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The Benefit of Small Group Tours


 
A minimum of 12 and a maximum 24 travelers is perfect for those who want a true European experience with time to explore in a more authentic and relaxing way.  Small groups are able to access the small villages, authentic restaurants and small family owned wineries where large groups and buses can't go.  We are allowed the freedom, flexibility and camaraderie with a small group and our guests are able to enjoy a more personal and real travel experience. 



Travel at a Relaxed Pace
For travelers looking for more than quick visits the landmarks and monuments before going to the next big city, Villas-and-Vines offers the alternative. Our itineraries provide time to see the major sites but also allows you to explore the lesser known villages and sites. This slower pace of spending a minimum of a week per location will bring you closer to the lives of the people and their traditions, legendary cuisine, meet local vintners, and enjoy the picturesque landscapes. This is what, we believe, makes a unique vacation something to remember.

We'll introduce you to the things so easily missed by the hurried tourist.   Enjoy walking the cobblestone streets in the small villages, having a glass or two of Chianti on the terrace of a local trattoria.   Understand and appreciate the local culture by meeting the locals in their markets, vineyards, olive groves and shops. Taste the wines and visit the underground cellars and savor fresh prepared meals from locally grown foods. It isn't uncommon to find local artisans displaying their handmade creations as well; woodcarvers, ceramics, paintings and mosaics, artisan foods, handmade shoes and more. You won't just visit Italy on our trip; you'll live and feel it.   You are encouraged to explore the towns and surrounding area and make the trip as structured or unstructured as you wish. 



We Take Care of the Details Every Step of the Way
Villas-and-Vines small group trips  are designed to offer personalized service  for discerning travelers who have become accustomed to higher standards.  We take care of the details every step of the way allowing you to experience true and unique places, many off the beaten path to discover charming Renaissance villages, medieval churches, family owned trattorias, local artisans,  amazing food markets and outstanding wineries.  
 
Exclusive and Private Villas Provide More Than Touristy Hotels
We hand-select only the best of the best villas and we know the "insider" ways to make your vacation experience special, hassle-free, and truly enriching.  We have a number of private villas that we use depending on the season and number of guests. Each villa provides its own character and will exceed your expectations.
 
Our small group vacations  allow you to experience the Italian lifestyle that we love first-hand.  The people are warm and friendly and they invite us to taste their foods and enjoy the wines their family has made for years. If you are looking for a travel experience that is luxurious while staying in private villas when in the countryside and boutique hotels in the larger cities, then our small group trips were designed with you in mind.  

Relax in a private countryside estate overlooking the hills adorned with vineyards & olive trees. Discover medieval castles & hilltop towns, boutique wineries, take a cooking class, get to know local artisans,
and explore the Renaissance treasures in Florence.   

Go Beyond the Typical Tourist Attractions
Instead of rushing in and out of the cities only to visit the more recognizable icons, we will go beyond the stereotypical image of tours guides waving umbrellas, checkered tablecloths, and drinking wine from straw-wrapped bottles. We'll visit the smaller villages known for honoring family traditions and a respect for a past ensuring the preservation of these wonderful treasures. Imagine walking the quaint cobblestone villages where the farmers, artisans, craftsmen and their families have been honing their skills for centuries. 
  
You're on Vacation - Feel Free To Do as Much or as Little as You Choose
We've been road-testing our trips for several years in order to make this one of the best trips to experience. In keeping with the spirit of European spirit, we keep our itinerary flexible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, local events, adapt to weather conditions, serendipitous moments and to leave time for wonderful things to happen. In addition, where possible, we have built-in options and plenty of free time so that you can experience the culture and its traditions in a way that's meaningful to you.  Guests are able to do as much or a little as they choose whether lounging on the terrace enjoying a lazy afternoon, enjoying an espresso in the piazza, or shopping for a custom-made pair of shoes.  
 
Great Flexibility in Small Groups
We want our guests to experience something unique and  authentic.  Rather than large buses our small groups have the choice of sharing a premium automobile or being driven in a small van.  This allows guests the flexibility to linger longer in the villages, take a side trip to another town or return to the villa if they choose. The comments we get most often from our guests is that they never would have been able to have these experiences on their own or if they had traveled in a large group. 
 
  


No Middlemen

​​We create and operate our own trips, then offer them directly to you, no middlemen added to the cost along the way. We personally design each trip depending on the season, weather, group desires and our inspirations and experiences. Each of our tours is custom-designed specifically for small groups, with a balanced mix of sightseeing, cultural encounters, food and wine tastings and free time.   Most tour operators purchase tours from other companies and haven't been on the trips they sell.   

Value and Service

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Our repeat guests know that if they were to do everything we do on our trips on their own, they would spend much more and wouldn't have the convenience of having the trip planned out logistically. The costs of luxury services including full-time hosts who are with you throughout your trip, premium vehicles including fuel when we are on a self-driving tour, and a private villa exclusive to our group is divided among the other travelers. Our small-group approach to travel is ideal for such groups because we can provide a very tailored experience, and the economics of the trip works quite well for 12 - 24 travelers. 

Most trips of this type charge a similar price but only allow for 7 days where the majority of our trips are for 11 days minimum. When comparing the same high-end services and amenities with the competition, we are confident that our trips represent excellent value for the money and individualized service.

Just say YES! After that we will take care of the details. Prior to the trip, Anne and Dennis are available to answer any questions you may have:  currency exchange, packing assistance, airline tickets, villa services,  food sensitivites, etc.  In addition to having Anne and Dennis as your full-time hosts throughout the trip, we have a local concierge on site who brings local expertise. You will be met at the airport by your host and from there you will be in good hands throughout your trip.
  
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