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          Just a short note to tell you once again how great, fantastic, fabulous trip we had in Firenza and its surroundings. Tuscany is the most beautiful place on this planet! There is no doubt we will be back again and again.

Firenze and its surroundings

Dusana

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Naples and Campania

Dear Andrea,

Thank you, once again, for advising, being patient, and working with me to plan our tours in the Naples area.  It truly was a great trip and Alessandra was a wonderful guide. It was unfortunate that we could not spend more time there but when Joe and I travel to Europe, it is always part business and our time is limited.


All the sightseeing was great.  We were not able to do a few tours, as we had planned, which was unfortunate.  We did get to a mozzarella or cheese factory which was somewhat disappointing.  Althought the mozzarella specialities sampled at Nunzio's wine bar were fabulous.  We ran out of time and did not visit the Bosco di San Silvestro and the Hunting House of the king on June 19.  But visiting La Reggia and the gardens was wonderful.  We were not able to visit the silk factories, which was most disappointing, because the roads were closed for a bicycle race.  Alessandra was willing to take us later that same day but we were all too tired--lots of walking that day.  And, finally we did not get to go up to Vesuvius.  Two of our group did bring the correct walking shoes which was unfortunate.  Alessandra made a substitution in the local town, which was fine.    We did get to see and do almost everything that we planned and our trip was superb.
Comments about the restaurants:
June 18:  The pizza restaurant was wonderful, do not know the name.  Alessandra took us to a restaurant which took reservations.  Super idea.  Great pizza, pasta and calzones.
June 19:  Chalet della Ville:  By far, the very best food, although Nunzio prepared too, too much food for only 12 people.    From beginning to end, all was suberb. Please tell Nunzio that we enjoyed everything that he prepared.  But there was just too much food.  The mozzarella dishes were great.  The provlone with apricots was wonderful and different.  The frittata and the two pasta dishes excellent-one with beans and one with red sauce and pork skins (never had this before).  There was buffalo sausage, prepared two ways and and entre of veal which we were all were too full to eat.  Then there was mixed fruit with port, also excellent (I have already  tried to copy his recipe and prepare this treat.  Not quite as good but OK.).  Finally a special treat of lemon cake--wonderful.  But again, there was far too, too much food.  We all felt very sorry that we had to leave so much food and were not able to eat more.  We just simply could not eat the amounts that were prepared.  But it was indeed the very best.  However, very much to our dismay, Nunzio would not take a credit card.  This was very stressful for all of us.  We did have extra Euros, we  were not able to pay for the guide's meals and had a problem since the hotel did not take travelers checks or exchange USD for Euros.  Also, the restaurant was not air conditioned.  Nunzio's restaurant was very small and very, very hot.    
June 20:  Ristorante da Giorgio:  Very good, very clean and good service.  Good fish and veal.
June 21:  Taverna del Capitano:  Fabulous view on the water with windows open and a wonderful breeze.  No air condidtioning but it was not needed.  Quite a fancy restaurant, we felt that we were not dressed properly.  One of the servers spoke English quite well and presented the menu to us. Beautiful presentation for all  that was served, lots of extras (such as pre-appetizers and even pre-desserts) were included.  Everything that we ate was excellent.  Good chicken,pasta and veal.
June 22:  Carvella in Amalfi:  Very clean and the most expensive.  We are not accustomed to paying so much for lunch or eating so much food.  However, they did have very good food also.  Great fish and veal with peppers.  This was our niece's favorite restaurant.  She had steak with wine sauce and said it was excellent.  They also served something very unusal to us which was eggplant dipped in chocolate, very different, very good.  

June 23:  Casa Rossa 1888 al Vesuvio.  This was the most disappointing restaurant.  We ate outside, which was great although there was no view because it was very hazy.  The service was extremely slow, the veal dishes were tough and unappealing; the gnocchi were like lead weights and most of the food was too salty.The only good preparation was the asparagus risotto which was excellent.  The service was extremely slow and food definitely NOT as good as the other restaurants.  Even the pizza restaurant had better food.  This restaurant was the only restaurant (including those that we went  to without your guidance) that we all felt was NOT as good as any of  the others.  Perhaps this restaurant was known for fish dishes.  Only Alessandra had a fish meal, I think.
Overall, we all had an excellent visit to Italy.  The tours, sightseeing and restaurant choices were great.  Thank you, again.  Do you have a guest comment book?  We would all have very positive comments to make!!  Have a great rest of the year.  I am hopeful that my husband and I will be returning to Italy during the early fall 2006.
Best regards,
Judy DeStefano