Frequently Asked Questions

Specializing in luxury tailor-made travel for 10 somethings, Nancy Aiello Tours creates and operates custom trips to Italy that constantly surprise and delight. On this page, we have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions that pop up when we are working with clients along with some points we feel it is important for our current and prospective guests to know.

Great travel is the result of great planning. When you work with us, we will pass our firsthand expertise along to you. Should you have a specific question in relation to your tour inquiry or proposal; please do not hesitate to contact us

About Nancy Aiello Tours

Why should I choose Nancy Aiello Tours over other Tour Operators?
If you are looking for a trip tailored to fit your individual interests, Nancy Aiello Tours promises a myriad of unique, exciting and wholly authentic experiences. Whether you are traveling to Italy for the very first time, planning a romantic honeymoon or family holiday, taking a well-deserved vacation, or are visiting your favorite destination, we are here to plan, book, and make the best possible travel arrangements using our industry expertise that spans over a decade.

With our intimate local knowledge, connections and expertise, you will enter doors that are closed to the average tourist. Your carefully curated travel itinerary, with an emphasis on luxury, will be designed to inspire and thrill, offering rare opportunities to get under the skin of our wondrous country. Those added touches include several that no other Italy-based travel company offers. If you wish to know more why choose us for your trip to Italy here is a taste of what sets us apart.

How does the planning process work? 
At Nancy Aiello Tours, we have capable professional specialists ready to compose a symphony of great travel experiences just for you and your beloved ones. You will work closely with one of them to design the trip of your dreams. Our travel specialists are local experts and they will offer plenty of advice and suggestions to make sure your trip is exactly right. They are passionate about travel and are dedicated to making sure that your travel experience exceeds your expectations. To give you the best possible trip, however, they must be aware of what you want, it is best to be as clear and honest as possible, so that they have all the information they need to plan the right itinerary. As in any relationship, communication is key: do not be afraid to ask questions and voice concerns or desires.

Is it possible to have a themed tour focused on our specific interests?
Of course! Our specialty is creating custom trips to Italy. Whether you are interested in art, history, food and wine, family-friendly activities or romance, we will arrange for you to have personalized touring with appropriate experts who will emphasize your desires. Let your travel consultant know if you have any particular areas of interest and we will craft an itinerary just for you.

What are the departure dates for the tours on the website? 
There are no set departure dates for trips because every tour is private, which means that you can depart on whatever day you wish. 

Do you offer group tours?
We do not organize tours as such, where different people join a set itinerary at a set time. Our trips are tailor-made and completely private, and no two are ever the same. Nancy Aiello Tours specializes in tailor-made, luxury travel to Italy and when we say our tours are private, that is exactly what we mean: the only travelers on your trip are you and the companions with whom you choose to travel. There is no fixed itinerary and no list of sights that must be seen in a given day.

You can choose an ideal pre-made private tour on our website. Alternatively, we can personalize an itinerary in line with your preferences and interests. Having said that, if you come to us as a group, we can put together a customized tour for you, but if you wish to join a scheduled group tour, we do not offer this option.

My husband and I will be traveling to Italy to celebrate our wedding anniversary! Is there something special you can arrange for us?
Your travel consultant will plan activities to make your special day one to remember, whether it is a candlelight dinner on a gondola, a private cruise, or a romantic dining at a scenic vineyard.

We have visited most of the main cities in Italy, but wouldn’t mind visiting them again. Can that be arranged?
We are happy to make arrangements for you to visit familiar places. Let us know if there is a special place you would like to visit during your trip and we will have a guide and/or driver to take you there.

We are taking a Mediterranean cruise and would like to have Nancy Aiello Tours arrange private shore excursions in Italy. Can you do this?
Nancy Aiello Tours can enrich your cruise experience by providing private touring from the main port of calls. Your guide and driver will be waiting for you upon your ship’s arrival. You will enjoy private excursions with flexible sightseeing away from the crowds. We can also make arrangements for pre- and post-cruise visits. Please refer to our Italy Cruise Private Tours page for our most popular shore trips.

Do you work with Travel Agents?

Nancy Aiello Tours is a luxury tour operator, which means we work with both direct clients as well as travel agents. If you have a relationship with a travel agent, please ask them to contact us for more information. If you do not have an existing relationship with a travel agent and prefer to work with us directly, we will put you in touch with one of our luxury travel specialists.

What languages are your tours in?
English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Chinese Mandarin. 

Do you offer bilingual tours?
We do not offer multi-language tours, which means you will never have to wait while your tour guide speaks first in English, then in Chinese-Mandarin.

Do you arrange transfers?
Yes. We arrange private transfers to and from your hotel, airport, cruise port, train station, and between cities with stops and visits along the way.

What types of vehicles do you use?
Nancy Aiello Tours is utterly committed to our guests’ safety, security and peace of mind from beginning to end of the trip. All of our ground transport will be in modern, private, fully licensed insured air-conditioned luxury Mercedes Benz vehicles and will be equipped with experienced drivers.

Our vehicle fleet has been carefully selected to ensure maximum comfort and outstanding safety. The types of vehicles vary according to the size of your party. Typically, we use E-Class and S-Class Sedans for up to three passengers. For families or for larger groups of friends traveling together, we provide Mercedes V-Class MPVs or spacious MB Sprinter minibuses, which are just as luxurious as comfortable.

How do you choose the hotels you recommend?
Where you stay is an integral part of a successful vacation and we are very selective with our choices. It has taken years of experience to weed out the good hotels from the great. A hotel makes our short list only when it satisfies our high standards for quality. With this being said, we only recommend hotels we have personally experienced and would wish to stay in ourselves. Similarly, for tours and activities, we only give you firsthand recommendations that have been gladly tested.

The Nancy Aiello Tours team lives, works and travels extensively throughout the country and have a well-trusted network of contacts. We guarantee an intimate knowledge of the accommodation and experience in our portfolio, so you can trust that we stand behind the services we recommend. We go on the tours – to see for ourselves what our guests would experience. Meeting the people behind the names are an essential part of our research. This is our point of difference – we are able to find the perfect match to suit your expectations.

I would love to see some reviews from past Nancy Aiello Tours travelers, where can I find those?
Absolutely – we want you to be as confident in your decision as we are about our services! Click here to view our Testimonials as well as Facebook and TripAdvisor reviews where you can see feedback from past travelers about each of the tours that we operate.

Do you accommodate special needs?
We make every effort to accommodate any special needs requests. In order to accommodate your needs as best as possible, we ask that you let us or your travel agent know in your initial email inquiry so we can assess the request and see how we can accommodate you.

Planning & Booking

When should I book my trip to Italy with Nancy Aiello Tours?
Because of how much love and attention we pour into each trip, we believe a quality travel experience requires ample time and refinement to be truly exceptional. Italy is also an extremely popular destination, which means advance planning is essential when it comes to availability for the best accommodations and local experts. As such, you can book your vacation anywhere from at least 6 months in advance to 8 weeks prior to departure. Given the amount of design, planning, and coordination involved with each handcrafted itinerary, ultimately the amount of notice required will be based upon whether your trip can be executed keeping in mind seasonal factors, such as time of year, availability, and the current number of clients we are working with.

Moreover, keep in mind that our tours are very popular among visitors. Therefore, we encourage booking as soon as possible, especially if you are limited to the time period in which you can travel. This is especially important if you are planning a trip to Italy during the high season of April through September and holiday times. Indeed Christmas, Easter, school half term weeks, and public holidays are the busiest periods of the year to travel to Italy and it is best to book well in advance.

If you know what tour you want to book though, we would recommend as soon as you know your travel dates because our tours sell out fast. While if you are not ready to book yet and have some questions, we would be happy to help you. It is our mission helping travelers get the most out of their Italian travel experiences!

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, absolutely. Nancy Aiello Tours strongly recommends purchasing comprehensive travel insurance as soon as any trip deposits or full payments have been made. Travel Insurance is a vital part of your travel arrangements. It protects you, your trip and your travel investment.

A comprehensive travel insurance gives you peace of mind in safeguarding your investment in the unlikely event of a cancellation prior to or during your trip. If you do not have travel insurance and you cannot take or complete your tour for any reason, you stand to lose the entire amount you have paid for your trip. Travel insurance offers protection against such unforeseen circumstances, including trip cancellations, interruptions and delays, luggage loss and delays, medical emergencies and other problems.

Can I book with my Travel Agent?
Yes! We are committed to our Travel Agent partners and encourage you to turn to their expert services when booking your vacation. Inform your agent about the vacation you are interested in and have them contact us directly. We will be sure to cooperate and bring your Italian vacation dreams to life!

Do you book flights?
Our specialty is the land portion of a trip, so while we are happy to make recommendations as to which airport to arrive and depart from based on best places to start and end your itinerary, we do not purchase flights on behalf of clients.

Do you offer skip the line tours?
Yes. All of our tours of Italy are skip the line. However, you should be aware that Italy’s tourist sites are among the most popular in the world. Skip the line access and careful planning limit our crowd exposure, but some locations may be unavoidably busy especially during the busy summer and holiday times.

Do you book skip the line entrance tickets?
Yes, absolutely. Skip the line tickets for top sights in Italy are essential to make the most of your time and avoid long waits. While you can visit most tourist attractions without a reservation, there are a few where advance ticket reservations for your entrance at a specific date and time are mandatory.

Surely, we will cut out the hassle of organizing on your own by pre-purchasing your admission tickets ahead of time. Therefore, for popular tourist attractions where advance reservations are mandatory, the cost for skip the line tickets is included in the itinerary price and we will take care of reserving the spots.

Indeed, our comprehensive guided tours include pre-reserved timed entry tickets for the museums and sights on the itinerary. We will take care of the necessary reservation in advance for skipping the line at Pisa Leaning Tower as well as at the Uffizi and the Academia in Florence. You will also skip the lines at the Vatican and Rome’s major sights such as the Colosseum, Baths of Caracalla, St. Angel Castle, and the Borghese Gallery. While in Venice at St. Mark’s Basilica during the busiest times of the year, starting around the beginning of April.

For museums, monuments, and sights where it is not possible to make an advance reservation you will pay the entrance ticket costs on site.

Preparation

Do I need a visa to travel to Italy?
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on your nationality.

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change – it is important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies well in advance -Obtaining visas can take up to six weeks.
Australia: No – Not required
Belgium: No – Not required
Canada: No – Not required
Germany: No – Not required
Ireland: No – Not required
Netherlands: No – Not required
New Zealand: No – Not required
South Africa: Yes – in advance
Switzerland: No – Not required
UK: No – Not required
USA: No – Not required

Do I need a passport?
Yes. Your passport must have at least six months validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area. It is best to take a look at your passport’s expiration date before making any international travel plans.

Do I need vaccinations?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need vaccinations to travel to Italy. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check your local requirements on vaccinations for travel to Italy.

What public holidays are celebrated in Italy?
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 6 Epiphany
Easter Monday
April 25 Liberation Day
May 1 Labour Day
June 2 Anniversary of the Republic
August 15 Assumption
November 1 All Saints’ Day
December 8 Immaculate Conception
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 St. Stephen’s Day

Please note that local feast days in honour of patron saints are also held in Italy and aren’t listed here.

What should I pack?
This will depend on your personal preferences, where you are traveling, and on the time of year. Nevertheless, keep in mind that churches and some places of worship require covered shoulders and knee length shorts/skirts. In addition to packing for the season in which you will be traveling, we recommend bringing the following items:
• Your passport and any required visas.
• Copies of your travel documents.
• Comfortable shoes.
• Any prescribed medications you are taking.
• A converter or an adapter in order to charge your electrical devices.

General Questions

We have rented a car. Can you make vineyard appointments for us?
We do not organize vineyard visits or create vineyard itineraries for self-drivers without a professional driver-guide. This is for two reasons. First, of course, it is not wise to drink and drive in any circumstance, especially in a foreign country with unfamiliar territory. Second, we cannot offer many of our authentic local experiences to self-drivers as many of them are often located down single lane, back country tiny dirt roads and can be difficult to find even with GPS. Also having someone else to handle to driving leaves you free to enjoy the wine!

Are meals included in your tours?
Meals are not included, which means you can eat what and where you want based on your individual preferences. You will have opportunities to seek out local restaurants so that you can try local specialties that strike your fancy.

Everybody has different tastes and food is one of the most enjoyable parts of the travel experience especially if you are coming to Italy! And because of our commitment to personal service, we do not limit your choices by picking set menus for you but we give you the freedom to sample the region’s gastronomic delights you desire. We are not alone in that though, as our illustrious clientele appreciates the spontaneity of exploring local restaurants on their own.

Travel to Italy

When is the best time to visit?
The simple answer is ANYTIME! Italy is truly an excellent destination year-round. No matter when you are planning to travel, you will find a place to stay that is perfect for that time of year.

Generally, we personally feel the months between March and early May, and the months of September and October are the best all-round times to visit Italy. Late May through August are the busiest time of the year to travel to Italy, so it is essential that you book well in advance during these months. The off-season months between November and February can also be great options for experience our country with fewer crowds. The downside at this time is that some coastal properties in the Italian Riviera and the Amalfi Coast are seasonal and close down for the winter.

What is the time zone?
Italy is one hour ahead of GMT. From late March through late October, Italy switches to Daylight Savings Time and is two hours ahead. To determine current time in Italy, we suggest visiting TimeAndDate.com

When do restaurants open in Italy?
The majority of Italian restaurants and pizzerias generally serve lunch from 12:30pm to 2pm, and dinner from 7:30pm to 10pm (or later in the summer). Keep in mind that usually locals have lunch at 1:30pm and dinner at 8:30pm.

Can I use my ATM card?
Using your ATM card in Italy should not be an issue but it is important to make sure that you consult your bank first before leaving on your international trip. Actually, most credit and debit cards have a security lock that prevents them from working overseas (to prevent fraud) so make sure you get the lock removed before you travel. Therefore, if you do not inform your bank or your credit card company, most likely your card will be rejected when you try to purchase things abroad.

How do I exchange Dollars for Euros?
Rather than exchanging cash in the U.S., it is easier to use your credit or debit card at any ATM in Italy. Throughout Italy, ATMs – called Bancomat in Italian – are the smartest way to get cash. But make sure you call your bank before departing and ask them whether you will be able to use your credit cards while traveling. When contacting your bank, notify them of your travel dates so that they will anticipate charges being made outside of your hometown and do not suspend your cards for what may appear to them to be suspicious charges.

Planning a trip to Italy but not sure where to start?