"We didn't know what to expect when we went to Formia last year as we had never been south of Rome before, but it was amazing. The people were so friendly, the beaches were superb and the weather was incredible."
Mr and Mrs Lyon - Southampton
"We wanted to experience life as the Italians lived it so this seemed ideal. We were not disappointed. We walked to the market every morning and if we got there early we could even buy freshly caught fish from the local fishing boats, the restaurants were great and some were surprisingly cheap compared to any of the restaurants we went to in northern Italy."
Jill and Brian Cooper - Sydney Australia
"We had always rented villas with swimming pools in the past as we have three children but two years ago we found that our two teenagers got bored very quickly in our remote villa in Portugal so last summer we opted for this. Surprisingly we found the flat more than satisfied our accommodation needs and we all had a super time. We sat on the beach in Sperlonga most days and ate in fantastic restaurants at night, our children tried their hand at waterskiing, paragliding and scuba diving; in the evening they went clubbing and made more friends than we thought possible in just two weeks. We booked again for this year as soon as we got back."
Owen family - South Wales
"We wanted to visit Rome but found the hotel prices extortionate in the summer months so we thought we would try this. It worked very well, we bought a 7 day pass for the inter-city train to Rome and found it very easy indeed. There are two inter-city trains an hour (three in the summer) and it only takes an hour to get to Rome from Formia. The inter-city trains are modern, clean and air-conditioned and above all they are CHEAP. In fact we couldn't believe the price so we treated ourselves to first class travel and had our own private compartment on most of the days and were served coffee and cornetti in our seats (Italian croissants) every morning. We highly recommend Formia to anyone wanting to visit Rome; not just because it is better value for money but because Formia is a lovely town in its own right. Visiting Rome was amazing and everyone should do it at least once but returning to Formia in the evening and having a meal in the Risorgimento restaurant near the flat, which overlooks the amazing Bay of Gaeta made our trip complete. We are definitely doing this again."
S. Patel - Croydon
"We stayed in this apartment during Easter Week this year as we wanted to experience the Holy Week Easter processions which my Italian grandfather used to talk about when I was a child. The owners of this apartment have family connections in a town called Sessa Aurunca in the Campania region, so they arranged for us to participate in all the Holy Week festivities in this amazing historical town.
Sessa Aurunca is famous throughout southern Italy for being one of the only towns who still retains all its medieval traditions and festivals. Every day from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday a Procession of men and boys leaves one of the many Parish Churches and processes around the town for several hours dressed in the robes and colours of that particular parish.
The most impressive of these processions are the ones on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The Good Friday Procession unites all the parishes together; this time they do not wear their parish colours but they are all in black robes and black hoods, as they are openly mourning the death of Christ. They process through town from 5 pm to about 2 am.
The entire community is involved in this important religious event. Men and boys carry vivid statues of the Passion of Christ. Little girls as young as 2 are dressed in black and gold and represent Angels of Death. It is a medieval style funeral in every sense of the word.
Every time the procession passes a particular area of town, its residents light a huge bonfire to symbolize good burning out evil. In the ancient Catholic tradition, fire is a purifying and cleansing force. When the procession reaches the Market Square 4 huge bonfires are lit in the centre of the square; it is quite a sight.
On Easter Monday the whole town celebrates the risen Christ with another procession: in this one all the men wear the robes in their parish colours; the Bishop and the local Mayor and other dignitaries are at the front and everyone else follows. In the evening the whole town celebrates with music, dancing, food stalls of every type. It is the biggest party you can imagine.
What is really amazing about this whole event is that it is not done for the benefit of tourists or visitors; in fact we seemed to be the only foreigners there; this is done because it has always been done. No one really knows when exactly it began; the town’s historians believe that it has been going for at least 1000 years if not longer. For us it really was a glimpse into the past. Anyone with any historical or cultural interest at all in Italy, should have this experience, we cannot recommend it highly enough."
Prof. G. Manzi Schmidt - CA. U.S.A.
"What a wonderful time we had exploring Italy and the rest of Europe! We just returned the day before yesterday from our 3 week adventure and are just now re-adjusting to the familiar ways of life at home. As you might imagine, we've spent much conversation reflecting on our experiences and I can honestly tell you that the experiences we had in Formia and Sessa were the richest and most authentic of our entire trip. Joan and I are also teachers and we were welcomed so generously by your friends Georgio and Rosaria. Ben and Mary really enjoyed this rare and valuable experience and we're very grateful to you for helping us make the connection. "
Steiner family - USA
"Thoroughly enjoyed the experience of living among the Italians. Visited Sperlonga on two of the days and thoroughly enjoyed the pool and beach facilities arranged for us. The food at the hotel was marvellous.
The waterpark at Itri was a godsend for my son and daughter who absolutely love swimming. It was not too big or too busy and I had a thoroughly relaxing time. Lunch was excellent as sometimes kids can be fussy with regard to food. The kids learned to dive. 4 visits to the aquapark were included in our holiday.
The highlight of my holiday was the visit to Ponza. We took the early morning hydrofoil out - what an experience as I work with a ferry company and had never experienced the hydrofoil. When we arrived we hired a small boat for the day; we bought a packed lunch from the local stalls, juices etc and packed them into the icebox supplied with the boat and off we went to discover the west side off the island. We could not believe how clear the water was and we enjoyed the dips in the beautiful coves.
We thoroughly enjoyed the restaurants in Formia. The ones we mainly used were Ravello, Risorgimento and Tartufo. Ravello was outstanding and one of the girls had a little English so we had some banter. Cafe Tirreno was a favourite for cocktail and ice-cream late afternoon.
The Panorama Shopping Centre was excellent, my son must have bought all the Italian police car toys in stock.
On our last day we checked our baggage into the left luggage in Rome Termini and took the bus to St Peter's Square. We did not have time to go inside the Vatican but what an experience just being there. We had a lovely meal not far from this square and this rounded off the wonderful time we had in Italy."
Moreland family - Scotland
Thank you so much for arranging such a wonderful week for us. I didn't realise when we first booked this apartment that you would do so much for us. We really appreciated the beach bookings and the holiday programme you arranged for us. When we decided to opt for a non package 'do it yourself' holiday we expected to have to spend some time planning our days and getting to know the area but as you did it all for us we didn't waste one minute of our precious time there. We felt like VIPS when we went to Il Risorgimento restaurant and Antonio welcomed us as if he had known us for years.
The flowers delivered by your cousin on our Anniversary were such a nice touch; thank you for that and for the surprise Prosecco at the beach resort later. Our son loved the water-skiing you arranged and by the third day was happy to just be left there for the whole morning while we relaxed on the beach. Please let us know how we can tell other people about this as it is a very special experience and they will not realise just how much they will receive just by reading the internet advertisement. It was like staying with old friends rather than renting a flat from people we hadn't ever met. Thank you so much for everything.
Ana and Pete - London