Another excellent Riviera holiday, busy but not hectic. A large group of 50, we met some really nice people on the tour. Bernie the tour manager was excellent - very organised and friendly giving just the right amount of information. The rooms in our hotel in Rome - Eurostar St. John - were small with very little wardrobe space but it was a quiet location and only a 15-20 minute walk from the colosseum. Practical information: (1) a combined ticket for the colosseum and forum and palatine costs eu12 and is best bought from the forum where there was not much of a queue. There is a timed entrance to the colosseum (we got our ticket at 10:00 which had a time of 11:05, we joined the queue at 10:50 and got in at 11:30 due to delays getting through security). (2) A very good tour of the Vatican/Sistine chapel but it was very crowded. (3) A lot of uneven cobbled roads in rome - tough on the knees and ankles. (4) The pantheon which is not far from the trevi fountain is well worth a visit. (5) There are some good and inexpensive restaurants very close to the hotel we stayed at in rome. looking forward to our next riviera holiday soon.
graham and sue harris
Review by: GRAHAM HARRIS on 13/05/2019
A wonderful tour, made extra special with having Luis our tour guide. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and he was very attentive and caring. He made mine and my sons holiday very enjoyable. He was very informative explained everything to us, everywhere we went, made you feel very comfortable in each destination we went to. Pointed things of interest, and where to go and where not to. Any problems were swiftly dealt with. Really a lovely man, and an asset to your company.
Review by: Mrs.Susan Brown on 02/10/2018
Great tour that enabled you to visit Siena, Florence, Arezzo, Assisi etc.. Our tour guide Marion was engaging, humorous and approachable, definitely enhanced the experience of visiting Italy.
The itinerary has just a nice balance of travel and rest which is supported with truly great local guides that are passionate about their home country and provinces.
The first hotel (Minerva) is a 15 - 20 minute walk away from the centre of Arezzo which is absolutely charming with an almost "film set" feel due to the beautiful architecture, lots of restaurants and cafe's to enjoy. The Minerva has a great team of staff who do aim to please. Evening meals gave good choice and were served in a relaxed manner enabling you to have unwind and chat with fellow tour guests. Breakfast was the usual continental fayre, certainly enough choice, so other than the Minerva hotel being a little dated our stay was fine.
The second hotel (Beverley Hills) we thought had a good location giving easy access to use the local transport, once again clean comfortable rooms and friendly welcoming hotel staff. Continental breakfast as before was perfectly fine to energise you for the days events.
Whilst here we chose to dine out each evening and experience the nearby restaurants, La Balestra (5 minute walk), we felt was the most authentic and tastiest food whilst on the tour.
Whilst in the centre of Rome do take some time to visit Trastevere, it is provided as an evening excursion but you can easily visit here yourself, it was probably one of our favourites experiences whilst in Rome, also the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary for you animal lovers.
So taking everything into account we would recommend Classical Italy, September having cooler weather was just right.
Review by: Rob on 21/09/2018
Just returned and I can not praise you enough. The Hotel was perfect and the tour manager so helpful and informative, everything went like clockwork. Never been on a holiday like this but I have already planned my next adventure, You are a shinning example of how holiday company's should be.
Review by: Sally James on 21/09/2018
Excellent tour which featured a lot on my bucket list. Siena was great, with a superb tour of Il Campo, where they do the Palio horse race. Accomodation was way above our expectations - comfortable rooms and varied menus. A guide makes or breaks any tour and our guide, Libby was so knowledgeable and accommodating. Florence, however, was not so good, due to the numbers trying to get into the Uffizi. Suggestion to Riviera - book trips to the Pitti Palace instead. It is far less crowded and has a greater selection of classic paintings
Review by: Brian Crompton on 14/06/2018
Visiting Sienna, Florence, Arezzo, Assisi, and Rome: the sights and history are amazing. The local knowledge and organisational skill brought by the Riviera team enabled us to make the most of the time available. Libby our tour manager was fantastic and very supportive. In Rome on our free day (and hers) she took those who wanted on an unscheduled walk to help us find and visit key attractions. This included the church Sant’Ignazio di Loyala to see its painted ceiling: wondrous. The optional Vatican tour is a must: visitor numbers are overwhelming so despite having priority entry tickets expect some queues. This also occurred at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The hotels (Minerva and Beverly Hills) were clean and well presented with friendly, helpful staff. The food was typically Italian: a good choice of continental breakfast; the evening meal where included was well prepared from a limited choice menu. Don’t forget a camera with plenty of storage. I took over 900 photographs during the tour and now can enjoy leisurely reflections as we look forward to our next holiday with Riviera.
Review by: John Watts on 14/06/2018
An excellent holiday. Our overall tour guide Libby was brilliant, being very organised, efficient, knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble for her. On our Rome free day Libby even took those of us that wanted to, on a walking tour of Rome, giving us information and showing us attractions that weren't on the itinerary. The four local guides were also excellent. The days were long and quite tiring, but was to be expected. The hotels were quite acceptable, the staff in the Minerva in Arezzo, and in particular the waiters were very friendly. The staff in the Beverly Hills in Rome weren't quite as friendly, however we put this down to it being a much larger hotel situated in the suburbs of Rome. The only criticism we have is that the shower in our Beverly Hills room was very weak, but this didn't detract from the overall excellence of the holiday, and we're looking forward to booking the next one. Everyone got on famously and it was a pleasure to be with the others on this holiday.
Review by: Charles and Lyn on 24/09/2017
Recently returned from this tour and cant praise Riviera travel enough. The itinery was perfect with just enough time to rest between each visit. Sarah our tour manager was both knowledgeable and helpful. The hotels in both Arrezo and Rome were comfortable and our rooms were a good standard. We met some lovely people and were sad to say goodbye. Without hesitation we would travel with Riviera again
Review by: Gaynor Robinson on 20/09/2017
Thank you for a first class holiday. This was our first tour with Riviera...but it will not be our last! Our thanks to Sara who was our tour rep. She met us at the airport and remained with us throughout the tour right up until we checked in at the airport to return home! She was very friendly and informative and is an asset to your company. The tour was very well organised and professional and everything went like "clockwork" Would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see the "highlights" of classical Italy.
Review by: Eddie Robinson on 20/09/2017
First time solo traveler with riviera, Arezzo, Siena,Florence, Assisi & Rome, all amazing, excellent tour manager cristina & guides on tours. Met lovely people. Can't wait for next time.
Review by: Alan Haley on 20/07/2017
Just got back from the Italy sight seeing tour with your fantastic rep .Sarah..she was very knowledgeable about Italy and its history...could not fault the artillery it was jammed pack ...full of beautiful paces...we will book with you again..well done...give Sarah a wage rise haha..she was fab.cheers.
Review by: Paul on 17/06/2017
Fantastic tour 4 days in Tuscany & 3days in Rome so much covered in 7days very well organised and supervised with great expertise we are very well travelled we have never ever been looked after so well before by the tour giude "Dina" she was so attentive & helpful and knowledgeable and extremely friendly & pleasant at all time > always there from morning to night to give advice. An absolute diamond . She made our holiday a great one! Ps she also taught us Italian along the way mille grazie
Review by: George And Paula Thomas, Saltford Near Bath on 19/05/2017
I’m recently home from my first holiday with Riviera and just want to thank everyone involved. The hotels and transport were excellent, comfortable and efficient. But the star of the show was most definitely our tour guide Vanessa (I’m sorry, I didn’t get her surname) - her humour and knowledge made the whole experience flow. She had us rolling in the isles with her jokes, singing happy birthday and ordering our food in Italian and went way above expectations on our free day in Rome, where she took several of us by bus to the Trevi fountain before letting us loose in Rome, well equipped with her excellent directions.
Many, many thanks to you all.
Review by: Anita Scott on 24/10/2016
Now that we’ve recovered from all the walking around Italy on our wonderful holiday with you I felt that I should e-mail you to say that our tour guide, Vanessa, was amazing! I have spent over 36 years in teaching, have trained many young teachers, but have very rarely found such an inspirational young teacher as Vanessa!
You should pay her double because she is so good!
Review by: Liz Cosslett on 21/10/2016
My wife and I have just returned home after a wonderful holiday in Italy. My wife has used Riviera Travel before and so suggested we booked this holiday. I was impressed with everything from beginning to end and our guide Norman was great. We’ll certainly use Riviera Travel again and recommend it to others.
Review by: Christopher & Roberta Whittle on 14/10/2016
We have just returned from our second Riviera tour and we enjoyed this one just as much. It is quite simply the best way to cram so much into a taster holiday for a given region. Riviera organise everything for you and their choice of hotels and excursions is excellent. Both hotels we stayed in in Arezzo and Rome were luxurious and friendly; the food was excellent. Our tour manager, Vanessa was extremely good, a bilingual resident of Rome who was caring, thoughtful and a real livewire. She never stopped working and we loved her sense of humour. The local guides that we had at Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Rome were very good and the whole week cohered into a memorable experience. It was full on with a lot of walking but we were up for that and we have come home with a real taste of the region, a desire to return and we are already choosing our next Riviera holiday - excellent value !
Review by: Richard and Deborah Willshire on 16/10/2016
Have just returned from our second tour with Riviera. Could not fault it, our guide Carlotta was knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and always available. The Hotels in both Tuscany and Rome were first class, the tours of the various cities with local guides excellent, it meant you learned so much more about the places you visited. Can’t wait for next tour.
Review by: Bob & Pam Cannon on 30/09/2016
I have just returned from the Classical Italy tour and have had an amazing time. I could not have asked for a better holiday. The excursions, hotels and food were fabulous. Having several food allergies I was concerned about the food during the tour however the staff at the hotels were happy to cater to my requirements. My thanks also go to the tour guide Norman, he was fantastic. He was more than happy to go over and beyond to ensure that we had a fantastic holiday whilst making sure that holidaymakers of all abilities were kept happy. Thank you so much Norman for all your help.
Review by: Helena Dyer on 09/09/2016
My sister, her partner and I did the Classical Italian Tour on May 16-23, 2016. It was simply marvelous to have such knowledgeable and very caring tour manager, Giovanna, with driver Antonio. Everyday was fun-filled and gratifying experience. The local guides in Arezzo, Siena, Florence and Rome were phenomenally knowledgeable and made the tour even more enjoyable (my apologies for not remembering all their names). There was nothing in this trip that I would like to change or improve. Of course, a big part of this successful trip were the British nationals who were with us. I’d probably re-do this tour again with this company and go back to Hotel Minerva. 5-stars for this company.
Review by: Charito Love on 02/09/2016
So impressed by the tour. Our guide Antonio Rosso was superb and it was him that really made our trip so enjoyable. He had an inexhaustible knowledge of the country and always went the extra mile to ensure we were having a good time. The only point I would make is that the second hotel we stayed in should provide free wi-fi as it was very expensive! Other than that a really great time and cannot wait to book with you again!
Review by: Sharon James on 01/07/2016
Thank you for a memorable trip, first time with you as well. Tour Manger (Denise) was excellent and we felt that all round we had had our money’s worth and seen all we expected. Our only comment was that a Coliseum/Forum optional tour could also be included.
Review by: Ken and Chris Paskin on 22/05/2016
Another great tour with Riviera and as well as all the ‘big names’ it was great to see places we would not think to visit if just booking independently with a flight to Rome: Arezzo is a gem. Norman was a joy and made herding cats look easy with unfailing good humour. Wonderful group (Just want to say a special goodbye to travelling companion Christine Hart as we were both ‘solos’ but missed her at Gatwick). Will be travelling with Riviera to Croatia next week and know I can be confident in my expectations; thanks again to all, including the Back Office.
Review by: Jill Cowan on 28/04/2016