Steves Family Digs Village Italy Tour
While many people don't realize it, our tours are great for families. In fact, if Rick takes his family on a Rick Steves tour, so can you!
Lots of water
Each summer (regardless of the heat — and it was hot), Anne, Jackie, and Andy join me on a Rick Steves tour (we get a discount). In 2003 it was Village Italy in July.
Group at agriturismo
With a small and fun-loving group we enjoyed the quirky thrill of three weeks in Italy without Venice, Florence, or Rome. Sleeping in villages and rural agriturismos (farmhouse B&Bs), we heard farm noises rather than traffic noises.
Tour guide Lisa Anderson, who takes time away from her Italian husband and toddler to lead several tours a year for us, demonstrates how picnic cuisine in Italy can be deliciously gourmet.
Jackie settles into agriturismo
Settling into her agriturismo home for three nights, Jackie starts to feel like rural nobility.
Lisa helps olive oil testing
Rather than famous museums, the Village Italy tour fills each day with rural experiences. Here, a woman famous for producing the finest extra-virgin olive oil in the region shares her best with our tour, assisted by tour guide Lisa.
And here, a master cheese-maker in Piedmont stirs his curds hoping we don't get in the whey. Later, we sit down in his dining room for a magnificent farm-fresh lunch and a life-long memory.
Rick and Paul
Food keeps any traveler happy. Tour guide Lisa was fond of saying "food is love." Rick and fellow tour member Paul felt much loved, meal after meal.
And for this romantic couple, just living well in Italy was love, too.
Paul and Rick with book
Tour member Paul claimed to be the guy on Rick's Italy phrase book cover. While he wanted a cut of the royalties, Rick only gave him another glass of fine wine (which was more than Paul thought he'd get).
Andy bikes the ramparts of Lucca twice with the more energetic members of the tour. The biking was such fun, he hardly noticed the impressive Napoleonic fortress design.
Routinely staying in hotels on lanes too small for buses to enter, the group — thankful they packed light — would often hike from the hotel to the bus parking lot on check-out mornings.
Scenic bus views
Each bus ride was made memorable by incredible village Italy views. Here the group ventures high into the valleys where the world-famous Carrara marble is quarried.
Each group appreciates the expertise of its bus driver. Here Franco gets a grande hug from a group member for providing a safe and smooth ride.
Guide with group on beach town
Tour guide Lisa orients our group in Santa Margherita Ligure before turning us loose for a fabulous day on the Riviera.
Finale in Milano
The Steves family, sad to see the group disband, enjoys a last day in Milano before flying home.