Here’s what people have to say about traveling with Tuscany Tours!

(And some photos from them as well…)

Garden Sprite Group in Fadda Cortona Sprite

Dear Pam and Sam,

John and I have been on many tours and they were just that, tours. What you do needs a new name because it is so much more than a "tour"! The only word I could come up with is "GIFT". We felt like you both ran all over Tuscany for us gathering the things you love the most: museums, special works of art, hotels, castles, villas, restaurants, wines, cheeses, olive oil and people. Then you took each precious find, wrapped it carefully in the most beautiful way possible and presented it to us with such love and joy! We felt like kids at Christmas, opening one beautiful gift after another. It is so difficult to pick out the "highlights" of the trip, every day we had one and then the next day was even better! This is the best trip we ever took and it is because of your expertise, but even more than that, it is your passion for Tuscany that you share so generously with all your travelers. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime and the pleasure of your company. You know we will be back! Love,

Mary Lou & John Curran

This was our retirement & anniversary vacation we had planned for years---Italy did not let us down--it is as beautiful as we imagined and what made the entire trip most enjoyable was Pam & Sam from Tuscany Tours. They delivered what they promised and much, much more. The history, art, and the knowledge shared by Pam & Sam opened our eyes and hearts to a great culture. The food, wine, and accommodations were terrific and we felt as if we were visiting family. I would give Tuscany Tours the highest rating and recommend it to anyone contemplating visiting Italy.

Alan P. Wolochuk, Chief (retired)
California Highway Patrol

Nancy J. Wolochuk, Vice President (retired)
San Jose Medical Group

Castle Ramparts Door Knocker Asciano Cantoria Three Clover View Cat in Cortona
Birthday Cake Angels on Fire Food Tray

My father and I were on the Siena and Tuscan Hill Towns Tour in September 2006. I just can't say enough wonderful things about this tour and Pam and Sam. The number of people on this tour was perfect, 13. We were extremely fortunate that our tour group was comprised of very lovely people. The properties were first-rate. The great thing about this tour was that there was just the right mix of scheduled activities and free time. The food and the wine, OH THE WINE, were fabulous. Each restaurant was better than the next! The local tour guides were colorful, as well as knowledgeable. Pam and Sam are the best! In addition to being fabulous tour guides, they are such warm and caring people one feels as though they are on vacation with their family! KUDOS to Pam and Sam…I highly recommend Tuscany Tours!.

Nadine — New York

Prosciutto Remo Pouring Oil Aldo Preparing the Wine Per

We were looking for the perfect trip to celebrate a birthday. We were fortunate enough to google Tuscany Tours and Pam and Sam's website popped up at the top. We read the description of the tour and thought it sounded like the right combination of touring Tuscany, art museums and enjoying good food and culture.. We were right. We had a wonderful trip. It was the perfect mix of food, wine and art. Our hosts, Pam and Sam were two terrific people who shared their enthusiasm and joy for Tuscany so effortlessly. Our meals were planned and executed beautifully with wonderful wine tastings and education about Tuscan wines. Sam conveyed his knowledge and love of art and made all of us more appreciative of all we saw.

Thank you Sam and Pam for an unforgettable time. It is two thumbs up, five stars and a "don't miss pick".

Walter and Linda — Grayman, Wisconsin

John Panorama B and K Krs Emily Vendemia
Monte Olietto Sevenr Monte Olivetto Art Image Coats of Arms

We had never been to Italy nor had we been a part of a tour group. Tuscany Tours really came through for us. Our trip was a perfect blend of fabulous food and wine, spectacular art and truly awe-inspiring architecture, breathtaking Tuscan scenery, and just the right amount of free time...all delivered with friendly, personalized service by people who know exactly where to go for the best sightseeing and dining. Having someone else do the planning and take care of all the details made this a true vacation for us. Our touring companions, and new friends, all believe that we had the most fun mix of people, as well as the best tour that Tuscany Tours offers. My husband and I suspect that all of Pam's and Sam's clients feel the same way!

Carolyn and Dick Wallach — Dallas, Texas

Three Great Guys Women and Wine Three Graces
John and Cheese P and T Happy Bella Ellen Krys Fleurs JG

I must tell you that I am so very grateful to you both for the extra steps you took to make the experience so "teen friendly." The trip was so much more meaningful with your wisdom, guidance and knowledge. We never felt like we were "overloaded" - it was the perfect balance of art, history, food and down time!

Pam, your personal touches won't be forgotten - from the contrada scarves to our Italian lipstick shopping! And arranging for Andrew's cannolis - well, the whole trip has been redeemed in Andrew's eyes since, thanks to your bakery connection, he celebrated his 15th birthday with the much sought-after cannolis! (And they were the best cannolis we've ever had...)

Sam, I have dragged Caroline and Andrew to museums for years and it always seemed to be such a chore-- but you have managed to convey to them (and John and me) a whole new way of looking at artwork that is not so daunting! Thank you for being so interested in their comments about particular pieces we were viewing. Fondly,

Linda, John, Caroline and Andrew

Sunflowers Sharon and Sue Nadine and Dad Ladies at Table

One look at the massive groups of tourists being herded around Siena and Florence by tour guides waving numbered placards convinced us that we had made the right choice in selecting Pam and Sam of Tuscany Tours for our trip to Tuscany this summer. If we can help it, we will never sign up for a large group tour in the future. The opportunity to experience Tuscany with an intimate, small group led by two wonderful people whose first-hand knowledge of the region, its history and remarkable art treasures, was absolutely priceless! The personal attention given to our special needs (e.g., dietary and ambulation issues) would also not have been possible with a large group tour.

Pam and Sam's knowledge of Tuscan restaurants and wineries made our trip a gustatory adventure....we filled our stomachs with wonderful Tuscan cuisine while filling our heads with knowledge imparted to us by Pam and Sam. Our morning in a Tuscan cooking school was a highlight we'll never forget. We could go on and on, but to sum it all up, Tuscany Tours gets two thumbs up from us!

Harvey and Barbara — Hollywood, Florida

A and J Pat in Red J and K A and New Hat Dievole Mucisians
Wine on the Terrace Dinner Behind Glass Wine Tasting Montalcino

Of course you can use our photos. Traveling with you guys was one of our best vacation experiences ever. You and Sam really know how to relate to a group. We learned, we had fun and we all got fat together. It feels so weird knowing that when I press 'send' this email will zip its way to the computer in your office next to your home. I can see the flowers outside, your home around the corner and Siena riding her bike outside. You don't get that kind of image when you travel with any other tour company I have ever heard of. Thank you for these memories. Stay well and prosperous,

Dave and Barb

Bella Couple Ivy Site Pam and Pam Sim R Ed and Pat

Hi guys, Yes, you may use any photos of me on your web sites. You can also tell everyone that this was a dream vacation come true. We had the opportunity to visit sites and restaurants that tourists would never discover. We met some wonderful Italians as well. The best part of the trip was having the opportunity to spend time with Pam and Sam, get to know them a little bit and get a true sampling of life in Tuscany.

Laura Siegelbaum

Cestello Fresco Cortona Annunciation Primavera Faceone

I want to tell you how pleased we were with the tour. It had the ideal balance of art, museums, history, culture, wine tasting, good food, lovely setting, gracious hosts, down time -- and, of course, knowledgeable guides to all of the above -- even time for a little golf. And you did a great job of helping this linear-thinking engineer to enjoy and appreciate the art!

We also appreciated that there was some flexibility in the schedule without it becoming undisciplined (which can be a problem if some group members are chronically late, etc), as well as your valuable assistance in making the rental car arrangements. The chemistry of the group was fine, as well -- you attract the kind of companions that make such a tour enjoyable beyond the indigenous features.

Bob — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ted is Happy Happy Shoppers Village Winemaker Men and Wine

Once more we want to thank you both for the wonderful tour through Tuscany. Your warmth, intelligence and low pressure attitude went beyond anything we could have expected.

Bob and Lola — Charleston, North Carolina

C and New Hat Georgia Follow Pam Birthday Cake

Dear Pam and Sam,

Thank you both for a wonderful tour; both of you and the other participants were delightful. I'm happy to report that the infamous lost bag was delivered to our house at 9:50 PM last night. Everything was intact and the bag was fine. Thank you again for your concern and effort on our behalf. 3 things we especially enjoyed about the tour:

1. Your enthusiasm for your "subject" and apparent enjoyment of what you do so well.

2. The attention to detail of every aspect of the tour and your endeavor to make it very special.

3. Your genuine interest in the participants and the care and warmth you showed for each of us.

Lynn and John Wellinghoff

Wine Tasing Lois and Cake Diana Having Fun Dining in Siena

It was great to hear from you. How ironic because I was on the web page just the other day. My husband, Pete, walked into my office and asked if I were planning another trip. Without hesitation I answered yes. Emily and I have talked about our trip to Italy and both agree the best part was our week in Tuscany with you and Sam. You made us feel like old friends from the very beginning. Your knowledge of the arts and wine country really made our visit a very enjoyable experience. Even though we had visited the Uffizi in Florence and a few of the other galleries, Sam made the masterpieces come to life. Emily and I have told everyone about your lovely town and how wonderful the residents are. Again, thank you so much for the wonderful and memorial visit we had in Tuscany.

Sonnie & Emily Park

Remo Pouring Oil Having Fun Dinner Italian Style P and D

Pam and Sam,

We miss you too! Why not set up an alumni tour with our group. We had a marvelous time which we shall remember for a VERY long time. You and Sam are gracious hosts, extraordinary tour directors and educators. We learned more about art history in six days than in a semester many years ago. The food and wine were excellent, the companionship outstanding and the tour directors beyond compare. The effort that you and Sam put into our tour is reflected in the great time all of us had.


Doris and Phil

Tuscan Chef Ted and Pictures Suzanna Perrini Asciano Market
Group Under the Pergola Dinner Outside Dinner at Castel

It has been a week since we have left Tuscany and a day doesn't go by without a great memory from the trip. Everyone and everything was just beautiful. The Italian way of life, the breathtaking scenery, the history, the art, and the truly wonderful people we met. It was truly a trip of a lifetime! Thank you so much for everything. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

You both are fantastic…..good luck to you and your girls. Oh yes, and the new little kitty.

Hope to see you in Nov 2007.

Nancy Lester

Birthday Chiara Before the Race Crazy J Laura and the Bottle Pam with Crown

I need help. The UPS delivery man showed up today with a box of pottery from Orvieto Italy. Inside was an invoice with an insane amount of Euros charged. The strange part is that my signature was on the invoice. Since I have absolutely no recollection of this, and since my wife has told me this is just one of many boxes that should be arriving, I can only assume that each and every one of you is responsible for letting me drink too much too often. In fact, I had a message from the credit card company saying "We love you John. We really really love you." I have no idea what that means but my fear is that I am about to find out. If any of you are suffering from PID (post italy depression), please feel free to send cash.


A and N Siena Mother and Daughter Couple on Wall

Our tour of From Rome to the Renaissance was skillfully woven together by the careful hands and minds of our hosts, Pam and Sam, with the woof of the lives of those of us who traveled together and the warp of a total dimensional Italian experience to form a fabric with which to clothe our memories for a lifetime. Each hotel we stayed at had a location convenient to all of the sites we would be walking to see. From one city to the next they raised the bar in terms of beauty and an exceptional presentation of Italian life and culture. We felt the delight of what joy could be felt by the simple and profound pleasures each new city had to offer.

Marge and Adrian George, Yorba Linda, California

Dievole Festa Best of Tuscany Group Chiara

Eccellente! Magnifico! Superbo! Words that fall short of describing my experience with Sam Hilt, Ph.D., and Pam Mercer of Tuscany Tours.

Every sense of my being was gratified with the beauty, history, tastes, scents, and textures of the Tuscan region surrounding Siena. Sam and Pam immersed us in the richness that was Tuscany through the sharing of their vast knowledge of the Renaissance which included in-depth knowledge of the Masters and lesser known artists, discussion of the Medicis and their influence, exploration of the Duomo and of Siena's contradas, including a journey through the religious imagery which permeated the art of that time.

They also celebrated the richness that is Tuscany today. They introduced us to the castles and vineyards of Brolio and Dievole where wine and olive oil tasting is a part of the joy of every day. We ate cinghiale in a restaurant housed in former Medici hunting lodge, took a cooking class at Scuola di Cucina, La Bottega del 30, a Michelin star restaurant. They celebrated my mother's 80th birthday with two parties, one of which was in the cantina of our villa where over 40 people sang happy birthday to her in their various languages. The sounds of song and laughter lingered well into the night. The personalized, intimate attention was second to none. Having had the experiences I did and having the memories I cherish, I can only encourage anyone considering a unique tour experience to avail themselves of Tuscany through the eyes and hearts of Sam and Pam.

Stephanie — Short Hills, New Jersey

Sam and Beautiful Donne Relaxing After Lunch
D and B Travel Buddies K J and P
Alan and Rosemary Hanging Out In Montalcino S on a Bench in Cortona
David and Barbara No You Don't Say Sam and Lucca
Venus de Mercer Professionals at Work Pam and Sam with Hawaiians The DeeDees
Hawaii in Orvieto Group at Table Hawaii in Cooking Paradise
Antipasto Prociutto and Melon Tagliata Yum
Food Tray Our Table at the Castle Dessert
Group on Patio Winemaker Your Guides
Robert and Lolita Pam and Traveler Sam with the DeeDees Darlene, Barbara and Rachael
Flowers on Wall Window View Tranquility
Cath and John in Window Debbie and Ed in Window C and D at the Villa Mary in Window A and M in Window