Anne and Richard could have had a disaster of a holiday when things didn’t go as originally planned. Instead, they had an Italian adventure like no other.
Anne and her husband Richard have never been one for crowds so when they asked Caroline to organise a trip for them along the Amalfi Coast, they were wary. Firstly, they’d never been on a cruise, and secondly, it was peak season in Italy.
The finely orchestrated journey began beautifully, with a tour of the Vatican and a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel that took place long before crowds would disrupt the peace. “Such a magical experience, having breakfast in a courtyard surrounded by incredible architectural beauty,” Anne says.
Unfortunately, the couple awoke the following day to some terrible news — there’d been a fire on the ship they were booked on and the cruise was cancelled. “It was 11pm Sydney time and Caroline was there for us, working out new plans while we continued our exploration of Rome,” says Anne. “Even though she had a family member’s wedding the next day, she didn’t miss a beat.”
While their fellow travellers spent the next few days sorting out alternative arrangements, Anne and Richard enjoyed Rome’s many wonders. By the time they returned to their hotel that afternoon, Caroline had completely reworked their Italian itinerary which now included their own English-speaking driver, a range of superb boutique accommodation, a private boat trip to Capri, and a Pompeii excursion.
In keeping with Anne and Richard’s dream of seeing the Amalfi Coast, Caroline organised a private boat tour that included a swim at a secluded cove in Positano and an exploration of Anacapri, with its stunning rock formations and plunging cliff-faces covered in staggeringly beautiful rows of colourful homes and hotels.
Anne and Richard love laidback venues that serve fine food and wine, so Caroline called on her intimate knowledge of the area, and booked them into classic restaurants and cafes where they could relax and absorb the wonderful local hospitality.
The last week of the couple’s trip was spent at one of their favourite places, Regaleali, an aristocratic winery and estate founded in 1830 and set in pristine countryside about an hour from Palermo. Anne and Richard took private cooking lessons in a traditional stone Italian abode, explored the Estate’s vegetable gardens and vineyards, and soaked up true Sicilian hospitality while sipping on remarkable Italian reds, and refreshingly dry Sicilian white wines. “The fresh figs were out of this world!” Anne enthuses. “We love organic produce and our trip was filled with delicious fresh Italian food. We couldn’t get enough of it!”
After reminiscing on their Italian journey, Anne says with passionate certainty: “We won’t travel now unless Caroline is managing our itinerary. She not only saved our holiday, but gave us an experience even better than the one she’d originally planned!”
La Scala, Milan
Before leaving Italy, Anne and Richard spent a night in Milan and went to see
The Magic Flute at one of the most famous opera houses in the world, La Scala.
The grand building was designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, and opened on 3 August 1778 with Antonio Salieri’s opera L’Europa riconosciuta, to a libretto by Mattia Verazi.
“Being amongst sophisticated Italians all dressed up in their finest attire for the
opera was almost as interesting as the Opera itself!” says Anne.