• 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 $2,495 + 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

    • Feb 16–Feb 25 (Mo-We)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Mar 6–Mar 15 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Mar 13–Mar 22 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Mar 16–Mar 25 (Mo-We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Mar 23–Apr 1 (Mo-We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 10–Apr 19 (Fr-Su)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • Apr 27–May 6 (Mo-We)
    • $3,395 + Air

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    • May 1–May 10 (Fr-Su)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • May 11–May 20 (Mo-We)
    • $3,595 + Air

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    • Jun 5–Jun 14 (Fr-Su)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 12–Oct 21 (Mo-We)
    • $3,395 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Venice, Florence and Rome come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Venice backstreets walking tour • St. Mark's Square and Basilica tour (water level dependent) • Venice lagoon excursion • Accademia Art Museum tour • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence backstreets walking tour • Cooking class and lunch • Palazzo Davanzati tour • Umbrian wine tasting lunch • Rome orientation tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • Church of San Clemente tour • Pantheon • Vatican Museum • Sistine Chapel • St. Peter's Basilica • Evening walk through Rome's piazzas...and more
  • All group transportation between Venice, Florence and Rome
  • 9 nights accommodations (3 nights at each hotel) in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Italy guidebook, Italian phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Venice

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

Day 2: Historic Venice

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

Day 3: The Art of Wandering in Venice

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

Day 4: Wonders of Renaissance Florence & David

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

Day 5: The Backstreets of Florence

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

Day 6: The Uffizi

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

Day 7: Wine Tasting, Rome at Night

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

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

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

Day 9: Monuments of Ancient Rome

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

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

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

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

Reviews

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.""

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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)."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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.."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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 !!!!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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..............."

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."

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."

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"!"

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!

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

Peter

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Philip

Lugoff, SC

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Ridgefield, CT

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brett

Arlington, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the city of Florence, Italy"

Bruce

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Constance

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tina

Scotrun, PA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Merritt Island, FL

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Angela

Woodland, CA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melissa

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Weatherford, TX

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marissa

Rockaway, NJ

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Renee

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Andover, MA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Larry

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lauren

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Clifton, NJ

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charity

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katelin

Clifton, NJ

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cindy

Huntley, MT

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Al

Millcreek, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Bob

Wappingers Falls, NY

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Duwayne

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jenny

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Seal Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rick

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nathan

Elkmont, AL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Mattison

Augusta, GA

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Corinne

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kelley

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracey

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roger

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Everything was lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting in Umbria and the cooking class."

ElizabethAnne

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

North Royalton, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Liz

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was the right time, right group, best guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating"

Frank

North Royalton, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

West Kingston, RI

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Villa Park, CA

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tresa

Niceville, FL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Albert

West Islip, NY

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karolina

West Islip, NY

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Plainfield, IL

Tour: 06/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laverne

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Ripon, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

East Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jacqueline

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melissa

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phillip

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

absolutely wonderful~~~~

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Bentonville, AR

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patti

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Maryville, TN

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mason

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Oak Forest, IL

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cathy

Lancaster, TX

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Aphrodite

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elektra

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Maryville, TN

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip - very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking class, gondola ride, wine tasting!"

Courtney

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phyllis

Destrehan, LA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking lessons"

Gale

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kelly

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terence

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Raissa

Glendale, WI

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Trenton, NJ

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Courtney

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rae

Miami, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth

Nevada City, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Thea

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Craig

Brattleboro, VT

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wayne

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Brattleboro, VT

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katie

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pat

Merlin, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Caroline

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Corralitos, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kent

Merlin, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Port Richey, FL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darla

Winchester, VA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gregory

Sun Prairie, WI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Barrington, NH

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nina

University Place, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joan

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cindy

Aurora, CO

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheri

Centralia, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helene

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carl

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Springfield, IL

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynn

Merrimac, MA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judith

East Woodstock, CT

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jack

New Palestine, IN

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alan

Bradenton, FL

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lindsay

Allen Park, MI

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rollin

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Gibsonia, PA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherry

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lucille

Pembroke, NH

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Richmond, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Pilot Hill, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Randall

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Halethorpe, MD

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolynn

Regina, SK

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Merrell

Humble, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jon

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Humble, TX

Tour: 05/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to choose only one!"

Thomas

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katherine

Severn, MD

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Audrey

Auburn, CA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Riverside, CA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brad

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Celia

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Whitehall, MI

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marilyn

Parker, CO

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judd

Parker, CO

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bonnie

Boise, ID

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "David" in Florence."

Daniel

Milton, MA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brent

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Lancaster, CA

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jim

Painesville, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chad

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cleo

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Salisbury, MD

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Burien, WA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mario

Courtenay, BC

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Burien, WA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Constance

Venice, FL

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shiela

Courtenay, BC

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jacqueline

Napa, CA

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Bexley, OH

Tour: 03/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ilonnie

Irvine, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Penelope

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Elizabethtown, NY

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Laguna Hills, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anne

Oakland, CA

Tour: 03/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynn

Wallingford, CT

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Wallingford, CT

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Union, ME

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Regan

Lexington, KY

Tour: 03/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Ashland, OR

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Russell

Stoughton, WI

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

David

Strathmore, AB

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charlene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome - in and of itself."

Caren

Crystal Lake, IL

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kevin

Columbia, MO

Tour: 02/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Jamie

Commerce City, CO

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Richardson, TX

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suellyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jay

Scappoose, OR

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

La Pine, OR

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Calvin

College Station, TX

Tour: 02/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Denver, CO

Tour: 11/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Weather

Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

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

Packing

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