Hello, my friends… or should I say, ciao!
Get your passports ready because today is the big day! Our Italy group trip is officially LIVE! 😀
This is so exciting! I always thought it would be really fun to do something like this but I just wasn’t sure how. After the year we’ve all had, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to put something together to make up for it. Six weeks ago, we created a survey to see if this was even an interest to anyone and I was astounded to see just how many of you felt the same way that I did! The survey gathered a lot of info like preferred travel destinations, activities, dates, price points, etc and we tried to check off all of those boxes as we created this trip. Although there were quite a few top contenders, Italy was by far the most requested and made the most sense given the other info gathered (SO many of you rated food as one of the most important things – who would have thought?). I know there are likely a lot of questions so I’m going to briefly go over the itinerary and try to answer as many questions as I can. If you took the survey, you should receive an email at 9am PST!
Italy 2021 Itinerary in a Nutshell 😉
When: September 20th – 28th, 2021 ( I made sure this did not interfere with NYFW lol!)
Where: Rome, Florence, Siena and Cinque Terre <3 We get to see the cities, countryside and coastal areas! Woo!
Day One (Rome)
- Fly into the airport and transfer to our hotel in Rome!
- Welcome Dinner – Meet your new friends!
Day Two (Rome)
- Classic Rome Tour – Colosseum, Palentine Hill, Imperial Forums, etc.
- Cappuccino Tasting
Day Three (Rome)
- Vatican Tour – Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica
- Alban Hills Wine Tasting (google this – it looks soooo pretty!!)
- Optional Pizza and Tiramisu Class
Day Four (Florence)
- Explore on Your Own
- Group Dinner
Day Five (Florence)
- Explore on Your Own (there will be a guide that can recommend places to visit! I’m also going to make a list as well)
- Optional Gelato Making Class
Day Six (Siena)
- Siena Walking Tour
- Lunch at a Local Saffron Producer
- Alabaster Shop Visit
Day Seven (Florence/Rapallo)
- Italian Cooking Class!
- Wine Tasting
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
Day Eight (Cinque Terre)
- Cinque Terre Excursion
- Farewell Dinner 🙁
- Transfer to the airport and away we go! Until next time 😉
- Local guide throughout the trip that speaks the language
- 4-star hotel stays for each night
- All excursions except the optional ones (pizza, tiramisu and gelato making classes)
- Airport transfers – Leonardo da Vinci International Airport for arrival and Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport for departure
- All city transfers
- 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
What’s not included?
- International flights
- Visas and travel insurance
- Airport transfers outside of designated times (if you choose to leave at a different time or want to extend your stay on your own)
- Food and alcohol (except as noted above. Wine tasting excursions are included)
Pricing: $2,895 for the first 10, then it goes up to $2,995
How many people will be joining?
A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20. I’d like to keep it as intimate as possible and I think this is a good amount 🙂
Can I come by myself?
Absolutely! You can come by yourself or you are welcome to bring along someone else with you. I will be there (obviously) so don’t feel nervous or scared at all! I know that it can feel daunting to travel alone, especially when you feel like you don’t know anyone. I’m pretty introverted so believe me, I know the struggle but I consider all of us friends at this point so you know me and we are going to make so many new friends and amazing memories together! I promise it won’t be scary at all and anyone is welcome! 🙂
Are you planning this all by yourself?
Instead of taking on the task of planning and booking everything myself, I decided to enlist the help of Trovatrip. Trovatrip is very experienced in planning group trips (this is what they do) and they literally take care of everything!! It’s such a load off of me and off of you because you don’t have to worry about anything other than booking your flight. Everything else is planned and taken care of by them which is so nice. They even supply us with a local guide that will help out, provide recommendations, give tips on where to eat on a budget, etc. This is my first time traveling with Trovatrip but they have glowing reviews and have been SO helpful in every step of the planning process so far!
Do I need to pay for everything up front?
No. In order to officially book yourself for the trip, you only have to pay 25% of the total amount up front. If you jump on the early bird pricing, this comes out to $723.75. The remaining balance is due 60 days before the trip start date at the latest which would be at the end of July 2021 (about eight and a half months from now).
Are there payment options available?
Absolutely! There is an option on the website that gives you the option of financing through Affirm for 6, 12, or 18 months.
Do I have to book right away?
No, but the price will go up $100 after the first 10 spaces are booked. If you wait to book until 60 days before the strip start date, the entire amount will be due in full.
When will the trip be confirmed?
The trip will be officially confirmed when the minimum amount of people is reached. This can take a few days to a few months. If it does take a bit longer, you will at least be notified 60 days before the trip start. If the minimum amount of people is not reached, then the trip is not confirmed and your deposit (or full payment, depending on how you paid) will be refunded. Do not book your flight until it’s been confirmed. Right now, we are in pending status 🙂 But they will send an update and I will update on here as well every now and then so that you all know!
What is your COVID policy?
I know that this is a BIG question right now, especially with everything going on. The date was important to me because I wanted to allow enough time for you all to save up and because September is a particularly dreamy time to visit 😉 I also wanted to allow some time to pass with the current world circumstances. Even though travel is opening up a bit here and there, I know that it’s still very uncertain and I want you to know that Trovatrip and I have faith that this will happen on our scheduled dates. If it doesn’t pan out that way for whatever reason, your investment is 100% protected. Should the trip be unable to operate as planned, we will work to reschedule and provide new dates at least 90 days in advance. If the rescheduled dates don’t work for you, Trovatrip will provide a credit for your total amount paid to be used on a future trip through 2022 OR will refund your balance payment and provide a credit for your down payment to be used on a future departure through 2022.
What is your cancellation policy?
If your spot is still in the pending phase and the trip has not yet been confirmed, you can get a refund.
Will a final itinerary be provided?
Trovatrip will send a detailed itinerary with everything you need to know at least 2 weeks prior to the trip start date including hotel and airport transfer information. You’ll also be invited to a WhatsApp group chat so you can meet everyone beforehand and exchange info! 😀
What is the hotel situation like?
Accommodations vary depending on the location but we will be staying in 4-star hotels! Unless listed otherwise, you’ll have a room mate with private bathrooms. If you’re bringing a friend, just put each other’s name under special requests when you book. If you’re uncomfortable sharing a room and would like your own, just note that option when booking.
What do I need to bring?
A valid passport that doesn’t expire for at least six months from the return date of the trip. Trovatrip will also provide a packing list leading up to the trip. You can also email them directly with any specific questions!
Will there be down time?
Yes! I think that some days will have more down time than others but Trovatrip does it’s best not to completely jam pack the schedule so you can explore on your own!
What if I have food allergies or food restrictions?
This was actually my biggest concern when choosing a location! In fact, I almost settled on an entirely different destination because of this alone. As you know, I have multiple food allergies and dietary restrictions but they assured me that it would be fine. I know that some of you are in a similar position but you don’t have to worry! Food allergy and dietary info will be collected leading up to the trip to ensure everyone is taken care of. For eating out and about, I will personally be creating a card to bring with me that lists my allergens in Italian 🙂
You guys… I am SO EXCITED about this! I have been to Rome once before and let me tell you, it is the coolest place! So much history and so many things to see.. the things that you read about and hope to see one day! And honestly, Italy is sooooo dreamy! It just has that beautiful golden light, the most amazing food and most iconic places to visit. I have not been to any of the other destinations on the itinerary but they have been on my bucket list for such a long time! Cinque Terre looks like an absolute dream …and I’ve been dying to see Florence in person… and don’t even get me started on the Tuscany region! This itinerary honestly has it all – it’s like the dream Italian getaway. I almost screamed when I was sent the itinerary lol!
There is even more info on the Trovatrip website, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. I am so excited to travel with you next year!! I’m smiling from ear to ear just thinking about it 🙂 If you’d like to look at the full itinerary or book your spot at a discount, go here!
Until then, take a virtual getaway with my new Hawaii travel vlog detailing our trip to Oahu and Maui for our anniversary a few years ago <3
Anddd in other news, we get the keys to our very first house today! Shall I do little tour on IG stories later?