What Our Clients Say
Cuba letter 2017
Following an introductory visit in 2016, I eagerly returned to Cuba in January 2017 for a three week Adam & Steve grand tour. Giacomo's planning of the itinerary and its actuality were flawless as usual. We were met at Havana Airport and little more than two hours after landing were installed in our accommodation on the edge of the old city, Havana Vieja. The first mojito was consumed in record time: everything went smoothly from there. After a few restful days in Havana, we flew down to Santiago de Cuba in the south east, collected our hire car and the odyssey began.
We saw the country from end-to-end. It is about 750 miles from Baracoa and its surroundings in the extreme SE, by degrees to Viñales right up in the NW. We made two- or three-night stopovers in selected places on the way taking mainly scenic routes, off the main spinal highway which runs the length of the island. With generally good local roads driving was easy for Giacomo and we had time to stop for photos, refreshments, swimming at quiet beaches, even to have an open air haircut outside a village barber's shop. Staging points of two or three nights included Baracoa, Bayamo, Camagüey, Santa Clara, a beach and fishing port at Playa Larga, then in the north west Viñales with its magnificent limestone scenery and not far away on the north coast a cay, lighthouse and splendid beach at Caya Julia within easy reach. After that, a few more nights in Havana before flying back overnight by Virgin to Gatwick.
We met the people along the way. We were fortunate to have our local helper and guide, Yeremis, with us throughout the trip. He joined us from Havana and includes a high standard of traditional Cuban cooking amongst his skills. Giacomo's fluency in everyday Cuban Spanish and Yeremis' local knowledge together meant that I met and talked to real Cuba going about everyday life. Cubans are immensely hospitable and friendly people. From two hitch-hiking policemen to the lady evangelist to took us to see her home and house-church, and not least by Yeremis' farming family at their finca out in the country we were met with uniformly great warmth and kindness. We were made welcome everywhere we went. We also felt safe and secure all of the time in towns and in the country.
With the scenery and its people it is impossible not to fall in love with Cuba and its kindly ways. You could see it through the shaded glass of tour-bus windows, but darkly; we saw it face to face, for Giacomo's formula for this trip made that so easy to do. Cuba has beautiful and varied countryside and interesting historic provincial towns as well as the rich heritage and liveliness of Havana. It has wonderful people as well. In the words of the Michelin guide-books, definitely "Vaut le voyage" and I will go again if Adam and Steve will have me on another trip!
Sent: 22 October 2016
Subject: Re: Pantanelli Holiday pics :-))
PARADISO A PANTANELLI
The memories of our Sicilian week based in the peaceful and idyllic estate at Pantanelli are so glorious and vivid I find it hard to express my appreciation for the well-organised Adam & Steve Travel tour there in September 2016. The quality of the local food at every meal was excellent, and very sustaining for enjoying some fantastic sightseeing of Greek and Norman remains in the southeast of the island. We also had plenty of energy for messing around in and beside the sea on secluded beaches on the east side, where just about anything goes! The local cheeses and wines are a good enough reason in themselves for making the journey – not to mention a delicious variety of freshly-prepared (and very welcome) coffees and teas to keep us happy touring along amidst the stunning landscapes in unfailing, warm sunshine.
I hope I there’ll be plenty of room for me to make a return visit in the near future.
Sent: 18 October 2016
Subject: Pantanelli October Week
Thank you so much for another wonderful week in Sicily. There were a number of high lights to the holiday. The first being the location of the hotel in rural splendour on a Nature Reserve affording views out to sea and the neighbouring countryside. We were far from the madding crowd, but the accommodation was of a high standard, and the cuisine was superb. We looked forward each night to what the chef had to offer, knowing that it is all freshly cooked, and some of the produce had been grown on the farm.
Eloro naturist beach was within walking distance- I actually proved it!, and each day we had some time on the beach. The sea was still warm and was very welcome on the hotter days. The Nature Reserve has a great deal to offer for those who enjoy observing wildlife, and provides a tranquil oasis for a relaxing time.
A further highlight of the week was a visit to the opera! Once again Giacomo you surprised us, and on Thursday evening we made our way to Catania to see a most professional performance of Turandot. Nessen Dorma nearly ‘ brought the house down’, and it was for me a wonderful experience to share an Italian opera with Italians. The theatre was packed with people of all age groups who were equally enthusiastic with the performance.
I have returned home, having had both a stimulating time, and thoroughly refreshed for the oncoming winter. I will be back for more.
Con amore e grazie!
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2015 13:41:55 +0000
I must write to thank you for organising such a wonderful holiday to Syracusa Sicily on 18th to 25th October 2014.
The holiday exceeded all my expectations and the weather was great all week and the hotel could not be faulted – my balcony overlooked the sea and I spent time looking at the stunning views.
As we were only a small party the itinerary was very flexible and as you were driving us around we were able to see so many wonderful sights, I particularly enjoyed my visits to Noto and Ragusa with the Eloro naturist beach.
Thank you also for taking us out to local restaurants each evening and for translating and advising the best local dishes to sample. The food was the best I have had on any holiday. I have been inspired to learn the Italian language for future trips.
Looking forward to booking future holidays with you.
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2015 10:40:55 +0000
Not too much of a shock returning to the UK- dull but no rain. Good
journeys, and arrived home about 11pm, so glad of the extra hour when the
clocks went back.
Thank you for a wonderful time on my first visit to Sicily this October, and I hope it
will be the first of many. The hotel was superbo, and the opportunity to
sample and enjoy such delicious food is unforgettable. Thank you for taking
the trouble for both John and me to have time together, and enjoy our
passion for the beach and naturism.Once again we were treated to a feast of
places to visit and discover some of the rich tapestry of events that makes
Sicily what it is today. The weather was incredible, and the memory of those
warm sunny days will stay with me as winter approaches.
Multi grazie e amore!
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2015 12:40:55 +0000
Rome and Bolsena 2013
It is nearly two months since my holiday with you in Italy, and I still have vivid memories of that week. Visits to grand villas and their spectacular gardens- even in the rain!, a glimpse of the Etruscan civilisation, an unforgettable tour of the Vatican, which was preceded by a combination of bus tour with the use of taxis in Rome, the best way to see the sights. We stayed in a superb hotel by Lake Bolsena, I have particularly enjoyed its own private beach. Most evenings we were able to eat Dinner outside, when the wine and conversation flowed. If all that, sounds a bit serious, we also had a lot of fun including a spontaneous visit to some hot springs at Viterbo, with an understanding of what was the proper dress code! All in all a real taste of Italy; I shall certainly be back for more.
Subject: CD pictures of Syracuse Holiday
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2015 13:14:52 +0000
I’ve just been looking through the slide show of the pictures you posted to me of my recent holiday. They are a lovely memento of a very enjoyable time with you and Francesco in Sicily. I have many happy memories, and particularly liked the hotel and its location, the day in the national park, and the wonderful food. You put in so much effort to make it a very happy time, and I will be coming back to visit some different places with you in the New Year.
Thank you for such a kind gesture in sending the CD.
I hope you had a successful business trip to London.
I’ve just been reading an article in the Sunday Times about your gay Sicilian mayor, Rosario Crocetta, very interesting.
Thanks again for the enjoyable holiday and the CD and I hope to see you in 2014
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2015 09:29:43 -0400
thank you for the photos of the Walk in Wilderness. My friends will be very interested to see them.
In regards to feedback I had a lovely relaxed week with great company.
The hotel was comfortable and I enjoyed the village particulary the remoteness. Sitting in the courtyard with a glass of wine is a memory I will not forget.
In regards to the itinerary I thought having a small group for Palermo was ideal. You are very knowledgeable of the city and knew the best way of getting about and seeing the highlights.
It probably needs two visits to see everything though as I’m sure we just scratched the surface.
I thought the two walks were excellent particularly Erice where we also had a tour of the town and the meal was excellent.
I hope I am able to visit Etna next year.
Now we are back and the e-mails sorted a chance to look back on our week on Viareggio. Initially we were disappointed not to be staying in Torre de Lago with its gay bars and to be in a gay guest house, but having explored that area we see why you picked Viareggio with its wonderful end of 19th early 20th century ambience. Strolling down the promenade looking at fashionable shops, exploring the town shops and the parks was a delight. Hiring bikes and cycling through the woods to the wide sandy beaches or wandering back to explore naturist areas amongst the junipers. Cycling is so easy as the land is so flat.
Then there were your days out, nicely spaced to allow time to recover from travelling, in to Florence, and to Lucca which was unique with its complete walls and gateways, and Cararra, which we thought would be dull was actually another highlight. The town is worthy of exploration but throughout we’re sculptures made from the prized white marble, some block ready for carving. We fell for some heavy bits of marble but worth bringing home.
Lastly thank you for adapting your normal route to allow me to visit Lerici and see the Poet Shelley’s last house. No wonder they chose to stay there having explored so much of west coast Italy. The bay with its castles and promenade are a natural beauty surviving after 200 years of tasteful (for the most part) development.
So back at work but after a super week that combined relaxation with exploration and with a great hotel you have very satisfied customers who cannot wait to spend another week in your gentle guidance!!
Gary and Phil
To: email@example.com Subject: Dreams made true in Tuscany Date:
Wed, 3 Jul 2014 07:56:45 +
Just a short note of thanks and appreciation for the wonderful week among Tuscan guys in late June. I’m still having to pinch myself to believe that I was sitting each sunny morning on my sea-view balcony watching a (beauty) parade of stunning Tuscan guys, doing a leisurely passegiata to enjoy themselves showing off their many advantages. Some were cruising gently along on bikes, giving a tempting view of well-developed legs! In our lovely group of attractive guys, we were even treated to as much, or little, culture as suited us – with an optional relaxed tour of Giacomo Puccini’s lakeside home in the gay village of Torre del Lago a real highlight. A very small gripe: the food in Tuscany was far too tempting, and it will take ages to lose those extra pounds. Perhaps I’ll need to find some local Scottish woods for evening encounters – though that will never (literally) be as hot as the action in the woods in the Viareggio area.Once again, very many thanks. I’ll certainly be booking another trip with Adam & Steve Travel very soon.
With every good wish,
Wed, 3 Jul 2014 15:22:36 -0700
Subject: Re: Thinking of U
Thank you for your wonderful tour of Palermo and surroundings. Customer satisfaction is clearly very important to you and whilst there were some common teething problems, I thought you delivered well. You’ve really extended yourself and that is much appreciated. The mix of free-time and guided tour-time was ideal. Your inside knowledge of what beaches to go and when is the best time to go where are invaluable.
Dear Giacomo (and Francesco),
Thank you again for a wonderful time in Palermo last week, good whether, beautiful scenery,great food and excellent company. What more can I say.This was my second trip with you, and it lived up to all expectations. I will certainly be back for more.
Wed, 22 May 2014
I can’t believe its almost a month since I came back from Sicily. I had a lovely time …..and thanks again to you and Francesco for all the effort you put in to making it a successful tour.I am attaching a few photos, not of great quality, but there are a few which I think are quite good. Hope to see you again soon.
Very many thanks for the trip. I really liked the Hotel, with a good room and bed, very good food and lots of wine and olive oil, and very nice staff too. You had arranged some excellent trips – I was interested by everything we saw, and enjoyed seeing quiet a lot of Eastern Sicily in spring when the countryside looked so green and full of wild flowers. I really appreciated the long hours and many kilometers of driving, and the opportunity to see so much that I got from that. And thanks to Francesco too for guiding and information about so many things. I like Sicily! I will send you some photos shortly … you have not seen the last of me, providing you let me come on another trip sometime!
Tue 30 April 2013
Hi Giacomo and Francesco
Many thanks for a truly excellent holiday in Sicily. You put so much effort and consideration to make it a great success. I look forward to seeing you again!
The Lake Bolsena tour is an ideal holiday if you have done Rome and the other cities and are looking for a different experience of Italy. I loved it because it was a chance to get out into the countryside and explore in depth the local villages and the beautiful gardens and scenery of regional Italy. If you want to see this side of Italy and also get a taste of the history and culture of the civilisations of ancient Italy, as well as see some beautiful palaces and museums, all without the tourists, I highly recommend this tour. Giacomo was an excellent host. Being Italian he not only manoeuvred us effortlessly around the language and nuances of the local practices but provided us with the detailed background information to help us to fully appreciate what we were experiencing. He did this with a permanent smile and constant good humour and patience. I liked the fact that, unlike many tours where you move to different hotels every couple of days, we settled into our hotel for the week. This made for an especially hassle-free holiday and with plenty of time to do our own thing. Even though we took each day in a very laid-back and relaxed manner, Giacomo had everything well planned and the entire week went very smoothly. Our excursions were all fascinating and Giacomo allowed us as much time as we wanted at each destination. There was no sense that we were being moved on from one destination to the next. Combine this with new friends and great local food and wines and it all added up to a unique and really great holiday.
Of course I am happy to help if I can ……..you are putting alot of time and effort into organising these tours. What can i say about the Bolsena week. To begin with I should say I did not know what to expect as it was not the type of holiday I had been on before. I had been to Italy before and visited places of culture etc., both in Italy and other countries, but had not been on holiday in an organised group and never with a gay group. But I need not have worried. You were a great host/guide and put everyone at ease and you went out of your way to make it a wonderful holiday for everyone in the group. The hotel was in a great location overlooking the lake and only a short walk from Bolsena. The rooms were comfortable, the staff were friendly and the food was good …….nothing fancy, just plain and simple Italian cooking. ….oh, and not forgetting the great local wines! As for the places we visited, everyday was different and the excursions you planned showed us what a great holiday destination Italy is ……from the fabulous duomo in Orvieto, the mysterious Etruscan painted tombs in Tarquinia (Giacomo …..have you located the “bull” tomb yet? ? ) to the wonderful gardens of the Villa Lante and the stunning Palazzo Farnese. For me it was a memorable holiday and the week went very quickly. And it proves that there is more to a “gay” holiday than a week in Gran Canaria or Sitges.
We’ve really enjoyed our week with you; it was truly amazing, we’ve met news friends, discovered new places, and, what places they were! Many thanks for all your effort, this was our second trip with you, and again, it was magnificent! A week, we won’t forget.
We look forward to travelling with you again.
Edward and Stephen
Date: October 2008:
A somewhat belated letter to say thanks a million for organizing such a successful holiday to theItalianLakes,DolomitesMountainsand Verona Opera. It truly was a great holiday one of the best I’ve ever been on and I’m a reasonably experienced traveller. There wasn’t a day that wasn’t full of interest and experiences and wonderfully varied from Cable cars to Carmen, great food, great swimming. The Hotel was warm, really welcoming and keen to look after everyone’s welfare. We started as disparate individuals but quickly became a friendly group whilst respecting everyone’s need to sometimes be solitary. Would very willingly go to other trips your company organize. A very enjoyable holiday. Many thanks.
Tue, 4 Sep 2012 17:28:26
This is just a brief note to thank you again very much for a lovely holiday last week. You had everything organised very well and Aitor and I enjoyed it very much indeed. Lake Ledro was beautiful, the hotel and food was excellent, you also took us to some good restaurants and interesting excursions. All very memorable. We were also fortunate with the company of Martin and Steven. Quite a few interesting conversations we all had. I hope you got to Sicily ok.
Tue, 9 Oct 2012 12:15:29
Just to say many thanks indeed for a very enjoyable week in Sicily. It was
a pity that the Zingaro was closed by the fire, but there was nothing
anyone could do about that. We we did see at least the first bit of it, and
I greatly enjoyed the other trips you arranged instead. Monte Cofano made
an excellent day out and was well worth the effort. Erice was aplendid. I
appreciate the extra work it must have caused you to set up these trips. It
was great fun: thank you very much for it all, and for being a good friend
as well as a good guide. All went well on the trip back to Luton, and
onwards from there to Cambridge. I went for a 9 mile walk here on Sunday to
help my leg muscles recover from stiffness caused by the descent from Monte
Cofano, and I am fully mobile again now!
Best of luck for the next few trips – I hope they are well subscribed and
that you have a properly appreciative clientele!
Many thanks again,
All best wishes,
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 09:42:08 +0100
Mio caro Giacomo,
This is just a small note of thanks for the very rewarding holiday I’ve just enjoyed with your company in eastern Sicily. I really appreciated the excellent mix of local food and culture, all of it appetising! My fellow travellers were great fun to get to know and share experiences with, and the locals were always helpful and welcoming. The owner and his helpers at Roccadia were all keen to make sure that everything went well and that we had a great time. A few days could never be enough to absorb the fascinating layers of Greek, Roman and Norman influences (to name but three). For my own part, I am particularly grateful for your constructive support to steer my faltering southern Italian in the right direction. All in all, everything was a posto – especially the delicious local melon at breakfast!
25 Oct 2012 21:46:11 +0100
Just a note to say thanks very much for such a great time last week. I was a little nervous about going on an openly gay holiday for the first time but really didn’t need to be as you made me feel comfortable from the very start. I enjoyed myself very much and will certainly be booking another trip wth you next year. Not sure when as I need to save the money first but l am looking forward to meeting up with you again.I would like to repeat my offer that if you do ever get the opportunity to visit Leeds you would be more than welcome to stay at my home. It is a small house but does at least have two spare bedrooms. I would also be happy to take you round the sights (and gay bars) of Leeds. I have been looking at your website and am very impressed by the changes and the new trip notes/brochures. I note that there is a page for “what our clients say” which is empty. Would you like me to write a short piece for you? and if so – how much?Thanks again and looking forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future. Please keep in touch