Shelley from San Francisco: My partner and I traveled through the Bari region for two weeks. Giovanni introduced us to the BEST food and wine that we had throughout our entire trip! We're definitely planning another trip and highly recommend Green Italy Tours!
Giovanni knows everyone/everywhere and is loved by all. Green Tours is really special and I now feel that I have friends in every town that we visited. We experienced the 'insiders' view of true Italian living, instead of the tourist version. Mille grazie!
Susan from Oklahoma: Before our recent trip to Italy with a few days set aside for staying in Lecce, I was blessed to find Green Italy Tours ("GIT") online. Folks, let me just start by saying that all of the reviews you read here are absolutely the truth -- we're all gushing on and on for a very good reason! These guys REALLY ARE "that good"!! We were especially fortunate as the day of our tour was Giovanni's 29th (wink-wink) birthday, so we were able to celebrate with him all day! The four of us were picked up at our vacation rental in Lecce by Giovanni, his darling driver, Gianfranco, and another lovely couple from Australia who had taken a tour with GIT the previous day and loved it so much they came back the next day (another big indicator, folks!). We drove first to the incredible (did I say incredible?!) beach at Gallipoli. Giovanni immediately changed into his swimsuit. I, in my linen sun dress, have rarely felt so overdressed (he had strongly suggested we might want to take our swimsuits, so it was our own fault), but we had the most wonderful drinks on gorgeous white beach sofas, took tons of photos, and had a lovely, leisurely walk in the sand at the azure/turquoise water's edge, before we reluctantly had to move on. We drove the short distance into Gallipoli and had some of the best seafood we've ever eaten anywhere at La Puritate, along with incredible wines, and of course champagne and birthday cake, a gift from the La Puritate staff. From Gallipoli we then drove to the historic Castel di Salve winery, where we were treated to a tour by the lovely and lively Francesca, followed by a tasting of their amazing wines, followed by (surprise!) another birthday cake, and meeting of one of the winery's owners. (And FYI -- you CAN carry six bottles of wine all the way home in your suitcase, if properly packed!). It was late afternoon when we bade our farewells to Castel di Salve, and then drove along the spectacular (and very high) cliffside toward Otranto, stopping briefly in beautiful Castro for yet another beverage and to take more photos. Then it was on to Otranto, arriving just before dark. What a beautiful seaside city it is! We walked some of the tiny and crowded streets to the city's edge overlooking the sea, and several of us would definitely like to make plans to return there for a stay. We arrived back in Lecce late, but what a day it had been -- truly a day of a lifetime. Oh -- and early in the day, just as we were getting started, I had struck up a chorus of the "Happy Birthday" song in Giovanni's honor. As we finished, I asked him, "Just how exactly do you say 'Happy Birthday' in Italian?" His reply? "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, Giovanni, and many happy returns -- both yours AND ours!!
Rob M from Charlotte: My wife and I were looking to get a feel for the area when we first arrived in Lecce, so we decided to book a tour with Giovanni and his wife. We couldn't be happier with how it worked out! Traveling around with these two, it seemed that we had known each other forever...with our lack of a concrete plan going into the day, Giovanni expertly filled in the day's blanks.
If I had to describe a tour with Green Italy in one word, it would be "Adaptable." When one thinks of a tour, you often conjure up images of a guide droning on for a full day, spouting off facts as you move down a list of predetermined "To-Do's." With Giovanni, this is not nearly accurate. After we were picked up to start the day, we bounced around from one place to another, touring as if we were with great friends. We were able to take in the regions breathtaking beauty, stop here and there for my wife to spend all of my mon...shop around...and have an incredibly fresh seafood lunch (our choice...oh, it was included!), and see one of the area's oldest wineries for a tasting, all in the comfort of their car.
An unbelievable, flexible, and informative tour run by not only great tour guides, but great people passionate about the area they live in (they even helped us with plans for the rest of our stay via email.), go with Green Italy! Grazie Mille Giovanni!