Neha recently travelled with us to Italy, joining one of our group trips operated by Contiki, a leading international brand that brings together young travellers from all over the world.
In this interview, she talks about the ‘Contiki experience’ , her favourite memories, what’s it like being a solo woman in an international group and why she’d recommend her best friend to choose Contiki for their next trip:
Firstly, tell us about the good-looking Italian guys
What was it like being a solo woman in a mixed group?
The experience was great! The best part about travelling solo is that you are not really hanging out with the same people throughout the entire trip and you get a chance to interact with different people at different times. There were other solo travellers in the group as well and it was fun to exchange travel stories.
More on the group…
Tell us about the people you travelled with
There were people from Australia, South America, North America, South Africa and the UK. I was from India.
How many people were in the group?
The group size was 32 people.
What did you feel at the end of the trip?
Mesmerised by the beauty and glamour of Italy, happy to have met people from different parts of the world. Took back some lovely memories!
And…your new friends?
Scattered all over the world!
About the ‘Contiki Experience’
Why did you choose Contiki?
As a solo traveller, I had a great time traveling on a group tour to Bhutan.
This time, I knew that I had to go for another group trip. The fact that Contiki brings together a culturally diverse group of people from different parts of the world made it an attractive proposition for me to travel with them.
What was THE Contiki experience for you?
Well organised! There were hardly any time lapses.Their free time add ons were well-designed and great!
We had the option of taking these add ons or use that time to revisit places we liked or explore new places.
I learned a lot about different cultures, bonded with strangers and interacted with people who brought in different perspectives to travel and life.
Paolo, our tour manager was so polite and friendly. He helped us by recommending places to visit during our free time.
Why would you tell your best friend to travel with them?
It’s a different experience, especially because you get to interact with people from all over the world.
Was the trip friendly on your pocket?
The trip was more expensive than the other “Italian Espresso” trips that happen through the year, more so because I travelled in July which is peak time. But, the experiences Contiki gave us made it totally worth it!
And the hotels…did you love where you stayed?
The hotels in Rome and Venice were far from the main centre. However, this was not too much of a bother as we had a coach to take us sightseeing. Our hotel in Florence was centrally located and we could walk to the main centre and other attractions. All the hotels were good in terms of service and breakfast.
For the love of Italy
What were your reasons for choosing Italy?
Italy has been on my bucket list for a long time.
I had kind of made up my mind that I wanted to go on an international tour. I had shortlisted Contiki and met with one of their associates. I wanted to do one country and cover most of the places there without involving too much travel time in between places. As some of Italy’s most popular cities – Rome, Florence and Venice – were covered in this itinerary (Italian Espresso), I decided to go with this.
Describe Italy in 5 words
Awe-inspiring! Romantic! Enchanting! Beautiful! Glorious!
Did you party in Italy?
Yes! We went to a karaoke place in Florence called the Red Garter. A great place with some awesome vibes and Strawberry Daiquiri!
What’s your favourite Italian memory?
There are far too many. To name a few:
– The view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
– The mystic feeling when I entered the Pantheon, I could gawk at this structure for hours
– The scrumptious seven-course meal at this restaurant in Florence which gave a brilliant view of the Tuscan countryside
– The Gondola ride in Venice
– Watching an amazing view of Venice from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop
– The people I met in this group and the interesting conversations we had
And the food?
Pizzas, pastas and Vino! 🙂
What was that dish you kept ordering?
Pizza Napoli (pizza with anchovies and capers) and Paninis.
What was that one unexpected adventure?
Well, I can call it our mini adventure. This was in our free time. After our walking tour of Florence, around 15 of us went for a climb to Piazzale Michelangelo. You get a panoramic view of Florence from this spot. It’s outstanding!
If there was one thing you’d go back to Italy for, what would it be?
I can’t pick one thing. Italy is far too amazing! Every place has its own charm! It’s on my “visit this country multiple times” list.
Looking to travel to Italy, but your friends keep bailing on plans? Like Neha, you don’t have to wait for anyone!
Come join one of our Italy trips operated by Contiki, and have the time of your life with a young, mixed group of international travellers. Click here to know more…