The Best Way to Get Advice: Talk to Me! My Italy Travel Chats

Amanda Ruggeri travel consulting sessions“Whenever we were thinking outside of the box, we’d remind ourselves, “what did Mandy say about this?”” -Peter Graves, Phoenix, AZ, summer 2012 trip to Rome and Venice

Since 2012, I have been doing one-on-one consulting sessions on travel to Italy. I’ve now helped more than 250 clients plan their trips — and I’ve been thrilled to hear positive feedback from every single one, usually saying how I helped them discover hidden gems and avoid the kinds of issues that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

(And new for 2014, I offer gift certificates if you’d like to give a session to someone else. Find out more here!).

How do these work? Well, for one whole hour, you can pick my brain about Rome and Italy. What we talk about is entirely up to you. Trying to figure out where to go in Italy? What time of year to come? What type of accommodation to stay in? What to see in particular towns and cities? How to get around? I’m your girl.

Here are just some of the secrets I can let you in on in a one-hour conversation:

  • where to eat: why you should never count on Tripadvisor or a guidebook to find the best and most authentic spots, what websites I use to find new restaurants in Italy, my favorite restaurants in Rome and elsewhere, and general rules of thumb for how to avoid touristy spots
  • where to stay: why some of Italy’s “best hotels” don’t really merit their €250-and-up price tags, my favorite places to stay in Rome and elsewhere, how to use and what to know about apartment rental websites, and the best-kept secret in rewarding budget accommodation in Italy
  • how to get off the beaten path: the most rewarding sites in Rome, and the most rewarding towns and regions in Italy, that hardly anyone knows about
  • how not to get ripped off: when to be on your guard in Italy, how to tell if your restaurant bill is right or not, and how to deal with awkward situations where you think you’ve been overcharged
  • how to get around: why you shouldn’t necessarily rent a car and drive around Italy, what the alternatives are, and how to use Rome’s public transport
  • how to save time and money: how to avoid Rome’s longest lines, how to find the best-value accommodation in Italy, and whether you should get the RomaPass

Other reasons to consider chatting with me, rather than depending on a guidebook or a travel agent:

  • I lived in Italy for more than four years. Even the best travel agents or travel writers are usually visitors. I was a local — which means I was able to really gather the insider’s tips and knowledge I wouldn’t have if I’d just been there on vacation.
  • My articles on Italy have been published in a variety of publications, including the BBC, National Geographic Traveller, Globe and Mail, New York Times, and the Guardian; I was also a main contributor to several Fodor’s Rome, Fodor’s Italy and Fodor’s Europe guidebooks. (Read more here).
  • I don’t take any commissions. So if I recommend a restaurant, hotel, or whatever else, you can rest assured that there’s no kickback to me whatsoever. Ever.
  • I travel in Italy a lot. In the past five years alone, in fact, I’ve traveled several times to each of the following places in Italy: Florence, Venice, Verona, Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi coast, Sicily, Tuscany beyond Florence (Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and more), Puglia, Umbria (Assisi, Orvieto, Bevagna and more), Emilia-Romagna, Cinque Terre, Matera, and the Italian Alps.

Have a question? Email me at

Booking is simple:

1) Click this button to purchase your $75, one-hour consulting session. In your order information, make sure you include your email so I can contact you to set up an appointment.

Choose one:

2) When I email you, set up a time for us to chat, either via phone or (if you’re outside of the US) email

Please note: If you need to talk to me within the next week, please email me before processing your PayPal payment to ensure I can accommodate you.

And that’s it. When I receive a receipt of your payment, I’ll email you to set up a time we can talk. I’ll also ask you a couple of questions about your Italy trip, and the more information you provide, the more tailored and detailed our chat can be.

Easy enough, right? So don’t wait… start planning your Italy trip now!

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