“It was more than we imagined, the hotels, the restaurants, and the group of wonderful friends Vince put together was absolutely the best. We smile every time we think about it.” –Mike and Margaret, Southern – Spring 2008

“Douglass Merrell is one of, if not, the most intelligent person I know.  I had the privilege of studying under him in Rome during Winter of 2012.  But in addition to living in Rome we also spent time in Florence and Capri.  My amazing experience spending four months abroad was due to the knowledge and passion that defines Professor Merrell.  He makes every trip one that is memorable, with historical stories and personal insights that left me in total fascination of the world around me.  His deep understanding of Italian culture, food, language, location, and history is something that I believe to be unmatched.  In addition, he is kind, warm, always willing to joke around and make every trip filled with fun.  I left Rome, with a greater appreciation of Italian lifestyle, and it is and will remain to be the best time of my life!  All thanks to Douglass Merrell.” – Alexandra, University of Washington Study Abroad – Winter 2012

“The trip was first class all the way! I did not expect the care and expertise to our needs and wants. You surpassed all of our expectations. I would love to go on one of your next trips!” – Dorothy, Southern – Spring 2008

“We had the trip of a lifetime. It far exeeded our expectations.
Vince & Carla are beautiful people who truely go out of their way to make you comfortable. We are thinking about going this fall on one of their other tours.” Darius and Vicki, Southern – Fall 2010

“An amazing tour of Southern Italy with Vince was my introduction (first visit) to Europe in 2005. It was first class all the way from the hotels and family owned restaurants to the knowledgeable guides (including Vince). I hesitated at first due to the price but quickly learned once I got there that this trip was going to be priceless- from attending the funeral they had for Pope John Paul ll, incredible tours, amazing food, fantastic views from your hotels, to making new friends! The icing on the cake was meeting a cute Greek lady who happened to be vacationing in Rome during the same time… Needless to say I’ve been back to Europe 8 more times…. and looking to make the Northern Italy tour my 9th.”Mark Oliphint, Southern – Spring 2008

“Last Spring I had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome. Without Professor Merrell’s guidance, the trip would have been completely different. He was not only our tour guide for the important visits to museums, historical sites, outlaying cities and beaches, but a crucial beacon to the best restaurants, hole-in-the-wall cafes, pizzerias, gelato stands and even shopping. His knowledge was incredible, and the most important lessons were those of having fun and getting the most out of your short time there!” – Kelly, University of Washington Study Abroad – Spring 2012

” Our trip to Italy was truly amazing and one of the best vacations ever!  We went to the Southern and Northern tours and they were both fantastic. We met wonderful people in our group who we hope remain lifelong friends and had great laughs and experiences together. We stayed in first class hotels, had incredible meals, and the tour guides made the experiences personal and rich…and let’s not forget the winery tours…. it was like someone inviting you to their home to share their best wine, their finest meal, and their passion for wine-making. The hospitality of the Italian people is wonderful. And, lastly, Vince does a great job of taking care of us, always available, and balancing between group tours/dinners and your own free time. Thanks so much to our hosts, Vince and Carla, for your friendship and the trip of a lifetime.” – Katherine and Paul, Southern and Northern – Fall 2012 

“Was very well organized and hosted, included very nice hotels and excellent food, allowed for a good balance of group and individual time and provided excellent tours and guides. It was terrific.  We very much enjoyed ourselves!” Mike and Joyce, Northern – Fall 2012 

“Truly an exceptional experience! Vince and Carla go out of their way to ensure everyone has a memorable time on the trip. The great thing about their “tour” is the way it is structured to give everyone an opportunity to sightsee on their own, in addition to the various activities that are scheduled for the group. Having now done the southern Italy tour with them, I can’t wait to join them for their northern Italy excursion. The only caveat I would mention is these tours are probably not appropriate for individuals who do not like to eat!” – Joseph “Guiseppe,” Southern – Fall 2012

“Have been to Italy several times and lived in Sorrento for a three month period, I wanted to return without spending time to research hotels, transportation details between Rome and Sorrento and also have free time to re-explore the City and the beautiful port town of Sorrento, on my own. This tour offered a no-hassle holiday with the bonus of having Vince and Carla providing personal tips for making the most of our Italian trip; to the luxury hotels in the best locations, and fabulous seven course Italian meals in wonderful restaurants. The attention to travel details, personal preferences, as well as having the best guides to the Vatican and the Isle of Capri, I highly recommend this vacation holiday to those who are looking for a carefree, first class personal Italian holiday.” – Nori, Southern – Fall 2012

“I had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad in Rome, Italy last year for 3 months in the spring. Professor Douglass Merrell was the best Professor/tour guide I could have ever asked for. He is incredibly knowledgeable, knows more history of Rome and Italy than I ever thought was possible, and genuinely cares that everyone is having a good time. His excitement is contagious. It is obvious that he is in love with Italy, the culture, the people, the language, and especially the gelato! I wish Proffessor Merrell could be my tour guide every time I travel because I have never learned so much from one person! It does not surprise me one bit that Professor Merrell retired from the University of Washington and wants to spend his retirement sharing his knowledge and passion with many people.” – Alex, University of Washington Study Abroad – Spring 2012