Welcome to Ciao Tours - Your Window on Italy
Unique, Personalized, Independent Tours of Italy
Over the past 20 years Ciao Tours has built a reputation as a boutique Tour Operator specializing solely in Italy. “Do what you know how to do, and do it well!” This team of Canadian and Italian women has been together for many years because Italy, and Canada, is where we live and raise our families. We have succeeded in Italy by building relationships based on trust and dedication, which in turn makes our clients experience in Italy the very best! We pride ourselves on knowing the family ran wineries and Agritourisms intimately and are eager to show our clients the warm and friendly hospitality they have to offer. I personally invite you to Italy to become part of our family. Buon Viaggio!
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!”
There is not a high enough number for me to rate Ciao Tours. I am so fortunate to have found you in my internet search when planning this trip. Thanks to you and your staff, there are nineteen people who will cherish many fond memories of their Italian experience.
To you, thanks for listening to what we wanted to accomplish, to providing many options until we found just the right mix, and for patiently guiding me through the process of coordinating our trip. And to your staff many thanks for assisting with all the details.
It was very evident, through all the days of our trip, the relationships you have built and fostered with your vendors and contract personnel in Italy. Every one of them shared your commitment to make this the best experience possible. It is a real tribute to you and Lara for the company you have created.
Our tour guides and escorts along the way . . . . again, the absolute best.
To Luca-many thanks for sharing your passion for art and knowledge of Florence with us.
To Lisa- your tour of Siena, on a blustery but sunny day was wonderful (especially when we found temporary comfort in a slightly warmer church)
To Naima- we not only appreciated your immense knowledge, but loved your sense of humor and putting a human spin on Italian life. Always keep that wonderful smile up front!
To Janet-thanks for making all those hills in Montepulciano worth the effort! For those who only knew Italy through “Under the Tuscan Sun” you certainly expanded our horizons, strengthened our leg muscles, and led us to our just reward, Montepulciano wine!
To Cristina-Last, but not least! Your calmness in the midst of confusion, your phone which seemed to contain the numbers of anyone we could possibly need, working your magic to accommodate a bucket-list Ferrari test drive, and above all, your immeasurable and invaluable assistance to one of our travelers in a medical emergency. You were with her and her family, almost 24/7, guiding them through the Italian medical system, coordinating travel insurance issues, and most of all, with lots of kind words and tender care throughout their ordeal. We also owe an extreme debt of gratitude to your family and friends for being so understanding an accommodating.
Our accommodations . . . all excellent with very attentive staff. But a special thanks to Umberto, who was right there with Cristina through the medical crisis and to his staff for their initial response and follow-through at the time of the incident.
Cooking classes . . . entertaining, enlightening and above all, delicious!
We can’t thank you enough and we would highly recommend Ciao Tours to anyone looking to experience Italy.
I thought you would appreciate a quick report on the trip to Italy that Ciao Tours organized for Beth and I. As you know, we dreamed of travelling to Italy for decades. We love Italian food, wine, art and music and as we discovered, we also love the Italian people! You should be very proud of the work Ciao Tours did in making our trip perfect.
You may recall we contacted Ciao Tours when we become frustrated with trying to organize the trip ourselves. Working with Ciao Tours was the best decision we could have made. You removed the stress from our three weeks in Italy and allowed us to relax, have fun and better understand the culture, the history and the people.
Since this was our first trip, we wanted to visit Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Florence and the Tuscany hill towns with private guides chosen by Ciao Tours. Rosella in Rome, Luca in Florecnce, Lisa in Sienna, Enzo on the Amalfi Coast and Allesandra in Assisi all added so much value to our experience. We witnessed so many other visitors wandering around these beautiful towns and cities trying to follow maps to find the hidden gems while our individual guides walked us through these places and explained as much or as little as we wanted.
We traveled across Italy for almost three weeks and on no occasion did a driver or a guide not show up on time, the quality of our hotels and agritourismo’s were well above average and the restaurants Ciao Tours included in our daily “travel bible” were all first class.
Rosa de Venti, the Tuscany agritourismo where we stayed for six days was particularly beautiful, a perfect hub for exploring Tuscany and Umbria in our rental car. The cooking class with Barbara and Ornella is a high point, such wonderful people & food.
The region of Emilia Romagna, where we spent 3 days at the Cavazone agritourismo, is less visited, offers the best food in Italy and we really enjoyed our tours of the Parma ham and Reggio Parmagino plants. By the way, when we got a flat tire due to my not wanting to plow into a group of Italian cyclists on a country road outside Reggio Emilia, your in-country staff, Allesandra and Claudia made changing cars quick and simple. They actually checked in with us every day were in-country.
We all have high expectations when we go on vacations, especially to a sensational place like Italy. In three weeks, I can say honestly that Ciao Tours’ performance was outstanding. You made our visit a trip of a lifetime and when we return to Italy, we will be having Ciao Tours organize our trip.
Thank you so much to you and all the great people you work with!
Bill & Beth Bennett
You are the best. Who better than Ciao Tours to craft an exceptional and unforgettable trip to bella Italia!
Yet again my clients have returned from Italy with nothing but praise for Ciao Tours. As a travel professional I have worked with Arlene and her staff for several years to create truly exceptional journeys to this beautiful country; and we have never been disappointed.
I can bring an idea to Arlene and her planning professionals, and a truly unique journey begins to unfold. No detail is overlooked, and every request is fulfilled. There is no “cookie-cutter” response at Ciao Tours!
Each member of the staff, in Canada and in Italy, is a gem. The Italian-based tour managers and all the local guides are exceptionally well regarded by travelers and locals alike.
Your love for Italy is apparent, and your desire to convey that sentiment to our clients is visible in everything you do, from a welcoming phone call to assistance in finding a unique dining experience, and so much more.
Accommodations are exceptional, transportation arrangements are carefully organized, and sightseeing and local tours are insightful and creative.
You have found the formula for creating a uniquely gratifying experience for our travelers who visit Italy – one they will never forget, for all the right reasons. Don’t change your philosophy!
To Ciao Tours, Arlene and Marcia,
First off, thank you for putting together such a wonderful and memorable trip to Italy. With your help and Marcia’s as well, it was a dream vacation.
All accommodations, drivers, transfers and tours went off without a single issue. Our guides and hotel staff had nothing but positive things to say about you and Ciao tours. Didi ,in country, was very helpful on more than one occasion; it was great to have her as a resource and to have her assistance.
Our guide, Luca, was fantastic and loves Ciao tours. He said you always have things organized and really likes the location of Hotel Pierre. Luca was one of the best guides we had out of all of them. He is very smart, full of information and a pleasure to be with, a great city tour. Florence is a beautiful city, as I’m sure you know.
The Rosa dei Venti agritourismo was one of the absolute highlights of the trip! We both agree that if we could only go back to one place in Italy it would be Rosa dei Venti, no question about it. It too was in a great location for visiting the many smaller cities and gorgeous countryside. The property itself is so well taken care of and thought out. It’s hard to believe it’s as old as it is. The main highlight is Barbara. She is one of the nicest, warmest, and caring people you will ever meet and what a cook! The family cooked meal by her and her mother, compliments of Ciao tours, was nothing short of a five star meal. Thank you for that! It was perfect after the drive to have a fabulous meal with wine prepared for us and delivered to our apartment to enjoy. She has written a cookbook with recipes and a story about the property that we had to buy five of, four for our four daughters and one for us. We had no trouble filling our time there visiting other towns and relaxing on the property. We could have spent a week or more there easily.
The drive to and tours of Pompeii and Herculaneum were great, loved both of them. Our guide, Mike, was equally as good as Luca was. He was very knowledgeable and easy to be with, very personable. We are glad that we had him in Naples as well.
La Ciliegina in Naples was another perfect location. The only thing I could knock it for is they could have better signage to find it. There was a small sign outside pointing in a general direction but you had to find a second sign that told you to go down a short alley, sort of, and get on the elevator to the third floor. Other than that, nice staff. It was a smaller room but very nice. A good breakfast on the roof top area. There was also a nice Jacuzzi on the roof, which we had all to ourselves in the evening along with live music from a hotel or club across the palazzo. We enjoyed a very good city tour with Mike; he is one of the best guides we have ever had! The traditional pizzeria you had us reservations at was everything I hoped it would be. I love the true Italian pizza. Although we only spent a partial day and a night and another partial day in Naples, we thoroughly enjoyed it. I could spend most of a day in the national museum. I’m sure we could spend a couple of days in Naples and not be bored. We never felt unsafe in Naples, but never did anywhere in Italy as far as that goes.
Thomas, our guide for our city tour and Vatican tour, was extremely easy to be with. He was very knowledgeable and flexible to whatever we wanted. We had a great time with him! I can see how a person could spend a portion of their life in Rome and never see it all, but we gave it a hell of a shot. We experienced great food, people and sites both touristy and off the beaten path, we loved it! We could have obviously spent more time in Rome but we are satisfied with the amount of time we had. We did throw coins in Trevi Fountain in hope of returning.
Another huge thank you to Ciao tours, Arlene and Marcia for making this a true dream trip for both of us.
Larry and Paula Graves