Mary and Martha traveled with Italy à la CARte in October 2018. They were in The Ligurian Coast, Cinque Terre, Lucca and Sicily. Mary also visited with Italy à la CARte her relatives in Piedmont.
“It’s easy to find a guided tour of Italy.
This year I dreamed of experiencing life in Italy. Marco helped my dream to come true. He put the search, the discovery, and the savoring into our adventures with my American friend in Cinque Terre, and in Sicily, and even with my cousins who live in Piedmont. Pier and Giusy enjoyed being chauffeured through the wine country for once! What a glorious day that was.
Each taste of focaccia, chocolate, cannoli, gelato, granita (there is a difference!), espresso, seafood, risotto, and chocolate……. yes, lots of chocolate…… was a taste of Italy. Marco would say “I can’t WAIT to show you my favorite…….”, and believe me, it was good.
The sweeping vistas, ancient ruins, monuments, beaches, villages and shops were introduced with the kind of enthusiasm that only a true Italian has for his country.
When Marco asked what my favorite memory was, the first one (others followed) immediately came from the little shop in Ortigia where he patiently helped me to find the three “Pupi”, traditional Sicilian puppets, for my grandchildren. The memory of the shop owner explaining their history is recorded in Marco’s video, and in my heart.
I am returning in the fall of 2019, perhaps with a few friends. We’ll meet Marco somewhere and travel who knows where.
No one should be limited to only one “Trip of a Lifetime”.
Marco will give you my contact information if you would like to chat. “
Eric, Rachel, Lynn and Jay traveled with Italy à la CARte in September 2018. They were in Genoa, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Rome, Rome, The Amalfi Coast, Bologna & Venice.
“For anyone looking to plan a one-of-a-kind experience in Italy, look no further than Italy a la CARte. Marco will craft an itinerary based on your own dream vacation visions. As a native, he offers thorough cultural and geographic knowledge of the country, but is equality in-tune with American traveler needs. Marco has spent the last 30+ years living stateside. Having him as our fluent translator was indispensable.
As part of a small group, you will explore the towns, cities, and countryside in an intimate way not possible with a larger group. You’ll also have the peace of mind of not getting lost, and always having a capable driver. The worry is outsourced.
We had the grand tour of Italy with Italy A La CARte. Marco is always laughing and smiling. You’re guaranteed to have a great time, no matter what version of an Italy vacation fits your wishes.”
Laura, Joe, Barb, John and Sandra traveled with Italy à la CARte in September 2018. They were in Rome, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda and Sardinia and they also visited their Italian relatives in the Veneto region.
“When we started planning our trip to Italy, it didn’t take long to realize that there was so much to see and do, that we needed help determining the best way to optimize our time. Fortunately, we found MARCO. With Marco’s help, and expert navigational skills, we were able to see and do so much more than we could have ever done on our own. We had experiences we would have never thought of without Marco’s planning, such as sailing in Sardinia, jumping off of cliffs, and exploring an ancient cave. Just to mention a few. Thanks, Marco for a memorable trip.”
“A trip to Italy……..where to start! We flew into Milan and Marco met us at the airport with the van. The first three days we drove to visit relatives in Reggio Emilia, Montichiari and then along a winding road up into the mountains! No problem for this experienced ITALIAN driver! Marco, thank you for your kindness to our many relatives as we visited them at home and took in the local sights. They introduced us to “sorbetto”, an after dinner drink/dessert! We eventually flew to Sardinia. What a beautiful island. To think, you can only get to most of the beaches by sailboat and zodiac. I think one of our best meals was the three-course meal our skipper Siro cooked on the sailboat. I can’t begin to describe all the wonderful sights, meals and experiences we had with Marco. Thanks for your flexibility Marco, as you adjusted the schedule to meet changing needs. Oh – and did I mention the espresso and gelato stops!? Now that I’ve rested up – let’s keep planning our June 2019 trip to Venice, Cinque Terre & Rome!”
Kayla, Kelsey, Jennifer, Dominique, Heidi and Coco traveled with Italy à la CARte in July 2018. They were in Rome, Tuscany and The Amalfi Coast.
“Our group can absolutely not imagine our trip without Marco! Traveling has its ups and downs and Marco makes the experience as seamless as possible. Not having to figure out rides to and from the airport or deal with cabs and language barriers along with not having to try and find good restaurants to eat at and having someone be able to explain the menus to you made Marco worth every cent. He adapts to your needs through the trip and remains flexible which comes in handy when traveling with a larger group. We can’t imagine coming to Europe without Marco and will likely use him again!”
Rita, Mike, Kristina, Mitch, Jennifer & Michael from New York City traveled with Italy à la CARte for two weeks in June 2018. They were in Rome, Tuscany, Bologna, Venice & Sardinia.
“Our trip to Italy was beyond our expectations! Thanks to Marco Palermo, we did not just visit Italy, we truly experienced Italy. The Vatican, the Trevi fountain, the Doge Palace, David, were all exactly what we imagined; historical, beautiful and exceptional works of art. The truly breathtaking experiences were in the places we didn’t even know existed. We could never pick “our favorite” because the entire trip was one “WOW” moment after another but some of my were favorites were:
Castle Gandolfo, Nemi, Ariccia
The Roman Aqueduct
The Vespa tour
San Gimignano; the landscape, the lightning storm, the rainbow and (of course) the wine.
The High Waters of Venice
The hole in the wall
The Alghero lanterns
Sardinia; the little church on the hill, the grottos, the boat rides and the beautiful waters.
The food, the cappuccinos, the gelato and our favorite “grandpa’s cream”
And the breathtaking sunsets from every mountaintop in Italy.
It was a dream come true to visit Italy with my family and Marco fit right in. Thank you Italy Ala Carte for making my dreams come true!”
Joan, Rich & their sons from Chicago traveled with Italy à la CARte in May 2018. They were in Rome, Civita di Bagnoregio, Arezzo, Florence and Pisa.
“Marco, we can’t thank you enough for making the past two days in Italy so spectacular! You brought us to so many destinations we never could have visited on our own. Scot was able to eat some terrific , authentic meals, feeling confident. They were safe for him. That in and off itself is priceless! Your insights into Italy and expert driving skills will be forever legendary for us. We were so fortunate to have been able to connect with you for these two days. Wishing you + your family good health and happy safe travels. We hope this is not ‘Arrivederci’. Grazie,”
Joan, Rich, Scot & Chris
Diane, Steven, Allen and Suzie and Glenn from Toronto traveled with Italy à la CARte for three weeks in May 2018. They were in Rome, The Amalfi Coast, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Bologna, Venice, The Ligurian Coast and Cinque Terre.
Lisa and Glenn from New York traveled with Italy à la CARte in October 2017. They were in Rome, Tuscany and Venice.
Ann and Rich, Harriett, Jack and Jami traveled to Sardinia with Italy à la CARte in September 2017.
Watch what Harriett, a native from The Cayman Islands who traveled all over the world, had to say about her first trip to Sardinia with Italy à la CARte
The Levey family from Newcastle, Australia traveled with Italy à la CARte in Sptember and October 2017. They were in Rome, Pompei, Tuscany, Venice, The Dolomites, Austria and Gemany.
Jason and Jackie from Charlotte traveled with Italy à la CARte in June 2017. They were in Venice, Florence, Siena, Rome and on the Ligurian Coast.
Words cannot even begin to describe our experience in Italy with our Cicerone, Marco Palermo, and Italy
Words cannot even begin to describe our experience in Italy with our Cicerone, Marco Palermo, and Italy à la CARte! It was the trip of a lifetime and one that wouldn’t have been possible without Marco’s expertise, attention to detail, and his unwavering excitement for the country.
We arrived in Milan where Marco promptly was at the terminal waiting for us right outside of baggage claim. We drove to Venice, checked into the beautiful and historical Ruzzini Palace and visited as many sites you can imagine the day of arrival and the following day. Marco set us up with a private tour of the Basilica di San Marco which was absolutely stunning!! Go to the Piazza San Marco at night, take the water taxi to Church of San Giorgio Maggiore… I’m reminiscing, Marco will have it all planned out for you, but all of it, is simply incredible. After Venice, we went to Tuscany and stayed at an incredible villa owned by one of the local Vineyards. We did a private wine tour and relaxed by the pool. The next day we visited Florence, then headed off to Rome – We took a detour to Siena which I highly recommend! Rome was as amazing as we had imagined. The best part was that it is Marco’s hometown. In addition to the famous and historic sites, he was able to show us places we would have never found on our own. We finished the trip on the Ligurian Coast – a less crowded, absolutely stunning, version of the Amalfi Coast. Our 5-star hotel overlooked the Mediterranean and was a two-minute walk from where focaccia bread was invented. Marco knows all of the best places to get authentic Italian food!
Traveling abroad, not speaking the language fluently, not knowing exactly where to go aside from getting some tidbits on Rick Steves or Frommer’s is not only exhausting but a little scary. Marco did a one-on-one call with us, listened to what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stay and built an itinerary. After 2-3 revisions, we were all set!
One question I get asked every time I talk about having “a guide” or “Cicerone”, is… “Wasn’t it difficult having someone with you all the time?”…
My response, always, is “Not at all!” There were some days when we traveled and saw sites with Marco for many hours, then took small breaks and met back up with him hours later. Other days, Some days, we started our day around 10:30 am. Some days we finished earlier, some days, later and had time off for ourselves. If you have planned guided tours, (The Vatican/St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Wine Tasting or Basilica di San Marco) you need to be on schedule to meet the private tour guides that work for Marco. Otherwise, it’s a stress-free vacation and Marco makes the best use of your time to provide you with a unique experience.
I have been to Paris, Prague and countless countries in the Caribbean and Latin America… all great, all beautiful and historic, and I knew I’d like Italy… what I didn’t know, is I fell in love with Italy and with what Marco showed us. Now that I am back home, I am constantly looking at ‘live cams in Italy’ trying to hold on to the sites, sounds and culture. I am already hoping to book another trip with Italy à la CARte next year!
- Trust in the itinerary Marco laid out. It’s an adventure, take it all in. However, if you need a break, ask/let Marco know. He understands jet lag, fatigue or simply wanting some alone time is all part of a vacation and enjoy dinner, walk or explore solo occasionally, I’m sure he could use a break too! 🙂
- Be open to spontaneous excursions or little unknown surprises Marco has uncovered throughout Italy, they are well worth it.
- Go out on the town at night, listen to the people, get some wine, see a sight and walk the streets of ROME!
- Eat local fresh fruit and make sure to drink plenty of water… the nice thing, the fountains the Romans built still work and are very refreshing….and clean water runs freely!”
Jackie and Jason K.
The Brown family from Tega Cay, SC traveled with Italy à la CARte in June 2017. They were in Rome, Tuscany, Bologna, Venice and Sardinia.
“Traveling with Italy a la Carte Your dream vacation becomes a reality when you travel with Marco and Italy a la Carte. It starts with the planning. No cookie-cutter tours here. Marco meets with you and develops your itinerary, lodging and activities based on where YOU want to go and what YOU want to do. When you land at the airport, you’re greeted by a friendly face. No struggling with language barriers, transportation, or confusion around maps and directions. Long lines at the Vatican or museums? Not for you. With your private guide, you’ll skip the line and get insider information as you tour. With Italy a la Carte, you’ll discover restaurants, shops, markets, breathtaking views and adventures that you’d never find on your own. It’s a truly unique experience. Bring comfortable clothes, good walking shoes and your sense of adventure. You can leave anxiety and worry at home – you won’t need them on this trip! Traveling with Marco is like having your own personal tour guide combined with your best friend. He makes everyone feel comfortable, and will ensure you smile and laugh throughout your journey. Marco makes you feel like family from the moment you meet him. No one knows Italy better, and he loves taking care of people. For most of us, traveling to Italy is a bucket-list trip. Traveling with Marco and Italy a la Carte will make it unforgettable.”
Luz Marine and Vielka from Miami traveled with Italy à la CARte in May 2017. They visited Venice, Tuscany, Rome and The Amalfi Coast.
“Mi hermana y yo tuvimos la grata experiencia de viajar x 10 días a Italia….. mi sobrino nos obsequió este lindo viaje utilizando los servicios de Italyalacarte y su guía Marco Palermo… un lindo paseo q disfrutamos por la Toscana, Roma y la Costa Amalfi… con gran placer recomiendo a Marco, es una persona agradable, profesional y servicial el cual hizo todo lo que estuvo a su alcance para que disfrutáramos de esta linda experiencia , la cual nos encantará repetir en un futuro … “
“My sister and I had the pleasant experience of traveling x 10 days to Italy ….. my nephew gave us this nice trip using the services of Italyalacarte and his guide Marco Palermo … a nice ride we enjoyed in Tuscany, Rome and the Amalfi Coast … with great pleasure I recommend Marco, he is a nice, professional and helpful person who did everything in his power to enjoy this nice experience, which we will love to repeat in the future. ..
Katie and her family from Milwaukee and Seattle visited Rome, Tivoli, Pompei, Orvieto and Tuscany with Italy à la CARte in April and May 2017.
“Our family spent three weeks based in Rome. Over that time Marco accommodated the plans and interests of the different age groups — from 6 months to 16 years, four couples plus grandparents. He is extremely patient, enthusiastic and flexible. This means the trip was relaxing and fun for all the participants.His assistance was immeasurable. He translated for us everywhere we went. Both his Italian and English are impeccable. In addition, his versatility with technology allowed us to have communication always available via his loaner cell phones and a hotspot for internet coverage. This way, if we got lost or were ready for pick up, he could easily locate us. He is a safe driver arriving on time or calling if traffic delays. Marco is not your usual tour guide clocking in his 6 hours. The day trips outside of Rome could take 10-12 hours. He always made sure we had everything we needed…like purchasing night lights and renting a keyboard. Because he grew up in Italy, he has a deep background knowledge and familiarity with certain places and how they have changed over time. For tours of specific historic sites such as Ostia Antica and the Vatican, he found us superb tour guides.In short, you would be well served to experience Italy with Marco.”
Kokila with Jami & Jack from North Carolina traveled with Italy à la CARte in May 2016 and visited Lake Garda, Venice, Verona, Bologna (Food & Ferrari Tour) and Cinque Terre.
“I love Italy. I loved it better with Italy à la CARte. If you are looking for personal attention, great flexibility, and total comfort while exploring this amazing country, contact Marco! Oh, and did I mention the surprise breakfasts, on-the-go language lessons, vista points only locals know, great choice of places to stay, and bargain shopping? Thank you for a wonderful trip, Marco!”
John & Tandy from Charlotte, North Carolina traveled with Italy à la CARte in June 2016 and visited Rome, Tuscany (San Gimignano, Florence, Siena, Pisa), Cinque Terre and Camogli/Genova, Lake Garda, The Dolomites and Venice!
“One of the reasons that we enjoyed our Italy trip so much was that we had engaged the services of Marco Palermo, a native Italian, who made all of our accommodations, provided professional tour guides at major sites AND did all the driving! If you want to see Italy, this is the way to go! Marco lives here in Charlotte and we learned of him through a neighbor. He tailored the trip stops to just what we wanted to see and took us to places that we didn’t know to ask for.”
John & Tandy G.
Dan and his family group traveled with Italy à la CARte in May 2016. They toured Venice, Bologna, Tuscany, the The Amalfi Coast and Rome.
“Marco, I don’t know how you do it. The trip was incredible. We packed a lot in for sure but everyone got a really good taste of some of the best of Italy. You did an unbelievable job herding all of us around the countryside. It was a great way to see more of the beautiful landscape and experience some of the real Italy.
Thanks again for guiding us through a wonderful experience. Let’s get together for dinner when you get back to Charlotte. Maybe some good old Carolina BBQ”
Pete & Judy and Steve & Joanne traveled with Italy à la CARte in May 2016. They toured Rome, The Amalfi Coast, the Abruzzo region, the Umbria region and Tuscany in May 2016.
Jackson, Jami, Jack, Hanna & Coco traveled to Sardinia with Italy à la CARte in July 2016.
Kelly, Tom and his daughter Catie from Chicago traveled to Rome with Italy à la CARte in December 2015.
“I highly recommend hiring Marco to help you get the most out of your visit to Italy. He picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the doorstep of an amazing apartment in Trastevere, took us on an amazing day trip right outside of Rome (to the Pope’s ‘summer palace’ and Nemi PLUS a visit to the ancient Aqueducts –where he played as a young boy!). Really great day. He even made sure we got to the airport on our departure day. When we go back, he and his company will be our choice”
Jack and Jamie toured Rome and its “less known” surrounding areas, Tuscany and Abruzzo with Italy à la CARte during the Spring of 2015.
Kim Myers from South Carolina toured Tuscany, Rome and many surrounding areas with Italy à la CARte!
“I traveled to Italy with Marco, and it stands as one of the most unforgettable trips of my life.
Marco makes everything about your trip easy and fun. I never opened a map unless I wanted to. I never got lost. I didn’t have to worry about not speaking the language. There was no tour schedule to adhere to or public transportation to figure out. And best of all, because we were traveling by car, we were on our own schedule with opportunities to take daily trips around Rome to towns like Nemi, Frascati, Castel Gandolfo and Lido di Ostia that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The San Gimignano, Tuscany trip was memorable. Driving around Tuscany was an incredible experience and thanks to Marco, I was able to see amazing places in that wonderful region. Marco takes great joy in showing guests around his home country, and takes wonderful care of you. He made sure I saw all the places that I wanted to see, and shared many that I never would have found on my own.
From seeing the lights of Rome sparkling from Gianicolo to the beauty of Florence and the green Tuscan hills to watching the sun set over the Eternal City from the top of Castel Sant Angelo on our last night in Rome, traveling with Marco was a dream come true. I can’t wait to go back again!”