|Subject: Re: Guided tour of Italy - good Idea?|
I think that a good guided tour can be a wise use of time for the first-time international traveler. However, the tour must be a good. Last year I took a one week tour of Rome. About 60% of the time was on the tour and the remaining 40% we were free to enjoy Rome on our own. The guide was very good about giving us advice on how to best use our own time. He also made sure we knew how to use the bus and Metropolitana (subway) in Rome so we could get about on our own.
One of the things I liked about the tour was that the guide avoided taking us on shopping side-trips. At one point he gently scolded a couple who where spending to much time looking gazing at the street vendor's wares and holding up the tour. He did however, give us tips on where to shop and not get ripped off. Also, there was no tipping.
When I return to Italy, or other parts of Europe, I will plan my own tour. However, I do think the intial tour I took was a good fast start for a person like me whose international experience was visiting western Canada.
Paul Near Seattle