Reviewer: Scott Hagen
Excellent tour. So much history. Be prepared to walk.
Our tour guide Katia was informative and entertaining, she provided recommendations on Tuscan dining and wine specialities of the area and where the best gellato was available. Our first stop was in Pisa where we had plenty of time to explore the Leaning Tower. The time in Florence included visits to key attractions with head phones to hear the associated narrative, and enough unstructered time to shop, dine, and explore. The excursion does require a great deal of walking and we were tired at the end of the day, but it was well worth it.
Reviewer: R. Osip
A great way to get to both Florence and Pisa in the same day. The time allocated to the Pisa tour was just right, not too long as there is not much to see other than the tower and adjacent church. More time in Florence would have been nice but not possible due to the ship's schedule. We were met by the tour leader as we left the ship and dropped off on a timely basis.
Reviewer: Becky Johnson
We had a wonderful guide, Stefanie. She was very knowledgeable and you could tell she loved her job. Pisa was ok; tower is definitely a must-see. Loved Florence!! She took us to her favorite gelato shop on the way back to the bus. Yummy!! Great time had by all.
Reviewer: Warren Laughlin
Katia did a great job of providing a very informative and passionate day at Pisa and Florence. She was great all round, but she was very passionate about Florence and with good reason. We would highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Julia Moore
Great, Stephanie was so much fun and she knew all of our names. I would tell anyone taking this trip to book with her. Thanks
Reviewer: Dwight Thomas
Excellent guide. Very well organize. Exceed expectations
Reviewer: David Irelan
Guides were very informative and friendly.
Reviewer: Sandra O
Tour guide was very informative. 1 hour in Pisa was enough time. Would have liked to spend more time in Florence on my own, but if you are on a time line this tour is the way to go. Good walking shoes is a must. Loved Florence.
Reviewer: Jing Gao
My husband and I took the tour at the end of August 2018. I am impressed by both Pisa and Florence’s beauty and culture. Our tour guide Stephanie was great, very personable and informative.
Reviewer: E. White
This was the best excursion I have experienced. Marco, our guide, knew all the history and was able to provide a lot of valuable insight into the culture while making the experience fun as well.
Reviewer: Aileen Hsueh
Enough time in Pisa. Wish a bit more time in Florence. Our tour guide Katia was very good. We enjoyed every stop in this tour.
Reviewer: Wendell Listhrop
Best of the 3 picked, entirely because of the dynamics of the guide, the guide in Rome, also good, but Katia got high praises, not just from my wife and me, but also from others in our group.
Reviewer: Marv Williams
Square of Miracles ( Leaning Tower of Piazza) is a must see even if crowded. Florence was the birth place of the Renaissance and a nice place to explore.
Outstanding excursion. Obviously not the driver's "first rodeo" since he knew exactly the timing and know-how for our small group (7 or 8) to get tickets for getting to the top of the Tower of Pisa. Stunning views and history coming alive. Saw where Galileo did his famous experiment (dropping balls of unequal weights) - NOT at the edge of the tower but inside bell chamber. Really liked the tour of Florence because we got to see the entire city with a comprehensive overview. Probably not an ideal tour if one expects museum time. A lot crammed into this day!
Reviewer: Rohan Appadurai
Lots to see particularly in Florence but was underwhelmed by the tour guide who appeared to be a bit under the weather. Pisa was OK. Not a lot of history.....but Florence is a great walking city. Would have loved to go to the museum but that was not included in the itinerary. A more energized tour guide would have made a difference.
Reviewer: Robert Domzalski
Pisa was a long walk from parking to site. Not a lot to see other than the tower. Florence was nice. Too much to see in too little time. Enjoyed the “ on your own time “ to be able to shop and have lunch.
Reviewer: Roger Figueiredo Castro
We like Pisa and Florence. The guide really knows everything about the place and was very (extra-boring) kind. The excursion took too long - it could be at least 2h shorter.
Reviewer: Shelia Carpenter
Very good tour and tour guide, but wish our tour guide had actually stayed with us in Pisa rather than it being a self guided tour. The tour guide stayed with us in Florence.
Reviewer: A. Thumann
The tour guide was very passionate. Would recommend the tour.
Great tour guide. She was fantastic. Beautifully done. Well Orchestrated. Comfortable bus. Great day!!
Reviewer: Christina Gawlik
Our excursion started with a nice bus ride to Pisa. We were given 45 minutes to walk around on our own, view the buildings from outside and take pictures. To go inside any building you would need to purchase tickets from a booth behind the leaning tower. Our limited time there didn’t afford us this opportunity but we still enjoyed our morning. Then we went to Florence and saw the most beautiful architecture. The crowds were heavy in late May so it was a bit stressful to stay with the tour guide, soak in the beauty, take pictures and bob and weave the crowds. We had the most wonderful lunch on our own at an Italian restaurant tucked away on a side street. The pasta was made right there and I’d do anything to go back and eat there again!! Overall, the day was amazing and I was the most tired all week. My Fitbit said we walked 8 miles of which 6 Miles was in Florence alone. Whew!
Reviewer: Barry Smilen
Money so well spent! This excursion gives the traveler insight to all the highlights of both destinations. Nothing was left out that I expected to see. Be sure and consider this excursion....you won’t be sorry!!
Reviewer: Kathie Harvey
The Florence & Pisa excursion was better than average. We enjoyed the guide, but there were people in our group who were not physically able to keep up with us, so it caused us to spend much more time walking from Point A to Point B. The description for the excursion should describe the total amount of walking. We showed 7 miles walking on our devices at the end of the day. About an hour of that was on our own, but the group easily put in 5 miles in Florence. No problem for us, but for others, not so much.
Reviewer: Dianne Boucher
As we think of Pisa we think of the Leaning Tower, this tour offered the discovery of much more, its walled city, cathedral and baptistery were worth the visit. Florence is better walked as we did with a good guide. Extraordinary history, art, architecture, atmosphere, all thrilled us and filled our memories. Good bus and fantastic guide. The discoveries did wet our appetite about Florence and we will return for a longer visit.
Reviewer: Brent Dobbs
The trip to Pisa was interesting and the tour guide took pictures for the participants holding up the leaning tower. The tour of Florence was very informative but long.
Reviewer: Joe Grech
We had an exceptionally good day touring Pisa and Florence as part of a Celebrity Cruises transatlantic trip. Great communication from the touring company so we met our bus right at the terminal entrance which was very convenient. Our group was approximately 20 people--half the size of the cruise line groups. Our tour guide Stephania deserves a A+ for her knowledge, her desire to accommodate every guest and for making this trip one of the highlights of the entire cruise. Strongly recommend using the AAA Shore Excursions as your excursion company.
We wanted to climb the Pisa tower but couldn't buy the tickets in advance due to time restrictions of the tour. However, when I told our guide, Chiara (not sure of spelling of her name), when we arrived at Pisa, rather than just telling us where to go to purchase the tickets, she said that the tickets may be sold out for our time slot, and took the time to walk with us to the ticket counter and speak to the agents to facilitate the process (thank God there were tickets available!) so that we can stand in line on time. Also, in Florence, where we've been during our previous visits to Italy, she gave us choices to either stay with her throughout the tour or do our own things. We want to do some shopping do our own exploring, and she gave us recommendations and directions. Amazing tour guide! Incredible cities!
Our tour guide Chiara was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor; we really enjoyed our time with her! Our bus driver Franco was terrific. We saw so much but never felt rushed to head from one destination to the next. This was a perfect tour to give us an overview of all there is to see in Florence and Pisa.
Reviewer: Zane Blegen
Loved the guide she was very knowledgeable and funny! The bus was really nice too. They went out of their way to make sure we didn't have to walk too much and protect us against pick pockets when two men suddenly joined our group.
Reviewer: Theresa Kelly
Great guide, lots of sites explored, easy to get to bus
Reviewer: Amy Sun
We enjoyed the tour
Reviewer: K Weigel
Great guide ... she definitely had a wealth of knowledge. And half the cost of similar shore excursions offered through the ship.
Reviewer: GEORGIANNA CHAN
We booked the tour on Aug 24 and group size was large 24 peoples. They have 1 tour guide met us after we landed at the port , we needed to take the port bus to another parking lot for our tour. They have 3 staffs to assist you to the coach. The tour guide lady is very organized to visit the Florence first and Pisa before taking us back to the cruise ship.
Reviewer: Rick Barton
Stephanie was the best. Since this was our first stop on the cruise, she spoiled us as none of the guides that followed could ever come close to her performance. This was a quick overview of Florence and Pisa, and there was not enough time to walk to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but we knew that would be the case. I would like to find a tour that had reserved tickets so that when you arrived, you could proceed to the Tower and walk to the top. However, this was a very nice overview and definitely exceeded our expectations. I would highly recommend this tour and especially Stephanie.
Reviewer: Cristina and Jack Djogovic
Our tour guide Samantha (Sam) was amazing. Very knowledgable and obviously well educated about Pisa and Florence. We learned a lot on our first visit to this beautiful region of Italy. Had a wonderful day. Thank you Samantha 👍🏻
The highlight of our tour of these 2 impressive sites was our tour guide Chiara. Obviously the sites are world class, especially Florence. We had enough time in each place to enjoy the sites, while learning from our guide about noteworthy historical and cultural facts. Yet, Chiara "brought those places to life" as she tirelessly and cheerfully answered all questions and offered factual and, at times, humorous insights. If you only have a day to visit these 2 sites, I highly recommend this excursion with the Shore Excursions Group.
Reviewer: Linda Wilson
Fabulous tour guide who made this trip even more special!. We did not feel rushed in anyway, and really enjoyed the day.
Reviewer: Misty Harman
This was our first trip to Europe and I am so glad we booked the excursions as we would have been lost without them. The guides were very friendly and informative. It was especially helpful that they would point out were restrooms were available as they seem to be scarce for the public in Europe.
Loved the tour guide, she was excellent, very informative, everything was well prepared and planned. loved everything.
Reviewer: Cathy Campbell
I thought seeing Pisa was no big deal, it's a leaning building. I found out it's really something to see, it's a stunningly beautiful building and you really are in awe of how it can possibly be standing. Watch out for the pick-pocket gypsies, our guide actually chased a few of them off. Florence was an amazing place to visit, beautiful churches and the architecture is something to see. Check out the market, bought a leather bag for a great price. Our guide and driver were fantastic. Tour was well run and stayed on time.
Reviewer: Pat Bruzzese
I did not go on this but I saw the pictures. My husband loved this tour and his tour guide.
She did a great job showing us around.
Reviewer: Craig Hornberger
Great smaller excursion in numbers which gave a great overview. Would definitely recommend Shore Excursions Group as the way to go!
Reviewer: Dave L
Stephania was excellent. Great day in Pisa and Florence
Reviewer: John Haley
Our tour guide was outstanding. Great humor and knowledge. Pisa was amazing, clean and well preserved. Almost looks like it was built 10 years ago! Florence is rich in history and deserves more time to explore. My wife's favorite tour in Italy.
Excellent tour of Florence. The best guide to be had during cruise. Very comprehensive guide in Florence, and a very knowledgeable guide on the bus. Pisa tour not worth more than a quick photo-op.
Reviewer: Ursula Kingsbury
Great tour guides, especially Stephanie. Because of the small group, we were taken directly to Pisa to the Tower and to the square in Florence. Easy to find tour when disembarking ship. Highly recommend.
Reviewer: Ernie & Karla Alegre
We loved the Tours, Tour Guide & Bus Driver. Everyone was so knowledgeable. We have told our friends how much we enjoyed your Staff and how proud everyone is of their area and Country.
Reviewer: Wanda & Ed Walker
I will always remember these 2 highlights when I hear the phrase, ""Mama Mia""! Our tour guide made this day very special with her knowledge of both places and of the area in general. She not only described the history/ architecture but also knew how to avoid the heavy crowds during the day. As extra bonus, she knew where to steer us for a wonderful lunch out of the way of all of the tourists to enjoy not only a delicious lunch but also a little less expensive than on the main routes. She was just a delight with her ""Mama Mia"" sentence endings all day. Great fun all day and learned so much.
Reviewer: Dustin Dedman
The tour was great and the guide was wonderful. I would recommend to anyone.
Reviewer: Jay Moller
Great walking tour with knowledgeable guide. Didn't realize there was no time or tickets to see David or the Duomo. Buildings only from outside. Compared to seeing the Vatican and the Coliseum from the inside in Rome, a bit disappointing for my wife. I had seen Florence before there were such lines.
Reviewer: Louise Hedley
Our tour guide was simply said SUPERB.
Reviewer: E Duffe
The tour of Pisa and Florence was very good. The tour guide (Stephanie) was excellent and we saw all that we wanted to see and were not rushed. Highly Recommend.
Reviewer: Frank Everett
Best tour guide ever! She was very interesting and informative the entire time. Kept all of us entertained and engaged
Reviewer: Emma Gonzales
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. She really know what she's talking about and very familiar of the place.
Reviewer: Dawn Sisk
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, so we enjoyed an in-depth history lesson as we viewed Florence and Pisa. We had free time in both places, which was nice also. The walking tour of Florence covered every sight we'd hoped to see, and we enjoyed a stunning view of the entire city during our return ride to the ship. Leaving the ship and finding our guide was quite easy, thanks to the clear directions received with our tickets.
Reviewer: magalie lavoie
Our guide knew well history and the scenic view from the bus. She paid attention to all the members of this cruise and she be patient. We saw the most interesting things in Florence and explain also the Pise tour. Bravo for this ofshore excursion!
Reviewer: magalie lavoie
Nous avons eu un guide vraiment bien formÈe. Elle avait de grandes connaissances de l'histoire de Florence et de Pise ainsi que des monuments. Elle a ÈtÈ gÈnÈreuse de ses informations et trËs patiente avec tous les membres. Bravo! Our guide paid attention to all members of this excursion and be patient. She knew the history of Florence and Pise well and give us many informations of interest. Wow!
Stefania was our guide. We were in a group of 15. She new all of our names and where we were from within the first hour. We were travelers not tourists. She was knowledgeable, funny, and seemed to truly enjoy what she does. She told us where to shop to get the best prices and where to eat to get the best food. She even took us for gelato at a place that has been around for many decades!! The entire tour flew by and we were sad to go back to the ship. We highly recommend this one!!!
Piza is surprisingly only a small part of an amazing religious complex. Much history provided by the tour guide on the long bus ride into Florence. Saw great sites and had a couple hours to shop for leather or eat. We chose to eat and enjoyed every bite and sip. Cheers! There were a few heavy squalls pass through that made watching people scatter especially entertaining. :)
This was our first day off of the ship and we did not know what to expect. It turned out that we had almost a private driver. (My family of four and two others who became our friends) Our driver Gianmaria was excellent. Courteous, informative, patient, knowledgeable. This beat a tour bus any day. Would definitly recommend Shore Excursions and will be using them on my next trip for all site-seeing.
Reviewer: Roma K.
Would do it again.
Our guide was Stefania. Knowledgeable and energetic, she kept us moving right along, getting a decent feel for Tuscany and Florence. She took our group to a new and fabulous food court in the heart of the city, where tour participants independently lunched on authentic specialities of the region available from dozens of vendors.
The guide was very knowledgeable and explained everything in very good English. She answered every question asked.
The drive to Florence is long but the enjoyment of the countryside great. The guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable but the time in the city is short. One knows this when the ship only allows a short time but one could spend +++ time in Florence.
We had a wonderful guide. Stephanie was inteligent, knowledgeable and very friendly. If we return to florence we would look her up. She made the trip perfect.
Lack of French-speaking guide.
This was a great excursion. Well organized, and well executed. It was a super hot day and we were taken care of very well. Bring water and snacks for the bus. Our guide Stephania was super. Very good value and better than the tour offered by the ship.
Reviewer: Iwona Kania
We loved the history that the guide provided. She was very knowledgeable.She remembered all the people names.Ecellent excursion. Polecam wycieczke z pelnym zaufaniem.
Reviewer: Australian From California
So impressed with our guide, Stefania. She is obviously a local who keeps up-to-date with local events ... as well as those that happened a thousand years ago. She is personable and vivacious, as well as being professional. Without her, our fellow tourists would have been just ""window shoppers"". Thank her for me.
Guide did a great job of corralling otherwise drifty passengers.
Reviewer: Patrick from Gumeracha
I really enjoyed out knowledgable tour guide. Our visit to Pisa was perhaps too long even though we did not have time to climb the tower. Then on to Florence, where we could have spent a little more time. I did enjoy the excursion and would take it again if we had a more in depth stay in Florence.
Reviewer: bipin fun loving elder
overwhelming experience. Loved the bus tour scenary,visiting heritage sites and excellant tour guide knowledge sharing.
On this excursion, it was only my wife and I, along with a friendly family of five. Even though it rained in Florence, we had a great experience walking through town and learning of all the different buildings along with their history. My wife especially loved seeing a vendor who put on a marionette show in the town piazza! Pisa was also a nice place to visit. We had ample time to walk around the Leaning Tower of Pisa and take lots of photos!
Great English speaking guide, very knowledgeable, Florence and Pisa were beautiful!
Reviewer: Travel grandparents
Wonderful experience. Our guide Stephanie, a native Florencetine was so kind and knowledgeable We loved every minute. We saw classic as well as her Florence and it so added to our overall experience
Reviewer: Amanda & Eric The Globetrotters
This was a fantastic tour, bus ride was a bit long but Stephanie the tour guide was very entertaining and always had amazing information to share. She was funny and very knowledgable. She made sure we stopped at Pisa early enough to beat the large crowds and her walking tour in Florence was spectacular! the only thing was wasn't up to par was the earphones/speaker system but that's not her fault. She made a point to show places off the beaten path that we asked about, new us by name very quickly and even suggested a cute little non tourist place for lunch. I would recommend this tour to anyone!
Reviewer: Traveler Tam
I fell in love with Florence, with all of the history, statues and artwork. Pisa is fun, to actually see the leaning tower in person. Our guide was very knowledgeable and you could understand her English.
Guide was very knowledgeable but we missed most of the information because the microphones didn't work. With almost 8 hours of walking we needed longer and more frequent rest times. Not enough time to get food and drink. However this was a very busy schedule of sights to see and this was understandable. We would like to have been told in advance to bring lots of snacks and water.
Don't hesitate for a moment to book your land excursions with Shore Excursions Group. We booked a 7-city package with them on a Barcelona - Venice cruise in May, 2014, and were thrilled with each tour. The individual radios allow you to hear the guide. We had Stephanie (Stefania) as a guide for Florence/Pisa. She was very knowledgeable and personable. Like all of our guides, her English was excellent. She gave an informative commentary on the bus -- but not excessive -- and her explanations of each site were detailed and interesting. The time in Pisa was about 1 1/2 hours, but that's sufficient. Florence has so much more to see. Excellent tour in every way. We are recommending Shore Excursions Group to our friends and family.
Reviewer: Medical Coordinator
Bernadetta a new guide is extremely competent. She kept us all interested, has a wonderful knowledge of the area history. Lead a full bus all day and never left anyone behind. Made sure we all got up close and personal with all sights. A wonderful Day for myself and my granddaughter. Highly recommend.
Reviewer: Erik the Ego
Florence and Pisa are wonderful places to visit. They offer wonderful cultures and rich histories. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and walked us through many historical locations. Since everything was within an easy walking distance the free time could be well spent by doing a specific location a little more in depth by yourself after it was explained by the tour guide (personally I picked the Basilica of Santa Croce). Pisa was also wonderful. Although it turned out to be impossible to go into either the Baptistry, Cathedral, or the leaning tower due to the fact that tickets had to be purchased for particular time slots and upon arrival all the time slots were taken during the scheduled free time (even for the cathedral which is free to enter). If at all possible the tour company should try to acquire these tickets prior to our arrival. Overall, Florence and Pisa were wonderful places to visit and the tour was very informative. The only caution is that it does involve a good deal of walking.
Stephanie was a wonderful guide, and we had a great day. She was knowledgeable and personable. Our tour ran on schedule and was a small group of only 11 people. We toured in a small van which was very comfortable. I would highly recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Hank Jo
Best part of our tour
The shore excursions to Florence and Pisa was well organized and executed. Even though, our ship's shuttle bus was 50 minutes late getting us to the outside of the ship terminal in Livorna, we were able to visit and see all of the point of interest without rushing. The guide even directed us to a wonderful restaurant at the center square.
Reviewer: Tom the organizer
We only had 7 people in our van so it was easy to be organized. Francesca Ermini was a wonderful guide; full of energy, humour, and historical knowledge. She was very focused on providing a top quality tour. Also our driver David was terrific, took us to optional locations and provided a lot of humour and history along the way to Florence and Pisa. It was a great day.
Adequate time in Florence, but would have liked another hour +/- in Pisa.
Guide was well informed and showed concern for the group. Gave fun and interesting facts from the heart, not from script.
Our guide, Eliza, was amazing. So knowledgeable and such a friendly demeanour. We really enjoyed this excursion as it was well organised and covered all the best Florence and Pisa sites.
Reviewer: Steve and Sherry
Florence is the gem of this trip. Thankfully most of our time was there. Pisa short and OK.
Reviewer: Jess the Newlywed
My husband and I took a cruise for our honeymoon. We decided to go with Shore Excursions Group rather than booking our excursions through our cruise ships. We were so glad that we did! We got a better quality tour for a fraction of the cost! The tours were exhausting; LOTS of walking, but how else would you get to see everything, especially in a city where you only have a few hours!!! We really feel that we got our money's worth! The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was that the tours kept getting held up by people who wanted pictures or didn't use their visit time wisely. Either allow extra time for it, or leave them to fend for themselves!
Seeing Roman history and the leaning tower of Pisa was very exciting.
Reviewer: Suzy Q
We were picked up from our ship and had a wonderful informative day. The group was smaller than the cruise ship trips and more personalized. We had a nice balance of touring and yet some free time also. She also provided some tips where we went.
Reviewer: Cris, traveler
There was no lunch included and not much time to explore on your own.
Reviewer: Leslie C
I LOVED our guide Stephanie, she was a JOY!!! She was super knowledgable and incredibly accomodating. Lots to see in Florence tour. Drive thru Tuscany was beautiful and scenic. It was nice having the long drives between port and cities so were able to have little rest in between. Would def recommend!
Reviewer: I don't understand
We really enjoyed this tour. Would recommend it to others.
You will never find a better tour operator in all of Florence! The very best driver and our tour guide was so much fun to be with and so informative. We were able to do exactly what we wanted, when we wanted to. This tour was very accommodating!
Reviewer: Donald & Jeannine
This is a great tour.
Very good value. Great guide.
Eliza our guide was not only charming but very knowledgeable. The use of ear phones was perfect so even though they might be a distance between the guide and you, you never missed any information.
This is a well run tour. One downside, you will not see the real ""David"". Our guide was extremely knowledgable and we were in a small group. It is fast paced to see all of the sites. Only downside was not enough time for shopping. Be prepared for a lot of walking, but the sites are beautiful. The churches are incredible.
guide was amazing
Reviewer: Laura from Center Moriches
Great guide. She was one hour late and we were all upset. She had waited for one the passengers that wasn't ready (from another ship). Even still, I have to give this excursion an ourstanding rating. She knew her way around Florence. She combined her knowledge of history with her storytelling ability to interestingly describe statues, paintings and buildings. Her little ancedotes were the best. We saw where Michealangelo made a tiny sculpture on a building without looking, his hands behind him. She related for the sake of the New Yorkers, that Verazzano was from Florence and his descendents were still making wine that we could purchase. She told us the best way to choose any good restaurant. For the rest of our trip, I followed her advice and she was right on.
Street maps would have been helpful in Florence
People don't realize just how far away Florence is from the port-we had a good opportunity for a nap. Florence is amazing and we wish we had more time to explore. The gypsies were REALLY annoying and you must guard your personal belongings with care and just turn your back on them. (The pregnancy pads they use didn't work for us-don't be fooled!) We had just enough time for a run thru Pisa-but there's really nothing else to see here. Not an excursion for slow walkers...an elderly couple had to drop out
Over-all rating for this excursion is Very Good! Although the guide arrived a little late, we all had a great time in Florence & Pisa generally. It would have been better if we stayed a little longer in Pisa because the 30 mins time given to us to check out the area was way too short, and we had a hard time catching up with the limited time.
Ricardo was amazing. We were in a van with only 4 of us and he was able to customize our experience. We went to an olive oil producer/winery with an unbelievable view of Tuscany. We happened into a road rally with 500 fiats- which made the traffic crazy but was really fun.
Because the vehicle was small ( 9 persons ) we got in places were the big busses could not go. Thus, we had little to walk and enjoy the sights more. For me, problem with walking, it was super and I will do this over and over again!!