• rome-trastevere-piazza-santa-maria
    Rome's Trastevere Neighborhood
  • Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli
  • Vieste
  • Alberobello's Trulli Houses
  • Temples of Paestum
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Sorrento
  • Island of Capri

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of South Italy in 13 Days Tour

This tour treats you to the slice of Italy that's richest in contrasts, from cities to beaches, and from rugged to glamorous. After touring the wonders of Rome, your Rick Steves guide will take you across Italy's boot to the wild beauty of the Gargano Peninsula and Adriatic Coast. You'll meander through the untouristed Puglia and Basilicata regions, followed by the must-see historic sites at Paestum and Pompeii, the jaw-dropping vistas of the Amalfi Coast, and the untamed energy of Naples. Join us for the Best of South Italy in 13 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of South Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Trastevere walking tour • Jewish Ghetto walking tour • Capitoline Museum tour • Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli • Gargano boat cruise (weather permitting) • Pasta-making demonstration • Alberobello visit • Puglia wine tasting • Matera Sassi walking tour • Mozzarella farm visit • Paestum visit • Pompeii tour • Gelato-making demonstration • Orientation for Capri excursion • Capodimonte Museum tour • Naples neighborhood walk • Sansevero Chapel • Naples Archaeology Museum tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Rome to Naples
  • 12 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' Italy guidebook, Best of South Italy Sightseeing Guide, Italian phrase book, moneybelt, and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 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
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

We'll gather at our Rome hotel at 4 p.m. for a "Welcome to Italy" group meeting. Afterward, we'll take an evening stroll through the meandering streets of "village" Rome on our way to tonight's trattoria, where we'll get acquainted over dinner together. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Layers of Rome

This morning we'll take an eye-opening walk across the Tiber, where we'll learn about the rich, yet often-overlooked, history of Rome's Jewish Ghetto. Then we'll tour the world's oldest museum, the Capitoline. Here we'll learn about Rome's golden age through its most treasured sculptures, including the sublime Dying Gaul, the imposing Marcus Aurelius on horseback, and the emblematic She-Wolf suckling Rome's tiny founding brothers: Romulus and Remus. The rest of the day is yours to wander through the Roman Colosseum and Forum next door, enjoy the panoramic city view from atop the nearby Victor Emmanuel Monument, or make a modern-day pilgrimage to St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Tivoli and the Gargano Peninsula

We'll leave Rome early, stopping in the nearby hills to learn about the Roman Emperor Hadrian, at the ruins of his monumental villa at Tivoli. An enthusiastic traveler and builder, his lasting legacy includes his great wall across Britain, the domed Pantheon, and his stylish beard. Then we'll drive up and over the Apennine spine of Italy, and on to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Our destination this evening is the tip of the rugged Gargano Peninsula, one of the most beautiful areas of Southern Italy — and still unknown to American travelers. At our cliff-side hotel we'll share dinner tonight, and sleep in Vieste (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Vieste and the Adriatic Coast

Vieste's beaches are packed with Italians in mid-summer. But when we arrive we'll find a peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle of Rome. Today we'll take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the craggy Gargano Coast, marveling at the pretty coves, hidden grottos and unusual rock formations that make this coastline unforgettable. We'll return to Vieste for a pasta-making demonstration and lunch, followed by plenty of time to wander through the town or simply luxuriate on the beach. Boat: 1½ hrs. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 5: Alberobello and Matera

Today we'll head off the tourist path and into the Puglia and Basilicata regions, with a stop to learn about and sample some local wines, meats and cheeses. In Alberobello, we'll explore cone-shaped, stone trulli houses that are still lived in today. Then we'll drive on to the town of Matera, which includes one of the world's most unique neighborhoods — the Sassi — completely made up of ancient stone and cave dwellings. Sleep in Matera (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: The Wonders of Matera

With the help of a locally-grown expert, we'll learn the stories of old and new Matera. We'll begin our day discovering the wonders of the 9,000-year-old Sassi. We'll go inside a Sassi home to gain an appreciation for the cave-dwelling conditions endured by the residents until they were relocated 60 years ago. We'll continue our education with a visit to a rock hewn church, and a look at the new town. You'll have the rest of your day free to wander through the different layers of Matera. This evening, watch — or better yet join — the ritual passeggiata of strolling locals in this authentic, untouristed part of Italy. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Greek Paestum and Positano

Early this morning we'll drive into the Campania region and tour an organic water buffalo farm which produces the prized local specialty, mozzarella di bufala. We'll go into the barns and learn how this tasty delicacy is made and enjoy a gourmet lunch together including (you guessed it) fresh buffalo mozzarella. After lunch, we'll continue on to Paestum, to marvel at this site's awe-inspiring lineup of three Ancient Greek temples — the best-preserved collection in Europe. Then we are off to the dramatic Amalfi Coast. We'll follow the cliff-clinging road that winds above the sea to Positano, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Free Day on the Amalfi Coast

The day is all yours to enjoy the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Take a local bus along the twisting roads and wild beauty of the Amalfi highway, hopping off to explore cliff-side villages along the way. Check out the sweeping views from Ravello, the candy-striped church in Amalfi town, the narrow streets and posh shops of Positano, or let gravity pull you down to a beach to relax upon. Tonight will be a great night to find a trattoria with a glorious sunset view. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 9: Pompeii and Sorrento

This morning we'll make a short drive to serene Sorrento. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we’ll have an orientation walk through the town on our way to watch the creation of an Italian culinary masterpiece—gelato; then you’ll be free for lunch. We’ll re-group for a thoughtful visit of unlucky Pompeii, where, with an ace local guide, we'll get a look at everyday life, frozen in time two millennia ago. After free time to explore more of Pompeii on your own, we'll hop aboard the Circumvesuviana commuter train back to our cliff-hugging home set amongst the lemon groves. Sleep in Sorrento (2 nights). Train: ½ hr. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Serene Sorrento and Capri

Today is all yours. Your guide will arrange for an optional boat ride to Capri, where you can then take a much smaller boat to the deservedly-famous Blue Grotto. Or, spend all or part of the day enjoying Capri's remarkable views, winding lanes, fancy summer homes and lovely gardens. Or, stay in Sorrento and wander through the shop-lined back streets, stopping to savor il dolce far niente — the sweetness of doing nothing. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 11: Classy, Gritty Naples

After a short morning drive, we'll have an easy introduction to Naples at the beautiful hilltop Museo Capodimonte, home to southern Italy's best collection of Renaissance paintings, including masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and El Greco. After lunch in the city that invented pizza, we'll be introduced to Naples' grittier side on a Vespa-dodging, laundry-flapping, slice-of-Neapolitan-life walking tour through the heart of this chaotic, memorable city. Sleep in Naples (2 nights). Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Exploring More of Naples

This morning we're in world-class-art mode again, touring the greatest treasures of Pompeii, brought to Naples' National Archeological Museum for safe-keeping. We'll also be dazzled by the Farnese collection including the largest single sculpture ever recovered from antiquity: The Farnese Bull. This larger-than-life riot of animal, human and divine struggle was adored and painstakingly restored by Michelangelo. From here we'll head for the serene Cappella Sansevero, home to amazingly lifelike sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. Then, armed with the confidence and the Neapolitan street-smarts you've gotten from your guide, your afternoon is free for making your own discoveries. Tonight we'll get together for a special dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Naples' airport by taxi, easily arranged through our hotel. Your guide 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 Best of South 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. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. Sleep in a cave-like hotel room in historic Matera.
  5. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

 

Reviews

Carolyn

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour! It was well-paced and provided such variety! It had museums, art and history (which I love), but also beautiful nature, coastal towns, boat rides, walking and much opportunity to be outdoors enjoying Southern Italy. The water buffalo farm we visited was off-the-beaten-track and fascinating. I also enjoyed the foodie events (wine tastings, gelatto-making, etc.).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow[INVALID]hard to say! Probably, Matera. I was so looking forward to Matera after reading about it a few months back in the Smithsonian Magazine. Even though I'd read about it, I was completely surprised by it when we got there! It was unlike any place I'd ever seen. The hotel where we stayed and our tour guides also enhanced my experience while there."

Mark

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip through many different parts of Italy (there isn't just "one" Italy!). We had a superb guide ("Donato") and an experienced group of travelers who had been on many of the Rick Steves tours so we got along very well and made many friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One evening in the little seaside town of Vieste (on the Adriatic side of Italy) we happened upon a spontaneous pre-wedding celebration -- the young groom-to-be had brought his betrothed to meet his parents for the first time. He surprised her with the small town band who played music that the neighbors danced to. We even got to have some champagne! I'm sure we would have never had an experience like this if we only stayed in the usual "tourist" parts of Italy."

Dennis

Coldstream, BC

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had not been to Italy before nor on a Rick Steves tour before. The tour was an excellent way to see the country. I knew about major tourist attractions, but your tour introduced me to things I had no idea exisited in Italy, the best preserved Greek temples in the world, the caves of the Sassis, for example.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Greek Temples at Paestum. It was such a site of beauty and serenity, the classic lines of the temples, the beauty of their construction and their marvellous state of preservation after 2500 years. I am still thinking about them."

Michael

Morton, IL

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Donato Chmura was an outstanding tour guide. He shared insights and a few meals with us. He went out his way to help us understand the different cites in Southern Italy. The local guides were very good as well. Some of the hotels had issues but nothing too major. The people on the tour were friendly and engaging. I certainly don't think that we could have done this on our own. Hats off to Donato and staff. Thanks Mike

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Matera was the most unique or wow moment, followed closely by the water buffalo farm. Matera was really interesting and our accommodations were great."

Robert

Danville, CA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third Rick Steves" tour and they just keep getting better. Our guide Donato was very informative and did a fantastic job introducing Southern Italy to the group. The only negative for me was the hotel in Rome. The location was fantastic but we were on the third floor and both the furnishings (lack of lighting) and extremely low water pressure in the shower were not up to the standards of other accomodations we have seen both on this tour and the previous tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capri."

Cheryl

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was a nice blend of information and beautiful sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Matera."

Elizabeth

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What's not to love? Incredible food, destinations, guides...I knew that South Italy would be different than the Best of Italy tour, but I didn't expect it to be so full of ruins and great agricultural treasures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii. No, Matera. No, those orange-ricotta pastries. Actually, it was Francesca and Gaetano - the Rome and Pompeii guides. They challenged me to use my imagination and put myself back in the times of the places and see how it relates to us today."

Jodie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing with many wonderful surprises. I am so glad we went on this tour. A wonderful group of people to travel with, fantastic guides and breathtaking places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing Matera for the first time. I did not know anything about this city, but it became much anticipated as I learned more about it from Amanda, our guide. When the bus drove to the top of the ravine that allowed a stunning view of the town, it was like being transported out of time. Matera is hard to wrap your mind around, it is so unlike anything experienced before. And once in the city, wandering among the caves, grottoes and sassi, it captivated me from the start."

Jeff

Ft Lauderdale, FL

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having visited Italy before, we had very high expectations for this trip and were not disappointed. The guides for our tours of the Jewish Ghetto, various museums, Pompeii, and Matera where charismatic and engaging. The demonstrations for pasta, buffalo cheese and gelato making were fun and informative. The home-cooked meal in Sorrento was cozy and special. The rugged terrain made the transfer of our bags by porters a welcome treat. The fast pace allowed us to discover a great region!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing Matera for the first time, from the lookout point across the craggy ravine, was breathtaking. The panoramic view from high atop Capri was spectacular, but Matera was overwhelming. My vision of how the Sassi in Matera would look was dashed by the stark jumble of monochrome, stone structures clinging to the plunging walls of the crevasse. It was truly astonishing."

James

Lorton, VA

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This evaluation is for Jim and Wendy. This was our 7th tour with Rick Steves and easily met the high quality, value, educational experience, and fun that we have come to expect. After this tour, we want more of Southern Italy Of a minor note, Vieste was not as interesting as the other cities, but that reaction may be due to the rain and time of year. Beach resort towns out of season are rarely fun or exciting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera and the Sassi. We were awed by and unprepared for the drama and history associated with this world heritage site. Pompeii was everything we had imagined it to be and our guide, Gaetano, made it a memorable experience. I would have enjoyed more time here and recommend that some of the time in Sorrento be directed to Pompeii. The chair lift from Anacapri to the top of the island is not to be missed. As always, too many wow's."

Adele

Hartland, WI

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amanda was terrific. The folks in the group were great. We did a lot of things that were extra special and the group mixed very well. Thenplaces we visited were of onterest and the history was excellent. Will do anothwer trip with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The caves in Mantera. Along with the dinner at the family home."

Ann

Germantown, TN

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was "top drawer". Amanda is an over the top tour guide - she was superbly knowledgeable with regard every aspect of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I remained perpetually "wowed" throughout the trip; however, my favorite was the visit to the amazing water buffalo farm and the wonderful lunch we had there!!!"

Lorraine

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been to Italy a number of times but this tour took me to places I'd never been before. Each destination was a wonderful discovery. It was such a nice mix of free time, tour time, and, of course, eating time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably when I first saw Matera. What an incredibly unique city."

Albert

Palmer, MA

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

overall the tour was not the best tour that I been on. the previous tours with Rick Steves were much more merable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there was not a wow moment for me"

Carol

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several Wow moments: 1. water buffalo mozarella farm (fabulous lunch) 2. visiting the grottos of vieste 3. pompeii with Gaetano (3rd generation guide) 4. wine tasting with Gino in Alberbello... what delicious food 5. dinner with the family of Luiji and Theresa, her cousin, their son and daughter in law."

Teresa

San Anselmo, CA

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Let me say that this tour absolutely exceeded my expectations. The hotels were perfectly located and in some cases were mind-blowing (Matera) and with outstanding views (Positano). The entire tour mechanics were well organized, even with potty breaks on our longer bus rides to ease the stress of bodily functions. (This was my biggest concern prior to the tour.) Our tour director, Ann Long, was well suited to lead and she ensured that we arrived on time to each milestone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a "wow" moment every day! But there is one that stands out. The bus was approaching the village of Matera in Southern Italy. We took a side road so we could see the village from across the valley. We stepped off the bus and the sun was setting. The light was low and the magical village stood illuminated. That small effort to see the village from a distance after a long day on the road was almost a spiritual experience!"

Stephanie

Poland, OH

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's Tour and it was as great as our first. Our guide, Ann, was great. She was available for info or help but she also helped us venture out on our own. Most of the accommodations were great, our group was full of interesting, fun people, we had some great food and wine and we saw things that boggled our minds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really looking forward to seeing Matera and when we approached the city, Ann told us we had time for a surprise. She took us to a great look out across the gorge from Matera's caves. Wow!"

Sharon

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 09/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. it was extremely well organized, efficient, informational and loads of fun. Everyday was a new adventure and the other members of the group were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one since the entire trip was delightful. I really liked the boat ride up the Amalfi Coast with Ann commenting on the different sites, watch towers etc. The water buffalo farm was really interesting and the lunch was delicious."

Elizabeth

Moraga, CA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it. The local guides, as usual, were excellent and helped to make the trip so informative. The group was great. Our guide was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a couple of wow moments. One was visiting Pompeii. The guide was fabulous. He really made you "see" Pompeii. The other was riding the chair lift to the top of the isle of Capri."

Sherry

Brentwood, CA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. There were so many special experiences, woven into the 13 days, that a person certainly would not be able to do on their own. It was a great variety of big cites, small towns, and historic sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick out one moment from a tour full of so many special activities. If I had to choose one, I would have to say the tour of Rome with local guide Francesca. She was an absolutely awesome representative of her city. I also was very moved by the statues in the Capella Sansevero in Naples. As I tell people about my trip, I find that there were so many "little" fun moments. It really is a great tour."

Celes

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour covered everything we wanted to see and more. The early mornings and long days were necessary to cover the distances. We enjoyed not having to make all of the logistical arrangements that we usually do when we car trip by ourselves. Our group of "seasoned" travelers was friendly, helpful & fun. We have traveled all over the world on our own but will consider a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose just one. Each place had it's own unique moment."

Adrienne

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the tour, but felt it didn't allow for enough free time and exploring on our own. It was quite strenuous for me personally. I thought maybe one less stop with an extra day in a few spots might have done the trick. I didn't love the early mornings and the long bus rides. I felt almost whole days were lost on the bus, and that we only had one full day in several places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely fell in love with our tour guide, Francesca, in Rome. She was so sincere and her tour showed exactly how much she loved Roma and Italia. She definitely moved me to tears a few times and she herself was quite moved. The Jewish Ghetto was fascinating."

Sandra

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour went smoothly--in part due to the guide Donneto. He worked very hard on our behalf, I thought. The itinerary was well planned for variety and some peak moments like the Isle of Capri day. The people were congenial on the tour and that made it pleasant as well. Maybe the most impressive strength of the rick steves' tour is the quality of the local guides. Francesca, Gaetano, Pina,...they are the best of the best and they deserve accolades and good compensation. Very passionate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I so much loved the hotel in Matera and the spa center downstairs in particular. It was necessary and a real pleasure to spent time in the pool, spa, and just unwinding. It was just so aesthetically pleasing but also genuinely thereapeutic in the pool and spa area. I really loved the hotel all the way around--the Best! The Amalfi Coast was stunning and boat rides were certainly fun and special activities."

Kirsten

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A wonderful tour with high points throughout. Amazing how much one can see of Rome in a day, especially with a truly excellent guide. Such a variety of experiences: historical sites (Pompeii, Paestum); fascinating small towns (Vieste, Matera, Alberobello); incredible, though scary, drives along the Amalfi coast; good food; congenial and interested company. RS guide was excellent and ensured that we had some knowledge of places and their history or significance. A most worthwhile trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several such moments but Pompeii and then the visit to the archaeological museum in Naples to see the artifacts from that city combined for a very special highlight. Paestum on a gorgeously sunny day was also impressive."

John

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled in Italy previously, both 'by our wits' and with a 'Rick tour'. We've enjoyed both methods but given that this tour took us to the edge of Italy we were very glad for the comfort and security of an organized tour. The tour members were delightful companions and my only complaint would be that were having so much fun...I didn't get much sleep. The South Italy Tour really is a physically demanding experience but proper utilization of the 'rest days' helped me to catch my breath.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous "WOW" moments on this trip. -Anacapri was wonderful, calm and lovely. The chair lift to the top of the Island afforded once in a life time views. -Swimming at a private beach 5 min from the dock at Positano. The water was spectacularly clear. Perfect temp for swimming and the beach was clean with a nice restaurant. -The Sassi at Matera were magical. The Thermae in our hotel was like being in a dream. -Napoli is controlled chaos. I have a new found respect for Italian drivers."

Leslie

Pickerington, OH

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall tour experience was very good. This was our second tour with Rick Steves and we really like the format. We appreciate the activity level, the amount of arranged and on your own time and we really love the fact that tickets are purchased, transportation arranged and that the daily itinerary is in place. Makes travel in a country where you don't speak the language much easier.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Veiled Christ in San Severo Chapel. I was totally not expecting the beauty of it."

Shelia

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THE WONDERFUL DAYS I HAD IN ITALY WITH ANN AS GUIDE. THIS WAS MY FIRST RICK STEVES' TOUR, AND FIRST EXPERIENCE IN A TOUR OF ANY KIND. ANY DOUBTS I HAD ABOUT THE TIME MANAGEMENT, THE MEALS, THE COMERADERIE AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE TOUR, WERE PUT AWAY AND I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE WHOLE ADVENTURE. MY HUSBAND AND I COULD NEVER HAVE MANAGED OUR TIME AND THE PLACES WE SAW WITHOUT THE TOUR, AND ANN MADE IT ALL COME ALIVE AND IT WAS AS IF WE BECAME A FAMILY.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"OUR ARRIVAL IN SORRENTO AND THE MUSIC FROM SENORE FLORIANO STINGA'S ACCORDIAN IN THE BACKGROUND AS WE GAZED ACCROSS AN ANCIENT ROCK WALL AT THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA. PURE MAGIC, ITALIAN STYLE! THE FAMILY DINNER AT LUIGI AND THERESA'S BEAUTIFUL HOME. THE LATE AFTERNOON LUNCHEON AT THE BUFFALO FARM. A WALK ALL BY MYSELF IN POSTEUM, LOOKING AT THE TEMPLES, SOAKING IN THE ATMOSPHERE. SO MANY MOMENTS, IT'S TOO HARD TO CHOOSE."

Winston

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we could not have asked for more. The organization of the tour was fantastic, with hotels and transportation always ready and as advertised. The tour was kept on pace by following a friendly but no-nonsense policy of allowing no stragglers to affect the group. This allowed all of us to maximize our adventure. In addition, our guide Ann made certain we were familiar with each new town then encouraged us to get out and explore more on our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The thing that struck me most was the takeoff on the flight home, seeing, as we climbed into the azure sky, spread below the wing and engine the tan and beige city of Napoli climbing the side of blue Vesuvius - that view captured the amazement I felt at having been there, of being immersed in a culture for two weeks, of seeing incredible sights, speaking broken but understandable Italian with locals, enjoying dining unparalleled and sampling wonderful local wines in each new territory visited."

Gary

Longview, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, Ann Long is the perfect guide: she kept the group informed, on the move and cohesive. She was the highlight of the tour. Don't lose her! Second, the Southern Italy tour is a must see for people who want to see outstanding places that they have never heard of. If it is possible, you should try to break the long travel days up. Most of the people on the tour mentioned the long bus days. Even with the detours we had to take, we arrived at reasonable times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Matera. Another day there with a museum and church tour would suit many people."

Patricia

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First trip with RS company...hooked...the organization,areas visited,accommodations outstanding. the tours of each area where extremely interesting and thought provoking . Loved the food and wine Bus rides easy,sometimes long but that was to be expected. Great people to share the adventure with also

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to say because each day we said, "it cannot get any better than..." but push to shove the private boat ride with group along the Amalfi coast.. ah, but then the boat trip in Viesta into the grottos, ah then the caves of Matera,drinking wine watching the sun set at Brunos in Positano.....I could go on and on"

Bart

Point Roberts, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steve's tour and we loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Loved the Water Buffalo farm. Tour and lunch were awesome. Loved Positano. The hotel was in a great location. Matera was great. Favorite hotel room, by far! Loved staying in a cave room. Enjoyed the pool, too! Enjoyed the dinner at a local home near Sorrento, too."

Rosanna

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well where do I begin? Ann Long was our guide and she was very good - she was not overbearing but she kept the schedule and made good decisions for us.. We don't care much for early departures, (those before 9am) even though we know it is necessary to follow the program, but still - WE ARE ON VACATION so it would be nice if we didn't have to be getting up so early.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 'wow' moment was more than once! Vieste was the first - lovely little place and the water trip to the grottos was excellent! Matera was next...I'd never imagined the SASSI as a place to stay but it was perfectly fine. The whole city was quite an amazing sight. Alberobello.. also a sight I'd never seen before - all the TRULLIS. The lunch we had there was out-of-this-world! Fantastic choice. The water buffalo farm was another WOW....and the lunch!! AMALFI AREA....spectacular!!"

Lynelle

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our tenth RS tour. By far Ann Was one of the best guides we have had. The extra details and her pleasant attitude was above. From the extra private boat ride along the Amalie coast that she guided and gave us so much information to being in her hometown of Sorrento and her knowledge and help knowing all its extras. We truly enjoyed all of the tour and especially the family dinner in Sorrento that was over and above,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wows! Totally enjoyed Positano, Amalfi town, Matera and Vieste. We had great weather which made everything so much more enjoyable. Definitely enjoyed Pompeii and seeing it first hand. The guided tour with Francesca was also top notch, as we have had her as a guide several times before! Really enjoyed the new details we obtained on that tour of a completely new area of Rome we had not done before. The whole tour each town had a wow. Very much enjoyed the grotto boat ride in Vieste."

Mary Ann

Sunderland, MD

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Entire trip was one WOW moment after another. Thoroughly enjoyed Rome. Hadrian's Villa is so impressive. Vieste is beautiful, charming, could have stayed for days. Loved the boat ride into the grottoes. The visit to the water buffalo was special; we're envious of their "spa." Amalfi Coast, as always, is spectacular! Positano and Sorrento are beautiful. Boat ride down coast was new for us & great to see the contrasts among the layers. Naples' Museum of Archeology was phenomenal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had more than one WOW moment. Number one is Matera for its remarkable caves, where people lived until just recently. The entire area is so picturesque! No wonder movies are made here. Another WOW moment was Alberobello and the Tulli homes. What a great way to avoid taxes! And Paestum for its beautiful Greek temples. We are so glad we took a side trip to Herculaneum during free time. What an interesting contrast to Pompeii."

Michele

Longview, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THE TOUR AND THE GUIDE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BETTER. I FELT EVERYTHING WAS VERY WELL PLANNED.

Marie

Sedona, AZ

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd trip to Italy and the 1st time in the south. The trip really helped round out my knowledge of the country and it's people, as well as add so much to my knowledge of the history, which came alive at the sites we visited. I was disappointed in the Amalfi coast and it's busyness. I should have been there 10 years ago at least! However, Sorrento gave me the peaceful feeling I was looking for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd say going into the grottos on the Gargano coast did it for me. I hadn't expected them, and kept waiting for the boat pilot to say "duck" before we entered. Sassi was an almost overwhelming place. I wish I would have gone in again, but time was so short. I'll bet entering the caves we could see on the far hillside would have been very moving."

Vicki

Towson, MD

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have been a Rick Steve disciple for almost 30 years and embrace his independent travel philosophy. I have traveled all over Europe with Rick as my virtual guide. This was my first tour as I did not wish to travel in Southern Italy alone. The tour was very well organized. We did so many different activities. A taste of both city and country life. I did not feel rushed (I have been here before) but I did not enjoy living out of a suitcase as we only stayed in each hotel for two nights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Francesca Caruso[INVALID]what a gem! Thoroughly enjoyed her tour in Rome. I appreciated her descriptions of the interweaving of architecture from vastly different periods. Fabulous. 2. The visit to Tenuta Vannulo, the buffalo farm and the amazing mozzarella and ricotta lunch. Yum! It was a real treat to eat these incredible products. 3. The boat trip along western coast of Puglia. Delightful morning. 4. The food of Puglia. Hotel Seggio in Vieste and the antipasti lunch in Alberobello."

Melanie

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know where to begin - I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip, with a host of new experiences and seeing a part of Italy less traveled by tourists. This was our fifth Rick Steves tour and as with the previous four, we found so much to enjoy, learning about people and places I'd never been aware of, as well as staying in smaller hotels and enjoying delicious food. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing it with our group of fellow travelers - it was a great bunch!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick just one. Some that stand out are the boat ride off Vieste (the bus trip there was pretty "wow", too!) with the stops into several lovely grottoes, seeing the Trulli houses, and visiting the Sassi area in Matera. I'd never known about the Sassi houses but now find myself wanting to learn more; it was a particularly enriching experience. Visiting Pompeii would be another "wow" experience, as well as our stay in Sorrento, enjoying the coastal view and the wonderful home-cooked dinner."

Richard

Gettysburg, PA

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The South Italy tour was fantastic! I saw sights, had experiences, and learned much more than I ever expected. Our guide Heidi, who had a detailed knowledge of the area and the language, did an outstanding job. The pace was just right with a good balance between organized tours and free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments to choose from. I think the first time I looked down on the Sassi in Matera it took my breath away. I never knew such a place existed. And I had no idea of how advanced the civilization of Pompeii was. The ruins of Peastum were impressive. The trulli houses of Alberobello were quaint. The beauty of the coastline, countryside, and works of art in the museums were all amazing. It really is difficult to pick out a single thing."

Leon

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be much more enjoyable than I had even expected. I enjoyed meeting and interacting with my fellow tour participants, and I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated our tour guide, Heidi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if I had a favorite "wow" moment, but I especially enjoyed visiting the Sassi, a place that I had never heard of, but one which left me with a true feeling of awe."

Julia

Gettysburg, PA

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this trip! Heidi was a terrific tour guide. I learned so much more than I expected about the culture and history of regions we visited. The scenery, the food, the excellent local tour guides, the wide variety of experiences, our fellow travel companions, all combined to make this a very memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was one after another "wow" moments on this tour. It's hard to choose a favorite. The one that touched me the most was the home cooked meal in Sorrento. What a joy to be so warmly welcomed into the home of Mamma Teresa and to get to know her family! It brought back childhood memories of large family dinners at my Italian grandparents' home. So much home cooked delicious food and personal attention. I didn't want the evening to end!"

Denise

Holliston, MA

Tour: 09/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour and again our expectations were exceeded. I loved the itinerary; I was introduced to parts of Italy I knew little about and also fulfilled a life long desire to visit Pompeii. I probably would have skipped Naples had I been on my own which would have been a mistake. We had a great group of fellow travelers and thoughtfully enjoyed sharing the food, wine and the ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We started with a high note with Francesca's tour in Rome;followed by - boat trip along the Gargano coast,the grottos, and wading into the Adriatic; first sight of the Sassi in Matera; the lemon grove in the middle of Sorrento and a lemoncello taste; first sight of Vesuvius and then visiting Pompeii. Being able to stay & explore Pompeii after the tour and return on the train at our leisure was awesome. Oh, and the cloisters and Cappella Sansevero in Naples."

Bill

Haymarket, VA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another fantastic tour! Can't say enough good things about our fantastic tour guide Nina. She made the tour so interesting and added so much to our experience. Her knowledge, enthusiasm, positive attitude and leadership contributed to a great experience for all. We heartily subscribe to the Rick Steves philosophy of touring and really enjoy the experiences we had. We definitely will tour with you again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from but have to say seeing Pompeii with our local guide really made the most WOW moment for me. Hw really brought the city to life with his descriptions of the forum, housing and baths. Seeing ti helped me to really understand so much better what the Romans had accomplished."

Kathleen

Riverside, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the coast at night from Positano is permanently imprinted on my brain. The best time of the tour for me was our hike on our own down from Ravello to Amalfi."

Richard

Riverside, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful adventure shared with many new friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day off on the Almifi coast, when we took a boat from Positino to Almalfi and then a bus to Rogollio, a beautifully quiet Italian village. Then a beautiful afternoon walk down from Rogollio to the town of Almafi. The path wanders down the mountains, through gardens and small orchards, always looking down on the the crystal blue sea. And then of course we had some wine and a snack to celebrate! It is Italy after all!"

Fran

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

THE BEAUTIFUL: NINA BERNADINO IS A FIRECRACKER WHO COULD BRING A TOUR OF THE MORGUE TO LIFE. THE GOOD: TWO-NIGHT STOPS AT ALL ITINERARY DESTINATIONS. THE BAD: ROME - RESIDENTS AND VISITORS NO LONGER DO AS THE ROMANS DID. THE UGLY: ISLE OF CAPRI (OPTIONAL ACTIVITY) EPITOMIZES EVERYTHING THAT THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLER WANTS TO AVOID.

Marcia

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time seeing a part of Italy I had not seen before. the Amalfi Coast was high on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. I loved going to the Gargano Coast because it was a part of Italy that I was not aware of. Overall the tour was great. Nina did a fabulous job. She was very knowledgeable and pleasant. The fact that she clearly loves Italy made the trip even more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a "wow" so it's hard to choose. Pompei was amazing and, when coupled with visiting the Naples Archaeological Museum, I was blown away."

Diana

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wasn't sure if a Rick Steve's tour would be for us, even though I like his show and his sentiments on traveling. Well, It was pretty near perfect and designed to immerse us to the best of what South Italy has to offer with a variety of things that most people would not get to do or choose to do even though they would end up loving it. The small travel group was perfect as we got to know everyone on the trip and forge nice relationships. All tix and transpo was taken care of - big +.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local tour guides specific to the places and activities provided were excellent - informed and passionate. Francesca in Rome is the best tour guide I have ever had and would go anywhere with her. She breathed life into the Capitoline museum and left us speechless and teary-eyed. We all really loved Positano also and should have stayed there for our free day rather than head to Amalfi town, but hey now we know and will go back! Matera hotel in cave was awesome."

Nanette

Reading, MA

Tour: 09/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic! It was a second Rick Steves' Tour (first 2010 - Italy 9 days). I enjoyed the sites and traveling to the different towns and villages - always something new. The tour size (18 people) was perfect and I got to know and make friends while traveling. The excellent and experienced tour guide took all the hassle out of traveling in a foreign country so I could relax and enjoy my vacation - priceless!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought Pompeii was fascinating and was intrigued by Roman culture and lifestyle of the people living there. The local guide did a great job describing every day life in Pompeii (before and after eruption) as we walked throughout the existing ruins. I will be doing some further research on this back home!"

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

small congenial group- Guide was professional, knowledgeable and personable. Could not have seen or done half of what we accomplished in the time allotted. WE saw several other large cattle herds of tours and all the time they wasted with logistics- such a pity. Hotels except the last one in Naples were lean, comfortable and intimate giving us a better idea of really being part of the area. Last hotel in Naples was a sick building many of us had allergic reactions tot he mold in the airc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many- I every day went to bed tired and amazed at all of the beautify, history and wonderful people that I'd seen or met that day. every local guide was fantastic- really made their speciality come alive for our group."

Joseph

Mississauga, ON

Tour: 09/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, plenty of interesting places and activities with group or individual participation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments hard to say one that stands out from the others."

Ann

Bonita Springs, FL

Tour: 09/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was ALL the best. Loved the fact that there were 18 of us. We were very compatible and have made life-long friendships as a result of the tour. Don was great and always helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Matera was outstanding, altho, I loved all of the tour."

Retha

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my dream of a lifetime. It was magnifico!! So much and so rich. I was able to talk with locals enough to order food, say thank you, and feel comfortable with new experiences. During a bus tour around Amalfi, my foot had gotten trapped in the side door when the bus driver opened it suddenly. I yelled, "Aiuto, aiuto!" the Italian word for "help", until the bus driver opened the door. My foot was okay, but I was glad I learned that much Italian!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many every day! The morning after I arrived in Rome, I visited the Orto Botanico, just blocks from the hotel, providing a peaceful reprieve after traveling from US. Hadrian's Villa was a welcome treat after Rome, along with cicadas and country air. The boat ride around Capri, the chair-lift excursion up to Anacapri; the Naples National Archaeological Museum; chaotic Naples. The charm of Matera and Amalfi. The dinner at a home outside Sorrento."

Colleen

University Place, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomasso was a perfect tour guide for Southern Italy. He loves Italy and made us love it, too. The local guides were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first glimpse of the Sassi in Matera. We entered another world."

Kathleen

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It would help if this tour ended in Rome as connections out of Naples are not as good. Traveling to Rome by train to leave from there just extends your day too much. Also think too much time is spent on the bus the first week. Would have like to stayed at least one more day in Positano and Sorrento. If you choose to go to Capri for the day than not much time is spent in Sorrento. Maybe the Pompeii outing could go out of Naples since there is not as much to see or do there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Amalfie Coast for the first time. It was everything expected and more!"

Christine

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was absolutely fantastic! A wonderful group of fellow travelers, incredible sights, just enough down time, great food, and Tomamaso, our guide, who made the entire trip extra special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's so hard to choose just one! The group lunches and dinners, the visit to the buffalo farm, the walking tour of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome with our Francesca (our guide), the boat rides, the cheeses ... #1 - most memorable is MATERA - such a unique hotel in an incredible and fascinating town."

Joyce

Bonney Lake, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had so many varied experiences on the trip that there was fun every day! Tomasso was a wonderful tour guide who added a whole new level to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment is when we arrived at Matera and went to the overlook of the Sassi houses. It was the most beautiful sight I can remember ever seeing. Then when Tomasso told us we would be staying in one of the cave houses we were seeing, I was amazed. It was a wonderful town, hotel and we so enjoyed the spa in the cave hotel."

Sandra

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sassi in Matera"

Donna

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. We had high expectations because three of my siblings and their spouses have toured several times. The tour far exceeded our expectations. Thirteen days was the perfect amount of time. So much was packed into it, but there was still time to catch our breath. We saw and experienced things that we never knew existed. Our tour guide, Tommaso, was personable and informative and had so much to add.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. I guess I'll pick the cave hotel in Matera. We walked around the area for several hours, imagining how the people used to live. It was like being in another world."

Patricia

Ft Myers, FL

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

loved our tour guide Tommaso and all the guides... particularly Franchesca in Rome... tour was great... hotels fine... our last one in Naples had poor A/C...food and education about food wonderful...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Did private tour with 7 others to Capril... great day..."

Ted

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great sites, especially Matera, Pompoii & Capri. Very nice tour mates; no grumps or whiners. Hotel locations were excellent; hotel quality not so much. Included dinners were fun socially, especially the family dinner in Sorrento. Including the wine in the tour cost on an Italian tour was brilliant! Didn't like Naples; better would be another day in Sorrento or shorten the tour by one day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capri. We took the private boat tour (13 people) around the island and it was great. Those that focused just on the Blue Grotto really lost out as there is way more to see that is more impressive all around the island. Seven of us stuck together and took cabs from/to Marina Piccolo - Anacapri (ski lift). Your suggestions regarding the bus is economical but many times impractical as they are so crowded you can't get on and waste a lot of our precious, limited time just standing there waiting."

Jerry

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time, this was our second Rick Steves tour and both were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had about 10 of them. The entire tour was well planned and executed."

Dominic

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a cable car up the mountain on Capri."

Gary

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th R.S. Tour. Our 4th trip to Italy. I can only say that my wife and I once again had a wonderful trip with 2 wonderful guides, Mari & Caterina, and an absolutely great group. We went a day early and that is always a good idea. We stayed in Naples 2 additional days. A number of people had said negative things about Naples but we had a great visit there. Plus the people in our last hotel were always so helpful and nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really liked Vieste & pompeii. We loved it all."

Steven

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was wonderful. Best bang for your dollar when it comes to covering so many different areas in just one tour from ancient history, culinary adventures, world class museums, quaint towns, etc. The Amalfi coast was a disappointment due to cruise ships. Rick Steves' guidebook makes it sound as if it is easy to get around but the bus system was overwhelmed during our visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While a visit to Pompeii was a big reason why I signed up for this particular tour, I think Paestum was a bigger "wow" moment and just how well preserved the Greek ruins were there. It was an unexpected "wow" which are the best kinds. Matera was also memorable because of the story it tells. Off the beaten path but well worth a visit. I would also be remiss not to mention the visit to the Sansevero Chapel Museum and it's collection of statues."

Ingrid

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fun and educational. We visited places we would never have chosen on our own but thoroughly enjoyed. Accommodations were well located and comfort- able. We very much liked our fellow travelers. Local guides and events were great. Our tour guides were responsive to everyone's needs and we learned some valuable Italian hand signals from Mari while in transit on the bus. The group would have been more manageable if smaller and not tardy to meetings for events which cost us time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one. Four of us hired a private boat tour of the Amalfi coast. Dario spoke great English and told us about all the little towns and pointed out houses of note along the way. Then there was the chair lift ride to the top of Anacapri. What a view!! Let's not forget the pizza, pizza, pizza!!"

Maria

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves tour with my husband. We had such a wonderful time earlier this year during our one week Paris tour that we decided to book another tour with our 3 children. Our oldest 2 sons just graduated from college and high school (ages 20 and 18) and our daughter is 13 years old. We wanted this to be their graduation gift, and we did enjoy our time together as a family. This trip had its ups and downs. The itinerary for the most part was very good and well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite wow moment was probably when we rode the chair lift on the island of Capri up to the summit and saw the breathtaking views. The Pompeii tour was another "wow" moment seeing the evidence of everyday life 2000 years ago frozen in time. It was both fun and educational for our entire family, running through the ancient streets at dusk after the official tour ended."

Mary

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I chose this tour because it travelled to places that would be hard to access on my own. The two guides were great and the people I travelled with were friendly and pleasant to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Pompeii! Matera was wonderful and the hotel was really interesting, the breakfast room was hewn out of rock and my room had a barrel vaulted ceiling, also best bathroom on the trip ;) Loved the hotel in Vieste with a great salt water pool and a private beach!"

Mary

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves and it more than exceeded our expectations. The hotels were great, the food divine, most breakfasts were good. I loved the unique places and situations we experienced, and the guide was very good preparing, helping, and advising. I would recommend his tours and hope to do another one soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had way more than one "wow" moment, but the favorite hotel was in Vieste, my "wow" city was Matera, and the fun "wow" was the buffalo farm near Paestum."

Loren

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour kept us moving from day to night. It showed us places and sights that were outstanding. The guide was very good but we felt could have been a little more connected with the tour members. The hotels were all located in areas that gave us the most time to explore the city. The hotels were generally very good. The food was outstanding and there was certainly more than we could possible eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment from the tour was visiting the town of Matera. It was amazing to see the ancient stone dwellings build around caves. We stayed in one of the cave rooms which added to the experience."

Maryann

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As we had taken the tour of the northern part of Italy last fall, we decided to take this tour to experience the rest of this wonderful country. There were many extraordinary things to see and do on this tour and the size of the group, (16) was the ideal size. That said, we were a little disappointed with the leadership of this tour. Alfio, was very pleasant one-on-one, but often seemed detached and distracted from the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Pompei and the guide was wonderful. He was so passionate about the place and made it so very interesting to see and hear the history. The 'family meal' in Sorrento was great. The folks there were so friendly to us and welcoming, it really was like going to visit relatives. that meal and lunch at the water buffalo farm were the food highlights."

Richard

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a most enjoyable tour. We had a cohesive group of 16 with lots of camaraderie. The guide could not be beat. The tour included a nice sampling of southern Italian sites and the food was excellent. I would like to have ventured a bit farther down the heal: Ostuni, Brindisi,and Lecce.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lived in Puglia for some months in the 1980's I pretty much knew what to expect. I did find Matera a great surprise."

Ann

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great feel of the scope of southern Italy. tour guide Alfio did a great job.good balance of planned time and free time. I really enjoyed local guides and the planned activities. great group

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick out one thing, but Pompeii was amazing and better than I expected. the home dinner in Sorrento was a wonderful treat"

Phillip

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything was very well organized and ran very smoothly. Our guide was excellent and we always felt that he was available to help us solve any problems we might have. The accomendations were all very nice and appropriate. My wife and I did feel that at the hotel in Rome the desk personelle were not very concerned with our needs. (My wallet was stollen on the way from the airport to the hotel prior to the tour starting and the desk clerk basically shrugged his shoulders)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Matera."

Judith

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful from start to finish...good weather, great companions, terrific guide and memorable activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was bittersweet. It was walking to the hotel after our final dinner and stopping to look at the full moon over Naples Bay with 15 fun companions. A memorable end to our tour."

Edward

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We couldn't have asked for a better itinerary, guide, driver or group. Weather was unseasonably hot by about 10 degrees but can't do anything that, better hot and dry than cold and wet. This was our 7th trip to Italy but first on a tour. If you can manage the stairs, long walks, uneven surfaces and vigorous schedule - this tour would be hard to beat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hotel room in Matera was in a cave (!) formerly occupied by the Sassi people and their animals. Now an elegant cave in a wonderful hotel with a spa, air conditioning, wifi, etc. Quite a treat."

Sara

Chocowinity, NC

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th RS tour, the 4th in Italy. I really enjoyed staying in Trastevere (felt like a village inside Rome) although the hotel was very noisy. Our group was congenial, not a grump among us and everyone was punctual. I loved seeing some places that the average Italy tour doesn't reach, such as Hadrian's Villa, Vieste, Matera, and the buffalo farm. I didn't think I'd be interested in the buffalo farm, but I found it fascinating--all those contented cows.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to claim 2: the drive east across the Appenines into the Gargagno Peninsula and the drive along the Amalfi coast. I live on the eastern coastal plain and mountains and curvy roads are always exciting to me! Kudos to the bus drivers who delivered us safely."

Bonnie

Croton On Hudson, NY

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful places to visit. A compatible group of people that added to the fun. Enjoyed the trip from start to finish

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Matera"

Sharon

Sausalito, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another good Rick Steve's tour. This was our 8th, so we know what to expect. We definitely appreciate not having to worry about travel or hotel arrangements and having guides, both tour and local, to highlight what we are seeing and help us learn how to negotiate in the local culture. An added plus for this tour was not having to carry bags to and from the hotel most of the time, due to the location of the hotels- a rare experience on a Rick Steve's tour but very much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The National Museum in Naples was a wow- to see all of the archival material from Pompeii after having seen the site was a treat. The grottos we saw on the boatride in Vieste were a wow too- we were all open-mouthed at how the boat negotiated into them. The bufala mozzarella farm was a highlight- really interesting to see and great lunch! We did Capri on our own and were very glad to have done so- it was wonderful."

Mike

Centennial, CO

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Southern Italy was not our first choice for this year's trip, but we got far more than we ever hoped for, and we are extremely glad it worked out the way it did. From the Jewish quarter in Rome to the museums of Naples, I was repeatedly surprised by the historical and cultural elements of the trip that I had never considered. And, as a geologist, I was blown away by the rocks I got to see up close. This was a trip I'll always remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "favorites" every day, but the Gargano Peninsula and Vieste were exhilarating, and the boat ride along the coast to the grottos was delightful. On the pure "fun" side, the visit to the bufalo mozzarella farm and hiking to the crater of Vesuvius were also very special."

Debbie

Lewes, DE

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was as described, and we were well taken care of, saw amazing places, enjoyed the company of like-minded individuals, and had wonderful experiences. My only constructive criticism would be to somehow have us arrive earlier in our new locations. Several times, we arrived about 7 pm at our hotel and left at 7 am the day after, literally giving us only one day to see, explore, and try to absorb the sights of these amazing places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We took an amazing boat ride from Positano to Amalfi. Great way to see the coast. We also took the 15-minute "stroll" to Atrani. Great views, but probably should be mentioned that the stroll involved going up hundreds of steps."

Rick

Sausalito, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Bus travel from Rome to Vieste was long but I don't see how that could be avoided and include the Italian east coast in the tour. In general, the tour was well organized and included sufficient free time to add in our own priorities. Learned a lot about southern Italy in the process.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch and tour of the buffalo mozzarella farm and dairy. Every aspect of the operation was mind boggling and the mozzarella in all its manifestations was outstanding, even the gelato. Don't know if I'll ever have as good an Insalata Caprese again, not even my own. Have to add a second "wow." The archaeological museum in Napoli with all the artifacts rescued from Pompeii and Herculaneum."

Mike

Lewes, DE

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, this tour easily met and often exceeded my expectations. The planning by the entire organization ensured that Murphy's Law manifested itself in only minor, usually funny ways, such as our march in a sudden drizzle to find the trulli in Alberobello. The logistic solutions to finding spaces to switch all of us to minibuses on the Amalfi Coast were a great case study in planning! Your drivers were superb throughout, but they really showed their skills along the Amalfi Coast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride from Positano to Amalfi--the scenes along a coastline with pastel and white buildings remain vivid im my memory, and the digital images I captured give us much to smile about whenever we look at them."

Kathleen

Martinez, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was enriching.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera"

Susan

Berkeley, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and I had high expectations. Our tour guide Susanna, was wonderful! She was very helpful, knowledgeable and energetic - just as a guide should be. We were very happy with the places we visited, happy with the hotel rooms, and happy with the group dinners. My main concern was we didn't have enough time to really explore each town we visited as much as I wanted. Our plan to stay an extra day in both Rome and Naples was a good idea for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but if I have to pick I would say the visit to the Mozerella Factory. Seeing the water buffaloes, and watching the making of cheese, as well as the fabulous lunch we had there, were a complete surprise to me. Not something I would have ever done on my own."

William

Chocowinity, NC

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all visits, the people, and the guides. Susannah was outstanding. Knowledgable, caring, sensitive to senior needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat ride to caves along Vieste coast."

Candace

Cattaraugus, NY

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! I know I never would have seen some of these places if it weren't for this tour. Great group... Great guide... Great experience... Great memories....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing snow on the Appenines MATERA...surreal, spooky, evocative emotionally Positano...gorgeous Sorrento...seeing Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples Naples...the world has been unfair in its treatment of Naples...it deserves a better reputation. I especially appreciated the National Museum. And of course Rome...and Francesca...what a combination!"

Ned

Grand Ledge, MI

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on this tour, our 4th RS. Everything went according to plan, the group was great, the weather perfect, absolutely no complaints whatsoever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our arrival on the Amlafi coast was jaw dropping! Our accommodations were great and vacation day in Positano was a highlight."

Fredrick

Berkeley, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall my tour experience was very good. Susanna, the local guides, our meals, the hotels, the transportation, the other group members... all were excellent. I have to say, I prefer travelling with just my family, so being part of a larger group detracted from my personal experience. Also, I found the 2-nights/city cadence too fast. I would prefer spending 3 nights and doing fewer stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having dinner with my wife at the Fish and Soul restaurant in the Marina Grande on our last night in Sorrento. The Italians are masters at cooking and romance!"

William

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The group was interesting and fun. the guide was excellent, the bus was comfortable, and the itinerary was a good mix of villages, busy tourist towns, big cities, and interesting side trips. Pompeii, Paestum and the Archaeological Museum were even better than anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several major highlights: Pompeii, Paestum and Hadrian's villa. I've always been interested in the history of ancient Rome and these visits were special. The beauty of the Amalfi coast and Capri. The home cooked dinner at Luigi and Teresa's (See below.) The Mozzarella di Bufala plant was very entertaining. (Especially the massage and milking process.) The ricotta was the best I've ever tasted."

Kathy

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose this tour because we had an outstanding experience on our 2007 Best of Italy in 17 Days tour. This tour was equally fantastic, seeing such a different part of Italy. We learned so much, Tommaso was a great guide and our tour mates were ideal - if you hand-picked a group to travel together, you could not have matched them better. We'll always remember the fun, food and laughs we shared.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? Impossible. The boat trip at Vieste was a highlight - the weather was perfect and the caves along the coast presented us with "magic moments." Viewing the Sassi at Matera and the Amalfi coast for the first time elicited "wows" from everyone. And Pompeii - enough said. And a personal "wow" - imagine my surprise when I discovered one of the tour members is a cousin to someone I worked with 18 years ago! You meet the greatest people on a Rick Steves tour!"

Joan

Canton, GA

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour ever but have traveled 6 times to Europe using the RS Guide for sites and hotels and always pleased with the results...but this trip tops them all. We did not know what to expect and now cannot say enough good about the experience. Our group was a great fit and enjoyed being together, each day brought us new highlights..and Larry did not have to drive and could enjoy the views with everyone else! Loved it and we want to do another tour soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Larry says it was when he realized what a great tour guide Tommaso was- mine hard to choose..but probably Pompeii since I had been wanting to see it since I read of ruins in Geographic Magazine during Jr High...also the chair lift ride at Capri, & the Amalfi Coastline drive."

Tod

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomaso was a fantastic guide. Next tripe is to Sicily for a home cooked meal prepared by his Mamma.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Home cooked meal."

Norma

Mcdonald, OH

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We choose Rick Steve Tours because we wanted to get "a taste of how the Italians live", and have some free time to explore on our own. We also were attracted to the limited-number groups. The tour met all of our expectations and then some, thanks to our guide Tommaso. We would highly recommend the tour to others. Your description of the walking difficulty and amount of walking was spot on. The one hotel that I thought was the least nice aesthetically gets a "10" because of the location!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything about the Gargano Peninsula and Amalfi Coast, espec-ially the boat cruise in Vieste! Favorite hotels included our stay at Matera (incredible indoor pool) and Positano (incredible view) along with spectacular rooms at both places. Favorite meal was the "home-cooked" meal that Tommaso was able to provide at the Del Giudice family home. It was such a special treat to sit down and break bread with and prepared by an Italian family...Bravo, Tommaso!"

Michael

Amherst, NY

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed most of the tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a "wow"... Every day i'd get up and see something amazing, thinking "this can't get any better",then the next day i'd get up and see something even more amazing."

Martha

Hendersonville, NC

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific experience.We had a wonderful guide in Tommaso,and we got to spend two weeks with a great group of people.We saw places that we not only would never have found on our own but had never heard of.The two weeks were over before we knew it.Tommaso handled everything very professionally and there were absolutely no problems.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for us was when we first saw the Sassi.It's as if we were stepping back in time."

Lynn

Amherst, NY

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour in Europe. It felt well - balanced with some city life, country life, rich and poor areas, mountains and bucolic pasture lands. The people we traveled with were very friendly, especially with my son. When ever we saw them out on the town, they'd invite us to sit with them. "There's the family!" he'd say with glee, if he saw them in a restaurant. We loved the active life on the tour and everyone, (aged 40 to 80) could "hoof it" up and down Medieval towns or across town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of our favorite "wow" moments was when we discovered that we were in a hotel that had an underground, heated, well-lit, 3 room swimming cave with a Jacuzzi. Within minutes, we threw our luggage in our room and grabbed the fluffy bathrobes and headed downstairs. Aaaahhhhh! also: The Trevi fountain -a dream come true! The Capri chair lift ride. Boat ride among the caves on the Gregano coast. The veiled Christ & the Vatican Home hosted meal- what fun! Fabulous museums in Naples."

Jerry

Keizer, OR

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been to Italy multiple times, but generally not south of Rome. Even our a Rome experience on this trip featured visits we had not experienced before. Throughout the mix of scheduled time versus free time was excellent. Our guide was enjoyable and very funny. The itinerary is excellent and we enjoyed combining this trip with the ten day Sicily tour. On this tour we had a total of 27 guests. Our other RS Tours only had 14 and 19 guests respectively....yes, we were spoiled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about Matera. The historic area, the hotel with the amazing underground pool lit in a soothing blue."

Jean

Fox Lake, IL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 4th Rick Steves tour: did Village Italy in 2008 with Paola as guide, Fausto driving the bus, and it was so great that I was afraid to try another one,for surely I would be disappointed. But in 2009 we did Ireland with Declan as guide, John driving bus,and it was also fabulous. Life got in the way until this year, and having done some of northern Italy, we wanted to try south. Again, you have it all planned out, finding places I never would have thought of going, another great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many[INVALID]walking out onto the balcony in Vieste and Positano and the view took my breath away. Matera, the Jewish ghetto in Rome, but I guess the best was the family who did the home cooked meal[INVALID]the house was amazing, the food was incredible and just kept coming, and the family was delightful, and it was an experience only a Rick Steve's tour could provide."

Jan

Oshawa, ON

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been on a travel tour before so I entered into this experience with some reservation. I needn't have worried. It was one of the best travel experiences I have had. The accommodations complete with some querks, food and travel buddies were excellent. Loved the guided tours included - I learned so much. I wouldn't have on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tours - Francesca - a gifted Rome tour guide (brought tears to my eyes), water buffalo farm visit, wine tasting experience, pasta and gelato demonstrations, ruins tours and commentary, locally hosted dinner - the best. I am not a 'foodie' so can't comment there although I ate ALOT! Great experience all around."

Alice

Fredonia, NY

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour experience allows a participant to fill their days with a wealth of experiences. The itinerary is very well planned, with a mix of traditional tourist experiences (museums, city tours), and more personal interactions with the culture (gelato demonstration, meal at an Italian home, lunch at the water buffalo farm, wine tasting). The knowledge of the tour guide helps a participant to effectively utilize their free time according to their personal interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was riding the chairlift on Capri. It whisked us away from the commercial surroundings to a beautiful natural environment. As we ascended, we were able to observe the local residents working in their gardens, take in the scents of the blossoms and the natural beauty of the environment."

Margaret

Moline, IL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another wonderful Rick Steves' tour:great guide, great group of people, incredible food and ,for the most part, good accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really limited it to only one. The Gargano Coast was wild and beautiful and in May not crowded at all. The Amalfi Coast was everything I had hoped for: beautiful and pristine. Most interesting was the Buffalo Mozzarella farm. A place where the cows themselves decide when to be massaged, showered, fed, milked or rested. In my next life I want to come back as a water buffalo cow!!"

Tom

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour director, very congenial group, mostly experienced Rick Steves travelers. Wide variety of towns and sights, good balance of bus travel and on site touring. Great food, great beds. Good mix of up and down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Grotto cruise off Vieste."

Victor

Surrey, BC

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was packed with wow moments and took us to spots that we would not have found on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spa at the Sassi hotel in Matera was very special. But so was the group dinner in Sorrento hosted by a local family. Terrific."

Nancy

Jamaica Plain, MA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been to Italy twice (including Rome) but saw parts of Italy every day this time (again including parts of Rome) we didn't even know existed. It was a whole new adventure, combining the ancient with the modern day. I feel we saw the "real" Italy: working class towns, the incredible story and sights of the caves in Matera, the NYC vibe we got from Naples, the beautiful coastal areas, and meeting the people. Nina, our guide saw to it that we would feel comfortable with and using the languag

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even as fantastic as learning about the history of the Jews in Rome was, exploring the grottoes of Vieste, the wonderful tour of Pompeii, and the many spectacular coastal views, my major Wow moment was the caves of Matera (including our unique cave hotel room.) As a health care provider I remain astounded that people lived in such primitive conditions as found in 3rd world countries, but in mainstream Europe as late as 1952. I was also surprised at what a comfortable city I found Naples to be--so"

Patricia

Grand Blanc, MI

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour with wonderful people and a great tour guide(Nina.Wasn't to sure about going to the smaller cities like Vieste and Matera but they ended up being some of my favorite highlights. We were well taken care of and could have used Nina on that last day when we were on our own and got caught up in a train strike in Rome. We got through it but it certainly appreciated Nina more because of what we went through.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat tour in Vieste was really unexpected. The caves were spectacular."

John

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Vieste was the high point for me. It incorporated all the aspects of a Italian coastal town. That was followed by the 'must sees' that a tour of Italy expects to see. I was surprised by Naples. I think that because of all of the time we spent walking the streets, my lasting impression of Italy will be mostly of Naples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views and impressions of Vieste were stuff from a travel film."

Mary

Centreville, VA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide (Nina). Loved the itinerary. Especially loved Vieste and Matera. The family dinner was a highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trip to Ravello from Positano, the grottos in Vieste and all of the Matera experience."

Marcia

Sequim, WA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip ever! It was fun bonding with the group. I learned a lot about Italian history and customs and I am inspired to learn more. I saw many wonderful sights, experienced staying in unique hotels, had an amazing array of meals, and more. Nina, our guide, was wonderful and much of what she told us prepared us for some of the experiences with other guides. The experiences we had were not the kind we could have arranged for on our own. Hard to say goodbye to a nice new batch of friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will mention two. The visit to the water buffalo dairy farm was very intriguing. I grew up on a dairy farm and it was especially interesting to see the technological advances in use there. Sampling many of their products at a very special lunch was a real highlight. The other very special "wow" thing was having dinner at a private home in Sorrento. Amazing food, grown by the family, and camaraderie. It was great to visit with each other and with members of the family."

Peter

Jamaica Plain, MA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The two weeks in Southern Italy were a wonderful vacation. The Guide was fun, informative, insightful and full of suggestions for our free time. The stops and sights were varied and unique in their own ways. We did not very often find ourselves, even on the Amalfi Cost, swarmed in crowds of tourists. The group itself was lively and fun and people were enjoying themselves and each other. It was a very good experience, and very restful and relaxing despite its pace and activity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many very special moments. I was personally happiest with the side trip to Ravello, though the side trip to Herculaneum was a close second. The day relaxing in the ocean in Vieste was also a wonderful part of the trip."

Kevin

Centreville, VA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely superb. This was my second Rick Steves tour, and it did not disappoint. Nina was a fantastic guide. The tour group was great, and the sights wonderful. I particularly liked the local guides at the Jewish Ghetto (Francesca) and Pompei (Gaitano). As usual on a Rick Steves tour we got to do things that would be difficult on your own. e.g., family dinner, which was great, and some wonderful local hotels (Matera and Vieste).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many great moments, but my favorite would be Matera, which was not even on my radar. Standing on the edge of the ravine across from the Sassi, it looked like another world, and when you explored it, it seemed like another world. Definitely the highlight of my trip."

Doug

Woodland Hills, CA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was perfect - smart, fun, full of knowledge and a good speaker. The itinerary was well planned and she [INVALID]d the plan flawlessly. This, and the personalities of the members, made for a very fun group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many favorite moments: going into the first grotto on the boat trip in Vieste; discovering the caves and the culture in Matera; enjoying the best mozzarella I've ever tasted at the buffalo farm; the group dinner at Luigi's home in Sorrento; Nina's orientation walks; and Francesca's "tools" to better understand ancient art, sculpture and architecture."

Diana

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of this tour and all the wonderful people traveling with us. Everywhere we looked there was something breathtaking to take in. I enjoyed hearing the history of Italy as we were traveling along. Nina was a great tour guide and host. I was amazed at the cars, motorcycles and people all sharing the narrow streets and ally ways. I thought it was only in the movies where that happens. I thought our buddy system was fun and enjoyed our story time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn't believe the size of Pompeii and how much was actually preserved. I was surprised to see how advanced they were over 2,000 years ago. I couldn't believe that families were living in caves as late as the 1960's in Matera. I was also impressed my the family dinner. Great food and such a welcoming family. They really made you feel at home."

Charles

Riverside, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, smoothly operated, carefully planned. The hotels were intimate (except the one in Sorrento, but who cares?! Sorrento was wonderful and we went dancing with Caterina) quaint, charming, unique, and very interesting. Love all the different towns and sights we were introduced to. Museums, galleries, dinners, all just perfect to me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Positano as we drove in from Sorrento was breath-taking. Also, the surprise dinner with Teresa and her family in their home had to be high on my list. (Sant'aniella)"

Maureen

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My father was born in Southern Italy and immigrated to U.S. as a boy of 12. That and the fact that was this my first trip to Europe ever meant that my expectations and hopes for this trip were astronomically high. WOW! I was not disappointed! It was a highlight of my life. The hotels and where they were located in the cities were very, very lovely. The buses were comfortable and clean. Most of all there were so many opportunities to learn about this beautiful part of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the archeological museum and the Museo Capodimonte in Naples stand out as well as the seaside town of Vieste and the local food market there. Also the the trullis of Aperobello."

Tom

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was really good for me. I was surprised every day with new information about Southern Italy. Greek temples, olive oil, food, cities, were all brought to life by our wonderful guide Susanna. Yes. we were physically in Southern Italy, but, Susanna brought so much information to us, that it made for a very interesting and valuable learning experience. Susanna's approach to each day was that we were her main focus and her main concern.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were many, but the main one was the archeological museum in Naples showing items from Pompeii."

Nancy

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everyone on the tour and our guide was very up-beat and positive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Pompeii excavation!!!!"

Sandra

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been on five Rick Steves tours, and this was my favorite. The itinerary offered so many opportunities. Every day had surprises and adventures. Southern Italy is magnificent, of course, but Susanna and Caterina made the trip for me. They were genuine, knowledgeable, humorous, warm, and helpful. They built cultural bridges. Every day they gave 100% to make it a safe and memorable trip. My husband had a few health challenges on the trip, and they were concerned, helpful, and prepared.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one "wow" moment?!? I'm afraid I can't name just one. *the wine tasting with 24 appetizers *the dinner with an Italian family *free day to explore Capri *Positano - the hotel (beautiful tile floors, terraces, lovely breakfast room, the view, the view, the view)"

Pamela

Richland, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, memorable introduction to parts of S Italy that were new to us! We could never put this trip together on our own. Each destination provided much to see, learn and enjoy. Appreciated the introduction to each new area with both our personal tour leaders and a local English speaking guide followed by plenty of free time to explore independently. Time driving through scenic countryside/mountains equally enjoyable. Truly felt like a local each day! Exceptional tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day provided new,interesting experiences and glimpses of Italy's vast diversity making it difficult to single out one. Maybe that's the "wow"...that the tour exposed us to this diversity in food, scenery, culture, history, life styles, dialects, etc. that expanded our pre-tour perceptions of Italy."

Nancy

Riverside, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pure joy the whole time from increasing our historical knowledge, to seeing wonderful sights, & experiencing the culture. The pacing of the trip was nice - 2 days/location. The weather was a surprise, but it only added to the adventure & our fellow travelers were ALL great about embracing the unexpected. Best of all, we enjoyed all that was made available to us without having to coordinate and plan it. We did hoof it a bit, but that was expected & I think my haunches are better off for it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the sights, especially: how green it was driving from Hadrian's Villa to Vieste, with snow on the Apennines! ancient buildings and art; the Sassi in Matera; the Trulli houses; beautiful Positano Unexpected bonus was meeting a family & being guests at their home; & talking with teenagers coming home on the train after their day at chef school. Several times, some Italians thought my husband was Italian because in his attempts to speak Italian, he did a good enough job."

Joan

Goose Creek, SC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall tour was great but felt the group should have been smaller for this tour. Certain portions seemed very cramped for space. I also felt another day was needed at Positano, along the Amalfi Coast. We would like to experience both Capri and Amalfi but had to choose between them. We felt rushed at this point. When we landed in Rome, we took the train and the tram to our hotel....BAD experience. My husband, who was busy lugging 2 bags had his iphone stolen! Take taxi!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love Rome which we had visited before, but Pompeii and the museum in Naples were my WOW moments this trip! I had always dreamed of visiting Pompeii and was fascinated with everything."

Charles

Cary, NC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken 4 Rick Steves tours and the Southern Italy tour ranks among the best. We thoroughly enjoyed each location. The tour is well thought out and well paced while maximizing the travel experience. Our guides, Susanna and Caterina, were fantastic. Both are very knowledgeable, personable and eager to provide the tour members with a memorable experience. This is a great tour and we look forward to many more with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii! Each location on the tour is great and there were many WOW moments. Pompeii stands out. It is fascinating and our local guide, Gaetano, brought it all to life. He is passionate about his work and gave our group a good understanding of life in Pompeii centuries ago."

Tim

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, great towns and site selections to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip is a wow moment"

Alison

Beechwood, NSW

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never heard of Rick Steve's tours and came across it by accident when searching for Italy small group tours. I didn't know what to expect but took my chances and booked 2 tours. I loved it. I would never go back to a larger group tour again, and am looking forward to doing more Rick Steve tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had often heard of Pompeii, but seeing it and walking through the town was amazing."

Carrie

Cary, NC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompei"

Paul

Goose Creek, SC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was another great Rick Steves experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera is such an unbelievable place that you never hear about. Great pictures no matter where you took them.just a fascinating place."

Yvonne

Alhambra, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip very much. Susanna and Caterina were excellent guides: patient, kind, and knowledgeable. The hotel accommodations were clean and comfortable at every location we visited. The view of the Adriatic Sea in Vieste was breathtaking. We saw cities we didn't know existed, like Matera and the caves. Our visit to the Trulli Village and the Mozarella farm were fun and educational. My favorite was Sorrento and the gelato-making demonstration. Literally, what a treat! Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Matera and the tour of the caves was a real eye-opener. I would never have imagined such a place existed and it was such a contrast to the city of New Matera at the top of the hills. That people lived in these conditions in modern times was unbelievable."

Kay

Clancy, MT

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another wonderful Rick Steves' tour (my third)! I had a great Sister Reunion for our second Italy tour with Rick Steves' with memories of a lifetime.

Jim

Moscow, ID

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the variety of experiences we had on the tour such as the water buffalo farm, cave dwellings of Matera, boat ride along the coast line of the Gargano Peninsula and along the Amalfi coast. Also, having a number of local guides enhances the experience. We enjoyed the group meals--they exposed us to a variety of the local foods. It is nice to have some free time to explore things on our own--it is a nice change of pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the "Veiled Christ" at Cappella Sanseviro in Naples. I found myself repeatedly returning to gaze upon it. The pure beauty of the tiered villages along the coast lines. Seeing Mt. Vesuvius nearby, being aware of the damage it caused when it erupted (Pompeii). Seeing the stress free water buffalo farm--how everything is automatic--followed by a delicious mozzarella/ricotta meal."

Linda

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have always loved Italy, so getting to explore more of it was a special treat. Your tour took us to places we would never have seen on our own like Vieste and Matera. We loved the food, the wine, and the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on our balcony looking across at Positano the first afternoon and listening to the church bells was pretty "wow." I've always wanted to go there."

Douglas

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken 5 Rick Steves' Tours and this one may have been the best. The variety is wonderful with history, art, scenery, and Italian culture. Very nice mix of activities. This was a very congenial group of travelers also which made the experience quite enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano and it's natural setting was a Wow moment for sure. There is no coastal location quite like that."

Patricia

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour guide was excellent! We really appreciated the directions, and transportation, and interesting venues that were selected. I would have not likely gone to a water buffalo farm! The hotels were good except for the one in Rome (San Guiseppe)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the almafi coast, and the boat ride in vieste!"

Jennifer

Tauranga,

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is the largest tour group that we have travelled with (we usually either travel independently or in small groups (max. 12) so we were a little nervous about this one. However we thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the company of all the other people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to single out one thing but I enjoyed exploring the back streets of Sorrento and getting away from all the crowds. We did a lovely walk from Santa Agata in the hills above the town down a pathwayr into Sorrento. (Thanks to Ann for telling us about this walk). Also the dinner with a local family that evening was a highlight."

Chris

Tauranga,

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We are retired New Zealanders used to independent travel in unusual parts of the world and usually travel for 2 to 4 months each year. Because of time constraints we decided to use your tour of South Italy and were surprised to find that most tour members were around our age group and came from the NW of the States. We enjoyed their company, found that we had little to no baggage carrying requirement, had plenty of down-time, and surprisingly good and convenient level of accommodation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Sorrento. We are used to doing our own thing, so got on a local bus (standing room only) for the 5km trip up the mountainside to S Agatha village, had lunch in a local café, and then walked back down the convoluted footpath, amongst gorgeous hillside properties with magical views of Vesuvius constantly on the horizon"

Jane

Moraga, CA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On previous tours, I knew a lot about what I would see and where I would get a WOW moment, but on this tour, I really did not know a lot about what was in store for me, so there were many surprise WOWS along the way. BUT ABOUT THOSE SCOOTERS IN NAPLES1

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Following the above response, there were many WOWS adding up to one overall gigantic WOW. Vesuvius was a big one. The Veiled Christ was another. And oh, those Water Buffalo. And the Caves, We went to both Pompeii and Herculaneum and loved contrasting them. The museums in Naples were wonderful, as was the city itself. The temples at Paestum were awesome in their ancient splendor. We h ad a fabulous day exploring Rome on our own, and enjoyed the neighborhood where we stayed."

Wayne

Metairie, LA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Amalfi Coast Area"

Wai

Saratoga, CA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How does one respond to this when there was more like a five hundred and fifty wow moments on this tour. As one who lives near a world class coast, particularly loved the natural beauty of the coastal areas."

Debbie

Edinboro, PA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd RS tour, so we were very used to the routine and flow of the tours. I will admit, that this was probably the most strenuous of all three, maybe because we are older and/or because of the many inclines, hills, stairs of Southern Italy. But it was all good! As always, we had a great guide, and a great group of travel companions. The sights, towns and experience opportunities met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose my "moment" had to be the scenery as we drove along the Amalfi coast. It seemed one curve after another just kept bringing spectacular views through Positano, Sorrento, Naples."

Michele

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my already very high expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing all the churches of Matera ring their bells for vespers, while looking out of our hotel room window over this amazing town and feeling like I had gone back in time a thousand years. Amazing!"

Janice

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like I had been invited to a wonderful two-week-long party, hosted by our incomparable guide, Donald White! He gave us one memorable experience after another and kept everything smoothly flowing. I feel sure that we saw many aspects of Italy we would never have had the opportunity to see on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night, following a walking tour in Rome, we had a fabulous dinner complete with strolling musicians who serenaded us and involved some tour members in the musical presentation. I wondered how it could ever get any better, but many others followed: our memorable dinner at the home of Pasquale and Marisa, standing on the square and looking at the balcony where Mussolini made his WWII speeches, the breathtaking Amalfi coast, the goodbye finale party, etc."

Timothy

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know where to begin. This was our first Rick Steves tour. Our tour guide, Donald White was fantastic. We could not have asked for a better tour guide. The weather was perfect. The hotels were very comfortable. It was the perfect mixture of structured group tour time and independent unstructured time. It was also a delightful mix of big cities (Rome and Naples) and smaller, historic towns like Vieste, Matera and Alberobello. We will definitely be signing up for another Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride to and around the Isle of Capri, followed closely by just walking down the streets of Positano to the water front."

Katherine

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a grand time! We had an easy mix of group sightseeing and time on our own. Our guide had terrific and helpful suggestions about restaurants, how to order, transportation and directions. This tour balanced an amazing depth of history and an expansive collection of art and architecture with spectacular scenery and cultural experiences. This nice balance of experience and activity also enhanced the time getting to know our fellow travelers. What a super group who also chose this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many 'wows" to choose from. The day to Capri was pretty special. After the long days of walking to sight see all there is to see, Capri was like a vacation from the tour. The boat ride, the blue grotto, the chairlift to Mont Solero and the Krupp walk down to the boat were all wows and sharing all of that with people I had just spent more than week getting to know, admire, and enjoy really built that day into a 'wow', a not to miss day for me!"

Jim

Edinboro, PA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

""farewell dinner""

Brad

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group and Donald is finest kind....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera!"

Timothy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, well paced and well executed. I was initially expecting just to sit back and enjoy the physical beauty leading up to the Greek and Roman sites, but soon got caught up in the tremendous history of each place we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be Pompei coupled with the artifacts in the Naples Archeological Museum. We had done some study beforehand to refresh our knowledge. But the actual physical reality of the sites and unearthed treasures hit me right between the eyes. This was a very advanced culture."

Steven

North Providence, RI

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip overseas and I think a Rick Steves tour was a great way to do it. I could have done it cheaper by myself or with another tour, but there is no way I would have had so many different activities in fifteen days. And I still had two free days on the Amalfi Coast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough one. I think the view at sunset of the Sassi homes across the valley right outside my hotel room in Matera was simply breathtaking. This was a "wow" moment for me because it was so unexpected, compared to other great moments that were a little more predictable like the view of the Roman forum or museum exhibits or the mozzarella farm. (All of which I enjoyed immensely.)"

John

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our seventh Rick Steve tour and we thought it was excellent. The accomadations everywhere were very good as was the food . The group cohesiveness was superb which always helps to make a good trip great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were very fortunate to be in Positano on the day and evening when a local church celebrated Mary of the Rosary. There was a marching band that provided music as they carried a large statue of Mary up and down severl streets. There were fireworks and a local music group that provided music for street dancing and for attractive young people to do traditional folk dances. We participated in the street dancing. It was a very special "Wow" moment!"

Mary

West Linn, OR

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was comprised of more first time members than I have experienced before. The guide was very good with these people while not ignoring the rest of us. The tour was well managed - things happened as advertised and planned. We covered a lot of territory and the driver was skilled in getting us where we needed to be. We had great meals. Also, we had the right amount of free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the drive through the Gargano Peninsula to Vieste. But I would have to say that the wow moment was the trip to and the stay in Matera. I was so impressed to think that I was staying in a location that had been occupied continuously going back to the Stone Age. And I couldn't help but think of what life must have been for people living in the area without the plumbing and electricity."

Rosemary

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always the tour was wonderful. This was our 7th tour and they have all been great. This one seemed to be more demanding as there was little down time. Could be because I am getting older. Also, we covered lots of miles so some of the days were long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was great but, of course, there were somethings I liked better than others. I really liked Matera and the whole experience there. However, I must say my "wow" moment was in Positano. We were there for the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary and it was spectacular. The parade with the lifesize statue of Mary, the band playing, fireworks and then the party with dancing in the street. Quite a spectacular event. We were so lucky to be there for the celebration."

Catherine

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most of our wow moments occurred when we weren't on the tour (Borghese Gallery, Villa Cimbrone, Herculaneum, Solfetara, etc.)."

Peter

North Muskegon, MI

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was better than my expectations. My first tour but liked the format, the local guides and especialy our travel guide Susanna. Hotel and eating selections more than met our needs as did the coach.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought that the local guides all brought an intensity and knowledge of their areas so that ruins of Pompeii , the archeological museum, the tour of the Jewish getto, seemed to standout as wow moments."

Barbara

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rome and South Italy tour was excellent. Visits to Hadrian's Villa, Vieste, Alberobello, Matera, the Amalfi coast, Pompeii, and Naples were all fascinating. I am not a big fan of farm visits, but the water buffalo farm was terrific. I would have enjoyed more time touring in Rome (perhaps eliminating Positano or Sorrento). Meals and accommodations were great, and the bus driver was great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Pompeii was so enlightening, despite a drenching rain. Gaetano, the tour guide, gave a no nonsense tour, demonstrating how advanced the Romans were 2500+ years ago, socially and technologically. He put life in perspective for me, making me wonder more about how our society will look to descendents centuries hence (whether we are overcome by a volcano, massive earthquake, or disaster of our own making)."

Norbert

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and informative tour. Great guides. Plenty time to do our own thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cobble in doorway of his shop in Sieste."

Art

Double Oak, TX

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our first trip to Europe! We were very pleased with the overall experience but had some issues, mostly with hotel rooms: Rome no complaints, Vieste-room was very small but no other complaints, Matera-room was moldy and musty and my wife developed a sinus problem as a result, Positano-room extremely small, Sorento-room felt like it was in the dungeon, Naples-ok, but neither the TV nor the airconditioning worked, were told to leave the window open, also, the "breakfast room" was too small.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Pompeii but hated the crowds, absolutely loved the Sansevero chapel in Naples, a very good stop."

Donna

Stillwater, MN

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed a trip very, very, much. On the whole we had a fantastic group of people and we made many friends that we will continue to communicate with. In Vieste we boated along the coast and into grottos. In Alberobella we enjoyed the wine tasting and the Trulli houses. At the water buffalo farm, we had the special buffalo mozzarella and a special lemon cake for my birthday, to be enjoyed by all. We spent that evening in Positano. Exactly where I wanted to be for my birthday evening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera was our favorite. Knowing we were going to be in a "cave" hotel made us all a little apprehensive. However, our hotel was unusual and fantastic. I even purchased and carried one of the special lamps that were locally made and placed in our rooms. The view over the city, especially at night were beautiful. They had a special lighting of candles all over the city the second night for a festival they were having. It was as if it was done just for us."

Mike

Sooke, BC

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and executed. Donato made the tour fun and educational at the same time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the three Greek temples."

Kevin

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Casa San Giuseppe, Rome, was in a poor location. Hard to find. My taxi could not find it. Public transportation was not convenient. I stayed 3 days before the tour at the Best Western Royal Santina, Via Marsala, by Termimi Station. Transportation was excellent: Train from airport, Metro and many buses. This BW Hotel had a excellent breakfast (best in Italy) and a modern bathroom. Best tour hotel was Locanda di San Martino in Matera: unique cave room and pool. Ulisse in Sorrento very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1 Ruins of Pompei. #2 Vieste boat ride along the coast."

Judy

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Enjoyed Italy very much, definitely will go back someday! Glad we took a planned tour as I think we were exposed to so much more than we would have seen if we had done it independently. Saw some amazing sites and learned so much about their history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Amalfi coast was breathtaking, but the uniqueness of each small town was pretty "wow" too."

Michael

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very interesting, wonderful tour. We saw many sights just as scenic and interesting as other, more famous spots in Italy but without the crowds. And we ate very well along the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the old streets of Matera - it felt like being in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. (As Mel Gibson will agree!) Eating wonderful pizza in the Trastevere area of Rome. Riding a speedboat into a cave near Vieste with luminous blue water all around. And others..."

Jill

Redlands, CO

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nine was an excellent guide. Really brought us full circle in sharing the history lesson of who reigned and when and then to reach Naples and see the statues of each of those whom we had heard about for the past 12 days was well done! Accommodations were great, sights, additional guides....all great. Two days in each location was good. Walking in every location was enjoyed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history of Matera was defnitely a Wow moment. The buffalo mozarella farm truly unique and interesting...then the huge ruins at Pasteum!"

Rosemary

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never thought I would go on a "tour". I didn't want to be tied down to other traveler's agendas. How wrong I was! We saw and did things I never would have thought of doing. The group of people we traveled with were wonderful, friendly, funny and just a delight to travel with. Our guides, Tommaso and Rosa were exceptional. I would take another tour in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a "wow" moment in every city. Rome: Francesca guiding and giving us an historical tour of the Jewish ghetto. Very informative. Vieste: This was my favorite place. I loved the boat trip."

Roger

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was all I had hoped it would be. Was impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of both Tommaso and Rosa. Accomodations were actually better than I expected. I especially enjoyed the fact all our tour companions fully embraced the Rick Steves philosophy: NO WHINING.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Vieste and the boat tour of the limestone cliffs and grottos. I'd definitely recommend this tour over a visit to the crowded and overrated Blue Grotto. The only way I could see to improve this experience would be a chance to swim in one of the grottos."

Judy

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves trip and once again it was top notch! We really lucked out on this one because we had three guides! Heidi our main guide was assisted by Lisa and Ann both of whom are main guides as well and were on our trip to become more familiar with the new itinerary. All three are fluent in Italian and either still live in Italy or have lived there at some point. It was so interesting to have 3 story tellers and three perspectives on all aspects of life in Italy!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say since it all was awesome. I thought both Vieste (special pasta making an lunch were awesome as was the hotel and town) and Matera (wow, loved exploring the town and had the best gelato there) were really wonderful surprises and Positano was awesome especially our hotel and our view! Francesca's tour of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome was so heartfelt, it brought tears to our eyes."

Weather

Italy / Rome

Rome Weather


Italy / Naples

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.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Rome before your tour begins, use your Rick Steves' Italy guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Rome that we do not do as a group: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum.

Thinking of spending more time in Italy after the tour? From Naples you may want to make the trip up to the top of Mount Vesuvius; visit the impressive, ash-covered ruins of Herculaneum; you may even consider heading back south to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast; or train back up to Rome for more time exploring the Eternal City.

Transportation

Most 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. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). The most direct route is to fly into Rome and home from Naples. Rome and Naples are major transportation hubs, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy. You may also want to consider a roundtrip flight in and out of Rome; then traveling by train from Naples to Rome after the tour. You may save money on the flight, but you need to consider the cost of an additional night in Rome. Important: the train from Naples to Rome takes 70 minutes - two hours; therefore you need to avoid early morning flights (6-8 a.m.) out of Rome.

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

For information about traveling by train, read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a railpass. You can get a rough idea of costs from the above guide or in Rick Steves' Italy guidebook.

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.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

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.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there is one item you may wish to include when packing for this tour. This tour has several opportunities for swimming. You may want to pack a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.