To start, consider things like the value of your time, your money, your safety and peace of mind.
As fully licenced and bonded operators and leaders in the Italian tourism sector, we at ArtViva understand the high-quality difference. We invite you to consider the following when booking your tours:
1. Guides on lower-quality tours may not be able to adequately communicate in your language.
2. Guides may be disinterested in whether you enjoy the tour.
3. Unskilled guides may not have adequate presentation skills and may not be able to entertain you.
4. The guide on a lower quality tour may give incorrect information.
5. On a lower quality tour, you may be stuck in a large group, herded around like sheep (a common sight in Florence, Rome and Venice).
6. A lesser tour route may be designed to save the company or guide money and may not ensure you see the 'must-sees'.
7. Some tour companies may say they have small groups when in fact they do not.
8. On a lower-quality tour, you may be asked to pay cash for 'extras' like museum entries. This is not a good idea security-wise and may be illegal.
10. Non-expert guides may waste your time by making unscheduled stops in overpriced leather and souvenir shops that give commissions to the guide and company.
11. There may be hidden costs with low-cost tours. Check prices carefully - they may seem cheaper, but when you arrive for the tour you may have to pay extra in cash on arrival.
A Special Note of Warning on Bicycle and Wine Tours in Florence and Tuscany: Choosing a lower-quality bike and/or wine tour may mean being driven by unlicenced drivers, being piled into vans without a proper seat (for example: a 9-seater vehicle carrying 11 persons or more). Or the company could be unlicenced (meaning it does not have insurance). For your own saftey, we suggest you check the company is licenced to do tours in Italy before making a reservation. You may be asked to pay in cash on the street, which is not a good practice.