Travel Planning Services

Travel Planning with Insider’s Italy takes one of three routes: Semplicita, Completo, and Ultimo


Semplicita

Semplicita is just that.  This service is meant for clients who want a thorough, thoughtful consultation on how to best organize their travels—choosing bases, specific hotels and inns—and want Accommodation bookings only. We personally make every hotel reservation for you at our Insider’s Italy inns, hotels and country agriturismi (three, four and five star categories), and book by room number (almost always) directly with owners and managers.

Semplicita is ideal for last-minute travelers and for those who wish to fully coordinate all their own itineraries, touring and dining plans.

Semplicita includes full reviews of accommodations, and provides general information on routing from one hotel to the next, including driving or train access. Semplicita comes in PDF format and is charged at our minimum fee of $1,000 (more for trips longer than 10 to 14 days or exceeding four bases). We typically have it out to you the day we receive payment.

Completo

Completo is intended for those who want more structure than Semplicita clients but wish still to undertake much of their itinerary planning themselves.  Completo is Semplicita plus coordination of our guides and docents, as well as our own drivers for airport transfers. We also coordinate car rentals, through the most efficient, least expensive car supplier in Italy. We will book our own drivers for car-and-driver wherever you would like to use them. Everything we recommend is personally known to us.  And we provide a page or two of detailed Insider’s information on each base — just enough to set you off on explorations of your own.

Typically, the fee for Completo is $2,500 (more for trips longer than 10 to 14 days or exceeding four bases). Completo comes in PDF form.

Ultimo

This is the service where we made our name and is our most popular service.  Ultimo is defined (Gourmet Magazine) as “remarkably detailed, with things I’ve never seen in any guidebook, the sort of advice you might get from a friend if the friend were very, very knowledgeable”.

We start by sending you our Insider’s Reading and Movie List, plus suggestions for self guided language courses. We have special Reading/Movie/Language suggestions for children too.

Ultimo offers everything you will find in Completo, but also includes an 80-150 page, detailed, personalized itinerary combining unusual historical background, a thorough report on special (usually off-the-beaten-track) sightseeing and informed tips on how to enjoy all locations most fully.

We offer our 16-page General Information, invaluable Italian travel advice, which you’ll find nowhere else. We send the best maps made for Italy. We offer our Insider’s Guide to the Italian Train and appropriate train schedules, as well as very detailed driving routes.

We offer our full Good Eating materials.  Every exciting food discovery we make is included in your  Plans. Our detailed reviews are for restaurants that are locally acclaimed. The focus is mostly on Slow Food. We include detailed information on wine producers, vineyards and tasting cellars, plus culinary destinations, such as Parmesan dairies, a wood-fired bakery in Puglia, an outstanding olive-oil producer, ice cream makers, pastry chefs. We offer our detailed Insider’s Guide to the Italian Restaurant, Gelateria, Cafe/Bar and Regional Eating Guides for every region you visit.  Where advisable, we will make meal reservations whenever we suggest restaurants—e.g. for special, small favorites and others that we know will be full or for Sunday lunches.

Ultimo comes as a printed book (nicknamed by many “our Bible”) that we typically send to you a month or so before you depart.  Included is an “executive summary” for every day—though of course this one is not work-based, but filled with appointments with special docents, cooking classes, timed entry museum visits, trattoria meals!  We also offer telephone consultation throughout the planning process and during your trip.

The sort of client who chooses Ultimo is one who longs to come to Italy but has no time or inclination to plan anything.  With Ultimo, all you need do is purchase air tickets and have one relaxed conversation with us.  We will plan it all : a remarkable, tailor made experience that will include an an array of special experiences. Each itinerary is highly customized to your interests, budget and needs.

The fee for Ultimo is typically $4,000 for 10 to 14 days of Planning.