If you've just returned from a tour we'd love to hear from you.
Florence & Tuscany Tour
Having just returned from my twelfth Riviera holiday I wish to extend my praise to our wonderful guide, Berni. Mid way through the holiday I tripped and dislocated my shoulder but thanks to Berni’s excellent knowledge of Italian she was able to communicate at the hospital, attend to my insurance, obtain a Certificate to Fly and arranged a taxi from the Airport home. i felt in very safe hands as nothing was too much trouble to her, for which I am very grateful.
Review by Mary Graham on 21 October 2016
My friend and I really enjoyed our holiday and in particular I wanted to say what a wonderful tour guide Matt was. His knowledge of Italy, Tuscany in particular and the places we visited contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the tour. His care of us, without being too obvious, was excellent and throughout he showed good humour and friendliness. We all enjoyed his daily jokes on the coach. But what I thought was exceptional was his organising the quiz for us to guess the total age of the party and then providing prizes for the winner, but also for the one who was furthest from the right answer and for others who had a birthday, and for the one poor lady who had had a nasty fall. He deserves a gold star.
Review by Maureen Preston on 7 October 2016
We have recently returned from your Florence/Tuscany tour and thoroughly enjoyed the holiday despite poor weather! We found the itinerary very good and also could not fault the excellent hotels we were allocated. Cannot praise our tour guide Liz enough she was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and certainly enhanced our holiday she is certainly an asset to your Company! Would not hesitate to recommend this tour and will most certainly be booking with Riviera Travel again in the future.
Review by Jan Duffin on 7 October 2016
Just wanted to thank Jackie, our tour manager, for making our holiday so memorable. Nothing was too much trouble, she was “always on duty” for anything that was needed. Lovely, lovely lady.
Review by Paula messum on 8 October 2016
We have just returned from our first Riviera holiday and pleased to say, we enjoyed every moment! Our tour manager, Matt, was excellent throughout - clearly passionate about ALL things Italian! He gave an excellent insight into the culture, Italian life in general, where to go in your free time and ideas for eating. A very good programme with a mix of organised guides and free time worked really well.
The Hotel in Florence is walking distance of all the sights and the Tuscany Hotel set in beautiful surroundings with stunning views. Must also congratulate the coach drivers on their expertise. Well done Riviera!
Review by Wendy and Peter Boulding on 29 September 2016
We have just returned from the best holiday we have had in many years. Not only did we enjoy the wonderful sights, works of art and scenery that we saw on this trip, but we benefitted greatly from being led by our tour manager, Bev, whose humour, care and attention, and expertise played major part in making this trip so memorable for us. Thanks very much Bev.
The hotels were very good, particularly the one in Tuscany.
All in all, this trip was first class. This was our first holiday with Riviera, but we certainly don’t think it will be the last.
Review by Geoff Culshaw on 21 September 2016
Have just returned from the tour to Florence and Tuscany and it was very good. This was our 6th holiday with you and they have all been excellent. Highly recommended is Liz, the tour manager. She was
exceptionally good and one of the best we have had. Thank you Riviera
Review by Thelma Randall on 21 September 2016
Just a quick email to thank everyone at Riviera Travel for another great holiday. From the time I contacted your colleague via telephone in late June, through to the end of our trip, everything was excellently organised. Being able to fly direct from Belfast was a great plus.
Finally, a word of thanks to our guide, Matt. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was always there with useful advice and guidance. An excellent performance and much appreciated.
See you next year, if not before!
Review by Garth Manderson on 12 September 2016
What a super trip. Hotel in Florence perfectly located by the Central Market where we dined each evening. Hotel Fortina at Volterra very comfortable. Food excellent with very good choice. We had wall to wall sunshine and the pool was a delight. We had met Bev on a previous tour and it was treat to renew her acquaintance. She is a credit to your company. We will be travelling with again. Many thanks for another fantastic trip.
Review by John Smith on 9 September 2016
I praised our Tour Guide, Clara in my earlier testimonial and wanted to add that this was a superbly organised holiday by Riviera. My second trip with you and would certainly recommend. Plenty to see and not rushed at all. Well Done!
Review by Jennifer Spiers on 10 July 2016
My second trip with Riviera and just as good as my first. Cannot speak highly enough of Clara Parkinson - terrific tour guide who really knew her stuff. Very well organised all round, with plenty of information on the places we visited. Thanks Clara & Riviera.
Review by Jennifer Spiers on 8 July 2016
My husband and I have recently returned from this tour, which was wonderful. From the moment we were met by our lovely tour guide, Bev Lewis, we knew it was going to as good as we hoped. Bev made sure everyone was alright, she supplied maps, knowledge and humour. We are already looking for next tour.
Review by Audrey Jackson on 5 July 2016
A friend & I have just returned from this tour & it lived up to everything I would expect from a Riviera Tour ( this has been our 4th holiday with Riviera Travel ).
I would like to single out Bev Lewis our tour manager. She was highly efficient getting us quickly through the Airport, & giving us all the information we needed on the various days out clearly & often amusingly. We were a large party of 48 (not easy in the middle of Florence ) but she was always there if needed without any fuss.
We will certainly be travelling with your company next year if we can.
Irene Walsh, Bramhall, Stockport
Review by Irene Walsh on 22 June 2016
This was our 4th trip to Italy with Riviera and we can honestly say that Matt Purse in Florence was the best tour guide we have had. He was knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble for him. We stayed in Hotel Mediterraneo in Florence and Hotel Piccolo Castello in Monteriggioni.Completely different hotels as the Florence one was a typical city centre hotel with lots of comings and goings.The Piccolo was a quiet retreat in the countryside. The whole trip was excellent and there was a good balance with trips and free time.
Florence had lots of good restaurants which were recommended by Matt and which we used as we were on Bed and Breakfast basis. Only a couple of restaurants in Monteriggioni but we were on half board at this hotel. However we did go to one that Matt recommended that was a typical village bar at the bottom of the hill leading up to the walled town, and this was excellent value for money.
Would not hesitate to book with Riviera again.
Review by Neil and Betty Davies on 10 May 2016
We have just returned from Florence and Tuscany. This was our 4th Riviera holiday and was, as usual, excellent. Your tour managers are superb and this one certainly lived up to our expectations and provided us with plenty of local knowledge and advice about restaurants. The hotel in Volterra was very good with stunning views from the terrace. The staff and food couldn’t have been better. A lovely holiday. Travelled on 04/09/2012
Review by Lin Rand, Rutland on 12 September 2012
I have just returned from a trip to Tuscany with Riviera and would just like to say that the whole experience was excellent. Good hotels, good food, interesting places on the itinerary and a first class guide who was always around to help the party. He also knew just what information to give on the coach trips without being boring as can easily be the case. First Class! Travelled on 12/06/2012
Review by Mr Boast, Bedfordshire on 20 June 2012
Just back from our second tour with Riviera (we’ve also done Bruges) and it was another superb holiday. We can’t speak highly enough of our tour manager’s efficiency, product knowledge and friendliness. The content of the Florence and Tuscany tour is excellent and the information provided by the tour manager combined with the comprehensive knowledge of the local guides provided all the background you could ever want. The location of the hotel in Florence was great - a comfortable stroll to and from the central district with a tremendous choice of restaurants and bars. Volterra was a magical town and a superb choice for our second base. Combine this with a brilliant, friendly group of people and it all adds up to one of the best holidays we’ve ever had (and we’ve had a lot!). Believe me, everyone we know will get to hear about it - and about how good Riviera Travel and Riviera Tour Managers are. Travelled on 06/06/2012
Review by Rob Heslop, Newastle upon Tyne on 14 June 2012
A truly fantastic holiday, even with that torrential downpour in Florence! Will certainly use Riviera again. Excellent guides and coach driver. A special thanks to our main tour guide! Travelled on 18/10/2011
Review by Helen & Ian Jackson, Oxford on 28 October 2011
First experience with Riviera. Had a superb time and a lovely holiday. Would highly recommend.
Review by Shelagh Fryer on 22 April 2013
We had a truly wonderful holiday. This was our first venture with Riviera, but it won’t be our last. Our tour manager, Denise, was very experienced, helpful and knowledgeable. The tour itself featured some real gems. We loved the fact that the two hotels were so different - the first one right in the centre of Florence, and the second one overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills. Top marks!
Review by Sue W on 10 May 2013
We have recently returned from a brilliant tour of Florence & Tuscany, our second Riviera holiday, and couldn’t fault anything! Our Travel Manager Matt was wonderful, nothing was too much trouble and he was full of interesting information on all the places we visited, thanks Matt and Riviera. We will hopefully be taking another Riviera holiday in the future.
Review by Ann Hibbard on 21 May 2013
My wife and I, together with my sister and brother-in-law, returned a few days ago from this magnificent vacation. This was our first Riviera tour, but the 4th for my sister. We stayed 3 nights in Florence (NL hotel) and 4 in Volterra (Park Le Fonti). Our tour director was Matt, who did a superb job. His knowledge of the area was phenomenal, and his personal insights and suggestions were greatly appreciated. He handled the queries of our group of 50 with grace, skill, and energy. Having taken groups to Cuba on a dozen occasions, I know how challenging this position can be -and as a result I am full of admiration for the quality of his work. Hotels were great, food was good, and the combination of city (Florence) and gorgeous Tuscan countryside an excellent mix. It was also helpful to have a fair amount of spare time (in addition to well-organized site visits) to explore on our own. In sum, a terrific vacation, and one which we will always remember fondly.
Review by John Kirk on 23 June 2013
We have returned from a really enjoyable trip. The hotel in Florence was in an ideal location for the sights, the local guide was very informative and the hotel was very comfortable.The trips to Lucca and Pisa were very enjoyable and Chris our Tour manager was excellent. His enthusiasm for the area came through, he kept giving us bits of info on our journeys but not over facing us with too many facts. The move to Volterra gave us some stunning scenery though the journey which is not for the faint-hearted with the steep winding roads. The hotel there was very comfortable in peaceful grounds. Our visit to the Rossi alabaster factory was an interesting surprise and the trip to San Gimignano was another lovely day . Our day in Siena was started off with an interesting talk by the local guide who was very informative . Our free days in Florence and also in Volterra were excellent and Chris once again suggested places to visit each time and was very helpful. The trip was well worth it, the sunny weather after the first day with some rain, made the trip worthwhile. Well done to all, especially Chris our Tour Manager who was an excellent source of information. We are looking forward to our next Riviera trip
Review by Sue & Brian Anderson from Brighouse on 26 June 2013
Having recently returned from our tour of Florence and Tuscany we would like to say how pleased we were with this holiday. Accommodation, food, local guides and travel arrangements were all good. We would also like to make special mention of our tour manager Deborah, who went out of her way to ensure everyone was well looked after; she was readily available for help and advice if needed and remained pleasant and courteous at all times.
Review by Mr & Mrs A Ord on 12 July 2013
Having recently returned from the Florence and Tuscany tour we must express how delighted we were with the whole experience and the first class organisation from start to finish. The hotels in Florence and Volterra were ideal both for city viewing and the stunning scenery and atmosphere in Tuscany. Visits to Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano and Siena provided a wealth of information and awareness of the history and culture of the region. Our special thanks to Chris our Tour Manager for his enthusiasm, friendship and professional skill in organising every aspect of the tour. Our thanks to all concerned with the holiday.
Review by Hazel and Bob Huey on 29 July 2013
Have just returned from our first holiday with Riviera Travel and were very impressed by the whole experience. Our Tour Manager, Matt, was a mine of information about our journey and also very thoughtful and kind, making sure that everyone was well looked after. The hotel locations were excellent, also the food. All in all a wonderful holiday with excellent company- we look forward to our next holiday with Riviera.
Review by Ann Watkins on 12 September 2013
We have recently returned from Tuscany and thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour. Florence was everything and more! The walking tour was excellent and the guide on that occasion was brilliant. All the excursions were well considered and timing was perfect giving enough time for us to enjoy what each place had to offer. Amabile, our representative, was so informative and told us so much about each place and, with passion! On two occasions she had to deal with guests who needed medical assistance and each time it was dealt with promptly and I know she kept in contact to make sure things were going smoothly for them. Our hotels at both Florence and beautiful Volterra were excellent. The food at both hotels was of a good standard and despite some problems which we had read on your website at Volterra, this had obviously been addressed and sorted out. We first went with your company last year to Lake Como and so much enjoyed it we booked again with you for this year for Tuscany and were not disappointed. Sometimes it is very easy to criticise companies and give negative reviews so here are we Riviera, another excellent holiday and both my husband and I had a wonderful time. Good for you and looking forward to next year Cruising the Heart of Europe. Already booked!!!!
Review by Valerie Rowell on 16 September 2013
Just back from our Holiday to Florence and Tuscany, We would like to thank you for another excellent tour with your company. With hindsight, it was probably not the wisest choice for four pensioners, one of whom is dependent on a wheelchair. The hill towns of Tuscany (clue in the name) are challenging to say the least and even with three (relatively) able bodied pushers - it could have been impossible for us to take part fully. Happily, your excellent Tour Manager, Matt Purse, was on hand to smooth our passage. Through his ever cheerful and unobtrusive management, we were able to enjoy the holiday to the full. On many occasions he even pushed the wheelchair himself (- from facilitating access to the bar at the Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo to achieving the “summit” of the Duomo in Sienna) - something which we are sure is not in his job description. Thank you Matt, and well done Riviera for employing such excellent staff.
Review by Mr & Mrs Tony Palframan on 17 September 2013
We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Florence and Tuscany, our first with Riviera but not our last. Our Tour Manager Deborah was a gem with so much information on our trips out to all the other interesting places, and she had to deal with one of us falling and going to hospital, she was brilliant. The hotel in Florence was in a very good location for getting around to all the places of interest and Luca the guide was very good. The hotel in Volterra was in a lovely spot and very peaceful after the busy days out. We would be happy to recommend Riviera to our friends
Review by Jean and Alan Smith on 27 September 2013
First class holiday made particularly so by the absolutely outstanding Tour Manager/Guide (Dina) who treated us like adults and not, as so many do, as helpless. It was nice that there were no ‘optional’ extras. The hotels were fine, especially in Volterra where the included dinners were first class, the various excursions were good and there was plenty of free time for exploring. The group was very large (55) but in the event that did not detract from the holiday.
Review by Frank Sanders on 18 October 2013
Greetings. Just returned yesterday evening from the Florence Tuscany tour with your representative Marella. The tour, hotel and food were all very good and ticked all the boxes. Marella was an excellent guide and looked after the group extremely well. She is a great asset to your company and we would like to express our thanks to her for her efforts on our behalf. We will definitely recommend Riviera travel and are looking forward to our next trip.
Review by E Yates on 31 October 2013
I am just back from the most wonderful holiday with Riviera Travel. Florence and Tuscany for 8 days. Firstly I cannot praise the tour manager enough, Christopher, who made everything run smoothly, entertained and informed us in equal measures. The hotel in Florence was comfortable and so convenient for the main sights and little cafes perfect for the evening meals; the hotel in Volterra splendidly situated just outside the walled town with the most wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Lovely evening meals every night - both hotels’ breakfast were varied and plentiful. The two guided tours were great and there was plenty of free time for my own exploration (something I was a bit concerned about before the trip). My fellow travellers (47 like minded individuals)also made it special for me too as travelling on my own I wasn’t sure how we would all get on. Christopher helped bring us all together somehow. I am still on a high and will be looking to go on another trip with Riviera as soon as finances allow. Ann Richards
Review by Ann Richards on 6 November 2013
What a treat! A birthday present for my husband that exceeded all expectations. Matt, our rep, was informative, witty, charming and a pleasure to be with. He was also extremely efficient and patient with all our misfortunes none of which were his doing! The area is beautiful and the intelligent approach of Riviera is to be applauded, little was missed. We will revisit Tuscany having been given such a fantastic taster. A holiday company that should be recommended to all our friends, thank you Riviera. The best compliment we can give Matt is that it was like saying goodbye to an old friend at the end of the trip. Pam and George Fanshawe
Review by Fanshawe on 30 April 2014
Just returned from our fourth Riviera tour and as before we thoroughly enjoyed it all. Florence city centre hotel and country hotel in Volterra were excellent. We had a fabulous guide, Matt, who was very knowledgeable, interesting and informative, a pleasure to be with. We also met some lovely like minded people.
Review by Mike and Pat Wilkins on 1 May 2014
Having just returned from this excellent holiday we would like to say how much we enjoyed the whole experience. The two centres of Florence and Volterra were perfect for exploring the wonderful Tuscan ancient towns and villages and enjoying the beautiful countryside. Riviera allowed plenty of free time in which to relax and enjoy the food, atmosphere and sights whilst still arranging well planned all inclusive excursions. Our guide Matt Purse was exceptionally knowledgeable and made it a very interesting and comfortable holiday. This was our first trip with Riviera and will not be our last.
Review by David and Diane Thompson on 2 May 2014
I’ve just returned from my first Riviera holiday and have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip. The itinerary is well balanced between the liveliness of Florence and the peace and charm of Volterra. As a single traveller I had ample time to pursue my own Interests but was always assured of good company from a lovely group of people. Matt deserves a special mention as he manages to convey enthusiasm and good humour in equal measure. He was a mine of information and added greatly to everyone’s enjoyment of the holiday. I will certainly recommend Riviera to friends and hope to book another trip before too long.
Review by Jo Quinn on 3 May 2014
Dear All, Been back from this holiday for a week and still reeling at how brilliant this holiday was. Must make a special mention for Matt, our guide, who was punctilious, industrious, knowledgeable and a great host. We shall definitely be using this company again!
Review by Patricia Bedford on 5 May 2014
The above tour was excellent but my main comments are concerning Matt, our rep, who was also excellent. He was informative, efficient and friendly at just the right levels and added greatly to our enjoyment, so would you please arrange for these remarks to be passed on to Matt and his manager/supervisor so that they may be aware that his efforts do not go unappreciated.
Mrs. Pat Dinsdale and I have been on five tours to date and have enjoyed them all.
Review by Mrs. Yvonne Syme on 9 May 2014
An excellent trip. There was a huge amount to see, but you were given plenty of time to see as much or as little as you wanted. The hotels were good, the food was fantastic, and the Chianti flowed. Lucy, our guide, was very good, explaining everything we needed to know about the various places we visited, and then let us get on with it. Her tales of Italian life, politics and TV were hugely entertaining.
Review by Paul Bosomworth on 13 May 2014
It was our first holiday with Riviera and we were extremely impressed with the organisational skills of our tour leader Matt Purse and his ability to provide insights into the Italian way of life. The whole holiday ran like clockwork. We both enjoyed every minute of the holiday. Thank you from olga and Steve
Review by Olga Jeffs on 22 May 2014
We’ve just returned from the Florence and Tuscany tour and want to recommend this tour to anyone who is even slightly interested. I’ve always wanted to visit Tuscany since a visit to Pisa as a young teenager. I’ll start with the downside: the hotel in Florence, although in a good location, was not the best. Everything else is positive. The tour guide, Chris, was excellent. He was extremely knowledgeable on the history of the region and eloquent in conveying the information when he was legally allowed to.
For us the highlight in Florence was the real statue of David in the Accademia Museum. Neither of us is into art, but the statue is magnificent and we kept coming back to it in the museum for another look. Florence has so much else to offer; the Ponte Vecchio, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo (we climbed to the top of the dome) and Santa Croce are just a few highlights.
The tour included Lucca, Pisa, Siena, San Gimegnano and Voltera. The buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli are breathtaking. The leaning tower is obviously world famous for all the wrong reasons (we climbed to the top of that as well) but the cathedral and baptistery are beautiful buildings. I could wax lyrically about all the places we visited but, to be honest, I just want to go back and see more of Tuscany. There were ooh and ahh moments seemingly around every corner. Fantastic.
Review by P J Grubb on 25 May 2014
Great holiday Matt the tour guide was exceptional. We will be booking again
Review by Ball on 25 May 2014
Just got back from a fabulous holiday. The content and organisation was excellent. Hotel staff were friendly and helpful especially in Volterra. This hotel was delightful. There was a lovely view from a nice swimming pool. The tour manager was Matt who was great company and who combined efficiency with humour. The only slight downside was the location of the hotel in Florence which was a little too far from the city centre. I would recommend Riviera and hope to travel with them again.
Review by Allan Powles on 26 May 2014
Our holiday to Italy was fabulous and we enjoyed every minute. Our two hotels were very good, one in the heart of Florence and the second in Volterra, so that we could enjoy two very different parts of Tuscany.
The pace of the holiday was just right, plenty of time to look around to explore or take in the ambiance with a glass of wine!
Our excellent tour manager, Chris, was very professional and looked after us all well. He was very knowledgeable about the areas we visited and the history, especially the arts.
We will definitely be enjoying more Riviera holidays in the future.
Kind regards Tony & Margaret Golding
Review by Tony & Margaret Golding on 26 May 2014
We returned last Saturday from a marvellous trip to Florence & Tuscany. The tour was well organised and very informative. Tuscany is a beautiful part of the world and we felt we had seen some of the best bits. Our Tour Manager Amabile helped to make it special too. Thank you
Review by Patricia & Robert Gibson on 12 June 2014
We have just returned from our first Riviera tour and would like to say what a great time we had. Wonderful places to visit organised perfectly. City hotel in Florence and a quieter retreat at the Palazzo San Lorenzo in Colle Val d’Elsa were the staff were excellent. A memorable holiday with a great group of people. A very special thank you to Marella our tour representative who was a wealth of knowledge and very good company who was there for every question asked and any help that was needed.Looking forward to booking again.
Review by Fiona Summerfield on 3 July 2014
I have just returned from my fourth trip with Riviera. As always, your company manages to combine an enjoyable and interesting tour, in a relaxed way. The hotels Corona and Palazzo San Lorenzo were superb. Matt our tour guide was brilliant, approachable and informative with a great sense of humour. Just one ask, are there any plans to do a tour of Boston and New England?
Review by Paul Davies on 31 July 2014
Recently returned from our holiday in Florence and Tuscany which we thoroughly enjoyed the hotels were very good and our guide Matt was great with a good sense of humour not only did he really look after us well he gave us a real insight to the Italian way of life. We have been on several Riviera tours and we have always enjoyed them immensely and we are already planning our next trip.
Review by Pauline Scott on 4 August 2014
We returned yesterday (12th) from our sixth holiday with Riviera - this time to Florence and Tuscany. The trip was excellent - very professionally organised as usual. The tour manager, Matt, was outstanding. Thank you for a wonderful time.
Review by David & Elisabeth Rollinson on 15 August 2014
Just back from another brilliant Riviera tour. Totally lived up to all our expectations and beyond! Can’t praise our tour guide Matt enough. Looking forward to our next trip with Riviera.
Review by Chris & Louise Shannon on 17 August 2014
Have recently returned from our wonderful Riviera trip to Florence & Tuscany. Very carefully organised and we were wonderfully assisted by our excellent guide Matt. Can’t wait to look at other Riviera holidays. Would love to visit New England. Any Chance?
Review by Vic and Margaret Cooper on 21 August 2014
Have just returned from the Florence and Tuscany tour, my first with Riviera. Truly wonderful and our guide, Rebecca Element added to the magic by being very informative without boring us with unnecessary detail. I look forward very much to the time I can travel with you again. Thank you.
Review by Jean Elizabeth Young on 18 September 2014
My 2nd trip with Riviera and again 1st class. The attention to detail is superb, we used to just travel and book all our excursions separately, until I found Riviera. To turn up at the airport and be met by a Riviera rep at your destination is great and your stress free holiday has began. Pauline our rep was always there if we had a question and looked after us all the way. You get to meet some like minded people who love to travel and can share experiences of trips you’ve either been on or plan to go to next . The tours, hotel, sites etc have been well researched by Riviera and that is why I’m already looking to book our next trip. When the brochure arrives I have post it’s in the pages of our wish lists to visit. I recommend Riviera to everyone, I wouldn’t look anywhere else we are hooked.
Review by Sue Williams on 21 September 2014
Just returned from this wonderful trip, both hotels were very good and in excellent locations.The local guides were both knowledgeable and passionate about their cities (Florence and Sienna) There is a lot of walking involved with this tour including some steep climbs but it is all worth it, the frescos, paintings, statues, buildings are truly magnificent. Absolutely no complaints about any aspect of this tour which is our second with Riviera - we are now planning our third !
Review by Jane Boulton on 22 September 2014
We have travelled with Riviera several times before, last year enjoying the Monet’s Garden by Eurostar which was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed our recent holiday to Florence & Tuscany—most impressed by just how much was fitted in to 7 days. The organisation was superb, flight times convenient and Pauline, our tour manager was helpful and knowledgeable—can’t praise her highly enough. The guided tours in Florence & Siena were brilliant & brought the places to life with interesting information by people who lived there. The hotel in Volterra was delightful—set in the wonderful Tuscan hills, with breathtaking scenery. We would recommend this holiday—and Riviera Travel to anyone!
Review by Janet Hunt on 22 September 2014
A very enjoyable and rewarding week immersed in the history and romance of the Tuscany region. All guides were very helpful and patient! Thanks to Katrina and her humorous remarks for being with us all week. Good balance between guided and free time. Both hotels had very welcoming and helpful staff but Volterra hotel particularly relaxing with its infinity outdoor pool, balcony and views out across the Tuscan countryside. More sociable being half board. Chance to mix with others in the party. This wasn’t as easy at Florence hotel. When eating out in Florence we recommend the Antico Vicolo Austeria, if you can find it (off main street - near the Ponte Vecchio). You will be well looked after. Now for our next Riviera holiday!
Review by Ray Sudlow on 22 September 2014
This was our first tour holiday with Riviera which we booked for a joint 50th birthday trip and it will not be the last. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the scheduled itinerary especially our 3 days spent in the heart of Florence and 4 days relaxation time spent in Volterra in the Tuscan countryside. Both hotels were comfortable and adequate for our needs. We were in the company of a large tour group most of whom we met sharing experiences and laughter with throughout the tour. Special thanks to Pauline our knowledgeable and Italian speaking tour guide who had to cope with one of the party suddenly being taken ill resulting in an unfortunate short hospitalisation. Thanks Pauline!
We would recommend this trip for the sights and places visited, in particular Lucca, and Volterra. The fantastic Tuscan food, weather and ambient atmosphere, not forgetting sampling copious amounts of local red Chianti wine, also helped to make our trip too!
Thanks Riviera for a great holiday; it was a ball! Ciau!! :D
Review by Rick & Debbie on 24 September 2014
We wanted to thank and compliment you for providing us with a very interesting and enjoyable holiday to Florence and Tuscany this last week. The arrangements were excellent throughout. We have nothing but praise for our very helpful and informative Riviera travel guide, Rebecca, who conduct our party with consummate efficiency and agree-ability. In addition, we thought that the package was good value for money. Thank you again for an excellent holiday experience.
Review by Paul & Elaine Bancroft. on 26 September 2014
My friend and I have recently returned from the Tuscany Tour.
Riviera’s attention to detail for everything was most impressive.
The central location of the Florence hotel and the quality of the Il Piccolo hotel at San Giminiani were very good. The choice of excursion destinations was great; beautiful places and lovely scenery. Our tour guide, Rebecca Element was excellent in every way. Informative, helpful and very knowledgeable, she enhanced our holiday and made sure everything went smoothly. She even stayed with us to ensure we got the correct check-in desk at the airport. No travel company has ever done THAT before! This was our first holiday with RIVIERA TRAVEL. We look forward to many more holidays with them in the future!!
Review by David Hill on 26 September 2014
HAVE NOT LONG RETURNED FROM FLORENCE TUSCANY TOUR OUR 3RD RIVIERA HOLIDAY,OUR TOUR THIS TIME WAS VERY GOOD LOTS OF PLACES TO SEE ACCOMMODATION VERY GOOD. OUR TOUR MANAGER DEBBIE WAS EXCELLENT VERY INFORMATIVE ON EVERY ASPECT WHEREVER WE WENT. AFTER THE TOUR SHE EVEN TOOK US INTO THE AIRPORT TO MAKE SURE WE GOT IN THE RIGHT QUEUE TO COME HOME. WELL DONE DEBBIE BEST COURIER WE HAVE TRAVELED WITH.
Review by ALAN SOANE on 2 October 2014
My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our Florence and Tuscany tour even when it poured with rain on our walking tour of Florence!. Full credit must go to Deborah who was knowledgeable, helpful and extremely patient. We did feel that 50 people are far too many for one person to worry about and were surprised as previous Riviera holidays have had on average 30 people. She was just brilliant! I would recommend this holiday and all it has to offer. The hotels were good and the scenery amazing. Lucca and San Gimignano were stunning places to visit. The crowded Florence contrasted well with the lovely, quiet Volterra.
Review by Chrissie on 5 October 2014
This was a well organised tour- despite there being 50 participants. The Tour Manager, Clara Parkinson, was excellent in every respect. The choice of the local guides in Florence and Siena was also first class. Clara arranged for a visit to a Winery at the group’s request and I suggest this should be included in the original tour.
Review by John Pett on 9 October 2014
We have just been reflecting on our recent holiday with your company to Florence and Tuscany and felt we had to congratulate Deborah Tour Manager for making it such a memorable trip, you really have an excellent employee who exceeded our expectations. Thankyou Anne & Norman Harlow plus Jean Lewis
Review by Anne & Norman Harlow plus Jean Lewis on 17 October 2014
This was our fourth Riviera tour, and once again it was wonderful. As usual everything went like clockwork, and thanks to Chris the tour manager, we were informed and entertained. He is a first class guide. The hotel room in Florence left a bit to be desired, but the one in Volterra was first class. But we wish someone had warned us about the mosquito’s! They were ferocious! A great tour, with a very agreeable group of people. Thanks Riviera, keep it up. Looking at the brochure now, to see where we go to next!
Review by marita jones on 17 October 2014
Just returned from a brilliant trip. Riviera up to their usual high standard. I had reassured my 82 year old friend who accompanied me, that everything would be well organised and that she would feel safe at all times and she did. Sure enough our courier, Chris was there waiting for us at Arrivals. Although a little wobbly on her feet she did not feel at all rushed throughout the holiday and was very well looked after. Chris had just the right balance of not overloading our brains with too much information during the coach journeys and he was readily available at the hotels. A lovely man. Thank you Riviera for a wonderful holiday.
Review by Jan Botsford on 24 October 2014
Just come back from a wonderful week Italy. Florence & Tuscany, well organised two lovely hotels, beautiful scenery, lovely food in the second hotel, we couldn’t have done it without our brilliant guide, made lots of new friends on the coach. I feel as though we have been away for a month. Good value for money! We will certainly be using Riviera Travel again, thank you
Review by M Davies on 1 November 2014
A New Year resolution was to write to your company following our return from the excellent tour of Florence and Tuscany in October last year. It was my husband’s and my first visit to Italy, and hopefully will not be the last. It was also the first time we had joined a guided tour and were delighted with every aspect. We returned home looking forward to visiting Italy again before too long..
May I especially thank our wonderful and knowledgeable guide Dina, for making the tour so enjoyable. I would have liked to contact Dina by email, to thank her for her professional and caring care of us all, and to thank her for recommending the book War in Val D’Orcia, the war-time diary of a lady living near to Sienna. It was a joy to read this, especially as I could picture the area clearly. If it is possible to do so, please convey my husband Mike’s thanks and good wishes to Dina for 2015.
We have kept in touch with a number of fellow travellers and may well join up again on a Riviera Tour.
With kind regards
Review by Elizabeth (Yardley) and Mike Thompson on 9 January 2015
Our first Riviera holiday and will not be our last. Thank you for the wonderful choice of hotels, so central in Florence that we could venture out at any time. The Ross hotel in Colle Val d’Elsa fantastic; for service, room and food. The staff so friendly and courteous. Our tour manager, Clara Parkinson was excellent, so natural and friendly, well organised and approachable.
Review by Jacqui & Roland Meldon on 30 April 2015
Just to say what a wonderful holiday we have just had. The Hotel Corona in Florence was ideally situated, right in the heart of the City and we were thrilled with the Palazzo San Lorenzo Hotel in the quaint village of Colle Val d’Elsa. Our Tour Manager, Clara Parkinson was excellent, always there for us, nothing was too much trouble. The Coach Tours were very well organised and Clara always gave us lots of information of where we were visiting and also kept us amused with her funny stories. She helped to make our holiday something special. We have travelled with Riviera before and certainly hope to book with you again. Very many thanks.
Review by Julia & Stuart Duchemin on 1 May 2015
My wife and I have just returned from the Florence & Tuscany Tour and wanted to feedback how much we enjoyed our holiday with Riveria Travel. We hadn’t used this company before, but will not hesitate to do so again hopefully in the future. Everything was well organised with an excellent Tour Manager, Matt, who did everything he could to ensure that we were looked after for the duration of the holiday. Matt was also extremely knowledgable and informative, as were the other walk tour guides, Bruno in Florence and Nicolette in Siena. The hotels were of good standard and the programme was sufficiently planned to allow plenty of free time to explore the Tuscany region and culture at our own leisure. Although there were 50 in the group, this was not a problem as we kept to schedule and we interacted with most people on the tour during the week.
Review by Mark & Alison Gibson on 3 May 2015
We have just come back from the Florence & Tuscany tour which was one of the most enjoyable visits to Italy that we have had in recent years. The hotel in Florence, Hotel Corona, was ideally situated in the centre of Florence, making sightseeing very easy and convenient. The Palazzo San Lorenzo in Colle Di Val D’Elsa was again in a great situation for touring Tuscany and was of an extremely high standard. Our tour manager, Clara Parkinson, was an excellent representative for your company and provided a wealth of experiences and knowledge. She helped make this holiday experience one to remember and a standard for others to live up to. Thank you to all the staff at Riviera, both in the office and on the tours. We look forward to our next tour with you later this year.
Review by Peter & Lynn Smith on 3 May 2015
What a wonderful time we had on this, my first Riveria Holiday. All the travel arrangements went smoothly and both the Florentine and Volterra hotels were excellent. However the best thing about the tour was Matt, our guide. He was unflaggingly cheerful (even when our bus got stuck under a bridge!) and so well informed about every aspect of Italian life. We did have his jokes to bear each day though!!!!! Only kidding, Matt. We could just relax and let him take charge, knowing we were in such capable hands. Thank you to all and Sean in the office for a lovely trip.
Review by Sue O’Grady on 10 May 2015
Just returned from Florence and Tuscany, had the most wonderful time. I’m 46 and my mother is 74, and we enjoyed every moment. Florence and Pisa took our breath away. Then we moved into the picture postcard Tuscany. The whole thing was planned to perfection, our tour guide Matt was brilliant and knowledgeable, in both the hotels the staff were brilliant and nothing was to much trouble. Get comfy shoes on because you will want to walk your feet off, because you wont want to miss anything. A wonderful experience from the tour. I will never forget Italy. Between us we took 1200 photo and I wish I could show you them all. Xx thank you!!!
Review by julie biddulph on 10 May 2015
My wife and I have just returned from a week’s holiday in Florence and Tuscany, staying at the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo in Florence and the Park Hotel le Fonti in Volterra. The whole trip was excellent with a perfect itinerary well run by our guide Liz who managed everything in a professional and friendly way. Both hotel locations were ideally situated, in Florence close to the river and near enough to the city whereas the le Fonti was a good rural spot with superb views. The pool, jacusi and sauna at the le Fonti were an added bonus and much appreciated. The staff here were always very helpful, pleasant and efficient and the rooms were very comfortable. We also found the restaurant service and meals to be of a high standard. We found that the combination of visit to historic cities and free time was just the right mix and the guides provided in Florence and Sienna were excellent. The whole experience was first class and of the usual Riviera high standard
Review by Gordon Lindsay on 18 May 2015
Marvellous - again. We have recently returned from the tour of Florence and Tuscany. Matt the tour manager was exceptional in his attention to detail and ensuring everyone was as content as possible. The hotels were both in exceptional locations (the Corona D’Italia in Florence and Park Hotel Le Fonti in Volterra). The rooms in the very clean Corona were a little small for us but you can’t beat the central location. Le Fonti was a little tired in places and service was a little slow at dinner - or was that intentional for us to get to know our fellow travellers better - but the views from the terrace and some rooms are stunning. The staff at both were very friendly and helpful. The tour takes in some very beautiful and historic places and as a result places can be very busy. However, some visits were timed, or re-rostered, to avoid the squash and this was most appreciated.
Thanks Riviera and special thanks to Matt (and Liz of course who was shadowing Matt ready to take over the following week).
Review by Graham Griffin on 21 May 2015
This was our first experience with Riviera Travel and we were most impressed with the whole package, from our initial booking through to the actual tour. Clara our travel rep worked extremely hard with the large group of independent minded adults with her sense of humour never failing! The coach drivers were again first class. We adore Italy, but this was our first time in Tuscany and this tour enticed us to turn to this region. We shall certainly be using Riviera again.
Review by Sylvie & Robert on 1 June 2015
We have just returned from the above tour and would like to say how much we enjoyed it.
Deborah, our tour manager, was excellent. She was well organised, spoke the language well; had really researched where we were going and handed out street maps of the towns we were visiting, which were extremely useful for our free time. Deborah had a good knowledge of the area which enhanced the visit. The hotels were good, locations were ideal.
Review by Risbridger and Hawkins on 6 June 2015
All we can say is that Tuscany lived up to and exceeded all our expectations and we felt this was down to the Riviera package. We enjoyed our tour guides who we felt were exceptional, especially Bernie in Florence. We had the right amount of free time everywhere which is important to us. Hotels were good but the second one in Monteriggioni we felt was again, exceptional. Deborah our Riviera guide who looked after us was just fantastic. She made the whole holiday for us. She obviously does her homework so that we got the most out of every day and every place we visited. Our last day she took us on a walk which we felt maybe she didn’t have to do, so this for us completed our week on another high. We would certainly recommend this type of holiday with Riviera and will most certainly look into other tours with Riviera. Thank you and big thanks to Deborah. She is a credit to your Company!
Review by Miller/Slaughter on 7 June 2015
Our first trip with Riviera, and what a success it was. We did so much in such a short time, and our Tour Guide Deborah was probably the best part of it, for the care and assistance she supplied. She was amazing, she was always vigilant about her flock and her knowledge of many things was awe inspiring. She helped us enjoy what we saw twice as much. We had visited Pisa before however, with the information that Deborah supplied, we saw it in a whole new light, and knew now where to go and what to see. She was articulate and precise which is exactly what is needed on a fast many centred tour like ours was. The hotels we used were the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, which was comfortable though perhaps a bit further out from the centre of Florence that we would have wished. Once we got the hang of the Hop on Hop off bus (stop just over the road from the hotel) Florence was ours, and we spent our free time jumping on and off at some wonderful locations. The next hotel, Hotel IL Piccolo Castello at Monteriggioni was truly fantastic - the opulence of our room and the facilities were great, all the spacious rooms have French windows with wooden interior shutters, half straight out onto the pool area. Staff were so helpful, and Ciro the Boss is a charming man whose only wish is his client’s happiness. We could have stayed there much longer, and may return. All in all a very well organised and memorable trip in many respects thanks to Deborah.
Review by Mo & Alan Morris on 8 June 2015
Really excellent and Christopher played a big part with his knowledge of Italy having lived there for 17 years. He was always helpful, cheerful + his tips and advice, great - things to see, cost +, where the nearest loo was, invaluable to a group of mainly pensioners and info re-changing money and things to look out for. Everything ran like clockwork. Only comment was that the Mediterranean Hotel in Florence is a minimum 20 minute walk from centre of town for OAP’s and after a day exploring few wanted to walk back into town for dinner. The hotel has a restaurant and there is another right outside - both are apparently quite good if a little expensive. There is a Taverna behind hotel, serves good food at more reasonable prices, it is very busy + noisy - avoid weekends. Hotel in Tuscany was a wow, food and accommodation. Tours were very full, enjoyable, longest coach trip about 90/100 minutes, we were v tired at end of day due to a lot of walking. Would strongly recommend as long as you are mobile.
Review by Drury on 20 June 2015
This is more a testimonial of the tour manager Matt than of the tour. His knowledge, sense of fun, and obvious enjoyment of his job, helped greatly with our own enjoyment of the tour.
Review by Mr &Mrs; Jennings on 22 June 2015
This was our fourth holiday with Riviera and yet again the standard was superb. The first 3 days we stayed at the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, bed and breakfast, about a 10 minute walk from the main tourist attractions and they are wonderful. The guide we had for the walking tour of Florence really brought Florence to life. Lucca and Pisa were special and Pisa took the breath away for all those on the tour. On the free day in Florence, it’s well worth booking in advance to visit the Accademia gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. At the end of the free day we moved to Colle Val d’Elsa to the Palazzo San Lorenzo and what a special hotel is this one. The Florence hotel was good but this one really raised the Riviera rating. Rooms fabulous, service and food really good. The visits to Volterra and San Gimignano through the Tuscan countryside beautiful and the final trip to Sienna, a medieval city, not to be missed. Although don’t tell the people of Florence this. The final day in Colle Val d’Elsa was just lovely and relaxing whether in the old high town and down below in the modern part. All in all a trip not to be missed and one cannot finish without a special word of thanks to Christopher our main tour leader, relaxed, informative without boring you, helpful and friendly to all. You couldn’t wish for a better guy. Thanks Chris you made a lovely holiday a bit special.
Review by Kenneth Livingston on 29 June 2015
This was an excellent tour in every respect! Nice hotels, great itinerary, very good coach drivers, excellent local guides and a great tour manager. The Riviera tours are worth every penny!
Review by A C PURNELL on 9 July 2015
We returned last evening from another memorable Riviera holiday and the second time with tour manager Clara who makes the holiday so special. Her boundless energy, caring attitude and immense general knowledge add so much to the holiday. She had to manage the group in exceptionally high temperatures and did so well. We hope we will enjoy more holidays with Riviera in future.
Review by Valerie Douglas & Shirley Wilson on 9 July 2015
A wonderful, wonderful tour in every respect. One which exceeded all our expectations - and by a distance. We would like to particularly thank our excellent guide Norman Greene who was, without any doubt, the best tour guide we have ever had. Norman treated us as much more than customers. He made us feel like members of his family. Nothing was too much bother for him. His attention to detail was amazing. And I doubt he ever actually stopped working for the entire duration of the tour. From the moment we met him until the moment we walked through the departure gates at the airport he looked after us. Everything from advising us about where to eat, to suggesting places to visit, while answering endless questions with great knowledge and insight. He was absolutely superb, and is a credit to your organisation. Thank you Riviera, and a massive thank you to Norman. We’ll be back
Review by Janice & Gerard Hennessy and family on 20 July 2015
Having recently returned from this excellent tour I felt I had to write in praise of Prisca Demolu the tour guide who accompanied us throughout our week. She achieved a wonderful balance of being informative, helpful and supportive whilst adding to the whole experience with her great sense of fun. I was so impressed with her level of local knowledge and customer interaction that I wanted to let you know what an superb addition she is to your company. A very satisfied customer
Review by Sandra Hay on 13 August 2015
My family and I have just returned from the Florence and Tuscany Tour (4th to 11th August). This was a very enjoyable holiday. Pauline, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the history of the places we visited. She communicated with us effectively by tailoring the content of her messages to meet our needs.
Pauline is a very empathetic and sensitive person. Unfortunately, my parents, particularly my mother suffer from a number of ailments. My mother walks unsteadily with the aid of a walking stick. Pauline took time to understand her needs in a patient, non-judgemental and supportive manner. She demonstrated this by conducting tours of various places that bit more slowly so that my mother would not become breathless and tire so easily. In addition to this, Pauline arranged for my mother to rest regularly and for taxis to transport her when she was completely overcome with fatigue. Pauline’s final act of kindness was to arrange for my mother to have wheelchair assistance at Pisa Airport.
Please convey our gratitude to Pauline for her assistance. Her help is much appreciated. We are looking forward to travelling with Riviera again!
Review by Evelyn Haizel on 26 August 2015
We have just returned from a fabulous tour of Florence & Tuscany and have had an unforgettable experience. We were accompanied throughout by Matt who was just fantastic! He was so knowledgable about about everywhere we visited, gave invaluable advice on where to eat, what to look for and things to do. He made the holiday very special and his anecdotes certainly helped to pass the time on the coach! The hotel in Florence (Mediterraneo) was very good, if a little far from the centre. Last year stayed in Corona d’Italia, much easier to access sights from there.The hotel Le Fonti was again superb! Lovely staff, amazing views and an improvement in the food since last year. I have done this trip twice with 2 different granddaughters to give them a taste of Italy and it certainly did the job.They loved it, in spite of being the only children on the tours!! Again, many thanks to Matt. He is indeed an asset to the company!
Review by Barbara Howard & Eve (aged 11) on 30 August 2015
My friend Mrs East and I recently took your Florence and Tuscany tour on 15th August from Newcastle. Just to say what a good time we had. The hotel in Florence was ideally situated especially as we both have some mobility issues. The hotel Le Fonti, Voltarra was beautiful. The view was so relaxing and it was a nice little town . Similarly the proximity of the bus service was ideal. I would stay at both of these again. The courier Trina and our driver Franco were both very very good and we appreciated all their help. Thank you for a great time.
Review by Margaret Burdon on 11 September 2015
We have recently returned from another magnificent Riviera Travel holiday, our 5th. The delights of Florence, Pisa, Sienna and Tuscany in general are well documented and can be found elsewhere. The purpose of this is to draw attention to the contributions made by the Tour Manager Matt and our coach driver for most of the holiday Mateo. All of the Riviera Tour managers we have had experience of were superb, Matt is in a class of his own; amusing, engaging, interesting and with a depth of knowledge which stretched from the Etruscan history of Tuscany to where to get a good meal at a reasonable price, the joke of the day and his ‘thumbnail sketch’ of life in Italy from the education system through health care to the crazy world of Italian politics was both interesting and entertaining. Mateo’s driving style was smooth relaxing and confidence inspiring. We stayed at the Corona d’ Italia hotel in Florence. Superbly situated in the city centre this is a comfortable clean hotel. We had a room overlooking the Via Nationale, good quality double glazing kept the room peaceful and quiet. Hotel staff were a delight particularly the barman! The Park Hotel Le Fonti in Voltarra is superb, with great views over the Tuscan landscape from the terrace and most rooms. The only down side to this hotel was that there was too few waiting staff in the dining room for the number of guests. The waiting staff that were there were delightful, very helpful, engaging and totally charming, but clearly under pressure. It is worth recording that the level of service did not warrant complaint but in my view but 2 extra staff could have made all the difference. Overall another outstanding Riviera Travel experience. Now, where is that Riviera brochure?
Review by Richard Symes & Jane Groves on 11 September 2015
Well organised and very enjoyable trip. Would like to give special thanks to our Riviera travel rep, Pauline, who went above and beyond in assisting my wife, who is in a wheelchair. She really made the trip for us.
Review by G. McLatchie on 27 September 2015
Have just returned from another wonderful holiday with Riviera. Our tour guide, Christopher, was very knowledgeable - he had a great sense of humour, and was very organised and helpful. The hotels were both good and we had plenty of free time to explore as much as we wanted. The countryside was amazing - the only thing which could have been a little better was the weather, but no one can organise that!
Review by Colin and Pamela Woodward on 18 October 2015
Home again on Wednesday evening (21.10.2015) from the Florence and Tuscany tour. My sister and I had a good time and really enjoyed it. We were very well looked after, informed and entertained by Clara Parkinson our Riviera guide as well as educated and interested by the specialist guides in Florence and Sienna. Tuscany is so beautiful at this time of year so inspite of arriving at Pisa airport in a downpour, the weather gradually improved to allow us to enjoy Lucca, San Gimignano and Volterra in some sunshine. Travelling with a such a very gregarious, interesting and lively group of people with whom we shared so many life experiences not to mention sense of humour was wonderful.