• 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

from $2,395 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

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!

Dates & Prices

2015

2016

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Venice, Florence and Rome come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Venice backstreets walking tour • St. Mark's Square and Basilica tour (water level dependent) • Venice lagoon excursion • Accademia Art Museum tour • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence backstreets walking tour • Cooking class and lunch • Palazzo Davanzati tour • Umbrian wine tasting lunch • Rome orientation tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • Church of San Clemente tour • Pantheon • Vatican Museum tour • Sistine Chapel visit • St. Peter's Basilica (when available) • Evening walk through Rome 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
  • $100 Shopping Spree (per household) at the Rick Steves Travel Store to get guidebooks and gear for your trip
  • 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 2016
  • 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. The afternoon and evening is free 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. 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. Then it's all aboard for a cruise into Venice's lagoon on our private boat. We'll visit a picturesque island or two, where you'll have free time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own. After returning, the evening is yours to discover 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. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Wonders of Renaissance Florence and 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: moderate.

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: moderate.

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, Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably-preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon. Sleep in Rome (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

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

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

Day 9: Monuments of Ancient Rome

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

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate cities on your own.

Reviews

Theresa

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would do another Rick Steves tour. Everything was organized and all the people and hotels involved were very helpful and friendly. I wanted a tour that wasn't just sit on a bus and be driven around. I liked the walking tours and the free time to explore on my own. I have planned tours for myself in the past and have found it to be quite challenging sometimes to make sure that everything is scheduled properly or that the hotel is in a good part of town. There were no worries on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "scale" of everything in Rome was more than I could have ever imagined. And "discovering" all the magnificent buildings and artwork all throughout Rome that just are part of the city was fun."

Julie

Johns Creek, GA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been searching for a blend of a 'planned' and 'open' way to tour Italy, and this was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting experience was fantastic. The winery and surrounding area looked like something from a movie set. It was a fun, informative couple of hours in an idyllic setting. Our hostess was friendly, personable, and taught us a bit about how to be unintimidated by new wines, and how they enhance -- and are enhanced by -- different food flavors. A beautiful break in a great itinerary."

Jerry

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved all that we were able to see and experience in Italy. Great itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Ancient Rome with local Tour Guide, Francesca!! Also Piazza Michelangelo in Florence at night and Gondola ride at night."

Carmen

Carmel, IN

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a great experience. We took two tours back to back, exhausting but we truly enjoyed both of them. As promised this is not just a tour but is planned as a cultural experience. The tour guides were fantastic, our sojourners were fun and in both groups we felt welcomed and appreciated. As promised the tours have great balanced of planned and free for other activities. The information provided by the books is fantastic as well as the audio tours are great complement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, it is very hard to choose, Rome the eternal city was fantastic and the guide for this particular day had the ability to present the experience with passion and a love for the city and it's history that made it very enjoyable. I also loved the fact that the hotel in Paris was within a walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and we could walk there any time which allowed us to be there to celebrate Bastille Day with half a millions Parisian, unexpected but a bonus to this great experience."

Sarah

Draper, UT

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved our guide.His attention to detail and consideration of each of the tour members was excellent.As a simple suggestion on the 10 day Venice, Florence, Rome tour, a possible alternative to the wine tasting in Umbria for those tour members of the LDS faith (therefore non- alcohol drinkers)would be to taxi ahead to the Via do Settebagni exit which is on route with the tour bus to see/ attend the LDS rome temple.Then coordinate to be back to the exit for the tour bus to pick you up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the last Bernini statue he made in his 80s. It's located at the San Sebastián Catacombs inside the basilica. It was just exquisite and such a treasure to find as it was only discovered in 2006."

Monica

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour from beginning to end. My husband and I have never gone on a tour because we've heard about the break-neck pace that they usually run at. But after researching the Rick Steve's tours, it sounded like a great balance of sightseeing and free time to explore. It was a fantastic experience, from our great tour guide, Alfio, to the quality of the hotels, to the unique outings like the cooking class in Florence. And with only 26 people in our group, we all became family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in St. Peter's Basilica was awe-inspiring."

Raymond

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a well organized and fun tour. Every aspect of the schedule was carefully thought out. For example, the first day in each city was an overall orientation of both the physical layout and tour agenda. In Rome, we went first to the top of the Vittorio Emmanuele II Memorial. Great way to see from high-up the layout of Rome. There was a good combination of organized sightseeing and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments it is difficult to identify just one. There were more than one in each city."

Thomas

Coram, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was terrific from beginning to end. Our guide, Nina, was very informative and worked consistently to ensure all went well. Each hotel was enjoyable and comfortable, and added to the Italian experience. The local guides were extremely informative and professional. It seemed to have the right balance of tours and free time. The major group meals were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is almost a trick question, in that, how can one distinguish among many outstanding trips and excursions. I cannot really answer this question, as each day seemed to get incrementally better. On the final day, I had to wonder - how did ten days pass so quickly?"

Sarah

Webster, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music room with the first piano."

Carmen

Erial, NJ

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized tour. Activities were scheduled so that there was sufficient down time, even for my 10 year old son.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Basilica San Clemente and the Sistine Chapel"

Lois

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a FANTASTIC time on Rick Steves' 10 Day Tour in Italy. The overall experience exceeded our expecations. We not only saw the sites, but were ushered into each place with ease. Our experience was varied with the visit to the oldest family-run wine maker on 600 acres, we made our own delicious Italian lunch at a cooking school, etc. Our group dinner meals were amazingly yummy. Our main guide and local guides were excellent, informative and invaluable. Wow! Wow! Loved the Rick Steves' Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was in Venice - walking into the St. Mark's Square & seeing the enormity of the place, with St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Correr Museum book-ending the area filled with shops, restaurants and hundreds of people. Going into gorgeous St. Mark's Basilica was amazing and seeing the beautifully made altar piece was a very special way to start the tour off. (A must see during free time is the Doge's Palace, which was not on the tour.) Love Venice!"

Rosalie

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS EVALUATION IS A JOINT EVAL SUBMITTED BY BOTH JIM BOLDIN AND ROSALIE BOLDIN. We are your best sales representatives among our family and friends. We are so pleased with our tour from the initial exploration of your website to our return home that we are compelled to talk about how you structured and accomplished our tour with everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single place or time. Both scheduled and "on our own" delighted us."

Sarah

Piedmont, CA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hot and exhausting, but a lot of fun. Would not travel to Italy again during the summer, but did it this summer because many of our group are on school year schedules.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the church near the museum with its three layers of civilization and the guide's excellent explanation."

Tori

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great except for the unusually hot temps which your organization is not responsible for at all! We knew it would be hot since it is mid-summer, but 105F was uncomfortable to say the least. 2-3 showers a day helped a lot and we all did fine as a group. Ann, our guide, was great and prepared us for our daily schedules. She took excellent and extra care by scheduling as much as possible in the mornings, and also extra help with transportation to hotels after some evening meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After visiting the Pantheon, we were mingling outside in the square and a live band started playing and singing Pink Floyd music. That's when I knew I was on vacation! Perfect!"

Todd

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Well organized and efficient. Great guudes and loved skipping the lines. Hotels were wonderful and good transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Coleusseum in Rome. Or Michelangelos David. Sistine Chapel was pretty awesome as well"

Lara

New Holland, IL

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great, informative and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot narrow it down to one, but maybe one from each city: Venice: Nighttime Gondola ride with beautiful music that Ann arranged. Florence: Cooking class and eating together our work! I also really loved Antonia and the Palazzo Davanzati--please continue to visit and support the understated elegance of this museum! Rome: Sistene Chapel ceiling and the Judgement Day."

Tristan

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"bolzono near venice"

Marshall

Piedmont, CA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well thought out and we generally had a good experience. But I really did not like the last night's dinner in Rome. Through most of the dinner there was this very very loud guitar with singer with amplifier's speakers blaring in this small dinning room. I almost walked out in the middle of dinner.

Caroline

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything we did was really fun, and I'm glad we went and saw everything we saw. All the restaurants were really good. All the tour guides were really good. And I liked how all the hotels were located right in the center of town. It was the perfect amount of time with the tour group and time alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the cooking lesson. Alessandro was very funny and fun to work with. Our end product was one of the best things I ate on the tour."

Steven

Plymouth Meeting, PA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great experience. I think the highlight was the quality of the guides everywhere, including our everyday guide Lisa. I also enjoyed the efficiency of the smaller group and having all of the tickets ahead of time. I was a bit disappointed in the hotels. They were clean and friendly generally but I think I am used to and enjoy American style hotels and their amenities. For example, If I'm traveling light I appreciate a complimentary bar of soap larger than a poker chip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many but favorite was Venice and seeing grand canal and the gondola rides our tour guide organized for us."

Christine

North Bellmore, NY

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. It superseded all expectations. The hotels were lovely and had plenty of air conditioning. It was extremely hot but the hotels were more than accommodating. I highly recommend this tour. On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 20! The people on the tour were a lovely, diverse bunch. We became fast friends and supporters. Our tour guide became part of us as she was a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the back streets of Venice, the vineyard, the cooking class and ALL the museums."

Leslie

Andover, MA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. As first time tour goers, we were not entirely sure how we would react to the group travel, but we ended up loving it. Everything about the tour was well planned and executed, with knowledgeable, patient guides and fun activities. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We found Venice to be magical. After seeing pictures for my whole life, I couldn't believe I was there, and we found wandering the streets to be interesting and relaxing."

Robyn

Montville, NJ

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with being on a tour for vacation. It was the best decision I made. The tour took care of everything. I had the opportunity to enjoy Italy from so many different perspectives. I learned about the history and culture, enjoyed the cuisine, and got to see so many famous sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow' moments. My favorite was when we visited the Church of San Clemente. I walked in thinking it was just another old church. The local guide did a great job of explaining the history and taking us on a tour underground. If I would have walked in to that church on my own I would never have known that the whole underground even existed. I got to experience it and understand it."

Kateryna

Williamstown, MA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best trip for me- best organized and the program covered most of what I would be able to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David, visit to Cecilia's estate/vineyard"

Carma

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! Our tour was the perfect combination of guided together time and free alone time. Our tour guide Lisa was so helpful and knowledgeable. We loved her! Each of our local guides was well-prepared, informative, and intelligent. Staying in comfortable hotels right in the downtown historic areas of Venice, Florence and Rome, was the best feature of this tour. We walked or took the metro (in Rome) to everywhere we wanted to go! I've never been able to do that before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was discovering how much I love Michelangelo. I've learned about him all my life, but to see so many of his greatest works over the course of a few days was deeply moving. I came to wonder at his genius. His David and his Pieta gave me chills and made me want to cry. How could anyone create something so beautiful, from stone? And the Sistine Chapel -- truly WOW! That was moving! I could feel the dedication and masterful hard work of his entire heart and soul."

Eva

Brunswick, GA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely the only way to see Venice, Florence, Rome and efficiently/wisely use the time you have in just ten days!Every single one of the tour guides were personable and knowledgeable. They neither talked down to us nor over our heads. I now feel like Lisa is my younger sister, she was so open about her own life. Right down to taking one of our tour members to the hair salon with her and giving me directions to the clothes store in Florence where she shopped!Do it again, YES!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not just one! No cars in Venice to mar the beauty of the water ways.The sunset from Michelangelo's park overlooking Florence.Walking out of our Florence hotel to turn the corner and see the Duomo.By far the most exquisite painting of the baby Jesus seen at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.Sitting in a 2,000 year old home in Rome under San Clemente Church.The Roman cat sanctuary among the ruins in Rome.And more...."

Stephanie

Medford, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderfully, absolutely brilliant, as we Brits say! From the beginning with the directions from the airport to the Vesparo to the stop where we would alight, to the directions to walk to the hotel, all very clear and concise. Then to the meeting of the group every morning, after wonderful breakfasts, in the courtyard of each hotel to set off on a tour or an activity. To the advise on what do and where to go with free time. It was all so well organized and seemlessly executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Just being in Venice then Florence and then Rome were all "wow" moments. Seeing Michelangelo's David just before the museum closed with only a handful of people there, the Vavaldi concert in Venice both "wow" moments. Standing on the terrace at the winery overlooking the valley and town of Orvieto, so quiet and beautiful. Wow!"

Kristina

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband was awarded a grant to take a 3-month Sabbatical in Europe with the family (myself and our two teenage children). Never having travelled abroad before as a family we booked a Rick Steves tour of Venice, Florence and Rome to start our adventure. My thinking was that Rick Steves Tour would not only give us a great experience, but more importantly, that we would be taught how to travel well (and not be garden-variety tourists) for the duration of our journey. Expectation exceeded!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to pick? We are now home and we repeatedly talk about our Roman Ancient City experience with Francesca. She was incredible and we learned so much about not only what we were seeing, but how to make sense of it in an intelligent, global way. But there were so many other special moments - the winery in Orvieto & pairing class, the cooking class & meal in Florence, being almost alone with Michelangelo's David at the end of the day . . . even the time on the bus with Rainer learning!"

Peggy

Dublin, OH

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first, but not last, tour experience with Rick Steves. I can't say enough about how wonderful it was, from so many perspectives[INVALID]experienced and knowledgeable guides, great balance between group and free time activities, fabulous recommendations on restaurants and free time activities, money saving tips, a great blend of fellow travelers, wonderful accommodations, and helpful advice on how to really get into the local culture. We are already planning our next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. There were so many. Venice was one wow after another (we arrived a couple of days early to get over jet lag, so got to do some extras)--the mix of art, architecture, music, the experience of making our way entirely by boat or foot and feeling surrounded by ancient cultures was just amazing. I would also say our "special" activities were highlights--the winery tour and lunch outside Orvieto, our cooking class in Florence, our gondola ride in Venice, with singer!"

Steve

Dublin, OH

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I were absolutely thrilled with the tour of Italy in 10 days. We would do a Rick Steves' tour again - especially to Italy, which we loved - and highly recommend them. The food was fabulous; the art and architecture amazing; the tour guide and local guides terrific; and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our tour group. Our dream vacation turned out far, far better than we imagined!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to [INVALID] a single "wow" moment. We loved Venice more than any other city we visited. And when we saw Renaissance art in places like Scuolo San Rocco (aka Tintoretto's Sistine Chapel) and the Frari Church; when we ate the most wonderful lasagna in a restaurant on Campo San Polo and watched an Italian grandfather pour olive oil on his pizza - and pour, and pour and pour... Do you see the difficulty separating a favorite moment from the totality of the experience?"

Arlene

Flemington, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was very positive. Guides were great; local guides were fantastic, knowledgeable, colorful. The prep for the cities was excellent. Hotels were well located. Breakfasts great although I wish they would open earlier, so that you could go back to the room before you headed out for the day. But now that I see the rooms/ I will be more adaptable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Landing into Venice and the grand canal. Winding our way through the Venice "streets and alley""

Christina

Bridgewater, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! It was exactly what we were looking for - the right mix of guided tours, fun activities, and free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was amazing when we were in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice listening to our guide's whispered info about the art in the church and the choir started singing from somewhere in the church. It was beautiful! We were all quiet for a moment and just listened to the beautiful music that seemed to put a special exclamation point onto our experience in Venice."

Peter

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went exactly as described in the itinerary even when it didn't. There were labor troubles in Florence and a Monday holiday in Rome which required some changes in plans and our guide rearranged events and transportation flawlessly. We visited everything on the itinerary and if Donald hadn't told us about changes in plans, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's, and the Sistine Chapel. Navigating the immense crowds and different lines would have been overwhelming without experienced guides."

Susan

Elkins Park, PA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. The group was okay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived at Poggia Della Volara. Dino opened the bus doors; two dogs ran in & up & down the aisle greeting us. Thus began a few idyllic hours of relaxation, delicious food and wine. The location was sublime,with vistas of Umbria,replete with olive trees,& grapevines. There were chairs in the shade, a swimming pool; time to walk around absorbing the beauty. Serving the wine as part of lunch did not make it feel like a pitch to taste and buy. Instead we were guests sharing a delicious lunch."

Anne

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was tiring but good! Lots of walking

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Coloseum"

Evangeline

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Umbria, the few hours we spent there were wonderful, a nice respite from the hustle and bustle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Burano and Murano, not having been there before."

Michele

San Leandro, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful! OUr friends are alumnus and have been trying to get us to take a tour for a while now, and we realized we should have listened much sooner. Very well done. Every detail was just perfect. Thank you so much, we will be taking more tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing Michelangelo's David. Also Francesca's tour of the Forum and Coliseum. I could really visualize lions in the Coliseum and Julius Cesar at the Forum. The cooking class in Florence was a lot of fun too."

Dan

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent and exceeded our expectations. We loved going into restaurants that were more "local" and not touristy. The guides were excellent and really helped us understand what we were seeing. The guided tours were sometimes a bit strenuous, especially in Rome, but having a lot of free time gave us the chance to explore on our own at a more leisurely pace. Overall, a great experience! We are already thinking about our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Our first Italian gelato. 2. Our lunch stop in Umbria. The day was sunny but not hot. The view over the Tiber valley was spectacular, and the food and wine were incredible. I imagine this could be what heaven is like. 3. The Roman Forum. At first glance the ruins don't seem like much, but our guide did a great job helping us to imagine it as it was in the past. We could see in our imagination how spectacular the Forum looked and how awed anyone visiting Rome must have been."

Robert

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was a wonderful mix of exploration with expert guides, time on our own, and lots of helpful assistance. Itinerary was well thought out. Accommodations and tour meals were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lunch stop in Umbria became the nicest, most relaxing part of the tour."

John

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica, David with the prisoners, being in the Colosseum, touring the Forum with guide Francesca – hard to pick one."

Lauren

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the perfect blend of guide expertise and encouragement to truly explore on your own. I was concerned that as a single parent traveling with a teenager, we would both be able to extract what we needed from this tour - and I can confidently say - with the combo punch of Rick Steves' international philosophy blended with the best guide of all time - Donald - we both had an exceptional experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - for different reasons - call outs include our fantastic guided tour of the ruins of Rome, from a guide (born in Rome) who brought me to tears with her insights, but I think a magic moment was our last group dinner, where we all enjoyed our experiences and new friends in a fantastic theater relic in Rome of times gone by."

Arlene

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the group on our tour and RS tour guide was wonderful too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the cooking class in florence. Such a fun opportunity to cook with my husband in a fun environment. Also loved the trip to umbria. The wine tasting lunch was great. The landscape was breathtaking and they were so hospitable. Their olive oil was delicious too."

Mike

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour experience was just fine. We (Cathy and I) were accompanied by 3 grandchildren ages 14, 16, and 18, and it turned out as well as we'd hoped. The tour (and Don especially) provided the structure and discipline we needed to keep them busy and exposed to the cultural things we'd hope they'd see. We would suggest two major changes. 1. Begin in Rome and then go to Florence and Venice. 2. Skip the Vatican Museum during the summer. Go to the Vatican but avoid stress of the Museum crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many cultural "wow" moments for all but for grandparents with three active teens, the wow moments were: 1. The cooking class in Florence. No lectures...busy, busy, busy! 2. The agritourismo en route to Rome. Cathy and I had been to all three cities at least once in the past and the guides made the tour wonderful."

Alexander

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and timeframe. Donald was a great tour guide 100% of the time and I would easily go on another tour with him! I wish I had chosen the 17 day tour because the 3 nights in each place was not enough. I would recommend a 4 night stay in each location - the travel days limit people to about 2 days per location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment must have been ancient Rome. Actually seeing the monuments was amazing after just seen images in books and online."

Wade

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled abroad in the past, but never before in a group, I was a little apprehensive about how it would all work out and my expectations were tempered. However, I could not be more pleased with the entire experience and am looking forward to our next Rick Steves' adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the entire tour was memorable, my "wow" moment came on our last full day when our Rome guide, Francesca, closed our time together standing in the Forum overlooking where Julius Caesar walked on his way to his execution, and the memorial where he was cremated, as she recounted the Ides of March tale. It brought the story we'd all heard so many times to life and was a perfect ending to our trip."

Joyce

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was entirely wonderful. Our guide was friendly, professional and kind to everyone. Our accommodations were centrally centrally located and the hotel in Florence was beyond breathtaking. The guides at each destination were fluent English speakers, intelligent and knowledgeable, if not out and out poetic. I think the Rick Steves Tours must bring out the best people because everyone in our group was friendly and game for anything. What a fun bunch of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the favorite place was Venice, how beautiful and historic. The favorite while place to stay was our hotel in Florence. The favorite thing to see was the Sistine chapel. Actually I think the whole tour was a WOW."

Robert

El Segundo, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We toured Apulia on an AHI tour immediately before this Rick Steves tour. The biggest contrast was how much better Rick Steves local guides are than the ones provided by AHI. The next biggest contrast was how much more AHI must spend on food and wine than Rick Steves does. The last contrast was finding the Rick Steves tour members more simpatico in general than the AHI tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow (but not surprising) touring with my wife and one son is so much easier and than touring alone 35 years ago! Every place feels so different I can hardly believe I've been right here before. Joining a tour makes touring with my wife and son easier than touring with them on our own."

Bonnie

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. The group tour guide, the meals planned, the group members, the itinerary, all lived up to my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments: the gondola ride, sharing meals with group, visiting the vineyard."

Melissa

Herndon, VA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved it. Virginia was our guide and she was exceptional. Really the very best. She made it fun, easy, entertaining, and educational. I loved how we started in the morning with tours and left the afternoons for self exploration. Sometimes that meant taking a nap and then exploring. She gave us great tips on how to navigate around the city, what to be aware of (what pick pocketers look like), or what what special events were going on at the time that we might find interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was sharing a glass of fantastic Chianti (not the same in the states) on top of the tower at our hotel in Florence at sunset overlooking the Duomo with the Tuscan hillside in the background. My thoughts were "Is this a dream?""

Terri

Louisville, KY

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour and I was a little skeptical of whether we would like having a schedule to follow. Right away, we knew we had made a good decision to book this tour. It was 10 days of "wow" and zero "worry." We will definitely book another Rick Steves tour for our next trip to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but my first "wow" was when we entered St. Mark's Square in Venice. It was beautiful, massive and majestic. It was the first of many breath-taking sights we would see over the next few days."

Cindy

Moss Point, MS

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime for me! I had never been to Italy or any European country. It was a graduation celebration for my daughter who finished college. When I attempted to plan the trip myself, it was so overwhelming. It was a relief to discover Rick Steves tours! The best things about the tour were the details were taken care of so the travelers can fully enjoy the trip, meeting awesome new friends who have a love for travel, seeing all the famous sights, and not waiting in line!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was actually a little wow. The drive to and the whole experience at the wine tasting lunch in Umbria was my favorite. We had already seen so many beautiful sights, places, museums, churches it was refreshing and so relaxing to have those few hours of peace, beauty & tranquility to rejuvenate us for Rome. Bravo for planning that at just the right time."

Joyce

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia, our tour guide was top notch, the best ever! The City guides were also impressive and enhanced our ability to sense life centuries ago. Wish I read the recommended books before instead afte the tour. Would have enhanced appreciation of the artwork. Learned how to be a better traveler and be more respectful of other cultures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting off the bus at the winery. The tranquility was immediate and ntoxicating."

Martin

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was excellent with special thanks to our guide, Virginia. We ate well and saw enough art and antiquities to fill us up. Mostly, the tour group participants made the tour great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the back streets of Venice."

Weining

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was great. The whole itinerary from Venice to Rome seemed getting better and better.I would highly recommend the tour to my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable moment would be the day when our Guide Virginia made us played the name game - that is everyone stated their own name and repeated all the names before them. Though everyone made mistakes and we all laughed, somehow, it did helped to bring the whole group together, more closer, like a big happy family."

Marc

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My goals in making this trip had less to do with seeing the individual sites than in traveling in Europe for the first time in 42 years. My wife and I believed it important to try traveling abroad while still in good enough health to get around easily. So for me it was not the case that I had always longed to see the art and churches of Italy so much as to have the experience of being in a foreign land. I was very impressed with the tour in almost every way,especially our guide, Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know about "wow", but I most enjoyed our cooking class, both in working together to prepare the meal and then enjoying what was perhaps the best meal of the trip. I also loved the stop at Le Velette Vineyard, wonderful in both its setting and the "wine experience". And being part of a great group of people was a most memorable part of the trip as well."

Fred

Janesville, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour abroad. The experience was great. The hotels were all in great locations and met all expectations. Transportation from place to place was excellent and gave me a chance to see the country. The local guides were outstanding with wit and humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I ever go Italy again I would not want to miss the farm. This was my "wow" part of the trip. I felt it was a rich experience and far more interesting than I could have imagined."

Lisa

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was VERY good! I would definitely take another Rick Steves Tour. We got so much more out of our trip with experts who could be sure we enjoyed everything Italy had to offer. We were afforded opportunities that would not be possible on our own. We were assisted in the intricasies of public transportation & helped with what to do & where to eat on our free time. We definitely hit all of the highlights in each city. We had a wonderful & memorable time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was SO much to love about our trip to Italy but the special moments were the cooking class we took & then enjoying the meal we prepared in their wine cellar. We also enjoyed the lovely lunch at a winery in Umbria on our way to Rome. Great way to break up the travel time & a beautiful, scenic property with wonderful hosts. Special experiences!"

Caroline

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed it. Learned so much about the history and art. The food was great. People were friendly. Enjoyed each of the different personalities of the city guides. Would not have learned as much or visited as many places had I not been a part of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art on the ceiling in Doges Palace in Venice."

James

Livonia, MI

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized without any sense of pressure as it moved on. The choice of Venice as the first stop and then the move to Florence and finally to Rome provided a gradual readiness for greater urban complexity which felt good. The group proved to be an extraordinarily harmonious blend of people. We got along well but there was a respect for one another in the form of a readiness each day to meet the time scheduled to begin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the ancient Roman Forum. The guide was excellent but more important, she communicated her passionate love for the history of the eternal city. Her closing comments were very moving and brought tears to the eyes."

Joseph

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was conducted in a very professional manner and met virtually all of my expectations. The group we toured with was a very cohesive group that meshed well and quickly became friends. I think that factor certainly was a key factor to the success of the trip. I was also impressed by the tour guides employed in all 3 locations. They were extremely knowledgable and informative and made the visits to important sites much more enjoyable. The group dinners were quite enjoyable too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one. -The majesty of St. Mark's in Venice was special -The Venice Accademia -The added visit to Torcello was very nice and the mosaics in Santa Maria Assunta were magnificent -The Davanzati Palace in Florence was really interesting -Statue of David in the Accademia in Florence -The Uffizi Gallery -The winery visit on the way to Rome from Florence -The magnificence of Rome with its history and heritage -The Colliseum and Forum were unreal"

Jacquie

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and had an excellent balance of group activity and free time. The transportation arrangements went very smoothly. The group meals were excellent and overall we felt we received an excellent value for our money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The church of St. Clemente in Rome was fantastic. To see the layers of civilization built on top of each other was astounding. Our local guide for the tour of the Colesium, Forum, and St. Clemente was exceptional. (As was Laura in Venice)."

Barry

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Greatly exceeded expectations. The local guides were particularly good,and Sarah did a good job keeping everything organized and running smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excavations under San Clemente in Rome. Standing in a 100AD Roman house was pretty special."

Kathleen

Janesville, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we signed up with your tour, we thought it would be the easiest way to maximize what we were able to see. I am so happy that we did, as we not only saw the highlights, but we learned the history and background of everything. It gave the trip much more meaning, and gave us an appreciation and an "eye" for the art and architecture that we saw. We also learned more about the culture, which enriched all of our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lunch and tasting wine at a farm while overlooking the Italian countryside has to be one of the best experiences of the trip! The farmer and his wife were warm and welcoming. The food was delicious, the wine was outstanding, and the view was amazing. He shared a wealth of knowledge about his farming operation. Very impressive!"

Anne

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful, but tiring trip.The first night walk and dinner, at each city, was enjoyable, but made for an exhausting next day. Afternoon nap were taken vs seeing additional site or 2.I enjoyed the various local guides with their breadth of knowledge. Passionate about their city,however by the time we visited the Vatican Museum, I was over saturated with art history. Perhaps that's why the last guide was my least favorite. Sarah was a calm presence, determined to show us why Italy is her country

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch and wine tasting in Umbria. Marco and his wife were lovely and made us feel very special and the views were spectacular."

Peter

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed the tour. This was my first organized tour in Europe and all in all I believe my expectations were exceeded. The logistics were exceptional. Entry at busy museums and other sites happened without delay! The intercity buses were at the ready and very comfortable. The hotels were also comfortable, with friendly staff and nice breakfasts (Pensione Guerrero, Hotel Silla, Hotel Aberdeen). Having the 3-day Rome transport pass made getting around Rome easy and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments were the insights provided by each local guide. The passion each guide had for her city and her desire for us to learn more about the art and culture of the city taught me so much! Of course, one "wow" moment was the view from Piazza Michelangelo at sunset in Florence."

Ashley

Wichita, KS

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent group of people and our guide was outstanding. She was personable and informative.

Carl

Mount Dora, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was wonderful! Cecilia made sure every detail was addressed and made us move to the schedule. This is very important as she schedules meal locations to house large groups and gets us to the front of the lines to visit all the planned activities for the day. If you want more ideas and things to see Cecilia had 3 or 4 things to do on your free time. She has an answer for your questions and is well prepared. We were very lucky to have her as our guide. A FRIEND FOR LIFE

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sooooo much history - The visit to the Coliseum and seeing the Statue of David. In the U.S. television has glamorized being a GLADIATOR however after seeing the sleeping area and what really happened in the 6 weeks of the games it was a death sentence no matter how you looked at it. David's statue is just amazing and breathtaking when you are close up to the base he stands on. The detail is too much to understand how this was able to be done back then."

Sharon

Mount Dora, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized to see the most,in the amount of time we were in Italy.We wasted very little time waiting in lines to tour events.We also had plenty of free time to add to our experience. The hotels we stayed in were very nice, and kept us in the heart of the area we were visiting. The guidebook was also very helpful, but the actual guide, Cecilia was excellent. She was full of information, while keeping the tour fascinating. I feel I walked through a history lesson everyday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments, but the winery was probably the top of the list. It was a beautiful area, and having the guide whose family owned it, made it more special and personal. I don't think I would have known to tour this area had I not been on this tour."

David

Wichita, KS

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was fun and informative. The guides were all knowledgeable and easy to be around. The tour members all got along well. Our guide had little "surprises" during the tour which made it even more fun. We never had any major problems during the tour and we saw all of the sights that were promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David. I was expecting it to just be another statue but it really was magnificent and deserving of its fame. It was much bigger than I expected and the detail in the statue was amazing. It was in amazing shape for being 500 years old."

Mark

Eustis, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would absolutely book with Rick Steves tours again. We had a great time and loved every minute of it. One of the biggest highlights was our tour guide, Cecilia. She was knowledgeable and fun and we loved having her with us. She clearly knew all of the cities and was joined by local guides occasionally. The most difficult part was getting to our hotel in Venice, but once we did that, everything else took care of itself. We checked in a day early and had no problems.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most unexpected "wow" moment was the winery that Cecilia's family owned. The view was spectacular and the wine was delicious. I would love to go back. Other unexpected moments included San Clemente church. But the best "wow" moment was when Cecilia went the extra mile and presented a couple who was celebrating their 10th anniversary with a gift and a story behind the gift. It was a personal touch that went above and beyond."

Anne

Holbrook, MA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, I really enjoyed this tour. The booking process was simple and straightforward. The hotels were comfortable and clean, in great locations. I saw and enjoyed people, places, and things in ways I never imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My very favorite was sitting down after cooking class to eat a meal we had prepared with new friends, in a cellar dating to the 1st century. It really brought home all of the layers of history we had seen and experienced."

Susan

Acworth, GA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience combining group activities with time to explore on your own. There were optional activities and our guide was very helpful if we had questions. She also posted lists of sites to see if we needed suggestions on what to do. Cecilia and the local guides were excellent in providing information that really enriched what we saw. I loved the cooking and wine tasting experience. A great way to be apart of the local culture and a nice break from the pace of site seeing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but the one that sticks out the most is the gondola ride that Cecilia arranged for the group - that moment where our gondolas went out into the grand canal."

Denise

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an wonderful time and I would highly recommend the Rick Steves tours to my friends and family. Our tour guide Cecilia was a gem. Cecilia went out of her way to make sure we were well cared for and felt at home in all our cities. Cecilia was always at the ready to make recommendations for additional sites, restaurants and excursions. It was a wonderful mix of activity, education and fun. The local guides were absolutely fabulous and added immensely to the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments. In Venice, Cecilia organized for tickets for a Vivaldi concert that was absolutely the perfect starting note for our tour. The trip to the winery and wine tasting was wonderful and the beautiful surroundings the most memorable. I teased Cecilia that my best souvenir was a pinecone I took from the winery. A simple item to remember a magnificent day. The planned last evening at the restaurant was so fun and an absolute delight Thank you!"

Donald

Tavares, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 10 Day Tour was better than imagined. Cecilia was our guide; she was amazing! We can't wait to do our next Rick Steve's Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was having the surreal realization that we were in St. Marks Square, looking at the beautiful backdrop of Venice, the Basilica, and Dodge's Palace."

Irene

Altamont, NY

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing trip! I've travelled (abroad and at home) quite a bit but was never part of a "tour" group before and I was a bit apprehensive when I booked the trip. My concerns were unwarranted, the experience was delightful. Cecilia was fabulous, the local guides exceptional, the accommodations exactly as you described them in your materials and the location of the hotels...perfection. An absolute delight and I would recommend this tour to anyone as long as they could request Cecilia:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOW moments to mention but for me personally it happened at dinner on our last night together as a group in Rome. Cecilia had arranged for a musician at the restaurant and he encouraged my daughter sing Shubert's Ave Maria for the group...she did and it was my special Rome WOW moment."

Gretchen

Pella, IA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Travel with a group of 28 ranging in age from 15 to 80 made seeing Italy through new eyes a pleasure. Our guide, Virginia, kept us happy learning pertinent Italian words and phrases as well as each other's names. The local guides were all good, but Francesca in Rome deserves a special shout out as her passion for her subjects - St. Clemente and the Colosseum - made life in early Rome come alive. All of the hotels had air conditioning which was a real blessing in the high heat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a relief from the heat and bustle of the cities to stop at Poggia Della Volera for a relaxed couple of hours in the Umbrian countryside and enjoy the products of their vineyards and olive trees over lunch. What a delightful place operated by a delightful couple. Is it because I enjoy Italian food or did making it with 26 of my new best friends enhance the flavors? The cooking class at In Tavola was a highlight and my granddaughter and I enjoyed recreating the menu for the family."

Laura

West Fargo, ND

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My mom and I agree that if traveling to a new country for the first time - especially if you haven't done much traveling - going with a Rick Steves tour is the best bet. Not only would we have been way more stressed out planning and trying to get around on our own, we would have missed so much background and cultural insight. I feel that by going with the tour we were able to truly BE in Italy and enjoy the moment instead of having to think about details.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history - Rome blew me away. It's one thing to learn about and know the history of civilization but getting to see it makes everything so real. Also the people - I felt so welcomed by the people in Italy and truly enjoyed being part of the culture for a short time. Everything there is just so beautiful and so rich in history and character."

Bonnie

College Station, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour with our 17 & 15 year old granddaughters. Our tour group was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking school in Florence and the wine tasting lunch on the way to Rome."

Nicholas

Royse City, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great life experience, didn't expect to have it run so smoothly with what though was a large group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Umbria, not sure how it's spelled, but it was a beautiful vineyard. Great host and delicious wine."

Ara

Solon, OH

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was excellent! The information you provided in advance was helpful in preparing for the trip. We loved the tours that were planned for us and the free time you alotted each day. We got a lot out of each of the cities due to our Tour Guide Virginia (native Italian who understood the culture but also could relate and contrast to US). Combining Virginia with seasoned local guides made it special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had some WOW moments from each segment: Venice: the whole experience including the architecture, unique (no motor vehicle) Historic atmosphere, the gold mosaic of St. Mark Florence: The view of the city from the Fort across the river and of course the "David"sculpture One of my absolute favorite was seeing Country side between Florence and Rome and the visit to the Farm/Home/Winery of "Marco" in Umbria Rome: The "underground" story of Rome with many layers"

Teresa

Grand Forks, ND

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of our tour was wonderful! Every detail was taken care of so we could enjoy our vacation without having to spend time taking care of the the day to day events,etc. Our tour guide was fabulous! Virginia went out of her way to make every minute meaningful and worthwhile. I can't say enough good things about the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Italy totally- the sights, sounds, food, culture and language every day! The time spent at the family owned vineyard and the cooking class were definite highlights!"

Caroline Primm

Louisville, CO

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Italy and had a wonderful experience there on my RS tour. Because I was with a guided tour I was able to see and do things that I wouldn't have thought to do otherwise. The tour provided a nice mix of activities with museums, meals, a cooking class, and interesting stops along the drive from place to place. Since this was my first real international trip I thought that my experience with this tour was a nice introduction to Europe and travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were visiting Burano island and the the agritourismo in Umbria. I especially loved Venice on our tour and I thought that Burano island exemplified the things I loved about Venice such as the culture, food, scenery, and craft (glass and lace) but it was quieter. My other wow moment was the agritourismo in Umbria. It was a great experience especially because of how authentic it was. We got to spend time with an Italian family and eat food that they had prepared themselves."

Kathleen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well planned with a good balance between guided time and time on our own. This was our first trip to Italy, and we chose the tour because we wanted to avoid wasting a lot of time trying to find our way around. Certainly that paid off in venues such as the Vatican which would probably have been overwhelming to negotiate on our own. We appreciated the restaurant recommendations from the Rick Steves guide book; there were no disappointments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's statue of David."

Nicholas

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all my expectations. It had the perfect blend of planned and free time. All of the tour/museum guides were enthusiastic and well-informed. The cooking class and the wine tasting/lunch added to the enjoyment as well as a nice size group of 28 fellow travelers. My wife and I will definitely consider Rick Steve tours in the future. I would like to make some recommendation to improve the overall trip but I can't think of a single thing I would change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, and all of its ancient magnificence, just blew me away. But, it was the Italian people, and their love of life, that surprised me the most."

Steven

Yorktown, VA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and my wife's first time overseas. We planned to be in Rome on our 30th anniversary, which we were. We hit all of our desired high points as a group, but still had plenty of time each day for just us. The tour was exceptional, including our travel mates and our tour guide. Everyone meshed well, from 16-yr-olds to grandparents. We became friends with them and spent some of our own time with many of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our flotilla of gondolas traveling through the canals of Venice. Our wonderful tour guide, Virginia, arranged for an accordion player and a singer to accompany the group and sing some of the classic Italian love songs. I felt many glances of envy during our evening cruise into the Grand Canal."

Carol

Placerville, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Due to the leadership of Ann Long, tour guide, and the cohesiviness that developed within our group as we traveled together, contributed to a very pleasurable and knowledgeable tour in Venice, Florence and Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments happened along the way -"

Gail

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great trip our guide Ann was fantastic. Loved her and she was very much part of the travel family She gave us all the information and set up the local guides and great places to eat We had the PERFECT group of people how lucky were we.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every thing was great fun But he cooking class was so much fun"

Tom

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our leader Anne, took us to the sites that were the most important ones to see without wasting time on lesser things. The tour was fast paced but with just the right amount of downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first entrance to the Grand Canal of Venice. Venice just seemed to explode before our eyes. It came alive."

Terry

East Setauket, NY

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS WAS OUR FIRST TOUR EXPERIENCE AND WE REALLY LOVED OUR VACATION IN ITALY. EVERYTHING WAS WELL PLANNED, ORGANIZED AND ENJOYABLE. THE GUIDES WERE SO INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE PROVIDING US WITH HISTORY ART AND EVERYTHING THAT MAKES ITALY SPECIAL. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN WE ARE ALREADY THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER ONE! ANN WAS A TREASURE!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"VENICE THE GRAND CANAL, ST. MARK'S SQUARE, THE SISTINE CHAPEL, ALL OF FLORENCE ......."

Pat

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best things ever about this tour was how well everyone got along together. People were inclusive and friendly!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of our favorite activities were: The cooking class in Florence and the lunch that followed afterwards. Of course, seeing David again. We enjoyed the vineyard tour along with the wine tasting."

Kristina

Fort Mill, SC

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was more than I could have hoped for. Having a local guide who knew the area and what most first timers wo u ld enjoy was so helpful. Being a first timer traveling out of the US, first timer traveling to Italy and an amazing tour group this was the best trip anyone could have wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the experiences were equally "wow" but the tour group that was put together made it all the more special."

Jill

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect blend of group touring and free time. The group size was perfect, that is one of the reasons we chose Rick Steves , we did not want to feel like cattle being herded around. All of the hotels were centrally located and very comfortable. Our tour guide Ann, took care of every detail, which allowed us to really relax and enjoy all the sights. She was very caring and set a great tone for the group. I would recommend this tour and hope to do more Rick Steves tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, hard to chose, it could be arriving in Venice, it was magical seeing all the unique canels and buildings. One of the best group events was the cooking class, lots of laughter , bonding and the food was awesome."

Colleen

Culver City, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best Vacation--Great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Marks Square, Venice..."

Gary

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciate the preparation that went into producing the itineraries and referred to the pre-trip documents on several occasions to see where I needed to be and how to get from point A to B. This was my first trip abroad and the detail provided made arriving at the initial hotel very easy and allowed me to enjoy that part of the journey. On meeting the group initially Ann made the experience very comfortable and the setting just made it feel like a reunion of old friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personalities and the quality of the local guides and how they interacted with the host. If done on my own I would not have gotten half the experience or enjoyment out of the trip. The intensity was a treat. There was so much to cover in a limited amount of time and I really felt like I got the cream of the experience simply because I was in the hands of experts who knew their material and how to share the information in a delightful manner."

Judith

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time. The group messed well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. I did love interacting with the local tour guides. Each did a great job and made my visit to Italy much more enjoyable."

David

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I had enjoyed the TV series on travel for a number of years, I was not sure about doing a "tour" of Italy, fearing too much time on a bus, with too many people. From the first meeting in Venice to our last breakfast together in Rome, I found the the experience to be much beyond what I could ever have expected. I enjoyed the combination of time together, especially with our guide and local guides who were great in orienting us, and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to this question - so many great moments. Then in Rome we explored the area around the Basilica San Clemente, the Colosseum and the Forum with Francesca, an amazing local guide. She managed to bring the ancient ruins alive, helping me understand how the whole came together, celebrating the layers of the over 2500 year history of the city."

Chin-Hsiu

Salisbury, MD

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most educational and authentic traveling experience that I ever had. I was reluctant to join a travel tour but after watching Rick Steves for years I decided to join the tour. The trip was more than I expected from the tour company. The two guides (Stephanie and Jessey) and the local guides were amazing in providing the background information, cultural and artistic context, and backdoor experience in all three cities: Venice, Florence and Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Saint Clementine church in Rome was the most amazing and unexpected experience. The island of Torcello after Burano was another great experience with the church."

Raymond

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe we saw as much as a diversified group like this could see in 10 days. It was a fast paced, well coordinated, very informative tour. The walking was very extensive as that seemed the best way to cover the territory but it was somewhat stressful for some. I offer a suggestion that in some locations local transportation could be arranged. Metro and bus passes were provided in Rome but the hotel was not close to the stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride for the group on the Grand Canal, under a full moon, with a singer - priceless. A look at ancient Rome under San Clemente church. All the basilicas. Everlasting construction by Roman engineers, including the Pantheon. Historical accounts as told by the local guides."

Roseanne

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned with activities and time to explore on our own. Given good suggestions on what would be good to do & how to go about it. Felt completely comfortable navigating on own. Sara & Uso were fabulous & we knew we were spoiled having extra guide. Local guides very good & helped us get a better understanding of what we were exploring. Little extras were fun such as cookies on the bus. Afternoon at winery was welcome relaxing break. Didn't want to leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. Seeing the actual knights armor and weapons at Dugas Palace. Galileo museum was awewome to see how the very early science began, I love science. Riding in taxi in Rome was like an amusement park ride only real and unexpected (bus didn't come so sara rounded up taxis and off we went). Being in the Forum & hearing, seeing & feeling the Italian military jets practicing for republica day flying low over street just short distance away."

Lauren

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In rome we were lucky enough to have Francesca as our local tour guide she was amazing and really brought the history of Rome to life!"

Heidi

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour fanatastic, it exceeded all my expectations! The tour guides were both excellent. I felt they showed concern not only when we were part of the tour but when we had free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being serenaded in the Gondola in Venice!"

Terrance

Hood River, OR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience of Italy on this tour was exactly what I was hoping for. Our itinerary perfectly balanced cultural and eductional experiences as well as group vs alone time. Without much knowledge of the highlights of Italy, I left the plans in the hands of Rick Steves and company. They have worked out the kinks of foreign travel. Hotels were great, group dinners were fun, guided museum tours were awesome, tour leaders and cotravelers were very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David by Michelangelo left me with a feeling of awe regarding the renaissance era and Italian history as a whole. To me, the statue represents the excellence that human beings can achieve, which was unusually fostered in the environment of Italy."

Sharon

Langley, BC

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing experience! I have dreamed of going to Italy for many years, so this trip was a dream come true. Everything was so well organized, and I loved how much free time there was so that we could explore things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Roman Forum. I think our local guide, Francesca, really contributed to how amazing that was. I've been studying and reading about Roman history for many years, and it was so moving and incredible to see these places in person. Francesca made this place come alive in such a meaningful way. It was awe-inspiring!"

Susan

North Bend, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Info on trip planning, walking inst to hotel in Venice...so helpful...all hotels were outstanding re food, room accomodations (air conditioning, cleanliness,)..hospitable & warm hosts with the exception of Florence..tour guides, Sarah & Asa were well informed,lively,& personable..local tour guides were fantastic as well..the timing of museum tours & short wait times for entry was appreciated..van driver was courteous, van was clean & comfortable..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondala ride in Venice was outstanding, also the cooking class in Florence was as well.The Uffici Gallery/Museum is one I will never forget ..the Tuscany wine-tasting & lunch..meeting with the local family really made the trip to Italy a "person to person" experience."

Mary

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the sights in each of the 3 cities. Leaving early each morning right after breakfast afforded us the "first entry" into sights before they became so crowded so we often went to bed early. The bus rides were comfortable but the Highway rest stops were crazy busy to try to get a cappucino and a bathroom break in 20 minutes although there's no way to predict that I'm sure. Overall, the hotels were well chosen, especially being 3 blocks from the Colosseum in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the gondola ride in Venice just as it was getting dark in the evening. Listening to the musicians playing accordion and singing from one of the boats in our group was enchanting...especially cruising the Grand Canal. I never imagined being able to experience that feeling from what I considered was a typical "tourist" option like a gondola ride...shows you how wrong preconceived notions can be!"

Robert

Manlius, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible trip. Sarah and Awsa were tremendous guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel"

Edmund

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip, one of our best vacations ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride in Venice"

Jacqueline

Smithville, TN

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful time with great guides and group.all the sites were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome at the Colosseum"

Pete

Longview, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was everything we had hoped for.

Mary

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was blown away by the quality of this tour. In many ways it was exactly what I expected, as I've been watching Rick Steve's Europe for years. But, TV cannot compare with the real experience. The combination of guided tours and free time was perfect. The hotels were wonderfully located and provided great service. I was impressed to discover during our orientation meeting how many return customers were in our tour group and I hope to join the repeat club soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Remember the last time you connected with a movie that made you cry? My wow moment was like that, on our last day of the tour during the closing remarks of our local guide at the Roman Forum. Her ability to bring the culture and the people of ancient Rome alive was amazing. I looked over at my husband and noticed his mouth was tight, looked up to his eyes and saw his tears. The last day of the tour was my husband's birthday, the guide bringing him to tears was the best present!"

Mary

North Arlington, NJ

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour guides, but way too much to see in a few days. I would limit it to two cities next time. With so much to see in these particular cities, we were running every second and ended up exhausted. It wasn't all walking, it was standing and listening to our guides quite often.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Clemente's in Rome, and the 2 layers of history beneath it. Also, the old town was fabulous. We had a great tour guide there, too."

Victor

Manhasset, NY

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Quite satisfied, although tired at the end. The people that made the difference: Virginia, Florence guide, Francesca. We would not have appreciated the places as much without them. Best bus ever to get between cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size of the paintings at the Uffizzi and the sculptures at the Vatican. No art book can convey the magnitude unless one stands next to them."

Ellen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour. Virginia was wonderful. She was incredibly knowledgeable and a wonderful person overall. The accommodations were very good, city tours excellent and time table well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of the David was the high point of the tour for me."

Brandon

Rogers, AR

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect mix of planned time and free time. When we were on the tour, we had some of the most knowledgeable and passionate tour guides anyone could ask for. It was clear we didn't just have professional guides, we had guides who loved their cities and loved their subject matter. I wouldn't change a thing except the weather on the day it rained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I realized how much of Ancient Rome was recycled in "modern" buildings today. It gave me a whole new perspective on both how advanced the Ancient Romans were and on the beautiful buildings today that were built from reused materials."

Jackie

Columbia, SC

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed Venice the most, but I also enjoyed Florence and Rome. I liked having a local guide in each city to give us a taste of what it was to be in these ancient cities long ago. All of the local guides were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed cooking class in Florence. That was a lot of fun."

Joann

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Above and beyond any expectations! So incredible - mostly appreciated the expertise offered by our main guide and the individual tour guides at each location. Their knowledge and compassion for sharing the history and culture were truly amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "The David". I was absolutely awestruck walking into the room where he stood. Even got goose bumps!"

Wendy

Welches, OR

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour and the guides and folks on it! The pace of the tour was perfect with "tour time" and free time. We absolutely had the "dream team" of guides (everyone probably says that), led by our effervescent, darling, knowledgeable Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments were the musicians on the Gondola, the cooking class and the "chefs" serving us in the wine cellar, the Winery tour and tunnels, San Clemente Church, of course the famous sites of Venice, Florence, Rome...oh wait...everything!"

Tom

Ft Mitchell, KY

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Off the charts fantastic. Italy was terrific. The history, culture, food/wine, streets without cars (thank you Venice) - all a once in a lifetime experience for me. Logistics (except getting to our hotel in Venice from the airport - not smooth...), food, booked v free time, accommodations - all very nice with lodging conveniently located for exploring on our own. And for me, our group was just the best. Everyone ready to go. Always up for the next fun thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie. Outside Orvieto, walking through the Etruscan wine cellar from 2,000 yrs. ago. Wine bottled in 1880. The view of Orvieto. Seeing the David. Going to the Roma/Lazio soccer match with my family (if you consider that "from the tour"). Off the charts cool for a soccer fan. And using my Rick Steves book to find a relatively inexpensive, yet nicest room of the trip in Florence at the end of the trip before our cycling trip started in Tuscany."

Linda

Ft Mitchell, KY

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our family's first experience with an organized tour and we were extremely pleased with every aspect of the tour. It was a nice balance between structured, guided time and free time. Both the guides and the Rick Steves book provided plenty of suggestions for exploration on our own. All of the local guides were knowledgeable and interesting. All of our accommodations were outstanding. Both leaders were very attentive to individual and group needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were MANY highlights so it's hard to choose one. The cooking class in Florence was a fun, tasty experience and I also really enjoyed the winery visit - seeing the tunnels in the ancient wine cellar, the beautiful, serene property and lovely view of Orvieto."

Mindy

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I did this tour right after doing the Best of Turkey Tour, so the difference in how the tour operated was obvious to me. I was surprised by the increased free time and that I was getting less history and context than I was used to from the previous tour. That being said, I loved the experience in Italy and I feel like a more well rounded traveler for having been able to have guides there to tell me the significance of what I saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would have to have been seeing Michelangelo's David in real life. I've seen pictures, but it really is a very powerful piece in real life. I was grateful also to be able to take pictures of it to take home and to relive that moment."

James

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was great. this was my third visit to all three VFR cities (once alone and once on Best of Europe in 21 days - 2006). The content was as expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I'd done the three VFR cities already, my WOW moment was probably the family run vineyard/winery/cellar in Orvieto. That stop was an amazing and unexpected treat!"

Christopher

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing overall. Well organized, loved the local guides, appreciated the free time. Buddy system was very clever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! I loved walking into the Pantheon; being among the last at the Accademia admiring David as the crowds cleared out; the Sistine Chapel"

Diane

Lindenhurst, IL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour from start to finish! Stephanie was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The local guides were entertaining and knowledgeable. We had a good balance of guided tours and free time, and the orientation walks in each city gave us the confidence to explore on our own. The tour really hits the highlights in each city, and we skipped right past the tourists waiting in long lines. Two thumbs up for Rick Steves' tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, there were a lot...first view of the Grand Canal and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Michelangelo's David in Florence, the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel in Rome. The winery visit was a nice break from museums, as was the cooking class in Florence."

Donna

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a vacation of a LIFETIME! I will never forget this Italian vacation for as long as I live. I loved the special touches, like visiting Burano, the cooking class in Florence, and the light lunch and wine tasting at the villa overlooking Orvieto. The bus was very clean and the huge windows made the view while driving a wonderful part of the 3 city tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Venice was my most enjoyable city of the 3 cities. We arrived 3 days before the tour started and took your advice on what to see that was not included in the tour. We went to Doge palace, and went up to the bell tower and visited a nearby island."

John

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A trip I will never forget. Just a few days back from our trip and I ready to return to some NEW place to explore in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many to narrow down to 1. I would say Venice is my favorite city out of the 3. loved the history and food. Amazing!!!!"

Jaimie

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such an amazing trip! Italy is a gorgeous country! It was so great to live in the culture and experience this country in such a short amount of time. I loved all the history and art in this trip. Everyone in the group was great and our tour guides were amazing. I would love to do another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments but the one that sticks out the most was seeing the David. Michael Angelo was such a talented artist and it is really hard to even grasp how amazing he was in that time. It was just so magnificent! Just to stand there and admire his work for some time was amazing. You felt so small standing next to it. It was incredible."

Norm

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall is good; the only disappointment was there were no hot water in the hotel in Rome and the hotel was not quite as clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was our favorite place."

Linda

Evansville, IN

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized and enjoyable. Well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" experience for me was that I did not have to plan the family vacation. I have utilized Rick Steve's books for travel in Europe which have been outstanding but it was wonderful to have the travel and itinerary provided so that I could relax and enjoy it."

Patricia

Hockessin, DE

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the opportunity to immerse in each area we visited but with terrific structure/support from your excellent tour directors. Your philosophy of "teach them to fish" versus taking us to fish was perfect. Your tour director insured we were comfortable with our surroundings/travel on metros/getting around town so we could enjoy our group tours and maximize our private times exploring. Great stuff. Hotels were unique and specific to each place we visited. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to select one. Great food, people, architecture, tour guides, art, shopping, new friends."

Russell

Escondido, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great group,great guides and a overall great tour. My wife,cheryl, had never been to europe so i tried to find a tour that did not look like a cruise ship on land. Rick steves tour was the perfect fit. Sarah was fabulous and all of the local guides made the cities come to life. Even angelo, who had a different but informative view of renaissance life,was good. Good mix of structure and free time. Sarah made time for side trips that were not on the itinerary but made tour feel special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a wow moment and a aaaaah moment. Sometimes the unseen has a more profound effect than those you can easily see. My wow moment was seeing San Clemente.Sarah and our local guide told us how this church would bring Roman history together.It was amazing to see how the city was built upon ruins after ruins. My aaaaaaah moment was visiting a family run olive orchard and vineyard in the Umbria countryside. If the tour had ended there i would still have been disappointed."

Edward

Tallmadge, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were very high, but the actual experience far exceeded what I had hoped for. I'm still trying to remember the last time that happened. First, we had a terrific group of people in our tour. But, more importantly, our guide Sarah was truly amazing. Her knowledge, insight and energy were an inspiration to squeeze out everything we could possibly get from the tour. The itinerary was great and the free time allowed was just enough to allow everyone the chance to explore on their own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two actually. I rolled my eyes when I saw there was a cooking class scheduled in Florence. I couldn't have been more wrong, what a blast! The other was stopping for lunch at the farm/B&B in Umbria. What a beautiful and delightful afternoon. I came for Venezia, Firenze and Roma, but I would have glady stayed for Umbria. A wonderful respite from the very busy cities, everyone should do this."

Keith

Dawsonville, GA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first was concerned about touring with a group. Did not want to travel with complainers or people who did not show up on time. At the first meeting Sara laid out no complaining or being late and everyone did very well. This was our first tour and we found that we met people and had experiences that would have never happened on our own. Well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman forum, seeing what was built 2,000 years ago how it looked then and now is amazing."

Mary-Ellen

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like the tour was the perfect blend of group time and alone time. The group time was incredibly well spent (the local guides as well as Sarah, our Rick Steves guide) All of the knowledge that they shared with the group gave me such a greater appreciation of what we were seeing. Sarah also imparted enough help so that my husband and I could feel comfortable when walking around on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a cradle Catholic, my "wow" moment was when we entered St. Peter's Basilica. Sarah had suggested we go early, before tours were allowed in and just experience the Church. We entered the line to get in around 7:30 and had an hour to wander around before our Vatican Museum tour. I was in awe - and incredibly moving spiritual experience I would have never had had we gone after our museum tour when all the crowds were there. In all honestly, the rest of the tour was a "wow" too!"

Cynthia

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. Sarah M. was the best tour guide you could have asked for. The local tour guides which worked with Rick Steve's tour group were also very knowledgeable and provided an abundance of information. The historical, architectural, and art history information explained a lot about the present culture in Florence, Venice & Rome. On another note, the local restaurants that the group ate at were all locally run and provided an abundance of tasty food. Independent time was adequate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was a stop at a small Tuscan farm on the way to Rome. The amount and taste of all the food and wine provided just blew me away! The views from the farm, of the Tuscan hills made for some beautiful picture taking opportunities. After spending time in the busy cities of Venice and Florence is was great to see the Tuscan countryside!"

Peggy

Parker, CO

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived a day early in Venice so that we would be ready to hit the trail running the next day. Our guide was Sarah Murdoch and she was knowledgeable and outstanding. It was wonderful to see the sites of Venice, Florence and Rome with guides that have thorough knowledge of the history of what you are looking at. Without that, it would have just been a famous building/painting/statue, etc. We formed a strong bond with the other 26 people who were in our group and it was hard to leave them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Tuscany countryside was a "wow" for me. Also, Venice was so unique and spending three days in that culture was very special."

Daniel

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip to Italy... 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence and 3 days in Rome. We had the best guide you could imagine, Sarah, who made our trip fun and educational... just great. The individual guides for sites in Venice, Florence and Rome were also great. Can't say enough about this trip and the guides we had. It made traveling to Italy a great learning experience... without the tour we would never have known about the history and experiences of the places and people we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite site was the San Clemente Church in Rome where there are three levels of architecture... the current church on street level, the church underneath, and then the Roman buildings on the third level down. It literally showed you the history of Rome and how it was built and rebuilt, layer upon layer... But there were so many other great experiences on the trip, it is hard to pick just this one. Seeing the beautiful countryside in Umbria was breathtaking."

Isaac

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely fantastic. Every detail was attended to an more. The tour guides were exceptional. Their knowledge of the history of the areas, architecture, people and art made every thing come alive right before your eyes. An unexpected side trip to a farm in Umbria was my favorite. The groups developed a real sense of camaraderie and I miss the greatly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The side trip to the farm in Umbria was amazing. I wanted to spend a month there in solitude. It was beautiful and the hosts so gracious."

Jean Ann

Edgewood, KY

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first totally organized tour experience. I appreciated the mix of planned vs. free time which gave you the chance to tailor the trip to your desires. One of the things that I liked the most was the mix of big sights with different experiences: cooking school, gondola ride, wine tasting. Those brought balance and needed down-time to the tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly enough, while we signed up for the big city tour, it was the stop in Umbria at Marco's agritourismo farm for wine and food that was the big surprise. What a lovely stop in a quiet, beautiful setting to help us reset before taking on all that is Rome. It really helped to bring the beauty of Italy to light separate from the "stress" that can be the big cities."

James

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Sarah was great. Our group was great. Experiences in the three cities were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the wine tasting/lunch stop at the Tuscany farm on the drive to Rome. It was a totally wonderful experience and refreshing bit of change from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Marco and his wife were wonderful hosts. Another "moment" I might mention was while viewing the Arch of Constantine in the Roman Forum. A couple was having their wedding pictures done. We noted that and moved out of the way. They said "no, no" and wanted us back in the picture. We joined the wedding party."

Kathleen

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour and we were not disappointed! A few surprises along the way, but always the good kind. We knew basically what to expect and just chilled while we were shown everything we could possibly want to see and experience. We tell everyone about how wonderful the tours are, you don't have to think about or worry about seeing and doing the absolute necessary things while you're there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really have two... The first was cooking class at In Tovolo. Absolutely had a blast while preparing our lunch and as it turns out, all of us were pretty good cooks, lunch was very tasty! Our teacher/chefs were a lot of funs. My second was lunch at Poggio della Varona on the way to Rome. Marco and his lovely wife were perfect hosts, the food and wine was outstanding, the grounds were gorgeous and the vistas breathtaking! What a lovely beak from the hustle and bustle of the city."

Sterling

Anniston, AL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Everything about it was exceptional. Sarah was everything I could have hoped for in a tour guide. She gave an insightful review of all major points of interest; she connected well with our entire group and was extremely personable. I truly felt we were being shown around Italy by a friend. She knew the area and the locals well so I feel we were taken care of extra well. Our entire group connected and has stayed in touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. The first was the cooking class in Florence, it was surreal. The chef instructors were great. They had the best since of humor and connected with everyone. The other "wow" moment was visiting the winery in Umbria on route to Rome. The views were breathtaking and the owners were fantastic hosts. The food and wine were top notch. It was truly an experience of a lifetime."

Rosalind

Stanhope, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. There was a good balance of structured touring and time on our own. The recommendations were appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It goes without saying that the art was fabulous. However, my two favorite activities were the cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting lunch in Umbria. The family owned vineyard was beautiful and very peaceful. It was just the thing I needed after several days of touring."

Maria

Pigeon Forge, TN

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Dear Rick Steve's, I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about traveling with strangers and this being my first tour. Everyone was wonderful! To blend comfortably with all our traveling companions was a great experience. And Karin is such a wonderful person, great personality. She provided excellent information and helped us feel Italy in a fantastic way. She helped with everything big and small and added a personal touch. I truly loved this tour, thank you! Maria Canales

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Number one wow! The grandness of the Sistine Chapel. Number two, the wine tasting stop, our hosts were terrific Number three...everything!"

Dina

Morton Grove, IL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the whole thing. Rooms were excellent, comfortable and clean. Service too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The serenity of the landscape at the wine tasting and the hospitality of the owners"

Karen

East Windsor, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment the tour started I thanked God that I signed up. The advice, guidance and information provided by Karen was essential, practical and useful, making our trip experience safe, comfortable and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Umbria was such a nice change from the city pace. The scenery, food, wine and company were wonderful. The other fun event was the cooking class. Of course, seeing "David" was another "wow" moment."

Catherine

Somerville, TN

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-organized and comprehensive. I really enjoyed the order of the cities we visited with Venice first and Rome last. Our guide was organized, knowledgable and friendly. Each city is unique and RS planned the trip to take full advantage of our time in each city. A great mix of art, adventures, museums, sites and free time with advice from our guide on the best use of our time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's in Rome. Huge, beautiful and inspiring. So much of Western Civilization can be traced to that spot. The entire Vatican experience was beautiful. My second favorite was the Basilica in Florence. The exterior was unlike anything I had ever seen."

Maisha

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked our local tour guides. They were very knowledgeable and made art and history come alive. I appreciated all the prior arrangements made for us to get into places early or easier then the crowds who just showed up at the door. This made the "Disneyland effect" of the big 3 Italian cities easier. It was all worth it. There is a reason so many people go to these sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class, the David, the Sistene chapel, Venice at night, the Parthenon, well I could go on and on. The dinner in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice was great. The dinner in Rome was great. The museums were amazing-the extent of the collections were overwhelming. Just walking the streets of Florence was a treat."

David

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Venice, Florence & Rome was amazing. Our guide, Karen, did a fantastic job helping us make the most of our time and provided impressive insight into local customs and history. She was great at facilitating group events that made us feel like family from the very beginning. Before we went, I couldn't help wondering if being on a tour would made that much difference, but after seeing how the tour was conducted there is no question in my mind that our travel dollars were well spent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As cheesy as this my sound, the gondola ride Karen arranged for us was one (of many) of my WOW moments. Here we are, me and my bride, gliding silently through a Venice canal at night with guitar and singer in the boat, the buildings around us centuries old. It was like being in a real life fairy tale. The cooking class and Tuscany wine tasting lunch were also amazing, as were the buildings and treasures of the Vatican. The whole tour was so eye-popping it's really hard to single out one."

L Reyna

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Karin kept us organized and in the loop about each day's events and schedule. Each day was full and interesting. There was enough unplanned time to rest or reflect or visit other areas of interest. The distances walked each day matched their descriptions, mostly strenuous. Sometimes, the pace was too fast, but it was always worth where we were going!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente church, the lasagne layers of Rome."

Sharon

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So hard to explain how delightful the time on the tour was. Karin was incredible. She was great at unifying the group and making us feel safe and included. She was so informative, and had "surprises" up her sleeve ever so often for us- special stops & dinners at places we wouldn't have found on our own. Her informative talks while we were travelling on the bus helped us understand so much more about the history & culture of Italy, and made the time go quickly. Wouldn't change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lovely gondola ride that Karin helped organize one evening for those who wanted to go. Musicians, our 4 gondolas floating together, single file, then coming together side by side in Venice's Grand Canal before filing off in a line again - such a wonderful memory."

Rob

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond my expectations. I don't know what else to say.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During our bus ride from Florence to Rome we stopped at a wine and olive farm near Montecchio. More than all of the other sites on the tour, the visit to Poggio della Volara was magnificent. Our hosts Marco and Gaia and their dogs were so welcoming in this beautiful farm setting. The wine tasting and food were outstanding. Views of Umbria and beyond made me feel like spring time in the Italian wine country must be a bit of heaven on earth. I did not want to leave."

Michael

East Windsor, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great. Nice balance between being guided and having free time to explore on our own. The Wine tasting & coking class was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David."

Thomas

Stanhope, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Definitely for the active person who wants to see the sites. All activities were punctual and of high quality. We especially loved the wine tasting in Umbria and the cooking class in Florence. Our tour guide Karin was always upbeat and very helpful especially for those who needed extra guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Roman forum."

Susan

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunity to see so much of the art I'd only read about. Still can't wrap my mind around 2,000 years though."

Margaret

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We greatly enjoyed the trip. It was a truly memorable experience. The local guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The tour had a good mix of guided sightseeing tours and free time. The pre-tour planner materials was extremely helpful. Our guide arranged some awesome dinners with several fantastic restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice. Jamie arranged a serenaded gondola ride for our group. The musicians were fantastic and the whole experience was magical."

Kathleen

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour surpassed all my expectations. I had booked it for the art in Florence and Rome but was entranced by beautiful Venice, the food, the architecture, the lifestyle, and all the other features that I had thought would just be nice extras. Jamie kept everything on schedule without our feeling rushed (including during a bus strike), and my fellow tour members were a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two for me--seeing David in Florence and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. These experiences were literally lifelong dreams of mine, and our schedule was such that I spent almost an hour with each. Couldn't have asked for better."

Marc

Canaan, NH

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all that I saw and experienced!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall Venice was such a wonderful place......but Florence had better gelato!!! Also the group of people we were with was great......had loads of fun with all members. I was a bit concerned before hand about how we would all get along."

Sundi

Canaan, NH

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time learning about all of the history and trying to fit in as much as we could during our stay. I am most impressed with the balance between guided tours and free time. Everyone we met were engaging and friendly. You don't know before you go to a place what to expect or really how to plan.My only regret is that by the time we reached Rome we were becomming a bit overloaded and there is way too see and do in the final three days!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the incredible views and history at the winery we stopped at in Umbria. It was a much needed "slow down" from the fast paced city tours. We enjoyed the food parings and knowlede of our host. It is almost too much to take in the age of the cellars and history of the place."

David

Lafayette, IN

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well planned, and seamless adjustments were noticed due to metro strick in Rome. Jamie did an outstanding joj arrnging our gondala ride in Venice, and the special singer at out last supper in Roma.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the food and wine experience, AND the well managed :wine Kitty" a very good value."

Virginia

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been to these cities before,but wanted to share the experience with my husband's 85 year old mother and his sister. We had previously traveled with Rick Steves' books and thought we had gotten a good feeling for each city. However, we soon learned that traveling with our guides, Nina and Sarah, really enhanced our understanding of these cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I had not visited San Clements Church in Rome before, it was fun to experience this hidden jewel. The local guide did a great job of making the many layers of Rome come alive. The best "wow" moment was watching my mother-in-law pray at a side chapel in St. Peter's, a life-long dream fulfilled."

Stephen

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Walked my legs off, but worth it.Nina is a wealth of information. We got to see much more than If I had tried this on my own.Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence, Rhome, St. Peter's"

Gregory

Katy, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

More than I expected. Historic, educational, fun, got to meet some really nice and fun people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peters Basilica. It is absolutely unbelievably beautiful."

Ivan

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour is extremely well organized. Our guide (Nina) was very knowledgeable, very helpful. The tour has very good balance between guided tours and personal time. It was really cool to step away off the beaten path and see Italy a little bit more close and personal yet we've got to see all the "required" attractions. I was a bit skeptical before, but now I am your biggest fan - we had amazing time and we really enjoyed our tour. Local guides added a lot to the experience as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely St. Peter's Basilica in Rome."

Edwin

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. Great food and wine. Helpful, friendly knowledgeable guides. Loved the cooking class and winery visit. Saw all the critical highlights of key museums. Liked the schedule of some time with tour group and then free time in each city. Hotels were clean and well located with helpful staff. Nina, our primary guide, shared all her great insights and knowledge of Italy and it regions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting at a neighborhood café in Florence, having a simple but tasty dinner for 3 hours as all the local residents stolled by."

Donald

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was my first time to Europe and I was very impressed with your pre-tour protocols. The tour guide (Nina) and her assistant(Sarah)were fabulous and the local guides appeared vey knowledgeable, courteous, and professional. The group chemistry throughout the entire tour could have not been more pleasant and enjoyable. The "Outstanding" rating I have identified for my overall experience is certainly justified and deserved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I simply can't single out any one "WOW" moment. I was blown away by so many experiences including topography, beautiful weather, history and cultures, food and wine, and of course the Gelato. The opportunity to spend a most wonderful vacation in Italy with my lovely wife Jeni (Jennifer) of 38 years is priceless. By the way Jeni will be submitting a separate tour evaluation."

Jennifer

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being an independent traveler, I had some reservation about taking a tour. It by far exceeded expectations. This was our first trip to Europe and having the main activities planned for you took a lot of anxiety out of travel. We could go and experience the beautiful cities without the worry of transportation and logistics. Each city has its own beauty and experience - all exceptional. The people on our tour also made the trip enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment, but I especially enjoyed romantic Venice and the gondola ride. The cooking class and wine tasting was another highlight, as well as the Sistine Chapel. Being able to share this experience with my husband, Don, was on my "bucket list". The experience could not have been any better."

Mary Lee

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Italy 5 days early and stayed 2 days after the tour ended. Prior to May 4, we used the RS Italy Guidebook to plan and make reservations for the venues not on the tour. The Apps were important and easy in preparation and when we were on our own. In each location, we had an orientation session followed by tours to highlights of the 3 cities and also time on our own. This was an excellent plan. The headsets for listening were a good idea. What a great adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments. Among these were Venice's Doge's Palace, San Marco Basilica, and gondola ride, Florence's Academia and Uffizi, and the Vatican's St. Peter's and Sistine Chapel. Of these, Michelangelo's David and Sistine Chapel tie for first place."

Elaine

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour though we have used Rick Steves guide books before. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip; start to finish. What I really appreciated was the mix of structured group experiences and free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments, but seeing the delicate painted wood carving in Florence at the Santo Spirito church of the Crucifix done by Michelangelo when he was 17 was a delightful surprise."

Robert

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good , everything as advertised. Actually, the hotels were nicer than expected. Tours and activities were right amount of time and left enough free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was Italy, all was wow."

Carol

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible, well organized, inspiring experience. We did and saw so much in the 10 days. I loved how well the leaders communicated with us and had the mornings planned with free time to choose in the afternoons. We had such a fun group and I learned so much. At times I wished I was in better shape as the walking was fast paced and lots of stairs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many favorites, I cannot limit it to just one. I loved the special uniqueness of each city. Our leader showed a true passion for the history and culture to help us feel comfortable. Some of my favorites were- boat ride to Burano, gondola ride, David, cooking class, wine tasting and lunch in Umbria, Pantheon, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel, San Clemente Church, and Colosseum. I loved all the food and suggestions for things to do on our free time."

Mary Ann

Okc, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was great. It was a perfect blend of group time and personal time. Having the tour guides do an orientation walking tour of each area when we arrived really made the difference. Once you get your bearings, it is easy(relative term) to find your way around. Even getting "lost" was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm... that's a difficult question. I think the whole tour was a "wow" moment. I guess I'd have to pick St. Peter's Basilica. I was totally unprepared for the vastness of it. It was a visual overload. I also REALLY enjoyed our stop in the Umbrian region at the winery. We ALL wanted to stay!"

Vicki

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very busy nine days, but this was our first Rick Steeves trip and I don't think we could have done justice to Italy without diving head first into the culture, as we did with first Ben and then Cecilia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, was our feeling throughout our last day with Francesca in Rome. From the start with the church and the buildings beneath, to the Colisseum and then the walk through the Forum, Francesa taught us to see with knowledge and understanding. She sent shivers up my spine many times that day. Wow was also how we felt when we saw David, there are no pictures that can describe the size and magnitude of this statue."

Gerald

Fair Haven, NJ

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The 10-day trip was better than expected with great hotels, restaurants, orientations and site visits. We met a great bunch of folks on the tour, and also enjoyed the opportunity to tour the cities using the tips provided by the pre-tour guidebook and the support of our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wow moments in each city: Venice-St Marks Sq Florence - Medici Rome - Coliseum"

Mary

Fair Haven, NJ

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy and needed guidance with the whole experience. Cecilia along with Ben provided an enriching and enjoyable tour. It went far beyond my expectations. The local tour guides in all three cities added to the experience. The hotels in all three cities were comfortable and convenient to the sights for our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice provided the most unusual opportunity with the pedestrian streets and canals used for tranportation. St. Mark Square gave me that wow moment in Venice."

Kim

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was informative, fun, we liked everyone on the tour, the bus was very comfortable, the mix of free time and structured time was just right. I appreciated the local knowledge the guide had and the help they gave us with free time suggestions and where to find good food. The gondola ride was wonderful. The winery visit was unique and pleasant. I will definitely do another Rick Steves' tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last nights dinner/party. The guitarist, the dancing, the joviality. The guitarist even let me play his guitar briefly!"

Eugene

Bridgeville, DE

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time. Venice was great. Rome is Rome. I could visit a zillion times and still enjoy it. Especially the restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally getting to visit Venice was the Wow moment. Fantastic. Second wow moment was our visit to Cecilia's Tenuta La Valette estate / winery. What a magical place."

Catherine

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with the overall experience. The Edmunds staff were helpful and courteous before the trip even started (e.g., answering questions about travel between the hotel and Rome airport, how to schedule flight connection times, etc.) Our guide was not available the first few days due to back trouble but the assistant, Ben, made sure that our experience was every bit as good as it would have been if Cecilia were there. So we had the benefit of interacting with two great guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A wine-and-food-pairing experience on the bus trip from Florence to Rome. The scenery, the buildings, the lecture, the food[INVALID] it was all wonderful! Our group raved about it for days afterwards."

Jewel

Frisco, TX

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steve and other than my husband's luggage being stolen on the train from Florence to Venice, it was a very enjoyable experience. All tour guides were friendly, helpful and informative. The museums and sites were breathtaking. My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon on this trip and we truly felt the kind wishes from the tour guides and the tourists. One hotel gave us a bottle of champagne.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments for me. I loved overlooking the beautiful city of Orvieto from the Wine Vineyard. I felt like I was a part of history as I stood inside of the coliseum in Rome. The boat ride from Venice to the small island of Burano was romantic. Burano was such a cute island."

Susan

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour. It was our first RS tour and we kept saying to each other, let's go on another RS tour next year. I loved the comraderie of the group. It was thrilling to see the amazing churches and art work. The guides were so good at providing context and information that I enjoyed and appreciated what I was seeing even more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In addition to the fabulous art work some experiences that stand out were; the gondola ride, the tour of the winery and the cooking school."

Virginia

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Italy a number of times, but still learned some new things. We also planned to experience Italy on our own. We continued on, our own, to Umbria for a week in Panicale. We rented an apartment, traveling by car to go out on our own to experience local Italian life and the Umbrian "hill towns". I felt the materials and history covered for each city, and the places we went, were well handled. My partner, who had never been to Italy, thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Tenuta winery visit, and the underneath view and tour of ancient Roman history and buildings found below the church near the Coliseum were new, to me and my big "wows"."

Lynda

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour. We liked the philosophy behind the tours; small groups, intimate locations in the heart of each city, and local experience. We were not disappointed! The tour was busy, as promised, with many opportunities to make our own discoveries. We recommend his tours to anyone interested in a well-constructed tour plan that maximizes your travel experience in a new place. The local guides had expertise in their area, adding to the depth of our visit. Grazie Mille!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments for each city was : Venice: Gondola ride, accompanied by live music...a bucket list moment for us. Florence: the cooking class, with a surprise visit by Rick Steves. Umbria, en route to Rome, the IL Pozzia winery visit in the Umbrian Countryside. Rome: The Coloseum and St Peter's Basilica."

Diane

Weyauwega, WI

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than I ever could have imagined.This was a "first" tour for me. The tour leaders were exceptional in making each event special. They were interested in us and everything we did. This included helping us tour doing free time. I liked all the different experiences. Museums,churches, cooking class, winery tour, eating, and visiting the American Veterans' Cemetery were just a few of the great things we did. I also enjoyed meeting all the the wonderful travelers on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many moments for me."

Judith

Clemson, SC

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was much more than I expected and I feel I could not have found this experience, for the price, anywhere else; or the guides. I truly enjoyed all our fellow travelers. You were right about carrying luggage and traveling light and it worked for me. But I am glad you warned us :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" was anytime I walked into history and touched it with my feet or eyes, ears, hands. A great memory was during free time when Diane and I stopped at a café for a tiramisu and the waiter took time to tell us about the impact of going to the euro. These are lovely loving generous people and it made us feel happy to help out by spending a little $. But it also was a sweet personal touch that is a true memory."

John

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative, excellent guides, fast moving, fun, more than I expected

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprise visit by Rick Steves at Cooking class in Florence. An opportunity to get to know Rick, 'close up'."

Sheryle

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first time in Italy! Felt bathed in a wonderful culture: Sights, Sounds, Aromas and Tastes. -Sights: Rich Architecture and Art. Cypress Trees in the Tuscan Countryside. -Sounds: Melodic Italian accents. Vivaldi String Concert. Water lapping in Venetian Canals. -Aromas: Basil, Rosemary and the Sea. -Tastes: Really good Coffee, Pastas and Gelatos. Far more informative than we expected. Amazing guides. Learned a ton. Fast paced but do-able. Nice balance of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"-Torcello Island: The beginning of Venice. Oldest Church (Quiet Wow) -Gondola glide: Doorways at water level (Serene Wow) -Rick Steves joining us for an Italian Cooking Class. (A Big Wow!) Exceptional teaching chefs. Making authentic Bruschetta, Pasta and Tiramisu. Way to feel immersed in the culture -Wine Tasting & Culinary Treats in Tuscany Casa with an amazing couple who love what they do, full of life (Wow) -The Sistine Chapel: Contemplating ~ 'God gave life to man' (Humble Wow)"

David

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our first trip to Europe and I was very pleased with the entire experience. We arrived 1 day early to acclimate ourselves and our guide, Patricia, was incredibly accommodating giving instructions on how the local transportation operated. There is indeed a lot of walking, but we were able to see and experience so much as a group, with ample time to also explore on our own. Patricia was very knowledgeable, as were the individual guides in each city...top notch!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was seeing the Grand Canal in Venice for the first time."

Patrick

Dublin, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very positive. good mix of tour time and alone time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the three different levels each representing a different time frame in St Auguestine in Rome. Also Francesca'a opening speech about Rome is everyone's City. Everyone has a preconception of what Rome is. The comment is very appropriate and insightful, it makes you take a different perspective on everything you see. in my opinion, a very powerful (and insightful) opening."

John

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wife and i had toured with R.S. 13 times. This tour of Venice, Florence and Rome was among the best. Excellent locations of hotels, outstanding tour guide and local guides and a wide variety of experiences[INVALID] art, history, beautiful places, and a pleasant group to travel with. We agree with the characterization of days of strenuous walking. We did have time to explore things on our own and attend a concert (by those without period costumes) in Venice. It was a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three especially memorable times: 1. Having lunch at a farm villa in the Umbrian hills, great food, wine and hospitality with spectacular views of the Umbrian hills and valleys. 2. Walking across the Piazza Della Republica in Florence after sunset, looking up to see the deepest luminous blue sky we'd ever seen and a full moon just rising over the square. 3) Going to cooking school in Florence with Rick Steves, himself, attending. 'Twas and we made (and ate) an outstanding Tuscan dinner."

Sally

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found the pace a bit strenuous and tiring but I was fighting a throat infection that hit me the first day of the tour, so I wasn't at my best. I know Venice, Florence and Rome are filled with wonderful things to see and do but starting at 8 a.m. every day was hard. I felt the local guides wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything! Overall, I enjoyed the tour. Our fellow tour mates were wonderful, friendly interesting people and I wish I had had more time to get to know all of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the cooking class-so much fun! and the great relaxing time at the family winery, with a wonderful meal and two adorable dogs! I could have stayed there for a week! I also like the Davanzati medieval fortress home, a very interesting trip back in time."

Gail

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Honestly what made my tour such a good experience was our leader, Patricia Fannon Avolio. I hope you are lucky to get someone so kind and caring and totally devoted to the well being of a group. She freely gave of her own free time to show us sites to see, places to eat and set the tone with her good nature. This was a very intense tour, with 7 out of the 10 days being strenuous, and they were. If you like busy cities and lots of religious art, this is the tour for you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually there were two, visiting an Umbrian farmhouse for wine tasting and lunch and the cooking class where we made our own lunch. Both were a welcome break and great fun."

Richard

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredibly well organized. Our guides made everything easy. Patricia was so easy to get to know and she really got to know us. We eased right into the flow of Italy. She had helpful advice on customs from ordering stand up caffe at the local establishments vs sit down. How to navigate the streets of Venice to the Metro in Roma.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had to come to grips if you wanted to see great art in Italy you wouldneed to go to the churches as that is where the art is. The perfusion of art in the churches was over whelming. The sheer scope, grandeur and abundance. In a more secular moment Patricia felt we needed to see the American military cemetery outside of Firenze. It was an emotional moment. In Firenze seeing "the David" was great, but then being prepared by Trish to see Donatello's David brought tears to my eyes."

Deborah

Parma, ID

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a little worried about leaving the country and all the tips in Rick Steve's guide books and videos were very helpful. The tour was so much fun we met some great people, shared lots of laughter and memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking class and being served in the wine cellar Our chef Ricardo made the class a lot of fun!"

Catherine

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a perfect mix of highly structured opportunities to learn with our group and time to explore on our own. The local guides were extremely informative with a good sense of humor and they helped deepen our knowledge base and also our understanding of the local culture. The hotels were quite comfortable and it was nice to be so close to the "action". Marijan was knowledgeable and flexible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the people and the places helped make our tour very special. Our group bonded quickly, and we had so many exciting places to explore. It's difficult to choose a favorite, but if pushed, I would have to choose that first glimpse of David. I've seen pictures so many times, but walking in and seeing the sculpture gave me goose bumps."

Patricia

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Venice, Florence, Rome Tour in 10 Days was a wonderful trip! Each of the three cities were unique in their own way. Our tour guide, Marijan, was friendly, knowledgeable and full of great travel tips and guidance. The local city guides were OUTSTANDING-and made the trip a great learning experience as well as fun time. I learned way more about Italian culture, food and art thru the planned tour experiences than I ever expected. It was great fun getting to know all the other travelers too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one favorite moment, but I have to say the cooking class in Florence was a memory maker AND I learned how to make pasta from scratch!"

Chelette

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was truly amazing.I enjoyed all of the tour guides that made our trip more personal.I recognized our Venice guide Laura from a history channel documentary I had viewed prior to my trip,she was wonderful,could have spent hours with her.Everything was great,wouldn't change anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment took place in Santo Spirito Church while viewing Michelangelo's carved wooden crucifix.The emotions I experienced took me by surprise.Wonderful moment."

Victoria

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. So many wonderful experiences. Our guide was amazing. Enjoyed the group. Nice to see "family" when we went out on our own free time.I felt that we had all the tools to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice - amazing walking tour of the city. Very special."

MaryLou

Swanville, ME

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime! I enjoyed every minute of it, from meeting our wonderful tour guide and other travelers in our group to the very last meal shared together and the intentions to keep in touch through email and pictures. Our group consisted of 28 people from age 22 to 77. All were friendly and welcoming. We walked approximately 65 or more miles during the trip with no issues. When Rick Steves tells you there will be lots of walking and to pack light, he MEANS it! The food was always fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride complete with musicians and serenade on the canals of Venice. The breathtaking views of Florence from the rooftop terrace of our hotel. The beautiful rolling hills of wine country, the Le Velette winery and the wine "experience" with its ancient cellars in Orvieto (a side trip on the tour). The cooking class, sharing that delicious meal in a lovely arched ceiling brick room. In Rome the coliseum, the Vatican, and of course The David, all 17 feet of him!"

Marie

Belfast, ME

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Full of wonder and beauty. Venice is fun. Florence is art. Rome is religion. All are educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David"

Jane

Fishers, IN

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband surprised me with the Best of Italy tour for our 25th anniversary, and it was by far the most amazing and romantic gift he could have given me. We spent 3 wonderful nights in Venice, Florence and Rome and saw sights that we could never have found on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose from so many wonderful experiences, but I'd have to say the group's gondola ride at sunset with the musicians playing and singing as we glided along the Grand Canal was my all-time best memory. Our group was very cohesive and already fast becoming friends by that point. My husband's best time was likely the Italian cooking class where we made then ate our own pasta and tiramisu!"

Janice

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a "buckler list" as I had down the Rome South tour in 2008. I invited my daughter and we had a great time together and with the congenial companions. Our tour guides were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Loved the ancient Rome part, winery, gondola ride,palaces in Florence. Cooking school was lots of fun."

Lawrence

Statesboro, GA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had great guides, I liked all the hotels and the locations. The art history was just enough and spot on about getting what was / is important to take from each museum. Lastly, the people in our tour were all willing to be on time and be of good spirit, no one needed extra "care". Greatful for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Did not expect to like the cooking school so much, May have been our best dinner!"

Mary Ann

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour all around. Pre-planning and organization were obvious. Tour guides were terrific, knowledgeable, personable, great interaction. Loved the combination of cities, activities, cultural experiences. "Radios" were wonderful for better hearing, keeping us together, etc. Buddy check was also a great idea.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "David" blew me away and brought me to tears. However, loved the cooking school, and wine tasting/tour as well. Nice compliment to expected landmarks. Wonderful group of people was an additional bonus."

Lee

Mt Prospect, IL

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour that met all my expectations. The accomodations and food were very good. Our tour director Cecilia was experienced, and very knowledgeable. She had an excellent depth of knowledge and made her lectures both informative and interesting. The tour covered all the of high points of each city visited, with plenty of free-time to see and explore more. Also very fun were the cooking class and tour of the winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Venice was a "wow" moment. Loved everything about that city. Another "wow" moment was Rome's Coliseum."

Esther

Downey, CA

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I first joined Rick Steves tour, I had my reservations. I took a tour before with another company and they provided a horrible guide! Well, from day 1, my tour guide Cecilia was AMAZING! Cecelia was full of knowledge, warmth, and generally amazing person! It is because of Cecelia amazing personality and knowledge of Italy that I will definitely take Rick Steves tour again! Also, Sarah was just the sweetest person!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think every moments was great.....however what stick out the most is when our last night, my sister and I almost got robbed by gypsies and Cecilia just showed concern and made sure we where okay!"

Dawn

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I simply do not need 500 words. Amazing. Cecilia and Sarah were outstanding. Never bored, never hungry, never worried, never, never. Always wonderful. Love both Cecila and Sarah!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were just prepped to be blown away at each turn. And the tour did not disappoint..."

Damarys

Galoway, NJ

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cecilia, was excellent (i.e., professional and outgoing)! Sarah was very sociable and nice. I really enjoyed our cooking class in Florence. The food was delicious! I appreciated visiting the Winery at Cecilia's family estate. My only negative remark is that I had a very displeasing experience with the gondola ride because the gondola man smoked while I was on. I asked him to please stop due to my health condition (asthma) and he refused. It was my worst experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the experience of cooking authentic Italian food. It was delicious! When my husband and I returned back home, the next day we went to the supermarket and found almost all the ingredients. We cooked for our children and they loved it!"

Pat

Escondido, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour, and after going thru all the photos, can't believe how much we were able to experience! Will definitely recommend to friends. Having ahead of the line status, and our tickets ready , was so helpful. Also liked the non-structured time, and Alfio's recommendations regarding this. The cooking school was great fun! Still not sold on the carry-on bag only- I may never return, and it was so limiting in bringing back gifts; women need more personal care products than men!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting REALLY good gelato- after Alfio's tutorial. Seriously, it's a tie between first seeing the canals of Venice and the Entire wine tasting experience- the views, the relaxation, and the food and drink! Really need to return to Venice, and the wine tasting lunch awakened the need to see small towns Italy. The ' last supper' was a perfect conclusion to the tour!"

Joe

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided an excellent introduction to the three cities and renaissance Italy. Tour structure and guide promoted independent travel with the benefits of a tour group. Local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't limit it to one moment. The moments I'm still savoring are: 1. The Colosseum and the Forum. To be in the center of ancient Rome was a powerful experience. Our local guide did a wonderful job setting the scene for us. 2. Sitting in the Campo di Ghetto Nuovo on a quiet Sunday afternoon watching children play in the square 3. Upper hall of Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Amazing,even when jet lagged. 4. The bright colors of Michaelangelo's Tondo Doni in the Uffizi. 5. Pistachio Gelato"

Gary

Escondido, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great time, very busy days. We could have used a day in the middle or just before Rome to relax. Maybe a night over at the Winery would have been in order!! It was so very peaceful and relaxing there both the wife and I would have liked to spend more time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cooking Class in Florence and the Winery visit on the way to Rome!!!"

Howard

Short Hills, NJ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Greatly enjoyed the tours to various sites, museums and churches. I was very impressed with the high caliber of each guide you provided. Hotels were not fantastic but were clean and well located. Alfio was a terrific guy, a very congenial shepherd as well as knowledgeable guide himself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say - many high points. Perhaps the Basilica di San Clemente in Ancient Rome. The excavation and presentation was amazing."

Stephen

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an outstanding overview of the three major Italian cities. We had not been to Italy before, and this was a convenient introduction to the country, its art, and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the back streets of Venice, St. Peter's in the Vatican, and the Roman Forum."

Bethany

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour allowed us to see so many things in our 10 days in Italy! It was worth every penny! Without the tour and our guide, we would have been wandering around, trying to figure things out on our own and surely missing many great esperiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide had us do a backwards "bus" walk to see Michelangelo's David at the Accademia in Florence. He lined us up and directed us backwards (so we couldn't see until we were almost at the end of the hall). Then he had us turn around and "WOW" there was David- looming in front of us! It was amazing! :) (And really funny too!)"

Ann

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group this time was not anything like our first group experience where we were with similar aged and educated people. This bulk of the group was younger than us and a bit rowdier. Overall I loved the three cities. Alfio was fantastic as were the other city guides. Also loved the whisperers so we didn't have to hang on the guide to hear. The meals were fantastic!!!! Really enjoyed the cooking school experience which I didn't think I would.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wows - the Sistine Chapel blew my mind. Long time Catholic so it was much anticipated. Also the lunch at the vineyard was very special. Scenery was idyllic."

Karen

Oxnard, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall tour was well organized with phenomenal tour guides. Big disappointment was the food and hotels provided on tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best moments were art tour (unfitting and Sistine chapel), historical tour of Rome and lunch at wine makers house."

Candice

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour hit all of the sights we wanted to see in Venice, Florance and Rome with plenty of free time to explore on our own. While it was an intense schedule with plenty of walking, it kept us motivated to see things even when we were tired. In addition, we were able to skip long lines and have professional local guides for the sights. Our tour guide, Alfio, was so helpful whether it came to explaining the local customs or helping answer our questions about the history of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the visit to the winery in the Tuscan hills between Florence and Rome. It was gorgeous, warm, and relaxing. The food and wine was excellent and it was lovely to converse with our tour mates in such a relaxing setting."

Tamara

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steve's Tour and again I am very satisfied with the experience.

Patrick

Reno, NV

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to get introduced to Italy. All of the "must sees" were covered and many of some lesser-known gems that I thoroughly enjoyed. The guides were fabulous and our group was really nice and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. In Venice, it was probably St. Mark's Square & Basilica; in Florence, the Uffizi; in Rome, the Colosseum/Forum. Probably my favorite, though, was our wine tasting/lunch in Umbria. That was the Italy I was really looking forward to seeing."

Glenda

Oakland, TN

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela was so positive, so enthusiast about the tour, the sight-seeing. As I listened to her it was like being transformed back in time. The way she described the churches, the paintings, and then to actually see them. It was so different, you see pictures but to see the real thing it was overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the colosseum - two thousand years old and still standing, listening to the guide describe the battles held there you could almost see it. To visit places that you only studied about, to hear about people you studied about to see where they died, again overwhelming."

Eric

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an absolutely amazing time. This was my first time in Europe. I traveled with my wife, her first time as well. So everything was a first experience. Someone said if it is not to your liking change your liking. That was my goal from the beginning and I accomplished it. I wanted to keep an open mind and take it all in. But there wasn't anything I could think of that I didn't like. After our tour we went to Germany for 8 days. The tour gave us the confidence to do everything we planned on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several years ago I went to art school studying graphic design. One course they made us take was at history, which by the way I'm glad I did now. One project was, pick one artist in history that changed the future, and research that artist. I chose Michelangelo. So my wow moment and I mean sent shivers down my spine kind of moment, was seeing David in real life. One thing about the tour was not only we saw the biggies, from Michelangelo but we also saw some hidden gems. That we didn't even know."

Helen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent combination of historical and cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking down the hall approaching Michelangelo's David was thrilling."

Robert

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, saw all the highlights plus so much more with a great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stop at winery for lunch."

George

Worland, WY

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Got lots of history, art appreciation and food wrapped up in a good time. Met some new people whose acquaintance I will treasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking up at the David. Much like seeing the Grand Teton for the first time. Impressive and awesome. Perhaps even more, the De Medici tomb, Moses and the Pieta were warmer and more humanistic for me."

Michelle

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I enjoyed a delightful tour and cultural experience. I really had no expectations or preconceived notions about the tour, although I had read the book that Rick provided. Truly, Daniela made the tour great and made it all exciting and come to life. She was personable, professional, passionate and had a great sense of humour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised how unique each city was: Venice, Florence, and Rome. I loved the cooking class and was wowed when we were taken down to the wine cellar to eat the meal we cooked. That experience seemed to make an emotional impression on me."

James

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. On tour, Time is your most valuable resource. This tour allowed you to see, do, and experience everything you hope for in a most efficient and enjoyable manner. The invaluable past experience and knowledge of Rick and his people paves the way for an experience you couldn't begin to put together on your own. Excellent value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pulling into the winery in Umbria. So beautiful. It was out of a dream."

David

Keizer, OR

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great balance of guided tours and leisure time. Very informative guide, not only about sights but also the cultural context of the local environment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Grand Canal for the first time was an absolute wow moment."

Sara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience. Our guide did a wonderful job explaining cultural differences to be aware of on our orientation night to really help us get the best experience in Italy. This was my first tour with Rick Steves and I'm so happy we booked it. I'm looking forward to our next adventure with you. Also, I'm happily sharing my wonderful experience with friends and co-workers. I simply cannot say enough wonderful things about this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite moments were the wine pairing and lunch in Umbria and the cooking class. Such non-touristy experiences were great. We all expected to see the big ticket items, but I really enjoyed the winery and the cooking class!"

Eydie

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved Rick Steves' tour! Our guide, Daniela was amazing! We had so much fun learning about the history, the culture, the art, the food & our fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Venice, walking into St. Marks square for the first time. I was so over-whelmed I almost cried. I felt as if I was walking a path back in time. (I had goosebumps.) What an incredibly beautiful place!"

Margaret

Worland, WY

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My main interest was the art of Michelangelo and this was definitely the tour to take and I was not disappointed. Second was the art and architecture of which Italy abounds. Third was the people and culture which Daniela made very accessible and understandable. The Tenuta Le Velette winery and In Tavola cooking class were both highly enjoyed and perfect breaks from museums and churches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each and every day had a wow moment. Walking into St Marks Square on our first evening in Venice took our breath away. Every time I saw a Michelangelo work, I was in awe. Getting to the top of St. Peter's in Rome was worth every step. Each city was so unique and fun to explore on its own terms."

Shelly

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was OUTSTANDING! For my very first trip to Europe, the tour was great. RSE fit our lifestyle perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been dreaming of going to Venice since I was 11. My "WOW" moment is when I got off the train in Venice and came around the corner and saw the Grand Canal and Venice for the first time. It took my breath away, and brought tears to my eyes. Even thinking about it now, a month later, I still get that feeling."

Maureen

Anaheim Hills, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Felt like I was in a Medieval Fairland. Sarah was delightful as was each local tour guide. Learned so much and was amazed at the knowledge of each of your guides. Would go on another tour in a minute (when funds are available). Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moment can't be defined. Found those moments in Venice, Florence and Rome. Cannot pull down a defining moment."

Alan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah did a wonderful job. A third of the tour members were a day late because of the airline strikes and she set up another welcome dinner once we were all there. I like the format where she would get us to see the major sites in the morning and then turn us loose for the rest of the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the amazing art and architecture."

Graham

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, and we went with Rick Steve based on positive reviews, that were right on, and included great places to stay right in the heart of the best locations in each city. superb tour guides, and local experts who made the cities and art come alive. great organization, with no waiting in line and fast travel led by Sarah down back streets and "compresso" onto the subway in rush hour. Dining experiences and wine tasting that really helped us experience the local scene.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca and the tour of San Clemente, then the Colosseum and Forum, was the wow moment that I had read about in the reviews, that made me decide to take this tour. She was superb, fantastic, and told me she has not read the reviews that celebrate her passion and love of Rome."

Karena

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah was a SUPERB tour guide. Her excellent knowledge of art history and the fabulous personal connections made our time in Italy, OVER the TOP, FANTASTIC!!! I am very much looking forward to recommending this tour to my family and friends when we return home. The cost had very great value and I simply cannot say enough about how GREAT it was!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Such a difficult decision as there were so Many!! I Loved the tour with Francesca in Rome, our cooking class in Florence, visiting the winery in Tuscany, to name only a few of the many!!!"

Thomas

St Paul, MN

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A whirlwind of activity that engaged us in the country -- it gave us a good sense of the food, people and history in a brief amount of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the ruins of old Rome, particularly the guided tour through Basilica di San Clemente"

Richard

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour! martin PARAMOUNT man!! hotel in venice was average--no amenties--no tv. wish it had elevator. side trip to pisa would have been nice instead of downtime

Favorite "WOW" moment

"this is hard--all WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!"

Art

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, guide and members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many but the Colosseum and Vatican."

Gregory

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Sreves's was highly recommended to me by my brother Doug Lawrence who did the 21 day tour back in the early 90's. We were not disappointed! We loved our accommodations in the heart if each city. Well, the bed were a bit uncomfortable in Florence, but no big deal. The tour was fabulous, all my wife Pam and I had hoped for, and more!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gee, There were so many... I am a professional violinist, so I found two brilliant concerts to attend in Venice... The instrument gallery in the Florence museum was a BIG draw to me. Strads and Amatis WOW I also got to visit Vettori and Family Violin shop in Florence, and played 3 of his instruments... PINCH ME!!! My wife and I LOVED the cooking class! The eating part was good too LOL :) The visit to the Vineyard was AWESOME as I am a total wino... LOL"

Nancy

Rohnert Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Martin was wonderful; entertaining and very knowledgeable. Local tour guide in Florence, Angelo, was also great; I loved his anthropological approach. It was, as advertised, strenuous; we fell into bed at 8:30 p.m. exhausted, onle to get up again at 6:30 a.m. to begin again. The mix of guided orientations and tours with free time each day was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the cooking class in Florence. Teachers were very easy going and reinforcing, and the food we all made was wonderful."

Larry

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour. If all were like this will not be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour was fantastic. Sharing with my wife and our tour family WOW."

Howard

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was intense, but we enjoyed it immensely. It was a great way to tour Venice, Florence and Rome and get as much out of our visit as possible in the limited time we were in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The presentation by the tour guide in Florence was outstanding. He provided information that we would not have been able to gather ourselves. There is so much to see in Florence that we would have been overwhelmed if we attempted to tour each building on our own. He made best use of the time we had available by focusing on the most important artwork."

Colleen

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fun tour, very well organized and suited to 3 generations of women in my family. Martin was an outstanding guide - knowledgeable, funny, helpful. I really loved the focus and description on a limited number of paintings/statues to get the background, symbolism and detail. No too much (even so, I had to write notes when I got back to the hotel). The variety was fantastic - not too much of any type of activity and I liked having the headsets so we could hear clearly all the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was cooking lunch in Florence with Francisco. I also liked the panoramic view of the Colosseum."

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall total experience was better than outstanding! It was so great that we plan on doing a Sicily trip in two years. Martin has such a vast knowledge of the history of the church and art that I was always interested in the lesson. He made navigating the cities quite easy when he had to do it on our own. He let us know getting lost was not a mistake and gave us hints on how to get lost so we could learn more about the city,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two "wow" moments. The first one was when we were on the vapretto in Venice finding our hotel (BTW the instructions given in our email were perfect) and we looked at the canal and looked at each other and couldn't believe that we were there! Such a picturesque post-card view. It was an overwhelming emotional experience that I still can't explain to our friends. The second "wow" moment was when we went into St. Peter's in Rome."

Elizabeth

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible tour with an incredible guide and incredible people. Experienced Venice, Florence, and Rome in a way that would not have been possible traveling on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coolest part of the tour was experiencing the Vatican. Not only is every building beautiful, but the history behind it all is outstanding. The facts would not have been possible without or knowledgable tour guide, Martin."

Karen

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and first time to travel to Europe. We picked the best possible way to experience it. Thanks! Martin was a superb tour guide! We are grateful for the free time allowed in the afternoons to choose what we would like to venture further into. Also, the hotel locations within the city allowed us more time to experience sites. Our city guides were expertly knowledgeable about their town and shared their information with passion as it should be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being located in the heart of each city gave us the local feel a traveler should have. I believe the "wow" moment to be how the tour was orchestrated with the city guides, eating experiences and highlighted visits and suggestions Martin gave for our free time."

Carolyne

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. The guides were all excellent and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first view of the Grand Canal in Venice from the Rialto Bridge."

Diana

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lavish, spectacular, awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican and the Grand Canal!"

Clifton

Glendale, AZ

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was outstanding, exhausting, but outstanding. We were there for a total of 15 days, 3 before the tour and 2 after, and we walked 121.65 miles. It was incredible to walk back into history by visiting Venice, Florence, and Rome. Now to review the 4,453 photos we took.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it would have to be the Grand Canal in Venice with "David" if Florence a very close second. Venice was lack luster to me until listening to Rick Steves' Audio Europe iPhone app and the Venice - Grand Canal Cruise! That audio brought Venice alive for me and I enjoyed the city so much more after. In Florence, "David" was awesome. I had no idea that statue was so huge and magnificent."

Norma

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really enjoyed it although would have chosen to go a little slower--so much to absorb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice"

Marvin

Gilby, ND

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I had a very good time. There was a mix of activities one would never have experienced with out this program. ie, cooking school, the winery experience. Daniela gets very high marks. She combined a great knowledge of subject matter as well as a very pleasant personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"statue of David, the Pantheon, the Colosseum."

Virginia

Middleburg Hts, OH

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great memories..we really experienced alot. So much info about the art we were seeing.We also benefited from real life experiences like stopping at an Auto grill,having a cooking class & learning about wine at a Winery;these were a respite from the intense touring. Also moving from city to city by bus gave us an opportunity to rest & transition from one area to another, with information about each region given by our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One for each city:Venice = St. Marc's Square; Florence= the Duomo;Rome=St. Peter's Basilica;"

Eve

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. The hotels were centrally located and easy to find; accommodations were very good and the staff at each hotel were kind and welcoming. Daniela is a great tour guide and she provided a lot of useful and interesting information as we traveled from one Italian city to the next. Cecilia, Ludavica, and Elisabetta are outstanding local guides that enhanced the experience. I will definitely go on a Rick Steves' tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing The David in Florence. Daniela was leading us through the museum and was very discreet about what we would see as we turned the corner. The statue is truly magnificent and I think many in our group literally uttered "wow" when we saw it."

Nancy

Chanhassen, MN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative and easy to follow. The tour guides were very informative and knowledgeable .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the regions, church tours, and the visit to historical sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and castles."

Dan

Boularderie, NS

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought that the guides were very knowledgeable in their fields, which was art. A lot of people on the tour seemed to be into the art aspect of Italy, however there is a lot of history in Italy that they didn't really cover, (with the exception of the Flavian Ampetheatre). While the art is good, you need the history to really complete the story of what Italy was and what it has become. But it was a good tour overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably on the Piazza di Michelle Angelo- even though it wasn't on the guided part, seeing the whole of Florence from that view was really fun"

Gina

Venice, CA

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever. I've always dispelled the idea of going on a group tour but because of Rick Steves and his ethic (and the emails I receive) we decided we would take the chance. It was absolutely mind-changing! The amount of tour time and independent time was perfect. The restaurants we visited, the tour and local guides added so much more then we ever could have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my! So hard to pick just one. But I think it was seeing the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore for the first time. It was such an emotional experience; having read about it in art history classes."

John

Lehigh Acres, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the art history that the guides provided at each of the venues. Daniela was great, very charming and gave us enough information at the right time without overwhelming us. The hotel in Florence was terrific. The wine experience and cooking class was a nice break from the historical information we were getting. Even tho I was expecting a lot of walking, I was tired from it all. I was told we averaged 7 miles per day. Will definitely take another tour with your company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment of the tour was seeing the David. But before that the Wow moment was when we went into our Florence hotel room. When I saw the canopied bed, I was sure they had made a mistake and gave us the wrong room; but I was;t telling anyone."

Melanie

Mt Juliet, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot imagine a better tour than this one! Our over-all tour guide was Daniela and she was superb, as were the guides in the local cities. The small size of the group allowed for a lot more fun and togetherness. There were a number of nice surprise visits, and Daniela treated us several times to special unexpected sweets. Hotels were clean and safe - but not fancy - and hotel staff was always great. I would recommend this to anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, my favorite wow moment was seeing Michelangelo's David, followed by the Pieta. These were the reasons I wanted to make the trip and they did not disappoint."

Deborah

Nashville, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my sixth "guided tour," not all of which were group tours. It was my fourth group tour in Europe. It was by far the best for guides, sites to see, information provided, hotel location and pre-tour communication. And there were surprises! We all love surprises!

Donald

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela was informative, accessable (did not seem irritated when interrupted), and very personable. Her thoughtful treats made me feel appreciated. The local guides were all easy to understand and follow; they brought some much elightenment to our trip, both on orientation walks and museum/gallery talks. Two critical limitations: At the Aberdeen Hotel in Rome the beds were so firm they made my bones ache. At breakfast the lone server struggled to meet minimal needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the approach to Michaelangelo's David, the hallway of unfinished pieces (especially the Pieta) just overwhelmed me. They made evident the process in manual labor necessary to liberate his desired creations in stone."

Joe

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience was terrific, we were given a very nice orientation in each city which allowed us to explore on our own during those periods when we did not have scheduled tour events. The actual scheduled tour events were great, highlighting the best parts of each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Literally too many to mention. The gondola rides in Venice, the art in Florence, and the Vatican in Rome. Very difficult to choose any one over another."

Joan

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous experience! The group was great - interesting and fun people - and our guide (Cecilia) could not have been better! This was our first Rick Steves' tour and it exceeded all expectations. Being part of this group maximized our learning and cultural experience. It was so nice to not have to think about getting tickets to museums/sites nor wait in lines. The amount of free time was adequate and we appreciated Cecilia's suggestions and help with additional activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments for me! Venice was charming and so different than anyplace I have ever been - loved the trip to Burano and the gondola ride. Florence was beautiful - seeing Michelangelo's David and the view of the city from the top of the Duomo was amazing! The cooking class was lots of fun and loved going to the winery. San Clemente, Colosseum, Pantheon and Basilica in Rome were all "wows"!"

Bonnie

Victoria, BC

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a fantastic experience. I took this tour to bolster my background knowledge in History of Art. I had studied sand taught some of the art of this area and was anxious to see it. Cecelia made this tour great. I also bonded with Stacey who was accompanying Cecelia. She will make a great guide as well. My roommate was a perfect fit. We had a great group of people from all over. I was surprised to be the only Canadian. It became a USA trip. The mix of people became a unit quite quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was "David" in Florence. I almost fell down in seeing it. I had studied Michaelangelo and his work for a good part of my life and to actually see this was overwhelming. The Uffizi was great as well. The Sistine Chapel and St Peters were great but too crowded to fully appreciate!"

Elizabeth

Nancy, KY

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredible; an excellent balance of cultural locations, history, and having a little taste of Italian life in each city. Each hotel was in a great location, something I doubt I would be able to arrange without the tour. The guides were excellent and informative. And the wine tasting and cooking class were great additions I would have never thought to do on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very hard to pick as the entire tour was pretty "wow". In Venice I would have to say seeing the island of Burano and its beautifully colored houses was pretty great. In Florence it was the inside of the Baptistery. And in Rome seeing the cremation spot of Julius Caesar laid with flowers (in honor of his death as we were there during the Ides of March) was pretty wow."

Jacqueline

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never taken a tour before and were a bit skeptical about such a structured experience. We needn't have worried, this tour was so well designed, with plenty of time to go our own way and participate in the group portions. Martin was a terrific guide, and the local guides in each of the cities were exceptional. They provided a way to view the museums and other sites with so much more understanding. Our tour group was great, an interesting and congenial group with no complainers. Bravo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to choose one moment. Each of the cities had its own. My "moment" lasted 10 days...it was the whole experience of getting acquainted with three very different cities, all they contain and exploring them with such a congenial group and wonderful guides!"

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience for us. Of course, Venice, Florence, and Rome are wonderful places...but between our guide, Martin, and the local guides we met, the trip was even beyond our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Funny you should ask...Many times during our tour I said, "no, this was the best thing," only to make the same statement a day or two later over yet another experience. The word experience is key...we did not simply stand and view these amazing sights, we were led to experience them. Loved the gondola ride, cooking class, wine tasting, meals, people"

Hollis

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible experience and Martin was a superb tour leader. The organization of the tour, the [INVALID]ion of the events, the individual tour guides for sites, the group of tour participants were all great. It was a marvelous experience. Couldn't have wished for anything better. We had tagged on three days in Paris on our own before the Rick Steves trip and so Paris combined with Venice, Florence and Rome made an extraordinary two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente in Rome opened up our eyes to seeing Rome and the guided tour was moving and illuminating. (Hard to pick one "wow" moment.)"

Christine

Calgary, AB

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Met some lovely people. Friendly guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the experiences, e.g. wine tasting lunch / cooking class. Also enjoyed the quality of the tour guides."

Maura

South Wales, NY

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed it. I liked the 3 cities, a nice variation to experience the Italian culture. Our tour guide, Martin, was very good. He had a good knowledge base of each area, and very easy and fun to work with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was in Rome, the tour of the colliseum was amazing, my daughter's "wow" moment was in Venice, the gondola ride. However, there really was many wow moments on this trip, it was a very enjoyable vacation!"

Julie

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband I had never been to Italy before this trip, so I was a little overwhelmed trying to plan it on my own. I heard about Rick Steves' tours, and liked everything I read about them. My expectations could not have been better met. We truly had "no grumps" on our trip. Very nice people on the tour. No smokers. Martin was FANTASTIC! The local tour guides were very knowledgeable. The whole thing was amazing. There was a great mix of "tour time" and alone time. Very well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel for me was definitely a "wow" for me. I walked in, and I was overwhelmed by all the beauty surrounding me. I would not call myself particularly religious, but when one of the priests said the "Our Father" prayer while I was gazing up and around at all the masterpieces and the genius to create them, I was blown away. I just started crying because it was so amazing to be there. I could feel the millions of souls of everyone who had prayed there before me."

Will

Hickory, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've used your guidebooks previously to plan trips, but never taken anyone's tours. But these cities in Italy seemed a little daunting for us on our own. This completely surpassed our expectations for a tour experience. Well organized and guided by Martin, we were well cared for without being rushed or herded about. The local guides were wonderful. Hotels were great. The group gelled nicely. Maybe 4 days in each city would be better, but perhaps better to leave wanting more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente Church in Rome. Descending with Francesca to a Roman street of of 65AD or so, was amazing. Our entire time with her was enlightening, to say the least."

Gary

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just a wonderful experience. Lisa was so personable, prepared, organized, enthusiastic, caring, and flexible[INVALID]she would have made any tour great. The other guides were equally impressive. The depth and breadth of information imparted was well beyond expectations. All of our group meals were truly delicious, festive occasions. Servers were efficient, yet congenial and most pleasant. The "active" nature of the tour was most appropriate for my personal approach to things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than just one moment. . . Im completely in awe of what and how the Romans did what they did. That they could design, engineer, and construct such grand things so long ago is truly amazing. The details, artistic beauty, and sheer grandeur . . ."

Lynda

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Attn. Lisa Anderson A Fantastic trip. Lisa"s expertice as a guide was amazing. When she had to make quick changes due to unexpected happenings... she did so... effectively and efficiently. She "worked" our group like a pro. She was extremely knowledgeable, organized, and humorously dealt with whatever obstacles arrived. Showed sensitivity while still ruling with an"iron" hand. In short.... SHE WAS GREAT.... Would do another tour with her in a heart beat.... and strongly recommend her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow".... That's kinda hard...Florence is my favorite, but that said.... I learned so much in Rome from both of our guides that amazed me and really got me excited about all the structural knowledge, and history of local lore,etc."

Mario

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time for my wife Gladys and myself visiting Italy. First time going on vacation using a guided Tour. What can we said about our experience...many many good things for sure. Well organized and very informative tour, excellent planning, outstanding tour guides, great hotel locations and the list goes on and on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very difficult to name one or two WOW moments,...where do I start, this is hard,....for us the entire trip was a BIG WOW. We love the balance and variety of city vs. the cultural experience. We arrived to Venice one day before our tour, and we have some time to wander around. Went for a walk, and took one of the many narrow streets/passages between buildings and ended up in front of the St. Mark Square,.....that moment was our first BIG WOW."

Ron

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was quite different from our normal travel. We are independent travelers and have been taking trips every year. When we went to Europe on those trips, we used Rick Steves books and think the advice was right on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably a moment when we got off on our own in Florence. We saw a bill outside a church for a daily organ concert. The time was confusing on the bill and the event itself was quirky with an out of tune organ and a less than brilliant organist. It also included what looked like a Gypsy who came into the church acted the part of a priest at the alter, blessed us all and left. He was on something I'm sure. But it just made it more memorable."

Debra

Tupelo, MS

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first overseas trip and we (my husband and I) thought the Rick Steves' experience would be a good option for us as it would alleviate the stress of making all of the arrangements on our own. As fans of the TV program, we felt we would greatly benefit from the expertise planning/knowledge provided by the Rick Steve's Company. We were not disappointed! Visited three large cities and saw some major art and architecture! Our guide did a great job keeping us on task to meet this goal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had two favorite "wow" moments: The square at St.Mark's Basilica and Michelangelo's "David". Amazing! I was overwhelmed with wonder and a sense of serenity by these treasure and the history they represent."

Melanie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second 10 Day Best of Italy tour in the past 3 years and it was just as fantastic the second time around. Our tour guide Lisa was professional, personable, knowledgeable and quite frankly...FUN! I love how you get to do all the "must do's" and have plenty of unscheduled time to enjoy your personal tastes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice for sure. I know its touristy but WOW. It's simply a must."

Michael

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was awesome. visiting all of the churches, museums and seeing first hand the art work that I have read about for years was great. The different cusines that we tried both in the resturants and in the hotels were delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DAVID"

Walter

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' Tour and, like the first, it totally exceeded my expectations. The tour, of course, hit the highlights of Venice, Florence, and Rome but also went to less traveled places which are what makes a Rick Steves' Tour very special. One of my favorite such places was the winery in Orvieto. It was small, family run and the wine tasting and lunch that was provided exclusively for our group was a true delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, but I think my two favorites were the sight of the Grand Canal in Venice and St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. No matter how many times you see images of Venice in photographs and film when actually seen in person it takes your breath away. At the Vatican, the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica is almost unbelievable."

Molly

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelanglo's David."

Stephen

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride on the Grand canal accompanied by the singing and guitar. Nicely done. Also, the David, Basilica, the Carnevale costumes, the Doge, Pitti Palace."

Brent

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Lisa, and the other tour guides, did a great job melding the classical, Renaissance, and modern Italy. It all flowed together into a consistent pattern that helped me better appreciate each era. The amount of group time and alone time was well balanced. I needed the alone time after group experiences, and Lisa provided good suggestions for individual sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable time was standing in the Pantheon, marveling at the pagan structure, the Baroque patina, and then looking up to see sky through the Ocular. It was an epiphany, a stop-still moment to see the movement of the white clouds and brilliant blue projected through and transcending the classical dome. It epitomized our reach for the ideal. We will always fall short, but it's the desire and attempts to transcend ourselves that give me hope."

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was #7 of our tours and per usual we were not disappointed at all! It was another perfect "Rick Steves" experience. From the moment we met our terrific guide Lisa Anderson until when we left, we believe we were well taken care of, well fed and entertained to the max. We had plenty of time to do things on our own as well as a more than adequate number of things to do with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride at night on the Grand Canal with the music accompaniment. Very sweet and poetic."

Denise

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have previously used the RS services (telephone consult, guidebooks) to plan a couple of great trips to Europe. We found the tour experience to be of excellent value. It relieved us of so much of the planning work which was wonderful; not needing to arrange museum passes, transportation, etc on our own was nice. But even more rewarding were the (backdoor) experiences we had, as well as the knowledge (from guides) we gained, which we would not have been able to attain on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose a favorite. My friends have asked which was my favorite city -- my reply --each one while I was there. I guess the the architecture -- (i.e., St Mark's in Venice, the Colosseum, Pantheon, Sistine chapel, St Peter's, San Clemente in Rome, Santa Maria Novella in Florence) --was the most moving for me. In each I had a "thin place" experience."

Rachel

Yakima, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an absolutely wonderful time! Great group, good balance of activities and free time. Traveled with my father and we both had an unforgettable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my surprise, I loved Venice! Bright sunny day, grand canal sparkling, and Carnivale! Amazing!"

Kathleen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Officia Visit (during free time) to Borghese Gallery"

William

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed our tour as I like walking through cities and getting to experience some of the local lifestyle. Our guide Donald and the other guests were fun to be around for the 10 days as everyone embraced the "No grumps" mantra. It also helped that the weather cooperated throughout the trip with only 2 days with rain (and one was during the bus trip from Venice to Florence). Based on this experience, my wife and I plan to take other Rick Steves tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water tour during the Venice stay to the island of Burano with its multicolor houses and the lace-making museum. The small town with every house a different color was spectacular on the day we visited, and listening an 80+ year old woman (through our guide as translator) as she told her story was fascinating."

Lorene

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really appreciated the knowledge of our tour guide, Donald. Enjoyed the time spent together as a group, quick entrance to museums, etc, and the free time to explore on our own. Having an "extra" tour guide from the area was a good experience. Having the fun activities of cooking lesson, winery tour and tasting and 1st night in the city evening meals together were great. I will recommend to anyone/everyone that a Rick Steve's tour is the way to go!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum was amazing. The hotel in Florence, the Hotel Torre Guelfa, was an amazing overall experience, from the room to the views on the rooftop terrace. Also a piano recital from the owner's fiancé was an added treat."

Julie

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the hotels were clean and exceptionally well located. I thought the buses that took us from Venice to Florence and Florence to Rome were luxurious and spacious. I was very impressed with the dinners hosted by our guide. It was obvious that he had gone to some trouble to select just the right place and the right menu. I also liked the selection of places and things we visited.But what I liked the best was the balance of free-time and guided touring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the back streets of Florence and visiting the Uffizi Gallery with our wonderful guide Antonio. Also eating in the restaurant where Julius Caesar was murdered."

Donna

Qualicum Beach, BC

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My first time travelling solo in Italy was memorable. Our guide was very knowlegable,approachable and easy going. The tour covered all the sites I wanted to see, and the rest I saw in my free time. I would go on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The big "wow" was David..but there were many others...It was great to be in Venice during the Carnival, and was glad to see both Murano and Burano."

Scott

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Venice, Florence, and Rome was everything we expected from RS Tours. The local guides in each of the cities were top-notch professionals who cared deeply and personally about the culture of their towns. The group meals were excellent, I was "forced" to try cuisine I would not have chosen on my own. Our RS organizer/leader/facilitator was very comfortable to be with. Donald was much valued by our group for his expertise, guidance, and suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW! moment was when I sat on top of our palace's tower roof and had a remarkable panoramic view of Florence!! Being able to see the domes of the churches we visited, the towers around the city, and then a beautiful sunset, was awesome."

Patricia

Erlanger, KY

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a lifetime! Venice, Florence and Rome were excellent cities to visit in Italy. Each city was unique and I loved them all. I am thinking about the next "Rick Steve's Tour" that I want to book. We had 18 people in our group and I think we had the best group! The ages ranged from 20 to 75 and each person had something special to add to the trip. I would go back to Italy tomorrow if I could.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All 3 cities were excellent and the organized cities tours were perfect. I really enjoyed the "cooking class" in Florence and the "winery tour" on the way to Rome. Each experience was unique and a VERY fun group activity."

Kathryn

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be very informative and enjoyable. Our guide and the guest guides were knowledgeable and helpful. We could not have had a better group of people to tour with. There was just the right amount of scheduled tours and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the visit to the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome."

Michael

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was fantastic. We had a couple of outstanding tour guides in Ben and David and the everybody in the tour group got along really well. Personally, i really enjoyed the pace of the tour. It wasn't too fast that you missed things, but you weren't left with too much time on your hands either. Ben and David's knowledge of the cities and areas we visited was outstanding and got us to really appreciate where we were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment from the tour isn't my favorite by a very long shot, but it was my first big moment of the trip. During our first night in Venice, we had some time to wander before the tour arrived. It was the exact moment when we walked out from one of the passages between buildings and came out onto St. Marks Square. I was blown away and became emotional. Here was a place i had dreamed of visiting for years and here i was, finally looking upon St. Marks Basilica and the Campanile."

Joanne

Pineville, NC

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent! Accommodations - centrally located and with full breakfast. Group meals - tasty and authentic. My fellow travelers -so interesting and fun. Great combination of scheduled tours and free time. Our guides, Ben and assistant David, were extraordinarily knowledgeable, well-prepared and informative, and did I mention fun! Local guides were excellent - so passionate about the history. David's guitar playing at the farewell dinner was an added bonus to this memorable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a WOW! Venice has such beauty - the palaces on the interconnecting waterways, churches with incredible mosaics, and walking down narrow streets anticipating what's around the corner! The cooking class in Florence was such fun!! A stop at an Umbrian winery on the way to Rome was a highlight. The Pantheon, Colosseum, Vatican Museum, and San Clemente Church in Rome. I was pleased with every aspect of this tour!"

Annie

Macomb, MI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goodness, where do I start? I focus on the Italian renaissance in an art history class of mine & I learned much more on this trip than I have in three years. In a recent presentation I had to credit more of my guides than books in my bibliography! I made a speech at our "Last Supper" about how grateful I am for the wonderful connections I've made here. I honestly still am upset I had to leave this great group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard. Michelangelo's David was certainly breathtaking, but I'd say that instead seeing the Basilica of St. Clemente was probably the most "wow"-inspiring. Francesca told us so much information that enabled my own personal connections, and the fact that we only went down two stories yet so many years... just amazing. I was standing in the same place ancient Romans had. I remember so vividly it sinking through my head, and getting goosebumps."

Jodi

Macomb, MI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really hard to choose one. So many things I saw and experienced, and yet it was only a fraction of what's out there for me. I must say, being able to watch my 16 year old daughter experience what we did was very emotional and special, I know she loved every minute of it, especially every minute we got to spend with Ben, David, and Francesca!"

Kathleen

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was great, but a little strenuous for me. Not your fault, you were clear in the literature how much walking there would be, but I wasn't as prepared as I thought. You might consider shortening some of the city walks, although they are useful. The wine tasting and cooking class were lots of fun, be sure to keep those.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although unexpected, I thought St. Peter's was the most "wow" moment. It is overwhelming."

Jack

Malvern,

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the overall experience I think the knowledge of the guides was excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Venetian boat ride at night and seing the collouseam"

Paul

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent planning, guides, accommodations, meals etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesa's tour of the Church of San Clemente was the best "wow" moment and it provided a palpable example of the proximity of modern, renaissance, medieval and ancient Rome. Her entire shift (San Clemente, Colesseum, and the Roman Forum were worth the trip."

Ellen

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my best tour yet. The tour members were wonderful. I thought how we spent our time was perfect, good blend of freeime and structure. Of course more to see but we hit all my must sees. There wasn't anything I would remove.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is hard to pick out. "David", the " Pantheon", San Clementine in Rome. The cooking class was a highlight for me, which I didn't expect, and the wine tasting was also special."

David

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very informative and well organized tour. Though my wife and I had been to all of the cities in the past, we wanted to bring our adult son on this trip and give him a chance to engage with other tour participants. We were pleased to find that the local guides were able to share great information and background that we would not have been able to learn on our own, so we learned a lot of new information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Ferrara and enjoying a different and engaging city with an outstanding cuisine - great lunch that day."

Gail

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were hoping for to learn some new things about Italy since we had visited many of the places on the tour at least once or twice. We have used Rick Steves guide books for years to plan our own trips. This time we were taking our college graduate son as a present and wanted to travel with a bigger group. Well, what a pleasant surprise! We learned many new things and gained new insights on the trip thanks to our amazing tour guides and our local guides. AND our travel group was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the balance and variety of the city vs. cultural experience. There were plenty of opportunities to experience the culture as well as seeing the sights. Francesca had a real message for us and helped us connect personally to the Roman past in a very different way for a tour guide."

Dianne

Richmond, VA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent - a nice balance of doing a variety of things and between time with the tour and time on our own. Also, although I've never been on a multiday tour, I've been on one day tours and I like the choices of what was included in this tour (as well as the opt out option which I didn't use but to linger longer in some of the art galleries) - in the past I've had to suffer through some things I really didn't want to see to get to what I didn't want to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was many many wow moments."

Donna

Franklin, WI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When people have asked me, "How was your trip?" the short answer is: There are no words. Amazing; phenomenal; once-in-a-lifetime just barely begin to describe the tour. Being in Italy in and of itself was an extraordinary experience (and, frankly, one I never thought I'd have). When you combine that with not only the philosophy and mission of Rick Steves, but with the incredibly knowledgeable and talented guides as well, the result is an experience beyond my wildest dreams. Grazie di cuore!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment set the tone for the entire trip. On our first full day in Venice, my daughter and I headed out shortly after sunrise for San Marco. We wound our way through the narrow walkways, and in just a few minutes we were confronted with the vastness of the Piazza. There were only a handful of tourists, and a few tradesmen with their pushcarts heading to work. The colors of the buildings in that first morning light were incomparable. I remember thinking this was just the beginning!"

Erika

Glenview, IL

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was truly fantastic! After visiting Europe only in the summer months, a Thanksgiving tour provided a much more relaxed, more local-feeling atmosphere. I've only ever seen Venice crowded with tourists, but during the Festa della Madonna della Salute, we were able to see the city crowded with real Venetians and their families. There were no lines at the Academia, no lines at the Uffizi, and no lines even at the Vatican. I never want to go in the summer again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Torcello was amazing from beginning to end. Seeing the marshy grasslands from which Venice arose gave us a new understanding of the sheer improbability of its very existence. The contrast between the bustling urban environment of the city and the tranquil green of the island was very refreshing, and the ancient Last Judgment mosaic in the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta was so vivid it seemed to be created just yesterday. Returning to Venice at sunset was truly breathtaking."

Peter

Malvern,

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife, son and I had an outstanding time on the tour. The scenery and places we visited were marvellous but without the wonderful leadership and commentary from Ben in particular the trip just wouldn't have been anywhere near as rich and valuable. David was also a good supporter to David an sings well also! All of the other guides were also very good. The rest of the tour group were great company and we found it useful having at least three other young adults on the tour with their parents

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to choice from actually. St Mark's sq in Venice was the first one and a stunning one. The Duomo in Florence just stunning, The Uffuzi in Florence breathtaking. So much in Rome that were Wow, probably the Parthenon, Colleseum and also the little church over 2 levels of Roman history near the Colleseum. Many magnificent churches in Rome. As a family we couldn't choose the one Wow as there were just too many. Sorry."

Roy

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 11/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liked the tour guides and fellow travelers. It rained for much of the trip, and yet no grumps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice gondola ride at night with opera singer (optional), and well organized. Florence cooking class - good participation by all."

Mary

Madison, WI

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After watching travel TV programs, a trip to Italy and a Rick Steves' tour was at the top of my bucket list. So we combined the two for this Italy tour. It will always be an amazing memory! The written words in the tour book doesn't include the feeling of being with the Italian people or group members we met or the taste of the food and wine we shared or the atmosphere of the cities we visited along the way. All became a part of this special trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment has to be the entire tour! Each day was like a package to be opened either with some plans from Ricardo ahead of time or when we would have free time to explore! Seriously, every night I would reflect on the day we had and think..."wow" what a special day! The tour, Ricardo and the members of the group who were with us, were my "wow" moments. My memories!"

Trish

Roswell, GA

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. I think I have watched every Rick Steves episode on TV. I booked the trip with great expectations and they were exceeded. The trip was over the top fun and better than I ever imagined. I truly enjoyed Riccardo and was very impressed with his knowledge and ever mindful conern for our group. He made the trip a success! I do not have the words to say for how much I enjoyed every second of the trip. I am ready for my next trip with Rick Steve's group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to say but I will say the Colosseum in Rome."

Erik

Moscow, ID

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think this tour was the very best way to experience these three amazing Italian destinations. The blend of guided local tours at the key sites along with ample free time made for a wonderful trip. I would highly recommend this tour especially for first-time visitors to these locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you choose one highlight from so many wonderful moments and experiences? I found the entire trip to be amazing. We had several local guides who were fabulous because of their extensive knowledge and their effective presentation skills. But I must say that our main guide, Riccardo, was probably the best highlight of the tour for me. The entire trip went smoothly and we had a lot of fun throughout."

Patty

Parker, CO

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was first trip to Italy and my first Rick Steve's tour and certainly will not be my last. The tour itinerary was well balanced with enough time on your own, and Riccardo was outstanding, very humble and a wealth of knowledge. Sleeping accommodations and meals were superb. What an honor to be able to experience and see relics from centuries ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Italy and walking into the Vatican and St Mark's Basilica were my "wow" moments and meeting 23 wonderful people in our time together."

Judy

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour combining all the wonders of Italy. First, the food -- WOW! I loved the cooking class and the wine tasting. Second, it was so educational on many levels -- historical, art appreciation and geographical. The special tour guides, such as in Rome and Florence were amazing with their knowledge and delivery of information. Third, my fellow travelers added so much to the tour because of their interests and inclusiveness. As one of the "single" women, I never felt left out

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy's history was my history because of it's impact on the world for over 2000 years."

Cindy

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I FOUND THE TO BE A DELIGHTFUL TOUR. I HAD A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. WE HAD A GREAT GROUP OF PEOPLE AND A PHENOMINAL TOUR GUIDE. THE WAS PLENTY OF FREE TIME TO GO DO THINGS ON OUR OWN. THE TIMES WE SPENT WITH TOUR GUIDES WERE BOTH INFORMATIVE AND FUN. RICCARDO WAS A GREAT GUIDE FOR US. VERY HELPFUL. I WAS SO GLAD I CHOSE THE RICK STEVES TOUR. I FEEL LIKE I SEEN PLACES THAT I NEVER WOULD HAVE FOUND ON MY OWN. I NOW HAVE MADE LOT OF NEW FRIENDS THAT I HOPE TO TRAVEL WITH IN THE FUTURE. GREAT TRIP!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MY "WOW" MOMENT FROM THIS TRIP WAS SURPRISINGLY THE SAN CLEMINTINE CHURCH. EVERYTHING WAS PUT IN PROSPECTIVE WHEN OUR GUIDE EXPLAINED THE WAY ROME BUILDS ON TOP OF ITSELF AND GETTING TO GO DOWN THE DIFFERENT LEVELS BUILT FROM EARLIER CENTURIES. IT WAS GREAT!"

John

Parker, CO

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides were wonderful and very knowledgeable. There is just way too much to talk about. Each city was unique and extremely interesting. The history was awesome and the art work amazing. The only downside I can think of was that the food, at least to me was not what I expected. It was good but not anything to rave about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two and both primarily had to do with the guide we had. The church of San Clemente and all of the history stacked below it. The second was the coliseum. Our guide was just so enmeshed with the culture and history of Rome that it was so easy to put yourself in the early first century and move through time with the people of Rome. It was as close as you can come to actually living in the periods of history. Francesca our guide was just so awesome with her knowledge and passion."

Paul

Bristow, VA

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was more than I ever expected. The schedule was well planned and [INVALID]d. Our guide, Riccardo was very professional with a great sense of humor. The local guides were A++ and added so much understanding to the experience. The sleeping accommodations were very comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing all the artwork from the great Italian Masters. Seeing the Coliseum and Vatican was equally wow."

Francis

Madison, WI

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an outstanding tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. I can't say enough good things about this tour. The tour was a great learning experience as well as vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wish I could say just one "wow" moment but the entire tour was a "wow" moment. Our guide (Ricardo) our tour group, the guides, hotels, restaurants and the Italian people/culture were all "wow" moments for me. Ricardo has a wonderful sense of humor which made time spent with him even more enjoyable."

Jane

Bristow, VA

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Basilica of San Clemente."

Robert

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I took the tour for two reasons: 1. to get a feel for the local areas (I once woke up in a fine hotel in Nanjing and had to think what country I was in), and 2. for the something special in a locale you find on Rick's PBS programs (for example, a shop in the French country side where cheese was being made). The tour was very good on the feel for the locality and poor on the something special. There was no activity that I could not have arranged for myself. See #3.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were no "wow" moments. In Rick's Florence program there's a scene where students are working on art and another one where lunch in a private home overlooks the Medici gardens, I think. Nothing like these were on the tour. The closest thing to "wow" was Francesca's poetic presentation of classical Rome in the church, in the Coliseum and in the Forum. Too bad she didn't do the Vatican. She could have made that building sing."

Debra

Newbury, MA

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first visit to Italy and this tour greatly enhanced the experience I would have had if I traveled independently. The blend of group activities versus solo time was perfect for my needs. I greatly appreciated not having to pre-book tickets to museums and and being able to get in ahead of the crowds. The local guides, along with Daniela, shared their deep knowledge of the city and art which enriched my experience tremendously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone asks me this question.... and I don't have an answer. I was wowed in each city, I was wowed by the wine tasting, I was wowed by the cooking class, I was wowed by the art collections, and I was wowed by the warmth and friendliness of the local Italian I met along the way. Wow."

Melissa

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela is the best guide ever! She was knowledgeable, helpful, and humorous. We had a wonderful group of intelligent and personable travelers. Everything was so well organized; it was seamless, even though plans were changed due to a holiday and weather. November is the perfect time to visit Italy, since it's cooler and much less crowded than summer. The balance between group activities and personal time was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a wow for me, although I was particularly wowed by stepping out of the train station to see Venice for the first time."

Frank

Peterborough, NH

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As do most travelers, I had a preconceived idea of how "I would like my trip to be." My wish list created a level of expectation for the charm, history and sights in an environment I had never before visited. Long before my trip, I promised myself I would embrace the culture and enjoy the experience. This promise was easy to fulfill. Also, I had the great pleasure of sharing my experiences with a wonderful group of people whom I would not hesitate to travel with again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had numerous "wow" moments, however, for sheer excitement would put a taxi ride (from the front seat) across Rome at the top of the list. I think I understood the driver to say, "fasten seat belt and close eyes.""

Matthew

Newbury, MA

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All the guides were tremendous! Hotels were in a great location and very clean. Wonderful experience. Much more than I expected!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking several miles along the streets of Rome, something beautiful at every turn."

Linda

Sherman, TX

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, tour members and overall a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evening gondola ride in Venice, cooking class in Florence and all the outstanding art."

Dorothy

Mt Kisco, NY

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word: FANTASTIC. The sites to see were perfect, our tour guides, particularly Daniela, were terrific, the amount of free time given was just right, and the three fine hotels chosen were situated close to the places we wanted to visit. All our fellow tourists were enthusiastic and fun to be with. Not a grump in the crowd. And the food at the restaurants chosen were to die for. It was the trip of a life time. Can't wait for our next Rick Steves tour. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel is hard to beat, as is St. Peter's Basilica in Roma. Closely behind are the Baptistery Dome (we felt we were ascending into heaven), and the beautiful exterior of Santa Croce, both in Florence. Our WOW choice: the SISTINE CHAPEL."

Karen

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed seeing all three cities and learn a lot about them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sisteen Chapel and the wonderful paintings."

Mike

St Paul, MN

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides especially Daniela, great friendly group of fellow travelers, great meals, good hosts and hotels, and the sights were just outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican and Rome."

Kathleen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip - good balance of museum time and free. Superb local guides. Really enjoyed our cooking class and wine tasting lunch. Although, we have visited some of the sights before, I appreciate them so much more now with the additional information as well as seeing them again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing David WITHOUT the crowds was fantastic."

David

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since coming home I have been telling everybody that it was a trip of a lifetime and it truly was. I was very anxious about doing the group tour thing before hand because I had always traveled independently previously. But the balance between group time and free time was quite good, allowing my wife and I time to strike out on our own. Because of the excellence of our guides we just learned so much more about Italy, which allowed us to view everything with more depth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty and uniqueness of Venice. San Clemente. The visit to the vineyard in Umbria."

Dennis

Liverpool, NY

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Other than finding myself, at the end of each day, being sore of foot and tired- each city offered great and unique aspects of Italy. Tired though we were, there was never a dull moment and we routinely awoke each day looking forward to more. And due to Ben's diligence and that of the guides that he contacted for special circumstances in each city such as Elizabeta, Guiliana, Ludovica and Francesca it made what was a great trip even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably when Francesca and Ben took us to the church of San Climente in Rome. The sense of immersion into the ever-present archeological aspects of all life in Rome was brought to a head and enhanced."

Kelly

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had evaluated several options for this trip including other companies or doing the exploration ourselves. We settled on the PERFECT option! The Rick Steves' Tour gave us a perfect balance of organized and guided sessions while allowing enough time to do our own explorations armed with "insiders" knowledge of what to go and look for and discover on our own. I can't imagine having a better HOST than Ben. Ben was our friend and knowledgeable host for a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While on tour included Venice, Florence, and Rome, the "WOW" moment for me was seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence. Seeing it in books, even on television does not provide the size, dimension, and scale that you experience in person. Our "Host" Ben, purposely held us back from just charging forward to see the sculpture and that in itself allowed for a dramatic "wow" moment that I'll never forget!"

Maria L

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first trip to Europe and also our first Rick Steve's tour. We are quite impressed and had a wonderful experience that we are already thinking of when/where to take another tour with Rick Steves! The tour is well organized, well planned, very efficient, and surpassed our expectations. We got to do more things we probably would never accomplish if we tried to do it on our own. Even our bus trip (which we are dreading) from city to city went very smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the cooking class and the wine tasting. We should have more interactive activities like that."

Jay

Ocean Springs, MS

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best trips I've ever taken. Very well organized, with a thoughtful mix of organized activity and "free time". Would perhaps have liked an extra day in the 'middle location' (Florence in this case) for more self-guided exploration. Your pre-tour guide was right on that Venice was about wandering, Florence about food and art, and Rome about ... too much of everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many perfect moments to list: wandering Venice's maze of twisty streets and canal bridges at all hours, making Pasta in Florence, seeing "David" in person for the first time at the Florence Academy, or the incomparable neck stiffening thrill of entering the SIstine Chapel for the first time. But of all, my favorite for now (I'm sure it will change over time) is the tour of the Borghese Gallery. No human could have created "Apollo and Daphne". Stunning."

Susan

Monument Beach, MA

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved everything about this trip. My husband had been to these three cities in 1972 and had wanted me to see his three favorite places in Italy. I really wasn't looking forward to visiting old cities and looking at artwork, but I loved everything about the trip and have been missing Italy ever since we returned home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was saying "Wow" every time I turned a corner. Venice was lovely. Burano was so colorful. Florence was wonderful and to walk into the Accademia and see Michelangelo's David, just took my breath away. In Rome, I was so impressed by the Church of San Clemente and the ruins of an earlier church below the church and a pagan temple below the church. We were 30 feet underground! The Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Pantheon, more "Wow" moments."

Nathan

Nashville, TN

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an outstanding experience. Ben was an amazing guide and his patience, knowledge, and understanding was most appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the history of all that was seen and experiencing Italy firsthand with a great guide and tourgroup."

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun and interesting places to visit. Great tour guide. A nice balance of group time and time on our own. Local guides ranged from good to excellent. A very pleasant group to share the experiences with. Excellent food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were not exactly new, but special anyway. Visiting Michelangelo's "David" is special. And especially nice when the gallery is uncrowded. The story that goes with David contributes significantly also. Revisiting the Pantheon in the early evening was wonderful. It's one of my favorite things in the world, and getting to see it again was very fun."

David

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience was very good. The tour was well organized and run. The itinerary was appropriate. I liked the fact that there was time for optional tours or just relaxing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick a single "wow" moment, but I particularly enjoyed winery visit. The wine tasting event was educational and very enjoyable, but what made it a "wow" was the winery itself -- the setting, the history and the amazing vistas."

Susan

Athens, GA

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was wonderful! The group of people assembled (not that you have anything to do with that) was terrific and so inclusive. Everyone got along great. That esprit de corps was spurred on by our wonderful leader, Patricia. The local guides in Venice were the best on the tour. They brought Venice to life for all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment of the tour was at the U.S. cemetery outside of Florence. It was an unplanned surprise. As the child of a WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran,it was beautiful and humbling. My second wow moment was in Florence. I had been there on business but never spent the time to see anything or walk around. It's such a beautiful city...very compact and manageable. It was just beautiful. I would go back in a minute. I just loved the vibe there."

Phillip

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an excellent time on the tour, and would highly recommend this trip (and Rick Steves' tours in general) to my friends and family. Patricia was an amazing guide, really going out of her way to help us even after the planned activity times -- with dinner and shopping suggestions, directions, and general assistance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest "wow" moment was walking into St. Peter's Basilica - and taking in the sheer size, detail, history and grandeur of the building. The entire trip was full of those moments though – the Grand Canal in Venice, the view from the hotel in Florence – even the amazing flavors of gelato were memorable."

Nadina

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour overall was wonderful! We saw so many things we wouldn't have thought to see on our own. The time we saved not waiting in line was invaluable. We loved the free time to explore and really take in each city. The structured time was well organized and efficient. The other tour members were such nice and easy going people that even with a sizable age gap in the group we all got along wonderfully. I really can't say enough good things about the tour in general.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definately Venice. The city itself is so neat! St. Mark's Basilica was breathtaking and the Gondola ride was more than expected."

George

Bothell, WA

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A few years ago the family took the week in Paris tour. I expected much the same but was impressed more than once with the unexpected little touches that made this trip satisfying. The overall elements, from hotels, to bus trips between cities, the dining experiences, the lectures ,the wine tasting experience, and helpfulness with myself and the others involved by the guides for the mundane travel things changed the 'sameness' into a fundamentally rewarding journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If the energy of the guide, Patricia, or the explanatory lectures at the various venues especially the latter one in Rome with the Basilica of San Clemente, or the liter of wine my wife ordered by mistake, or the mother coming to greet her guests at the wine tasting event, or the mass of people at the vatican, or the 4 hours of wandering Venice pretour to find the hotel (and I knew exactly where we were), or the woman who told us of many places to visit in Florence; satisfying moments, not Wow."

Gloria

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime for me! I loved seeing Venice (especially), Florence and Rome. Loved Patricia! She was funny and calm and kind. It was great to walk past a lot of lines into the museums and the places and get right in. I loved having the free time we had also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many -- but I will never forget the gondola ride, seeing the David, the Colluseum, St. Peter's Square, sitting on the top terrace of our hotel in Florence seeing the Duoma, riding the vaporetta for a day..."

Steven

Bowie, MD

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the time we signed up to the end of our tour Rick Steves provided a first class experience. Extensive pre-tour contact put our mind at ease about the details. Attention to detail from moment one in Venice by Patricia made it easy to enjoy the incredible experience of Italy. First class local guides brought it alive. Simply could not have asked for better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No way to limit myself to one. - Looking up at "David" - Cooking lunch in Florence - Sitting on our rooftop terrace in Florence enjoying a drink - The simple beauty of Burano - St. Peter's Basilica - Our local guide bringing the Roman Forum alive"

Joyce

Heath, TX

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with the guides and the information they shared in such a beautiful way. We walked through the streets and were taken back in time with their descriptions. I toured the museums with a whole new understanding guided by their unending knowledge. The hotels we stayed in were all very clean and comfortable and located in areas near great sites and made it easy to venture out alone. The sites we visited were very interesting and some locations were an unexpected treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the canal early in the morning and watching the sunset riding in the gondola in Venice were WOW moments. Seeing the view at the winery was amazing! Walking around the Coliseum and the forum were fantastic times! Though I was so exhausted I loved walking through Rome at night with the lights of the Vatican glowing."

Margaret

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Except for difficulty finding the hotel in Venice, all of the tour particulars went very smoothly. It was great having transportation, breakfasts and many dinners arranged by the agency so that we could focus on seeing, learning and enjoying all the art and historical sites in each of the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Santa Croce church was amazing with the sun sparkling off of the white building. It took my breath away when I first saw it."

Carolyn

Duncanville, TX

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome trip of a lifetime! The overall experience was even much more than expected. Felt like it was the perfect blend of group time versus alone time and will definitely consider another tour in the future. Felt as though each hour of the trip was used wisely and we saw the best sights at just the right time......if possible when they were the least crowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The church in Rome that had 3 layers of history underneath it. Loved that this was a "surprise" just when we were all thinking "not one more church" . Also loved seeing Michaelangelo's David up close...So many...it is hard to isolate just one."

Taylor

Asheville, NC

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was wonderful! The hotels were nice and in great locations in the middle of cities, the amount of sights we saw was amazing and our guide, Patricia, along with the locals guides were great and really made the experience more meaningful with their knowledge. It was a great group of people and we couldn't have had a better guide. I saw a lot more than I thought and the tour ran very smoothly, I had a great time and would recommend a Rick Steve's tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many on the trip, my favorite was visiting Vatican City with the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica was my favorite single site form the tour. Actually being there and experiencing it was an experience I will never forget."

Boyd

Duncanville, TX

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nearly every aspect of the trip was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure there was one such moment, as there were many. I can't say that one stood out about the others that much."

Steve

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steve's tour. We will be back. Hard to say what our favorite part was. Everything was great. Patricia and Heather were a great team. The weather was great the whole trip. All the logistics came together perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Clement's in Rome. Seeing the "vertical" history of that area of Rome was really eye opening."

Alice

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Perhaps the only thing wrong, for me anyway, was the amount of walking. I t was one of the most strenuous tours that I have ever been on and at 77, probably shold have investigated it a little more deeply. Not the amount of walking, but over cobblestone streets and uneven slate,had to watch your footing. the three little men code is a little deceiving , since you're not walking ove smooth concrete sidewalks. The guided tours were informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably between the beautiful drive up in the hills of Tuscany to get to the wine tasting and the wine tasting, itself. She had a tremendous spread of woderful italian food and it was a great thing"

Ann

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This provided exactly I hoped from the tour of these three key Italian cities: indepth history when appropriate, as well as a guide to see the very best of the art galleries and not drown in everything. We have traveled for years on our own, always basing our trips on Rick's guidebooks, with exception of Norway where we have lived in the past. This was the first time we have been on a tour and not only did we not "flunk" group tours but made some good friends and relationships with the others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the winery that our guide and her family owned in Orvieto and seeing the old wine tunnels, some of which dated back to the Romans and Etruscans! Second would be St. Cecelia and seeing the Roman and Etruscan base structures."

Candace

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized yet flexible. We learned so much about each city, about Italy, and about our history! Each day was a new adventure. The balance between scheduled "adventures" and our free time adventures was perfect. Karin, our guide, is a wealth of knowledge and a real "people person". We always felt well taken care of. It was her last tour of the season but you would never know it. She was energetic, upbeat, and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow!, these cities really exist!" I've seen and heard about them many times but to actually be there, talk to the people, experience a little of their lives, walk on those cobblestones, and get lost in their alleyways was incredible. Aside from that, I loved seeing David at the Uffizi Gallery. There is so much life in what could have been just a stone statue. Michelangelo was brilliant!"

Marion

Live Oak, FL

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Karin invited us to join her to see the Pope and be blessed by him. (Our tour was over at breakfast, so to lead a group us to see Pope Francis was beyond her obligations to the tour members.) Seeing the pope and hearing him speak was our last stop on the tour. This was the ultimate WOW moment. This trip more than met my expectations. Italy is a beautiful, fascinating country. Our tour experience made it possible to see, and appreciate this country's history and people."

Patti

Port Orchard, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonder tour with an educated, informed, warm, and caring guide...who saw to our every need. I am gluten intolerant and Karin quietly and efficiently saw that I was always taken care of. The members of our tour group were wonderful and fun loving. We are currently emailing each other to see if and when we might plan to tour again with Rick Steve's, perhaps taking the same tour with each other. We learned and saw much!!! We will positively choose Rick Steve's for our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was an unexpected wooden crucifix sculpture by Michelangelo. It was in a small church and accomplished when he was only 17. I never would have discovered it if we hadn't been on a tour."

Peter

Chattaroy, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour group was very amiable and the the experience very enjoyable. The days were nicely split between organized events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the church of San Clemente in Rome and exploring the levels beneath the church. The ancient church and beneath that the Roman homes. That made the tour of the excavations around the Coliseum much more meaningful."

Jane

Calgary, AB

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful and Karin an excellent guide. Beyond execution of logistics and an obvious understanding of the history, culture and language of Italy, she had a gift of bringing the rich history of Italy alive. I liked that she "set up" the places we were to see so that we were able to take the most from each site we visited. Her love and respect for the people of Italy was obvious and evident. I liked that she very gently coached us on how to be good tourists in their country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Saint Clemente Monestary"

Anne

Springfield, IL

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am not a 'tour' person . . .that being said, I will book another Rick Steves' tour as soon as I have the money saved. The tour is well balanced, guided site/museum tours followed with personal time to explore. Our guide Karin was amazing, every local guide, every transfer every meal together, each piece of the trip came together for an amazing experience filled with wonderful memories. I'm recommending the Rick Steves' tours to everyone! Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, the view from the top of the bell tower in Venice, walking into the glow of St. Mark's Bascillia, seeing David, St. Peter's Square at sunset, the enormous size of St. Peter's Bascillia I could go on and on. My memorable "WOW" moments were found with our guide in Rome, Francesca. Through her knowledge and inrepretation she provided insights above and beoynd facts and figures. I left with much to think about and a deeper understanding of history."

Jessica

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was absolutely wonderful. It was my first time to Italy and it couldn't have gone better. The way everything was handled and taken care of was just amazing. Colleen was a wonderful tour guide and was always on top of her game and making sure we were where we needed to be at the right time. It was very nice to not have to worry about getting ticket to anything or figuring out the scheduling ourselves. It was a very stress free experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite Wow moment was walking into St. Peter's. It was just absolutely incredible and the feeling you got when walking in there was beyond anything you could describe. The history, the beauty, the ornateness of the decorations was just out of this world."

Kelley

Constantia, NY

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized lots of fun. The combination of escorted, planned activities with free time was great. Our RS and local tour guides were knowledgeable, friendly and fun. I will plan to go back to Europe and will definitely go on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the art and architecture in each city. St Mark's and St Peter's Basilicas were absolutely amazing."

KiKi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and the guides made it as fun as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""The" David"

Fred

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The mix of your guide and the local guides was excellent because the locals did have a unique perspective regarding their city, museum or the site we were visiting. The hotels of course were in great locations for walking to the sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no special moment they were all WOW."

Benjamin

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had been dreaming about this trip for over ten years and I am happy to say that it was everything we hoped it would be and more. We debated whether or not to choose a guided tour for our first trip to Europe but we are so happy that we did! Between the expertise of the guides, the carefully planned itinerary, and the hotel choices, we are confident that we had a much richer experience than we would have had on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were really too many great moments to choose a single favorite but walking into Saint Mark's basilica in Venice was a powerful and overwhelming experience for me."

Margaret

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour travel experience. What a difference. Having a professional guide prevented major disappointments (potentially missing seeing Michelangelo's David because of a work action) and minimized our time standing in line. I learned so much more about the country, food, language, history and art than I had on my previous visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's "unfinished" sculptures in Florence, especially the heart-breaking Pieta. Riccardo was eloquent in guiding us through the gallery and sensitive to letting us experience these masterpieces on our own terms. He answered questions expertly. I also really enjoyed the cooking class."

Shaun

Xenia, OH

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ricardo was wonderful and did a great job with the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each city had a wow factor."

Ruth Ann

Orlando, FL

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The activities were well chosen, and the schedule had a nice balance between sightseeing and free time. i enjoyed the cooking class and the wine tasting - both interesting interludes. We stayed in interesting parts of town and in hotels that reflected the culture.

Joan

Fountain Valley, CA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am 78 and it was a wonderful experience. I worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, but it was possible and all the amazing history I was seeing just seemed to give me energy for each day. I felt safe in the crowds as everyone on our tour were looking out for each other. We had beautiful weather too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending Mass in this beautiful Baroque Church and there were only 10 people there. Also many beautiful countrysides took your breath away. There were many WOW moments."

Jill

Jacksonville, OR

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything. The tour guide, Ricardo, was so much fun and entertaining. I loved the fact that you provided "experts" in each town to explain the many facts and interest points related to each attraction. The fact that we did not have to wait in line for tickets was worth every penny!! I especially enjoyed the tour dinners in each city. All of our tour members were awesome, and we had a great time getting to know each other. I loved the walking...yes, I did. I ate everything and lost 1 #,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David. He was amazing!! All of the attractions, museums, paintings, especially the Vatican and the Colosseum were all WOW moments for me. The whole trip was a WOW moment! I really enjoyed the cooking class and the lunch with our group...that was especially fun. The winery was also a great attraction."

Jeffrey

Clarkesville, GA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, great experiences, wonderful food, and time to relax. Wonderful life experience and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum in Rome."

Mark

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour I have been on...better than I expected, and I got so much more out of it than if I tried to do it on my own. Riccardo was an amazing guide and mentor. Group was very congenial. Right amount of tour and on your own time. Would do another tour without doubt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Torcello Island...maybe because it was such a break from the crowds and a more natural setting. Would have preferred more time there. I am a birdwatcher, and I heard two pheasants...made my day. I know...not exactly a wow moment for most, but just what I needed."

Jane

Highland, IN

Tour: 10/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Riccardo, our tour guide was fabulous! The daily agenda was sometimes intense, but well worth the effort for all we got to do and see! The people on the tour were great! I enjoyed the entire itinerary of the trip although my feet sometimes told me otherwise! YOu allowed me to experience Italy! I loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the church where Michelangelo used to work on corpses. Also, the visiting the church( forgot the name at present) to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Macchiaveli, and Galileo . Standing in the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and viewing Michelangelo's "David". Walking tours of Venice, Florence, and Rome. Touring the Accademia."

Mary

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our lead guide, Sarah, was amazing. Her support, Amy - the same. The local guides in each city made the art come alive, the magnitude of the history real and every one had a unique style and sense of humor. I liked the early morning planned activities and plenty of "free" time each day as well. Because Sarah and the local guides had intimate knowledge and experience, any suggestions they had (restaurants, tips/tricks, etc.) were spot on! The pace was perfect for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite planned activity was our group cooking class in Florence! What fun. A unique personal experience for my husband and me were the church bells' symphony early Sunday morning while roaming the narrow walkways ways in Venice (probably lost!)."

Scott

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves is the only way to go. The mixture of scheduled tours and free time is perfect. Stress free travel and touring at it's finest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning the background on the art and architecture was an unexpected bonus. You can look at a painting or sculpture but when you learn about the nuances and background of the piece it comes alive!"

Jane

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A really nice tour. Venice was more than expected and Florence and Rome were wonderful. Also a good group and great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night time gondola ride in Venice was incredible. The cooking class in Florence was really fun and delicious . San Clemente church in Rome that takes you to the first century. Amazing."

James

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

had a wonderful time, activities (planned and unplanned) were informative, eye-opening, tour group full of great people, guides were excellent, our group leader Sarah was extremely helpful and caring, all 3 cities were fascinating (both from the usual touring spots and just observing everything around you)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two - the cooking class in Florence, which was actually a lot of fun, and delicious. The school cooks really made the class very enjoyable, with both their knowledge and a great sense of humor. Secondly, and no less of a "wow", was the winery experience in Orvietto because our tour guide was a fascinating speaker and the wines were excellent. In fact, for the overall tour, I've never had so much wine and Proseco. I brought back 3 bottles."

Geraldine

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience far surpassed my expectations. It was well organized, and no surprises. (that was a good thing). Everything went smoothly and was thoroughly enjoyable. Our tour guide, Sarah and her assistant, Amy were wonderful. I couldn't have asked for nicer, more knowledgeable people. The locations of the hotels were great, easy access to everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having never traveled to Europe before, I can say my "wow" moment was when my husband and I were on the evaporetto in Venice on the way to our hotel, (the directions were great by the way)and we turned onto the Grand Canal. I couldn't believe my eyes. What a sight...all the different types of water transportation, including the gondolas, the buildings all around and the bridges crossing the canal. Truly a sight to see. It was very exciting to see."

James

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was an amazing visit to some of the most spectacular sights in Italy. Sarah was a warm, outgoing, and knowledgeable leader-we liked her immediately. The same for her assistant, Amy. We also liked the individual guides in the three cities. We liked how the tour was organized: about 30 to 50% on our own. The Rick Steves tour book was a good resource to help us decide how to fill this time. We could not have picked a better group of traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was the highlight of the trip. To see the decaying grandeur of this city from all angles was special. Every day had its "wow" moment. The location of the hotel made it easy to see everything. The evening gondola ride is an experience we will always remember. The Colosseum was also spectacular as was the Vatican Museum with its curved ceilings with gold-framed paintings (frescos)."

Mary

Oshkosh, WI

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was wonderful. The tour was very well planned and executed. There were a few snags but out guide moved through them without a hiccup. It was wonderful that Rick pays his guides so well and that there was not tipping! I learned so much about Italy and It's history that I would very much like to take another Rick Steves tour in Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelos "prisoners". Those statues are very dramatic and have and eerie quality. We arrived in Florence around 2pm and after settling in to our hotel, met for our appointment to see "The David". The appointment was for 5pm and as we arrived at the museum, there was a queue that stretched all along the block. No waiting for us! We had a personal guide and a reservation to enter! What a great experience!"

Lisa

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to admit that I was very nervous about taking this trip - I'd never been out of the country, nor been on an organized tour. Turns out, I had nothing to fear; the tour was active but done at a perfect pace. I don't know that I'll ever be able to go into a museum without a guide again .. it was great hearing the history/back story to each piece. Sarah and Amy were fantastic! They were informative, friendly and focused on providing the best tour possible - they succeeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the "wow" moment happened multiple times but my favorite one was getting to the top of the Boboli Gardens and seeing the Tuscan view. I don't know what I was expecting - but apparently this wasn't it because, it was literally breathtaking."

Stephen

Northfield, MA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip abroad in many years and our first tour ever. We felt well taken care of and in good hands at all times with Sarah and Amy. Having everything taken care of except for free time was a great experience. Venice, Florence and Rome have so much to see, having the highlights arranged for our experience was freeing, because you didn't feel like you missed anything truly important if your feet hurt and you just wanted to sit with a glass of wine and people watch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Venice and traveling up the Grand Canal was breathtaking. A boat just for a group tour should be added to the itinerary. The cooking class in Florence and the wine experience in Orvietto were very special and memorable."

Kathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We covered a lot of ground in 10 days and the majority of the tour was outstanding. Sara was very informative & was able to assist with suggestions for "free time".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class! I was not sure if I really wanted to spend the time cooking & not seeing another"site"...well, I loved every minute of it! The chef Alessandro was funny, knowledgeable & efficient and we had the BEST lunch prepared by us!!"

Martha

Northfield, MA

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have not traveled to Europe in many years and never to a country where English was not the major language spoken. We have never been on a tour either. Our experience was wonderful, our guides wonderful. The whole experience fodder for many years of memories having felt very comfortable with all the highlights already arranged. Our group of fellow travelers were friendly, personable, interesting and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure one stands out. Arriving in Venice down the Grand Canal, realizing WE REALLY ARE IN VENICE! The cooking class in Florence, the wine tasting with Cecilia and enjoying that "to die for" view of Orvietto. The art, the churches, topping it all off with St. Peter's. All WOWS!"

Martha

Niskayuna, NY

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfetto! Our tour was everything that we had hoped for and more. Our guide Sarah was exceptional. She was engaging, well-organized, informative and warm. We would love to have her as a guide on a future tour. Every one of the local guides were exceptional. We learned so much from them. The sequence and balance of the activities on the tour provided us with a variety of wonderful experiences that showcased the country of Italy and its culture. We will do another RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday held many "Wow" moments. Our first one was in our hotel room in Venice where we overlooked a small canal. We were preparing to go out when we heard a gondola going by our window with an accordion player playing Con Te Partiro. Couldn't get to the window fast enough. In addition to the wonderful cultural attractions, we loved the cooking lesson and lunch in Florence and the visit to Cecilia's family's winery. Incredibly memorable!"

Steven

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The knowledge and insights we gained from both our guide and the local guides was amazing. If we had just copied this Rick Steves tour on our own, without having the talks from the guides, it would have been very boring to those of us with little appreciation or background in art, and also the history of the region. The hotels were great. The only negatives were some trouble hearing with the headsets from time to time, and the dinner location in Rome was not very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first time we walked up to the Colosseum was amazing. As an engineer, just thinking about the design and work that must have gone into it without modern technology is awe inspiring. Others, we loved Burano, the gondola ride, trying to get lost in Venice, climbing the Duomo and making our own lunch in Florence, plus walking through the Roman Forum and visiting Ostia Antica in our free time."

Paula

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was fascinating. From the moment we stepped off the plane in Venice, we were entranced with the experience. The materials sent in advance of the trip were so helpful. We had read numerous books and knew what to expect every step of the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal favorite moment was the cooking class. Everyone seemed to have so much fun. It was a bonding experience for all of us. Seeing my husband working the pasta dough and being so proud of our accomplishments was so much fun."

Catherine

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great educational tour. It gave meaning and depth and perspective to the cities we toured. I appreciated having local guides that were experts in their particular city/museum. Julian was a great director of this experience. he seamlessly got us where we needed to be. I saw the tourist highlights with new eyes and appreciated more history than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto was a 'wow' moment. To see the hill top town from the vineyard was a delightful surprise. Michaelangelo's wooden Christ in Florence seems to be the image that made the deepest impression."

Mike

Ramona, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw many historical sites unfortunately we were given limited time to view the sites and the crowds were so large that it was like herding cattle. I had more satisfaction in seeing sites during our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David and Pieta sculptures and the Sistine Chapel."

Jerrold

Emerald Hills, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We feel that having a professional guides (Julian) etc. showing us and telling us about sites and art we would have not understood about 90% of what we saw. Being able to get into sites quickly was great and we meet some outstanding people on our tour. We are definetely saving to do another tour with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say all was a wow factor but i think seeing acient Rome blew me away at its size."

Michael

Watertown, MA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized and executed. Julian is very knowledgeable and efficient. Outstanding local guides in each of the three cities. Very good accommodations, transportation, meals and local tours. I learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How impressed I was by Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." The colors and treatment are astounding. It looks like it was finished this morning."

Andrew

Orinda, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned and well-run by Julian, the guide. The selection of sites and museums was good, although some of the afternoons were long, with too little time to relax and prepare for the evening meal or walking. The free afternoons and evenings were a good feature, when we were able to explore aspects of these remarkable cities or to nap and recover from walking, cathedral overload and from eating too well. We appreciated the tips and written directions provided by Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Come on, these are great places. The cleaned-up Sistine Chapel was striking. Unexpected highlights included the lunch at the winery in Orvieto and the free night meal we had at the Hotel Lancelot in Rome. For 25 Euros we got a multi-course meal with wine. It was one of the best meals we had. The cooking class in Florence was fun, and the food was also great. We enjoyed admiring and climbing Brunelleschi's dome in Florence, hearing its background and seeing his other churches."

Kristine

Orinda, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was both a great value and a great experience. The pace was perfect: lots of "curated" time in museums, etc. along with enough time to wander or rest as we pleased. Julian was an incredible guide: so knowledgeable, unflappable, and ready to provide the directions we needed. for a first trip to Venice, florence and Rome, this was just the right amount of time - and I appreciated the ability to get away from the group at times, so explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class in Florence - I was anticipating something much less "hands-on" - but we really did do most of the prep and cooking. I was also concerned about how the different genders would react, but everyone had a blast - and the payoff in the lunch we had was unbelievable! Besides, I also learned quite a bit about making pasta - it was actually a practical cooking class!"

Joanna

New York, NY

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just like every city visited in this tour, this trip exceeded all expectations. I have always planned my own trips and organized the itinerary to the minutia and really wanted to let that go for this trip. Although I did that to some extent for this tour's free time, I really was truly impressed by how very much was done for us, how incredible our guide was and all the wonderful tour members. It was a trifecta for an amazing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to just peg it down to one -so many and in each of the cities. The surreal beauty of Venice, the incredible grandeur of San Marco's plaza, The glorious fresh produce and fish at the Rialto Market, the first place I visited the morning I was in Venice. The technicolor beauty of Burano's homes, stunning and quaint at the same time. The electricity of Florence, viewing David, the beauty of Il Duomo, the stunning Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel."

Robert

Glens Falls, NY

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I went on the tour for a vacation and to celebrate 25 years of marriage. While I have been to Italy multiple times with work - this was my first visit as tourist. Familiarity with Italy and the great food and culture put the expectations pretty high for me and I am happy to say that the overall experience exceeded my expectations. Rick Steves' Europe has it all figured out. We had a great group of people on the tour and had a fantastic tour guide, everything was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many highlights on the trip that should be mentioned: riding boat taxis in Venice, spending a great day in Murano and eating lunch at the base of the tower/lighthouse looking at the water, the group gondola ride, getting to know people on the tour, the gelato places, all of the churches and museums, seeing the painted houses on the island, just walking the streets of Florence (and not getting lost), and Rome was amazing. Favorite wow moment was seeing the Sistine chapel."

Rex

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice at night, riding on a gondola. Our guide arranged for music which caused windows to open in the houses we passed."

Deanna

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip exceeded my expectations. The extra experiences outside of just touring the famous sights, such as the visit to the winery and the cooking class, were especially fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though it is a very touristy thing to do, the moonlight gondola ride in Venice is my favorite memory."

Alma

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was truly an amazing trip for us. We were so happy with what we saw and if not on a tour, we would of never seen as much. We really liked not having to wait in the long lines. That alone saved so much time. This trip was a lot of things for us. A honeymoon we never took and added in birthdays, anniversaries, etc. The trip was wonderful from beginning to end. We would recommend Rich Steve's tours to anyone. I am trying to talk my brother into going on one next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip had so many "wow" moments for us. I guess if I had to pick one, it would be Vatican City. This is a lot with my being Catholic, it was extra special to be there. Our going to Italy was my last thing on my bucket list. I have wanted to go since I was really young, and with your tour, I finally made it. I bought back a number of rosaries for family members and the look on their faces when they got them was priceless."

Gail

Glens Falls, NY

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip.We saw and learned so much and the food was fantastic !Just the right balance between free time and structured time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't decide on one wow moment My top three "wow" moments :seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence,the cooking class in Florence , and touring the winery.."

Tracy

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time!! Julian was so knowledgeable. He made things come alive with his description. We are not catholic or art history majors. With out him it would have just been another picture of Mary and Baby Jesus, and one more church. My only disappointment is we didn't get to hear the end of Julian's world war II story. We arrived at our next stop too soon. :-)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a WOW around every corner! I think the Colosseum in Roma was the most wow for me."

Sandra

Carson City, NV

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous trip! Enjoyed every minute. I felt that if I had not done any side attractions or trips, the tour covered substantial sites in the three cities we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments, but two highlights were my side trip to Lucca (because of family history) and the Colosseum in Rome."

Carole

Cornelia, GA

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It could not have been better: the size of the tour allowed the group to get to know one another and we all enjoyed each other's company, and have been able to share photos since. Rozanne is the best! Walking allowed us to see the cities at a vantage point that would have been impossible any other way. The museums and the guides that we had were amazing and I learned so much from them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among many were seeing Michelangelo's David for the first time, St. Peter's and the Vatican, the Pantheon and the Coliseum."

David

Belleville, ON

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on an organized tour...we have usually toured on our own, so we were not sure how this was going to go. Everyone was great. Very happy with all. We would not hesitate to go on another Tour. Have been conversing with some of the tour group through email and sharing photos. I would say we have made some friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way too many "Wows". I suppose if I had to choose, the winery in Orvietto was a nice diversion from the hectic city touring. Great wine, food and scenery. Second on my list was the Cooking Class in Florence. I was not looking forward to this. Have a history in "Purchasing" with Four Seasons Hotels, part of my training was spending a week in the Kitchen. The Executive Chef took great pleasure in riding me :). The Chef in Florence was super and we are looking forward to duplicating the recipes."

Charles

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip of a lifetime! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The group got along really well, we visited many interesting places, I learned a lot about Italy's culture and history, tried new foods, and toured beautiful buildings. Rozanne was an excellent guide who as knowledgeable, patient, and helpful. The hotels we stayed at were nice, the group dinners were delicious, and I loved the small size of the group. I also liked how we didn't spend too much time traveling between cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Pitti Palace grounds in Flornece with a group from the tour. The views of the city were beautiful, the gardens were nice, and we got to walk a lot around the city and explore on our own."

Julie

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing 10 days! It was the perfect combination of guided tours and exploring on our own. From the moment our feet hit the ground to when we fell into bed at night, we absorbed the culture, the sights, the sounds, the food, the beauty of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments it's hard to choose but I think one that stands out is our venture to the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome. Thought provoking and somber, stark but beautiful. What made it more "wow" to us was the fact we had learned from of our amazing guide Rozanne, how to navigate the Metro and the chaotic bus lines to get around Rome on our own. We had the confidence to go anywhere so off we went!"

Jay

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was fantastic. Our tour guide Rozanne was by far the best guide we ever encountered. She made the trip so personal by keeping us informed and her personality was infectious. She is a special kind of person perfectly suited for the job. The tour was planned perfectly, with more than enough time for the scheduled stops as well as personal time. I would and will highly recommend this tour to others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides Venice, which I loved, the stop at the La Velleta winery was spectacular. The scenery, the wine, and the host made it very personal and special."

Maureen

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an awesome experience. We made friends and visited all of the major sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking class in Florence. We had the most wonderful time first making dinner and then enjoying it with our new best friends."

Sam

North Canton, OH

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than I expected. It was very well organized. All logistical aspects were handled flawlessly. The itinerary included the major attractions, while leaving adequate free time for individual interests. Our tour guide was the ultimate professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican - The Sistene Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica"

Candace

Matthews, NC

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour of any kind, and I could not ask for a better experience. I was surprised to learn that our Rick Steves guide Rozanne, as well as all of the local guides have advanced degrees in art history or theology. The various hotel staffs were very friendly and helpful, even when I tried to use my US hairdryer and blew a fuse! My fellow tour members were fabulous, we looked out for each other and became a family in a short amount of time, and everyone followed the no grump policy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was filled with wow moments including the gondola ride and Vivaldi concert in Venice, climbing the Duomo in Florence, and climbing the Holy Stairs and of course the Vatican in Rome."

Louise

Portland, ME

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was beyond anything. The first night at dinner we all became friends and by the last supper we were family.Rozanne is an awesome guide, very knowledgeable and if there was something she did not know she researched it and got back to us. Her personality is great for a guide and you are so lucky to have her with your company.The Art,Architecture and History was wonderful. All of the places we were shown I have read about & seen in books but to see them for real was breathtaking.Thank you Ric

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To realize just how big the statue of David really is. How it was carved and shaped out of one piece of Marble. The time it took, the care in transporting the marble. Just unbelievable!"

Jerry

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience. I came away with a better sense of Italian culture, Italian history, the Renaissance and Rome as well as eating a lot of great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going down to the Alilaguna boat dock, and then disembarking and walking through Venice to our hotel."

Genevieve

Nyack, NY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liked have the group tours in the morning as they set the stage for exploration in the afternoon and evening. Liked using the public transportation as in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How much water there really is in Venice !!!!"

Madalyn

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, all important sights included, knowledgeable and enthusiastic native guides, great accommodations near center of city and Rick was a wonderful guide/traveling companion!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first time I saw the Grand Canal in Venice!"

Richard

West Hollywood, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic from beginning to end. Every step of the tour was incredible. We didn't even mind the (small bit of) rain we encountered. Most of the weather was perfect. We very much enjoyed the group we were in. They were a fun bunch of to travel with. I look forward to taking another Rick Steves tour this coming year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were SEVERAL--my favorite WOW was arriving in Venice on the Grand Canal."

Gail

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For years several friends kept saying you need to go on a Rick Steve's tour. It's just you style. All of this contributed to very high expectations. The tour was everything my friends said it would be. I especially enjoyed the knowledgeable guides and the balance between time with the group and time on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The one that was the most surprising was the cooking school. I'm not a cook and yet I enjoyed the lesson and the added benefit of consuming what we cooked."

Seantel

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized with very knowledgeable guides. Accommodations added to the experience of Italy. Good balance of organized time with group and independent time to explore and experience the sites. The group was a great match and got along well - This was our biggest concern.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel for the beauty and intensity of the art. It was very moving. Being able to see the layers of civilization in Rome was amazing."

Douglas

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was amazing, we had a phenomenal guide with Rick and a tremendous group of fellow travelers. There was not a downside on any leg of the tour. I was very impressed with the organization and structure exhibited throughout. The format of gathering expert guides for each of the cultural or historical tours was perfect. After our wine country excursion for a few hours in Umbria I wish we could have traded one night in Florence for a stay over at the winery as time was short.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Far and away the most wow moment for me was the day we toured Rome with our guide. She was not only very educated regarding the sites we were viewing, she had a great way of connecting the sites and history to the individuals. It was this type of touring that made the most impact to me."

Tonya

Twentynine Palms, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! I loved the location of all the hotels! The travel guides were so knowledgeable. Rick was awesome! Truly enjoyed everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I has two...the first was right off the bus and riding in the vaperrato on Grand Canal. It was amazing to see! The second was in Rome at the Vatican. It was truly a moment I will meet forget. It was so moving!"

Larry

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour with a great guide. The local guides were outstanding also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments:Michelangelo's David, the Ufezi, Venice, the Sistine Chapel, the Ovierto winery, fireworks from the Vatican."

Bonnie

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The one thing I have taken from this trip is the difference between being a traveler and a tourist. I appreciate the "through the back donor experience" and as long as I am healthy, I hope to travel this way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to speak of but I would have to say David and the Vatican. Also, had a blast with the cooking lesson. Such fun."

Steven

El Paso, TX

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am grateful I finally made it to Italy and I am happy I went with a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was standing at the lowest level of St. Clements church and realizing I am standing centuries below the present time."

Amy Jo

Erie, CO

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my first trip to Italy and I had a wonderful time. Ben, our tour guide was so knowledgable and made it so fun. Absolutely loved the cooking class in Florence and the vineyard Tenuta Le Velette.. The group dinners were at wonderful restaurants with amazing food. It's nice that the tour takes care of all the reservations, tickets and transportation. Can't wait to take my husband on a Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick my favorite WOW moment. There are so many. If I have to pick one it would have to be "David" in Florence."

Margaret

Dania Beach, FL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

never having been on a tour before I found it to be a little more than I would have wanted. Having said that, I did enjoy so much of it. Our tour guide Ben was exceptional. One of the first things he said to us at our orientation was "if it's not to your liking, change your liking." I used that little saying to get me through the rough spots. The people in our tour were so nice and we enjoyed getting to know one another. All in all it was a great experience and I'm glad I did it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Italy was a "wow" moment in itself. However, I loved exploring the island of Burano and The winery was also a great experience. Our cooking class was also something I really enjoyed. What I learned from the tour was what I liked to do on a vacation and what I'm not interested in."

Frank

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations. Despite living in Germany for five years, we never had the opportunity to visit Italy. For our first trip, we wanted maximum time seeing sites, and did not want to worry about in-country transportation, lodging reservations, and other logistics. Optimum amount of time seeing the fundamental sites with personal time in each city to see our additional "hit list".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably had ten "wow" moments; but the top three for me: (1) St. Clement's (San Clemente) in Rome seeing three levels/eras of history and archeology! (2) St. Peter's Basilica at 7 in the morning (3) David at the Academia in Florence. The art is tremendous and we are still processing what we saw in all three cities, especially Florence. The approach to Venice for the first time on a water bus was mystical. The art and beauty of churches are indescribable..."

Denise

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben was our tour guide and he definitely made the trip of a lifetime. He was great with his first night walking tours to get to know each city. I also loved that we got the local guides who knew so much about their art and architecture. The out of the ordinary cooking class and wine tasting gave another insight into the Italian culture. The itinerary said strenuous for most days which was very true , but everyone in our group came prepared that way and kept up.Free time was great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy is not a country of only one "wow". I was oversees by the Vatican but St. Clements Church in Rome dumbfounded me the most. The ability to walk down 2 stories to the first church and then on down to a Roman town's remains was AMAZING! I recount it to all my friends at home and they are equally astounded."

Shirley

El Paso, TX

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in many ways, even though I've toured with Rick Steves tours before. Ben kept us wonderfully organized and was great fun to be with and the other people on our tour were delightful travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many "wow" moments on this trip, my favorite was the vineyard. I did not expect to be able to spend time in the countryside during this trip so for me it was a wonderful surprise. The estate is in a gorgeous location and for me it felt like going home."

John

Agoura Hills, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. Your overall itinerary was excellent but it was Ben, the tour guide, that executed and framed the experience to make it my "vacatopn of a lifetime!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moments were incredible and ongoing so allow me to share my first.When I stepped onto our Venice hotel balcony I knew immediately that I had made the right vacation choice. Our room overlooked a skyline that was punctuated by a beautiful old church complete with bell tower. I could hear an accordian playing "O solo mio" and below the laughter of children playing soccer seemed to harmonized with the mesmerizing music. The church bell tolled as I said to myself .."life is good.""

Barry

Framingham, MA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! that word alone should cover it. We had a great time thanks in large part to Ben's excellent skills and personality, and to the many local guides who brought these three cities to life. Each city had it's own charms, and we never felt as though we were restricted in any way from exploring them all. The group was fun, the learning fantastic and the food!!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife will have a different view, but for me it was the coliseum. I think my wife would say venice (especially the night time gondola ride), which was excellent. In fact, it's really hard to pinpoint just one moment. I loved the moment we turned the corner and saw the David. The same goes for the moment we turned a corner and saw Il Duomo in Florence! We also loved the cooking class, and the visit to the winery!"

Thomas

Redding, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Ben was an excellent guide that watched us like a mother duck.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly the Vatican, David, and all the history."

Marleana

Palo Cedro, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben was wonderful and a real natural tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and explained things very well. I appreciated that he gave us time to shop and explore on our own. We had a fun group so it made for an enjoyable first tour. Ben was great about pointing out street signs and landmarks so we would always know how to get back to our hotel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, it's hard to say but I would have to say the gondola ride. Just being out in the water with our group and listening to the music and singer was amazing. I also have to say that the cooking lesson was amazing and really fun, as well as, the wine tasting at the winery. Visiting St. Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum were amazing."

Renee

Redding, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Educational; well worth the cost. Ben was the best tour guide who worked with the group and always gave valuable information about what we were seeing and what to expect. He had a great sense of humor, was knowledgeable and organized. It was our first trip to Europe and we hope to plan another tour of Europe with Rick Steves soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every city had a wow moment. The independent tour guides were responsible for making the day with them Wow. Their information and passion for their city was compelling and so appreciated."

Rebecca

Fairfield, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a previous independent traveler to Europe, I was very skeptical of the group tour idea. Surprisingly, I loved the experience. It was so nice to just sit back and not worry about what we were going to do today! The tour was well thought out and planned, but also had some unexpected and fun surprises making me wonder what the next day was going to hold for us. Our tour guide, Ben, was outstanding and made our trip more of a journey of experiences than seeing 3 major Italian cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was our day with the local guide Francesca and learning about ancient Rome. She made the city come alive, made me feel apart of Roman history, and through her magical use of words brought me into the ancient Roman time to imagine and feel what it was like to be in Coliseum or Roman Forum at that time."

Stephen

Fairfield, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience with Ben leading the way was a trip of a life time. Everything was so well organized from the guides, Cooking classes, dinners, museums, and the backstreets of Vence, Florence and Rome it was simply outstanding!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I kept saying as the trip was going along that it can't get any better., but to my surprise everyday was so great!! I would Have to say the the entire tour was a "wow" moment."

Michael

Granger, IN

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful. I typically wouldn't describe myself as someone who would enjoy going with a tour. I started looking into a trip to Italy by myself and quickly got overwhelmed. I decided to give this tour a try. I was nervous before we started. I was worried about my travel mates and the tour guide I was going to need to tolerate for the entire 10 days. Man was I wrong! My wife and I couldn't be happier. What an AMAZING experience! Thank you!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was amazing! The tour itinerary, unexpected surprises, maximizing my efficiency in very busy cities and a fantastic tour guide. This tour was was one "wow" moment after another."

Emily

Granger, IN

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Stephen was incredibly proffessional and knowledgable, yet so fun and personable at the same time. Being part of the tour took away the stress of the language barrier, and finding good food and accommodations in a foriegn country. We really enjoyed seeing and doing things we likely would not have thought to do had we been vacationing on our own- such as taking an authentic Italian cooking class or visiting a beautiful winery. Our trip to Italy was positively spectacular!

Derek

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was filled with many firsts. First trip to Europe, First tour, First 9 hour time change, First dealing with Euros, First drinking really good wine that was really affordable and many more firsts for us. We had an excellent time. It was fun, educational, mind opening and just overall a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the whole trip was my favorite "WOW" moment. Our cooking class in Florence, WOW. Wine tasting in Umbria, WOW. Contrasting Roman life 2,000 years ago to today, WOW. Seeing Michelangelo's David in person, WOW. Walking along the small canals in Venice WOW. The food & wine, everywhere was a WOW. Making new friends WOW."

Patti

Burbank, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been wanting to travel to Italy for quite some time and didn't feel comfortable going to Italy the first time alone, so why not take a Rick Steves Tour? The trip was magical. I had the opportunity to spend time with a wonderful group of people, and helped celebrate two tour group member's birthdays. Stephen really cared about the group and wanted to make this a wonderful experience for us and he succeeded. Next trip, Paris and the Heart of France 2016!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found myself saying wow over and over and over again. Just being in Italy was a WOW moment, all ten days!"

Carl

Middleton, WI

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time to Italy. Our tour guide Stephen Blackwood, was top notch in all regards. Logistics of guiding a group of 28 people took place with no problems. Balance of guided vs free time was excellent. Stephen's knowledge of the major tour attractions was superb, even better were the non tourist attractions that he guided us to that made this a very unique and special experience. I would without reservation, recommend this Rick Steve's tour to any potential traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count."

Scott

East Stroudsburg, PA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, it was more than I had hoped for. I had high expectations and they were surpassed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I first saw the "David" in the Accademia in Florence. I walked toward it in a trance. After a lifetime of seeing it in pictures, it was just "too much" to be in the same hall with it..............."

Anita

Westminster, CO

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, wonderful, spectacular! Not one bad thing to say!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have no single "wow" moment. Everything and everywhere was "WOW"!"

Jean

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best time, because of our fantastic guide, Steve Blackwood. He was prepared, interesting, fun, and full of surprises. Our local guides were also exceptional. We made new friends, learned a lot and had fun in the process.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Roman ruins, our gondola ride, and cooking class."

Jonathan

Mount Airy, MD

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went very well. The tour leader, Stephen, did a great job of getting us around and putting things in context. The restaurant [INVALID]ions for the group meals were outstanding, and we would never have experienced anything like that on our own. The local guides were also very good. The balance between group and free time was optimal. We also liked the hotel [INVALID]ions. Based on this trip, we plan to do a few more with the next two years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was the first glimpse of the Duomo in Florence. I have seen many pictures, but they didn't do it justice. The Coliseum and Forum were close seconds."

Dayle

Gouverneur, NY

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband I picked the tour because we both work full-time and did not have time to plan the Italian vacation we wanted to take. This tour was perfect! The pace was brisk, but completely manageable in terms of scheduled and free time balance. We also thoroughly enjoyed all of our guides and learned so much of the history, politics, and culture of all three cities that we never would have picked up on our own. It was a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each city had different "wow" moments. The gondola ride was unexpectedly special and the tidal action of St. Mark's in Venice was truly fascinating. Florence took my breath away, especially to see David in person. But I loved the Uffitzi... Rome's offerings were so varied but the Coliseum was a definite WOW moment, as was the Vatican. Impossible to identify a favorite!"

Donna

Northwood, NH

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! Having such a wonderful, intelligent guide as Cecilia, the passion of the local guides, the experiences of a cooking class, gondola ride and live musicians at dinner made it a total experience of Italy not just a vacation. The tour stimulated our curiosity in history, art, religion and food. The amazing part is that with all the great food we ate we actually lost a little weight with all the walking we did. Nice mix of scheduled time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history of Rome was amazing especially San Clemente Church, going down through history like that was beyond words."

Robert

Gouverneur, NY

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was outstanding. She was entirely professional but also so friendly and warm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Colosseum was my "wow" moment."

Charlotte

Gouverneur, NY

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never done a tour before and weren't sure what to expect. This tour was wonderful. We saw so much more than we would have on our own. All of our guides, Cecilia in particular, were so knowledgeable it made seeing the sights much more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out of the Rome Metro and seeing the Colosseum."

Margaret

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a most amazing adventure for my husband and myself. We had Cecelia as a tour guide - excellent planning, coordinating, adjusting, and teaching are her fortes. You can tell her love for Italy, Art, culture the whole experience. Without her guidance, there is no way this trip could have happened. Such a lady! We walked, and talked and experienced Italy with a great group of fellow travelers. It was a total WIN!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - I would say seeing The David was the biggest for me. I love Michelangelo and seeing his work up close is awe inspiring. It's much bigger than I thought and so very powerful. We were given lots of time to view the art in his home. Cecelia intuitively knew timing. I never felt rushed or unable to see and experience what I wanted. I need to take a Art History class!"

Joe

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very impressed with the tour, particularly the guide and the supplemental local guides. Their enthusiasm was contagious. The tour was tiring, but I realize we needed to see all the sites, since it's not easy to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last dinner, with a singer for entertainment. WOW!"

Allan

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed Venice very much - extremely picturesque. Florence and Rome both suffered more from sites being under repair and inaccessible. Better weather and fewer crowds would have helped also, but not much can be done about that. Winery visit was a pleasant interlude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride in Venice - lots of fun."

Diana

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Too much to see in 10 days--wish it had been 12-15 days! Amazing guide--so much energy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how big the Colosseum really is. Pictures just aren't adequate!"

Kerr

Mill Bay, BC

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Please note, these survey comments are from both my wife and me. -good orientation to regions, cities, transportation, etc. -excellent cultural exposure ( eg. language, etiquette, customs, art, food) -high quality local tour guides -comfortable amount of free time, and opportunities to choose activities -Reid was an excellent guide -tour content was very good (i.e. museums, galleries, walks, churches, lunch at Tuscan vineyard, cooking class, etc.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had more than one. They are, as follows: -all of Venice and its magnificent state of graceful decay -the art - eg. Botticelli, Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and so many others -Francesca, our Rome tour guide, shared personal feelings and experiences, and displayed great knowledge and passion. She brought everything together magnificently. -we would also like to emphasize how much we enjoyed the cooking class in Florence"

Wendy

Yorktown, VA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an excellent time. My friends and I were by far the youngest people on the tour but we were with a great group of people who were really active and liked to have fun. Everyone was very friendly and we all got along excellently. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. The memories and friends I made are priceless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was seeing Michelangelo's David, something I've wanted to do since my first art class in high school."

Bryan

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed three cities, all with history we somewhat remembered. Our tour group came together to celebrate the experience of Italy, and then we enjoyed way more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing David, and David again in the Borgasse Gallery."

Gloria

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such a fun group! Reid did a fabulous job shepherding us to all the sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing an original Greek statute."

Kathy

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What took me so long taking a trip like this is beyond me. This was a dream come true. I can finally start checking off some items on my bucket list. I have always felt a pull or maybe a connection with ancient history. We are connected on a spiritual level with the people and everyday living of those times. Maybe it's in our DNA. We carry that with us through the ages. Thank-you Reid for making that a real physical emotional experience for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One was walking on the same ground as the geniuses of long ago. It boggles my mind that there were so many artistic, political, spiritual giants of that time. It was like an genetic bottleneck of greatness. This tour brought that to life for me. Another WOW moment was on our last night together. There was another group present in the room. A Japanese group celebrating 50 year school reunion. They embraced us into an invisible but very palpable hug of love and acceptance."

Daniel

Lincoln, MA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very high-paced, comprehensive tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. We learned a lot about the history of the area and about art in the 1500s. Our guide was very well informed and well organized. My only criticism was that we spent far too much time at Museo di Palazzo Davanzati in Florence and the local guide at this location was hopelessly long-winded and boring. I would have rated the overall tour as "outstanding" if this site and its guide was replaced by another venue.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Much to my surprise, my favorite wow moment was the evening gondola ride in Venice. The two musicians ( a guitar player and singer) were exquisite. There was a full moon, and the trip was as beautiful and romantic as anything I have ever experienced."

Cindi

St Petersburg, FL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Made new friends (Ron & Stephanie), saw fantastic and historic sites that I will forever remember. Loved the "group time" but also exploring and finding places or shops on our own. We managed to get lost at least once a day just the amount of time varies! All of my expectations were exceeded and I'm wondering where my next adventure will take me. Reid was great and always had an answer to any question. Thank you for your patience Reid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few. Of course the sculptures were stunning. When we finally found St. Peter's in Chains in Rome and saw the chains that were believed to be the ones used to hang Peter. What a moment! I wasn't expecting to be moved so much. Loved it all, even the really sore feet! For me this whole experience has been a wow moment in my life."

Janet

Lincoln, MA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fast-paced and well organized. Our guide was outstanding and our fellow travelers were fun to be with. The greatest benefits of this tour were being able to see so many of the world's classic works of art and famous museums without having to wait in long lines. Plus, we had fantastic local guides to help us to understand the history of the culture, art and architecture. I also loved the cooking class and the winery tour that added variety to the cathedrals and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was so moved in seeing Giovanni Bellini's "Madonna deli Alberetti" at the Accademia in Venice, it brought tears to my eyes. Our local guide, Laura, with exquisite skill. wove the stories of the artists in this museum together with the history of the period. She helped us to really "see" these paintings and feel the emotions. A magical "wow" moment was floating on a gondola through the canals of Venice under a perfect full moon and listening to two incredible musicians serenading us."

Wayne

Naples, FL

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Choosing a RS tour was a big decision. We were unsure if the cost was justified compared to traveling on our own through Europe as we've done before. WOW! What a difference, and what tremendous value we received. From our fabulous RS guide (Susanna), to the expert local guides, to the cultural experiences we shared - the whole tour was AMAZING! The memories will last us for the rest of our lives - or at least until our next RS tour. We can't wait to go again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It lasted 10 days and won't even begin to fit in the 500 character limit. But, I want to do it all over again!"

Mary

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved every minute of our trip. Our hotels were always close to the main attractions or close to the metro line. The guides that met us in each city were excellent. They very very knowledgeable and choose a few items that were representative of an artist's work and explained the symbolism as well as set the tone for the historical and political climate when the work was completed. We loved the winery tour and t with Cecelia up in Orvieto and the view from up there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery tour up in Orvieta was awesome and we loved the cooking school as well. They both came as a needed break from heavy duty museum time. Susanna was able to make reservations at a special restaurant for us, for our anniversary one evening when we were free in Venice. She told them to treat us well and they certainly did. We were given a premier table on the water, great service, and even a dessert and lemoncello on the house."

Alfred

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Venice, Florence, Rome -- who could NOT have a good time? Our guide, Susanna, was always cheerful, efficient, and informative. The hotels were charming, the meals delicious and authentic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the San Clemente church in Rome fascinating -- a perfect example of the layers of history deep below the surface of the Eternal City."

Joanne

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You never know how a group of people will connect with each other but our wonderful guide, Susanna, made us all feel special and part of a team. The transfers from one city and hotel to the next went smoothly and the rooms were all little treats unto themselves. Our local guides were excellent filling us with incredible data that brought so much of the art, architecture and political histories to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice- gondola ride. Since Susanna arranged it (and provided a musician and singer since we had so many celebrating anniversaries and birthday) it was quite a fun moment to remember Venice by. Florence-cooking school. Not something I would look into as a solo traveler but with our group it was too fun and then to eat what we had created an hour earlier was too divine. Rome was the surprise of San Clemente and it's three levels."

Lauri

Truckee, CA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful tour with a nice group of people. I saw so much and walked so far that I felt immersed in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't want to go on the gondola ride, but it turned out to be delightful with music and much laughter and seeing a side of Venice I never would have seen. Very memorable."

Sherry

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the cities we visited especially Venice and Florence. Not only were they beautiful but also so vibrant and full of wonderful historical and cultural richness. The guides were excellent and Susanna was the best of the best. She is knowledgeable, capable, fun and super on task. She goes out of her way to be sure that everyone on the tour is well cared for and experiencing everything to the fullest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In many ways it was overwhelming[INVALID]-so many works of art, incredible buildings, etc. For me, aside from all the splendor in so many places, it was the view from the area of The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte in Florence. Of course the day was perfect with blue skies, soft breezes and white clouds so the views of the city below were impressive. It was also very peaceful, yet full of life. The bronze David, a car rally and a wedding in progress added to the joyous experience."

Joseph

Dunedin, FL

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved each of the three cities and especially the tour guides. The hotels were prefectly located allowing easy access to the city's main attractions. As an accountant, I was also calculating the value of the tour package and can honestly say "we more than got our money's worth." What places Rick's tour experience on top are the hotels, guides and express lane into each of the group sightseeing locations. We also enjoyed the amount of free time to explore the sights on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife's "wow" moments included Venice's picture prefect sights and the ceiling painting in the museums. My "wow" moments was the view from our Florence hotel room."

Miriam

Dunedin, FL

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour ever, and it was a wonderful experience. We spent just enough time in each place to get us acquainted and feel familiar with our surroundings. The meals we shared were fabulous feasts. Susanna was an awesome guide, and our local guides were all excellent - they enjoyed sharing their knowledge with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking class - and I don't like to cook. It was so much fun and relaxing. The meal we put together was excellent -- and the gelato and sorbet were delicious. BUT I also loved the wine tasting experience. What beautiful surroundings and quite the education."

Genea

Henderson, NV

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Initially I was skeptical about joining a tour group which has many scheduled time periods. However I was pleased with this tour which had the PERFECT balance of group time vs free time. Our tour guide Susanna was wonderful. She made the tour even better than I could have imagined. Thanks to Susanna it was a stress-free vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1-Venice - all of it #2-Cooking class in Florence #3-Luncheon at the winery"

Ray

Metairie, LA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Second year in a row I've been on this particular tour. I enjoyed it much more because I had a better idea of where I wanted to go on my free time. In addition, I did more research for the meals I paid for and thoroughly enjoyed the food throughout all of the cities I visited. I can honestly say I did not have a bad meal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The optional gondola ride through the streets (canals) of Venice at sunset. I'm using the pictures I took for my screensaver and desktop background."

Lynne

Montgomery, AL

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was so pleased with every aspect of this tour. The hotels were great, the tours were so informative with exceptional guides who all had such passion for what they were talking about, the food events were wonderful, loved the cooking class and really enjoyed the group of people as a whole. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment? That's a hard one. Maybe seeing "David" in Florence or maybe St. Peter's in Rome."

Cynthia

St Rose, LA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and the entire experience was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow was the winery we visited on the way to Rome from Florence. It was amazing!"

Barbara

Roanoke, TX

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All I had dreamed of and more!!!! Variety of activities and hotels & transportation were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the wine tasting & lunch! So informative, and what a beautiful winery!! Also, the cooking class was so much fun! And the food was delicious!!"

Cary

Montgomery, AL

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Alfio, was terrific!!!! Knowledgeable, friendly, caring, provided guidance for free time visiting. Guides in Venice, Florence and Rome were knowledgeable and informative as well. All brought passion into their subject matter and brought us into their worlds. Fantastic! Everything ran on time...good group of folks. Had a super time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David. Alfio had us not look at David when entering the hall. As he was informing us of what we were about to see, he had us back up to the statue so that he could have us turn around and share an "unveiling", just as Michaelangelo did for the commissioners of his work. We got some weird looks from other visitors, but the moment was truly a "wow" moment."

Deborah

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 2nd Rick Steves tour. This one was just as phenomenal as our first (which was Ireland).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Duomo and Campanille in Florence."

Patty

Arlington, MA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, the tour was outstanding. I am a single parent responsible for organizing every aspect of our lives, so it was wonderful to have the tour so organized. I learned so much from Alfio and the expert tour guides that met us at each venue. There was a lovely balance of structured tour time and free time to continue exploring the three cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class was the most fun, working alongside your fellow tour-goers to produce an authentic Italian and yummy lunch!"

Trevor

Airdrie, AB

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well organized and informative and the camaraderie was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Venice-The Grand Canal and the gondola ride; Florence-Seeing David and the cooking class; Winery tour in Orvieto; Rome-The Vatican and the Colosseum."

William

Briarwood, NY

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just can't think of a bad thing to say, all aspects were great, Italy, food, accomidations, pace of tour, choice of stop-offs, the icing on the cake was the tour guides in each city and our main tour guide, Jamie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Returning after 30 years to Rome. I had been to all those cities in the past but Rome knocked me over this time with the proper guides."

Neil

Briarwood, NY

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a diverse group in every sense of the way (age, gender, ethnicity) and we all enjoyed each other's company. The camaraderie that developed among us and our guide was a decisive factor in making this trip outstanding. We really felt we spent the right time in each city: Venice, Florence, and Rome. We loved our independent time, which we used to rest! I'd would love to go on another Rick Steve's tour next summer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Basilica of San Clemente. It was truly traveling back in time 2000 years. Here I actually saw one of the many streams running underground through Rome! This stream might have been the reason why the first of three settlements started there. Similar 1. Walking through the streets of Venice and all of a sudden the imposing and beautiful Saint Marks cathedral is there! 2. Walking out of the subway in Rome and then there it is, the majestic Coliseum! 3. The beauty of the David. Wow!"

Joan

Markham, ON

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very positive! We had experiences I wouldn't have known were available (eg. cooking class.) The pace was good with the arrangement of structured visits as well as free time. The group itself was also lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking our own four-course lunch!"

Bill

Seal Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our second RS tour experience - awesome. We choose the tours for their overall value, small group size and local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering St Peter's Basilica. After the cattle tour of the Vatican the size and grandeur of St. Peter's was inspiring."

Weather

Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

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

Packing

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