I am passionate about sharing the Italian country and culture that I love with new travelers and new friends.  I put my heart and soul into every trip.  I choose everything about the trip personally, from hotels, restaurants, museums and scenic drives.  Believe me, I have tried them all.  I have had the pleasure of spending hours just driving around Tuscany.  Someone once told me that unless a road is marked "Private", then you can drive down it.  Because of this, I have discovered beautiful fields of poppies, cypress lined lanes and even sheep dogs lazing in the sun.  

I have patterned my trips after other well known tour companies such as Country Walkers or Italy By Vespa, but without the focus on hiking or biking.  I have  priced my trips much less than those as well.  I am very adamant about offering the opportunity to travel to Italy at a price that is still affordable for the average traveler.  My main purpose in guiding tours is to share my own love of Italy with others, so I try my best to make that happen even with the weak dollar.  I think you will find that my small group tours meet your expectations and more.   You will have the comfort and safety of traveling with a group, but the independence to still find time for some of your own pursuits.  I have learned through experience that most people like some structure, but also need time on their own.   Your accommodations will be clean, comfortable and possess a uniqueness that can only be found in Italy.  They will also be located in walking distance from everything you need.  All dining spots have been tested personally and will be an experience in themselves.

If you have a interest in acquiring knowledge of new areas and cultures, eating delicious foods, tasting world famous wines in local settings, and having most of the details of the trip arranged beforehand, then this is the trip for you.  

COME ALONG WITH ME AND EXPERIENCE "LA DOLCE VITA"!
Why travel with me?

I have been traveling to Europe for over 30 years.  My first trip was on a month long bus tour through every country.  It was wonderful, but exhausting!  There is just something about spending so much time on a bus that wears you out.  Even my first impression of Italy was not the best.  It was hard to look past the large, bustling city of Rome and all the people everywhere. Even Florence and Venice were so busy.  We stayed in hotels that were located far away from the main sights.  Because it was a large group tour, we did not make stops in quaint, out of the way spots.  These are the places that usually make ones trip memorable.
  
The next time I went to Italy was with a small group of family and friends.  We traveled by train and rental car and were able to visit small out of the way places, especially in Tuscany.  That was the beginning of my love affair with Tuscany.  Since then, I have visited as often as I can, many times alone.  (So I do especially understand the solo traveler)  I have discovered  the true sense of what traveling to a special place can do for you.  I do not speak fluent Italian by any means, (getting better and better) but can always find a way to communicate.  The Italian people are friendly and warm and go out of the way to help.  Of course, it helps to appreciate their culture and try to at least know the basics of their language.  There is nothing worse than seeing "the ugly American" come out in travelers.  It can truly ruin your trip.  Try and remember that you are in "their" country and it can be different, not inferior, just not the same as you may be used to.  It is a big world out there, and you might just discover something you really enjoy if you keep an open heart and mind.  It always helps to bring along a sense of humor as well. 
A little about me.

My name is Suzan Rozypal.  I live in South Texas near Corpus Christi.  I share my home in the country with several dogs and cats.  When not in Italy, I am a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.  I guess you might say that traveling is truly my life.   I am just as comfortable in a hotel room as I am at home.  I fell in love with Italy years ago and after traveling there so much alone, I decided to start sharing my passion with others.  I know what it is like to not have someone to travel with all the time, yet still have that wanderlust.  So now, I arrange and guide several trips a year to Italy.  The tours include most important areas in Italy like Rome, Tuscany, the Italian Riviera, Orvieto, Venice, the Amalfi Coast and Florence.  My tours do have a strong focus on Tuscany, my favorite part of Italy.  In fact, the scene you see above is located in the Val D'Orcia, one of my favorite parts of Tuscany.  I will always remember the first time that I saw this little chapel in the field.  My sister and I were driving along and presto, there is was right in front of us.  I almost caused an accident on the road as I slowed to a stop too quickly.  We still laugh about that day.  It never fails that each time I pass this scene, I see someone else doing the same thing.  I am always very careful when I travel along this road.  I have also started adding some tours to the south of France.  Provence and the French Riviera are lovely and I enjoy sharing a new country with my travelers.  

Because I have lived all my life in Texas, but have traveled all around the country, I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the average traveler.  I know that people from Texas are different from people in Maryland.  I also know that the "small town" traveler has different expectations of a vacation to Europe.  A friend once told me that all her mother could talk about from her trip to Italy was how "awful the bread was".  Many stories exist just like this from unprepared and rushed travelers.  

That is why I offer a tour of limited size which allows you the chance to have a more personal approach to this culture as a traveler, not a tourist.  I learned many years ago the difference in the two.  There is so much more to enjoy and learn if you have the time to appreciate it, rather than just look, snap a photo and rush off to the next sight in the guide book.   I have found places to stay and visit based on my own travels and have made new friends along the way.  

I guide all my tours personally.  I even drive the van.  I have a BA in history from Texas A&M University, (Gig 'em!) so I have learned a great deal about the area and its history.  I try to have just the right mix of historical and interesting information as I can.  Don't worry, I also love to shop and of course, eat and drink.

If you join my tour, I will spend time with you before we leave to give you information that will help make your visit to Italy or France, "the trip of a lifetime".  While in Italy or France, I will make sure you have every opportunity to see as much as possible without rushing you so that you forget where you are. Even though my tours require a lot of physical activity, there will be time for rest and relaxation, after all it is your vacation.  It will not take long to feel like you are really just "traveling with friends".  You will fall in love with Italy just as I have and will want to return again and again.  I am not sure about France yet, but I think it will become very popular as well.

I especially love guiding tours through Tuscany and enjoy giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beautiful Villages that dot the hill-tops throughout the region.  Rome, Florence and Venice are spectacular, but it is usually that tiny village that makes the lasting impression.   Also, how can any trip to Italy not focus on the variety and richness of  its wine and cuisine.  Then there is the added experience of viewing Italian traditions in religion, art, and architecture.   Throughout Italy, you will discover quickly that the landscape is truly a work of art.  Please join me in this experience.  I know you will be happy you did.

My two handsome ranch-hands, Reed and Chad.
Wow, those boys have sure grown up.  June 2018
Clair dreaming of Italy.
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WELCOME TO 
"Italy with Friends Tours"

    Who am I and why travel with me to Italy?  Here is a little about me and my tours.  You can even read my travel philosophy if you would like.   If you are ready to experience the most beautiful place on earth, then you are ready to join one of my tours to Italy for people who do not really take tours.   Thanks, Suzan
Loving that Pizza!
ITALY WITH FRIENDS TOURS
DREAMING OF ITALY?
(But worried about the cost?)

Even with the ever-changing dollar/euro rates and  increase in most European airfares, travel to Italy can still be affordable.  My tours provide first class travel at a price that you will find very reasonable.  Do not give up your dream.  Join one of my exciting tours. 
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TRAVEL TOPICS AND 
TOUR ESSENTIALS
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DREAMING OF ITALY?
Thor, a real character.
Livy, my sweet girl.
Friday Night Lights in Texas.
Clair and Fennigan have it made.
Our longhorns with Grandma Aggie in front.  New baby born in May 18'.
A few members of my family.
Beautiful rainbow over the old original ranch house.
My home on the range.
A new kind of pet on the ranch.  Chad with the longhorns.
Reed and Chad with blooming Texas Sage which means rain is coming.
David and Debra, newest additions to the ranch family.
Still proud to work for SWA.