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It's always cold

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
We are currently trying to decide between ABD Viva Italia and Tauck Bridges Italia Bella. Both itineraries are quite similar. Tauck does not have Spanish steps or Trevis fountain, but you could easily do those on your own before the tour started. Tauck has the leaning tower of Pisa, ABD does not. Price is a little more for ABD but you get an extra night and day. If anyone has done either of these trips I would be interested in any comments, obviously I am quite confused:upsidedow
 

Bobo912

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Did you check out the other Tauck Italy trip,The Sweet Life? It does include the Trevi Fountain and the description says the hotel is in the heart of Rome near the fountain and the Spanish Steps. But it goes to Capri and Pompeii, instead of Venice. There were a couple of families on our Tauck trip last summer who had done Italia Bella and they raved about it. Tauck is not very different from ABD so you probably can't go wrong with either one. The tip for the guide is included in the price of the trip with Tauck, so that's another thing to consider when comparing prices. Good luck making a choice!
 

Pakey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Having traveled to Italy (on my own, not with a group) and seeing Pisa vs the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, I'd go with the one with the fountain. If that's the only thing swaying your decision anyway. Pisa is out of the way and the worst tourist trap in the country IMO. The extra sights (and time) in Rome are a better deal.
 
  • jhburke

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2009
    It seems to me that another major difference between the Disney and Tauck trips is in Florence. Disney stays in Tuscany outside of Florence at what sounds like a beautiful country estate; Tauck stays in Florence proper. To me, it may be that the Disney approach may be better for younger children who are not interested in exploring Florence, whereas the Tauck may be better if one really wants to spend more time in the city (for example there is a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery on the Tauck trip). For small kids the "downtime" at Tuscany may be better than Florence/Pisa; it depends on your family and what you want to see.

    We ended up booking Tauck this summer since they had a "loyalty" bonus of two free nights before or after the trip for previous customers. It made the finances much easier for us. Either way, I'm sure it will be a great trip!

    John
     

    It's always cold

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2009
    Thank you for all the information, at the moment I am leaning towards Tauck (mainly due to price, for 4 of us with the guide tip (thanks Bobo 912) the Tauck trip is almost $3,000 cheaper than ABD. Now that being said we would have to do the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain on our own. Is it feasible to think we can just walk there from our hotel?

    Also for anyone who has travelled to Italy do you have any tips or suggestions to avoid the pick pocketors? I have bought my husband a travel wallet that clips inside his pants and I wasn't planning on carrying a purse, but I would like to have my camera with me, potentially just on my wrist. Besides pick pocketors is there anything else we should be aware of and watch out for?
     

    Turtlemom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2008
    the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain are both easy to walk to. Just get a good map, have some pocket money for gelato and go for it! We stayed just across the river in Rome last summer (near the Palace of Justice), and we were able to walk across the bridge, down the famous shopping street (via del corso?) right to the spanish steps. Trevi fountain and Piazza Navona are not far away. Also, the Parthenon area is fun to hang out in at night. I recommend the Rick Steve's guide for suggestions and hand drawn maps which are surprisingly accurate. Rome is really a walking city and best to stroll around at twilight and after sundown. Don't feel like you can't do these sites on your own!
     

    JJPCheers

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 2, 2009
    We have been on two tours with Tauck Bridges and just booked our third for this summer (Alpine Adventure) Last year we did the Italia Bella with our 13 year old son. We all loved it. On our specific tour date we had 14 kids. One 8, one 10 and all the rest were teenagers. I agree that if you have younger children you may want to lean towards ABD. There is alot of walking on the TB tour but no problem for anyone in our group, but I could see the busy areas not good for very young children whereas ABD stays more out of the way.
     
  • Bobo912

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2008
    We have been on two tours with Tauck Bridges and just booked our third for this summer (Alpine Adventure) Last year we did the Italia Bella with our 13 year old son. We all loved it. On our specific tour date we had 14 kids. One 8, one 10 and all the rest were teenagers. I agree that if you have younger children you may want to lean towards ABD. There is alot of walking on the TB tour but no problem for anyone in our group, but I could see the busy areas not good for very young children whereas ABD stays more out of the way.
    JJPCheers, if I've asked you this before I apologize, but what were the other two Tauck tours you've taken? We did the Yosemite trip last year and I almost decided to take Red Rocks and Painted Canyons this summer, but decided on Southwest Splendors instead. I thought the Tauck trip included more activities, which is a plus, but I finally decided against it because they stay in a different hotel every night and I thought that was too much moving around and not enough time in one place. The one thing I regretted about our trip last year was not being able to spend enough time in the Yosemite Valley. Both the Alpine and the Rome/Sorrento trips they added this year look interesting and will be on my list of contenders for 2012.
     

    It's always cold

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2009
    Well the decision has been made, Tauck Bridges won. Thank you everyone for your insites and opinions. I willl miss this board for trip planning.
     
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Well the decision has been made, Tauck Bridges won. Thank you everyone for your insites and opinions. I willl miss this board for trip planning.
    Please don't feel like you can't come here & ask questions about touring Italy & tell us about your trip! We've had other people choose Tauck Bridges, and they came back with some really invaluable information about them, the differences between the companies and the trips.

    It's about the journey! And who knows? Maybe next time ABD will win! :thumbsup2

    Sayhello
     

    Bobo912

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2008
    Well the decision has been made, Tauck Bridges won. Thank you everyone for your insites and opinions. I willl miss this board for trip planning.
    Please continue to post about your experience. I traveled with Tacuk Bridges last year and I posted about it every step of the way. There were several of us looking for comparisons between ABD and Tauck and it was hard to find information. It's especially useful to have the perspective of someone who has traveled with both.
     

    pipch

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 5, 2008
    After 4 ABD trips inc costa ria, peru, galapagos and Wyoming - we have Just completed our first Tauck Bridges - 12 day Grand Tazanaia Family Safari - awesome!

    Anyone want any feedback or questions answered just message me. Not fair to discuss on this board but happy to pass on our experience (but suffice it to say - truly amazing!!!!)
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    After 4 ABD trips inc costa ria, peru, galapagos and Wyoming - we have Just completed our first Tauck Bridges - 12 day Grand Tazanaia Family Safari - awesome!

    Anyone want any feedback or questions answered just message me. Not fair to discuss on this board but happy to pass on our experience (but suffice it to say - truly amazing!!!!)
    Feel free to discuss it here, and compare it to ABD! I know there will be people interested in hearing your opinions! There's already a few threads comparing the two companies, and the more info and opinions we have, the more informed decisions folks can make!

    Sayhello
     

    canadakath

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 21, 2009
    After 4 ABD trips inc costa ria, peru, galapagos and Wyoming - we have Just completed our first Tauck Bridges - 12 day Grand Tazanaia Family Safari - awesome!

    Anyone want any feedback or questions answered just message me. Not fair to discuss on this board but happy to pass on our experience (but suffice it to say - truly amazing!!!!)
    Do you have kids? I would love to know if you felt there was a difference in the children's programs/engagement between the two companies.

    Thanks!
     

    Bobo912

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2008
    pipch, so glad you enjoyed your trip. I've had good experiences with Tauck, as well. I've already planned a trip with ABD for 2014, but I'm thinking about either the TB Tanzania or France Riverboat trip for 2015. What airline(s) did you fly with? Do you have any tips for finding the best airfare? I also considered doing one of the regular Tauck trips in March when the flights were cheaper, but our school board has decided to shorten our 2 week spring break for the 2014-2015 school year, so now we won't have enough time for to travel to Africa.
     

    tufbuf

    Disney Addict!
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2008
    Wow! Sounds like an awesome trip!! The highlight for me would be the hot air balloon ride. Pls. do share!!!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     

    Calfan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2009
    Would LOVE to hear all about your Tanzania trip with Tauck. This is definitely one of the trips at the top of my "want to do list." Like the PP, we already have an ABD booked for 2014 (Central Europe), but I am strongly considering the Tauck Tanzania trip for 2015. ABD China is also in contention, but my DH isn't all that enthusiastic about China. It also depends on what DCL does in 2015. If DCL goes back to the Baltics, Tanzania will have to wait another year.

    One thing I have been debating about the Tanzania trip is whether to do it in the summer (ours) or wait until Christmas break in December. I don't particularly like heat, so our summer time is appealing in that regard. (We went to Zambia and Zimbabwe in June back in 2001, and the weather was pleasantly cool.). But I don't want to be disappointed that we aren't seeing the huge animal migrations that we might get in Dec.. What was your experience with animal viewing on this trip?

    Did you add on any time before or after? I would be very tempted to spend a few days in Kenya combined with the Tauck Tanzania trip.
     

    Phil1019

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2008
    After 4 ABD trips inc costa ria, peru, galapagos and Wyoming - we have Just completed our first Tauck Bridges - 12 day Grand Tazanaia Family Safari - awesome!

    Anyone want any feedback or questions answered just message me. Not fair to discuss on this board but happy to pass on our experience (but suffice it to say - truly amazing!!!!)[/QUOT

    I have been on 4 adventures by disney and I am considering trying Tauck as Disney has consideringly raised their prices.The Austria trip has gone up at least $1000 since it was introduced.Does Tauck offer the added special touches like VIP entrance to museums, water magically appearing when you need it, photo C.D's?
     

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