• Rialto Bridge in Venice
  • Venetian Carnival Masks
  • Florence's Ponte Vecchio
  • Michelangelo's David in Florence
  • Wine Tasting in Umbria
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Rome's Piazza Navona
  • Colosseum in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days Tour

Rick Steves' Best of Venice, Florence & Rome tour begins with Venice's timeless St. Mark's Square and Basilica, then on to Michelangelo's stunning David and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and ends with Rome's Ancient Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. You'll also enjoy guided neighborhood walks, memorable meals and full-bodied Italian wines. Italy's three greatest cities are like fine gelato — why settle for just one flavor if you can get three scoops at once? Join us for the Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 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 Venice, Florence and Rome come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Venice backstreets walking tour • St. Mark's Square and Basilica tour (water level dependent) • Venice lagoon excursion • Accademia Art Museum tour • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence backstreets walking tour • Cooking class and lunch • Palazzo Davanzati tour • Umbrian wine tasting lunch • Rome orientation tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • Church of San Clemente tour • Pantheon • Vatican Museum • Sistine Chapel • St. Peter's Basilica • Evening walk through Rome's piazzas...and more
  • All group transportation between Venice, Florence and Rome
  • 9 nights accommodations (3 nights at each hotel) in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Italy guidebook, Italy Sightseeing Supplement, Italian phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • 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 Venice

We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our Venice hotel, deeply nestled amidst the canals, bridges and alleyways of this magical, preserved-in-amber city. After introductions, we'll set off on an orientation walk, and then enjoy getting acquainted over a traditional Venetian dinner together. Sleep in Venice (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Historic Venice

Our local guide will join us this morning for a historical walking tour, with a modern Venetian's-eye view, through the backstreets of Venice, ending with the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark's Basilica. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's remarkable past and its challenging future. Then it's all aboard for a cruise into Venice's lagoon on our private boat. We'll visit the picturesque island of Burano, known for its lacemaking, where you'll have free time to explore this pastel painted island, and find lunch on your own. After returning to Venice, the evening is yours to explore the imposing Doge's Palace, maybe take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: The Art of Wandering in Venice

This morning we'll have our first real brush with the Renaissance — Venetian-style — with a tour of the Accademia's treasure trove of great Venetian art, starring Titian, Veronese, Bellini, Tintoretto...and every shade of color imaginable. Your afternoon is free for Venice's other famous sights, or to become happily lost in the tangled maze of alleys and shops. Tonight your guide will help organize a classic, romantic gondola ride for those who are interested. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Wonders of Renaissance Florence & David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning, and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at the power of Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Tonight we'll share a hearty Tuscan dinner together. Sleep in Florence (3 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: The Backstreets of Florence

A local scholar will join us this morning as we take a walking tour of the backstreets of Florence, with some fascinating peeks into Roman, medieval and 19th-century Florentine life along the way. After exploring the Palazzo Davanzati, we'll continue our tour across the river, where we'll create today's tasty lunch during a fun and informative cooking class. Your afternoon will be free to see more of the city's museums. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: The Uffizi

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. The rest of your day is free for making your own Florentine discoveries. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Wine Tasting, Rome at Night

This morning we'll drive into the rolling hills of Umbria, stopping for a wine tasting lunch at a family-run winery. We'll then make a bee-line for Rome, where we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk on our way to tonight's dinner together. We'll end our day as any good Roman would — with a stroll through the historic heart of the city, lacing together the classy Piazza Navona and the remarkably-preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon. Sleep in Rome (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum

Today we'll focus on Renaissance Rome. We’ll meet our local guide on the other side of the Tiber river and introduce you to the greatest church in Christendom, the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. Then we’ll take you to the sprawling Vatican Museum, where you’ll see an endless collection of treasures as you make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Your afternoon is free to explore more of the interesting market streets in this neighborhood. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Monuments of Ancient Rome

We'll spend our morning uncovering Ancient Rome, starting with a tour of multi-layered San Clemente — a 12th-century church sitting atop a 4th-century basilica and a previous Roman temple. Then we'll tour and hear vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum and the birthplace of Ancient Rome: the Forum. You'll be free this afternoon to wander through the nearby Palatine ruins, St. Peter-in-Chains Church (home to Michelangelo's Moses), — or climb to the top of the Victor Emmanuel Monument to enjoy a panoramic city view. Tonight we'll feast together at our farewell dinner, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. This morning we'll say our final goodbyes and head for home...or you may want to stick around for a few more days of la dolce vita (the sweet life). Arrivederci!

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 Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 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. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate cities on your own.

Reviews

Trevor

Airdrie, AB

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall expectations were met and exceeded! I am not one for museum tours and art work so we thought the tour would be a good way if getting an introduction to some of the historical sites. The local guides were great at the explanations and the time spent in the sites was great. Our guide Jamie was fantastic helping our experience everyday on the tour and offering great suggestions in the off hours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time I turned around was a wow moment. But the one that stands out was the church in Rome. St Clemente. That was the perfect touch to show the physical setting to the building and rebuilding of Rome. We never would have found that with out the tour."

Brett

Arlington, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time in Itsly. Our tour guide, Jamie, was absolutely inrdie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the city of Florence, Italy"

Mark

Ridgefield, CT

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great and exactly what I expected. I feel like I was in a "masters class" in art history and our guide was excellent. It was nice to have both a guided tour as well as time alone to pursue personal interests. The format, 3 days in Venice, 3 in Florence and 3 in Rome was just right. The food was good and especially the cooking class in Florence. All questions were answered by our guide and the mix of people in the tour group was also fine. Great Vacation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fine art and craftsman ship in all the churches especially the Vatican. So much to do and so much to learn. When I saw the statue of David I was in awe!."

Peter

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time! We are a young, athletic couple and found ourselves quite tired after covering a lot of ground and seeing an amazing amount of art and history. The balance of free time and tour time was good and I wouldn't change it at all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking five gondolas out into the waterways of Venice with an accordion player and singer. We listened to the music bouncing off the walls of historic buildings as we gradually made our way to the Grand Canal and eventually dinner. It was pretty amazing and unlike anything else we saw or did."

Tina

Scotrun, PA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the trip. The people in the tour were great. The food was delicious and our guides were super. I loved staying in each city the three days because I felt I got a real sense of the area. I was sad to leave each place. The museums and trips were magnificent including the cooking class and wine experience. These two events helped to give my brain a siesta from the information presented in the museums. Although, Cecelia also proved to be very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when my husband and I got off the train in Venice and looked out onto the Grand Canal. I was speechless."

Constance

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose to take a Rick Steves' tour because we wanted to eliminate the stress of planning and decision-making and because we've heard nothing but wonderful things about these tours.While these expectations were met, there were such a variety of experiences that we would never have tried on our own.All of these activities broadened my views of the cities we visited and they have really changed my my ideas of what I would hope to experience in my future travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? It would have to be coming around a corner and seeing St. Mark's Basilica. It felt as if I were stepping into a painting, only I was really there. It was an overwhelming feeling I can't adequately describe. (On a more practical note, another wow experience was watching other tour groups moving in huge masses behind their oblivious guides and being so grateful I wasn't part of their group.)"

Bruce

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had never been to Italy before, and became aware early on how poorly we would have fared on our own had be not been part of this tour. We came early and visited a number of places on our own, the Basilica of Saints John and Paul in Venice, for example, and so the difference between our efforts to find context etc, and having the help of guides who were knowledgeable but not patronizing was really thrown into relief. A wonderful tour--all I could have hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am afraid that my biggest "wow" moments occurred in the copious amounts of free time the tour offered. I would have to say the Capitoline and National museums in Rome were impressive, but my most compelling experiences occurred in the Villa Borghese in Rome, a place which is not, however, on the normal tour."

Philip

Lugoff, SC

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best vacation I have ever had. We're trying to decide which Rick Steves tour we'll take next year. So many great tours to choose from.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I stepped out of a panini shop, I suddenly noticed the Coliseum right in front of me. I had no idea it was so close, and its sudden appearance was mind blowing."

Angela

Woodland, CA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Super! We really enjoyed all the people on the tour, we loved our tour guides. We learned so much from our Rick Steves guides and from the local guides.I feel we learned so much more beign on this tour than we would have had we attempted to do this trip on our own. It was well worth the cost of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: the breathtaking views of the cities we visited, maybe it was the cooking class in Florence or the gondola ride in Venice. Maybe it was getting lost on the streets of Venice. Oh and then there was the wonderful walks in the early mornings before the cities fully woke up and the temps were cool. Also visiting the island of Burano and all the quaint cute houses there. Then visiting the multi layered church of San Clemente and actually standing in a building built in the first century."

Kim

Weatherford, TX

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour; it was just the right mix of planned activities and free time. Our tour guide, Nina, was wonderful. The people in our group were very friendly and we all got along well. The travel was very smooth. The local tour guides were great, and very passionate about their presentations. The food was very good, and the lodging was also good. There's nothing I could suggest that would have made for a better trip; it was first class all the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kind of hard to say because I was wowed by everything I saw in Italy. Oddly enough, one of the coolest things was an orchestra performance at night in the Piazza della Signoria. That was a special night. Living in a "new" country, I was so impressed by the buildings and artwork that was so many centuries old and still looking beautiful."

Kim

Merritt Island, FL

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liked the order of the cities, from pedestrian only to most crowded. Liked the meals we had together, the comradery and Nina's menu choices. Liked traveling by bus together. Liked having independent time with suggested activities. Nina was outstanding and Jesse was a good complement. Especially liked the winery tour and cooking class. The local guides were excellent; liked hearing about "their" Italy. I got more information about culture than my previous visit to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pantheon and all architecture in Rome. Seeing it all up close was worth the crowds and jostling."

Marie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was quite simply amazing. Everything was so organized, ran like clock work, had a good mix of group time and free time. We enjoyed our group dinners so much we started dining in a large group on our free dinner nights. I think one night we had 14 people. I would take another Rick Steves tour again, just not in the heat of July. Obviously this is not the fault of the tour and I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One free evening in Florence after dinner a group of us were walking back to the hotel. We came across a free concert including an opera singer outside the Uffizi Gallery. It was breathtaking. It felt like Florence's gift to us on our farewell night before heading to Rome."

Marissa

Rockaway, NJ

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was exactly what I wanted in my first experience with Europe. I enjoyed all of the local guides in each of the cities and the ability to go to all the major landmarks in a timely fashion. I think it was a perfect balance of structured time and free time. I appreciated all of the suggestions of what to do during our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last day of the tour when we did ancient rome with Francesca was my favorite "wow" moment. She did an amazing job taking us back into the minds of the ancient romans and discovering how they lived their lives."

Melissa

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the way this tour was organized, with mornings spent with local guides and afternoons free to pursue our own plans. I always felt as though I knew my way around the cities, and the guides themselves were fascinating and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had never been terribly impressed with _David_, until I saw him in person. Suddenly, this chunk of marble was a man looking his mortality in the face, armed only with a strip of leather and a few pebbles. The whole story unfolded without a word, clear as day and fully, completely human."

Michael

Clifton, NJ

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I came home from Italy completely refreshed and thoroughly satisfied. The travel education I received will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have toured other countries with other tour companies. They were good tours but Rick Steve's Europe is special and really good at what they do. I will not tour Europe with any one else.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moments were seeing the art and sites I had only seen in books such as David, The Sistene Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. A surprise "wow" moment was the view from our tower hotel in Florence with a 360 degree view of the city and surrounding mountains. It was a perfect way to relax (with wine) at the end of a full day. The winery near Orvieto was my favorite "wow" experience."

Cindy

Huntley, MT

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip surpassed all of my expectations! All of the guides were of the highest caliber. Our guide, Ci Cilia, was very organized, extremely intelligent, graciously generous...full of surprise, surprises! I was not looking forward to being with a group all week, but I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions that we all had. The group dinners were of high quality, all activities were well organized and thought out. There were plenty of opportunities to do the things that we wanted to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow moments, but I have to say that visiting the winery was a highlight."

Charity

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had high expectations and this tour did not disappoint. Cecilia, as well as the local tour guides we had (Susanna, Angelo, etc.) were all informative and interesting to listen to. I felt the tour provided the right balance between guided time and independent exploration that we were looking for, and it was fun to experience things with a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I felt very humbled to be hosted by Cecilia at her family's own winery in Umbria, because she was sharing something so personal and meaningful to her. To be, not in a museum, but a still-working vineyard 2500 years old, that has been in one family for the last 600 years, is the sort of thing Americans can uniquely experience in Italy. I felt we were treated as honored guests and taught as the students we were, and it was one of my favorite things about the trip."

Katelin

Clifton, NJ

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time visitor to Italy, I enjoyed the overview of some of the country's biggest cities. The pace of the tour allowed for a lot of information to be gathered in a short amount of time, yet never felt overwhelming since we had free time to explore and relax if desired.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the cooking class in Florence since we stepped out of our tourist role and into the culture. We had an opportunity to create our own "art" by working together with our fellow travelers to make a meal. Afterwards, we all ate the meal we created together and the end result was fantastic!"

Renee

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people were wonderful and Cecilia was amazing! Ithe tour was super fun and the perfect length for me. I loved learning about all of the art and churches and the history, but it wasn't an information oveoad which was good!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was amazing in Rome to see the basilica that had an even older church underneath it that was so well preserved! It was so cool learn all about what happened thousands of years ago."

Timothy

Andover, MA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cecilia is priceless. I have been to these three cities before and she made it seem as if it was the first time. She communicates a sense of wonder for each day and event. She has excellent leadership qualities that make the tour group function well. She surrounds her leadership qualities with a sense of humor and a quick wit. Her ability to speak many languages well is a tremendous assest. Her father raised a lady that he would be very proud of!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cecilia's vineyard and home was an amazing experience. The view, the food, the grounds, the entire experience was special. I don't drink and I still thought it was the "wow" moment."

Larry

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour in Europe could not have been any better. The hotels were comfortable and very conveniently located and the city guides were very knowledgeable. Of course, our principal guide Cecilia was fantastic. She had the perfect demeanor and organizational skills to lead the tour. The small size of the group allowed us to bond quickly and greatly enhanced the overall experience. The cooking school in Florence was a nice touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing Michelangelo's David, as well as the Prisoners."

Lauren

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was great, and the tour was fantastic. I admit, I came on to the tour not liking tours in any way, but I left recommending this tour to others. The tour guides in museums were invaluable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was great, and I loved taking the canal tour up and down the canal. It's not part of the tour, but I highly recommend it in the free time. I also loved the wine tasting at Cecilia's winery."

Al

Millcreek, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fun and educational. Venice was relaxing as we had arrived early and had extra time to explore. Florence was overwhelming as there was so much to take in and little time to digest. Our Renaissance Walk was moved to the next day because of rain. This was unfortunate because the walk would have helped with the overall orientation. I wish we had more time in Florence, and could do without the vineyard tour. I enjoyed Rome the most, perhaps because of the ease of public transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ancient Roman buildings and ruins. That was number one for me. A second 'wow' moment has to be the cooking class in Florence. We had so much fun. A third 'wow' moment was sightseeing at night in Venice. Beautiful."

Bob

Wappingers Falls, NY

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fully enjoyed the different cities and the charm that each one brings. I also enjoyed meeting the other travelers, who were very friendly. Our guide, Alfio, really enhanced the experience, with his knowledge, humor, and ability to move the group along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had two favorite wow moments, both on the same day, both in Rome. I was very impressed by the Catacombs under the church of San Sabastian, and the history chronicled by the excavation of remnants of the old city ... the church, rooms, etc. The other wow moment was entering the Colosseum. It was obviously huge to begin with, but understanding how the place likely looked centuries ago, and the architecture that has mostly held together for centuries."

Linda

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The three Italian cities were amazing. I had visited Rome before but loved it again. The hotels in Florence and Rome were wonderful, easy to get luggage in and out, and updated and comfortable. Venice was not up to what we have come to expect of a Rick Steve's tour. The meals included were outstanding and Alfio made accommodations in the menu when needed. The cooking class was awonderful experience for all on the tour! All of the local guides were excellent, very informative and knowledgable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was the most amazing place! It is so different from any of the cities we have visited. We loved the tours there, trip through the Lagoon, and wonderful dinners together."

Duwayne

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The people were great. Alfio was very good. We liked the itinerary. We wish we had docked in Venice at the Rialto Mercato stop rather than the stop on the other side of the Rialto Bridge. There were many, many steps over the bridge and the baggage handler ripped us off charging 35 euros to take our bags to the hotel. It was much easier when we left the hotel to go a few yards, without steps, to the Rialto Mercato stop. We loved the cooking class, and the antiquities in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was like no other place we have been--no roads, no cars. We went to St. Croce church in Florence and were amazed to see Michaelangelo's and Galileo's final resting places.."

Lisa

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was simply amazing in every way...far exceeding our expectations!And our tour-guide,Alfio,was fabulous,funny,imformative & passionate all at the same time!We got to see all the highlights of Italy without waiting in long crowded lines & got to enjoy the backsteets with the locals as well.It was the perfect combination of activities!We also felt we had just the right amount of group time & free time to be able to explore our own interests.The group dinners/entertainment were fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice: St. Marks basilica illumination & St. Marks Square flooded & night =) Florence: Michelangelo's David and the "Flaming Pig" group dinner. Rome: the Colosseum, St. Clemente undergroud tour, the Sistine Chapel & St. Marks basilica."

Charles

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed getting lost the third night Venice. We went in search of a small restaurant we had seen earlier in the day. We found it and we were rewarded with a memorable meal. In Florence Alfio, our guide, took advantage of Michelangelo's David to make the moment we viewed the sculpture dramatic. Walking Roman streets on the actual century's old stone was a marvel. The Roman ruins paint a picture of past glory and power that is astounding even in an age of movie special effects.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The meal at the cooking class in Florence was a real treat. Preparing the food helped us to understand the freshness of the vegetables and the mix of herbs and spices. The care taken and the preparation to capture and enhance flavor of the tomatoes and pasta paid off incredibly."

Jenny

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third trip to Italy, but my first with a tour group. What a difference to have knowledgeable guides. I have a much better understanding and appreciation of Italian art, architecture and history as a result.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy is extraordinary. Michelangelo's David! Bernini's Apollo and Daphne! The Pantheon, Colosseum and Forum in Rome! I so enjoyed the winery tour/wine tasting/lunch in Umbria and the cooking class in Florence which were a wonderful complement to the traditional aspects of the tour."

Nancy

Seal Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip getting to know Italy and cities where real Italians live not just cruise ship stops. The hotels, food and music helped focus on the culture and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though I thought we looked weird, walking backwards towards the "David" sculpture, the first glance was well worth it. Thanks to Alfio for giving us a wonderful way to make a first impression!"

Mattison

Augusta, GA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Robin our guide was fantastic and all the local guides were too. The overal pace of the tour was very good having 3 nights per location was perfect. The food was very good and the Hotels were good and well located. Well certainly use Rick Steves tours again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vatican tour was my overall favorite with the Florence part a close second. Venice was very nice and the Wine tour was great. Surprisingly the cooking class and lunch in Florence was a highlight and just plain fun. Our entire tour group was a pleasure to get to know and spend time with. Our daughters appreciated having other teenagers on the tour."

Corinne

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized and planned. I was lucky enough to be traveling with a wonderful group . We covered great sites and 3 days in each place was perfect. The hotels were fine and people helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca in Rome was the best. She is a premier storyteller and ultimate professional. Waiting to do the coliseum until the last day is brilliant."

Nathan

Elkmont, AL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second trip to Europe. Based on my first trip and the tour guides I had that time, I had expectations for this tour. The first couple of days on the tour were pretty tough - not what I had expected (much less). However, over the course of the tour, I grew to understand how the tour "worked". Once I figured that out, my tour experience improved. The handling of St. Mark's in Venice and The Vatican in Rome were HUGE disappointments.

Rick

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going into a church built in 1100 , then down stairs to a church from 400, and then descending to ancient Rome and running water 30 feet below grade. The guide in Rome and her presentation of "who the Romans were"."

Lisa

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 10 day tour of Venice, Florence & Rome was perfect for our family of five. I researched other possible tour companies, keeping in mind the fact that we were bringing along our three sons ages 22, 20 & 18. Past experience on a European tour at an young age(teen), I knew I did NOT want to be with a large group or denied quality time (one night stays) in cities on our vacation. This tour was perfect in that the group was small, decent amount of days, and a balance between group and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "WOW" moments but one that is at the top of my list is our gondola excursion in Venice arranged by our fantastico tour guide, Susanna! Near Piazza San Marco my family boarded our gondola. Then was pleasantly surprised when a guitarist and singer joined our flotilla of four through the passageways of Venice, pausing on the Grand Canal for an impromptu concert from the vocalist before heading back through the intriguing and scenic canals. We all agree this was awesome!"

Tracey

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic vacation! We so appreciated the organized events with our group and tour guide as well as the free time allowed in each city. We appreciated having the appointments at the big sights and the transportation between cities. Overall a great experience and we can't wait to come back to Europe!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"LOVED the cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting on the way to Rome! also thought the boat tour in Venice was AMAZING!"

Frank

North Royalton, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect vacation. The pace was wonderful, a perfect mix of structured activities and free time. Really enjoyed my fellow travelers and our guide Susanna was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be the Duomo in Florence! As we wound through the streets of Florence, we rounded a corner and there in front of stood the most amazing Cathedral in the world. I swear the entire group gasped as we made the bend. Magnificent!"

Liz

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was the right time, right group, best guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating"

Timothy

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very close to description. Having previously taken bus tours; this tour was refreshing. Much more time to learn and experience the "backstreets" sans the gift shops. Enjoyed the walking experience while we experienced more local sites, smells and tastes. The guide was the right fit for us. Informative, knowledgeable and fast paced while providing great tips and recommendations during free time that truly enhanced the overall tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having never taken a cooking class, expectations were low. Turns out the cooking class in Florence was truly a fun time. Good company, good food (can't believe we prepared it...)and good wine in the unexpected wine cellar setting. The real "wow" moment was traversing the paths and waterways in Venice, sampling the different and delicious foods along the way."

Debra

North Royalton, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour helped in every way. I loved receiving the books that helped prepare us for the trip. When we had our first meeting with Susanna I knew it was going to be a great experience. Everyone on the trip was wonderful they were all friendly and they all made an attempt to talk to everyone we all got to know each other. Susanna was a wonderful guide. We were always informed about what we were doing the next day had no trouble getting anywhere and she was always cheerful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having never seen any of the sights before it would be hard to pick my favorite wow moment. The whole city of Venice was amazing. I loved Florence and all the art especially David. I had always dreamed of seeing Rome and the Vatican. That was topped off by the wine tasting and cooking class. I kept saying it cannot get any better."

ElizabethAnne

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am still reaping the benefits of our tour. Our tour guide was fantastic. I was never worried about getting lost but we had lots of time to explore on our own once we got our bearings. The local guides were wonderful people and scholars. We learned so much on our tour about art and history and are filling our house with books on these subjects to keep it going. I also was so impressed with the kind consideration made about me being vegetarian and allergic to white wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing the Botticelli paintings in Florence. I had seen them once before but our guide made me see so much more. It was a pilgrimage and wonderful."

Roger

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Everything was lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting in Umbria and the cooking class."

Kelley

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our Rick Steve's guide Susanna. I felt confident that she would take care of any problems that may arise. Also, she was knowledgeable. Loved the group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Local guide Franscesca helped me to understand how the Romans could be so cruel and gruesome and yet perhaps that was a very effective way to govern at the time."

Charles

Villa Park, CA

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was obvious that Rick Steves Tours knows Italy. Aside from the 'must see' sights that would be a part of any tour company's packages, the accommodations, dining experiences, and 'optional' activities were excellent and gave us more insightful views of each city visited. Being in a tour group was actually made an enjoyable part of the experience. The tour duration was just right for us. It was filled with activities (not shopping time) to the point where we found ourselves in need of rest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This being our first trip to Europe, just finding ourselves in Italy was a Wow moment. One thing that stood out particularly was the wine tasting lunch in Orvieto. The beautifully scenic location, wonderful wines tasted, delicious food pairings, and unique winery tour were a highlight of our tour."

Bruce

West Kingston, RI

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, my wife, Susan, and I are submitting this as a combined survey. Second, this is our first experience with a tour and our first experience traveling overseas. Our overall tour experience was nothing short of outstanding. We didn't know what to expect with a tour and were a little concerned that it might hamper our being able to truly experience Italy. However, our concerns were unfounded as this was a wonderful experience. In particular, Cecilia was a fantastic guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was walking into Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice. The beautiful mosaics were simply overwhelming. Susan and I arrived two days early in Venice so we were fortunate to time our first visit to Saint Mark's when it was fully illuminated. We enjoyed it illuminated a second time when we attended nightly mass; what a fantastic experience!"

Tresa

Niceville, FL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The organization of the tour was timely and informative. Loved the packets before. It made traveling to Europe for the first time a breeze. The tour itinerary was great with seeing the sites, but also free time. I have no idea how we would have been able to see all that we did if we tried it on our own. Not to mention Cecilia and the tour guides gave fun facts along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was amazing to see the statues and areas of Rome that I have grown up learning about. It was great to see it in person. I truly did enjoy the tour group as well. Loved how all these different people in different stages of life could get along so easily and drama free. Cecilia had great humor and recommendations throughout our tour."

Thomas

Plainfield, IL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish my wife and I were very satisfied with the tour experience. The pre-planning information, the transportation, the hotels and most meals were great. The advantage of having a professional staff set up and guide the tour was well worth the expense.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most impressed with the architecture and art, as I was expecting. However the interpretation from the leader and local guides made it extra special. In addition the cooking class was great fun and a great group activity."

Karolina

West Islip, NY

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to admit that I was a little concerned about being on a tour but I can tell you that Cecilia made everything something to look forward to. My family and I had a wonderful time in each city and we had time to explore on our own. We did all of the options that Cecilia had given us and totally enjoyed them. If you had a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this tour an 11. Wonderful time!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW Moments where do I begin? I loved all of the art work, paintings, murals, sculptures, Emilia's lace work, the food, the gondola, the winery, the churches. There seemed to be one wow moment after another so how is there really only one WOW moment. The most wow for me would be the Emilia's lace work on Burano. That is remarkable that a over 90 year old women is still doing the lace. I love craft work and that for me was special and I would go back there again. Michelangelo's DAVID was another"

Albert

West Islip, NY

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. The sights were well worthwhile, the food was great. There was a lot of walking but that was to be expected. And we had a great mix of people on our tour who all got along with each other. The farewell dinner, with a singer/guitarist, was a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be the Pantheon in Rome. I was amazed about how a building thousands of years old and dedicated to pagan gods was so beautiful inside and re-purposed as a Christian church."

John

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cecilia was a very good guide. She gave helpful advice, good tours, and really paid attention to the little things. Whenever someone had a birthday, anniversary, etc., she always acknowledged it, usually in spectacular style. Some museum tours seemed to drag, while others (Vatican Museum, Forum) seemed rushed. I've done each before, so I knew how much of it we blew past. I guess you have to balance the desires of the group, but we never saw any of the Egyptian artifacts, etc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've seen and done most of these places before, while my wife had not. The gondola ride was very interesting, and David is always awe inspiring, as is The Pieta in St. Peters. The biggest wow moment was the anniversary party Cecilia threw for us with Canoli for all!"

Karen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being part of this tour was overall better than I expected. The advice of getting to Venice a day early was helpful for many reasons. Our tour guide Cecilia was the best. She made sure we got the most out each city. We quickly learned anything she recommended as optional was certainly something we didn't want to miss. Her winery in Orvieto was a wonderful experience. The cooking school was fun. San Clemente Church in Rome was surely a surprise and so much history in one place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was Florence. I did not expect to fall in love with the city and its beautiful art. Angelo our museum guide was excellent in explanation of all things. By far came away with a better appreciation of art."

Laverne

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour ever and this one will be hard to beat. The best way ever to see the most in the least time. Would not have wanted to joiin some of those ticket lineups! The balance between organized/free time was good. I was travelling with my husband, daughter and a friend. At times we would group, but there were so many wonderful people on the tour that we often visited with new friends! Even though I was the oldest person on our tour I never felt I couldn't keep up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One was at our final dinner when I realized how bonded I felt with the 28 other travellers with whom I had spent the previous nine days only. Another was our cooking lesson in Florence. What fun. Amazing art as well though the themes were somewhat repetitious! The modern art at the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice was a delight and might be a good addition to the tour. The winery was very memorable."

Melissa

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great experience on our Rick Steve's 10 Day Italy tour! I took my 17 year old daughter for her High School Graduation and 18th Birthday celebration and we had the most memorable time. Neither of us had been to Europe before so we were unsure what to expect. The planning was perfect with a great balance of group time and individual time to explore these fascinating cities. It was so nice to leave the arrangements to a professionals! We are looking forward to our next European trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were sooooo many WOW moments on this trip! One of my favorites was the wine tasting in Tuscany. What a truly memorable experience to visit an Italian estate and meet such a wonderful family."

Nancy

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After being home for two weeks, my husband and I both are still saying, "that was the best vacation!" We loved every minute; it was better than we ever expected it would be. The sights were great, the food, hotels and company were wonderful. There was a perfect mix of planned and free time. Ann was fun, knowledgeable, interesting and so patient with us Europe "newbies." We would love to travel with her again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think when we stepped out of the train station to catch the Vaporetto, we were amazed at how beautiful Venice is. Pictures could never do it justice. We were in awe."

Robert

East Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We wanted to go to Italy for the first time and decided to do so via a guided tour to get the most out of our time and monies spent. While we had lofty expectations of this Ric Steves' tour, it far exceeded all of them. Our tour guide, Ann, was exceptional in every way you could think of. Her tireless enthusiasm and insightful knowledge of the areas/things she chose for us made every day exciting and very fulfilling. My wife and I highly recommend Rick Steves' tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing 'The David' with our own eyes!"

Jacqueline

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fabulous experience. Wonderful memories were made...none of which were spoiled by any negative experiences. You helped my daughter and me make some life-long memories that will forever be part of us. Something about Rick's philosophy that recruits like-minded folks...I genuinely liked everyone who was with us on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess my favorite, although competition is strong, was the wine tour and tasting. When reviewing the itinerary, I thought...why waste time on such indulgences when there are World Heritage sites to be seen? Oh, how wrong I was. I was speechless at the beauty of the home, buildings and land. The discussions by the owner were fascinating including local history and the importance of wine as a food in times past. The food, the wine and the essence will forever be etched in my memory."

Barbara

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THERE CERTAINLY WAS MORE THAN ONE: -arriving in Venice by water and seeing that it REALLY did exist!! -the moonlit , musical gondola ride was magical -Michaelangelo's David -The Vatican with the most incredible art collection ever -being with so many great people who all wanted to see, do, and experience -really loved the cooking class!"

Steve

Ripon, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip my wife and I have ever been on! Ann long was an outstanding tour director. The tour guides in each city were experts in their fields. I have to admit, I thought the winery tour and the cooking class were going to be hokey. These two extra events were so much fun! The gondola rides in Venice, with a full moon were very romantic. Vatican, colosseum , Tuscany,,, what can I say! We are alreadyt talking about another Rick Steves tour next year!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome. When I ran to the top of the stairs and looked across this famous spot, I couldn't believe I was actually there. We hired a private boat to whisk up fron the Venice airport to our hotel. I reall felt like James Bond, riding into such a beautiful city on a speed boat with my wife. The view from the winery in Tuscany was worth a million bucks."

Linda

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time! Ann and Sarah were the best tour directors you could wish for. When things weren't going as scheduled, they opted to Plan B which was perfect! I've been to each of these places before but got so much more out of the experience with the local guides. Ann was so funny, welcoming and helpful for directions/guidence for our own personal time. I would really like to be able to travel again with Ann!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like so many have mentioned before, the cooking class in Florence and the wine tour on the way to Rome. Being in Rome, Venice and Florence before, I can say that turning the corner in Florence and seeing the Duomo or David is always breathtaking, as is the sights in Rome. It was nice to do something out of the ordinary with the class and tour."

Nancy

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were thrilled with Karin's knowledge,and beyond. Impossible to keep that up with 10 days of 90's and high humidity.Enjoyed it all...thank you (personally) for the additional art facts about so many of my treasured artists. Boy, that Caravaggio had some real issues that Dr. Drew might be interested in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"you would think it was the Pieta or the Vatican where EVERY high moment was cherished, but for myself, it was The visit to the Palazzo Davanzati in Florence. I just became part of its magnificence of its history and livable functional architecture and art. Just exquisite and a place I can cherish from memories."

Kathleen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time I traveled with a tour group and I loved it! Your tours are the right mix of taking care of the details, good information, good sites and quality guides. All hotel locations were great and one hotel was of a quality I would call very good and the other 2 were OK. I probably would not choose to stay in the 2 OK hotels if I were to travel on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop at the winery in Umbria. It would have been a matter of luck to find that experience on my own."

Julie

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

absolutely wonderful~~~~

Favorite "WOW" moment

"loved the gondola ride in venice loved the wine tasting loved the cooking class"

Phillip

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it! Karin was exceptional, the hotels were quite adequate and the meals, especially in Florence, were fantastic! We really appreciated that the major things we wanted to do were all planned out and we had no lines to waste our time. If we had tried to plan a vacation like this on our own it would have been nearly impossible. But you made it easy and very, very enjoyable. We believe it was a bargain (but don't raise your prices)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since we visited 3 very different cities, each had its own special "wow" moments. In Venice it felt like we were traveling back in time, especially at St Mark's. In Florence it had to be Michelangelo's David, in all his splendor. In Rome it was the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and going up those skinny stairs to the top of the cupola for an outstanding view. But on the way to Rome we stopped at Cecilia's family villa for a wine "experience" over lunch. That was very special."

Laura

Bentonville, AR

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How can you begin to explain an experience such as this? I am already begun saving for my next Rick Steves adventure. There simply is no other way to travel. I have been to many a country and state and this experience out shines them all! The moment we met our guide Karin I knew we were in for some fun! I felt safe and informed, the local guides were so knowledgeable. I kept thinking each was better than the other but how could that be? They were all fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I even answer that question??? I think for me, the WOW would have to be the Tenuta Le Velette Winery. The underground caverns from the Etruscan period was just unreal! To be that old and there in the heart of the Tuscan Region was really something! Venice was enchanting, Florence was beautiful and Rome was larger that life! I also enjoyed St. Clemens and the underground city! Loved the guide, her name escapes me at the moment."

John

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steve's Italy tour was fantastic. It exceeded our expectations. Karin our Tour guide was great. She was well organized, fun, and provided excellent advice and tips on what we could do after the tours. The Hotels were at great locations, the tours were fun, and the dinners were all good. We plan to take another Rick Steve's tour again soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Michelangelo's David Sculpture was amazing. It is really something to see in person. The Rome Colosseum was amazing and Venice was cool to see."

Patti

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic trip from beginning to end! For anyone wanting an overview of the great cities of Italy, this is a great way to see them. From our first day in Venice and its charming canals, to Florence and the great works of art, to our last days exploring Rome's ruins and the Vatican, we were never bored. Our tour guide, Trina, took great care of us and our local guides made each experience much more meaningful. Plenty of time to rest or explore on our own too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments including seeing David, the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum, but what I enjoyed the most were the local activities such as the cooking class and wine tasting at a winery that had been in existence for hundreds of years. Loved experiencing the local culture as a local, not just a tourist."

Mark

Maryville, TN

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class. I assumed we would cook Pizza and that it would corney. Great family event that we will remember for years."

Phyllis

Destrehan, LA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it. Trina was knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I did find the trip physically strenuous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking lessons"

Dan

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. It was great to have local residents as guides as they were able to give very informed presentations. Visiting the family winery and the cooking class were great breaks from the churches and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular WOW moment. The time between guided tours and personal time for touring was a good balance."

Nancy

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip, having not to wait in line for everything we did was great. Our tour guide was fabulous! She did a great job of everything. The guides we had were very good too. So much information. The hotels were wonderful, great service! my first trip to Italy was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican was a wow moment. The church, Sistine Chapel was unbelievable and St. Peter's Basilica was amazing. I didn't know where to look first. The statues are unbelievable and the painting."

Aphrodite

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the tour and the rich experience of learning about each Italian city through its history, people and art. Rick Steves' tours emphasize an appreciation for cultures different from our own, though of course we also found commonalities in how we all live and think. By the way, loved the wonderful mix of tour members - they were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many stand out; two especially! The Michelangelos' David in Florence's Accademia and 'Dusk and Dawn' in the Medici Chapel were utterly moving and outstanding. A gondola trip in Venice (because Trina suggested we would regret not attending) went beyond expectations in that moonlit night with the gondoliers' singing of beautiful old Italian songs. Stunning!"

Cathy

Lancaster, TX

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a college graduation gift for my daughter. Neither of us had ever been to Italy. My hope was that it would be the trip of a lifetime for us. It absolutely lived up to, and exceeded, our expectations. It was incredibly organized, fun, entertaining, and educational...and everything was handled for us! We extended our stay after the tour and traveled to Naples & our wonderful guide even helped us with recommendations and advice on what to do and what to look out for in Naples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments, but I think our top 3 were the cooking class in Florence, the trip to the winery and the tour of the Colosseum in Rome."

Mason

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since Aphrodite (my wife) and I made out her form together I am providing this as a supplement to mention a few things not mentioned there. Yes, the tour was a very intense and enjoyable experience, also with enough free time to pursue one's own interests or just stroll about and relax--a good balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"3: A new sense of Michelangelo's amazing career, especially the emotional sensitivity of his sculpture; I am very grateful to Trina for recommending the National Museum near our hotel in Rome. The room of mural paintings of a garden from Livia's Villa was a revelation to me; I have never seen anything like this in ancient Roman painting. Francesca's on-site lecture on the social nature of ancient Rome and the darker uses of the Colosseum gave me a new sense of Roman history."

Elektra

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have been introduced to the tour experience. And learnt so much from the local guides and our own tour guide. My mother paid for the tour with an Italian relative's inheritance. I am not naturally a tour person. I know see the validity in hiring local tour guides. My parents,especially my mother had a hard time of it. Emotionally and physically. But she tells me that she had the best time! So that is the most important thing.I appreciate all the new tastes and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the vineyard we visited. I love the Italian countryside and hope to revisit this part of Italy. As well as our Colosseum tour guide reminding us that Roman history is all our history."

Courtney

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour was absolutely incredible! The entire trip was so well planned and I felt like I saw and accomplished every single thing that was on my "Italy to-do list". I think if I would have traveled to Italy on my own without the Rick Steves' tour I would have missed out on so much and not had near the experiences that I did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two I must say. Once when we walked up to the Duomo in Florence because it was just the most beautiful and breathtaking building I have ever seen. And my second was when we went to the Colosseum. That is why I wanted to travel to Italy in the first place...since we started studying Roman history in the 4th grade it has been a dream to see the Colosseum. I legitimately got chills when I saw it. I will never forget how I felt walking up to that place."

Amy

Maryville, TN

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip - very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking class, gondola ride, wine tasting!"

Janet

Oak Forest, IL

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic! Felt satisfied that I got a very good "taste" of each city, along with adequate free time to explore on my own. Loved our tour guide, Trina, who not only was very knowledgeable but fun and a pleasure to travel with along with our wonderful tour group. There was something for everyone - museums, history, shopping, culture, etc. Especially enjoyed the local guides and appreciated that no tipping was required. Exceeded expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride at night was very special as well as the view from the hill overlooking Florence. I also really loved St. Clemente Church, David and the Sistene Chapel."

Kelly

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been traveling to Europe for 10 years and have always done it the "Rick Steves Way". This was the first tour I have taken and I was not disappointed. I loved having someone else be in charge of finding the right hotel, organizing the transportation between cities, picking the perfect places to eat and getting our tickets for all the best attractions without us having to wait in lines. The location of all the hotels was wonderful and they were charming, clean, and comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Burano Island in Venice was beautiful and peaceful, the cooking class in Florance was delightful and the lunch and wine tasting at the Estate Winery of Terveta Le Velette was so peaceful, informative, and delicious that I just couldn't pick only one favorite moment."

Kim

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Looking back, I can't think of anything the company could have done to improve my experience! The guide, group, transportation, schedule, itinerary, hotels, meals were great! I appreciated the organization like having a schedule posted, having tickets already purchased for venues so we could just walk in, being given metro and vaporetto passes to get around on our own, and never having to wait for something to happen. Despite the organization, I never felt rushed or herded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many! One great memory is standing on the Accademia Bridge in Venice, looking out at the Grand Canal, the buildings, the boats, and the blue sky, realizing that I truly was in another world! Others: St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the David, the gondola ride, Burano, the Coliseum. Favorite activites: the cooking class with Alessandro was the very best! The winery visit was also excellent!"

Rebecca

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour--very fine tour guide, fun companions, excellent selections of activities, accomplished local guides. I learned so much and had a great time. The "backdoor" activities were especially fun and enlightening. Italy is so beautiful and filled with history and art, and the tour really highlighted all aspects of this amazing country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Venice after walking through the train station. It was much more impressive than I had expected, and more extensive. Also wow moments were the cooking class and the wine tasting in Umbria. What a lovely vineyard and villa! And the serenaded gondola trip!"

Laura

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the tour and found it very efficient of our time. It was a good balance of tour time and your own personal time. I wish I could remember all the great historical information provided. They gave so much and it was great. All the group dinners were awesome. Found clothing store owners in Rome very pushy, which turned me off of buying. All other shops seemed fine. Venice was my favorite out of all the stops we did on our trip including on our own down to Amalfi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know if one thing in particular stands out. The whole trip was great. Actually found San Clemente pretty cool and the Duomo was just huge!"

Terence

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Italy tour my wife and I took part in was to Venice,Florence,Rome.We had a great time and met a lot of wonderful people! Sarah(our tour guide) was very knowledgeable about the history and customs of each location we stayed. How to move effectively through the cities using the public transportation. We really enjoyed the tours, but also liked the free time we were given to explore on our own! The balance of the two was perfect, and gave us the confidence we needed to venture out!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment for me was actually the cooking class.I thoroughly enjoyed the tours but,the company of friends and food was really nice!"

Gale

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much more than I expected! Our guide was fantastic. Her knowledge of architecture and art history was extensive and really added to the whole experience. Our hotel and transportation arrangements were just fine, with the garden in Venice and the rooftop retreat in Florence a pleasant surprise. We saw all the "can't miss" sights, had enough time for personal exploration and thoroughly enjoyed the extras Sarah arranged. A gondola ride in Venice, a private concert in Florence and the wine tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of ancient Rome was made extra special by our guide. She knew her history and as a person of mixed heritage (Roman and American) she gave us insight into her mixed feelings about the Coleseum in particular. The structure itself was amazing for anytime but given it's age was truly magnificent. But the use it was put to, while political, was horrific. The day with her was thought provoking and made the trip that much more memorable."

Courtney

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was super knowleable and fun! We didn't know what to expect from a group tour, I was a bit skeptical about it going in. Now I won't travel abroad any other way. Our guide was so organized we didn't have to think of a thing - great for a vacation. Our fellow travelers were great and added so much to the experience. We had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was literally Wowed at every sight however the colosseum sticks with me the most. Interesting because it really wasn't on the top of what I wanted to see? The guide was incredible at helping us visualize the time. The duomo was amazing too. I have to say I appreciated everything so much more thanks to the guides. For example, the duomo without Sarah's knowledge of architecture and history is a really large beautiful building - her story telling allows use to appreciate it on another level."

Michael

Trenton, NJ

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my best trip ever. The hotels were great, and the daily tours/guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one favorite moment. The whole trip was awesome."

Raissa

Glendale, WI

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well-organized to provide the right amount of guided times as well as alone time. Guides were very well informed, professional and helpful. Well balanced way to emerse yourself into the culture yet have enough of the "home" comforts one is use to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overlooking Venice from St. Mark's tower and seeing the beauty of the city, sun and the vessels on the water."

John

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well paced, Donald was always in control, very knowledgeable, made us feel very relaxed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trip from Florence to Rome. Umbria / Tuscany countryside followed by afternoon/tour/lunch at Winery. in Venice side trips to Murano and Burano."

Rae

Miami, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After having used Rick's materials for years, and making extensive use of his videos and PBS broadcasts, I was expecting a 'top drawer' tour. The reality was that the Venice, Florence and Rome in 10 days tour experience wildly exceeded my already high expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far the biggest "Wow" was The Gondola ride in Venice. What made the ride even more memorable was riding in company with four other gondolas carrying other members from our tour group. It was a night to remember!"

Barbara

Brattleboro, VT

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Venice, Florence and Rome was a wonderful blend of history, culture and great culinary experiences. And just when you began to feel "museum overload," there was a fun side-trip to Burano and Murano, or a winery, or a cooking class...loved all of it!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose one. Venice was probably my favorite because of it's uniqueness...the canals were wonderful! But I am still wowed by the sheer size of the Duomo in Florence! To be walking down a typical narrow Italian street in town and then look up to see much of the sky taken up by this massive structure...WOW! And if you're not blown away by the incredible history that surrounds you everywhere...to go to San Clemente Church in Rome and experience the literal layers of time..."

Wayne

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour leader, Donald, was outstanding--friendly, knowledgable, resourceful, able to make sudden changes when the change would improve our experience. The hotels were great. The amount of walking was difficult for me, but I knew to expect that. I wish I had done it years ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was seeing great art that I have taught with slides and videos in person. The Vatican, of course, the Uffizi, the Academia (both Venice and Florence), the Borghese. Some art in churches was disappointing: Bernini's wonderful St. Teresa in Ecstasy is in a dark corner of a church; I was glad I had seen it in excellent slides and videos."

Ruth

Nevada City, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Keeping up with the group of 28 was difficult at times going through crowded streets. Donald was not walking fast but when you have to go around people, because most Italians would not move over it meant that you often got far behind the group. I have traveled to France where they have a reputation of being rude, that was not my experience, did find the Italians in Venice and Florence to be very rude and no one smiles.

Jean

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific experience, well paced, plenty of free time and excellent suggestions about how to use free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the relaxing respite winery tour and the boat trips to Murano and Burano"

Craig

Brattleboro, VT

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I felt this was a tour of a lifetime. We had an excellent guide, interesting accommodations, wonderful food, and a good group of people on the tour. We couldn't pick a favorite city because they were all interesting and enjoyable. The hotel locations in all 3 cities were first rate. I loved the fact we could easily stroll over to St. Mark's Square in Venice, the Domo church in Florence or the Vatican in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably going to Saint Peter's complex for the first time. I could have spent days walking through this area. The sheer beauty and grandeur of St Peter's Basilica the building, nicely framed by beautiful paintings and sculptures such as the Pieta were breathtaking."

Thea

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Italy and I am so pleased that we did the Venice, Florence, Rome Rick Steves Tour. It was wonderful and exceeded my wildest expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have no favorite experiences. The entire trip was terrific. A standout experience was dinner at Pompeii's Theatre. The food was superb, the Italian serenader was great fun, and the setting was perfect. Aside from that, there were many highpoints: certainly the group dinners, knowledgeable tour guides, the Florence cooking class, and the various water excursions. All great fun."

Katie

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed my experience with the Rick Steve's tour company. My family and I have traveled together before, but never with a group. I found it particularly helpful to have a guide for many of the museums and big sites that we visited, because it made it much less overwhelming and I felt that I got the most out of what was there to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment from the tour was definitely the Coliseum in Rome. Our tour guide really brought that to life for us and I felt that I was able to imagine what it was like back then. However, Cecelia's family winery was a close second. Her passion for the winery and all the details that go into the wine experience were very evident. I felt that I truly had an experience there, not just a wine tasting, and I cannot wait to go back!"

Kent

Merlin, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The only obvious problem was that three days in each place wasn't enough, however, we knew that going in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I had been to these three locations before, it was seeing my wife's eyes thrilled to see the sites."

Elizabeth

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a little apprehensive about traveling as part of a tour group because we usually travel on our own but this was a small enough group that it felt more like a group of friends. All of the local guides created a very educational and enjoyable experience. I felt that we were able to cover a lot of sites more efficiently than on our own and that we had enough unscheduled time to see the other sites we did not see as a group. I am looking forward to another tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel that the 3 cities we visited were individual experiences so I would have to say there was a wow moment from each place. Venice would be iconic waterfront view on a beautiful May afternoon, Florence would be seeing David, and Rome would be the Coliseum & Forum. Although these are very predictable answers seen many times in pictures & TV screens, they just take your breath away & give you shivers to actually see them in person."

Donna

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had really high expectation for this tour and I was not disappointed. If anything it was so much more than we expected. We had read all the Rick Steves' material, watched all the videos and we were prepared for a wonderful experience. Boy did we have one!!!Can't wait to schedule a 2015 tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is so hard to say because every day was filled with "wow" moments. I would have to say the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum were pretty spectacular. We really enjoyed the visit to The Tenuta Le Velette Winery. Cecilia really went out of her way to make a wonderful experience for all of us. Our Italian Cooking Lesson was also a special treat."

Donald

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was everything that I had hoped it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I expected to see beautiul scenery and amazing historical sights and I was not disappointed. However, my WOW moment came as I watchedI locals prepare for the day by moving cargo via the Venice water canals. The vast difference in lifestyle was not something I had considered but I found it very intereresting."

Caroline

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour very informative and interesting. It was well-designed to include all the "can't-miss" sights of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most astonishing part of the tour was looking at Rome from the center of the Roman Forum, uncovering layers of Roman, Renaissance, and contemporary Italian history."

Deborah

Corralitos, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I've traveled in Europe on my own before, I had always been a bit hesitant and not very adventurous, especially about trying new restaurants. One of my goals on this, my first formal tour experience, was to learn to be more comfortable exploring on my own and feeling more comfortable talking to the locals. My eyes have been opened to how kind, generous, and accessible most people are!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of ancient Rome with Francesca was very moving. Exploring the church of San Clemente and then the Colosseum, with Francesca's narrative, was more emotional than I expected. The morning the tour ended we went to Mass at St. Peter's and it was so much more meaningful after experiencing San Clemente and the early history of Christianity."

Darla

Winchester, VA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our dedicated guide. She was very professional,caring and fun. Good mix of scheduled and free time. Good overview of area before free time so can explore easily. Need to tell people that Italy does not do window screens. Bring bug repellent for sleeping with window open. Good guides for specific areas. Knowledgeable. Some overlap in info from dedicated and local guide. Perhaps coordinate info more. Could not have asked for better tour. Even with unexpected events, recovered well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Slow and subtle reliaization that Venice had no wheeled street transit. No motorcycle, car, bikes, only feet and boats. Could walk anywhere with out worry. All the art, history, buildings and culutre were fabulous but sort of expected. Loved the "doors" of Burona. Hidded behind curtains but when walked around the little alley streets off the main street, saw each was individual and unique. Fun discovery"

Stephanie

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional! Great group of people, wonderful tour guides, and a perfect mix of sightseeing with the group and having time to relax or do other interesting things on your own time. What a lovely way to experience the beauty, culture, and charm of the people and sites in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our stop at the winery. Knowing that it was owned by the family of our tour guide made it even more special. Learning the history of it's origins, touring the wine cellar, enjoying the delicious wines and sumptuous buffet lunch and viewing the spectacular scenery was pure bliss. Touring the colleseum, the forum, and the surrounding area was also another favorite "wow" moment. Our guide did an exceptional job of helping us understand what Rome must have been like in its glory days."

John

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I totally enjoyed our tour of Venice, Florence, and Rome. The cities and sites are absolutely incredible and our tour guide, Cecilia, did a great job sharing her vast knowledge of, not only the cities and sites but also people and culture of Italy. Had we not been on the tour we might have been able to see many of the same sights but we certainly would not have had the same understanding. Our tour members were very pleasant and accommodations were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to identify one moment of so many as the "Wow" moment. The city of Venice itself is quite a site and very stunning. Visiting Cecilia's winery was extremely impressive and a great overall experience. Probably the most impressive individual site, if I had to pick one, is the Colosseum in Rome, an incredible structure and the history presented by our guide was enlightening."

Michael

Port Richey, FL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! This was our first trip to Europe so every aspect of our tour was a unique and exciting experience. I especially enjoyed the cooking school and Cecilia's winery as well as the many churches and museums. I would reduce the number of churches on the tour and add a visit to the gondola repair station in Venice and perhaps a visit to a leather craft shop in Florence showing how to make fine gloves and jackets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us, there were many but when I stepped over the threshold of St. Peter's Basilica I was in awe. How do you describe such a place? When I went home people would ask, "How was it?", what can I say? Words fail to describe my experience. I've told some, "I can't quantify such an experience verbally, you have to go there and see it". Some would think I didn't want to be bothered talking about it while others clearly understood my point. One must go and experience such a place."

Pat

Merlin, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a lovely, kind, knowledgeable tour guide and a friendly, small group to enjoy 10 days in Italy. We saw a geat deal in a relatively short period of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many favorites-Michelangelo's "David" and "Pieta"', spending time at the beautiful vineyard, and walking back to our hotel with our group after dinner one night in Rome."

Cindy

Aurora, CO

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well planned, the excursions were wonderful, the food to die for, the hotels were fine, our companions were exceptional but our tour guide, Sarah, was outstanding. Carrie was also in attendance with us and was helpful and always had a smile on her face. Well done! I will always use Rick Steves Tours whenever possible and would love to tour with Sarah and our gang again. Ciao!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the middle of St. Mark's Square in Venice at night, seeing the statues in Florence, going to the winery in Orvieto and the Pantheon in Rome. Actually, there were just so many that I can't even begin to pick a specific "Wow" moment."

Sheri

Centralia, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous, well-organized and [INVALID]d tour! We weren't sure that we were "tour group" people, but we had a wonderful group of individuals and an experienced tour guide. The 12 days were very full. Lots of sights, food, wine, activities, and walking (over 81 mils to be exact!)It was very apparent that Rick Steve's is very well respected in Europe and wherever we went as a group the people were extremely friendly and accommodating. We can't wait to schedule our next Rick Steve's Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were lucky to have several "wow" moments on our trip: 1. Surprise visit from Rick Steves at our group dinner in Venice 2. Night time gondola ride under a full moon while being serenaded by an opera singer and accordion. 3. Attending a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by a 6 string ensemble in an old church in Venice. 4. Cooking class in Rome"

Judith

East Woodstock, CT

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful introduction to Italy[INVALID] Now I want to go back[INVALID] ASAP[INVALID] but alas[INVALID] responsibilities intrude into that dream[INVALID] but someday[INVALID] so much more I want to see[INVALID] even tho we packed a lot into this trip[INVALID] with day-trips to outlying islands, museum tours, wonderful dining, archeological sites to explore and wine to taste[INVALID] It was Great[INVALID] Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stumbling upon the Corsini Museum and seeing all the treasures inside"

Helene

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and my first trip to Europe. Having watched RS on television for years I knew that I could easily get overwhelmed by everything to see and do in Venice,Florence and Rome so I thought this would be a good way to see all the major sights without the hassle of coordinating it myself. Best decision I ever made. This tour exceeded my expectations 200%.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two! On our first evening in Florence we were on our orientation walking tour.As we turned a corner the Duomo was right in front of us. I was not prepared for how immense and stunningly beautiful this Cathedral is. On our tour of the Vatican when we entered St Peter's Basilica. This magnificent building with the amazing bronze canopy over the main alter is truly worthy of our first pope. The feeling was emotional and powerful."

Robert

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. I learned a lot about history, Italy, it's people and culture. We got to see some countryside too. We were given direction, suggestions and practical tips. The Guide and Assistant were helpful and fun. This was my favorite tour trip and it made me appreciate it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to assign one favorite moment because there were many moments that I really enjoyed."

Joan

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Husband and I had a wonderful trip and experience to Italy. This was our first trip to Europe and so we wanted to go with a tour. Rick Steves Tour was the perfect tour for us because they took us to the points of interest and the historical spots of the area and then gave us our free time to do what we wanted to see and do in that particular location. Our guide, Sarah, had an excellent background on Italy. She had excellent knowledge of history and art of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment we were in Saint Perter's Square and the Pope stopped a couple of feet away from us and patted the child's head next to me was a very moving experience. Our tour group was exceptional. Everyone was so caring, supportive and wonderful in this group. I feel we have some new friends forever."

David

Springfield, IL

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Sarah was extremely knowledgeable regarding Italy. We also thought Cary did a great job assisting with answering many "how do you get here or get tickets for this?" type questions. Also, the people in our group were great as a whole. Everyone was on time and able to listen well and get along with each other. Getting to the front of the lines and having our own bus transportation between cities was great also. Lesa and I also enjoyed the more local type hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride with the opera type singer. Second choice, the family winery stop."

Lynn

Merrimac, MA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was FANTASTIC...I would definitely book a Rick Steves' tour again. I appreciated the choice of hotels - their location and ambiance (for lack of a better word). The included meals were WONDERFUL. The walking tours were informative, interesting,and FUN! The free time gave me time to see other sites and the tour guides were EXTREMELY helpful in planning other things to see or do. Not having to wait in lines is what made it SOOOO much better than doing it myself! And Sarah was fantastic!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride with soprano serenade....I could have gone home after Venice and been happy - Florence and Rome were a real bonus!!"

Joanne

Barrington, NH

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such an Incredible experience!! I have been to Europe before, once on a group tour and another time on a self guided tour. This was, without a doubt, the best trip of all. The small group size (28) was very manageable when being seated for dinner or navigating the walking tours and crossing intersections. Boarding buses, getting on the metro and the gondolas all went very quickly. Our guide gave us suggestions for our free time with transportation options and what to expect when we arrived.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was the evening gondola ride on the Grand Canal with accompaniment of an accordion player and soloist!!! How do you top that??? You travel the next day through the Tuscany hillside and stop at the most idyllic picturesque vineyard in Orvieto for lunch and wine tasting!"

Gregory

Sun Prairie, WI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing trip of a lifetime. The time spent at each location was perfect. The entire tour group started out as a collection of strangers and became friends by the end of the trip. This was such as positive experience that I would have no problems with recommending this to friends and family. In would also seriously consider taking another trip in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the sights in ancient Rome, especially the colosseum and the Forum."

Carl

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It more than exceeded my expectations. First, it felt more like a group of friends traveling together than a "tour". People connections were a strong highlight, inclusive of fellow travelers, Sarah and Cary, the guides used at each city. We experienced the passion and love of these people for the country as much as experienceing the sites, architecture, history, art, music. This is a testament of the quality of people attending, guiding, and leading the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I tried to come up with a "top 10" list for the trip. We stopped on page 2 of our attempt. The most unexpected wow moment is probably the Gondola ride in Venice. What could have been a corny tourist experience was an amazing experience of the waters and music of Venice. Loved it. We had many wow moments in our free time too - having this time is a great attribute of this tour."

Nina

University Place, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was more than I expected as far as the special touches and side things we did on the tour. Sarah is a top notch tour guide, she has so much to offer with her in depth knowledge of the history of all the cities we visited as well as all her contacts in the areas. We would get little bits of fascinating historical information from her. Her instructions were so detailed and up front so we really had no surprises. The group responded and became so aligned it was beautiful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our final night in Venice, our evening gondola ride, with the special touch of the accordion player and the singer on board one of our 5 boats. The winery stop in route from Florence to Rome was icing on the cake, a great place to breathe and take in the quite serene side of Italy outside the cities. The Churches and St. Peter's Basilica, BIG WOW, The family feel of our tour group by the end of our tour. The cooking class in Florence was a group favorite, so much fun !!!!"

Sherry

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was better than the last. It exceeded our expectations. The group was very friendly and the Virginia was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class was the best ever. When we were done cooking, we ate it....and it was the best I have EVER cooked. Eating together in the cellar with spectacular wine put it over the top for me. Of course the next day at the winery was even better if that is possible."

Lucille

Pembroke, NH

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all of it. Hotels were well located and comfortable. Group tours took us to interesting sites and the local guides were very knowledgeable. Fellow tour members were friendly and fun. It added to our experience to be surrounded by a group of like minded people. No grouches allowed! All 3 cities have much to offer and I left the tour feeling that I not only visited and learned the history of these cities, I saw their modern side also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fish market in Venice! First thing we saw on our first morning jet-lagged and bleary eyed. The activity,noise and "realness" told us we were far from home! I've never seen an octopus so beautifully displayed. There were so many other wow moments. My other favorite was walking onto the colosseum "floor" and looking up to where the jeering and cheering crowds would have been. It seemed very real;it was hard to compare the accomplishment of the architecture and the cruelty that happened there."

William

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being it was my first time in Italy and having very little expectations of what to see other than the main attractions, there was not one thing I would have changed. Everything from the food to the atmosphere to my guide Virginia, exceeded any expectation I might have had! It was a case of all the puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together and the result was a life changing experience with the opportunity to be in one of the most beautiful countries/areas in the world. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to capture just one "wow" moment from my tour because there were so many. Every single day had a few packed in there because I found Italy was so immense with culture, history, and life. I would have to say if I narrowed it down to one "wow" moment it had to be the Colosseum in Rome for me. It's history awed me and that was one place I always have wanted to see my whole life. It definitely did not disappoint!"

Lindsay

Allen Park, MI

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. I loved each destination and particularly liked the fact that we stayed in each city three nights. The tours were excellent as were the meals and our tour guide was delightful. We loved the fact that we had plenty of free time to explore on our own and all hotels were centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All tours provided wow moments. Virginia made sure we saw everything "important" as well as offering many suggestions for further exploration. She recommended St Mary Maggiore church which ended up being my favorite of all the churches. The group dinners were also phenomenal with great food, wine, atmosphere, and live music!"

Rollin

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can I say but that it was a wonderful experience. This was a fantastic first introduction to Venice. We apprecieated being there for a few days because, in addition to the superb guided tours, it also gave us an opportunity to do additional exploration on our own and with other members of our group. The same can be said for Florence and Rome. We had visited them before but gained a whole new appreciation on this trip. Wine tasting at Tenuta Le Velette was a perfect addition to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments it is hard to point out a favorite. The tour did wet my appetite for more trips in the future."

Lawrence

Gibsonia, PA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first guided tour we have taken and liked the philosophy of the RickSteves tours. Our expectations were met and exceeded! We loved our guide and the experiences we had in each city. The hotels were right convenient and each had it's own personality. There was plenty of free time to relax or explore and the group dinners were so much fun. Our local guides each exhibited a palpable love for their city and enthusiasm for their subject. We surely will be signing up for future tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ahhh, so many. The David. St Peters Basilica. The cooking class in Florence. The wine tasting. Hard to pin it down to one! Oh, and the gondola ride with the musicians."

Pamela

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We traveled with our 27 year old son and he had a great time interacting with the older members in our group. We had wondered if it would be a family vacation and it turned out well. We enjoyed our gondola ride organized by Virginia and our cooking class was great along with most of our dinners. We learned a lot of Italian history and it helped inform me about present day interactions with Americans. It was an enlightening trip for me and I learned a little Italian to boot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night gondola ride with a singer and accordionist was wonderful. It was very magical and romantic. Going between the lit houses and hotels and into the Grand Canal was priceless. I am very happy that Virginia was able to arrange it for us."

Marc

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been watching Rick Steves' episodes for a very long time. On our first trip to Italy we chose one of his tours. I must say that our actual trip better than what I read in the on-line brochure. And, our trip exceeded my expectations. We had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was our first walk through Venice. The city looked just like in the movies and travel books. Venice is a unique and beautiful city."

Alan

Bradenton, FL

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know how it could have been any better! It was my 14th trip to Europe but my first with a tour group and I found you get to have experiences you couldn't have on your own. I highly recommend touring Europe with a Rick Steves' group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Duomo in Florence and the aquaduct in Rome."

Jack

New Palestine, IN

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't think my experience could have been better. Our tour guide Virginia was the best and there was never a disappointing moment except when we had to leave for the airport to come home. My complements to all staff involved with the Rick Steves tour group for making this my most memorable vacation ever. I really felt like a VIP. Thank You.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a hard question to answer because there were so many "wow" moments. The Coliseum in Rome perhaps, the visit to the winery in Florence, or maybe my Italian cooking class was the best. I know it might seem a little silly that I travel all the way to Italy for a cooking class but "wow" that was really fun."

Donna

Pilot Hill, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour experience was everything I'd hoped it would be - and more! I enjoyed every aspect of our Venice-Florence-Rome tour, and was very impressed by the caliber of our tour guide, Alfio, as well as the excellent local guides in each city. I felt there was a good balance of scheduled activities and free time to spend as we pleased. I also enjoyed meeting many wonderful tour members, which only added to my overall experience of my tour of beautiful Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Venice for the first time. Although I've seen many photos, I wasn't prepared for the reality of its picture-perfect beauty. I couldn't stop taking endless photos of the gorgeous canals...nearly each one postcard-worthy, despite being taken with just my smartphone's camera."

Nancy

Humble, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being our first trip to Italy, we wanted the biggest bang for our buck! The tour covered the more popular sights and had plenty of free time to wander on our own. It was nice to have all the transportation, tickets, etc. pre-arranged. I would recommend this trip for anyone who wants the "highlights" of these three cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to choose only one!"

Linda

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The exposure to Italian history, art and culture, the tour guide and most local guides, the food, the food, and the selection of activities all rank high and if it had not been for the hotels, the overall experience would have been outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toss-up between seeing Michelangelo's David and during on our own time at the Borghese Museum where I was in a room alone with Bernini's Daphne and Apollo. I was surprised that the Borghese was not on the RS itinerary. And thanks to Alfio for the backwards approach to David - most effective."

Charles

Halethorpe, MD

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Alfio, was the best as were the local guides for the specific tours. Hotels were adequate with the one in Rome being the best. However, we are on the tour to see and do things, not hang out in a stupendous hotel room! I feel that there was adequate "free time" scheduled into the planned tour. The specific points of interest picked for our tour were excellent. All things being equal and having no other "tour" experience to compare to, I would do another tour with Rick Steve's Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice-San Marcos Piazza Florence- Seeing the David Statue Rome- the Ancient Rome tour"

Randall

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience was more than we could have imagined. Everything was well organized, site tours were mostly all priority access, the guides were superior and were experts in all the history and the areas to focus on with our valuable time. A special thanks to Alfeo (our group guide) for expertly managing the entire experience and making us all feel more than just a group - we all became friends. Thanks again, Randall

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sculpture of David. So magnificent. Alfeo did a great job in building the maximum mental and personal effect - holding our visual (we actually walked in with our face in the opposite direction) until the last moment and then having us turn around to see the sculpture. It elevated the experience exponentially."

Rebecca

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, the tour was very good and lived up to my hopes for a first visit to see Italy's legendary cities and magnificent art and monuments. I appreciate that the group size was no larger than 28 people. Appreciated the hotels being well located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to pick one "wow" moment for there were so many. I would have to say (for me) that seeing Michelangelo's David was the most chill inducing. Alfio (our guide) presented the statue to us in a very unique and personal fashion that heightened the experience for me. I appreciate how he did that for us VERY much."

Jon

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing first experience of Italy. I loved what was planned, and I appreciated having quite a bit of time that was self-structured.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from. Walking Venice at sunrise; seeing Michelangelo's David; Walking onto the winery grounds and seeing the view; the Sistine Chapel to name a few."

Carolynn

Regina, SK

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an experiment for me - to see if I would be able to travel solo without a known companion. The kinds of activities this tour included was very conducive to traveling by oneself: I.e. Small group good for when you're on your own -get to know people easily/quickly Activities such as wine tasting and cooking class - interactive with group and loads of fun Very festive and fun 'group dinners' got a solo person involved Centrally located hotels made it easy to venture out on one's own

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy itself is one big "wow" with its incredible historical sites, beauty, food, people, etc. I had been to Italy twice before but this tour introduced me to experiences I had never contemplated before - my favourite of which was the 'wine tasting' in Orvieto. The astonishingly beautiful setting, Cecelia's bubbly personality (and her dog!), and the wine and food will be one of my fondest memories."

Merrell

Humble, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our goal taking a tour instead of independent travel was to see as much as we could in the 10 days we were in Italy. We were not disappointed! Having a guide to expedite entrance into sites, museums and hotels made the difference. We enjoyed being part of a group and made friends from all over the country and Canada. I read the goal was to need time to rest when you got home. Alfio, job well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence was my WOW city! I loved how Alfio introduced the statue of David and the cooking class was so much fun!"

Celia

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not have asked for a better tour experience! I felt like the tour was balanced perfectly between group tour/activity time and free time. The smaller tours within the tour made it so easy [INVALID] all we had to do was show up and enjoy. The group dinners were always especially tasty and great fun. With suggestions from our guide, we never felt like we were running out of activities to do on our own. I would recommend this tour to anyone planning on visiting Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's "David" for the first time in person. Totally impressed."

Michael

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations and the tour exceeded them. Lisa's guidance was outstanding. I hadn't expected to so enjoy the other members of the tour. The tour gave us a very good look at each city, and yet gave us plenty of time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several, but... stepping into the room and seeing the "David" was pretty special. WOW! Turning the corner in Rome and seeing the Colosseum was also pretty good."

David

Whitehall, MI

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a recent retiree. This was my first trip to Italy for fun. Traveling as a member of a Rick Steves tour group made it even more enjoyable as all the details were taken care of. Lisa was very professional and anticipated our needs and was always there with suggestions to enhance our free time. The local guides were well chosen, especially Francesca in Roma. They made the experience all the better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments as each city was different and had its own particular moments. In Venice, it was getting to walk across the Bridge of Sigh, In Firenze, it would be "the David" and in Roma, just too many "wows" to pick one."

Marilyn

Parker, CO

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I think my favorite was taking the vaporetto from the Venice airport on the mainland across the water to the city of Venice. It was surreal to be in a boat heading towards this city that seemed to rise up out of the water. Venice is a city like no other."

Helen

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was marvelous. I don't know how we could have gotten any more activities in and still had time to just relax and enjoy each city. The mix was just right. Being on my feet for ten hours straight made them burn and hurt. They would recover over-night however.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "David" in Florence."

Katherine

Severn, MD

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Fabulous tour leader Lisa Anderson. Her passion for Italy and illustrations of current real family life in Italy made the tour more relevant and personal. Beautiful scenery, good food and wine. Wonderful fellow team members- the large group mixed well and built a camaraderie that included all the personalities. Loved the cooking class and wine experience. Good "active", hands-on time to balance art and historic site appreciation time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the cathedral in Florence. Such beautiful marble on the façade, the elaborate decoration. Amazing how such beauty and architectural precision has survived the centuries. I had that "wow" moment over and over. Again at the Pantheon."

Brad

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My third trip to Italy, and the first time I feel like I've actually "Experienced" it. The food and wine [INVALID]ion was fantastic. Our guide, Lisa, did an outstanding job making the cities seem welcoming - especially Venice. Overall I felt like I came away from this tour with a new way of viewing the world. I have always enjoyed traveling and this trip has made me re-examine my experiences and made me want to travel better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's tour of the church of San Clemente in Rome, followed by the Forum, was literally life changing for me. Her ability to create a real connection with the history of Rome created an emotional connection for me that will last a lifetime. A truly surprising experience."

Bonnie

Boise, ID

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I was traveling alone, so I was a bit worried that I would feel like a "third wheel" all of the time, but that never happened. Everyone was incredibly friendly, and I was always invited to meals or activities during free time. The guides were outstanding. I learned so much thanks to their broad knowledge, and this enriched my experience tremendously. I wasn't sure what to expect, but whatever my expectations were, they were exceeded all along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide arranged gondola rides in Venice for tour members who wanted to participate, and she even arranged for an accordion player and opera singer to serenade us as we were poled along the canals. The quintessential Venice experience! And seeing the David statue in person is an emotional experience that defies description."

Judd

Parker, CO

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Let me first say that I am not a guided tour person... I like to my own thing, but I could not imagine doing Venice, Florence and Rome on our own and getting the most out of the experience without a guided tour. The coordination of everything was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was definitely Rome. There is nothing like seeing the Ancient ruins of the Coliseum and outside the city...Ostia Antica. Equally valuable was the tour through the Vatican. One of the biggest values you bring historical insight, but also is the convenience of not having to wait in line at many venues."

Audrey

Auburn, CA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This evaluation is for both of us: Audrey and Robert Fish. This is our second RS tour. We really like how you arrange everything. It's just the right amount of time with the group, and free time. We like meeting people, local guides, and the group meals - those are always the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Audrey - The Sistine Chapel, and the David Bob - the Colosseum"

Thomas

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, our guide was fantastic, and the tour group members were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Couldn't pick just one, but wow moments include Venice in general, the Doge's palace in Venice, our gondola ride in Venice (complete with opera singer), the island of Burano, Florence in general, the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, and San Clemente church in Rome."

Steven

Riverside, CA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We kept going all the time - no down time. Everything was very well organized so we could maximize our day. There is so much to see and enjoy. Lisa , as well as, all the other people in our group made it just a real fun and special experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time we arrived in a new place - the moment we arrived in Venice, Florence and Rome. Having that very first day when everything was new. The trip to the islands off Venice, the cooking class, and the trip to the winery were great."

Bruce

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip had special significance for me. I have always felt drawn to the Mediterranean and this trip was my gift to myself, marking my retirement from work in December 2013. Although we had to deal with weather that was very unpredictable, the overall experience of Venice, Florence, Orvieto, and Rome was one that I will always treasure. I knew that I was going to love Italy, but had no idea just how much of an impression Italy was going to make on me...delizioso!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel that this entire trip was a continuous "wow" for me, but I guess that one of the biggest "wows" was standing on top of the Victor Emmanuelle monument on a beautiful sunny, warm afternoon, and savoring an unobstructed view of Rome."

Daniel

Milton, MA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved this tour. My wife picked the tour because it concentrated on three cities instead of going all over the place. The pace really let us maximize our time in each city. The tour was very well organized and run. I know that the weather is not in anyone's control but it seemed that Riccardo could even keep the rain away. It only rained while we were on the bus. Every event added to our enjoyment of these magnificent cities. I would not hesitate to go on another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments it is hard to choose. The cooking class in Florence was a great time and everyone really got into it. The teachers were great and made it a lot of fun. I love history so Francesca's presentation in San Clemente Church was very moving. Riccardo's explanation of the Mosaics in the Church on Torcello Island was really great."

Jim

Painesville, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased that we chose RSE as the basis for our first visit to Italy. We wanted to focus on two or three cities, and stay multiple days in each city. We also wanted to participate in a smaller group vs. how many can fit on a big bus. Our experience was outstanding. The combination of group activities and "step out on your own time" worked very well, particularly if you took time to use the RS Italy book to focus your free time and to assist in finding restaurants on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the multi-level excavations below the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome. That was where we really understood the RS "experience" thing. The setting, together with a terrific local guide, combined to give us a physical and emotional sense (40 years ago I would describe it as a "rush") of the significance of Rome and its history. And then we walked two blocks and entered the Colosseum, all fired up with our new-found grasp of real world history! A truly great travel day."

Chad

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Years ago we visited Florence and Rome as part of a cruise itinerary. I fell in love with Italy but didn't feel that I got to experience the cities in an authentic way. This Rick Steves tour allowed us to do just that. For years we talked of doing a RS tour but had some reservations about doing a formal tour. We needn't have worried. This tour was marvelous in all aspects! It exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments were too numerous to quantify. Each day seemed even more fulfilling than the one before. Many times I literally gasped out loud and/or was moved to tears. Climbing the Duomo in Florence. The islands of Burano/Torcello. The Pantheon, entering Piazza Navona, and the Pieta at St. Peter's. The David took my breath away. The Uffizi. Our winery stop at Tenuta Le Velette was so special. I will never forget that as long as I live. The cooking school in Florence was a gem!"

Daniel

Lancaster, CA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Everything was thought of well in advance including what we might ask at a given location. The experience fulfilled my greatest expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Brunellesci dome for the first time, walking up to it, and the Baptestry."

John

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. It was a great mix of organized events and free time to explore on our own. Every day was a new adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is a tie between the cooking class and climbing the Duomo."

Brent

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had high expectations - but they were exceeded. Where to start... The entire trip was exactly as described. By this I mean, the "group tour" portions of the trip were very active. The trip descriptions mention this over and over - and they are not over or understated. Be ready to walk! Hotels, restaurants, tour arrangements, transportation, all truly first class and managed by our guides without a hitch. And, of course, there were the magnificent sites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. But, the winery, Tenuta Le Velette with it's amazing view across the vineyards to the hilltop town of Orvieto, was a special treat. The grounds, the food, the wine, and our wonderful hostess made this truly a special occasion. We were hoping for a Napa-like experience. This was SO much better."

Cleo

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann Long did an outstanding job as guide--she really made the trip special. The tour lived up to expectations and the marketing information provided by the Rick Steves organization.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tower house tour in Florence and the San Clemente Basilica tour in Rome."

David

Salisbury, MD

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to all cities before. Saw new things in each city on this tour and also got to return to favorite spots. The group dinners were OK but not outstanding; as good as any on other tours. Good location for the hotels. Vineyard visit and tasting in Umbria very well done. I was impressed with how well all the tour members blended together, no bad apples, nobody was chronically late.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one, back streets of Florence, St. Mark's, Dodge's Palace. Colors in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Gondola ride at night with a full moon over the Grand Canal, now that takes real planning ahead!"

Rebecca

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. We had a really good group of people, and our tour director Ann made sure that we got into and out of a lot of sites with maximum information and minimum pain. I enjoyed the local guides and their perspectives of the cities and art we saw, and the information they provided on history and culture. The tour provided a good introduction to these cities and to Italy, and I'm looking forward to going back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our group continually asked this question, and it has always been difficult to answer, because there were so many "wow" moments. I loved the night-time gondola ride in Venice, the tower house in Florence, and San Clemente and the Colosseum in Rome. Seeing Michelangelo's David was definitely a favorite moment; it is so much more alive than the copies and photos. Ann's background information on it helped, too!"

Richard

Burien, WA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We couldn't have asked for a better guide. (Donald) The local guides are good, but everyone agreed that the Vatican audio system is clear and the local audio components create problems, especially for older people with hearing difficulty. Well organized, with enough guided activity and free time. I am a 71 year-old man with some of the usual physical problems going on, but I enjoyed everything and was made aware from your website of what to expect. Will probably go on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed by humanity and God's gifts in full view: human caring, humor, talent and the earth's treasures."

Terri

Bexley, OH

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met all expectations. Very well organized. To make it easier for participants to plan other activities on their own, it would be helpful to know approximately what TIME we are done with the tour activites. Some days said "will see A, B, and C, then the rest of the day is on your own." Would be nice to know how much time so we can plan other events that require reservations (i.e. Borghese Gallery). Please add a gondola ride as part of the Venice tour, not as an extra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""David", "Sistine Chapel", St. Peters. Non-tour "wow" moments - gondolas, the Necropolis under St. Peters [INVALID]fabulous tour, very unique. Doable in 2 small groups only 15 minutes apart, but must make reservations several months in advance. It was INCREDIBLE!!! and very reasonably priced! Would like to see some non-religious art, too."

Mario

Courtenay, BC

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent in all regards. Having never visited Europe before this was the perfect intro to touring in Italy and Europe. It prepares the traveler for arriving early and getting along on there own, staying on after the tour and having your own agenda (we visited Ostia Antica and the Cinque Terra) as well as went on to Spain for two more weeks travelling the RS method.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was my favourite wow moment; from the moment I stepped off the aircraft each experience layered upon the next never disappointing. The only disappointment was having to get back on the airplane for the trip home."

Constance

Venice, FL

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was exactly what we were looking for. We got to see most of the fabulous landmarks of each city and some of the beautiful countryside of Tuscany. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and charming and most of our travel companions were great company. What more could we ask for?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and David are tied for my "wow" moment. Venice had been at the top of my list of sights that I wanted to see and experience and it didn't disappoint. What an incredible place with friendly people and fantastic views. The side trip to Murano and Burano and the gondola ride were the "icing on the cake" and I'm so glad to have seen them both. David was breathtaking. This work of art is one everyone grows up seeing pictures of and never expect to visit. I'm so glad I had the chance."

Nancy

Burien, WA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was wonderful. My traveling companions were all warm, caring people who looked out for the experiences of the group first and then their own individual desires. Our guide was knowledgeable, full of enthusiasm and able to take the pulse of the group in order to tailor some events to our needs and interests. I loved the balance of group tour time with guides and the individual time to explore on my own and go more deeply into an area of personal interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything that we did opened my eyes further to the wonders of the world and creativity of humans. But visiting the Sistine Chapel and then standing in the vastness of St. Peter's Basilica was truly a "wow" moment. Standing in front of the sculpture of David was a close second. Then the visit to the vineyard in Orvieto and our own "wine experience" was pretty spectacular too."

Shiela

Courtenay, BC

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pleasantly surprised and delighted. Could not believe all the things we saw and did and all the free time we had to explore on our own. Nothing was a problem everything was an adventure. Besides the outings that were already included with our tour Donald went above and beyond to arrange extra things to do for us on our own time. Examples, Vivaldi concerts, gondola rides with musicians, sky tower ride in Rome just to name a few. Over all everything was great!!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The cooking class in Florence was a ton of fun and I'm so glad it was part of our tour. The wine tasting luncheon in Orvieto was also fun. We learned a lot about their wines and what foods to pare with the wines and the hostess was knowledgable and lots of fun."

Steve

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded our expectations, and did all of the things we had hoped that a Rick Steves tour would do, especially in two areas: having the right amount of free time, and having our guide show flexibility and resourcefulness in adjusting to weather and national strikes, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing the music being practiced by students in the schools, through our window of our Florence hotel, punctuated suddenly by a flurry of church bells giving way to a brief downpour. And also hearing our Vatican guide tell us that while St Peter's Square was designed to hold 250,000 people, the current pope is so popular that they expects upwards of five million people to try to attend Easter Mass this year."

Jacqueline

Napa, CA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's Tour and I continue to be surprised at how much I enjoy the experience. I never pictured myself as much of a "tour person" but I was travelling with my mother who felt more comfortable traveling overseas with a tour. Wonderful experience with wonderful people and a true chance to learn about the Italian culture. I never felt like I was being herded around like you would normally expect on a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To me a WOW moment is anything that immediately has you saying "I want to go again!". I'd have to say the stop at the winery in Orvietto was a true highlight on this trip. Cecilia was so welcoming and the property was beautiful! Being a wine geek myself it was a great chance to explore and experience the wines I've only really gotten to read about."

Dan

Elizabethtown, NY

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing tour! It was well organized and Cecilia was an awesome guide. We hit the highlights of Italy and skipped all lines. The downtime was also nice and Cecilia had great recommendations for our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around Venice. I spent a lot of my free time simply walking around Venice. It has so much charm with the canals, the narrow alleys lined with stores, beautiful glass sculptures and jewelry. I am not normally a window shopper and I did not buy anything, but I enjoyed looking into the windows of all the glass stores."

Stephen

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Venice, Florence and Rome was nothing less than spectacular. It was exactly what we wanted on our first trip to Italy. Our exceptional tour guide was Cecilia and the very knowledgable guides in each of the cities. We learned so much! Cecilia was the perfect fairy godmother. She took excellent care of us with little gifts, suggested concerts, wines at dinner, the best restaurants......not enough room to list all the extras. Loved it. We will do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lets see.....the first glimpse of Venice and the Rialto Bridge; gliding on the Grand Canal in our gondola while our private opera singer gave us a concert. Duomo, David, Cooking School in Florence, Ponta Vecchio, Vivaldi String Concert, everything in Vatican City. That is a fraction of the "Wow" moments."

Anne

Oakland, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful combination of great people, amazing art, food "experiences", lots of laughter, fantastic guides (all of them), and being embraced in the "no grump" world for 10 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cecilia's heart moving talk standing on a stone bench in her winery about the power of people and history. gelato....chocolate and hazelnut Venice under a full moon Antonia's introduction to the actual home of a family and the description of life very long ago The soup at the group dinner in Florence....still waiting for that recipe Cecilia! Watching the countryside from the bus rides Seeing the Bernini statues after Cecilia walked us to the door Glee of our final dinner"

Karen

Laguna Hills, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first group tour and was concerned about personalities of other tour members. I loved the "no grumps" policy and suggestions about bonding. We had one incident which was handled correctly and swiftly, thanks to Cecilia and tour members. Not only was our group the best, but we also had the best tour guide! On our free time we would break off and follow suggestions in the Rick Steve's book which were always perfect. In addition, Cecilia always gave us suggestions & optional tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments! 1. We were not going to do the gondola ride, been there-done that. As a group, having a singer and accordion player, this was a wonderful experience 2. Going down into the Tenuta Le Velette wine cellar 3. Seeing the Pope Sunday 4. Michelangelo's David 5. Santa Maria del Fiore- inside and out 6. Our Florence hotel room and view 7. In Tavola cooking school 8. Palazzo Davanzatti & Palazzo Pitti 9. St. Peter's 10. Rome Metro 11. Farewell dinner with wine & music"

Penelope

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exhilarating. Exhausting. Fun. Endlessly interesting to watch group dynamics - smaller cliques forming impermeable barriers, introverts navigating a sea of extroverts, relative strangers rushing to the aid of each other. The tour is well designed in terms of order of cities - starting in relatively quiet (carless) Venice, building through Florence and ending in very busy Rome, with the most refreshing break at Celilia's family winery in the Italian countryside. I felt secure and welcome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most pressing reason to go to Rome was to see as many Berninis and Caravagios as possible. Most, especially Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, live in the Galleria Borghese which is not included in the tour. Our wonderful guide, Cecilia, ESCORTED a group of us to the gates of the Borghese AFTER tour hours one day. This was far above the call of duty, for which I am deeply grateful. I needed to drink in the stunning beauty after seeing so many bleeding saints and Jesuses."

Stephen

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being my first Rick Steves tour, (or guided tour of any kind) I had no idea what to expect. The trip was wonderful. Much better than I expected, and a perfect mixture of guided tours and free time to explore. This is empowering, and I greatly appreciate the method of teaching independent travel skills while showing us amazing parts of Italy that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to motivate myself to accomplish in such a short time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Having my "future bride" serenade me on a gondola ride will stick in my memory forever. St. Peter's Basilica was humbling, to say the least. And I could have stayed a month at Cecilia's (Maria's) vineyard. And I will. On my honeymoon. With the gondola opera singer. (Shhh! Let me dream!)"

Ilonnie

Irvine, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first tour and I'm glad I chose Rick Steves' over other travel tours. Everything was just right . The free time we had to explore on our own and get "lost" was a very good experience. His guide book came in handy and the proximity of the hotels to city sights , were very helpful. Our guide Cecilia was superb! She made sure we are having a good time and safe as well. We love the "bonuses" she provided us with---she made every place we visited memorable,with those little tokens.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There's always a "WOW" moment in our tour...but stand outs were our gondola ride in Venice with a very endearing serenade from a soprano singer. The cooking class in Florence was a fun filled activity too. That experience was just perfect, I mean ITALY = good food, VINO and good company (BTW our group was superb as well). The Pantheon in Rome, St Peter's Basilica and all the DUOMO's..the magnificence of all the architecture,arts and culture of Italy. Our group's favorite, Cecilia's winery tour"

Lynn

Wallingford, CT

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was exceptional. Although Rick Steves' had nothing to do with it, the weather for 10 days was perfect! Cool, sunny and delightful! Our activities were well planned and communicated in advance so there were no disappointments. In each city, we were given directions, guidance and an overview and then let go to freely explore on our own with many suggestions from our guide. It was an even balance of individual sightseeing combined with a small group tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our cooking class experience in Florence was a team effort and a delicious meal. Fun and educational and a chance to bond with members of the group. Other wows were: The Vatican, St. Mark's Square, Borghese Gallery, etc."

Richard

Wallingford, CT

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was spectacular. The weather was perfect (thank you Rick Steves for arranging 10 days of sun), the people were great and the guide was exceptional. This was out first group tour ever and it was a perfect first experience. All the activities, places and and things to do were well organized, communicated well and planned with enough time to be on our own. The blend of group and individual activities was perfect for me. The small group feel was wonderful too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that it is hard to pick one. Experiencing the history in the three cities was palpable. One could feel the Renaissance come alive in Florence. The mix of Roman history and a buzz of a city made Rome special. And the fact that Venice does not have any cars. scooters or bikes in today's fast paced life, makes it a special place. What else? Cooking together, the winery tour and visiting the WWII war memorial added to the WOW. It must have been just being in Italy."

Robert

Union, ME

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE saw so much and learned a phenomenal amount of information, much of it a springboard for future learning. By the way, my wife, Barbara LeGendre is filling out my form, an error.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hate to be cliched but Michaelangelo's David, Pieta, and the Coliseum and Forum."

Regan

Lexington, KY

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations! All guides were so interesting and knowledgeable. Martin did a wonderful job orienting the tour members to each city. His simple explanations and directions made Venice and Rome very manageable and easy to get around. Hotels were good, group meals were excellent. There was just the right amount of time with the group and on our own. The tour was very well-organized and it was so nice to not have to wait in line for tickets and tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many.....every day seemed like a "wow." I found Michelangelo's David to be absolutely breathtaking. St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel were stunning. Taking a gondola ride with my 11 year old daughter. Venturing out when we first got to Venice - did not know where we were going but suddenly we turned a corner and were in St. Mark's Square! I'll never forget that."

Charlene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really appreciated the way we had a busy morning and then the afternoon to ourselves. Great way to familiarize yourself which each city by having the guide show you the ropes and then doing it yourself. Only negative was having so many early starts. That got to be exhausting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome - in and of itself."

Caren

Crystal Lake, IL

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is too difficult to choose a single moment."

Kevin

Columbia, MO

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been a self-guided tourist of Italy twice before, but this Rick Steve's tour was incredibly enjoyable. Our guide, Martin, was fun and witty. Spending time with and getting to know our fellow travelers was an unexpected joy. The hotel locations were ideal. There was a nice balance between scheduled and unscheduled time.

Donald

Ashland, OR

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour. The bar has been raised so high, I'm afraid no other tour can compete. Martin, our tour guide was great. The group itself was a good size and a great mix of people. The itinerary was well chosen with a perfect balance of tour activities and free time. Martin's goals for the tour was to make sure everyone had a great time, learned the culture and history of the area, and teach us how to travel on our own next time. He exceeded his goals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments. Martin arranged for those who wanted it, an evening gondola ride. My wife and I along with another couple were celebrating anniversaries. Martin arranged for our gondola to have a musician and singer. The second "wow" moment was an unplanned stop Martin thought we might enjoy. We stopped by the American memorial cemetery outside of Florence. Both moments were emotional experiences my wife and I will always remember."

Russell

Stoughton, WI

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Using Rick Steves tips we arrived several days early in Venice and toured using his Italy guidebook to Murano and other places not on the itinerary. Then we joined the tour and had a great time. Again we stays several extra days in Rome using the guidebook to catch what wasn't on the tour. The tour completely lived up to and exceeded my expectations the only improvement would have been a free day in Florence to allow travel to Pisa and other nearby points of interest.

David

Strathmore, AB

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall Experience was outstanding because of the quality of the character of Martin. I could never do anything like this again as it was built to get so much in, in a short period of time. I would have to take a longer tour. I found something out about myself during this tour. When I pick a tour or holiday I want to stop and relax. I do appreciate the amount of free time. If the free time was not available then it would be way to much. I am 33 years old and I got exhausted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Wow" moment was Martin and how he brought the team together. We all felt that we were family. I believe it was built by an outstanding professional such as Martin. It didn't matter where we sat during our suppers. It didn't matter which group we cooked with. It just didn't matter. He gave us the tools to bond which made the tour wonderful. He knowledge of the area and of the common things to do were very helpful. I just wish he guided us more and not forced on us the local guides."

Mary

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Everything was great - our guide Lisa was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the art and having the opportunity for the guides to help us understand. It was so informative and so beautiful."

Jamie

Commerce City, CO

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS tour and my second Venice, Florence and Rome tour. Every tour has been wonderful and this was no exception. I liked that new things have been added in and it was a different itinerary than my previous V-F-R tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Torcello was wonderful, getting off the beaten path and seeing the sunset as we took the boat back to Venice. Also the cooking class in Florence - I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!"

Barbara

La Pine, OR

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Europe and my first guided tour and I didn't know what to expect, but I was thoroughly satisfied. Lisa was an excellent guide and took good care of us. Each city was different and had so much to see and learn. Some days there just wasn't enough time to do and see it all, but all of our days were full of exciting new finds!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The canals and gondolas in Venice as well as the colorful buildings and St Marks Basilica. In Rome it was the Coliseum, Forum and the Vatican. The cooking class in Florence was a hoot and the winery tour outside of Florence was very interesting and enjoyable."

Jean

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was a nice mix of scheduled and free time. Our guide provided us with many options of things to do with our free time. Our group got along well together. The audio guides, while helpful indoors, didn't work so well outside when walking due to traffic noises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence. I don't know much about art but something about this sculpture just spoke to me. It was so life-like!"

Calvin

College Station, TX

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa Anderson was wonderful as our tour guide/director. Very knowledgeable about the sites and very personable. The guide for each of the cities we visited were excellent. All the hotels we stayed in were very nice. The overall tour went by too fast. Just when we were making new friends and seeing the sites, it was time pack-it-up. Now if they can only do something about those long overseas flights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ruins in Rome and how they were incorporated with the newer buildings."

Janet

Richardson, TX

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first organized tour experience and it was wonderful. I've used Rick's tour books in the past for hotel, restaurant suggestions, but having the benefit of the expert guides made the experience much more meaningful. And it was so much easier -- the venues were booked, we didn't wait in lines, and we had some wonderful side excursions as a result of our tour guide, Lisa. I would absolutely recommend this Venice, Florence, Rome tour! Completely worth every penny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many Wow moments! Venice [INVALID] an amazing place. Florence and the art. And Rome and The Forum, Pallatine Hill, The Vatican and Sistine Chapel. The winery near Orvieto was amazing! The cooking class was a blast. Having the expert guides in each city and in specific venues made the experience very special. I saw things I would have never experienced had I not had the expertise of the guides. And Lisa was such an asset for us. I'll definitely go back to Italy again!"

Stephen

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group, and Lisa was a really great guide. the group dinners, the wine tasting, and the cooking were a lot of fun. I enjoyed most seeing the buildings, learning the history about them, and the Grand Canal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Coliseum and the Forum. It was fun to see Venice, a city that uses the canals for everything with no cars, scooters or even bicycles."

Suellyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we really enjoyed it. We will definitely take another tour in the future. It was well worth the money and we were happy to relinquish all travel responsibilities to Lisa!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wows"! I guess Italy is that way....Venice at night with a full moon was perfect. One of the many advantages of having a guide was being in St. Mark's when they turned the lights on in order to appreciate the gold ceiling was awesome. I guess the lights come on for only 1 hour a day and our local guide had us there at the right time. Of course, "David" is a "wow" and the Vatican/St. Peter's. I really enjoyed the private winery!"

Jay

Scappoose, OR

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well worth it from the first day to the last! I found myself wishing it would go on for another week. Our tour guide, Lisa, made everything so easy and very enjoyable! She was very knowledgeable and well spoken on every aspect of the tour. We did our homework by reading Rick's book on the sites we would be visiting and Lisa brought it all to life! The Hotels were very comfortable and located short walking distances from many sites we wanted to see. We would do it again!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think for me it was each city. Be it Venice, Florence or Rome, each one was spectacular in its own way! Whether it was the canals in Venice or the Duomo in Florence or the ruins in Rome, it all caught me with my eyes wide open and saying WOW!!"

Terry

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 10 days were jam packed with opportunities to learn about the art, history and culture of the cities we visited. At times, I felt overwhelmed and succumbing to sensory overload. Maybe that's just the effect Italy has on everyone. The others on the tour made the trip even richer. Many of us extended our days over dinner, a bottle of Italian wine and a chance to get to know one another better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice when it flooded."

Mary

Denver, CO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience. The timing was great for us because the crowds were very small and there were Christmas lights being put up especially in Rome. Our guide, Lisa Anderson was just wonderful and I loved hearing her story of deciding to live in Italy and her connection to Seattle and thereby to Rick Steves. All of our other guides were great and each a great character in their own right and very knowledgable about their regions and their subjects.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I was raised a Catholic and to actually be in that place was quite awe inspiring to me."

Page

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group dinners were so much fun especially after the wonderful preludes to them. It was so exhilarating taking the gondola rides as a group our 1st evening. The evening walk in Rome hitting the famous spots was so exciting culminating with the fun dinner together. The balance of the cooking class and wine/food pairing with the museums/churches really enriched the experience. Everyone loved the cooking class - even those who did not cook. Loved having day's plans posted with suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite experiences were the wine/food pairing. Cecilia was very informative and fun. The gondola ride was fabulous. Taking it as a group made it both memorable and affordable. It was magical to see the reflection of the lights on the water and to hear the singer accompanied with the accordian."

Donna

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was really our trip of a lifetime. So many wonderful memories, so many memorable moments in just 10 days time. I have been recommending Rick Steve's tours to every friend and family member since I got back. We just could not have organized and planned the trip nearly as well if we had been on our own. I loved that we learned so much at every destination - from our own guide, Lisa, and from the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was when we stopped at the the Estate of Le Velette for the winery tour and tasting. It was Thanksgiving Day. Cichillia (?) was our wonderful host who toured us through their thousand year old home and ancient cellars of volcanic tufa and provided us with a huge table of antipasti, as well as generous tastes of 5 different wines and commentary on each. The sun was bright and we all had our pictures taken with the cliffs of Orvieto as background. I will never forget that day."

Susan

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime! Great time to go, weather was cool to warm, with only one real day of rain. Not very crowded anywhere. The tour group was small (20) and all lovely people - not a grump among them. It was great to have a group to share all the experiences and give different insights. I have newish knees, and wasn't as mobile as I had hoped, but the group was very considerate and helpful, and so much fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from. I think it was the Accademia in Florence with Michelangelo's David and even more awesome, his Prisoners. Absolutely stunning!"

Robert

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I much appreciated the great emphasis on walking the streets and using public transit. It helps immensely in understanding a city, how it functions, and how its residents function within that city. Not only was Lisa a terrific tour guide but also all the local guides. They are outstanding, they teach us about their cities not just show us, and they are passionate about their cities, their art, their culture, and their wines!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through St. Peter's Square after dinner with some members of our tour group when no one else was there. Imagine, St. Peter's Square all to ourselves!"

Henry

Hesperia, CA

Tour: 10/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond my expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personal interest, touch, and attentiveness by our tour guide Don, and the excellent schedule was impressive."

Jomana

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved every moment of the Venice, Florence, and Rome Tour! It was my first experience in Europe and it exceeded my expectations. I was impressed by the organized tours and knowledge of the tour guides. Everyone on the tour was very nice and fun, including our attentive tour guide, Donato.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment I saw Michelangelo's David took my breathe away. I also loved Venice's beauty and mysterious canals. There were so many 'wow' moments for me...I felt I belonged in Italy."

George

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very good introductory tour of Italy, and would recommend to any.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Serendipitous sunset concert of two sopranos followed by meet the singers after with prosecco and treats in Giardino Bardini, overlooking Florence and hearing the bells."

Mary Anne

Munster, IN

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best experience I can imagine for our first trip to Europe! The people in our group were wonderful! They were nice, interesting people from all over the U.S. We brought our adult son with us, who has high-functioning autism, and all of the people in our group were exceedingly kind to him. I couldn't have hand-picked nicer people myself!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St. Peter's Basilica. It literally took my breath away."

Burk

Arley, AL

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Exactly what we were looking for as far as content, schedule and support from the guide. We are not typically tour guide folks because we prefer to not be on a very structured schedule. But this experience gave us plenty of time to go our own way and still have an experienced guide to assist us with the essential parts of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and learning about the tower house in Florence."

Bob

Phoenixville, PA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marijan was a key element to our tour experience. His knowledge, demeanor and ability to keep us all interested in what was coming next made for q wonderful tour. We loved the cooking school experience and how much fun we had making our own lunch. We also loved the winery stop and meeting such an eloquent and fun proprietor of the winery. We could not have asked for a better group of people to tour with. We had a wonderful mix of backgrounds and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip had quite a few "wow" moments. Each location provided an opportunity to wonder about the people who built the incredible churches and the artists who adorned them with amazing art. The thought that in Florence, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and other greats of the art world lived and worked in the city at the same time and dined together."

Everardo

Union City, CA

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an outstanding,pleasure, educational, learning experience. Every part of the tour had a connection and historical perspective of the great Italian artists, which gave the experience true meaning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food was outstanding. Language, food, vino and the Italian people made it all such grand pleasure."

Sharon

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was far beyond my expectations. Our guide was the best and my husband and I agreed that we would definitely want him as our guide again. The local guides were also fantastic. The hotels, food and friends we made were wonderful and the art and architecture of Italy was beyond my dreams.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice was like a dream come true, something I thought about most of my life but never thought would happen."

Stephen

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was truly impressed with the overall organization of the tour, the principal tour guide and the individual museum guides. The experience was delightful in all respects. I could not be more pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments including: See "David" in Florence, the wine tasting at Tenuta Le Velette Winery (along with the spectacular view of Orvieto, and the Sistine Chapel. All of those were memorable events, as well as ,the gondola ride in Venice."

Zoe

Blauvelt, NY

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Julian Brown was a walking encyclopedia. He had a clever way of presenting the history which made you think twice about origins and legions. Venice was simply amazing!! From the grand canal to all the tiny canals in between, there was always something new to discover. Florence's grandeur really put us human beings in perspective. Florence was the universe in its own way. Rome on the other hand was overwhelming with the history, archectect, the art and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can honestly say my favorite wow moment was the cooking class. I don't cook. I usually eat my veggies raw. I don't eat process food due to severe corn allergy. So therefore my food is eating exactly how God made it. Not even salt and pepper. So cooking a meal I could eat was simply amazing!! It was organized and basic. Not much processing yet it was scrumptious. Presentation was beautiful. Teachers were very qualified and professional. Loved that class!!"

Annette

Long Island City, NY

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning arriving in Venice at our hotel and meeting our tour guide as he introduced himself as Julian Brown and telling us to catch our breaths and relax and get settled I knew this was going to be something I never experienced in traveling since this was my first Tour Guild trip and I am so glad I did it!!! I hope the next trip we can manage to find Julian and

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly every museum / cathedral / church and the list goes on was my favorite If i would return my favorite was Venice I love water so having to travel by boat was really exciting and walking was the best.. Atleast no cars which was a big treat coming from a big city.."

Debasish

Jersey City, NJ

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was beyond outstanding. Tour was outstanding from planning, itineracy to execution, full of personal care also surprises. I feel best part was, tour group members and our guide Julian who really helped us to bond with each others. I was skeptical, being a single male where everyone else as couple or single girls, but at end I am glad I overcome my skepticism and booked the tour. strongly suggest for another single male who is waiting for perfect travel companion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, but if I have to pick one it will be "cooking class in Florence""

Patricia

Driftwood, TX

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was outstanding! I am amazed with how well activities were coordinated! The only suggestion I would make is to allow a little free time at St. Mark's Basilica after the local guide is done. I can't say it enough though--I thought the tour was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments for me! I can't get back to Venice, Florence and Rome soon enough!!"

Chuck

Driftwood, TX

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first travel tour ever. My previous travel experience has been primarily independent travel and I have used RS (Rick Steves) guide books on a number of occasions. My wife and I were extremely satisfied with this tour experience and would without hesitation go on another RS Tour. All aspects of the tour were handled professionally and there was a good balance of organized time to independent free time. We loved all of the hotels and our guide Julian was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very hard to pick just one.....each day seemed to have its own "wow" moment. The gondola ride in Venice, the stunning art in Florence, the wine tasting in Umbria, the wonderful group dinners, the breathtaking treasures of the Vatican, and the magnificent relics of Rome were all moments that made the whole trip worthwhile. The unexpected treat at the top of the hotel in Florence is still something that stays in my mind to this day."

Sara

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour. We were able to not only see some incredible sights, but were given background/history, etc. on locations we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice - Florence - Rome - - - - - every moment was a WOW!!!!! I think the Sistene Chapel was the most awe inspiring and moving moment."

Corinne

Mississauga, ON

Tour: 10/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second RS tour and it was as outstanding as the first. Our guide was very knowledgeable and shared his vast knowledge through interesting stories, providing background to all we saw and experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to limit the "wow" to one moment - so many memorable experiences. A surprise perhaps, was the fun experience of the cooking class in Florence and also the wine tasting in Umbria near Orvieto."

Kristin

Gold River, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fabulous time! Loved our guide, Ann Long, and our great group of travelling buddies. I had been to Europe twice before but this was my first trip with a Rick Steve's group and my first time to Italy. The local guides were great, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to limit it--loved the cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting my Orvieto. In terms of sheer "overwhelming-ness" (if that is even a word)-St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel."

Pauline

London,

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Our guide Anne was amazing and removed all stress. In each city we started with an orientation walk which was really useful and helped immensly. There is no way I would have seen any where near as much if I had travelled without the tour. Yes, we were up early each day and some days were quite tiring but being able to take full advantage of the short stay in each city was priceless. I feel confident I could now go back to these cities on my own and enjoy the visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The San Clemente Basilica in Rome, with it's layers of archaelogical excavation, was the 'wow' moment for me. Being able to go further and further underground and going further and further back in time was amazing."

Mike

London,

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first package tour. I had always thought that packages were poor value. I now realize how wrong I was! I wouldn't have seen a quarter of what I did on my own. And the experience of lining up for tickets, arranging tours, finding how to get from a to b ... would have created a much, much different experience. This was a wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No favorite ... there were just too many. Several in each city in fact. I really wouldn't be able to begin!"

Marjory

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my seventh Rick Steves tour. They keep getting better and better. The tour guide and the local guides are outstanding and really contribute to a great overall experience. All are pleasant, fun and a wealth of knowledge. They freely share history, ideas, things to do, etc. There was so much history and fun included in this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There can't be just one. Every time I see the David I am wowed beyond belief. Other wow moments were the visit to the Clemente church in Rome and seeing the older foundations of the church, the cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting in Umbria. I'm always wowed by the great people you meet on a Rick Steves tour. We all seem to have, or acquire, the same philosophy of travel and become good friends in a short amount of time."

Gary

Fremont, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the entire trip. Everything that I am expected to have happened, from the friendly and knowledgeable tour guide ( Ann long ) , tourist attractions locales , and especially our own free times that allow us to roaming around local cities , shops and restaurants. It was just the right amount of excitement and relaxation in perfect balance . Absolutely love the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice!! Just being there wow me for whole three days. City that I have seen on TV and magazine only but I was there in person. WOW!! I can still feel the excitement ."

Marc

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The content and guides were excellent. The accomodations in Venice were bad-maybe we just got a bad room. We spent about $1200 extra for those three nights because this was our 30th anniversary trip and I didn't expect my wife to stay in sub-dormitory conditions-her disappointment was evident head to toe until we made other arrangements. Accomodations in Florence and Rome were much more acceptable. Overall we had a great trip and appreciated how well planned and guided the tour was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three way tie between 'David", La Pieta and although so different than the works of art, the winery in Umbria with Cecilia."

Frances

Eureka Springs, AR

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exactly as I expected a Rick Steve's tour to be. I've watched Rick's television show for many years and always used his book as a guide on my independent trips to Europe but this my first group tour. It followed Rick's philosophy of travel just as I expected. Trips to museums with local guides who had great knowledge of both the art and history of the area, a fun group tour with, a fantastic guide with us through out the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe it was when I stepped out of the Aliguna boat in Venice and followed the tour's directions to the first hotel and Lo and Behold! There was the lovely hotel. No hassle Maybe it was when I first saw Brunelleschi's dome and the unbelievable cathedral of Florence WOW I AM NOT IN KANSAS ANY MORE And VENICE,VENICE WOW!"

Leonard

Wapakoneta, OH

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Europe many times on business but this was my first time on a tour. I didn't know what to expect. I was amazed! It was a great mix of art, history, culture, food and wine. Ann was a great tour manager. The local guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was the discovery of the impact that Italy had on the Renaissance. I would never have made the connection had it not been for the tour and the local guides."

Robert

Gold River, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything! Our guide Ann was a gem, and our group was fabulous. I've been telling everyone what a terrific time we had on our trip! We are looking forward to our next Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was a wow moment."

Malcolm

Lexington, KY

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your book, your advance prep, your step-by-step approach prior to the trip were outstanding. And, the experience exceeded our expectations because you met EVERY expectation you had established. It is rare in the travel world for a vendor to DO exactly what he offers...I told Jamie that I was amazed that you did everything you said you would and exactly how you said you would. Would we join again...in a heart beat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to account. Scale, magnitude, imagery, age, grandeur, perspective and contrast to the US. You can't take this trip and not have a new yet different world view. And, that, of course, is what Rick wants us to experience. Some on-line reviews complain about hotels...hey, I am there to see stuff, not while away my time on 600-count linen sheets! Come on gang, let's travel! Your how-to guide was spot on. Just do what Rick says and you are fine."

Nancy

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I applaud your home team's patience handling my questions and anxiety . The 'old' first impression really counts. All the guides were knowledgeable, but one, Claudia (?) allowed me to experience ancient Italy in Rome. I could feel my toga sweeping the floor of the Colosseum. Jaime, our leader, went way above and beyond the call. Willing to help, kind, fervently passionate, and witty. Concerns: Clean bathrooms on the walks; ability to order very specific nutritional needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Easy: The evening Gondola ride I was talked into. I was cold and tired, but Jaime gently pushed it -promising it wasn't cheesy. That was one of the most magical moments of my life."

Bernard

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my first RS tour. You need to call this "The Rick Steve's Boot Camp Tour". It was a great learning experience. My wife and I will go on others in the future. It's a safe and easy way to see parts of Europe without dealing about reservations, waiting in lines, and lining up specific guides. If you are out of shape this is not the tour for you. I especially enjoyed the time we had away from the large group too. Thank You (I'll be better prepared next time).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was amazed by how the people drove their cars and vespas in Rome. I never saw anyone getting pissed off, yelling or flipping each other off. It was a real jolt to see that "The Roman Ruins" have been put back together in the last 150 years with a cement mixer. The Inca and Aztec ruins have all gone through the same process."

Connie

Rogers, AR

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Jamie was extremely knowledgable.....sometimes I was overwhelmed by the amount of information we were given! It was obvious he had a love for Italy and its people. Our group meshed amazingly well for a bunch of folks from all over the US with varied backgrounds. Italy's history and culture are an experience that will not be forgotten. Travelers to Rome especially need to be aware that all the "sights" will be extremely crowded, and lingering is out go the question.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow!!! That's a hard question. The countryside on the way to and in Orvieto was what i considered to be real Italy. The ruins of Rome, it's history and art were something that con only be fully appreciated firsthand. The food everywhere was awesome....I can't narrow to one WOW!"

Joseph

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jamie is an excellent guide and the local guides, particularly Francesca and Elizabeta, added passion and context to the museum and walking tours. I liked the concentrated touring as well as the free time that is built into the format that allowed us to focus on our particular interests in each of the three cities. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour experience and met some very nice people along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a history buff, Francesca helped me understand the depth and breadth of Rome and how it was built upon the bones of previous civilizations. As I mentioned above, the addition of historical context to the site visits was incredibly rich and passionate."

Kay

Paso Robles Ca 93446, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, my husband and I decided that we liked about 75% of the Rick Steve's Tour and disliked about 25% of the tour. We would take another Rick Steve's Tour but would have a much better understanding of what to expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it is hard to single out just one experience. Many of the "wow" moments were unexpected discoveries that were not part of the formal tour but occurred because we were there for the tour."

Diana

Rogers, AR

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My trip to Italy was my 5th Rick Steves ETBD experience, and I wasn't disappointed. I love the convenience of having everything pre-arranged yet at the same time having enough free time to explore on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment had to be the moment I walked up the steps and entered the Roman Coliseum. To think I was walking where gladiators, soldiers, and slaves had walked in the time of Christ--it was overwhelming. Literally took my breath away."

Ron

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was avery strenous tour. This was my fourth tour and by far the hardest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dinners together"

Cathy

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 10/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our dream trip, and it exceeded our dreams! Jamie was amazing- so informative and you could tell it was important to him to show us as much as possible. He also had a great sense of humor - loved that. I felt like the tour was exactly what we needed. We wanted to see all of the highlights because it was our first trip to Europe, and we felt like it was condensed beautifully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Trevi Fountain, always wanted to actually be in front of it, an exciting moment! Also, visiting the winery, amazing to actually be in wine cellar that was 2000 years old. Learning about it while down there made it so real! Also loved Ostia Antica, did that after tour ended but had good knowledge of transportation so it was easy getting there. Jamie was great making sure we knew how to get around!"

Janice

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. My husband and I didn't think we were "tour people" but, based on rave reviews from a family member, we gave it a shot. We couldn't have been more pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a couple, actually. We all know that folks want to travel to places like Italy to experience the fine art, architecture, and culture. But it was the focus on the people and interacting with them on a personal level, in a real time situation that impressed me the most. So those two "wow" moments were the wine tasting and food pairing at the Tenuta La Velette Winery and the cooking class in Florence. They were both unique and memorable, and so much fun."

Susan

Oswego, IL

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour! Great leadership! Rozanne knew her stuff, was patient, fun and always helpful. Great local guides! All gave us so much info and with a sense of humor. Great tour group! Friendly and fun. Not a whiner in the bunch. We saw the big, important sites as well as more "back door" places. Especially enjoyed our cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting on the way to Rome. Hotels were close to the action, full bathrooms and ac.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was absolutely stepping out of the train station in Venice and seeing the Grand Canal! I bought a print by a local artist to remember that first impression. Other great experiences were the cooking class and the wine tasting, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's."

Gary

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time and tour outside the U.S. The tour exceeded my expectations by a mile. What makes the tour great is all the little things our tour guide Roseanne did for us that makes the tour like one big family. The variety of activities was awesome, wine tasting and the cooking class (my favorite) were great. I also have to compiment the local tour guides on their knowledge and passion of the subjects we were touring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually my favorite activity was the cooking class in Florence. Such a nice break from the normal sight seeing."

Julie

Dana Point, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I experienced this tour with my daughter and son-in-law, their first encounter with Italy, what a joy. The mixture of planned activities was perfect for time together and being with a great group of people. This was my fifth Rick Steves Italy tour so I'd been to the three cities before but new experiences were offered in each city making it just as exciting for me as for my kids for whom everything was new.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Asking about favorites is almost akin to asking which offspring is my favorite, impossible to pick, but I was most impressed with your "going the extra mile" by giving us plenty of mass transit tickets for Rome to facilitate our enjoyment of our free time. But, despite the above, my favorite is the wine tasting experience, Tenuta Le Velette is the greatest!"

Kristine

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the whole experience! Rozanne was an awesome tour guide. Her knowledge about everything was impressive. The Italian tour guides were also wonderful. To be able to go to a museum or other site and have a history or story told about it was great. We liked the education that went along with it. Rozanne took care of getting the tickets for the events, which was so nice. She knew the ins and outs of things, and added a few extras that went above and beyond!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We can't really pinpoint that, because there were just so many wows!"

Andrew

Bel Air, MD

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was excellent and had a full understanding of the sites, language, history etc... I couldn't be more pleased with the overall experience. My only criticism was that 2 of the 4 group dinners had meals that I felt were bland and below par for restaurants in Italy. I wouldn't choose to go back to those restaurants for the particular food they served. For reference it was the 2 restaurants in Rome. The restaurants selected in Venice and Florence were outstanding and so was the foo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peters. The tour guide was awesome and very knowledgeable and we were escorted into the museum almost immediately upon our arrival."

Marybeth

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Choosing a Rick Steves tour for our first trip to Europe was the right choice. The tour offered us the right amount of time touring, and having local guides to interpret the art museums was critical to our enjoyment and understanding of what we were seeing. We had most afternoons and evenings to explore on our own. The stops in Umbria for wine tasting and the cooking class in Florence were definite highlights.

Erin

Orange, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never done a "Group Tour," my husband and I were hesitant but decided to join a Rick Steves' tour after years of watching his PBS programs and using his guidebooks for independent travel in both France and England. One of our concerns was the pacing for the group and whether we'd feel that we had too much or not enough time on our own. The pacing was perfect! This tour of Venice, Florence and Rome far exceeded our expectations in every way. We had the time of our lives!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where to start? This trip was one BIG WOW. Our Tour Guide - Rozanne. Our city-specific guides. Beautiful Venice and the Gichetti Crawl. Florence Cooking School. The David. Le Velette Winery. The Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. The Pieta. Not having to wait in long lines everywhere. Our group dinners. The wonderful people we shared this fabulous trip with!"

Philip

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a little fast paced and you must be prepared for the walking. However, we were able to see all of the must see sites with really good locally sourced guides. We were also able to advance to the first in line at the popular sites which was very helpful. The meals provided in the evenings at the local off tourist sites were excellent and really provided the flavor of the real Italy. I am really into photography and would liked to have a little more time to take some shots.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. However the stop in Umbria at the winery for the buffet and wine tasting was great. The cooking school was fabulous and very entertaining. Not being an art buff, the viewing and explanation of the works in the Academia by the guide was inspirational."

Amanda

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

last year I used R.S. book to travel to Budapest, Prague and Vienna and book was excellent this time I decided instead of using the book, I would let him do the tour...I was not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to mention. Venice and Florence were my favorites, such walkable cities, so much to see on foot."

Alan

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were first time visitors to Italy. In fact we had never been to Europe before. And, this was our first experience with an organized tour. So we had some trepidation about signing up for the trip, not knowing what to expect. I am pleased to report the trip was wonderful in every way. Our guide was informed and helpful throughout the experience and was so very nice and patient too. Also, the mix of organized tour time versus our independent "exploration time" was perfect. We would do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the long flight when we finally set foot on the vaparetto in Venice to start our journey down the Grand Canal to our hotel in the heart of Venice. We had to pinch ourselves ... we were actually in Venice, Italy. Our senses were overwhelmed!"

Joyce

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Loved the sights and the history. Might be a little too much work for me-walking everywhere. Rosanne - awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice - magical Place"

Lisa

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was very positive. The detailed information that came a month before our trip was very helpful, with excellent specifics to prepare ourselves. The tour guides we had in each of the cities were excellent, full of personality and conviction about their subject areas. It was a rigorous tour, but paced well, allowed enough free time to do additional things. Loved the R/S pre-paid tour arrangements, getting into the sites without long lines, tickets already in hand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments for me (the Uffizi Gallery), the Vatican museum, Sistine chapel, Michelangelo's sculptures, that it's too hard to choose...but going to the cooking class in Florence was a favorite among my high points - it was great working with my team to cook (& then eat) a scrumptious meal, under the entertaining guidance of our chef."

Charles

Gardner, MA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was very positive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick out one moment in particular, the experience was enjoyable on a daily basis."

Jeannie

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! The tour had a nice mix of art, culture, museum, food, free time. It was the perfect balance of both structured and unstructured time that allowed us to personalize the tour with things that we wanted to do right alongside the scheduled events that were part of the "official" tour. I had never thought I was an organized tour kind of traveler; now I can't imagine doing it any other way. I just got home 2 days ago and I've already begun thinking which RSE tour I will do next!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were multiple "wow" moments: Bell Tower in St. Marks Square & Doges Palace as the sun was setting; the light hitting the Doges Palace was beautiful; The Duomo-on my only visit to Florence 21 years ago, the entire facade was blocked by scaffolding so it was really special to see it finally in all its glory; the view from the dome! The Pantheon-the occulus and coffered ceiling were breathtaking, then realizing that this building was built over 2000 years ago made it even more impressive"

Laura

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the trip immensely! Appreciated the thoughtful planning of the Rick Steves staff: the location of the hotels in each of the 3 cities was superb. The cooking class, the Burano excursion and the wine-tasting at a family-owned winery were great ways to break the monotony (blasphemy!) of museums and galleries. (So much fabulous art can be mind-numbing for the novice!) Each of the arranged group dinners were fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the canals of Venice from the Academia bridge for the first time was stunning. What I saw only from TV and postcards was real! Amazing reality! The beauty of Michaelangelo's David, the Sistine Chapel, and the columns of the Roman Ruins took my breath away."

Anne

Gardner, MA

Tour: 09/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was the experience of a lifetime! Everything was just as had been described. No surprises. Very organized and well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was our first night in Rome walking through the city and experiencing all the excitement and flavor of the city. The smells and sounds made me feel so alive and part of the international city."

Kathryn

Boyne City, MI

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was fantastic! Our tour guide was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one but two were the last night's dinner together and cooking dinner with the group. And it was special to go to our tour guide's (Cecelia's) family's winery."

Judy

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding guide, and local guides. Very nice hotels, great meals provided by tour. Saw even more than published in tour descriptions with free time to explore further. Great suggestions by our guide. Great people. Wonderful experience and memories

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many! Loved Torcello, St. Mark's Basilica Museum (on our own), Uffizi with Lucca (our guide), Florence cooking class, winetasting at Cecilia's vineyard - a real touch with the Italian family and vineyard, Francesca's tour of St. Clement, St. Peter's basilica - Michelangelo's Pieta. Frankly, it was all a WOW! Great tour!"

Karl

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide Cecilia was superior in every way. She tolerated my idiosyncrasies such as lagging to take pictures. Her planning was perfect and instructions always useful. Our Venice-Florence-Rome itinerary gave us an educational, visual exposure that would not be likely to achieve on our own. The half day at her family winery estate was a treat we'll long remember. Each city had highlights and it is hard to rate these experiences for comparison. Local guides enhanced the histories and arts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's sculptures and that museum are wonderful. But the St. Marc's museum with close contact with mosaics and the four horses, might be my favorite. I always enjoy good opera singing, especially males, and the gondola cruise was special in large part because of the tenor/baritone. The Torcello excursion was revelatory; the church interior wall was one of myfavorites, in view of the small population and the island's history. I'm still [INVALID]ing pictures from the 1200 I took."

Joanne

Scotsdale West Aust,

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very organized and full of information from the time we had breakfast to the time of our evening meal. We had enough free time in the afternoons and enough time to have dinner on our own. All the guides were excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"'Wow' moment was visiting Cecilia's winery and the concert in Venice"

Daniel

Claremont, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After watching Rick on his tv shows we were pretty sure it was the right fit for our needs. His tour was all we had expected, physically demanding so that we slept well at night, and surrounded by people like us who are becoming "hardy travelers." I really like our guides as well as my fellow tour folks. Maybe the no grumps contract effective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was David in Florence, and the wine tour in Orvieto since it was our guide's own winery."

Helen

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW!!!! Where do I begin? First and foremost words can not describe our experience on the tour. From the first meeting to our farewell dinner Cecilia was an awesome guide. Her enthusiasm and love for her country was evident in all she did. I felt like I was traveling with a friend. Her knowledge of the cities as well as her personal experiences made the trip one to remember. Many times she went above and beyond to make everyone's trip an awesome experience. I was sad to leave her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually there were 2 WOW moments. The cooking school in Florence was a great experience . We plan on cooking the menu with our family. The other was our visit to the winery. The wine, the scenery and the experience were unforgettable."

Bill

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour Guide (Cecilia) was incredible. After traveling many million miles for business I was of the opionion that "real men don't do tours". I was wrong. The tour provided a historical and cultural context which allowed me to enjoy the art, people, food and wine even more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things stood out for me. (1) The Tour wine tasting and tour of Cecilia's family vineyard and (2) the cooking lessons in Florence."

Nina

Spring Hill, FL

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had some doubts about taking a tour and it only took one day to dispel them. Our tour guide Cecilia was wonderful and enhanced my trip enormously with her knowledge, her kindness, her care. Our group was great (Rick wisely tells the grouses to stay home). I couldn't have had a better time. Thank you for a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was not a moment but the overall experience that was a Wow. Now that the trip is over, I can only said Wow but a great time that was. The cooking class was the most fun, Cecilia winery was a special event. Italy is a wonderful country with a great past and should be seen by all."

Shelby

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am so happy that I decided to do this tour. The friend that I went with had already done two tours and HIGHLY recommended you. I found Venice magical...it was on my bucket list!!!! I am an extravert with lots of focused energy, this was right for me.d The other people in the group were really smashing. What a great mob of humorous, fun and nice people. The italian people were warm and generous and the waiters were just lovely.....I danced with a couple and kissed the rest!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice without a doubt AND the visit to Cecilia Bottai's family home and vineyard. It was most gracious of her to take us there. She provided a wine tasting and a lovely lunch. I am not too interested in wine so I slipped away to the terrace with the dog (Oomba) looking out to Ovieto. Found a chair, plugged in my i-pod and listened to the opera...Tosca. That was a big WOW moment. Thank you Cecilia!"

Judy

Claremont, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything it promised to be and more. Our guide was a gem, we had a great tour group, and the tour activities were well-chosen and well-planned. It was a gift to have professionals choose which of the many amazing things to see in Venice, Florence, and Rome and also to choose some interesting cultural experiences for us. Having all the reservations and details handled was wonderful. Everything about this tour was memorable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the over-the-top art, history, and culture of Venice and Florence, I felt as if I had stepped into another world at Cecelia's winery. The past was also present there as it had been in the cities; but there was such a sense of peace and natural beauty, not to mention the wonderful wines and delicious food, that I was reluctant to leave even though I knew more wonders awaited us in Rome."

Mary

Lady Lake, FL

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome tour Loved our tour guide Cecilia and the other participants

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine Chapel"

Michele

New Market, MD

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great time. The places we got to see were wonderful and the tour guides at each city were very well informed. Major credit to Julian Brown who made the trip as fun as it was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum tour and the cooking class"

Theodore

Tinley Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on the tour. We were very satisfied with everthing. We were especially fond of the cooking class. The people on the tour were great we all got along very well. It was a well thought ou tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the vatican"

Keith

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our first time out of the states so I had no real expectations. Our primary focus was planes, trains & automobiles to & through a foreign country onto our preset destination. Once we arrived we were greeted by our tour guide Julian brown and he made us feel welcome. For the remainder of our time together we felt very safe & comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When my wife & I stumbled onto the ruins of the roman forum by ourselves."

Sheryl

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julian was a fantastic tour guide. I recommend him without reservation! The tour was well organized and FUN. My husband is 77 and I am 64. With a little extra advance training, we were able to keep up with people much younger than we are. There was time for individual interests outside the tour schedule. The best part of being on a guided tour was getting into the popular sites without waiting in long lines. That was consistently a plus on the tour! Thanks for the memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Orvietto winery was a highlight for me. I loved seeing the ancient wine cellar as well as the current wine tasting! What a fun side trip on the way to Rome."

Sonya

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each city we went to in Italy was its own unique experience. Venice was a photo moment around every corner with the small winding canals and colorful old homes. Florence was an art wonderland. The Palazzo Vecchio kept you spinning trying to look at all the sculptures. Romes history was inconceivable to imagine standing in time so far back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Marks Square. It may stand out because it was the first place I walked into, on the first day of the tour. It also had the Frank Lloyd Wright effect where you are take down a small narrow road through a small archway in to this open vastness. It took my breath away. It was so open yet enclosed. It felt so old and powerful. You felt like so many important thing occurred here long before you were born."

Julienne

Tinley Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a good experience on this trip, we learned many new things and met a lot of new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Deffinately the Vatican in Rome, so awsome to see it in preson."

Barry

Sechelt, BC

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful, memorable experience in all respects ! The pre tour paperwork, with ground rules prep, supported group cohesion ... everyone came together which not only enhanced the tour experience but I'm sure made Julian's job much easier. Julian did a great job ... he is very knowledgeable, humorous, patient, tactful, communicated clearly, and co ordinated all aspects of the adventure to give things a nice flow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments ... the night gondola ride in Venice floating through the narrow canals past the locals sitting at home listening to the the singer. The cooking class in Frienze was great fun and a great activity to bring the tour group together."

Mary

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour ever. Enjoyed every moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How knowledgable all the guides were."

Ann

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would love to do more RS tours and would recommend them to anyone. We had Julian Brown as our tour guide so the next guide would have a tough act to follow! I appreciated the philosophy of getting the most for your traveling dollar and felt we got more than our money's worth. I also feel confident that I could go back to each city and travel independently. I did love having a built in group (although I wasn't sure that I would like traveling with a group) and a guide to ask questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wonderful moments but I am going to pick the wine tasting lunch in Orvieta because I never would have found an experience like that had I planned my own trip. The winery is so beautiful and the wine tasting was so fun. Loved the tour into the wine cellars and the great food. Also the cooking class was fun. Prior to the class I felt it was taking up valuable time from other things but it was good to stop running and have fun with the group, cook & eat good food in Florence."

Martin

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. The tour guide Julian Brown is outstanding. His care for all of us; his insightfulness and genuine love for what he does is quite evident. In addition, all of the local tour guides were excellent. You have chosen some excellent local guides and thank you for that. We could not have been pleased by their talks in each of the cities. The hotels selected were perfect locations in each of the three cities. You know your business and you got it right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the cities were the "wow" moments for us as we went to the famous sites. The ease of getting into the museums and recommendation of museums to visit in our free time were great. I suppose the real "wow" moment was at the end of the tour and reflecting on the 10 days we spent in Italy."

Marjaneh

Sechelt, BC

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour with excellent tour guide and tour attendees. It was my first time coming to a tour and to Italy. I had a great time. I saw all the Important and famous places that I wanted to see with very passionate and knowledgeable local tour guides that made it more fascinating for me. I loved the restaurants we went and all the food and drinks we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had different wow moments. Gondola rides with very special people on a beautiful night when 4 gondolas were beside each other and listening to a local singer in the grand canal was a wow moment for me."

Patricia Lynn

Redlands, CA

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

OMG! We felt as though our tour was planned just for us; we felt quite special. Julian is not only happy and friendly, he is a walking encyclopedia with personal experiences. We will treasure our time with him and of course with all of our new friends. We especially loved the winery tour at Orvieto and our own cooking class in Florence. Adding additional guides in each city who shared their personal feelings and attitudes made each church and museum come alive.Thanks Rick for being a real person

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David is always a "wow" moment. We have seen David many times in Las Vegas but this was very different. Julian spoke to us about David's facial contemplation and challenged us to decide if he had just killed Goliath or if he, indeed, is about to. Is that a rock in his hand? ready to hurl? I think so. Thank you for this personal relationship with David."

Martin

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a 77 yr. old and in pretty good shape for my age. The tour I was on was taxing to the max and you should let prospective customers know that vis a vis their own age. That aside, I enjoyed the entire experience, especially Venice which was on my "bucket list".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Grand Canal, "David" and the Colessium."

Steven

Flower Mound, TX

Tour: 09/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was verry pleased with the tour and our guide was exelent, his knowledge was above my expedtations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michael angilo's statue of David"

Walt

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first Rick Steves tour. We were very pleased with the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a easy one...it was the church in Rome: Basilica San Clemente. We were able to descend to the church below it...and to the houses below that! Really drove home the history/layers of the city."

Christopher

San Bernardino, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I knew about most of the places and things that we saw, actually being in those places and seeing those places/objects was truly eye opening. I was amazed by the size and complexity of many of these places and objects. Virtually every day of the tour included places and objects that were like nothing that I had seen before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome. I had not realized that it was so tall. I also had not understood its physical proximity to the forum and other parts of "ancient Rome"."

Kenneth

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous. Our tour guide, Ben, is he best. Haven't traveled with any other Rick Steves' tour guides, but can't imagine there's a better one except for Rick Steves himself. Not sucking up, but I've seen Rick Steves live a few times and the dude cracks me up. Ben did the same thing. He's totally amusing! Loved everything about the tour, particularly Venice. Cichetti bars and exploring the alleys and canals of Venice - what a blast!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment - stepping onto St. Marks Square for the fist time. Ben led us onto the square via a narrow alleyway. As we exited the alleyway, BAM! - there was the square. It blew me away. And if that wasn't enough, the orchestra and charming coffee shops were icing on the cake. What a moment! Seeing the Duomo for the fist time was impressive too. Wow! What an imposing structure."

Alan

South San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing adventure on our tour. We definitely got more than our money's worth in culture, relationships, and lasting memories. From the start of the tour we found the folks in our group to very charming and friendly. We were happy to see the popular sites such as Sistine Chapel and the Grand Canal, and equally excited about seeing things not everyone gets to experience like seeing the Virtruvian Man and a working Italian vineyard. This tour gave us a real taste of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me, a tie between our first group dinner and the Sistine Chapel. Our group dinner because knowing you will meet 28 new people that you will spend 2 weeks with can make one a little nervous, but when you find everyone to be friendly and bond over the first dinner you know you are in for a great trip. The Sistine Chapel, once you take it all in and start to look at the different portions you see the artistry of the dimensions, the figures, and spacing. You're left in awe."

Margaretha

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A-plus! Gold stars! Top-of-the-line!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved the cooking class. Our chef, Francesco, was fun to work with, the meal we made was delish. The beautiful buildings and art of Italy are nearly overwhelming. I need separate art and architecture tours. The pink and white marble Doges Palace in Venice is beautiful and its over-the-top decor inside is fun and outrageously opulent. I particularly liked the Parthenon in Rome. The dome is a marvel. I was moved see the tomb of artist Raphael in the Parthenon. Kitty City is neat!"

Frank

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is very strenuous - lots of walking and stairs but that is what I expected from your brochures. The cities were thoroughly covered and there was also enough free time for us to see what additional areas we had interest in seeing or go back to a toured area for more viewing. The tour leader, Ben, and the local guides were all extremely friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about the art, history and local customs. They were able to answer all questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually there were two. The art, history and food were great but that was expected. The stop in Orvieto for wine tasting and lunch was an unexpected treat to remember. Meeting with Cecelia and her discussion of wine, food and the Orvieto country side was incredible. The cooking class was also an unexpected treat. Overall the WOW goes to Orvieto. A third WOW technically was not part of the tour. On Wednesday after the tour ended our guide helped us to see the Pope at St. Peter's square."

Robert

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything detail ran smoothly and the three cities were all fabulous. Enjoyed the people, the cooking class and the wine vinyard visit. Helen was a fun tour guide and each of the 3 cities had specialists that were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Would have to say Venice and visiting 3 of the smaller islands."

Nancy

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goal for the tour was seeing art works and architecture that I had only seen in media, but as usual my expectations were surpassed. We had wonderful guides and a really great group. Helen did an excellent job...always helpful, knowledgeable, upbeat and efficient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been especially looking forward to seeing David and he didn't disappoint, but I was most impressed by the Duomo in Florence. Pictures I had seen did not do the facade justice. The dome was incredible and to think the building was started when it wasn't known how to build such a huge dome. That was a really leap of faith."

Peter

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the experiance of visiting the three cities, (Venice,Florance,Rome) was wounderfull after doing the village tour a few years ago. The uniqueness and difference of each city was stunning to me. The local guides along with our tour guide were knoleageble had a sense of hummer and were excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The different art and cultures of the cities."

Marianne

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour truly exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed all of our tour mates and our tour guide, Helen, was exceptional.

Karla

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were so thankful to have a guide that spoke fluent Italian. Helen had lived in Rome, so she had a good sense of everything. She was amazing. Grerat to be able to go on the tours of various museums, churches and not have to wait in lines. The tour guides from Venice, Florence and Rome were so knowledgable and really brought the history of the area to life. From Italy we went on to Paris on our own and kept saying we wish we were on a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the drive up to the wine country. The presentation and information about the various wines was so much fun. I was so amazed to be standing in front of the David and entering the Sistine Chapel. You see pictures of these things but to be standing in front of them is really a wow moment."

Gay

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter and I had the trip of a lifetime. All the major "must-see" places were covered and most included commentary from a local guide. These guides added the details that would have been overlooked with casual observation. We enjoyed developing friendships and sharing experiences with the other tour members. Time on our own to wander through Venice, Florence, and Rome after a much needed orientation tour proved to be fun and exciting. Helen Inman, our tour guide, was friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As we toured the Vatican, I realized that all my previous tours had been the short itinerary version. Nothing could have pleased me more than getting to see so much of one of the world's most beautiful and important places."

Karen

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

lt was the perfect way to do the larger cities. We particularly appreciated the easy access to museums and attractions (no lines!). The expert guides were instrumental in making places like the Vatican and the Ulfittzi comprehensible and meaningful. It was fun to travel with like minded individuals. Our guide was delightful and the accommodations were much nicer than expected and well located. Had a great time! Have already recommended it to our friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick just one? The wine cellar and view from the winery in Tuscany. Viewing the paintings up close on the the inside of the Duomo. The Forum in Rome. They were all awesome. The cooking class was a blast"

Peter

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Great experience but exhausting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Venice lagoon."

Nora

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Europe and I absolutely loved this trip! I was prepared for a lot of walking and touring museums, churches etc so the extra activities like wine tasting and the cooking class made this trip so special! I felt like the tour was thoughfully planned out with lots of free time for exploring. I had a gut feeling about touring with Rick Steves tours and it proved a perfect fit for my active lifestyle. Lots of walking and being open to new experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really seeing the David in Florence took my breath away. There were so many beautiful things to see but that visit to view the scupture was the "wow" moment for me."

David

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and our expectations were far exceeded at every level.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. But I would have to say that the wine experience in Orvieto was a real unexpected treat. The countryside, setting, and hospitality was something I was not prepared for."

Ray

Metairie, LA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought I knew a little bit about art. What the tour guides exposed us to was way beyond my greatest expectations. The way they all worked in architecture, history and art was the highlight and I had no idea that we would learn these things in this way. My compliments to Rick for having such wonderful guides on his staff. I can't imagine any other tour company has this repertoire of guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time- I had no idea there was that much going on in one room. 2.Stepping down 3 levels in San Clemente Church, going from the present to 1200AD to 300AD to street level in ancient Rome.(was a close second)"

William

Cockeysville, MD

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour offered great guides, wonderful companions and an unforgettable experience of this enchanting country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the unexpected boat ride from the Venice airport to the Vatican at night, the tour exceeded expectations; it would be difficult to identify any one "wow' moment."

Eamon

Missoula, MT

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I enjoyed each city in a different way. Each city has its benefits that I was glad to experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome was by far my favorite experience. From the Colloseum to San Clemente to sitting on ancient columns I was in amazement with Rome. Venice did have it's enjoyable times as the whole group enjoyed our last night together out on the gondola's."

Mary Pat

Cockeysville, MD

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Italy and it was everything we hoped it would be and even more. I like the selections of sights included in each city because we saw the major tourists attractions but it also included some fascinating lesser known spots which turned out to be our favorite experiences.. Our guide, Steven, and the local guides that met us in each city were spectacular! We really felt like we experienced and tasted the flavor of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amazing sights as we rode the speed boat from Venice airport to Venice --yet it was only a taste of the amazing sights that we would see in the next 10 days. ST Marks square, St Peters in Romd are all memorable but a lovely gondola ride with a musician and singer were magical."

McKenna

Lynden, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour expeirence is was incredible. I know that I will not be forgetting my time with this tour and the amazing people that I met anytime soon. The food was great, scenery incredible, and the frienships made were life long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that i can't pick just one. Seeing the David and the Birth of Venus were both experiences that i will never forget. The wine tasting wasn't so shabby either."

John Michael

Glyndon, MD

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I knew I would enjoy traveling with my three cousins and our spouses. I did not expect to meet so many new friends, and I include our tour guide in that category. I did not expect to enjoy so much outside of the scheduled tour activities. I enjoy learning. This trip was a joy of learning experiences. Our guide brought past and present together, took our studied history and brought it to life. The art and architecture were so much better in person.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. The greatest was riding in a gondola with my wife and an accordion player and vocalist through the small back canals and Grand Canal of Venice at night."

Ron

Malibu, CA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Great combination of being led on a "tour" and also being alone to find your way and interact with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and going into the Pantheon in Rome. Such a great example of one of the accomplishments of the Romans. There were many other great moments in the other cities also, seeing such well known sites and buildings."

Susan

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best tour I've ever been on! Loved the active pace! Learned so much about each city from our knowledgeable tour guide and the local tour guides! The size of the group was nice also. Loved that we were only on a tour bus twice and our tour guide made that fun as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just being in Venice was a "wow" for me. No other city like it! Didn't plan on doing a gondola ride but was glad I did!"

Sheila

West Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful....even better than I had even hoped it would be. I loved the content, pace, diversity of experiences and the food, wine and other tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are several....Venice had several...the canals and colors were beautiful. Night time Gondola ride with singing was cool. Loved Burano...so quaint and colorful! Big wow moment at winery when we saw the fantastic view. Loved the Pantheon, Colosseum, and San Clementine were all so neat."

David

West Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was exactly as represented. Everything was great. This was my first experiment with traveling ultra light (the Rick Steve's way) and have become a believer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most surprising thing was how much fun it was traveling with a group of complete strangers. It was kind of a cross between a vacation and a party that lasted a week and a half. Our guide and our entire group were all extraordinary people and excellent traveling companions."

Lai

Edina, MN

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a RS tour and it was wonderful. The amount of time spent as a group was just right and everyone in the group got along just great. The guided tours were just right, in terms of content and time. Hotels were delightful, especially Loggiata dei Serviti. Would not hesitate to do another RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pinpoint as each day had its own wow factor. But I especially enjoyed the Vatican City. And what a treat to see the pope at the mass prayer vigil on our last day in Rome."

James

Waco, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. The tours are well designed with excellent accommodations and talented, experienced guides. In additions to the sites, there are relaxing changes of pace (the cooking school and the visit to the winery) that are fun. A person on the tour who has prepared using the provided literature can make good use of the ample free time on the tour. We made friends on the tours with whom we continue to communicate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first "wow" moment was standing in front of THE CRUCIFIXION by Tintoretto in Scuola San Rocco in Venice. The second was walking up to Michelangelo's DAVID in Florence. I, of course, had seen photos of both, but was not prepared for seeing them in person. My third "wow" moment was eating a Burger King hamburger on our last day in Rome."

Danny

Edina, MN

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip. The hotels were great, so full of characters from the chain hotels. The combination of free time and guided tours make the trip more enjoyable. All the tour guides were knowledgable. You can see their love to educate rather just entertain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of good memories. If I have to pick one, it was the first time to see the Grand Canal in Venice."

Patti

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

RS tours are the perfect blend of doing it yourself and the benefits of a guided tour. I like that there is a city tour for orientation, a city/site guide for the big sites (and no waiting in line!!!!), yet plenty of free time for exploring on your own. Having a group to connect with feels reassuring in a foreign country and adds to the fun. Since it is a small group, relationships develop quickly. I can't wait to take my next RS tour (#4!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Art: turning the corner and seeing the Duomo in Florence took my breath away; the statue of David (Florence) is unlike anything (pictures do not compare to the actual statue); the Sistine Chapel (WOW!). History: The Roman forum and St Clemente Church (amazing how old!) View of Florence from the tower of the hotel Fun: cooking class and gondola ride"

John

Darien, GA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour guide."

Jean

Darien, GA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very professional and organized. Resturants, hotels were very nice and our guide, Nina, was excellent. I liked the fact that we did have "free" time. I an 69 and did not have any trouble with luggage, and I would Ditto the fact that it can be done in a carry on luggage. My daughters were amazed that I could do that. Got 14 "hits" on Pinterest on how to pack. I would recommend this tour to all of my Senior friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DAVID"

Peter

Junction City, KS

Tour: 06/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour changed my life. If I had to complain, it would only be that I don't need to hear "Andiamo!" every time we moved forward, but how's that for a complaint? Honestly, I can't think of anything negative to say. Bravo, Sarah.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping onto the Academia Bridge and getting my first look up and down the Grand Canal."

Donald

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 06/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm not much for surveys but I'll say that we (my wife and I) enjoyed our trip through Venice, Florence, and Rome so much that we'll definitly be going back to Italy. Our guide, Alfio, was a big reason we had such a great time on our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going into Venice from the airport on a vesperado..., well, a boat. It was just the two of us and the skipper. It was spectacular--just like in the travel guides! Wow, we were really in Venice."

Matthew

Reno, NV

Tour: 05/03/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I have never been on any type of tour before this trip. This being the first time, I had the typical reservations about being on a tour. The fear of clichè stereotypes about being on a tour were quickly dispelled by the tour. I found the tour to be a perfect balance of guided and unguided time. Another great aspect of the overall tour was to show not just the well known famous sites, the inclusion of daily contemporary life gave a nice balance to the overall tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A really wow moment on the tour was the Basilica of Saint Clement. The principle reason I have for this was the surprise on this part of the tour. I had expectations about the well known sites. The Basilica was not something I was aware of, proving to be a wonderful surprise to the tour."

Matthew

Littleton, CO

Tour: 03/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I took my Mom on this tour with a little trepidation as I had never been on a Rick Steves tour before. Although I grew up a hotel bratt (my father was a manager for Hyatt for years) and I found the accommodations challenging at times (there was a single outlet in our room in Venice) our fellow travelers, our tour and local guides, and all of the staff along the way made our trip truly memorable. I would not hesitate to recommend this tour to friends or family . . . and have!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pinpoint as there were many. Venice is magical, seeing David was surprisingly emotional, the cooking class and lunch were so much fun, the winery we visited (Tenuta Le Velette) was unforgettable, and the ruins and farewell dinner in Rome were magestic. So many "wow" momenta to choose from!"

Weather

Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Venice 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 Venice that we do not do as a group: Campanile di San Marco (bell tower); Dalmatian School chapel; Jewish Ghetto and Museum; Santa Maria della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore churches; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the island of Murano.

Packing

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