Italy Vacation | Custom Tours | Design Your Own
Experience the real Italia! Our Custom Tours and travel packages of Italy are designed to take travelers off the beaten track and into the Italy familiar to locals. From cooking lessons in Tuscany, to hunting for treasures in a glass museum in Venice, or discovering the outdoor markets of Florence, it's our mission to make your vacation in Italy vibrant with the spirit of adventure. Our Custom Tours itineraries cater to curious, active travelers determined to explore Travel to Italy and Italian culture. Leave the vacation planning to us and Travel to Italy like you have never traveled it before! We provide packages, hotels, transportation, activities and events.
... All you have to do is to start dreaming and design your own package!
The highest compliment you can give Ciao Tours is to recommend us to your
friends family & business associates.
I nostri clienti sono sempre parte della nostra grande famiglia…grazie!"
John Bodenburg & Nancy Helmer - First, let us say how much we appreciate your effort in making our Italy vacation fabulous. We really had a great time, and much of that was due to Ciao Tours. At our age, we want someone available to guide, direct and teach us as we go. That is exactly what we received, and we're so glad for the experience. So, we are going to write a nice review of Ciao Tours in Trip Advisor. read more
Barbara and Tom, et al (Palmer Group) - Our Dear Arlene: On behalf of our group we would like to say thank you so much for the wonderful tours and contacts you provided for us in Italy; and especially for the exceptionally professional guides and drivers you sent our way. read more
Gail McKernan and Brian Morwood-Clark, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank Ciao Tours for arranging such an amazing trip to Italy for us! The way I look at it, normally we’d have spent huge amounts of time researching all of the below items had we not gone with Ciao Tours, and still have had some uncertain conclusions. Ciao Tours clearly knows what the best elements of an Italian vacation are, from every aspect. Putting our trust in Ciao Tours far exceeded our expectations and gave us memories that we will never forget. Our recommendation to others would be – you only have so much time in life. If Italy is on your bucket list, make it easy and special with Ciao Tours. read more
Maddox Family - I have to say that our trip was FANTASTIC! It was the trip of a lifetime for our family. We had been planning on going to Italy for many years. Ciao Tours made the trip “stress free” which was most important to me. I would have been the one to do all the planning and I didn’t have the time nor the knowledge. You have great connections and all of your “people” from Didi to our personal drivers were so helpful and thoughtful. Everyone was wonderful and we were truly “taken care of”. It was worth every penny we spent. We all agreed we would not have changed a thing. We all loved the fact that the guides could get us into the museums and cathedrals ahead of the long lines. Being an accountant, I am very detail oriented and so is Ciao Tours. It meant a lot to us to have everything planned out down to the smallest detail. read more
Michael and Delma Rosseker - The tour you arranged for us was PHENOMENAL!!!!!!" We’ve been back in Canada for a month and are still marveling over it. It was the BEST, and this will present a problem for you. We are planning another trip to Italy in 2014. How will you ever exceed our new expectations? On our 2013 trip everything went flawlessly. read more
Marilyn & Ken King - Ken and I would like to send you this note of appreciation for all of the effort and diligence put into out trip to Italy from you and all the staff at Ciao Tours. Thomas was exceptional as our guide through the Vatican and around Rome the following day. We found him extremely knowledgeable and energetic!. read more
Lorne and Lori Stafford - My wife and I would really like to thank Ciao Tours for putting together a wonderful holiday for us. We were in Italy for three weeks all told, and we packed a lot in. Everything went right according to the plan laid out in our itinerary. Every place we stayed we showed up at the hotel and everything was in order, they were expecting us, and we had no unpleasant surprises. The accommodations were all first rate. In Sorrento, especially, we had the best room in the entire hotel, thank you Ciao tours for that little surprise. read more
Robert & Madelyn Cacchione - We had a wonderful time and are ready to go back. Maybe next year. Everything was as promised. Our pickups were on time and Laura was most solicitous. The most valuable thing she did was inform us about the beginning of daylight savings time the night before our departure from Italy. I don't think we would have known otherwise and would certainly have not been ready for our ride to the airport. I'm also glad you suggested we stay in Positano rather than Amalfi. . read more
Mark Love, Custom Travel Solutions - Hi Arlene, As discussed I have talked to my clients, about their recent travels to Italy and they noted that they had a trip of a lifetime. Once again thank you to yourself and your team for making their experience in Italy out of this world. read more
FESTIVALS IN ITALY
Santa Lucia Day, December 13th in Siracusa (Sicily)
Santa Lucia Day, December 13, is celebrated in many Italian towns. One of the biggest celebrations is in Sicily where the city of Siracusa holds a huge parade carrying the saint on a golden coffin to the Church of Santa Lucia. On December 20 there is another parade to return her to the crypt. There are celebrations all week and thousands of pilgrims come to Siracusa. The festivities end with a big fireworks display over the harbor.
REAL ITALIAN RECIPES
Pasta e Lenticchie
(Pasta With Lentils)
In Italy, lentils are eaten as a symbol of good luck and prosperity because they resemble tiny coins so they are perfect for Christmas time.
10 oz. lentils
2 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
1 ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
5 oz. spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil
Check the lentils for dirt particles. Soak the lentils for at least 12 hours, discarding the ones that float on the surface. Cook the lentils in 2 qts. cold water, add crushed clove of garlic, tomato, and chopped celery stalk and cook slowly until lentils are done. Add salt, pepper and broken up spaghetti (about 1-1 1/2-in. long) and cook till al dente. Remove from fire; add olive oil, mix well, season and serve.
Note: You may also start cooking the lentils by themselves and, halfway through the cooking, discard the original water and replace with boiling hot water or thin broth. Then add the garlic, celery and tomato. This must be done quickly so as not to interrupt the cooking process.