Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking a GIROSOLE tour you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agreed to all of the following terms and conditions:
Payment schedule: Deposits
A deposit of USD50 per person, per trip will reserve for you the dates of your tour. The deposit is payable by credit card (VISA/Mastercard) or check. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will proceed to make the reservations for your tour. You should hear from us within 5 business days regarding the status of your reservations.
Some hotels (very few – mostly luxury hotels) request a full or partial payment at the time of booking. If a hotel requires us to make an advanced payment, we will let you know so that you can authorize the processing of this payment. The advanced payment will be deducted from the final balance due for the tour. We will also detail to you the hotel’s cancellation policies.
Payment schedule: Balance
Full payment is due 31 days before the first day of the tour and is payable by credit card or personal check. If you are booking a tour within the 31 days, we will process the full tour price at the time of the tour confirmation. If you have booked an open tour, we may choose, at our discretion, to delay the processing of your final payment if we believe that other clients might book onto your tour and thereby change the price of your tour. Note that in rare cases due to difficulties with processing non-US credit cards, we may request non-US clients to settle via bank transfer.
If you cancel your booking
We have negotiated lenient cancellation policies with the hotels we use so that on most hotels you’ll be able to cancel up to 31 days before the departure date of your tour without penalty. We are also happy to book a hotel which we have not negotiated with. However, please keep in mind that cancellation policies can vary considerably between hotels outside our network. In any case, we will inform you of hotel policies so you can make the best informed decision.
If you find it necessary to cancel your booking, or if your trip is cancelled due to force majeure, you may transfer the reservation to another suitable person, following acceptance by us. If this is not possible, then cancellation of your booking will become effective upon receipt by us of your written notification and the following charges will apply for each cancelling client:
- 31 days or more before tour start date: full refund of the USD50 per person deposit minus credit card fees of ~3% (and, if we informed you by email of a less lenient hotel cancellation policy for your specific reservation, those paid-in-advance hotel costs — please see above under “Payment schedule: Deposits”)
- 30 days or less before tour start date: loss of the USD50 per person booking deposit plus any cancellation penalties or costs imposed by accommodations and 3rd party service providers, including but not limited to guides, tour reps, commissions, reservations processing, credit-card fees and all other costs incurred as part of the process of organizing and reserving your tour
If you alter your booking
If you find it necessary to alter your trip in any way, we will do our best to accommodate your changes. This becomes more difficult, though, the closer we are to the trip date, so we reserve the right to re-price the tour to cover differences in the costs of your tour, hotel cancellation charges and other administrative costs.
If we change an itinerary
Running a tour is a complex process, with many decisions made “behind the scenes” in order to maintain a high quality of service. In light of this, we reserve the right to alter our suggested itineraries when required by circumstances such as, but not confined to, closing days of museums and restaurants, flooded trails, strikes, disruptions of service by one of our service providers, client nap schedules, sick monks, etc. etc. If such a change becomes necessary, we will make every effort to provide substitutions in kind to thereby maintain the same quality of itinerary originally stipulated in our materials. If we find it necessary for any reason other than force majeure to cancel a tour prior to departure, then the refund of all monies received will constitute a full settlement. If a client fails to make payment, then we reserve the right to cancel that booking without any obligation to refund or make alternative arrangements. We also reserve the right to decline to retain any client on a trip whose conduct or state of health is detrimental to the enjoyment of the other clients or disruptive of the guides’ ability to provide service, and we shall be under no liability to reimburse the disruptive client for any costs incurred by such a client or by other clients as a result of our action.
Tour prices are per person in USD, based on two persons sharing a room. If you request a single room, a single supplement is usually added to the regular tour prices.
We reserve the right to raise or lower the prices of our tours at any time should the euro/dollar exchange rate undergo extreme fluctuations. Please note that in over two decades of providing tours in Italy we have never implemented this kind of mid-season price change.
All refunds, including those for cancellations and for reductions of the price of your tour, will be by check or direct reimbursement to the credit card through which payment was received. Refunds will be in USD and will not reflect changes in the exchange rate of your local currency during the time period between your payment to us and our refund to you. We cannot give partial refunds for unused hotel rooms, meals, or any other goods included in the price of the trip. Trip prices are quoted as a package; credits are not given for services not used during a trip. If you wish to book only a portion of a tour, we’ll be glad to price the tour accordingly.
A few words about your guide
On fully guided trips, your guide will be available for a minimum of 8 hours each day. You are welcome to schedule the day as you prefer, though we ask that guides be free after 8 PM, unless they are accompanying your party to dinner. If you like, they may accompany you to meals, though neither you nor they are under any obligation in this regard. Please feel free to make your preferences clear, and don’t be afraid feelings might be hurt (they won’t). Also, our guides usually do not stay at the same accommodations as you, unless you specifically request this. We do this in order to be able to maintain competitive pricing for our very small group tours. Since the accommodations we use can be expensive, we feel it is better to have our guides stay in nearby, less expensive accommodations or at home in order to pass this savings along to you. If you prefer otherwise, please let us know, and we will accommodate your request and re-price your tour accordingly.
Tourist City Tax
When staying overnight in Italy, certain cities (not all) have a tourist tax (also called Overnight Tax). The tax is generally around 1-3 euros per person per night. Because the hotels are required to collect the tax in cash from their clients upon departure, please take note of this extra cost which is not covered within your tour price.
For most of our tours, we include an initial pick up and final drop off of clients and luggage, as well as transfers of clients and/or luggage during the tour. Usually, pick up and drop off will be in a major city or rail hub near the tour area, though we are glad to consider requests to pick up/drop off your party at points more convenient to you. All tour vehicles will be driven only by our authorized guides and drivers.
Self-guided tours are by definition private to your own group. However, other groups may book the same self-guided tour on the same dates as you, in which case we reserve the right to move all the groups’ luggage together at the same time so that each group finds its luggage awaiting it at the end of the walk. Obviously, this in no way constrains you to participate in the walk together as one group. You are always freely independent of the other groups during your trip.
Breakfasts in Italy
It should be understood that breakfasts in Europe are usually not “American style” (i.e. pancakes, waffles, omelettes, ham and eggs, etc.). This is more often true of our Comfort level accommodations, some of which may include a light breakfast in a nearby cafe, rather than within the establishment itself. For Select accommodations and higher, we use wherever possible accommodations that offer buffet-style breakfasts. In any case, rest assured that the old joke about an Italian breakfast consisting of an espresso and a cigarette is an exaggeration (for most Italians, at least).
Please note that clients with medical or physical problems (bad knees, etc.) that could in any way impact upon their participation in the tour or impact upon others’ participation must make these conditions known to us before departure. This is especially important if you are joining an open group tour. By notifying us, we will be able to plan the daily activities accordingly. Failure to notify us could result in your exclusion from full participation in tour activities based on your guide’s discretion.
GIROSOLE reserves the right to take photographs or videos during tours and of clients and to use these in our promotional materials without compensation or advanced notice. For our testimonials page, we either request a photo from the participants themselves, or else request permission for the use of one of our photos. If you find you don’t like a particular use of a photograph of you in our materials, please notify us. In the case of electronic media (e.g. our website), we will remove it immediately. In the case of printed material, we will not include it in future printings. Please note that we do not currently use printed materials.
Trip information supplements
After booking you will receive an invoice, insurance information, a copy of these Terms and Conditions, and a standard Acknowledgment of Risk and Release. After full payment of your tour, you will receive a full daily itinerary with hotel and guide contact information, rendezvous instructions, packing suggestions, reading suggestions, and helpful details about traveling in Italy.