• 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 $2,795 + 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

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

Rosalind

Stanhope, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Lafayette, IN

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Lee

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jewel

Frisco, TX

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheryle

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Esther

Downey, CA

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Escondido, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bethany

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Howard

Short Hills, NJ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tamara

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Margaret

Worland, WY

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michelle

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Keizer, OR

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stop at winery for lunch."

Helen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Glenda

Oakland, TN

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eric

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eydie

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shelly

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

St Paul, MN

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Anaheim Hills, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karena

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Graham

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the amazing art and architecture."

Karen

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lavish, spectacular, awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican and the Grand Canal!"

Carolyne

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Howard

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Colleen

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Art

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, guide and members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many but the Colosseum and Vatican."

Gregory

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Rohnert Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Larry

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Virginia

Middleburg Hts, OH

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eve

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Chanhassen, MN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Boularderie, NS

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Clifton

Glendale, AZ

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Norma

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice"

Deborah

Nashville, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Melanie

Mt Juliet, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gina

Venice, CA

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Lehigh Acres, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marvin

Gilby, ND

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joan

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bonnie

Victoria, BC

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Nancy, KY

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jacqueline

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Will

Hickory, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maura

South Wales, NY

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christine

Calgary, AB

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Met some lovely people. Friendly guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Hollis

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brent

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Molly

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelanglo's David."

Walter

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DAVID"

Debra

Tupelo, MS

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melanie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mario

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ron

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynda

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rachel

Yakima, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lorene

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathryn

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Erlanger, KY

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Qualicum Beach, BC

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gail

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Dallas, TX

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent planning, guides, accommodations, meals etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Pineville, NC

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jack

Malvern,

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Franklin, WI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jodi

Macomb, MI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Annie

Macomb, MI

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dianne

Richmond, VA

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was many many wow moments."

Peter

Malvern,

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erika

Glenview, IL

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 11/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roy

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 11/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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!"

Jane

Bristow, VA

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Basilica of San Clemente."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

Erik

Moscow, ID

Tour: 11/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Debra

Newbury, MA

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melissa

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Peterborough, NH

Tour: 10/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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."

Steve

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 10/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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..."

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."

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."

Peter

Chattaroy, WA

Tour: 10/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

KiKi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

""The" David"

Kelley

Constantia, NY

Tour: 10/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

Mary

Oshkosh, WI

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

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!"

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)."

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!"

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."

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!)."

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."

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!!"

Geraldine

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

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."

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."

Catherine

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Ramona, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jerrold

Emerald Hills, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Watertown, MA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrew

Orinda, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristine

Orinda, CA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanna

New York, NY

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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.."

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."

David

Belleville, ON

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jay

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Wantagh, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sam

North Canton, OH

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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!"

Richard

West Hollywood, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

Jerry

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Genevieve

Nyack, NY

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tonya

Twentynine Palms, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gail

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Seantel

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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."

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."

Scott

East Stroudsburg, PA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, it was more than I had hoped for. I had high expectations and they were surpassed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I first saw the "David" in the Accademia in Florence. I walked toward it in a trance. After a lifetime of seeing it in pictures, it was just "too much" to be in the same hall with it..............."

Anita

Westminster, CO

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, wonderful, spectacular! Not one bad thing to say!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have no single "wow" moment. Everything and everywhere was "WOW"!"

Jean

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best time, because of our fantastic guide, Steve Blackwood. He was prepared, interesting, fun, and full of surprises. Our local guides were also exceptional. We made new friends, learned a lot and had fun in the process.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Roman ruins, our gondola ride, and cooking class."

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!

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

Allan

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed Venice very much - extremely picturesque. Florence and Rome both suffered more from sites being under repair and inaccessible. Better weather and fewer crowds would have helped also, but not much can be done about that. Winery visit was a pleasant interlude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride in Venice - lots of fun."

Diana

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Too much to see in 10 days--wish it had been 12-15 days! Amazing guide--so much energy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how big the Colosseum really is. Pictures just aren't adequate!"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Kathy

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What took me so long taking a trip like this is beyond me. This was a dream come true. I can finally start checking off some items on my bucket list. I have always felt a pull or maybe a connection with ancient history. We are connected on a spiritual level with the people and everyday living of those times. Maybe it's in our DNA. We carry that with us through the ages. Thank-you Reid for making that a real physical emotional experience for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One was walking on the same ground as the geniuses of long ago. It boggles my mind that there were so many artistic, political, spiritual giants of that time. It was like an genetic bottleneck of greatness. This tour brought that to life for me. Another WOW moment was on our last night together. There was another group present in the room. A Japanese group celebrating 50 year school reunion. They embraced us into an invisible but very palpable hug of love and acceptance."

Daniel

Lincoln, MA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very high-paced, comprehensive tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. We learned a lot about the history of the area and about art in the 1500s. Our guide was very well informed and well organized. My only criticism was that we spent far too much time at Museo di Palazzo Davanzati in Florence and the local guide at this location was hopelessly long-winded and boring. I would have rated the overall tour as "outstanding" if this site and its guide was replaced by another venue.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Much to my surprise, my favorite wow moment was the evening gondola ride in Venice. The two musicians ( a guitar player and singer) were exquisite. There was a full moon, and the trip was as beautiful and romantic as anything I have ever experienced."

Cindi

St Petersburg, FL

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Made new friends (Ron & Stephanie), saw fantastic and historic sites that I will forever remember. Loved the "group time" but also exploring and finding places or shops on our own. We managed to get lost at least once a day just the amount of time varies! All of my expectations were exceeded and I'm wondering where my next adventure will take me. Reid was great and always had an answer to any question. Thank you for your patience Reid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few. Of course the sculptures were stunning. When we finally found St. Peter's in Chains in Rome and saw the chains that were believed to be the ones used to hang Peter. What a moment! I wasn't expecting to be moved so much. Loved it all, even the really sore feet! For me this whole experience has been a wow moment in my life."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

Patty

Arlington, MA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, the tour was outstanding. I am a single parent responsible for organizing every aspect of our lives, so it was wonderful to have the tour so organized. I learned so much from Alfio and the expert tour guides that met us at each venue. There was a lovely balance of structured tour time and free time to continue exploring the three cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class was the most fun, working alongside your fellow tour-goers to produce an authentic Italian and yummy lunch!"

Trevor

Airdrie, AB

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

Robert

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well organized and informative and the camaraderie was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Venice-The Grand Canal and the gondola ride; Florence-Seeing David and the cooking class; Winery tour in Orvieto; Rome-The Vatican and the Colosseum."

William

Briarwood, NY

Tour: 08/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just can't think of a bad thing to say, all aspects were great, Italy, food, accomidations, pace of tour, choice of stop-offs, the icing on the cake was the tour guides in each city and our main tour guide, Jamie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Returning after 30 years to Rome. I had been to all those cities in the past but Rome knocked me over this time with the proper guides."

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."

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."

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.)"

Brett

Arlington, WA

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the city of Florence, Italy"

Mark

Ridgefield, CT

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Severna Park, MD

Tour: 07/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

Marissa

Rockaway, NJ

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melissa

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 07/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

Nathan

Elkmont, AL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Rick

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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."

Tracey

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

North Royalton, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Liz

Driggs, ID

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was the right time, right group, best guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating"

Timothy

Buffalo, NY

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roger

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Everything was lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting in Umbria and the cooking class."

Kelley

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Barbara

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Ripon, CA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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."

Laura

Bentonville, AR

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

absolutely wonderful~~~~

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phillip

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

Terence

Romeoville, IL

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gale

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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..."

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.

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!"

Jean

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Craig

Brattleboro, VT

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thea

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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!"

Elizabeth

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Caroline

Apex, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Corralitos, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darla

Winchester, VA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Bartlett, IL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Port Richey, FL

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pat

Merlin, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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"

Joanne

Barrington, NH

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gregory

Sun Prairie, WI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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.