Travelers' Intercom

My husband and I spent a week in Tuscany with our family group in June ’03. One feature of our stay was a guided tour of parts of the Chianti wine region not normally visited by tourists.

We used the services of an independent tour guide, Dario Castagna (phone 011-039-0337-706-958 or e-mail, who is based in Siena. I had read favorable comments about him in the “Travel Talk” forum of Fodor’s website. The tour he gave us was outstanding.

Born in Great Britain to...


My wife and I spent four days in Romania with a local guide at the end of October ’03. In addition to seeing Bucharest, we traveled into the mountains and saw the wonders of Sighisoara, Brasov and Sinaia, plus some wonderful villages still not overrun with tourists.

Our guide found us fantastic lodgings in bed-and-breakfast homes which averaged about $14 per night. Romania is still one of the cheapest places on Earth. Great meals could be had in Bucharest for under $20 a couple,...


In a letter in the December ’03 issue, page 78, a reader was “shocked” to learn of Turkey’s $100 visa fee and thought to cancel her trip when she did learn of it. It is truly “penny wise and pound foolish” to miss a trip to one of the world’s interesting countries, one with nice people, because of $100.

The reader might consider how much the U.S. charges citizens of Turkey to enter our country. Yes, that’s right: $100!

Moreover, Turkey is not alone in this. Chile, for example,...


In Dan Gifford’s article on South Africa (Oct. ’03, pg. 29), I was interested to read about the radios used by tour guides on safaris. We were shocked when we learned, ourselves, that this was an accepted routine on all safaris.

We took an excellent trip in Kenya offered by Micato Safaris (New York, NY; phone 800/642-2861 or visit in April 2000. Throughout the week, Abercrombie & Kent’s vehicles were alongside ours, “chasing” to get to the animals spotted by their...