We have been most fortunate to experience several opportunities to share our opinions in the press. If you know us, you know we love to talk! There are times too we probably talk & share more than one would need to know, but there's nothing wrong with too much information!Below are several pieces from the Baltimore Examiner's Andrea Farnum, the Examiner Correspondent.
- Mar 17, 2008 Baltimore Examiner "Books That Feed Adventurous Spirits" by Andrea Farnum
- Jan 19, 2008 Baltimore Examiner "Port of Baltimore Provides Easy & Cost-effective Cruising" by Andrea Farnum
- Nov 24, 2007 Baltimore Examiner "All-inclusive Vacations Offer Choices for Savvy Travelers" by Andrea Farnum
- Jul 7, 2007 Baltimore Examiner "Smart Flying From Baltimore to BWI" by Andrea Farnum
- Jan 6, 2007 Baltimore Examiner "Ready Your Passports" by Andrea Farnum
- "Francesca Co. & Travel is the best! We
were clueless about preparing for our first trip to
Europe last spring to visit our oldest daughter who was
studying abroad in Florence. Frani coordinated and
organized a wonderful ten day trip for us to Venice,
Florence, and Rome. Fortunately our youngest
daughter, who was also in college, was able to join us
making it a genuine family event.
The arrangements that Frani made for us were flawless – from hotels, to train transportation, walking tours of each city, plus a fabulous Chianti winery tour. Additionally, Frani and Nikki gave us tips on all the best restaurants and sites to see. It was truly a trip of a lifetime, thoroughly enjoyable, and most importantly, completely stress-free.
The only disappointment was that we were not able to travel WITH Frani and her family, as we hear that Frani, Wayne and Nikki are fun and exciting travel mates. We hope to join their group on the next adventure back to Italy!"
Mark and Karen L., Baltimore, MD
- "Tony and I had signed on for our excursion to Sicily
with Francesca & Co.Travel almost 2 years
ahead of time. The day before our departure we were
running around wondering why we had not prepared a little
better/a little sooner/ a little wiser. We had
attended a wonderful pre-trip gathering(arranged by
Francesca & Co.and the LoPrestos) and shared in
lively discussions about what to expect and how much to
pack. We met all of our traveling companions and
enjoyed becoming familiar with the people who would seem
like part of our family for the 12 day journey
If I could do it all over again (and I intend to) I would definitely take the planning stage a bit more seriously. Fortunately, we were guided and supported by Frani,Wayne,Nikki,Charlie and Colleen throughout the trip. The downside was that we definitely over packed. The upside was that we did not have to handle our own luggage because we were chauffeured around the countryside in a luxurious motor coach. We enjoyed professional tour guides who were knowledgeable and engaging. They acquainted us with the wealth of history in our midst. One little town was more charming than the next and the hotels were warm and welcoming. DID I MENTION THE FOOD? We'd start the day with a breakfast buffet in our hotel. The offerings varied from home-made yogurt and rich pastries to freshly squeezed orange juice and cappuccino. Can you believe that by noon we were ready for the local pasta selection at some little hillside café (ordered in perfect Italian by Charlie Lopresto)? Dinner usually consisted of fresh fish or meat and OH-- DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE WINE? The house wines were hearty and flavorful and we never made it out the door of a restaurant without a sip of limoncello which was made from gigantic lemons growing in trees on the hillside.
As I relive the trip I realize how fortunate we were to have chosen the Hahns and the LoPrestos to introduce us to Sicily. The experience would never have been as special with any other agency or guide.
Thanks for the memories!"
Tony and Stephanie H., Baltimore, MD
- "This past March
I took a wonderful trip with Francesca & Co. We
spent six nights in Sicily visiting Palermo, Monreale,
Marsala, Agrigento, Enna, Cefalu' and the wonderful jewel
that is Taormina. We had lunch in one town and
dinner in another and saw all the sights in the area in
between meals! Our bus driver and tour guide were
of the highest caliber. Our meals and wine couldn't
be surpassed. And the group was the biggest
surprise of all--everyone was congenial and fun--there
wasn't one person who was a diva (or divo for that
matter). After our six nights in Sicily, we took
the ferry from Messina to the boot and traveled to
Sorrento for two nights, then on to Pompeii, Naples and
Rome. It was the 10th trip to Italy that I took
with Francesca--each one is better than the last. I
have been longing to go back ever since our return.
Until that time, I will have to be content with the
beautiful memories of that experience and look forward to
the next adventure."
Filomena I., Baltimore, MD
- "I had a
wonderful time traveling the "Splendors of Sicily" with
Frani, et al. This was my first tour and the cities
we visited were very meaningful to me and my
heritage. I loved every minute of the tour and am
looking forward to being able to travel again with
Josette F., Glenville ,PA
- "Without a doubt, our trip to Sicily, the Amalfi
Coast and Rome was the best trip that we have taken. We
have done a lot of travelling, but we never enjoyed a
trip as much as Frani's trip.
The people, the warmth, their knowledge of the region all made for an exciting, funfilled 10 days. Frani knew the offbeat, non-touristy restaurants and found the best guides for each location. Her cohort and our dear friend, Charlie, spoke fluent Italian, made friends with every restauranteur that we came in touch with and saw to it that we had complimentary limoncello at the end of every meal.
Our fellow travelers were wonderful. We laughed a lot as we searched for the working ATM, the best white sapphire earstuds, the 3-hour dinner preparation at a wine bar, Frani's remarkable first time journey up a spiral staircase to see the Greek ruins in Agrigento.
Our perfect place was a rainy Monday morning ducking into a beautiful church in Rome (aren't they all?) to find Mass starting at one of the side altars. All 21 participants were Italian...except us. At the sign of the peace when they turned and knew that we were Americans, they smiled and embraced us. We said "Peace Be With You" in our common languages and knew at that moment what the phrase really meant.
We loved the experience. We loved being with our dear friends, we loved Frani and her family and all of the new friends and aquaintences that we made on our journey together."
Geary and Donna F., Baltimore, MD