humour- a really top tour manager. The driver was skilled and helpful and both made for a smoothly organised five days. The guides were a fund of information and one was a quirky character who made the trip to Ravenna even more memorable. The listening devices were a great success and enabled all to hear the guide easily and allowed more freedom for wandering around. The tour offered the opportunity to see marvelous works of art, magnificent building and three quite different cities. The trip to the Apennines was beautiful and again gave a good contrast to the city life. The hotel was comfortable and buffet breakfast well appreciated. In short, a superb tour.
Review by Sylvia Wright on 10 September 2014
An excellent well balanced tour in three beautiful Italian cities. All the staff involved, including the coach driver, were friendly and helpful. The guides made the visits such fun as well as informative and were able to field all the questions posed. The tour manager, Aideen, was a force of nature and made each day so enjoyable with everyone made to feel included in the party, although it was a very large one of 51 people. I would have no hesitation in recommending the tour but I do agree with one of the previous testimonials that it would be even better if the day in Ravenna could be extended to include San Apollinare in Classe as well.
Review by Val and Roger Draper on 10 September 2014
We have just returned from this new tour, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Although it was a large group of 51, our superb tour leader Aideen kept us all in order and made everything run very smoothly, with her knowledge and humour! The local guides were excellent, particularly Melanie in Parma, and I agree with the other comments that the visit to Ravenna should be revised to include San Apollinare in Classe as well. The visits to see how Parma ham and balsamic vinegar were made were well organised and informative. My only other suggestion is to extend the tour by an extra day as there are so many interesting places to visit in Bologna but not enough time to do so!
Review by Jan & Pete Smith on 10 September 2014
I had to write to especially commend our tour manager Aideen. She was incomporable; efficient, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and great fun. The tour was excellent despite it being such a large group.
Review by Sarah Mortimer on 18 September 2014
An excellent tour and thoroughly enjoyed. The hotel in Bologna was comfortable and ideally situated; we enjoyed the walking tour and exploring on our own in our free time, as well as finding places to eat at lunchtime and in the evening. The guide in Parma, Melanie, was outstanding and managed to squeeze us in to the amazing Cathedral before the start of the confirmation service. We would have liked more free time in Parma, though, and felt that the trip to the Parma ham farm could have been curtailed or even skipped to manage this; the balsamic vinegar talk and tasting was much more entertaining. The jewel in the crown was, of course, Ravenna, where the mosaics were breathtaking; we could happily have spent more time there, too, and would have liked to be able to visit Sant’ Apollinare in Classe as well. The walking tours were all well organized and led; we especially appreciated the ‘Whisper’ machines which meant that we could hear clearly without having to gather too closely round our guides. Everyone involved was extremely friendly and helpful, especially our tour manager Janet and our driver Giancarlo. This was our first Riviera tour and won’t be the last!
Review by Joanna (Sara) Tulloch on 25 October 2014
I am very sorry not to have sent you this review more promptly. The tour was delightful and, although so short, amazingly memorable. The day spent in Ravenna was a privilege and quite unforgettable, but we also had excellent tours of Bologna and Parma. The guide, Melanie, at Parma was absolutely outstanding - the best I have ever been with. I agree with another reviewer that the visit to the Parma ham factory could have been omitted, giving us more time in Parma itself (perhaps with the chance to have lunch there) or allowing a visit to Modena. Finally, our Tour Manager, Janet, was a rock - always there at the crucial moment - and she was particularly thoughtful where the people travelling on their own were concerned.
Review by Sarah Mason on 29 January 2015
Another excellent Riviera tour, escorted by Janet. Splendid local tour guides (as always) and a very good hotel. Parma was stunning, and I would have liked to spend the rest of the day there, interesting though the manufacture of Parma ham & balsamic vinegar was ! I would have liked an extra day, as things were very compressed.
Review by John Fidler on 25 April 2015
This was a most enjoyable trip, the guides were excellent & the tour manager Frances was informative & helpful. Totally satisfied.
Review by Dorothy Barwise on 18 May 2015
We have just returned from this most wonderful tour - we could have stayed much longer as there was so much to see and do. The cities and tours organised within them were of a very high standard. All the tour guides in the places visited were excellent but the most outstanding was our tour leader, Denise, who we cannot praise highly enough. Her breadth of knowledge and sense of humour were second to none - we could have listened to her dulcet tones all day. Giancarlo was our very competent and safe driver.
Review by Dawson and Fisher on 19 May 2015
We have just returned from this excellent tour. Apart from the unpleasant experience of leaving and returning from Stansted (grossly overcrowded) everything else was wonderful. Very comfortable hotel, excellent excursions and guides. But most praise must go to Tour Leader Denise who was very knowledgeable, efficient and entertaining. Well done Denise!
All-in-all, another successful short holiday courtesy of Riviera Travel. Thank you.
Review by Andy & Marj Watts on 20 May 2015
A lovely tour. So much experienced in the short time there. Wonderfully situated hotel - centre of town - yet remained peaceful. Three lovely cities with stunning edifices and historic art brought to life by very informative local guides. I would have preferred longer in Parma instead of the visit to the ham curing factory.
Review by C. Thompson on 9 June 2015
This tour was excellent. The tour manager Martrese was very well organised, caring, and fun. Giancarlo the driver was excellent and we felt very safe. All the trips were interesting and informative, especially the visit to the balsamic vinegar maker. It was an excellent hotel and the staff could not have been more helpful. Altogether a splendid trip.
Review by Isabelle Newton on 16 June 2015
I would like to say how much we enjoyed our recent visit to Bologna with Riviera Travel. The content of the programme and the standard of guiding was high and having a good hotel in the centre of Bologna was a bonus. I would particularly like to mention Denise, our tour organiser, who was so knowledgeable and helpful. She gave us a list of local restaurants and then another showing the restaurants open on Sunday evening, which saved our weary feet at the end of a hot and tiring day. Due to one of the group, who didn’t show up for the bus, she was unable to accompany us to the airport, so we were unable to thank her properly. We would certainly recommend that Riviera Travel use her skills, when ever possible.
Review by Christine and Bryan Grieve on 9 July 2015
Arrived home today after a very enjoyable trip. Good location re the hotel. Brad the guide very helpful and great knowledge. He looked after us extremely well
Review by Andrea on 9 September 2015
This was a wonderful trip - 5 days - a little too short as there is so much to see & enjoy. Good central hotel in Bologna so very convenient for the sites & the restaurants. Good local guides, especially Melanie in Parma. (Not long enough time there). Driver Giancarlo very good & the star of the show who kept it all together, Brad. Great knowledge of region & its history. Very good tour manager.
Review by Maggie Morris on 14 September 2015
I have just returned from Bologna for a second time - even better (familiar surroundings). I understand (from Brad) the Hotel Internationale has received some not so good reviews on Trip Adviser, Location, location, location and walk in shower rooms make this hotel ideal. The breakfast bar is extensive and is constantly replenished - an improvement on last year. At busy times it is perhaps a bit tight, but additional tables have been added in the bar area. I don’t think the travelling public help the situation. The waiters like to clear and relay the tables before people are seated but the guests ignore/unaware of the etiquette. Thank you for adding a loo stop before the Ravenna tour. Please could a loo/coffee stop be introduced middway into the Bologna city tour. I am consider repeating the trip again next year. Bologna is a beautiful city and the mosaics at Ravenna breath taking. I have considered other tours but cannot cope with hotel transfers eg Classical Spain, Sicily, etc. Hope to see you next year. Many thanks for a great break
Review by Sandra Coleman on 24 September 2015
We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Bologna, Parma & Ravenna. It was very well-organised and our guide, Antonia, was great - very knowledgeable, friendly, kind and courteous. We fell in love with Bologna and it was great to have such a central hotel. We ate at “Il Tipico” which had a vast choice on the menu but everything we had was delicious and the staff were very friendly (they added free liqueurs at the end of each meal). Parma was a lovely city and easy to walk around. All the tours were gentle walking and lasted a max of 2 hours. We could have done with a bit longer in Parma but would not have missed the ham and vinegar factories. These visits did make it a long day and we were definitely wilting by the end. Ravenna was everything the guide books said and more, made so lively and entertaining by Luciana our guide. It was great to have a free afternoon to explore and chill-out on our own. We loved the hotel and were lucky to get a large room with a settee and table and chairs included! Breakfasts were delicious although the room was very hot. Our only problem was the long walk from Venice airport to the bus and back, although we understood that the building works had caused problems with this. Venice airport was not a particularly pleasant place to be, especially when 500 cruise ship passengers turn up all at once to check in and go through customs (I’m with Antonia on that one - ban all cruise ships in Venice!!) All in all a wonderful 5 days. Well done Riviera.
Review by Pat Beale on 24 September 2015
What a wonderful holiday, the hotel was close to the centre and also the railway station so I was able to take a train to Florence and spend a delightful day there, I just couldn’t be so close to Florence and not pop in! The hotel was excellent, I had to pay extra for a single supplement, sometimes you only get a single room but mine was enormous, so lovely to have all that space. A lovely bathroom with various toiletries and the sheets were changed after two days there. The bar was on the first floor and every evening the hotel provided about ten different dishes to tempt us so on two occasions I succumbed to temptation and filled myself up so didn’t go out for dinner. The local guides were very knowledgeable but it was Geraldine who was the star of the show. She answered all questions and pointed out things we might like to do. I know all Riviera guides are good but she was over and above the rest I hope to meet her again soon and will be booking my next trip to Italy soon