• 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

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!

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; My Way: Italy Sightseeing Supplement; 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

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."

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.

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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!"

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"

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!"

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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 !

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!"

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."

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!

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."

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.

Rob

Calgary, AB

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I expected. It is the perfect balance between having support in booking hotels and transport plus the orientation from the escort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a gondola pass below our Venice hotel window with the sound of operatic arias floating up from the hired singer. No where else in the world would you find that!"

Gina

Henderson, NV

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's My Way tour provided my daughter and I with the best of both worlds during our first visit to Europe. We had the luxury of having our hotel accomodations and transportation between cities arranged for us, yet we had the flexibility to plan our own site-seeing activities. We had the fun experience of getting to know new people in our group, yet also had time to ourselves to relish in this experience. Our tour guide, Brenna, was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment was standing at the base of David, marveling in it's perfection!"

Brent

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We are very pleased with our experience. Italy is amazing, our group was fun and Brenna was fantastic. My only critical comment would be the choice of Assisi as a stop. Whereas I whole heartidly resonate with the values of Assisi, I found this stop a dangerous with traffic vs people, tourist trap that was highly irritating. In fact, our group decided to have a happy hour on the hotel terrace. Thank you for: ending our tour in Rome, putting Cinque Terre on our list, such a great Vinnice hotel

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, too many to list"

Rebecca

Los Gatos, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip/honeymoon was AMAZING! The country, our group, Brenna, Stefano, each hotel, the food, culture, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It feels like every moment was a "wow" moment, but hearing and seeing the gondoliers singing as they paddled down the canal from our incredible window in Venice ranks way up on our list."

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"

Anne

Greenville, SC

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderfully planned with the "trouble" of booking transportation not an issue, my parents and I were free to relax and enjoy the daily plans. Great Wifi on the bus and Breakfasts were plentiful and delicious in most places. We enjoyed our guides suggestions on restaurants in each city. She was cheerful, helpful and very social. We loved how centrally located each hotel was in each town- close to everything! Thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking back to our hotel after dinner in Assisi, we were drawn to the candlelight in front of a 1st century temple of "Minerva", turned into a church. As we wandered into the ancient, softly lit sanctuary, we saw a poster for events during an arts festival, and luckily, we were able to catch a beautiful recitation of sections of Dante's The Paradise, with intermittent arias sung by a beautiful choir! It was all in Italian of course, but the words and music were powerful!"

Heather

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. The group worked well together and complied with leaving times and bus rules well. The places we went were well chosen and in a good order in terms of balancing intense city and more relaxing country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite sites were the castle above Lake Como where the falcons were. That was definitely worth recommending. Also the Borghese Gallery, where I had a guided tour. The guide really made the art interesting and drew connections between the times, the artists and their subjects."

Harold

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This trip was a bit grueling in terms of point-to-point travel, We were fortunate to have added 2 days at the start and 3 at the end (Venice and Rome, respectively). I think we actually preferred the guided RS trips we've done over this one as they involved an extra night or two in each location. You need that to get your bearings and feel like you are "there." I found Italy this time to be insanely commercialized. We preferred Rome because it felt like a place where people live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I had a "wow" moment this time. My favorite moments were the quiet places found in various locals. Example: We took a walk up into Santa Croce in Venice to Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio where kids were playing soccer and multi-generational families were sitting under trees. We found our favorite gelato shop there and then a quiet boat landing at the end of narrow Calle Megio. We had a few of those moments sprinkled across the visit, which really made the trip worth doing."

David

Dallastown, PA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded all my expectations. Honestly can't think of one thing I would change. It's not often you can say you had a perfect trip. We had a perfect trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was when I opened the shutters from my room and looked out over Lake Como. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. Right out of a fairy tale!"

Suzanne

Danville, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip with lots of wonderful memories! Kathleen, our guide was a tremendous asset, she was kind, patient, helpful and lots of fun! Transportation and rooms were handled by "My Way" and we were free to explore each city/town on our own! It was the perfect balance for our family and we would highly recommend this to anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a "wow!" We unfortunately lost bags when we changed flights at Heathrow. Kathleen went way beyond in helping us get a handle on where they were and how they would find us. I think our best memories will be living "la dolce vida" together as a family! Italy was amazing, the tour was perfect and we will forever remember the wonderful time we had!"

Elizabeth

Dallastown, PA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I heard so many positive things about a Rick Steves tour but until you experience it yourself you really don't know what to expect. A trip to Italy was something I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday. My husband indulged me with this great gift. Not only did I have a phenomenol trip my husband had the trip of his lifetime also and now wants to visit other places outside of the US. Italy My Way was perfect for us in that it gave us enough structure AND freedom at the same time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the Dhoumo in Florence with a sprained ankle and getting the best reward at the end of the long walk up, the view of Florence with my husband and a wonderful couple we befriended on this tour."

Remi

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed all the places we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the gondola ride. The Accademia gallery with the David & other sculptures were very interesting."

Kathy

Cary, NC

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could not have had such a great experience without this tour. My husband and I felt safe, moved at our own pace, always had necessary information, and did not have to deal with transportation to each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kathleen arranged for us to have dinner at a family's home high on the mountain in Lake Como. It had rained the entire day, a bummer- but I believe that night at our horseshoe tables we bonded as a group. It saved the day and ended up being the highlight of our trip. After that night our groups were interchangeable on a daily basis, formed on what activities each of us were planning."

Jennifer

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. There was a lot of variety in the places we saw in Italy. From beautiful beaches to big cities with amazing history. The pace of the trip was easy for all in my group and the my way tour allowed the flexibility we wanted.

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."

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."

MaryAnn

Sandy, OR

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I chose the My Way Tour Italy as I was touring with my adult daughter and I knew she would have a different energy level and different interests than I. This option turned out to be perfect for us. There were women my age with whom I could sit and drink wine in the evening. There was a younger crowd which went out at night to the Hard Rock Cafes, watched the FIFA World Cup in local pubs, and explored city nightlife. Sarah, our escort, was perfect for supporting the variety of interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many..but I will choose experiencing the Sistine Chapel. Being on the My Way Tour, I was able to stay in the Chapel as long as I wanted. I sat on a bench around the perimeter of the room, and with binoculars and Rick's audio cassette, I was mesmerized. The "Spark of Life" kept drawing my attention and I felt like I was receiving a personal spark. My daughter went on to climb the cupola and I stayed in the Chapel. We agreed to meet inside St. Peter's Basilica at a certain time. It was perfect."

Sandra

Countryside, IL

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour. Sarah was awesome and she was very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was going to this amazing restaurant in Lake Como that was in your book. We sat on the terrace and it was the best meal and atmosphere on our whole trip. We connected with other tables and stayed for almost 4 hours."

Kathleen

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine a better way to see Italy in 2 weeks. The "My Way" tour allows flexibility in your days, group time when you want it, and helpful guidance all along the way from a Rick Steves escort. Hotels were well-chosen and wonderful, our escort was superb and I loved the "rhythm" of the trip with the alternating big city and smaller town experiences. Our group was fun & cohesive, and its small size contributed made it easy to get to know others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: the night-time gondola ride in Venice which Sarah arranged for us the 1st night (I had told my daughter we wouldn't do a gondola ride due to the expense & it being so touristy, but Sarah arranged a reasonable group rate & the atmosphere at night was memorable); hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza; the view from Assisi's Hotel Umbria terrace at sunset. For pure fun: group dinners the 1st & last nights, as well as the wine-tasting lunch. Plus the classic sights in Rome & Florence."

Stephen

Boston, MA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! Sara was the best guide, helpful with great advice, Sauro was an excellent bus driver and we all became friends. The locations were perfect, Florence was too touristy, but I'm glad we stopped anyway. I think a fall tour would be nice. All the hotels were well situated and the owners friendly. The breakfast were also excellent in every location

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were three, Venice, Cinque Terre, and lake Como. I could also include Assisi as it was beutiful."

Amanda

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment? It is too difficult to choose one. Whether it was getting lost in Venice, relaxing in the gardens around Lake Como, or soaking in all the culture of Florence, I truly enjoyed the whole tour."

Sherrie

Bonners Ferry, ID

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best first tour experience I could have imagined. It met all my expectations and taught me valuable travel experience that I can share with my family and friends. I picked the My Way tour for the chance to plan my own experience without the worry of travel and accommodations between cities. It was exactly what I hoped for. It was a great introductory tour of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I were to pick one specific "wow" moment it would be the moment I rounded the corner in Florence and saw the Duomo for the first time. It took my breath away. I had been dreaming of climbing the Duomo for years and to see it up close and personal, it was spectacular. Yes, I climbed to the top and it was amazing. Hiking the Cinque Terre was also a dream come true. It really gets you into the Italian hillsides and the views were exactly what I imagined they would be."

Beverly

Loveland, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour side of the trip went well-it was great to have all of the accommodations and transportation taken care of! It really freed us up to go out on our own and enjoy the sites rather than worry about where we were staying each night. Having someone available for tips and suggestions was really helpful and Kathleen did a wonderful job of juggling all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments...at least one in each place we stopped. I really enjoyed the quiet town of Assisi, but the Roman Forum was the place that captured my heart!"

Terry

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We would probably never taken this trip without the support of the Rick Steves service offerings. Our schedules are so busy we just do not have the time to doe the level of research for logistics etc. We loved the flexibility of the My Way tour package. Our tour guide was such an added bonus. We were not expecting the level of daily support and guidance we received from Kathleen . She was fantastic ! Accommodation's and logistics were fantastic - not s single issue the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife, son and daughter and I were sitting on the veranda of our hotel after arriving in Assisi. We decided to have a snack of cheese, fruit, bread and prosecco before dinner. We gazed out onto the horizon, overlooking the beautiful valley as hundreds of swallows flew overhead getting their evening meal. Then a chorus of song rose from below as we looked over the balcony to find a group of nuns gathered around in the courtyard below, singing while knitting. We never went to dinner."

Regina

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour was a perfect fit for our family. We had the peace of mind knowing that the transportation between cities was taken care of, as were our accommodations, and we were able to explore the cities at our own pace. We had the joy and security of traveling with a wonderful group of people, who shared their experiences along the way. Our guide Kathleen was incredible and far exceeded our expectations! Kathleen is knowledgeable, helpful, cheerful, and accessible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to choose from! One of the top moments was our time in Varenna on Lake Como [INVALID] especially the hike up to Castello di Vezio and the incredible views of the lake and surrounding country."

Pamela

Dallas, TX

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The"My Way" structure was perfect for us. I liked the independence and Kathleen was exceptional. She has mastered being helpful without being intrusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Academia in Florence. Or was it St Mark's Basilica? No, it was the Doge's Palace. The Best of Italy is full of wow moments!"

Shelley

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a delightful trip! So fantastic to know that our accommodations were prearranged as well as our transportation. Kathleen was a wonderful guide and information resource on our bus rides, and the Rick Steve's book? Another wonderful resource...organized the way I think!! Love that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I loved Assisi, my wow moment was in Rome when we entered the Pantheon and saw the Occulus and amazingly well preserved space...open to the outside for so many years!! Stunning!! Our winery tour was another outstanding moment, as well as the dinner we enjoyed at Chef Moreno's -- SOOO much food fun and conversation! Delightful and Delicious!"

Susan

Bonners Ferry, ID

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I picked the perfect "Tour"! Kathleen Cavalier was an excellent escort. Her knowledge of the areas we visited and her ability to communicate was outstanding. She was very dedicated to individualizing each person's experience while trying to maintain a fun group experience. She was amazing! It was so relaxing to be able to sit back on the bus and watch the country side roll by. Our driver was also amazing and I always felt safe and secure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "wow" moments. Every stop of the tour was full of moments that I will never forget. Hiking on the ancient footpaths of the Cinque Terre and the beautiful locations of the trails were breath taking."

Paula

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went incredible: the sites, the weather, the food, the company -- I could not have asked for more. The My-Ways Tour was a nice combination of touring and independence. I valued getting a taste of the big cities (Rome and Florence) and a taste of some small towns (Verenna and Montorosso) with my surprise favorite being Assisi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to narrow it down. I would put my favorite view was the Tuscan valley from the hilltop town of Assisi, and my favorite art was Michelangelo's David."

Dan

Boulder, CO

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love the My Way concept and will try it again in Spain. Please consider one in Ireland! (We have already seen much in your Germany, Austra, Switz trip.) Kathleen Cavalier was superb and soooo helpful. Kudos to her. We would have liked another day in each location but also enjoyed the amazing variety of places we saw. Having a great group of informed travelers with whom to share experiences also enriched the experience. Our group's ages were from 7 to 14 with 5 less than 20.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but if we (Sharyn and I) must choose one it was carefully scrutinizing the original David statue. We knew it would be awe inspiring but not as much as it was."

Joseph

Towaco, NJ

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought this was a great way to get acquainted with northern Italy and Rome. The selection of cities to visit was excellent and gave a very nice cross-section of the this part of the country. I was very satisfied with the hotel selections and transportation between cities. The "My Way" format forces the traveler to do his/her homework on each stop, but overall I was very happy with our results.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most surprised by Venice because the layout and pedestrian-friendly nature of the city provides a great place for exploration. A person can happily get lost and eat/drink their way back to familiar territory!"

Orapin

Towaco, NJ

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectation. My way tour was perfect for our family. We did not have to worry about where to stay or how to get from one place to another but had the freedom to do what we want at each place. The tour was well organized. This was our first family trip to Italy and we had a wonderful time. Rick Steves Italy book had so many useful information/tips about each places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments! walking through Venice, enjoying sunset in Lake Como, hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza, seeing David in Florence, having wine and cheese lunch with a view in San Gimingnano, seeing the Sistine Chapel, having the best pizza ever in Rome, etc."

Carol

Lake Elmo, MN

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect type of "tour" for our family. Planning transportation and lodging in Europe seemed fairly daunting so to have those 2 pieces of logistics planned for us was awesome. That combined with having the ability to plan what we wanted to do on our own every day was just the perfect combination. I have highly recommended this type of tour to many people since I have been home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure if I really had a "wow" moment but I was constantly impressed with the punctuality, organization, and overall smoothness of how everything went."

Todd

Lake Elmo, MN

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Way tour in Italy had fantastic locations, great transportation, and excellent accommodations. A side benefit is we had a great group of travelers on our trip - some of whom we spent time with beyond the trip meals, travel etc. Our group leader was Amanda who was a great resource full of energy and extremely personable. My wife and I traveled with our two daughters 22 and 23 and they both had a great time with other younger travelers on the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a very difficult question - I would have to say Art Work and Food. We had WOW moments in multiple locations and our palates were treated to many fantastic wow meals!"

Cindy

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is exactly *My Style* and it exceeded my expectations. The transportation and accommodations were very suitable and Sarah, our guide, kept everything organized and running well. I didn't think I needed a guide at all, but definitely on the My Way tour, having a guide to clearly give instructions and/or help was a bonus. The itinerary was very well planned out and every stop a delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think everyone on this tour will have to say Lake Como was the Wow moment. The view from our hotel room was a knockout and the lake, the towns just wonderful."

Roy

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liked combination of big city and smaller towns. Short bus rides. Great weather. Plenty of time to do own things, but could get together with others for hikes, sites, and meals. Weather great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DAVID"

Jennifer

Loveland, OH

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the "My Way" tour. The hotels all had great locations and something special to offer, and I really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers. The "My Way" experience allowed for busy days or afternoons to enjoy a café with a view. I loved how the tour was arranged, with time at small towns between the city days. Sarah was a great guide for us, and made time to help everyone with plans or suggestions for restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Venice, the beauty of Lake Como and Varenna from our hotels, and the view from the top of the Duomo's dome in Florence"

Karen

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed so very many things about the Rick Steve's Tour. Our tour escort, Sarah, was knowledgable and helpful when I came to her with questions. The "My Way" tour group ranged from ages 22 to 70, with folks from all over the United States. We got along well and developed some friendships that will continue on through sharing emails and photos. The hotels were enjoyable, especially the one in Varenna at Lake Como. The bus driver was great, too. I really enjoyed the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the view and room at the top of the hill in the Eremo Gaudio Hotel at Lake Como. It was the most peaceful space! That is one hotel and room that I would love to come back to some day. Getting up to the top was fun in the funicular."

Russell

Palatine, IL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have enjoyed it more. Our tour guide Sarah was absolutely fabulous - you can't pay her enough - a real keeper. "My Way" was perfect for us and we made friends through the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history art, sculptures and architecture throughout. The peacefulness of the more rural towns. The food."

Jenny

Milford, OH

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience was fabulous! Going in, we were a little worried that the My Way Tour would be overwhelming, but it was great having the logistics and lodging taken care of. That allowed us to focus on our plans for our activities in each city. We were also worried about traveling with a group and too much togetherness. There was opportunity for doing things alone or with our group - which really got along well. A perfect balance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water views in Venice, Varenna and Monterosso - spectacular!"

Doug

Milford, OH

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have gone better....it was perfect! Our hotels had much character, even with small showers. Travel between cities by bus, train, boat and foot were perfectly coordinated. And our tour helper "Sarah" was amazing....she deserves a raise! Sarah had great suggestions on things to see and do in each City. Also, our bus driver, Michelle was so professional, on-time and patient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice. Scenery was amazing."

Stephen

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience has left me with a lot of very fine memories of wonderful cities and towns visited. I saw most of the Art I wanted to see. During the tour I had many great meals and many dishes I had never experienced before. My tour buddies were adventurous and easy to get along with. The traveling from hotel to hotel was fun great bus and driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking at Lake Como from the top of the Castello Di Vezio."

Kathleen

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the My Way Italy tour was a great. My daughter and I had signed up for excursions and we both saw a lot and ventured around the various cities as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from Lake Como and Assisi were definitely my favorite."

Susan

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the Italy My Way. Escort (Sarah) was available for questions and suggestions, and knowledgeable. Group we traveled with was diverse and great. We dined alone or with one other couple or with large group. Many of it was last minute, who was back from sightseeing, etc. Had time to visit with many, others did much on their own. Fun to hear what others were doing and pursuing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No favorites, or WOW moments, liked all experiences for different reasons."

Carol Ann

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the flexability to do our own exploration and site visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fantastic bus driver Michale . Venice was tops."

Hans

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good guide. made being in Italy fun. Even learned some useful words.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice."

Lynne

Cambria, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was duly impressed with the choice of hotels, and their locations. Indeed, centrally located, or in the case of Rome very near the metro which made getting around a breeze. Roberto and his bus were a joy, sometimes I even just napped (stretching out on the back seats) between places. Rozanne was a great resource and very helpful when my daughter's wallet was pick pocketed. Most amazing was the group. Everybody was interesting, upbeat and friendly. We would share stories at breakfast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite place was Assisi. It was very spiritual and magical. St. Francis was a very radical dude, and his ideas are very relevant today. Seeing the stone box with his bones, and the reliquary with his well-mended monks robe, seeing St. Clare's stocking for St. Francis, and her robe and undergarments really appealed to the quilter in me. And then it poured and hailed on us as we were leaving the bookstore at his church. We took cover and watched the deluge. Beautiful hill town."

Frank

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This must be the easiest way to see Italy for the first time. The program that Rick and his team put together solve all the major issues with researching and accomplishing international travel: - Which cities to visit (My Way handles it) - Where to stay while there (My Way handles it) - What to do / What sites to visit in each city (Recommendations are offered) - Where to eat while there (Recommendations) - How to travel between cities (My Way handles it) 'No Hassle' European Travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bernini's 60ft tall bronze canopy at St. Peter's Basilica. Wow. (Also Wow, St. Mark's pala d'oro, and the view from Florence Cathedral's Duomo.) There are many wow moments in Italy. Here's another: pistacchio gelato (Wow!)"

Richard

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "tour". My wife and I were in the Peace Corps and we have traveled a lot. We have always planned out own trips, but thought we would give the My Way Tour a chance. We loved the concept of the My Way Tour because it allowed us to plan what we wanted to see in each site. Rozanne was wonderful, so knowledgeable and helpful. She was a fount of wisdom on all the sites in Italy. She helped create a sense of group solidarity by promoting happy hours and dinners together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Coma and the Cinque Terra were out two favorite sites, though Florence, Assisi, and Venice weren't too bad. We had some fabulous Italian food. By and large the recommendations in your book were accurate and helpful. The gardens in Tivoli (Villa d'Este) were among our favorite sites. My wife had been there as a high school student and remembered it fondly."

Flora

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many moments. The Fish Market/Rialto walk in Venice, joking with the waiter at dinner by Lake Como, beholding "The Last Supper" fresco in Milan and the David in Florence. One great moment was when we were having a cappuccino at the Harbor in Vernazza. A fully restored vintage Lancia drove into the square causing some locals sitting at the storefronts to issue some invective at the driver. 10 more Lancias came in as well. A Rally. Things got hot."

Roberta

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were looking for a tour that would take care of the hotels and transportation but leave us to explore on our own, The My way tour was exactly what we were looking for. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful in filling in the occasional gap in our own planning. The people in our group were friendly and we did appreciate the occasional planned get together. Otherwise everyone pretty much went out on their own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfortunately I do not think I have a "wow" moment. We did have a very good time. Perhaps the best part is that there were no disasters."

Edna

Lake Jackson, TX

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never been to Italy, I found it was a great introduction to the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time in Florence. All the great art and architecture was easily accessible by foot."

Keith

Lake Jackson, TX

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time. Tour was much more enjoyable and fulfilling than we had expected, or hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Italian landscape and mountainous coastline was almost breathtaking. We saw parts of Italy that we would never have known to visit had we done all of the planning ourselves. The choice of places to visit was outstanding. A very good "mix"."

Sheldon

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the second "My Way Tour" that my wife and I have done. We particularly enjoy the flexibility, quality of logistics and hotels, availability of an experienced "guide" and the synergy of the people. We simply show up and enjoy. It works even better when we do our homework and know what we want to see and have that planned out with questions ready for the "guide". This trip worked flawlessly as laid out in the itinerary. The trip exceeded our expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre and Lake Como. Both were unexpected pleasures. The same for Assisi and Montepulciano."

John

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "my way" tour was an ideal format for Janet & I. We liked having the resources provided by Dave and the Rick Steve's guidebooks but could arrange our day for our schedule. The audio guides were excellent. We felt rather smug when a huge group tours tried to see something in a museum where we had the latitude to move slowly [or more quickly] by it. Your tip of going to a museum near closing was excellent. We were able to linger in Saint Marks, the Uffizi Museum and Saint Peters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably sneaking up to the "tower" at 11:00p with a bottle of Champagne at the Florence Hotel. The view was spectacular! We discovered about 1/2 of our travel group was already there."

Frances

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the My Way tour very much. It was just the right mix of independence and support that I had been looking for on my third trip to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to list, but as a single traveler, I would have to say that my conversations with locals are what I will remember most."

Thomas

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and paced. I liked the itinerary of alternating between city and more "country" type environments.

Amy

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First I want to compliment our leader, Dave. He was a "perfect" leader, going way beyond my expectations as this was a "my way" tour. He was completely knowledgeable about all aspects of our trip, and always introduced our new destination with great stories, ideas of how we might want to spend some time, and made sure we understood everything necessary or interesting regarding the transportation, hotels, location, and past history. He really made the trip wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Varenna in Lake Como and our Hotel Cipressi. What a great location and hotel! I wish in all cases, except Rome, that we would spend an extra day in such beautiful places with less tourists. I know many people want to see Rome, but I would have been perfectly happy to fly into Florence and go North from there...I think the smaller cities are the best."

Cynthia

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was wonderful...can't say enough about the wonders of Italy and the freedom we had to do what we wanted, "Our Way" was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre hike from Monterosso to Varenna was a fantastic experience for us."

Matthew

Centennial, CO

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"bus rides"

Jeffrey

Prospect, KY

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. Dave, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and fun to be around. We enjoyed having all of the logistics of transportation and hotels being taken care of but freedom of touring on our own. Even on our own got to meet great people on our tour due to a relatively small group. Steves books and travel info made the planning easy for us first time Italy travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Lake Como for the first time and the Statue of David"

Connie

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having the transportation and hotels already taken care of but the rest of the time ours to decide what we wanted to do was wonderful. It was also lots of fun to spend time with the other tour members. Lots of fun!

Michael

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The "My Way" concept worked very well for us. We saw what we wanted to see and avoided the regimented tour experience. We often saw groups of 10 to 50 people being lead around by tour guides in museums and other tourist sites listening to the leader on their ear buds -not our style. We utilized Rick Steves audio guides. I commend him for highlighting the important things to see. I critize him for his poor directions. In Assisi we ran into two other groups who could not find the begining

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Art museums in Florence were a highlight - not enough time in Florence."

Barbara

Port Ludlow, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The My Way Tour style fit our personalities much better than the full tour style. (We went on the Best of Spain Tour after we finished Italy.) The order of the towns, hotel accommodations, and transportation was provided and we scheduled our own activities and meals. The pre-tour information was helpful in letting us know which sites we should have pre-purchased tickets.. I took advantage of this and getting the tickets and into the sites was easy. The lines were all long to get tickets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was waking up at 3:30 am while we were at Lake Como. Our room looked out onto the lake and garden. The full moon was reflecting off the water. Beautiful!"

Pat

Redding, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolutely amazing time! We really loved having all of the details (hotel/transportation) of our trip planned for us so we could spend our time planning what we wanted to see! We saw everything we hoped to see on our trip. The tour was fantastic! Our group leader, Laurel was so knowledgeable and sweet! Our group had so much fun at our happy hours and dinners. We each went out during the day to visit our planned sites and in the evenings we gathered together for fun and laughs!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WoW moments! I would say Assisi was our Wow moment. We enjoyed wondering the lanes. We were wandering a back lane when we saw a man about 80 years old put up an old wooden ladder. He was working on his wall garden. He ducked back into his house. As we passed we heard Italian opera coming from his home. He walked out and I told him his garden was beautiful. He had a big smile and said, Grazie! At that moment we connected! It was our Italian moment! I loved Assisi!"

Glen

Salem, OR

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had one of the best times of our lives. The entire tour, the people, the escort, the cities, places and things that were available as a result of the itinerary were great! Also, the food and wine! the bus and driver was first class!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire experience was a WOW moment. There is no other way to describe it!"

Gilbert

Port Ludlow, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group. Laurel was excellent. She was always available but never overly intrusive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Cuomo with moon setting over water."

Barbara

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly appreciated the mix and pacing of cities and areas visited- could not have managed by ourselves, especially the transportation and lodgings (suited us to a T!)And we were most grateful for Steves' apps as we toured our individually chosen sites (thank goodness we weren't in those 40+groups!). Every recommended restaurant was our "kind of eatery"-so wonderful especially at Florence's del Spade & Gigliio Rosea and Cinque Terre. We had extensively prepared-sights, food, & physically.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most difficult to cite only one, but the Sistine Chapel was much more-immense and striking (had binoculars)than imagined, lunching at Villa Carlotta on brilliant Lake Como, listening to the monks'chanting at 6:45 am at Assisi's Cathedral, and being" lost" in Venice"

Larry

Penn Valley, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The Escort (Laurel) was outstanding in every aspect. The bus driver was also excellent & did a good job of diffusing grumbling about the lack of WI-FI for the entire trip on the bus. The poor quality of the [INVALID]ed hotels really put a damper on the overall experience! The entire tour group was very compatible & were enjoyable to socialize with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW, I've never been amongst so many people! Numerous places on the tour."

Richard

Pagosa Springs, CO

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Really liked the places we stopped and the hotels but I would like them to be closer to where the bus has to let you out. Nothing you can so about it but I didn't think much of the food, personal. Everyone go along very well and I liked all of them. The but driver could not have been a better driver and was as nice as they come, enjoyed him very much. WE had Lourel and we loved her, what a nice person she is. All in all I would say we very much liked the tour and would take another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked everything about Assisi."

William

Edina, MN

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the Assisi countryside."

Jenifer

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

While I can't tell you what I would remove from the itinerary, an extra day at many locations would have made the trip extra special. I loved Lake Como and Cinque Terra. Now I know that my next trip to Italy will concentrate on those two locations. Thanks for introducing us to them!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. Wish the rest of the trail was open! And the climb up the Duomo and view of Florence from the top!"

Avery

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was extremely well organized, guide and driver were extremely good, trip went off as planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many favorites, but given my history in history, I was most impressed by visits to the Roman ruins in Rome."

Kim

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This "My Way" Tour took us to small towns we would never have gone to on our own, and each was a delight for different reasons. Smaller tour, and being on our own for exploring, provided just enough information and togetherness. Weather was great, and perhaps influences my opinion but overall even in the rain this would have been an enjoyable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Architecture of several churches we got into."

Chuck

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought this was a great trip overall. We had a very knowledgeable guide with Andrea, and her ability to communicate with not only the participants, but the locals as well really added to the experience. The hotels were exceptional with only one exception that I mentioned below. The transportation on the bus was comfortable and our driver was a very talented professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Lake Como area. The hotel in Varenna was far better then expected, the hike to the castle gave us a very spectacular view of the entire area. I found the variations of the towns around the lake very interesting."

William

Pilot Hill, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

5 out of 4 stars! Great fun loving travel companions. The "MY WAY" tour concept was ideal. Loved the freedom. Never thought traveling by bus would have proved to be so easy and stress free. Hotels in the heart of the action.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Segway Tour" of Rome at night. What a great way to see a lot of beautiful sights while giving my feet and knees a break. Even of old farts could do it."

Michael

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I very much enjoyed my Rick Steves Tour experience. I enjoyed the relative independence afforded by being able to spend the time at places of our choosing without the bother of reserving and finding our own accommodations and mode of travel to the various cities and interest sites. Our fellow travelers were also very cordial, pleasant and accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town and people of Assisi and grandeur of Italy itself. The vistas and countryside were amazing and the pace of the tour allowed us to fully appreciate the history and culture of this beautiful country."

Mary

Fresno, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect mix of large cities and small towns. Perfect mix of independence and group interaction. Great guide, bus driver, hotels, and fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra hike, "happy hour" in Florence, David statue, St. Peter's, cheap, good wine. Enjoyed the brief stopover in San Gimignano. It was a nice surprise."

Denise

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are both active people who like to get out and explore at out own pace. This tour gave us an opportunity to do that, without worrying about the logistics of travel and hotels. It was the perfect mix of freedom and peace-of-mind. The destinations on the tour provided the right mix of big city and small town, with something for everyone. Your recommended tour guides were great - we used Through Eternity for two days in Rome and found them to deliver a high-quality tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had an unannounced stop for lunch in San Gimignano, so we hadn't prepared an itinerary, just roamed around this fairy-tale town on a photo safari. It was a magical place."

Harvey

Fresno, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the pace of the tour. Our tour guide, Andrea was excellent. The accommodations were pleasant, the scenery was gorgeous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite couple of moments were in Cinqueterre. We hiked the Blue trail from Monterosso to Vernazzia. Tough hike, but incredible. Afterwards we spent 3 hours on the beach (rented chairs and an umbrella). The weather was great and very relaxing."

David

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tour was a perfect match for us. Freedom to do what we wanted yet have someone else responsible for hotels and transportation was key. The trip's itinerary matched the cities we wanted to visit. Escort Andrea was excellent and helped make the trip even more enjoyable. All hotels had great locations and rooms. "Bus Time" and driver also added to the pleasure of the Tour. Our Tour Group was so friendly and all got along well. New friends, great times, an experience we will never forget!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming into Venice on the water taxi via the Grand Canal. What a way to begin a first time trip to Italy!"

Mary Kay

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first visit to Europe and participating in a My Way Tour really fit my needs. Having the transportation and lodging element taken care ahead of time let me focus on planning day to day activities. Plus, I had not considered visiting a couple of the places (Lake Como and San Gimignano, for instance) and they turned out to be some of my favorite experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza was open the days we were there and it was just one terrific view after another. Early morning in Verenna and all of Asissi--so lovely."

Kristin

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Itinerary was well thought-out and included places we really wanted to see. Our outstanding guide was always available, helpful, totally responsive to the needs of the group. Andrea also did an outstanding of giving us just the right helpful tips in advance of each stop. Our group of traveling companions were interesting and compatible. We loved all of the hotels- had character, great locations and helpful staff. Bus driver was great and bus was very comfortable. A wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know if I can point to one "wow" moment. Perhaps it was the stay in Cinque Terre, and our hike from Monterosso to Vernazza -- not easy for this 72-year-old, but spectacular and worth the effort!"

Sue

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The MY WAY tour was the perfect fit for our family. We appreciated the independence that we had once we arrived at our destinations, but the security of having accommodations that were centrally located, safe, clean and charming was wonderful. Of course we also appreciated having a guide that was there to answer questions, provide valuable information, and to orient us upon arrival. Brenna was a excellent guide. Finally, the security of safe and efficient transportation was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments, but one that stands out was seeing David in Florence. It was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I was actually there."

Cheryl

Tampa, FL

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was obvious from the first day that your tour organization knew just what needed to be done and did it. The trip went seamlessly from our point of view although being a teacher I know that behind the magic there could be lots of hair-pulling. There was the right amount of time for exploring, explanation, interaction and laughter. Perfect trip. When I retell our vacation stories at home the first thing people recognize is the rick Steves' name and its stellar reputation. We love Brenna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying right in the middle of town in those quaint locally owned hotels."

Cheryl

Eatonville, WA

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our thirteen-day MY WAY tour of Italy was the perfect choice for us. We didn't have to worry about scheduling, route, transportation or lodging, and yet we were free to explore each new site at our own pace. Our fellow tour members were a cordial, fun group with whom to visit and share experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments on this first visit to Italy, including first views of the Alps from Lake Como, of the Italian Riviera from Monterosso, of the Tower in Pisa, and of the Colosseum, to name just a few. We also experienced a WOW moment from the comfort of our bus during a spectacular rain, thunder and lightning storm between Florence and Assisi!"

Mike

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to list."

Vicki

Canby, OR

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I would rate it really as very good overall. Having the transportation and the hotels all set up was wonderful. Going to the smaller towns of Varenna, Monterosso and Assisi was the highlight of the trip and something we wouldn't have done on our own. The itinerary was good with some down time in the smaller cities. Having orientation when we got to a city helped ease anxiety and let us make good use of our time. It was good to have 2 nights in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the breathtaking scenery in Varenna and our view from our room."

Margaret

Seffner, FL

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw magnificent scenic views, mountains, lakes, hillside villages, and beaches as well as many historically significant churches, palaces, museums, and buildings. I sampled foods, drinks, deserts, from a culture different from my own. My appreciation for my home and lifestyle was reinforced. I get a kick out of knowing first hand that palm trees, hibiscus, blue plumbago, impatiens, petunias, lemon, lime, and persimmon trees, and hydrangea all grow in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick one? Arriving by vaparetto in the canals of Venice, that first glimpse of the colorful buildings with the water lapping at their doorsteps was amazing. Opening the window of our room in Varenna and looking out over the calm, blue waters of Lake Como took my breath away. Standing on the shore in Monterosso looking out over the Mediterranean Sea was truly amazing. The approach to Assisi was beautiful, but not as much as the view from Assisi itself once we were there at the top."

Judie

Lutz, FL

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was perfect from the very beginning! Our tour guide was outstanding and brought a breath of fresh air into our experiences just by her personality! Of course, you cannot beat Italy and it proved to be all that I expected and more!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow - absolutely no cars in Venice (or motorized vehicles), snow on the Swiss Alps seen from Varenna, quaintness of the Cinque Terre and loveliness of Assisi ... my favorite areas!"

Leslie

Eatonville, WA

Tour: 10/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when, after we had been traveling in a rainstorm, we saw Asissi up on the hill through a break in the clouds."

Joan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just what we wanted. The tranportation connections were smooth and efficient, it was great to have the hotel accomodations all made, our guide was a great resource, (and lots of fun!), we appreciated meeting other travelers, but not being bonded at the hip with them:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice at night."

Donald

Louisville, KY

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my hopes and expectations. The information provided re: directions is detailed, the hotels are in the heart beat of the cities we stayed in. I often thought throughout the trip how grateful I was to not have to negotiate the streets, hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. Our driver Sivourio was excellent, no need to be concerned re: any part of the transportation, amazing the tight spots he was able to take the bus into for our comfort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can define a favorite one, too many. The overall excitement was continuing WOW throughout, the arrival in Venice may nose out many other sites."

Ann

Scarborough, ME

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I are used to traveling independently, but didn't want to drive in Italy, so we decided to choose a tour that provided transportation and lodging. It allowed us to see both city and countryside, whereas if we had done public transportation we felt we might be confined to just cities. The tour was very well planned. Our bus driver was fabulous as was our guide, and directions were clear. Our tour group was filled with really great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. Five course meal Amanda arranged in Lake Como, pesto demonstration (again arranged by Amanda), hiking in Cinque Terre, the family run olive wood shop in Assisi...Hmm...I could go on and on!"

Mary

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is my 3rd Rick Steves trip in Italy. Our escort, Amanda, was TERRIFIC and the experience was what I expected from prior trips. I wouldn't recommend this tour to anyone who hasn't been to Italy, though. Everyone else on the trip was "first-timers" and they would tell you they loved having it "my way"... but they don't realize what they are missing by not having guided tours. I could tell that they missed a lot of explanations, and were also "lost" finding their way around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised how much I liked Assisi as it was not on my "must see" list. It was the prettiest town we visited on this trip."

Debra

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband Matt & I enjoyed the tour and feel the itinerary was perfectly balanced. We had restful opportunities along with the high points. No time was wasted. The hotels and ground transportation arrangement allowed us a much less stressful planning process. Amanda gave us information before we arrived in each city which helped to get oriented to make the most of our time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The countryside from the top of Rocco Maggiore. Also a bit light headed after the circling stairs."

David

West Chester, PA

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each of the 7 cities we explored had it's own character. The common thread for me was the art and architecture. Our Rick Steves representative was extremely helpful and always willing to go out of her way to ensure a quality experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ancient roman ruins were awe inspiring. As an American, I realize there is nothing in the US that will stand the test of time....nothing."

Mike

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience, the MyWay tour offered the benefit of support while still having the freedom to do the things that most interest you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the historical sites."

Leonard

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Having hotels booked and a bus to shuttle us from town to town took a lot of the stress out of our visit. Our guide, Amanda, was terrific - patient, knowledgeable, available. Good itinerary, felt like we hit some of the major highlights of north & central Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Got within about 30 feet of Papa Frank in St Peter's Square (this was actually a few days after the tour had ended)."

Ronald

Colfax, CA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. The my way tour fit us perfectly. We did not have to worry about accomodations or transportation; that was a big relief as we do not speak the language. The bus driver was excellent and in a country where aggressive driving is the rule, he drove expertily and sensiblhy. Bravo John Carlo our bus driver. Dimitri our guide was the best. He was knowledgeable, prompt, and a great communicator. No negative comments; totally positivel

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a wow moment for us as this was our first overseas trip. We have the natural wonders in the US....grand canyon, redwood trees, Glacier Park...They have the incredible history and stuctures. Seeing the Colloseum, Forum, St. Peters, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon, Grand Canal, David, Assisi, and so on was unforgettable."

Betty

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have not taken a tour per se in at least 10 years so this was a new experience for us. The My Way tour did have appeal and I think it worked well. We prefer to stay longer than two nights in a city. We found the tour group to be of the best - they all were avid travelers and therefore nothing was complained about and everyone was very punctual. A really great group of people. The itinerary was also terrific, going from a large city to a small city. I could do without Rome

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We would have to say that we preferred the smaller cities, so my favorite Wow moment was when we were in Cinque Le Terre, looking out upon the ocean from one of the higher elevations. My partner, Dick being the "history buff" that he is was very taken with Rome and Venice."

Michael

Bend, OR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected a good trip. Having Dimitri Rigas as our guide made it an outstanding trip. He was fun, knowledgeable, and caring. We signed up for the tour " Italy your way" I am pleased we did. I did not want to be one of those thousand of people following a person at the head of the line with an umbrella pointed at the sky. I appreciated being able to ask our guide, Dimitri about the area and getting ideas on what to do consistent with our concept exploring Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing and walking through the Colosseum in Rome."

Bette

Blanco, TX

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our visits to Europe before had always been of the fly and stay or "fly-drive" type of vacation. This was our first visit where we were on a bus. What a relief not to have to navigate the roads and traffic of large cities. Members of our group were so friendly you felt as though you were among old friends. It was nice to see a face you recognized while touring the cities. The tour was structured so that each city built upon the other until we reached the ultimate in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the opportunity to be in places only read about in books, know what had transpired there, and imagine what it was like to have lived those many years ago was a "wow" moment for me. Assisi was my favorite city to explore. The views were fantastic, a beautiful city, and it was full of opportunities to take pictures."

Ron

Blanco, TX

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to "discover" Italy without the burden of planning hotels and transportation. I have done trips where I had to drive as well as line up hotels. This made it much more relaxing. Even after learning a little about Italy, I would not enjoy driving into cities such as Rome. Even though we were on our own once we arrived at each location, having the guidance from an experienced traveler made each city that much easier to enjoy. Andrea Wolf did a great job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I wasn't sure I would enjoy Assisi, I changed my mind after our visit. St Francis Basilica was the big surprise for me. A beautiful church and a beautiful location. I guess the biggest surprise for me were the crowds. I thought things would thin out in October, but I soon discovered it was me and one million of my best friends. None-the-less, we endured and managed to have a great time."

Cynthia

Lakewood, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed not having to find our hotel at every city in northern Italy, and also enjoyed not being encumbered by a car, especially in the larger cities. We arrived at most cities refreshed instead of stressed by a car trip. Having Wifi on the bus was an added bonus as we could catch up on facetime with home, check information on our next city and and not spend our evening time doing either of those things. The "Italy My Way"selection of cities was great. Our escort was generally helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Venice--we landed there a couple of days early and even getting lost in Venice is fun."

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.