• 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 & lunch • Palazzo Davanzati tour • Umbrian wine tasting lunch • Rome orientation tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • Church of San Clemente tour • Pantheon • Vatican Museum tour • Sistine Chapel • St. Peter's Basilica • Evening walk through Rome's piazzas including Trevi Fountain...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 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to 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, the remarkably-preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon and the magical Trevi Fountain. Sleep in Rome (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

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

We'll spend much of today on the Vatican side of the Tiber River. At the sprawling Vatican Museum we'll tour the seemingly endless collection of treasures as we make our way to the single work of art that dwarfs them all: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. We'll then have an orientation to the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. You'll have the rest of your day free to wander through this immense church, climb the dome if you're feeling energetic, and explore 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

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

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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.

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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""

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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"

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)"

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."

Mary

Coolville, OH

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was wonderful! Having such a small group made it easy to talk with everyone and share experiences along the way. Our tour guide was fantastic, and the local guides in each city were beyond compare. We especially enjoyed having the guides in the art museums, because it was like having an art history scholar in our back pocket! Our guide, Stephanie, took such good care of us, and gave us excellent recommendations for restaurants and things to do during our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick a single moment, because everything felt like a "wow" moment! The evening gondola ride with the group was very special. And everywhere we went, there were stunning churches and art collections to tour. I think just being in Italy and seeing in person everything that I've read about was pretty incredible."

Allison

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every aspect of the Italy tour. Churchs, museums,gondola rides,cooking class,winery tour-it was all fabulous. The hotels/B&B's were close to the cities we visited. Our tour guide Stephanie was knowledgable,fluent in italian and lots of fun. I met many new friends and the group size was perfect! Most of all it allowed me, a single traveler in my 50's, to enjoy Italy with the company of others and it allowed time to do my own thing. I'm hooked and will definitely be back for more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many wow moments to pick just one.I enjoyed the uniqueness of Venice and the beauty of Umbria."

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."

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."

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."

Susan

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We loved how everything was taken care of, there were no lines to wait in, and the art historians in the museums and Coliseum. But it felt a little regimented and strict and the morning activities could be a little overwhelming rushing from one place to another, I would have enjoyed a little more dolce vita. I am probably not a good tour person, would have preferred to receive a fact sheet and tour museums at my own pace. Your fantastic tour books are probably enough for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Leisurely enjoying Venice before the tour began, and touring St. Paul in chains church on our own."

Earl

Boulder, CO

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Only negative part of the tour was the tour group size, 29. Hard to hear the guide if you were in the back of the pack.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. All selected site were great."

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."

Gregory

Burien, WA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I promised my wife I would take her to Italy one day and show her the country I lived in 40 years ago when I was in the military. The tour was much more than I expected. Nina Bernardo enabled my wife and all the tour participants to experience the Italy I loved and fondly remembered. But the best part of the tour was bonding with 26 new friends. We shared more than an adventure. We became a family and blended into Italy together as if we lived there all of our lives. Mille Grazie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was watching my wife's smile as the morning sun lite the mosiacs in St. Mark's Basillica in Venice. It was a magical moment when when I saw that smile in her eyes and I was filled with grace. It was as majestic as a full moon rising over Florence's Domo in a private tower filled with new friends."

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"

Paul

Bayside, NY

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"cooking class and wine tasting"

John

Darien, GA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour guide."

Anne

Mundelein, IL

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Will highly recommend Rick Steves tours to all of our family & friends! Busses (and drivers) were excellent between Venezia & Firenze as well as Firenze & Roma. Loved how Nina managed the traveling timetable so expertly. Her confidence with all public transportation made us more confident (and therefore, safe).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David at L'Accademia in Firenze. Liked that we had a very late afternoon time of 5:15pm to tour so that it was not thronged w tourists. Loved the gondola ride in Venezia, and Nina Bernardo also had musicians for one gondola. Magical moments on the Grand Canal. Beautiful vistas of Orvieto from the Umbrian winery. That experience was fabulous, although I would suggest that Alessandro follows a tighter script when we are outside (he was fine once we were indoors)."

Dick

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the trip was excellent. This was our second tour with Nina. Not only was she very knowledgeable, but she was very energetic and fun. Rome was incredible. From the Sistine Chapel to the Colosseum, everything was incredible. I do, however, that too much time was spent in the Uffizi Gallery. I would suggest spending the time on a few [INVALID] works of art and going into more detail on certain painters. over all, a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't need 500 characters - the Sistine Chapel."

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"

Linda

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour & my first time in Italy. It was a fantastic trip! The tour and/or local guide provided valuable information & history about the city in the morning, and then on most days, set us loose to explore everything I wanted to see in the afternoon/evenings. We also bypassed the 2+ hour lines in many venues such as the Vatican and Accademia (where the David is!). The tour guides definitely enriched the experience as I learned so much more than I would have otherwise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No doubt, the group gondola ride in Venice. We had 4 boats, a singer and musician. Once we traveled through the canals of Venice, we opened into the Grand Canal right about sunset. All four boats were then put together side by side as all 20 of us sang along with the singer and musician. It was a great introduction to Venice and Italy, as well as a bonding experience for a group that had just met the day before."

Gary

Ceresco, NE

Tour: 08/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very good. tour guides went into to much detail on afew pieces of art, and walked others without mentioning. we are not art students.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. peters"

Beth

Granville, OH

Tour: 07/19/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was great and able to handle a difficult situation that came up in our group well (an emergency) while keeping the rest of the trip flowing for everyone else. The itinerary was well planned and thought out. We had side trips scheduled that I would have missed had I not gone on the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments"

Jeff

Duluth, GA

Tour: 07/19/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Melissa and I had a great experience on our 25th wedding anniversary trip. I can't imagine having taken this trip any other way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number of wow moments, but the one that stands out was our fortune to be present at Venice's Festival of the Redeemer. It was a pleasure to join in on the community celebration, and we've never send a fireworks display last for 45 minutes!"

Priscilla

Washington, DC

Tour: 07/19/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The overall tour experience was very good, though since I have never done a tour before, I don't have any basis for comparison. I thought that the ratio of organized to free time was well thought through; occasionally, I felt that we tried to cram in too much into one slot. I really appreciated the variety of activities: from museums and art galleries to the cooking class and winery visit. I loved the wide age range of the tour group: from 70+ to 10+.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente in Rome - to have tiny peep at the layers of Roman history on one site was so illuminating."

Ford

Waco, TX

Tour: 07/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Venice!"

Albert

Briarcliff Manor, NY

Tour: 07/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best! The could not have been a better tour guide than Cecelia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them, but if I had to choose it would be the Coliseum and Pantheon. I wanted to see them ever since I was a child."

Sue

Boones Mill, VA

Tour: 07/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and my first guided tour. I wasn't sure what to expect, but things could not have been better (except a fewer number of church tours would be an improvement).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This would have to be our tour guide! She was extremely knowledgeable, caring, funny and definitely made the trip exceptional."

Mahvash

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 07/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were in colosseum , Vatican and Cecilia's Winery"

Joyce

Evanston, IL

Tour: 07/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. We thought our tour guide was outstanding. She is incredibly thoughtful, generous and really tried to make this special and easy for everyone on the tour. The local guides were really terrific. M husband and I would go on another Rick Steves tour in a minute!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the tour with the Local guide Francesca at the Coliseum, forum and San Clemente's was very powerful But, the really special time at Cecilia's winery was a very close second!"

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."

Suzanne

Capitola, CA

Tour: 04/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments during our trip.. Venice was "wow" from the get go! The first evening my daughter and I arrived, the water taxi man dropped us off at the Fish Market in Venice rather than the Rialto stop. Therefore, turning right and then left put us in the wrong direction from Pensione Guerrante; however, that is when the fun and the wow begin. We loved Venice so much, we returned for one night after Rome and stayed at LaCalcina."

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.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Venice before your tour begins, use 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.

Transportation

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

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). Venice and Rome are major transportation hubs, making additional travel after your tour quite easy.

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

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

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

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

Trip Resources

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

Packing

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