• Venice
  • Varenna
  • Lake Como
  • Cinque Terre
  • Florence
  • Assisi
  • The Forum in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

My Way® Italy in 13 Days Tour

from $3,095 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

Following a route that connects Italy's must-see sights — from Venice to Lake Como, the Cinque Terre, Florence, Assisi and Rome — Rick Steves' money-saving My Way tour gives you the freedom to decide your own daily sightseeing priorities and pace. We cut the stress by providing comfortable rooms in centrally-located hotels, private bus transportation from city to city, and an Italy-savvy trip escort to help advise you along the way. Join us for My Way®: Italy in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2015

    • Aug 23–Sep 4 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,195 + Air

    Sale $2,895! Save $300 on new bookings (use SPEC15)

    Join Waitlist
    • Aug 30–Sep 11 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,195 + Air

    Sale $2,895! Save $300 on new bookings (use SPEC15)

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 1–Sep 13 (Tu-Su)
    • $3,195 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 8–Sep 20 (Tu-Su)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Sale $3,095! Save $300 on new bookings (use SPEC15)

    Join Waitlist
    • Sep 27–Oct 9 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Oct 4–Oct 16 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,195 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Oct 11–Oct 23 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,095 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Oct 18–Oct 30 (Su-Fr)
    • $3,095 + Air

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What's Included

  • This is an "un-guided" tour — giving you the freedom (and responsibility) to manage your daily sightseeing schedule and meals
  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people will share our big, comfy bus during the trip, but not do organized sightseeing together
  • A Rick Steves escort will manage the group's transportation and hotel arrangements, and provide advice for sightseeing, meals, etc.
  • All group transportation from Venice to Rome
  • 12 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts are included
  • All tips for escort and driver
  • Free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (free podcast/mp3 files) featuring Rick's audio walking tours of sights, museums and neighborhoods in Florence, Venice and Rome. Also includes Rick's radio interviews with experts on destinations covered in this itinerary
  • More free stuff including Rick Steves Italy guidebook; Europe Through the Back Door travel skills handbook (one per household); Italian phrase book; moneybelt; and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Costs not covered: As this is not a guided tour, you will be responsible for the cost of all your lunches, dinners, drinks, admissions, sightseeing, and non-group transportation. Be sure to plan and budget accordingly. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Sightseeing notes

(r) = reserve a time before you leave the USA
* = included in Rick's audio walking tours

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

Welcome to Italy! Today is a great day to simply get lost in Venice (remember, it's an island), exploring the alleys and cruising the canals. We'll meet at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a group get-together. Your escort will give an overview of the days ahead, answer your questions, and offer a quick orientation to our neighborhood. Then you're free for dinner on your own. Sleep in Venice (2 nights).

Day 2: Exploring Venice

The entire day and evening are yours to experience the Byzantine majesty of St. Mark's Basilica*, the formidable Doge's Palace*, the masterpiece-packed Frari Church*, maybe take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. No bus today.

Day 3: Lake Como

This morning we'll say "Ciao Venezia" as we meet up with our bus and drive to Lake Como. Along the way, we'll stop to grab lunch before arriving at our final destination — the sleepy Lake Como village of Varenna, where you'll have plenty of time to explore its romantic promenade, tiny harbor, and narrow lanes. Sleep in Varenna (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 5 hrs.

Day 4: Cruising Lake Como

All you'll need is a Lake Como ferry boat pass and you'll have the entire day and evening free to explore the villages and waterways of romantic Lake Como, including such elegant stops as Bellagio. Hike up into the Alpine foothills for unforgettable vistas, or take an hour-long train trip to Milan for a day of city sightseeing. No bus today.

Day 5: Cinque Terre

Today's destination is Italy's Cinque Terre: five perfectly preserved fishing villages, laced together with hiking paths that meander between vineyards and the deep blue sea. After winding our way down to the seaside village of Levanto, we'll board a train for the 10-minute ride to Monterosso. We'll arrive late this afternoon, with plenty of time to enjoy Monterosso's pleasant eateries and ambiance. Sleep in Monterosso (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 5 hrs.

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

Ahh, it's time to take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. Pick a Cinque Terre village and spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping a cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café. Or, if you're looking for lots of exercise, fresh air, and panoramic views, start your day early and hike the cliff-side paths that connect the towns. For dinner tonight, enjoy what's local and fresh: the seafood and the "best pesto pasta in Italy." No bus today.

Day 7: Florence and David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning, so you can hit the ground walking. This afternoon is yours to explore the Renaissance city, including Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome*, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors*, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. You could even take time to visit the Accademia Gallery*(r) and marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 3 hrs.

Day 8: Renaissance Florence

Today is yours to devote time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi*(r) — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. Or you could stroll across the delightfully medieval Ponte Vecchio, and visit several of the city's art-filled churches and museums, browse the colorful markets, and find a special trattoria for dinner on your own. No bus today.

Day 9: Assisi

Today we'll venture into the heart of magical Tuscany, stopping for several hours to poke around the quiet lanes of a friendly hill town. This afternoon we'll make a modern-day pilgrimage to the beautifully-preserved hill town of Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Sleep in Assisi (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs.

Day 10: St. Francis' Assisi

In a time of unprecedented church wealth, St. Francis inspired a refocused spirituality through poverty, humility, and the beauty of nature in Umbria. You'll have all day and evening to experience the beautifully-frescoed Basilica of St. Francis*, and wander through (and wonder at) this charming town and its surrounding hills. No bus today.

Day 11: La Dolce Vita Rome

This morning we'll get an early start as we make our way from Assisi to Rome, with a quick stop for lunch along the way. Arriving at our Rome hotel this afternoon, you can enjoy dinner at the outdoor café of your dreams, then celebrate la dolce vita Roman-style, with an after-dinner stroll through the floodlit heart of the city, lacing together the lively campos, classy piazzas, and splashy fountains. Don't forget to taste some refreshing gelato along the way. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs.

Day 12: A Day of Roman Roamin'

Rome is the grand finale of our trip, packed with historical riches, cultural delights and an infinite supply of wows. Today, aided by Rick's audio tours, you could follow the footsteps of emperors through the Roman Forum*, Colosseum*, and Pantheon*. If the Renaissance is more your speed, the immense St. Peter's Basilica* (home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà) and the sprawling Vatican Museum*(r) (home to his mind-boggling Sistine Chapel) are a metro or bus ride away. It's your final night in Rome, so get out and make it special. Salute! No bus today.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. Your escort will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our My Way: Italy in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be responsible for your own daily sightseeing, admissions, meals (except breakfasts) and non-group transportation.

Reviews

Katy

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "My Way" concept is brilliant! We would do a "My Way" tour again in a heart beat. Having the hotels and transportation arranged for us left us the time and energy to concentrate on planning the important things: what to see and where to eat! Our guide, Donato, was accessible, helpful, and entertaining. He was happy to let us do things "our way", unless he knew we were really making a mistake .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful city of Assissi was a surprise. It was peaceful, full of things to do and see, and had our favorite hotel, Hotel Umbra."

Susan

Poway, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The information provided before tour was an accurate description. I was the only single person in the group, but the other tour members were friendly and inviting. The hotel locations were excellent. It was easy to go exploring quickly after arrivals and into the evening hours. The tour guide was extremely helpful and informative with suggestions and tips for each city. He was easily approachable and had a good sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Lake Como and actually finding Italy's shortest river up in the hills. The trail wasn't very well marked, but I went with another tour member and eventually we found it. There were so many other "wow" moments for me!"

Kelly

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! The hotels were wonderful. The assistance that I received from Donato was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como was stunning."

David

Torrance, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed our tour of Italy. We would have enjoyed it more, if it hadn't so HOT (35C). Our fault for booking in the summer. The heat really sapped our strength and made it difficult to see everything we wanted to. We found 2 nights in each location was not ebough time for us. Just as we seemed to get our bearings we were on to another location. Rick provided excellent advice in his book -Travel in Italy can be frustrating at times - Just go with the flow, relax and enjoy the Italian culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: Riding down the Grand Canal in Venice on the Vaperetto. Strolling along Lake Como in Varenna. Eating a "Porketta" sandwich at the market in Florence. Gelato every night as we strolled the streets absorbing the Italian Vibe!"

Leslee

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think I am a long lost Italian soul after this experience. Seriously, it was better than we imagined. We fell into each region as if we were a "local" of course the locals wouldn't see it that way, but the feeling was there for us. We appreciated all the preparations being taking off our shoulder by joining the Rick Steve's My Way Tour. We loved how Trina just gave us enough information and tips to send us off into the world, which we successfully navigated through by her insights & the book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany landscape was by far was a highlight;San Gimignano and Assisi, but the hike from Livorno to Montaroso was our favorite. Biking in Livorno along the coast was refreshing. The entire area and the five towns were the best."

John

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I were able to thoroughly enjoy the trip, not having to worry about travel and lodging details. Trina and our tour bus driver Adrian were wonderful, i.e. knowledgeable, professional and personable. It was great though having the freedom to see and do what we wanted to do outside of the tour group. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the company of everyone in our group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was our time in Florence."

Lee

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This turned out to be everything we hoped it would and then some. The Rick Steves Tour Manager was wonderful. I rate Trina a 10 out of 10. Personable, professional and a warm and engaging personality. Between Trina and our bus driver Adrian, I always felt we were in the very best hands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was seeing the Tuscany countryside from the back deck of the Cooking School we visited. Just like a picture post card."

Jacquelyn

Glen Burnie, MD

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! It was perfect for us because we didn't have to deal with logistics of hotels and transportation to each city. The tour itinerary was exactly what we were looking for, including Lake Como and Cinque Terre, which are difficult to find on other tour itineraries. We loved being able to do our own thing during the day, but still get valuable information from our Tour Manager, Trina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was hiking up to the Castello above Varenna and looking out onto the beautiful Lake Como. It was gorgeous and well worth the steep hike! Assisi really surprised us as well. We loved it. It was so beautiful and quaint and less touristy than some of the other places."

Mary

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a little leery of taking any type of organized tour, but after our 13 days in Italy with Trina, we would sign on for another! The My Way tour was just what we wanted - no stress and plenty of freedom! Our transportation between locations was mainly by bus, and our driver, Adrian, was one of the best! We felt very safe in his hands even in scary city traffic. One of the best things about the tour was the itinerary itself, alternating between cities and more rural sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como was never on my radar as a "must see", but when we arrived in Varenna, I changed my mind. Our hotel, the Royal Victoria, was between the town square and the lake. When we walked around the hotel and first saw the lake itself, crystal blue and framed in mountains, it literally took my breath away. The hotel had a lovely eating/drinking patio and pool overlooking the lake, and it was there that I realized that I LOVE ITALY."

Kelly

Marion, OH

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time traveling in abroad. We picked the Italy my way tour to support us and to help us to see a good portion of Italy. We felt as if it was a perfect fit for us. We were able to spend our days how we wanted but still had the support of our trip escort and met some wonderful people on our tour also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hotel room in Assisi had a wonderful view. I hardly wanted to leave the balcony we had."

Gary

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Steves tour, and first My Way. We loved it. Our accommodations, bus, bus driver and escort were all awesome. Donato was an exceptional escort, which is ironic for a tour that is supposed to be self-guided! However, he was terrific for setting the tone at each town, very engaging with all of the tour members, careful to not go into full-blown "guide mode" and try to direct our interests--but always willing to offer tips and suggestions if we asked. Just a super good guy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many members of our group organized a tour of Saio Winery in Assisi. During a walk in the vineyards, we turned a corner, and there on the hill above us was the town of Assisi. It was breathtaking. We were in the right place, at the right time, and wonderfully rewarded for taking a chance on an off the beaten track experience. Many of us discovered on this trip the joy of seeking experiences not in guide books, but just going our own way!"

Rebekah

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time on the tour! Loved our tour guide and bus driver, and all of the selected cities. We wouldn't have wanted to miss any of the cities that we went to! We felt lucky to have a really knowledgeable tour guide in Don.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"when we walked into our hotel room at the hotel victoria in varenna on lake como. Incredible."

Lizanne

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first My Way tour, our third Steves tour. We enjoy both types of tours. Don did a great job of being available on a daily basis and helping with whatever we needed to make our own adventures. He has the perfect personality and presence for this job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many! The thunderstorms in Rome, creating spectacular cloud formations and flooding the Piazza San Marco just enough for nighttime reflections and the splashing of people dancing to the orchestra. The views along the hike from Monte Rosso to Vernazza. The Saio vineyard tour, lunch, and tasting we took with members of the tour. The food everywhere!"

Steve

Marion, OH

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was perfect for what we were looking for; the freedom to plan and do the things- see the places and museums we wanted to while having the amazing support of our escort. Our largest concern was the travel and hotel arrangements and that is exactly what is handled by the Rick Steve's tour office. The 13 days flew by as we were getting a fantastic overview of this wonderful country and the Italian culture and people. We could have asked for a better tour for our first trip to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is certainly hard to pick only one "wow" moment but the hill town of San Giamangiano was the one picked as the stop that was to be determined by the escort while on the tour. It blew me away for its beauty, and character of a midevil village. I could have pulled the luggage off there and stayed for a long time."

E Leigh

Sherman Oaks, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great hotels, good breakfasts, very helpful & dedicated tour manager, nice bus, good scheduling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite sight was the Roman Forum--mind boggling in its scope and amazingly preserved."

Andrew

Jupiter, FL

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour was ideal for our family. It was a great experience from beginning to end. The itinerary was balanced between small towns and larger cities. The hotels were charming and centrally located. The bus was new and comfortable with plenty of room to spread out. Our tour escort and bus driver were helpful. We plan to book another Rick Steves My Way tour in the future because this experience was so positive. It's the ideal way to travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had multiple "wow" moments. One of our favorites was the view from the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. We also had a wow moment in Varenna sitting lakeside at Bar Il Molo for a drink at sunset in perfect weather. Assisi also wowed us with its tranquility - that was our favorite hotel."

Philip

Loveland, OH

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip! Tour director (Kathleen Cavalier) was outstanding at both leading the "Italy your way" tour and developing rapport among the people on the trip! Italy is beautiful! Your trip preparation information and books were extremely helpful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments...really enjoyed dinner up in the hills in Varenna! We also stopped at the Florence American Cemetery which was an emotional moment."

Joanne

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the my way tour, which gave us the freedom to choose what we focused on yet removed the stress of needing to make our own travel arrangements between cities and hotel choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was awesome, Assisi amazing, Rome not as wonderful as I had imagined. I don't think I really had just one "wow" moment."

Pauline

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Typically. My husband & i don't do tours-- but this tour met our needs- it allow for flexibility at the same time Giving us some support

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Assisi. - by all means - also the going away dinner i enjoyed i was disappointed by the intro -.u need some icebreakers Not enough folks really got to know one another fortunately our group bonded very quickly.!..which was such fun! but we wer just blessed"

Franklin

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way Italy Tour was great! I am not a tour person; however, the My Way format allowed me the enjoyment of planning places to see, things to do, and restaurants (and bars) to visit without worrying about transportation and lodging. Each of the six cities was completely different from the city you were leaving or the city you were travelling to. The bus was very comfortable, the driver very professional, and our guide very helpful. The 28 persons on our tour became fast friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was on the bus trip to Varenna when we came out of a tunnel and saw Lake Como and the surrounding mountains for the first time. What a view, what a place! I would like to revisit this area."

Angela

Columbia, MD

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was everything we hoped it would be! We chose a "My Way" tour so that we could do the things we wanted, but were also interested in having someone else share information with us, and take care of travel details to get us from city to city. The trip was well organized-beginning with a city, and then a restful place, then back to a city. Lake Como was truly our favorite place and very relaxing. Can't wait for more "Our Way" tours so we can share more adventures!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment for us were the hill towns of Central Italy, especially Assisi and San Gimignano. Another impromptu trip was the American cemetery outside of Florence - it was very beautiful! The "pot luck" happy hour that Kathleen, our escort, planned for us in Assisi was fabulous and a part of the trip we will long remember."

Diane

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Auto grills dangerous for theft One person had wallet taken And attempted robbery of items on bus when unattended Was averted but lots of items could have been stolen

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The David and the Vatican"

Steven

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect tour. We've avoided tours for three decades and traveled to Europe dozens of times but the My Way Concept was perfect. Provided transportation but left us free to choose restaurants, tours etc. Our Escort Kathleen was unbelievably good. You guys should clone her. She was expert in everything including even places to run in the morning, important for me since I am a fervid runner. I'd love more of these tours.

Martha

Scituate, MA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful

Leslie

Scituate, MA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our leader, Catherine, was wonderful! See was a wealth of knowledge and had a very calming aura about her. I will talk about the tour forever and will recommend it to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was great! If you asked me which day was the best, I could not tell you. I am not sure what my "wow" moment would be."

Dorothy

Delavan, IL

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Transportation arrangements were great - nice bus, friendly, competent driver (Dino, good escort. Hotels were good, too. Staff at hotels friendly overall (Florence hotel staff least friendly). Loved cities on the tour, especially Lake Como, Cinque Terre, and Assisi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See seeing church where animals sacrificed BC in Assisi. Loved everything about Assisi."

Belinda

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way idea is brilliant. My husband and I generally travel on our own but the combination of lack of stress from driving around Europe ourselves and then the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted, once you got us to our destination made the trip perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Given that our group did not "tour" together or dine together, the amazing aspect of the trip to me was how strongly we jelled as a group. The two happy hour events and the group dinner at the end that Kathleen arranged made that all possible."

Nancy

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my husband and my first ever tour. I really enjoyed the "My Way" experience. The itinerary was fantastic and the group experience was great. We enjoyed having lodging and transportation taken care of so we could concentrate on sight seeing and experiencing "La Dolce Vita". Our hotels were memorable and very centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be my experience at Rome's Pantheon. It is hard to believe the temple-now-church is over 2,000 years old. After entering the building I was able to photograph the light beam streaming through the dome's open portico. As I was doing this, an impromptu choir was filling the space with the most beautiful sacred music. Wow!"

Robert

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We met our "MY WAY" group of 24 travelers in Venice and were graced with a great guide, Stacy, who gave us just enough advice and structure to keep us all together and encouraged us to be safe but adventurous! We enjoyed good weather and reasonable crowds at popular sites as we were in Italy in late May. Because we were on the road leaving Florence on Memorial Day, Stacy arranged a stop by the American WWII cemetery outside of Florence, which was much appreciated! Great Trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I have found it impossible to identify a "favorite" moment or site. They were all the best, until we saw the next one! I have to say that the Spanish Steps in Rome is a magic hang out location."

Alison

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose this tour so we could use our time to focus on Italy rather than on our basic needs. The itinerary was a perfect sequence for us and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of each accommodation and the comfort of the transportation provided. Our escort was enthusiastic, energetic, and knowledgeable and she made an invaluable contribution to our outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I do not have a favorite wow moment, only abundant wow moments: The view of Venice from Dosodoro, hanging out on the Spanish Steps, seeing David again. The structure of the tour made it possible to ease into vacation mode much faster than it takes when I must also be attending to such details as where to go, how to get there, where to stay, etc. By Rome I was so relaxed that the being-in-the-moment moments had become an all day long occurrence. And that is a wow!"

Miles

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With limited time for vacation It was so nice having our lodging and transportation figured out for us. At the same time the My Way tour gave us the flexibility to do our own thing. Despite some nasty weather in Varena, there was always something new to see and places to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evenings in Venice, ferry rides on all Como, swimming in the lingorian sea, grappa buying, sunsets in Assisi, Rome - it was all good!"

John

Mendham, NJ

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

SIMPLY - EXCELLENT

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE UPFRONT VIEW FROM THE SPEED BOAT THAT PICKED US UP RIGHT FROM HOTEL ALLA AND WENT DOWN THE GRAND CANAL IN VENICE BRINGING US TO THE BUS FOR OUR NEXT DESTINATION - LAKE COMO."

Katharine

Columbus, OH

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was better than I could've expected. The "My Way" your was a great way to travel, it eliminated the stress of trying to plan trains and hotels, but instead allowed us to plan what we wanted to do each day. If we had any questions about the sites our guide was able to answer them at breakfast or throughout the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" experience was the first city, Venice. Riding around the canals and trying to navigate (which was close to impossible) was an amazing way to truly indulge in the culture."

Gail

Wilson, NC

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my dream of mine for many years and it was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be! I loved the My Way as it took all the work out of the trip and still connected us with a great group of people and great escort.The hotels were great as they were very central and lovely. The itinerary was perfect and I loved how the small, quiet towns were sandwiched between busy cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was expecting Florence to be my "wow" moment as I was most excited to see everything there and I did love it when we arrived in Florence...it was great. But my "wow" moment was coming out of the train station in Monterosso al Mare and seeing the beautiful beach and aqua Ligurian Sea! I really loved the the Cinque Terre towns and our Hotel Punta Mesco in Monteross was perfect! We were very welcomed there and all the staff were so warm and helpful."

Susan

Batavia, OH

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I started the tour after traveling alone for 2 weeks from Paris, Bruge, Bavaria, and Switzerland. I was not thrilled to be with a group or guide, but that lifted quickly. Stacy (our guide) made this an awesome trip and our group was very nice as well. I was with my sister for this portion of the trip and everything was so smooth and if not, than Stacy took care of any snags.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow. That is not easy to answer. Going to the American Italian Memorial on Memorial Day was one. Some of the meals were definite wow moments, including the great last night dinner Stacy set up. I loved the view from the patio at our hotel in Assisi, as well as, the Basilica at the Vatican. I really wanted to see the Rialto Bridge and the Trevvi fountain, so I was wowed when they were under renovation. LOL."

Gladys

Miami, FL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Second RS tour but first "My Way" tour-exceeded my expectations in every way. Stacy, our tour leader, was amazing!! Her energy, positive attitude and knowledge made this trip super special. RS tours are exceptional because of their guides and Stacy was amazing!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling on the vaporetto on the GRAND CANAL and seeing "open up" and reveal its wonders. The surprise visit to the American Military Cemetary outside of Florence on Memorial Day. Incredibly beautiful and moving. Florence-again-never bores me. Visiting the Forum and Colosseum in Rome at a very slow pace."

Jennifer

Milwaukie, OR

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I booked a My Way Tour, which is great for knowledgeable people or those who like to research and plan their own itineraries within a basic trip structure. There was little information provided by the guide upon entering new regions or cities, similar to the more hands-off kind of tour I've been on before via Intrepid. This was fine with me because I was prepared. The trip was fabulous, barring incidents of food-borne illness. A trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was bowled over by the beauty of Venice, but I was definitely wowed by the size and beauty of the David by Michelangelo in Florence. So hard to choose!"

Carla

Lacey, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy, and my first Rick Steves tour. Initially I thought the tour as set (6 areas / 12 nights) would be fine. I found that basically 1.5 days in one area / city was not nearly enough time to see an area. Other than that, the tour was great and it gave me a good taste of what Italy is like, and where I might like to return to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I would have to say seeing "The David" at the Academia Gallery in Florence. It was more than I expected, and very awe-inspiring. As a result, I immediately read a Michelangelo biography and have researched more once at home."

Rebecca

Ocala, FL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip and I think we hit some of the top locations in Italy. Not having to worry about booking travel and hotels was a blessing. The majority of the hotels were above my expectation and gave us relief on trying to find the hotel and the opportunity to study up on the upcoming city we were to visit while on the bus. Most wonderful of all is we had a great group of people in our tour who were ready to share restaurants and hidden spots they had discovered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"loved going to the American National Cemetary outside Florence on Memorial Day. A great reminder of the sacrifice America made to fight in WWII and nice to see that Italy recognized this by Joining in on the memorial services. Also loved the small hill towns in Tuscany and Umbria. So beautiful and a nice respite from Venice and Rome's crowds."

Edward

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very pleased, first tour. Like the "My Way" concept. Hope you develop more itineraries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1: Part of a very diverse group, "tour newbies", 8 states across the country: empty nesters, mothers with daughters and sisters traveling together. As the trip progressed we had conversations sharing travel insights as well as our personal stories. At the end we had a couple of group gatherings. Sadness as we parted. The group experience will be remembered as much as the sights seen. #2: Basilica of St. Francis: 3 incredible sacred spaces. #3: Vital Urban Life: village or city."

Mary Anne

Concord, NH

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour met or exceeded our expectations in every way. Our escort Kathleen was amazing and the "My Way" concept worked perfectly for us. We loved having the opportunity to make our own schedule for each day, but not having to worry about accommodations and transportation. We will definitely choose a "My Way" tour the next time we go to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. Outstanding views the whole way!"

Ronald

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip met or exceeded all of my expectations on my fist visit to Italy as well as my first tour. The hotel accommodations were all clean, comfortable and centrally located in each of the cities visited. The bus transportation provided was super - roomy and clean. I wouldn't have changed the tour itinerary. The locations were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each of the towns were special of themselves. The small scenic villages were quiet and a nice change of pace from the larger ones. My overall wow moment(s) was the art and history I got to experience within Venice, Florence and Rome. Overall, I enjoyed the incredible food, wine and discovering all of the locations we encountered throughout the trip."

Laura

Chardon, OH

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Kathleen was a very good tour guide. She was friendly and resourceful. :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a wow moment"

Ellen

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was well designed, and considering how much was covered in a relatively short time, an enjoyable experience that didn't feel rushed.. It certainly gave us ideas on places we'd like to return to and explore further

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose. Having never been to Venice before it was a series of wonderful moments and quite astounding experiences. We went to a terrific concert given by Interpreti Veneziani there in an old church. Perhaps hearing Vivaldi in Venice was a true WOW moment. Lake Como was also new and the ferry down the Lake was lovely. Our guide, Kathleen, also organized a marvelous dinner up in the hills above the Lake with great local food and drink."

Thomas

Concord, NH

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was as described in the literature and met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on the steps of the Santa Maria Della Salute Church, looking across the Grand Canal and feeling at home in Venice."

Andrew

Columbia, MD

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect balance of organization (travel arrangements and lodging) with free time of our own to explore. Two days in each location was just the right amount of time. The itinerary was nicely blended to mix up the time spent in heavier tourist areas with the less congested locations. Our guide was available with helpful information and suggestions, but we were always able to make our own plans. The hotels were all excellent in terms of locations, service and amenities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting the first overlook view of Vernazza after hiking the Cinque Terre trail from Monterosso."

David

Belfast, ME

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was hesitant about traveling with a "group" but was convinced that the "my way" tour would be the way to try on a first trip to Italy. The group thing worked out great as everyone was pretty much agreed with the sharing a bit of what you did for the day with minimal socializing and leave me alone when we wanted to do our own schedule. The trip turned out to be beyond our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Seeing the Grand Canal in Venice for the first time and, 2) Walking into our hotel (villa) room in Varenna on my wife's birthday and opening the window to a spectacular view of Lake Como and the mountains."

Mary Anne

Belfast, ME

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we hoped it would be and more. We knew the places we were to visit were where we wanted to go, but we never envisioned how beautiful they'd be. The hotels were perfect and Rozanne, our guide, was so enthusiastic about our destinations, it was difficult she'd been to those places many times before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but walking into our hotel room in Lake Como and seeing that view was heart-stopping. A wonderful birthday gift that I could not stop photographing and sending it to friends and family back home."

Ruth

Columbia, MD

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about our "My Way: Italy" tour was amazing! This was our first tour, and the "My Way" experience was perfect for us. Our guide did a fabulous job of providing support and guidance along the way which made transitioning from place to place stress free. The accommodations were excellent and all of our rooms were clean, spacious, and in convenient locations. The ability to spend two nights in each location gave us the time we needed to thoroughly explore and enjoy the sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick just one "wow" moment from our tour because we really loved every single part of our trip. One special moment was our stop in Montepulciano. This was the hill town that our guide chose to stop at while traveling through Tuscany. What a treat! We tasted Concutti Wine with the owner and had the pleasure of visiting the Mazzetti copper workshop where we watched as a personalized copper medallion was made just for us."

Adi

Woodacre, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had everything I hoped for: the choice to be with people or to head out on my own, great hotels that I didn't have to book for myself, a tour escort who was knowledgeable, generous,and who got our group where we needed to go in a timely mannerwith what appeared to be an unflappable demeanor. I enjoyed having my own room and was pleasantly surprised to find my accommodations as beautiful as everyone else's. I could eat breakfast, lunch or dinner alone or with other tour participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being the first person to get in to the Galleria dell'Accademia to see DAVIDE. I was alone in that room with DAVIDE for about 5-6 minutes. I thank the Rick Steves pre tour guide book and our escort, Rozanne, for that "wow" moment. The room quickly filled with people but I was still glowing with my private showing."

Karen

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour! This is my third Rick Steves tour, and the first "My Way." I really enjoyed the "my way" concept, which afforded me the opportunity to customize my travel experience. The tour escort, hotels, and transportation between cities exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never expected to have such a moving experience while visiting the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. Having a monk say a prayer in front of the tomb of St. Francis for my brother, who was undergoing surgery back in the U.S., was especially moving. Hearing the church bells in Florence, Assisi, Montepulciano, Varenna, Venice, and Monterosso, was very peaceful."

Lorna

Fayetteville, GA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has a wonderful itinerary allowing the participant to really do whatever we want to each day. We get to see the "biggies" including Venice, Florence, Rome, but also have some wonderful relaxing time enjoying lakes, mountain hikes and small towns. this was my very first My Way Tour, after taking several fully guided tours, and I loved it! It was so nice to pick the museums and activities we wanted to do and yet get lots of help from our guide when we needed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide took us to the special little town of Montepulciano and we set off for 4 hours of walking and exploring this beautiful place. We especially enjoyed visiting Cesare in his Copper shop, he is a character! And also the wine tasting with friendly Adamo, truly a delightful day."

Mark

Poway, CA

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an energetic tour that saturated our senses. The guide and driver were professional and friendly, but not overly so (this is good). The group was amazingly compatible, always cooperative and punctual. We had as much or as little to do with fellow tourers, which I value for a 'My Way' experience. There was a healthy mix of urban and rural Italy. The weather was excellent throughout, and this may account for the throngs of other tourists, especially in Venice and Cinque Terre.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is much to recommend. Boarding the vaporetto in Venice and the first cruise on the Grand Canal was the culmination of many years of anticipation, and to finally arrive there was very cool. Close seconds were the various public squares of Italy, perhaps my favorite being St. Mark's in Venice in the early morning before the hordes from out of town arrived."

Linda

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My second Italy tour experience with Rick Steves & CO did not disappoint! What a great trip and I loved doing it MY WAY! It was so convenient to have all the lovely hotels booked, the travel plans set, and the lively Amanda to help us along the way. Yet, my two friends and I were free to plan our days as we wanted, together as a trio or single if one wanted art and the others sought adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, cannot pick just one! Arriving on the vaporetti going down the Grand Canal was magnificent. The lovely stroll along Lake Como going from the village of Varenna to the boat docks...a photo around every turn. Plus, the charming Precious Stones Museum in Florence, then coming upon the Mosaic Store/Studio directly across the street from Hotel California where a family of artists still creates the very same mosaic art with the very same traditional tools we just saw in the museum."

Michael

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was my first trip to Europe and Italy it was journey long anticipated. We felt that the tour gave us a very broad exposure to Italy as we seemed to hit the big bang areas. All of the cities were unique and had their own charm. Our escort Sarah gave us a great introduction to each city and valuable tips on the best of in each local. Our group seemed to be very like minded and meshed very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'WOW"moment should be something like seeing David or the Sistine Chapel but for me it was the people of Italy. Chef Moreno at Il Caminetto telling how his family built the building the ristorante was housed500 years ago and sharinghis risotto recipe with me. The lady in Monterosso who spoke no English but told us about the cheese in her deli case with great patience. The waitress in Assisi who loved Bruno Mar's "Uptown Funk" as much as I. "A very good Song""

Kerry

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was excellent. The tour escort was WONDERFUL, our bus was comfortable and not crowded, and we made plenty of stops. The unexpected stop at the American Cemetery outside of Florence was so appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como/Varenna was my "wow" from the tour. I loved the beauty, peace, quiet, and charm of the area. The people of Varenna were very welcoming. Special thanks to the Albergo del Sole Restaurante staff who were kind enough to tell me how to make pizzoccheri at home! I would love to go back again and stay longer. There is so much more to see and do."

Laura

Soquel, CA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the places we toured. Loved the pacing. Loved our tour guide, Sarah. She is the absolute best. She really had so much to do with making the tour interesting, organized, memorable, smooth, and perfectly suited for our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not any one "wow"...but Venice, Lake Como, Assisi, Siena were my favoriet places. And the art in Florence was all all time high as well."

Carole

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall positives about the trip were the wonderful people on the trip, the fabulous tour guide and being able to see so much of Italy in 13 days. It was a whirlwind tour but I enjoyed the mixture of large cities and small villages. The negatives for me was that I discovered that I do not like to move so frequently (every 2 days) while only experiencing 1/1/2 days in each location. I unfortunately also hurt my foot on the trip which limited my walking toward the end of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite place was Varenna on Lake Como. I saw beautiful gardens and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere around Lake Como."

Gloria

Weaverville, NC

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

WE had a wonderful time. Sarah (our host) was wonderful. This was an unguided tour & really worked well for us. Sarah was available but we have all free time. I enjoyed the italian lessons on the bus + WiFi. We hope you expand the list of Unguided tour destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"LOVED VENICE. we were surprised how much we enjoyed ASsisi which would otherwise not been on our itinerary"

Erin

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sister and I were travelling with our parents at the "My Way" tour was PERFECT for our family. The amount of stress relieved by having our transportation from city to city taken care of was huge!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the differences of every stop. Overall, the food was AMAZING! Our tour guide gave some great restaurant recommendations."

Amy

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an EXCELLENT time on the My Way Italy tour; we are so thankful we chose the Rick Steves Tour. Sarah was incredible...knowledgeable, caring, fun to be around, and extremely helpful. Having hotels and transportation arranged for us made us able to relax and spend our time focusing on the attractions of each city instead of the logistics. I would absolutely recommend this tour to friends and family!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was constantly saying "wow" the first few days in Venice. This was my first European trip and I was in awe of the beauty and uniqueness of Venice and all the city had to offer... great museums, never ending walks, and delicious food."

Cindy

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a combination of Scott and Cindy's evaluation. The My Way format worked very well for us. We really liked not having to worry about transportation and hotels. This gave us the freedom to plan and do things we wanted to do on our own time. It was nice having "quiet" cities in between "busy" cities such as Florence and Rome. We had a great group and tour guide. Our bus driver Mossimo did a great job and was friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We both loved Lake Como. We would probably not have gone there had it not been part of the tour. The hotel was very nice and those two days were very relaxing. The food was excellent and it was a great place to walk and eat gelato from Riva!"

Joan

Dallas, TX

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Alternating cities and countryside towns provided balance to experiencing Italy for the first time. Having transportation and accomodations already arranged freed us to focus on how to enjoy each day. I liked being part of an independent group of travelers. Sarah prepared us in advance for each location and led an orientation walking tour shortly after arrival that was helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each time there was a panoramic view (and there were several!) - climbing St. Marks Basilica in Venice to stand among the horses, the first time we turned a corner and saw the snow capped Alps near Lake Como, hiking the trail at Cinque Terre to see Vernazza far below, the trek to the top of the Duomo for a 360 degree vista of Florence, the peacefulness and tranquility of Assisi looking out over the valley as pideons cooed."

Michael

Richardson, TX

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally speaking the tour met and exceeded most of my expectations. The rooms were nice and the breakfasts were very enjoyable. Sarah was very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects, and she researched those she did not know. She did a good job of staying ahead of us (rooms, transportation, recommendations, activities...). I would have rather spent more time in Assisi or Florence then the couple hours we spent in Sienna. I really enjoyed Sarah's Italian lessons; I wish I'd spent more time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure weather it was the unbelievable tranquility in Assisi, Our unbelievable hike and scenic vistas from Monterossa to Vernazza, or St. Peter's Basilica"

Brian

Silverdale, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour had all the advantages and challenges that we expected. Seeing 7 separate areas in 13 days was a great sampler but just 2 nights at each locale was a part of the challenge that supported the great experience. Our tour manager Sarah was AWESOME. Time spent on the bus was learning some basic Italian, discussing what to expect next and having highlights pointed out. At each destination we got a 30 minute familiarization "walk about". Sarah was great in answering any questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't stop at one! 1. Lake Como and looking at the Swiss Alps across the lake from our hotel window and also the Lake Como Greenway Trail hike that Sarah recommended. 2. The Basilica at Assisi and learning more about the life of St Francis (the hermitage!!). What a beautiful town! 3. The tremendous history from our walk through the Forum, Coliseum and Pantheon. The Accademia in Florence 4. Hiking the trail at Cinque Terre"

Laura

Silverdale, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! I had previously visited the major cities, but wanted a less stressful way to enjoy Italy. We packed light (RS rolling bags), were transported from place to place, and stayed in comfortable hotels. Sarah, our tour manager, was an ever cheerful fount of knowlege, including recommendations for regional cuisine. This itinerary really appealed to us because of the varied destinations, plus we were able to see what we wanted at our own pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como was breathtakingly beautiful, even during a windstorm which brought new snow to the nearby Swiss Alps visible from our hotel window. We enjoyed taking a passenger ferry across the lake to a walking trail and ending at Villa Carlotta to stroll through the gardens. Assisi was deeply special to me, especially seeing how active the Franciscan brothers are in keeping the Basilica as a living house of prayer. Their message of "Pax" appears in the landscape as well."

Nina

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The who;e trip was fantastic! I totally enjoyed it. Accommodations were overall very good. I even enjoyed the bus rides - the scenery was beautiful and Sarah did a great job of letting us know what was coming up, as well as giving us Italian lessons. The unexpected stops at the American Cemetery outside Florence and Sienna were wonderful. The group was also amazing - everyone got along very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one - they were all wows! If I had to chose, I would say Florence, Assisi and Lake Como were the best."

Jeanine

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Italy "My Way" tour takes the headaches out of planning a vacation. We were very pleased with the hotels, all very clean and centrally located, although the quality of the breakfasts varied. Transportation between cities went very smoothly - no wandering around foreign train stations, wondering where and how to buy a ticket, figuring out schedules, etc. We were thus freed to focus on planning and enjoying our time in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking a Cinque Terre trail near sunset and being awestruck by the beautiful ocean and village views. I was overwhelmed by the beauty!"

Cindy

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've traveled independently several times overseas but find the My Way Tour less stressful. It provides a good middle ground between independence and a fully-structured tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Damiano's church in Assisi for learning and feeling the life of St. Francis."

David

Winona, MN

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group of people to travel with. Very impressed with tour leader Donato. He made the trip very enjoyable and reinforced our decision to take a tour rather than " wing it " as we have done in the past. If I had it to do over I would probably prefer one less city during the same time period. At times, I felt a little rushed although this could be an age thing ( most of the group was younger ). My way tours are a great concept that I would certainly recommend to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Monterosso, very touristy but the view was worth it."

Pam

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour of Italy was the perfect combination of structure and independence. We were freed from the need to plan out specific transportation details, and yet had the option to do exactly what interested us most in each location. We enjoyed the group we traveled with, the guide was terrific, and the bus driver was excellent. We would definitely take this type of tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved hiking in the Cinque Terra. The beauty of the days, and the gorgeous views of the water, the towns, and the hillsides will always stay with me."

Muriel

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Italy before and arranged all hotels and transportation - it took time and effort. This was such a lovely way to travel - great hotels and comfortable bus to take us everywhere. The fact that we also had Donato and his up to date information allowed us to use our time wisely. It was a wonderful trip and I am recommending it to everyone I know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was when I finished the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza - I was tired but very happy - and Vernazza is one of the loveliest towns anywhere."

Diane

Winona, MN

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were extremely satisfied with this tour. It met our needs for a first time trip to Italy. The tour leader gave enough information in combination with the book so that we could plan our time in each area. I would have like another day in Venice and florence. Since Venice was the start of the trip we should have come 2 days ahead rather than one day. We were in Florence on a weekend so some of the shopping was closed on Sunday giving us only a few hours on Saturday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice is definitely a WOW! No visit to Italy would be complete without that city."

Scott

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Don was a very useful resource. Kept us apprised of unexpected situations like 24 hr rail strike and suggested workarounds. My wife and enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of the My Way tour. Fellow travelers were interesting and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- The terraced orchards in Cinqua Terra. - Watching the sunset from the top of the Victor Emmanuel monument. - Great dinners at Trattoria Za Za in Florence, Trattoria Ristorante Cherubino in Venice, and the restaurant in the neighborhood way above Verano. - The Prisoners in Florence"

Thomas

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Tour, Great Guide! Too much to write about, but each City, Venice, Lake Como, Florence, Monterossa, Assisi and Rome were incredible places to visit. Very well planned an A trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfortunately, it was probably the unsuccessful pickpocketer, but a great story to share. And, Yes the money belts are very worth while! Otherwise the scenery was spectacular."

Jayne

Wildwood, MO

Tour: 10/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time with Donato and the group in Italy My Way tour. It was well organized and Don was helpful with local info when we got to each town. We enjoyed getting to know the group and there were times for social get togethers if you were so inclined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night I woke up in Varenna at 4am and saw the stars shimmering on the lake like a million diamonds was unforgettable. Also, the sunset in Assisi with the Church bells ringing, and thousands of birds flying overhead was another WOW! There were so many all throughout Italy!"

Deborah

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our Italy Our Way tour experience. All of the destinations were exceptional. We could have easily spent more than 2 days at some (Florence and Rome in particular) but I wouldn't have wanted to eliminate any of the other cities on the tour either. The location and quality of our hotels were excellent, with two in particular (Varenna and Monterros) standout. Our hotel in Rome was pretty average, but again the location was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Medici Chapel in Florence at night (they had opened it for the evening and we were practically the only people in there. Florence in general was awe inspiring (and I had been there before)."

Robert

West Columbia, SC

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the my way notion, it allowed us to do what we really wanted to do as well as taking advantage of the expertise of the escort (who was exceptional). We had traveled in Europe before and transportation was always a problem. This really suited us perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a couple of the walking tours from the Rick Steves book through Rome on the last full day. Although I enjoyed the museums and the churches, those walks were really the highlight of the trip."

Anthony

Hercules, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just about everything that I could have hoped for. It was particularly refreshing to not have to worry about hotel and travel arrangements, yet still have the freedom to do whatever I wanted in each of the locations, on my own schedule. Hotels were always conveniently located near major attractions of each stop, and quality was universally maintained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Upon arrival in Varenna, opening the window of our hotel room to see a perfect wide open vista of the most beautiful sunset ever over Lake Como, just steps from the room."

Paul

Applegate, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had expected a very good tour with hotels and transportation being provided, but it exceeded our expectations. It was so nice to be able to get on the bus for a relaxing journey between destinations, and the hotels were much nicer than we had pictured. Being able to explore at our own pace in each town was an added bonus. We are not group tour kind of travelers, so this was perfect for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, but I guess the moment that struck us most was walking into the square and looking up at the Duomo in Florence. It literally took our breath away!"

Suzanne

Halifax, NS

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour! We had limited time to plan our trip, so it was perfect that the transportation and hotels were organized for us and we could do what we liked during the day. Our fellow tour members were so much fun! It was so enjoyable to hear about everyone's daily adventures and to get the inside scoop for places we planned to go the following day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy is full of 'wow' moments! To name a few: hiking in Cinque Terre with the amazing views; watching the sun set from the top of a variety of dome's in duomo's and towers; the view from our terrace on Lake Como (could have stayed there forever); seeing in person: David in Florence, the Colosseum in Rome; the Grand Canal and everything in Venice."

Margaret

Aromas, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fully recommend a "My Way" trip – ours to Italy was great. As a person who has traveled alone in the past, I was surprised that there were not any single people traveling alone with us, because it was such a high-quality experience. I appreciated having the transportation and the hotels figured out, and the friendliness and varied backgrounds of the group. Our escort, Sarah, gave us a perfect amount of commentary, along with Italian lessons, suggestions, and enthusiasm for the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Varenna in the Hotel Eremo Gaudio, in the top section that necessitated two funicular rides to reach, and the view to match, plus the kind hotel staff and a breakfast room overlooking Lake Como. Then there was the mid-lake ferry that took us to beautiful Villa Carlotta and its gardens, to the discovery of a public park in Tremezzo that used to belong to a villa, and to a long and lovely lunch in Bellagio."

Autumn

Ponte Vedra, FL

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The "My Way Tour" approach is just the right mix of being part of a group and still having independence. I've driven and self navigated in Europe before and having the logistics handled by tour professionals provides both a sense of security and freedom. The schedule was productive to make the best use of our time. The bus was nice and the driver, Dino, was professional. He was also quickly adopted by the group. Our escort, Sarah, was the glue that kept us together, informed and organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como took my breath away. Is there a more beautiful and tranquil place on earth??? While the view from the hotel was worth the numerous back and forth uphill hikes, the group discussed the experience and decided that on the day of arrival, arrangements should be made to at least have the luggage taken the rest of the way from where the bus must park because of the narrow uphill road to the hotel. Sarah offered to arrange taxis prior to our arrival but just the luggage would be suffi"

William

Wales, WI

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The format of the "my way" tours is perfect for the way we like to travel. The research of overseas hotels and the transportation from town to town is the most difficult part of planning a trip. The time one saves when travelling direct was also a big plus for getting the most out of ones adventure.This was done very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list, but the culture, the people, food, art and architecture were all in the running."

Jolene

Azusa, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was by far the best vacation I've taken. It was a great mix of relaxing towns and vibrant cities. Even the bus rides between destinations were interesting and scenic. Our tour guide (Sarah) did a great job of prepping us on the bus and our bus driver (Dino) was entertaining, courteous and chivalrous. I had so much fun that I started planning next year's south Italy tour the day after I arrived home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many amazing moments I don't think I could narrow it down to just one."

Laura

West Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the perfect balance of group and independent travel! We had a really great group of people, making our travel to unfamiliar places feel much more comfortable and friendly, while still being able to do the things we each wanted to do on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprising, it was taking a double-decker bus tour shortly after arriving in Rome. It was a true "wow" to drive through the city with that vantage point and suddenly see the amazing ruins just right there."

Jeff

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into the tour with high expectations and was not disappointed. Logistics were exceptionally smooth and the bus rides became a great occasion to catch up with everyone. The group melded really well, despite the fact that we were not on tours together each day. We had some group dinners and a couple of memorable happy hours sampling local wines. I highly recommend extending your travel time to include extra days in Venice and Rome; both of these cities require more time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our room in the Villa Cipressi in Varenna looked out onto Lake Como. I loved watching the sunrise colors painting Bellagio in the distance. Dinner at the Nilus Bar with a table right next to Lake Como was a wonderful experience watching the sun set and the lights come twinkling on across the lake."

Mary

Galesburg, IL

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first meeting with the group at the hotel in Venice, we knew the experience was going to be exciting. With the help of Rick Steves guide books and audio apps, we found planing our days a snap and following a self guided tour so easy. The "My Way" was indeed the best choice for us as we love to sample the areas we visit for culture and dining at the small owner operated restaurants. You get out of the tour what you put into it. We were tired by the end of every day, but in a good way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We can't decide between the beauty of Lake Como or the exhilarating hiking at Cinque Terra."

Michael

Holland, MI

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a great time! This trip provided the experiences we felt we needed to tackle a European trip on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the wow moments were marveling at the engineering and design of buildings that have lasted literally thousands of years. Right up there, was just popping into random churches and seeing the art work that adorns most of them."

Antony

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour I've taken. Always done it myself. Laurel was a great host and made us feel very comfortable with the whole group. It was fun to get together with everyone at the end of the day and compare what we did and saw during the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Lake Como from the garden of the Villa we were staying in."

Margaret

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so nice to have our hotels and transportation all organized for us ahead of time. Really loved being able to go out on our own and meet up with everyone for dinner to share our "travel" experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was Varenna. Our window overlooked the bell tower and Lake Como. The view was absolutely stunning and one I will never forget."

John

Palos Verdes Peninsu, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful time on this tour. The "My Way" approach let us devote ourselves to sites and experiences we had planned and hoped for. Our prior visits on earlier vacations to some of the cities in this tour had left us aching to see more: this time we fulfilled some long held hopes and dreams. Moreover, the locations on this tour that were new to us gave us a great introductions to some lovely places--we will be back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: Lake Como and our lovely hotel were exquisite. The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza was spectacular and not soon forgotten. Seeing the Hieronymus Bosch painting "Ascension to Heaven" and its companion panels in the Gremani Palace was fulfillment of a long held dream--akin to seeing the Gruenwald Altarpiece in Colmar."

Scott

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I were a bit nervous about traveling to a foreign country. We were most apprehensive about how to organize travel from place to place and also about booking reservations of hotels. When we discovered "Italy My Way" through Rick Steves' Europe, it gave us the confidence we needed. What appealed to us also was the fact that we could be on our own in the seven towns that we traveled to. Little did we know that we would enjoy so much the people that we traveled with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome (a booking we made ourselves through a travel agent) was by far the best "tour". But my favorite thing to do was to simply walk through the streets (especially Venice) and discover neat little things about Italian life. If we had not "just walked around" we would have missed so much."

Ann

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the "My Way" tour since it took care of the travel between sites and hotels but you could do what you wanted when got to the site. The group got along so well that we had several happy hours and dinners together. Laurel was the perfect leader with her upbeat attitude and helpful advice. My husband and I would do another Rick Steves tour but only if it was a "My Way" tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to say in that we had so many wow moments. I guess that it had to be in Venice since it was the first place that we stayed in. Each area had its wow moment."

Shirley

Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The staggering of intimate venues with big cities created a nice trip rhythm; it provided a chance to rest and reflect between emotionally charged experiences. I could have done with one more relaxing stop after Rome...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came in Assisi. My husband and I were stumbling around in the narrow, unlit back streets looking for a place to eat dinner when we came across a small, candlelit restaurant. We decided to try it. Inside, a dubious waitress seated us. We noticed that the other patrons were all speaking Italian. Taking a chance, we pointed to items on the non-English menu, and were served a wonderful meal: I felt we had escaped the touristed experience and stepped into the real Italy."

Tami

Lititz, PA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip far exceeded my expectations in every way! My husband & I had never been to Europe before and were a bit overwhelmed as to how to get the most out of our time and money. The My Way Italy tour had everything we wanted and more. All of the logistics were taken care of so that we could truly enjoy all of our free time. The biggest decisions each day were what to do and where to eat. I would love to do another trip with Laurel, Massimo and the entire group. Great time! Great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Literally, EVERY day had wow moments & to have to pick one is unfair...although walking along the canals in Venice, finding the perfect little table for 2, enjoying great food and Prosecco with my husband is awfully hard to beat! But, I can't forget the beauty and quaintess of Lake Como...the sunset view of Florence from San Minuato...the ruins in Rome...the musicians in the piazzas...the hotel in Assisi...the stormy day in Monterosso...sharing wonderful times w/ people I had never met before..."

Craig

Forest Lake, MN

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great travel adventure. The "My Way" concept suited our travel style perfectly. Bus transportation was very efficient, stress free and comfortable. Hotels were all in central locations, clean and quite satisfactory. Breakfasts were outstanding! The "My Way Italy" selection of cities/stop locations were well chosen to expose us to an interesting cross section of Italy. All the people on the tour, including the escort, were congenial and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just walking in places I had seen in movies, history books and on TV. The uniqueness of Venice with the canals and bridges, gondoliers, colorful buildings and St. Mark's Square at sunset! The first glimpse of Lake Como with the mountain backdrop and colorful villas looking out over the water! Towns of the Cinque Terre hanging on cliffs over the sea!"

Ann

Lexington, KY

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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Beverley

Thornhill, ON

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Our Escort (Rozanne Stringer) was outstanding in every respect, and we were blessed to have an awesome group of people to travel with. The hotels were well chosen, better than we typically choose for ourselves (now we're spoiled!), with lovely rooms and excellent breakfasts, especially in Varenna. Our driver, Roberto, was first rate; we felt safe in his care. The pace of the tour was perfect as was the itinerary. We love the "My Way" concept.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We'd never been to Venice before and that first evening, standing on the Ponte dell' Accademia, looking up the Grand Canal toward the big domes of the cathedral, and seeing all the lights reflecting in the water was just lovely."

Rick

Napa, CA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything we had hoped for and then some. Everything was very well organized and timely. The hotels were wonderful, especially the location. The buss was very comfortable. Best of all was our marvelous escort, Rozanne. She was knowledgeable, approachable, charming, extremely helpful, and eager to make sure we were all well cared for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm reluctant to limit it to one. Every city we visited had many. But perhaps the Italian people themselves, so open and friendly, would top the list."

Gail

Carol Stream, IL

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Traveling to Italy was a wonderful experience. I liked the way large cities were followed by small towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment was going to mass at the Basilica of St. Francis. We had to get up before the sun was up and walking through the dark, deserted streets gave me the sense of going back to the time of St. Francis. It was suh a contrast to everything we had experienced."

Judy

Brookings, SD

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great travelling companions led by a very cal, helpful guide. Centrally located hotels were appreciated. Nice variety between rural and city experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Venice.... So unique. Unlike any other city I have visited."

Sandra

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled immensely on our own in the past. There are many things I appreciate about the My Way Tour. The transportation is so well planned with comfort stops including great food for good prices. The traveling time between places is just right and never seemed too long. The hotels are very neat, clean,and centrally located which makes access to the museums and local sights very convenient. The guide has great knowledge about each place and is available for consultation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment I walked around the corner in The Accademia Museum in Florence and saw Michelangelo's David I was awestruck!"

Jeffrey

Belvidere, IL

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was hard to come home! Overall, the experience was wonderful and we have to thank Rick Steves' and Rozanne for their attention to detail, experience and good humor that made this trip so easy and fun. Our group could not have been more compatible and we all parted as friends. Thank you for a memorable experience we will never forget!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the singing gondolier passing on the canal beneath our hotel room terrace the first night and listening to his tenor voice resonating as he floated up the canal between the buildings. I knew then that we had finally arrived!"

Karen

Marysville, WA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fantastic experience. The "My Way" format was perfect. It was great to have the "Rick Steves expertise" work out most of the logistics and allow my friend and I to choose the specifics of what we wanted to see and do in each location and for how long. Our guide, Rozanne, was a fabulous consultant for our day to day activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be standing on the upper level of the colosseum and looking out over this magnificent ruin in the late afternoon light and visualizing its splendor while recounting its history. Something I had always yearned to do."

Carol

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and trip to Europe. The entire experience from start-to-finish was top notch. Much of the planning of the trip was done for us ahead of time, and as we traveled. Our guide had the perfect blend of information and personality to deal with the needs of our group. We lucked out with a fantastic group of travelers that bonded easily. Put that together with the amazing(not enough adjectives to describe!)sights of Italy, and you have a perfect trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a series of wow and pinch me moments. The towns and landscape and everything contained in each spot defies description. Thank goodness for pictures, which tell the story of it all beautifully."

Christina

Everett, WA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized tour. Liked the itinerary, the amount of time we stayed in each place and the convenient location of the hotels. Appreciated the detailed directions to get to our first hotel and how easy it was to get to. Also appreciated having Rick's books and downloaded apps that helped us make the most of our time at our various locations. I felt we had wonderful support from Rozanne who gave us all the information we needed and was always available, pleasant and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all "wow" visiting places I had wanted to visit for many years."

Katherine

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A "My Way" tour was perfect for my sister and me. We had been to Europe before and knew what we wanted to see and when in each city. An unintended benefit was that all the group members were congenial, considerate and confident travelers. Not a needy or whiny person in the group. Efficient yet enjoyable way to get overview of the high spots of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment kept repeating itself every time I saw in the "flesh" art that I had only and often seen in books, magazines or on TV. Birth of Venus, 3 very different Davids, the Bernini Canopy at St. Peter's, Apollo and Daphne at the Borghese Gallery and on and on."

Ruth

Missoula, MT

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was really well organized with an engaging tour escort and bus driver. The hotels were better than we had been led to believe. There were times I wish we had more time in a given place, like Florence, and I wish the tour had included a stop in Pisa between Cinque Terre and Florence. The size of the tour group was just right and it was fun to cross paths with people we knew when we were out and about sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When the bus driver navigated an incredibly small circle or narrow road we all clapped and cheered. All the places we visited were wows, and I would say one overall wow was how many tourists are doing Italy. It seemed to be overrun with tourists, especially in the major cities. So stops in Varenna and Assisi were a relief from that, and we all loved Assisi in particular."

John

Olivette, MO

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I thought this was an excellent tour, we'll thought out, we'll planned, in short I was impressed. I loved the limits put on the size of the group. The larger than needed bus was nice and comfortable. The location of hotels was perfect. The timeline was just right. Good job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Cinqua Terra, Lake Como, and Tuscany were main highlights as well as the art of the Vatican."

Edward

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way Italy Tour was just what we expected (logistics seamlessly handled) and much more. We had done a lot of research on what we wanted to see and do in each location and made reservations for the Vatican Scavi Tour, Rome's Borghese Gallery and more. We brought another couple along with us, which made us a party of four: perfect for great dinners, bar hopping, walking tours, shopping, and careening taxi rides in Rome. Our escort Hans was a great asset to our daily wanderings. Grazie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of our favorite wow moments was the pouring of the gigantic bowl of "fish soup" at our table in the Ristorante Belvedere in Monteroso al Mare, and watching our wives devour nearly everything."

John

Missoula, MT

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful way to remove the two biggest stresses of travel: transportation and lodging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Assisi. Wonderful hill town with interesting and quiet backstreets, tremendous views, and a refreshing time sharing a drink on the piazza with our driver Stefano."

Roger

Bend, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Did I get what I bargained for? Yes I did. Would I subject myself again to a two week march through some European country? Probably not.

Leslie

Flourtown, PA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything I had hoped for. This trip was my first trip to Europe by myself and the My Way tour allowed me the comfort of the group with ability to sight see what I was interested in on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice! I have been to Venice before but it is still such a shockingly beautiful site each time I visit. Weather was wonderful which just added to the beauty."

Janice

Auburn, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good communication, timing, use of time, very pleasant co-travelers. David and Stefano were pleasant, friendly and helpful with trip-planning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David pointed out the Carrera marble quarry while on the coach, gave the background of Michealangelo's use of it, was fascinating."

Shirley

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Dave did a fine job. Most of the hotels were fine but couldn't you find a hotel in Rome that is NOT on the third floor. I do not ride in tiny elevators so that meant climbing 3.5 flights of stairs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We climbed the dome at the Duomo in Florence. When you come out of the climb onto the balcony- that's a WOW moment."

Kristine

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Super trip. Dave kept us well informed at all times. He was relaxed & that added a relaxed atmosphere to the group. We made the most of the my way trip option. We went out every morning & spent the entire day touring. The evening gave us time to enjoy the local outdoor restaurant options. The towns visited were a nice combination to get a really good flavor of Italy. Also, our entire group were nice people. We would run into each of them while touring & shout or wave. Then later compare.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to answer. For me, I particularly like water. So Varenna (lake como) & Monterosso (Cinque Terre) were wonderful. The boat rides on each were amazing & extra beautiful. We ate lunch on the water in Manarola & thoroughly enjoyed each bite. Service was great. But, I must say that the Duomo in Florence was breathtaking . We did the dome climb. Wow! Wow! What a sight."

John

Hunt Valley, MD

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect way for us to see Italy. Our escort was outstanding. The transportation between towns (cities) was very comfortable and efficient. Traveling by motorcoach enhanced our understanding and appreciation of the natural beauty of Italy. The hotels were centrally located and convenient to what we wanted to see and experience. Each location brought its own unique charm and experiences. The tour group was very cohesive as a group and enhanced our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment from the tour was attending mass in Saint Peter's Basilica that was celebrated by Pope Francis. My favorite "wow" place was Assisi."

Diane

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose the My Way tour because we were able to do what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. So we planned ahead for several of the main events and filled in the rest. It was wonderful to have the bus ready to take us to the next city or hilltown. And to have a centrally located hotel so it was easy to get around. Also it was nice to have a good breakfast assortment ready when we were. The bus was almost new and the hotels were comfortable with clean and modern bathrooms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was my first view of the Grand Canal in Venice. It was so different from anything or anywhere we had been before."

Yvonne

Hunt Valley, MD

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After years of watching Rick Steves on MPT and using the guide books, it was wonderful to experience Europe My Way. The luxury of not having to independently plan for travel between locations was welcomed. Visiting each destination was more relaxing without having to check on or refine transportation While traveling, it afforded additional time to relax and reread the guide books for next up attractions. Plus, in our guide Dave, we always felt supported and protected from expected glitches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed by the consistent beauty of Italy and the authentic Italian experience, not what is the common held vision. An example was in the food. They do not do spaghetti and meatballs or garlic bread. The entrees include more fish, freshness with herbs and other accents. Not at all representative of Italian pasta served in US restaurants. My most treasured wow moment was the unexpected thrill of scoring tickets to and attending mass with the Pope inside the Basicila at the Vatican."

Rick

Auburn, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, David, was outstanding. He made sure to give us a heads up on things to see and do on our tour. Without his expert input the tour would not have been as complete. This tour gave us the freedom to explore on our own and at our own speed. With no transportation or lodging worries our time was spent exploring all the towns we visited in Italy. Overall this is a great "Sampler" tour. It gives you time to get a feel for several areas in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited the Vatican Museum on a Friday night. What a treat to see the museum without the crowds!"

Cameron

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was EXACTLY what I wanted. "No fuss, no muss" over making connections and wasting time we didn't have. You took care of everything. "My Way" is DEFINITELY my way. I enjoyed the mix of big city/small town venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"VENICE! VENICE!! VENICE!! As many times as I've heard that Venice is a city of water, it has to be experienced to be really real. No honking horns, car exhaust, or dodging traffic. Just the lapping of waves outside my window. Magic!"

Phyllis

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wish there were tours like this to other parts of the world. Loved exploring on my own. Our escort was great ... I liked his low-key manner of imparting info. He was conscientious at ensuring that we all got to and from our hotels without panic. The bus and driver (Stafano) were outstanding.

Pam

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was such a great decision to take the My Way tour. Our coach was new and spacious, our hotels were really nice, although at times a little quirky, having breakfast provided each morning got us out the door, and our tour leader, Dave, was very helpful every step of the way. Italy was wonderful and the itinerary was a good mix of big cities, hill towns, lake towns and the seaside. Staying two nights in each location was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch on a terrace at a hotel in Bellagio on Lake Como, the views from the boat traveling to the towns of the Cinque Terra, the Sistine Chapel and the wonderful stop in Montepulciano with its charm and beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside. These are picture memories that will stay with me for years to come."

Gary

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The concept of the "My Way" Tour was outstanding. The locations chosen to stop at were perfect and with the liberty for me to explore and discover at my own pace and for my own interests. I have traveled in Europe before and have driven but found this tour to be much more pleasurable not having the burden of driving and/or finding accommodations. A special "thank you" for the insight Dave provided all along the way which helped me get the most out of each of our locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the hill towns in Umbria and Tuscany."

Ron

Spirit Lake, IA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really liked the "My Way" tour. Having the travel and accommodations done for me was great. Having that done gave me a chance to relax and just enjoy the adventure. The bus rides every other day were not very long and the escort did a great job of filling us in on what lies ahead.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chique Tera was fantastic as was Venice but just the entire experience was a WOW moment!"

Ellery

Worthington, OH

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The best experience of my life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day trip to Pompeii!"

Joseph

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Some nice surprises added (dinner, afternoon in Sienna...). Some difficulty finding landmarks from walking tour podcasts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the freaky hail storm in Venice that flooded the restaurant we were eating in."

Yolanda

Fairfield, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything we expected from a Rick Steve's tour - AWESOME! This was my first trip to Italy. My husband , Michael, was also on the tour but he was in Italy some 45 years ago! Since we didn't know Italy, we decided that the "My Tour" would suit our needs. It would give us a taste of Italy! We didn't have to worry about transportation and our accommodations. The driver for our trip, Stepheno, was an excellent choice. Of course our travel escort, Joan, was the best EVER!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Venice canals!!! We plan to go back to Venice!"

Alix

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Our guide Joanna was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Asissi"

June

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip !! Liked the choice of cities , Joan was great offered tips on what to see and what to eat in each stop , she had little surprises which were fun . The choice of hotels were very nice. Would do a rick Steve's tour again thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many !! Every stop had its own wow moments"

Theresa

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was life-changing for me on several levels. I celebrated a milestone birthday on this trip, but Aldo gains some insights about how I want to live the rest of my life. I have wanted to travel Italy for many years and it did not disappoint. I loved Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelangelo's David. I was totally unprepared for the "presence" of the sculpture. I found it very compelling and the detail is amazing. I even imagined I could see the hair on his legs."

Greg

Tustin, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels, the luxury bus, and the wonderful guide made the whole tour outstandingly successful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Venice, and stepping into St. Mark's Square. My wife was overwhelmed, and teared-up at the sight."

Richard

Courtice, ON

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall very satisfying, good value. Worry-free vacation, not having to concern ourselves with travel and accommodation arrangements. Accommodations were excellent, well chosen and strategically located close to to popular areas. Enjoyed the freedom to explore on our own or as a group as we wished. Ended up having wonderful dinners with fellow travellers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each tour location was unique and had their "wow" moments. Too many "wow" moments to list."

Marilyn

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have never traveled abroad, so this was our first experience. We realized that the My Way tour required research on our part, which was just fine. Studying the Rick Steves' 2014 Italy book and talking with friends, we put together plans for each of the locations. There are no regrets. The people that we encountered in Italy and on our tour were fun to be around. In the all of it...the My Way tour was perfect for us, giving us the freedom to pick and choose our activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Gluten-Free meal options (I am Celiac) available!!! I did contact each of the hotels months ahead of time asking if there would be gluten free options for breakfast. They all responded favorably and gave restaurant suggestions. I also carried a Celiac card written in italian and that was always appreciated by staff. I had amazing gf pasta and dishes prepared! Another WOW moment was Varenna...Lake Como...The Royal Victoria Hotel!!! The breakfast room had a special gluten free table!"

John

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour was the perfect solution for us. It gave us the ideal balance of set lodging and transportation with the freedom of exploration at each destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More than one.... Verenna on Lake Como. The Hotel Royal Victoria was excellent. The Lake Como setting was unsurpassed! The weather and scenery unbelievable. Very quaint community with great lakeside walk. Dinner at Il Camenetta in Gittana was an amazing experience. Moreno and Rosella gave us a very memorable evening. The other quests at their ristorante added to the magic of the evening! Through the Accidental Tourist: Wine/Olive tour/tasting and Pasta making class."

Kathy

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great way to experience Italy for the first time! We loved the way it was organized to start in Venice visit some smaller places and make our way to the chaos and wonder of Rome. The limited number of people on the tour allowed for more comfort on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "WOW" moments! The landscapes and scenery were gorgeous, the ingenuity of the terraced vineyards, the architecture, the history all around you, the food, the wine AND the weather was great."

Susan

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great itinerary although would have preferred to not have two low key locations back to back - would prefer to intersperse those less hectic days between the larger cities. Loved Italy and plan to return. Only negative was the lunch stops at the auto grills. They are certainly convenient but found them unappealing. Would have preferred when possible to stop in a (smaller) town along the way so that those of us who don't like a noon meal could at least go for a walk or see a few new sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overwhelmed by St Peters. Amazed by its size, its incredible display of art and history and its gorgeous interior. Worth waiting in line in the rain to enter."

Betty

Killeen, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Loved the small group (26) and "MY WAY" is certainly the way to go. It was wonderful not to have to worry about transportation and hotels in/to each destination. Also, was not forced to see things I was not interested in. If I have a choice, I will never go back to the guided group tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Europe has a wow factor for me...I absolutely love the architecture!"

Josefina

Miami, FL

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The experience was good, the trip was well organized, some hotels excellent, others bad like the Rome hotel, with a bathroom that flooded towards the bedroom and a broken hotel. I hurt my knee on the plane going to Venice so it was difficult for me to carry and pull the suitcase through streets and very high stairs, but things happen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really did not have a "wow" moment in the tour, it was fine, but because of my injured knee I realized this is not my type of trip."

Holly

Big Sur, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got to Italy a few days ahead of the tour and stayed in Lake Garda. We then took a bus to the train and got ourselves to Venice. We followed the directions and got to our hotel just in time for the meeting. At that point we got confused because where the meeting was held was behind and around the corner from a sign saying "Service only do not enter." So we ended up being late to the meeting, but once we found it it was very informative. The best info was contorni, back of menu.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The little church inside the bigger one in Assisi. Very moving and beautiful."

Debra

Reed City, MI

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! A really nice bunch of fellow travelers..Kathleen was an excellent escort...she had good suggestions for restaurants and things to do..we wanted to see a lot of Italy in a short time..this tour was a perfect mix of city and country, easy traveling on the bus with wi-fi,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of favorite places..maybe my favorites..wandering Venice back alleys,away from the usual tourist sites and entering this beautiful piazza,with a man singing opera...wandering among the ruins in Rome in early evening"

Debra

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love the My Way tours. It was great to be able to see exactly what we wanted. I would love to see more of these tips of tours added. It is extremely helpful to have an escort who is knowledgeable with the areas. Extremely nice when they can make some suggestions for dinners and sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Lake Como and the dinner the group attended. The hotel was lovely and the town charming. It was great being able to take the ferry to different towns. A very nice laid back couple of days here."

Duane

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For a first time international traveler I found your tour very fulfilling and satisfying. The overall experience was really great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is really hard to to describe my favorite moment. It was all so fantastic."

Shelly

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time traveling to Europe. The My Way tour was perfect for us. We tend to like going off on our own and doing our own thing on our own schedule, but it was very helpful having some guidance. Kathleen was a wonderful tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have one particular wow moment, the entire trip was Wow."

Michael

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I expected and more. It was well planned and took a lot of guess work out of the putting together a trip like this on our own. The group was small that we travelled with and even though we didn't sight see together it was fun talking to them and hearing of their experiences. Transportation between cities was comfortable and safe. The hotels were ideally situated in each city and comfortable. The tour book was helpful and pinpointed the sights to see and where to eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying into Venice and starting our tour was the Wow moment for me. Even though we were tired from travelling we were ready to go as soon as we arrived and got settled into our hotel. It is as spectacular as you can imagine. The people were friendly. The food was amazing and the landmarks everything you could imagine. Every stop on our tour had its own Wow moment!"

Robert

Lees Summit, MO

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been on a previous R S tour in Rome and when we saw the listing for the My Way 13 days in Italy tour we jumped at the chance to go back and catch up on more of the places we wanted to see. The tour was outstanding in all respects and, with planning, there was sufficient time in each city to see the main points of interest. We were very pleased with our tour experience and would definitely recommend it to others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a long day of travel through three airports to reach Venice we relaxed in our hotel room the first night and enjoyed the sight and sound of the gondoliers gliding past on the small canal below our hotel window. Singing gondoliers, accordion and guitar playing gondoliers ... it just doesn't get any better than this!"

Nancy

Norwood, MA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was on my own & got to know the group at breakfast each morning. We enjoyed 2 meals & a pot luck happy hour as a group. Everyone was always on time for the bus. Stops at the "Autogrille" broke up the bus rides. (They had the best veggies & salads & store for munchies.) Earplugs are invaluable if your room ever overlooks the street..... I experienced so much that my head is swimming with fantastic memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch on the point (at "Punte" restaurant) in Bellagio, swimming in Lake Como & the Ligurian Sea, buildings reflected in the pre-sunset light on the canal in Venice, the utter charm of Burano, the tranquility of Assisi, Medieval churches in Florence & view from Piazza Michelangelo, the layers of history in Rome."

Becky

Arlington, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time in Italy. The my way tour was great for our first time to Italy. The arranged hotels and bus transportation took all the worry out of planning where to stay and how to get there! We enjoyed the freedom of being able to do what we wanted, when we wanted to. Kathleen was a lot of fun and helped us with suggestion on things to do, where to eat, etc. She even planned a few group dinners that were fantastic! We can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many wow moments. We loved the beauty and peacefulness of Lake Como. Florence was a bustling city and the history there is amazing! The Vatican in Rome is beautiful beyond words. Definitely a big "wow" moment when you go into St. Peter's Basilica."

Carey

Spokane Valley, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour director Kathleen was excellent, she gave us so much information on each city that we visited, it was wonderful. Every hotel was nice and the people at each were very helpful. We had a very good time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first WOW moment was when we actually landed in Venice, it was a culture shock, but the city was amazing."

Gregory

Maineville, OH

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour ever Fun, professional, outstanding escort, freedom yet structure Very good group of fellow travelers sound guidance on the bus prior to each upcoming travel destination Very professional bus driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The addtion of Siena as our Tuscany town visit. Cathedral with floor uncovered Seeing Assisi from a distance on the mountian side and then being in Assisi."

Jyotsna

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the format. Appreciated all the tips and suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pieta"

Roxann

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really liked the flexibility of being able to do what I wanted. The information we got from Joanna on the bus was well organized and helped prepare us for the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say my "wow" moment was the entire experience of Rome. From the crowded metro lines, busy streets and all of the places that we visited. Seeing the ancient aqueducts at the Aqueducts Park was really impressive."

Kenneth

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a rough start, with our initial flight to Venice cancelled, then the replacement flight delayed, and our luggage lost for 3 days by KLM, my pocket picked in Venice right away, but we recovered from all this and had a great trip overall. The itinerary, hotels, and intercity transportation, and our very helpful escort were all exemplary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Siena cathedral, an "add-on" suggestion by our guide, was an unanticipated treat, the most beautiful of a series of beautiful cathedrals. Another treat was the compatibility and cohesion of the rest of our group through the course of the trip."

Louise

Marlton, NJ

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Johanna was a wonderful tour guide, well loved her. The accommodations were great, especially in Venice and Lake Como. Dino our bus driver is incredible, how he managed through these circles and tight places!! I am recommending your tours!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we first entered our room at hotel Ala . Looking at the gondolas navigating wright under our hotel window . Lake Como was my favorite. It's breath taking Cinque Terre is do unique !! I loved Assissi!!"

Mandy

Union Grove, WI

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Rick Steves' Tour blew us away. My dream has always been to visit Italy and with this being my first trip to Europe, I knew I needed Rick by my side! I would not have done it any other way. Choosing this My Way tour gave us the flexibility to choose and plan our own attractions/sightseeing, but it took the stress out of picking a bad hotel that could ruin our trip, or getting on the wrong train and wasting your precious vacation time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had planned a gondola rowing lesson through Row Venice, and this definitely stood out as a highlight of our vacation. We had 1.5 hours of our own Venetian gondola lesson by a volunteer who was so passionate about Venice, rowing, and maintaining this way of life by keeping the motorized boats out of the canals. We not only learned how to row, but also got to have a very meaningful conversation with a true Venetian and understand their way of life and get to know the city in our own way."

Connie

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary of the My Way: Italy Tour was perfect and very well thought out. It had the right pace, perfect destinations and had something for everyone on the tour! We had a great group and bonded well, and our guide Joan was great and shared so much knowledge about places, specifics, and the Italian culture. Highly recommend this type of tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through beautiful Assisi and enjoying the Umbrian landscape was how I pictured Italy - fabulous! A close second is boating down the Grand Canal in Venice to our hotel! Wow!"

Joseph

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

HAD A GREAT TIME. THIS WAS MY FIRST VISIT TO ITALY (and Europe). There was a lot to learn in order to become familiar with getting around by bus in Florence and by Metro, bus and train in Rome. After a brief orientation by our guide and after our first ride, we were able to navigate the system ok. We walked until we were exhausted while in Rome. Thanks, Joe

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra"

Mary

Maineville, OH

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect way to tour Italy for us. Blend of group time, escort assistance and independent journeying really seemed perfect. We really felt Joanna did a superb job in orienting us to each area. She is so knowledgeable and highlights the important facts. We felt very comfortable not only with her , but also felt we lucked out with our group. Very diverse but great interaction. We would highly recommend Italy My Way Tour through Italy. Thanks so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crazy luck- we wound up in Venice at the same time as the annual Boat Festival. What a fantastic way to start our journey. Second Wow moment was sitting outside for dinner next to Grand Canal when full moon rose on the horizon between two stately towers. Awesome!"

Barbara

Fairbanks, AK

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. I loved being able to do things independently. I had never been on a tour before. In the past, when my husband was alive, we just flew into Europe and went from there. Sometimes we rented a car (I always did the driving) and other times we went by train. I am thinking of doing another Rick Steve tour. Perhaps Turkey..I lived there briefly long ago. I would need the security and planning of your organization. Your tour guide was wonderful. Thanks, barb

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bellagio"

Richard

Eden Prairie, MN

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Italy stops were well planned so we experienced different landscapes and scenery. Our 26 people group was experienced travelers - lot in common so we bonded quickly The My Way Tour Concept appears to attract active people needing specific information To get started Frankly, I can't recall a single negative experience. It was all Outstanding (We followed Advice - Money Belts - No Picks !!!) Transition from Bus to Train to Hotel was effective, no backtracking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evening Vivaldi concert in Venice was exhilarating St Peters at the Vatican was without comparison Como, Cinque Terrre were Stunning Assisi felt like being in Heaven"

Susan

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a perfect blend of intensity, serenity, beauty, history, and hilarity. Beautifully structured. I had a blast! We had such a wonderful group, and all bonded magically. One day we would be with these people, and the next, hang out with those guys. Great for comparing notes and planning, and for serendipity. Perfect for singles like me, lots of new friends, and solo time with my camera, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmm, leaning out the window in Venice at dusk, not really believing I am watching the gondolas glide by while the echoes of "O Sole Mio" slowly fade into far away echoes in the night. Or, our candlelight dinner at the lakeside cafe at Lake Como accompanied by thunder, lightning, a torrential downpour and an inch of water under our table!! Soft warm air, no wind, and a clear tarp overhead. 20 min of Awesome!!"

Sharn

Hacienda Heights, CA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my first Rick Steves' tour. I am very happy with the entire trip experience. From beginning preparation for the trip to the final farewell party, the my-way program is exactly what I wanted. Thank you for providing such a sophisticated program. I think I'll do more if similar program for other countries coming up in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We 'wow' for the followings; 1. Hotel Royal Victoria of lake Como and its breakfast 2. All the sites in this trip, specially Rome's Colosseum, the great human legacy"

Marilyn

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. Italy is a delightful country to visit, our hotels were good quality and nicely located, the bus was large, comfortable and expertly driven by Stefan, the countryside as we drove through it was stunning, and I met 28 people who would make good friends anywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was in Assisi, I was walking up a hill admiring the beautiful stone houses and Tuscany's special light which mutes all the colors in the valley and I realized that I was in love. I wanted to move to Tuscany, buy my own stone house, and stay there forever."

Michael

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David! I was completely blown away by that experience."

Gary

Bellville, TX

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great bus and driver. Laura, our tour guide, was extremely helpful. The bus route was relaxing and scenic and the hotels were exceptional. The Ricks Steves guide books were extremely helpful. Rick's advice on site seeing, transportation, restaurants, maps and general tips on the local areas was very useful. It's difficult to recall everything in 500 words, so to sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and I would highly recommend Rick Steve's Tours,and I am looking forward to another future tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the entire tour was a WOW!"

Susan

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The accomodations were great, breakfasts were generally outstanding. The hotel room in Rome was the only disappointment. The hotel room was fair but the service and location were great. We had a wonderful group of people on the tour. The bus was nice, not as nice as the bus we had on our tour in France, but none the less very nice. Stephano was a fantastic driver. We followed the highlights noted in Rick Steves' book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondolia ride at night-great gondolier who gave us a history lesson, bar crawl in Venice with Alessandro, Artvia tour in Florence, Vatican in Rome."

Pamela

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Feel like we had multiple vacations considering the many and varied locations. Thought there was a great balance of the more rural and relaxed settings with the urban experiences. Had a terrific escort and a great group to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in front of the David sculpture at the Accademia. Pictures could never do it justice."

Charles

Columbia, MO

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice trip. Just the right mix of socializing and doing things on our own. Very nice group of guests and a tour guide who did far more than necessary to accommodate all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel was the most spectacular aspect of the tour. Also, the town of Assisi was beautiful, along with the spectacular views of the Umbria countryside."

Neal

Dallas, TX

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour experience, although we have used Rick's guides for 20 plus years for our individual travels in Europe. We must say that the My Way tour exceeded expectations, and was just what was needed to better explore northern Italy. We could not have found the less high profile locations on our own, and these were the spots that we most enjoyed. As proposed, the group was limited, virtually all were well traveled and laid back, and the tour guide was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few, but the most memorable was the time spent in Cinque Terre at Monterosso with the old and new towns. This would be an ideal place to spend a month in the summer. Next time, we will not only use the beach, but further explore the 5 towns."

Don

Faribault, MN

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the concept of the tour, the leadership and most of the sites. The crowds, and lines in cities like Rome and Venice were a negative to the entier tour as was the many closed or under construction sites that were inaccessible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment had to be Varenna on lake Como. The views from our rooms were so beautiful that words could not express. In addition the access to boat trips to the other Lake Como towns were easily accessible. 4. Overall the tour was good and a good experience for our 55th wedding anniversary. 5. The leadership of Kathleen was exceptional and the best of ANY previous Rick Steves tour we have been on. 6&7. Communication and accessibility was perfect. Kathleen was always there for all u"

Peg

Faribault, MN

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We loved loved loved the small cities, but hated the crowds in the big cities. We loved the concept of the tour's MY Way... The group was more independent than the ones we found on the regular tours. And we didn't have the forced marches to see everything. We've been to Italy three times already but chose it for our 55th wedding anniversary because we love the people, food, wine, and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Varenna was a big surprise. Gorgeous sites in the Lake Como region. Verenna almost tops our favorite spots in the Amalfi coast."

Theresa

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was expecting and fully accepted the temperatures I would encounter at the end of August. The latitude and longitude may be those of Oregon and Maine, but the heat and humidity is more like Chicago and the mid-west. Wow! So it put a damper on my length of time outdoors and a lot of the sights do not have air-conditioning and with crowds it can be intense. With that said my husband at 78 years and I had the time of our lives. Loved the My Way Tours and would like to see more planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour group was having an impromtu cocktail party on the rooftop of our hotel in Assisi and watched the sun go down. It was a huge magenta ball that sent a lot of ahs through the group."

Carol

Fairfax, VT

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Europe and I had a lot of anticipation of what to expect but was totally blown away with all the places we visited in Italy. It was great to travel with a group of people that had previous experience in Italy and were eager to share their knowledge. I loved the My Way concept of traveling and will be looking at another tour of this type in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments but the one that stands out was the first night we were in Venice we went to St Marks square to sit at one of the cafes and have a glass of wine and listen to the music. It was then that I thought, WOW, we are in Italy and in this awesome piazza and tears came to my eyes. We had been planning this trip for a year and now we were living it!!"

Geraldine

Durham, NC

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! This was our first Rick Steves' tour so we weren't sure what to expect. From beginning to end, it was wonderful!

George

Florence, SC

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this adventure was everything I expected and then some. Our driver, Roberto and our escort, Kathleen, were wonderful. Kathleen's knowledge of what was happening and her personal relations with many of the hotel owners and restaurants helped greatly. I find it wonderful that 26 people from all over, with many different ages and prior travel experiences could coalesce into such an enjoyable group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hotel Eremo in Vereena. Our room was located on the uppermost floor with a terrace overlooking,from hundreds of feet above, Lake Como. If the view of the lake and the village of Vareena wasn't enough...waking up to a double rainbow over the lake was a definite WOW!"

C M

Silver Lake, OH

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we have taken other "traditional" tours, this was our first "My-Way" tour. This kind of tour affords you time to linger over magnificent works of art, beautiful buildings, a stroll down small, back streets or sit on a staircase to enjoy a delicious gelato. The traditional tour always seems to be a harried experience, quickly whisking you off to catch a bus to your next (all too brief) experience. My wife and I strongly recommend the Rick Steves My-Way Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us, the entire trip was a "wow." There are experiences in life, such as vacations, art, and fine wine, that should be savored, not rushed, and this is exactly what a Rick Steves My-Way Tour offers. The selection of towns, transportation, lodging, and tour escort (really, a tour enabler) were just what this kind of event (and these two travelers) needed."

Ilene

Lexington, MI

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling on a Rick Steves' "My Way" tour is like traveling with your own personal concierge. We were able to make our own decisions as to what to see with insightful information. Whether it be mundane (closest place to have laundry done) to the important (how to navigate the train, museum, etc.), it eliminated all of the little things that can hamper traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't identify one "wow" moment as there were so many."

Kathleen

Manlius, NY

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour very much. Accommodation were excellent and located to area of interest at each stop. Bus transportation was clean comfortable smooth riding. Virginia was helpful in her suggestions to the whole group as well as with individual questions. I found this type of tour met my needs for individual travel but relieved me of the headache of hotels and transportation between places of interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed our short stop in San Gimignano - small, historic, scenic and fun."

Rick

Parma, OH

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was wondering how the "my way" tour would differ from the guided tours. I was glad to know that we would easily get from place to place and that we would have centrally located hotels, but I wondered if we would be able to fill entire days (like the guided RS tours.) No problem. Virgina provided enough info to that made sure we experienced the local culture as well as kept the agenda full. The other thing I wondered is how cohesive the group would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vistas while hiking from 5 to 4 and 4 to 3 in Cinque Terre. The hike was challenging as expected and wanted, but as we came around bends and saw the vistas in both directions, we truly saw the beauty of the area. Way to many pictures were taken during this hike!"

Laura

Lake Ozark, MO

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband Steve and I though it was superb! We loved the "My Way" tour concept and encourage you to do more of them!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count! Here's a few: 1) The music in Piazza San Marco at night 2) The quiet beauty of Varenna 3) Navigating the Cinque Terre 4) Opera being sung in the streets of Florence 5) David at the Accademia 6) Stopping at the American WWII Cemetery 7) The streets of Assisi - a photo around every corner 8) Rome at night 9) The church bells everywhere! 10) And the ever famous Auto Grill!!"

Abigail

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! Every place we visited was memorable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose one moment, Lake como and Assisi were wonderful and I had a wow moment everyday."

Richard

Manlius, NY

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have visited multiple countries (38 plus territories), almost always on my own with minimal support of tour companies. Support is usually no more than room reservations and recommended itineraries. I enjoyed the "My Way" concept because I don't like being told that I have to get on the bus and miss photo opportunities or be limited to a structured plan. I appreciate having hotel arrangements made for me because that is a very time consuming aspect of travel preparation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss-up between seeing "David" in Florence and the Roman Forum."

William

Prairie Village, KS

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great experience. Rich was outstanding and was of great assistance in making the experience work for everyone. The format was perfect for us. The stops were exactly what we wanted for our first trip to italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza was the biggest Wow moment, although there were many."

Phyllis

Clayton, CA

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a fabulous experience, particularly because I had never before been to Europe. The sites chosen were a great mix of big cities (Rome, Florence) and smaller venues (Cinque Terre). Rich, our "guide", was wonderful. He was readily available to assist in showing us around, advising on dining options, or suggesting ways to make the best use of our time. The "My Way" option allowed us to make the trip our own. We chose whether or not a tour was necessary in each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but I think one of my favorites was walking through the beautiful streets of Venice at night with no worries about being run over by cars and listening to gondoliers singing."

Judith

Prairie Village, KS

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we hoped it would be: well organized, exciting, and comfortable. For novice travelers like us, it was reassuring to have the hotels pre-arranged and transportation taken care of. Having Rich along as our facilitator was terrific. He really made the trip even more fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were lots of "wow" moments (this was our first time in Italy), I think coming down the mountainside into Varenna and seeing beautiful Lake Como was particularly special. Our favorite spot, though, was Monterosso. The hike between Monterosso and Vernazza was exhilarating!"

Michael

Clayton, CA

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great taste of Italy, liked the different towns and scenery. Great group, team leader, and driver. Stress free !

Patricia

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The My Way Tour was a perfect way for us to visit Italy. It was great not having to plan transportation from city to city or having to make hotel arrangements. We enjoyed the freedom of planning our own schedule so we could see all that we wanted to see in each city -- at our own pace. The Rick Steves tour book was SO helpful. We read it before the trip so we could plan what we wanted see and what special passes would be helpful in each city. And we used all the audio downloads - thanx!

Elisa

Livingston, NJ

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Transportation and accommodations were good and it was helpful to have all of the logistics associated with both taken care of in advance. What was disappointing was the "touristy" location of several stops.

Penny

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rick Steves' MY WAY Tours are definitely the way to travel if you want help with booking accommodations and transportation. All hotels were pre-booked as was the motor coach in which the 25 of us, with our Escort, traveled for 13 days. Each travel day was spent exactly as we had planned--often with Rick's excellent Audio Guide in our ears, explaining what we were seeing and enhancing the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments, but one that I will not forget is waking up at Lake Como, opening our casement window, and gazing at crystal clear water, beautiful mountain peaks, and breathing the cleanest air ever! Another outstanding experience was hearing an excellent Vivaldi concert in a church with perfect acoustics in the city where Vivaldi was born and worked--Venice."

Kathryn

York, PA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience to Italy was beyond outstanding. I have never been outside of The United States and I could not have picked a better organization to do my traveling through. Rick Steves' Italy: My Way tour was near perfect in that it gave subtle guidance in unknown territory while also allowing independent freedom in exploration of Italy. I would not have changed anything about my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While my whole tour was a collective "wow" moment, the city of Firenze was my most anticipated stop on the trip. I study art history in college and being face-to-face with works of art and architecture that I have only had the pleasure of seeing in books and internet imagery was something I will truly never forget."

Cornelia

Greenville, SC

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and Assissi....by far the most beautiful on the trip"

Ruth

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Aside from the sometimes long bus rides, I enjoyed all of the destinations. It was hard to fit everything in that I wanted to see. I think if I had it to over again, I would have allowed more time in Rome as there is just too much to see in that short time. I think it worked well to have some of the more relaxing places mixed in to get a breather for when the more hectic schedules came up. You prepared us well for what we should expect. I am very glad that I took the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think if was the Colosseum and Forum in Rome. So much history from so long ago. It was almost hard to believe that I was experiencing it. The Pantheon too. Of course, I enjoyed the Vatican."

Richard

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the My Way tour to be an excellent concept, freeing us to do our own thing while not needing to worry about logistical details. Kathleen was an excellent resource for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking down at Vernazza while hiking the Cinque Terre, and looking down at Florence from the top of the Duomo."

Weather

Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Italy: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Venice and out of Rome (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Thinking you could use some expert, in-depth help to plan your sightseeing days? Tour members enjoy a 50 percent discount on Rick's Trip Consulting services!

Sightseeing On Your Own

When you arrive in Venice, use your included Rick Steves Italy guidebook to get oriented. Try out a few words of Italian, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Use your free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) which includes a wealth of Venice neighborhood walks and self-guided museum tours. Check your guidebook for museum hours (some are closed one day per week; some stay open late one day per week).

Remember, you will be in charge of your own sightseeing for ALL destinations on this trip, so you should begin planning well before you fly to Italy! To avoid wasting time in long lines, we strongly recommend you make reservations — in advance from home — for the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries in Florence, and the Vatican Museum in Rome. See your Rick Steves Italy guidebook for details on how to reserve.

Packing

The scenic trails in the Cinque Terre can be rugged in spots. While hiking boots are not necessary, you'll want to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes.

We also recommend you bring a smart phone, tablet, or other device to assist in planning your activities, and to access Rick's Audio Europe™ app and walking tours.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.