• Gondolas and Church of San Giorgio Maggiore at sunset, Venice, Italy
    Venice
  • Castelrotto / Kastelruth, Italy
    The Dolomites
  • Lake Como
  • 'Birth of Venus' (Botticelli), Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
    The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Vernazza (Cinque Terre), Italy
    Vernazza in the Cinque Terre
  • Leaning Tower, Pisa, Tuscany
    Pisa
  • Duomo, Siena, Italy
    Siena
  • Assisi
  • Wine tasting, Orvieto, Italy
    Wine Tasting near Orvieto
  • Colosseum, Rome, Italy
    Rome

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Best of Italy in 17 Days Tour

from $5,595 per person + air

Single Supplement $775

See Dates & Prices

The Rick Steves Best of Italy tour is exactly that — the very best. Starting in timeless Venice, this tour treats you to Italy's must-see destinations: beautiful Lake Como, Renaissance Florence, St. Francis' Assisi, and eternal Rome. You'll also soak in Italy's quieter side: hill town vineyards, mountain-ringed alpine meadows, cliff-clinging Cinque Terre villages, and cozy fishing harbors — all accompanied by memorable meals and local wines. And Rick's guides will make Italy's art, history, and la dolce vita come vividly to life. Join us for the Best of Italy in 17 Days!

Book a 2025 tour by 6/30/24 and save $100 per person! See details.

Dates & Prices

2024

2025

What's Included

You'll get at least 24 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our 2025 Best of Italy tour:

  • Venice walking tour
  • South Tirol Museum of Archaeology (Ötzi the Iceman)
  • Lake Como ferry pass
  • Renaissance Florence walking tour
  • Florence's Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David)
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Pisa
  • Pesto-making lesson
  • Orientation for "vacation" day in the Cinque Terre
  • Tuscan hill town
  • Siena walking tour
  • Siena Duomo
  • Siena contrada visit and dinner
  • Artisan workshop
  • Assisi walking tour
  • Basilica of St. Francis
  • Umbrian wine tasting
  • Orvieto orientation and San Brizio Chapel
  • Ancient Rome walking tour
  • Roman Forum and Colosseum (exterior*)
  • Pantheon
  • Rome backstreets walking tour
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Evening walk through Rome

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 Italy come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Venice to Rome
  • 16 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and 8 other meals
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

*This tour does not include visits to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, or the interior of the Colosseum. See details on how to visit during your free time.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Venice.

Day 2: Exploring 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. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's remarkable past and its challenging future. We'll finish our morning walk in St. Mark's Square, then the afternoon and evening are yours to explore the glittering St. Mark's Basilica or the imposing Doge's Palace, take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. Later tonight, your guide will help organize an optional romantic gondola ride for those who are interested.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Venice.

Day 3: Scenic Drive to the Dolomites

Today we'll hit the road and drive high into Italy's Alps (the Dolomites), home to Europe's largest (and arguably most beautiful) alpine meadow, the Alpe di Siusi. Here where the locals speak German first, Italian second, we'll experience a unique blend of Austrian and Italian culture. This evening, we'll share a hearty Tirolean dinner together at our totally-yodel-y home base.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in the South Tirol area.

Day 4: Hiking the Alpe di Siusi

Today is all yours to explore the dramatic Dolomites, Italy's hiking and skiing mecca. Choose from an array of challenging hikes with unforgettable vistas (weather permitting), take a leisurely stroll through rolling green pastures and befriend a free-roaming cow or two, or rub elbows with the locals while wandering through the squares and side streets of a mountain village.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in the South Tirol area.

Day 5: The Iceman and Lake Como

We'll start today with a visit to the most famous resident of Bolzano: the 5,300-year-old, naturally preserved remains of Ötzi the Iceman, along with a museum exhibit on prehistoric European life. After some free time for lunch, we'll set a course for the lovely Italian lakes district and our home base near dazzling Lake Como. We'll take a village orientation walk, pointing out places for dinner on your own tonight.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Lake Como area.

Day 6: Cruising Lake Como

Equipped with your included Lake Como ferry pass, you'll have the entire day and evening free to explore the villages and waterways of romantic Lake Como, including the elegant town of Bellagio. Or, hike up into the alpine foothills for unforgettable vistas. At breakfast, your guide can help you plan your day.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Lake Como area.

Day 7: Florence and David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and 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 works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Florence.

Day 8: Renaissance Florence

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi Gallery — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere, including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more. The rest of the day is yours to stroll across the delightfully medieval Ponte Vecchio, visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, browse the colorful markets, and find a special trattoria for dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Florence.

Day 9: Pisa and Cinque Terre Villages

Winding our way towards the coast, we'll first stop to gaze at Pisa's leaning tower and Romanesque baptistery. Today's final destination is Italy's enchanting Cinque Terre fishing villages, laced together with hiking paths that meander between vineyards and the deep blue sea. Upon arrival, your guide will give you an introduction to the town, leaving you with plenty of free time this afternoon to explore on your own. We'll regroup tonight for an entertaining pesto-making lesson and special pesto dinner at a local family restaurant.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Monterosso (group may be split between two hotels).

Day 10: Exploring the Cinque Terre

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. Hike along the trails, taking in lots of fresh air and panoramic views between Cinque Terre villages. Or pick a village where you can spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Monterosso.

Day 11: Tuscany and Siena

Today we'll venture into the heart of magical Tuscany, stopping on the way to poke around the quiet lanes of a friendly hill town. Saving the best for last, we'll take an orientation tour of our home for the next two nights: remarkable Siena, a "living museum" brimming with some of Italy's finest Gothic architecture and perhaps its best public square, Il Campo. Tonight, we'll visit and enjoy dinner in one of the town's proud contrade — 17 neighborhoods that compete for glory in the famous Palio horse races.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Siena.

Day 12: Savoring Siena

This morning we'll visit a stained-glass workshop, where a local artisan will show us how he fuses traditional and contemporary stained-glass techniques. Then we'll tour the elaborate cathedral and learn how Siena's rich medieval history and rivalry with Florence shaped this city. You'll be well-oriented for your free afternoon and evening to enjoy Siena, from its dramatic city hall tower to its well-respected enoteca (wine bar/museum).

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Siena.

Day 13: Assisi and Wine Tasting

Let's make a modern-day pilgrimage to the hill town of Assisi, where, in a time of unprecedented church wealth, St. Francis inspired a refocused spirituality through poverty, humility, and the beauty of nature in Umbria. As we learn about the life of the saint, we'll take a walking tour of the town and its beautifully frescoed Basilica of St. Francis. Then we'll wind our way across Umbria to our countryside hotel. We'll end our day tasting several of the region's delightful wines and sharing a country-style dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep near Orvieto.

Day 14: Hill Town Italy

This morning we'll visit Umbria's grand hill town of Orvieto. We'll get oriented to sights around the cathedral square, including Signorelli's amazing frescoes in the Chapel of San Brizio and Italy's liveliest cathedral facade. Then you'll be free to wander through the medieval old town and its shops filled with colorful pottery. This afternoon we'll return to our agriturismo, with plenty of time for a countryside walk before dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep near Orvieto.

Day 15: A Walk Through Caesar's Rome

We'll drive straight to Rome today and spend the afternoon uncovering the heart of the Eternal City. A local guide will share vivid tales as we walk around the outside of the larger-than-life Colosseum, through the Roman Forum (the birthplace of ancient Rome), and into the awe-inspiring Pantheon. This evening we'll enjoy a floodlit dolce vita stroll, soaking up the city's evening ambience at lively campos, classy piazzas, and the splashy Trevi Fountain.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Rome.

Day 16: The Heart of Rome

This morning a local expert will show us Rome "in situ" on a Vespa-dodging walk through some of our favorite neighborhoods. The remainder of your day is free for your own discoveries and a chance to make a pilgrimage to the world's smallest country, Vatican City, home to the sprawling Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. We'll regroup this evening for our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our newly made friends. Salute!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Rome.

Day 17: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Italy in 17 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) 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 towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Robin

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A tour of Italy has been on my bucket list for years and this tour did not disappoint! From Lake Como to Rome, our fantastic tour guide made every moment amazing! I loved the "variety" of experiences and how we visited the most "famous" and busy places along with the more quiet and hidden treasures! I highly recommend Rick Steves' Best of Italy tour - every detail is planned for you and all you have to do is show up with your best walking shoes and appetite for some amazing Italian food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although it is hard to choose just one " wow" moment, I would definitely say Cinque Terre on the coast was my favorite! The views from the enchanting fishing villages were breathtaking! I could have stayed there for days! It is definitely one of Italy's hidden gems and probably not on the radar for most people touring the country!"

Leta

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overall tour. Packed full of fun! Just be ready to do lots of walking. I didn’t want to miss a thing. Our tour guide Trina was great. Very knowledgeable and made the trip extra fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick but since I love the ocean, Cinque Terre was beautiful. It did rain on us but what beautiful place. "

Arnold

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a tour and it wasn’t. We had to get ours to the starting point. We flew into Rome since we would end up here. We saw a few sights on our own sights that not on the tour list like the Steps and Borghese. The next day we took the train to Milan. Then the train to Como,wrong train,and decided to toke the last ferry to Varenna. The weather was good and we saw many villages along the way, a plus since the weather turned the next day but we missed the welcoming meeting. Next day on our own. Tou

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It didn’t feel like a tour since we spent a lot of time on our own and hardly meeting any members yet. The places we visited were great. Certainly the Vatican was outstanding. Why wasn’t the museum on on the tour? We had reservation, luckily, for without it the line was a mile long an all day event in the heat."

Leanne

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Organized and so much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When it was raining and foggy in the alps and they said if you want to come in the bus we will search for clear skys! We didn’t we but was fantastic time in the fig! Loved it!"

Darla

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing trip to Italy!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stained glass demo in Siena"

Stephen

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was packed with great sights to see and things to do. Our tour guide and bus driver were excellent. This was my first tour of any kind and I really enjoyed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the countryside and how the Italian gardens are trellised up the hills was stunning. The art and Roman architecture were amazing."

Sandy

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of people, with an awesome tour guide Sarah. Went to some very interesting hilltop towns & the other towns on the trip were perfect too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Otzi museum in Balzano. I taught about him in my middle school history class, so it was cool to see him in person."

Blane

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 17 Day Best of Italy Tour, in the hands of Tour Guide- Sarah, driver Dino and local guides delivered an absolutely exceptional travel experience! Our group was “mature”, avg. age abt. 58, bordering on a little creaky, 28 in number, a comfortable size. We were seasoned travelers, first time in Europe, to first time out of the US! Yet we collectively engaged Italy’s beautiful environment, history, art and culture, enjoyed each other and had plenty of time to explore independently!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in Cinque Terre from Monterroso to Vernazza more than filled my senses with the beauty of Liguria. But, surprisingly favorite part of the hike was encounter with an 80yr old+ native of Vernazza, Lino, accompanied by his cat (who followed him like a dog). Blue denim jacket, khakis, boots, dusty red ball cap, backpack and stick, paused to chat on his way up to tend his lemons. Sparkly eyes, smile, humanity. Lino’s tender family story about his dad and his deep love of Italy, molto bello!"

Mary

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah our guide added so much detail and extras ! Having lived in Italy for years and been a teacher she was the perfect guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being alone with Bernini’s statues in the Borghese gallery ! We had opening tickets and amazingly no one else was in line to enter!!! "

Michael

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, great people, manageable pace, good combination of tours and free time, excellent choice of restaurants for group dinners. Rick Steve's tours obviously get preferential treatment in hotels and restaurants as the service in all places was outstanding. For the experiences, amenities, service, etc. it was money well-spent and far superior to trying to navigate on your own. Quick examples are outstanding bus and driver, tickets being purchased for us, and wine flowing freely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Cinque Terra"

Danny

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gave us an overall view of life in Italy while still seeing art and the construction from many years ago

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing the Forum nd Pantheon - quite overwhelming "

Annette

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an idea of what to expect, as I'd taken a couple of Rick Steve's tours some time ago. but this one was much longer and involved many different stops. Though moving every couple of days can be a bit more tiring, it also allowed us to see so many different cities and especially small towns that we wouldn't have otherwise been able to see. Our guide, Sarah, was outstanding and did everything humanly possible to make our tour unique and memorable and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall collection of unusual things we got to see and do: Unexpectedly visiting Verona and seeing inside a functioning colloseum, seeing the German influence in the small town of Bolzano, learning about olive oil making from Marco, the wonderful owner of our argiturismo, seeing an artisan at work in Venice making the Gondaleer oars and forcolas, the wonderful menus Sarah our guide put together in our restaurants, and so many more things. It's the "complete package" that makes it so special."

Sally

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour, Sara was an amazing guide. She went above and beyond to always make sure we were having the best possible time! Her extra treats and stops really made the trip enjoyable. Everyone on our tour was very friendly and engaging. I loved having the extra day to ourselves in each town. We did a lot of hiking and exploring. The hotels and meals were outstanding. I will definitely return on another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St. Mark's square, Venice. My jaw dropped and I was speachless."

Jon

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Molto bene! Almost everything was better than expected, from the tour guides to the events, all well timed and planned, without any major issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One moment would be hard to pick, there were so many. 1) On the Accademia bridge, the grand canal in Venice at Noon, with the sun shining, looking towards St Maria's Basilica, with the hustle and bustle of the water taxis. 2) The last group dinner (Altarocca) with Stefano, our driver, who sat at our table. I had such a good time and so many laughs while we traded our English - Italian translations using charades and unintentionally invented words."

Lynn

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

From beginning to end, tour logistics went smoothly. Our RS guide made each city come alive with her knowledge, never fell lost exploring the cities on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, so many, from the dolomites, Venice to Rome, I wish we could stay longer than some of the cities. Unexpectedly made so many good friends on this trip."

Elizabeth

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was timed very well, with a great balance of group activities and time on our own. I appreciated the experiences that I might not have sought out myself: talks on making the forcola, stained glass, and pesto. Learning about Palio di Siena was fun. Our 'seashell' guide in Siena was memorable. Most places had me wanting to stay one more day, but I guess that's the point- to make you want to come back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a single favorite 'wow' moment, but a 'wow' category- so many beautiful vistas that were the reward of hikes, dome climbs, or at times just being at elevation. "

Valerie

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time taking a tour and it was wonderful. Loved that we could spread out on the bus. Had a great bus driver, Stephano. Loved the location of all hotels. Our tour guide and group size was fabulous. The group demographics worked out so well. Everyone got along so well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Siena and the horse racing and stain glass."

David

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide and assistant guide… Sites included on the tour were all worthwhile, interesting, “Best of” locations, logistics were handled smoothly and efficiently… the group was largely compatible and willing to engage with one another… the pace of travel was too fast (but we knew it would be so)… most of the hotels that we stayed in were very good… We enjoyed the tour very much, but because of our ages & preference for a slower pace this will likely be our last tour of this type.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Ligurian Sea at Monterosso al Mare on our “day off” was a definite “wow” moment for me. Having a free day in the Cinque Terre was so beautiful and rejuvinating!"

Ann Elizabeth

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people, great guide (s), fabulous country to visit

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just way too many to pick one!"

Jing

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Kathy

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides, Rhianna & Ellen were both excellent. Everything was well organized, the hotels were wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Group dinner in Florence. All the group dinners were great, but that was the best."

Bridget

Tour: 05/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was very well planned, the tour guide was OUTSTANDING!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful vistas all over the country. I was astounded by the beauty of Italy. Better than the pictures I had seen. "

Virginia

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an amazing sampler of Italy top to bottom, and what a difference there is in each region of the country! Nice hotels, some spectacular, and delicious arranged meals reflecting each regionA great balance of seeing urban, small village and natural beauties. Everything was well organized, and the local guides provided in depth knowledge of cultural, historical and artistic arenas. We both felt that there was no way we could put together as meaningful and pleasurable trip on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride on the Grand Canal complete with accordion and singer was everything that you would think it would be, generously arranged by Ferdi our tour guide. Seeing David for the first time up close was a significant moment for us both. The scale, the artistry, the "life" in this immense work cannot be comprehended without seeing it in person. Our local guide brought to life elements of the statue in ways we had never considered before. This whole tour was a Wow experience each day."

Mary

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip of a lifetime. Saw and learned about Italy in ways I could have never done on my own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Food food food!"

Rob

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved this tour! Awesome guides, amazing sites, delicious food, fantastic companions! Highly recommend, but could improve - focus on the “Best” rather than squeezing in everything in Italy. Ended with only 1.5 days in Rome, enduring a grueling dash through ancient sites that left us weary & drained. Stretch Rome out & cut down on other stuff. Skip merely OK spots like Pisa & Assisi. Lake Como & Cinque Terre are lovely, but very similar. Agriturismo was nice but could have been a long lunch stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our intimate & hilarious exploration of the neighborhoods of Siena was an unexpected highlight - truly a “Rick Steves Moment”. Paul, our guide in Florence, was one of the best local guides I have ever had - had fun & learned so much!"

Thomas

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great line up of places to visit! A great mix of cities and less busy areas. Hotels were outstanding. Provided meals were wonderful and our guide…….what a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing “David”"

Rachel

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Ferdi was so experienced and handled everything so well. I am a vegetarian, and Ferdi made sure I ate well at the group dinners. He also made great recommendations for other dinners as well. I was really impressed with our hotel accommodations, and the planned group dinner experiences were wonderful. I also really enjoyed the stain glass demonstration by Massemo and the oarlock demonstration. This trip was an amazing experience for my husband and I.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several many wow moments. One of my favorite moments was the gondola ride in Venice with the musicians serenading us. The beautiful Dolomites and the scenic Cinque Terra were also highlights. The agritismo’s vineyards and olive groves screamed Italy and were a nice break from the busy cities."

Charles

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful guides, knowledgeable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieta"

Robert

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exceptional, and our guide was outstanding! The planning and organization that had to happen for this tour to occur is hard for me to comprehend. I know that if I had tried to pre-plan this trip on my own, I would never have come close to having a comparable experience. Well done,Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to a professional singer sing in an operatic voice from the gondola adjacent to us while floating through the canals in Venice."

Mary

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fabulous! Our guide Sarah was incredible, so personable, patient, caring, knowledgeable. It was the perfect balance of group together time and on your own exploration. Really appreciated two night minimum in each hotel, which were all perfectly located and very accomodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" it is so hard to find just one. It's better to think by city: hiking the Dolomites, reaching the top ridge of the Cinque Terre and looking down, climbing the tower of pisa, and seeing Bernini sculptures at the Bourghese. But probably what made the biggest impression was having dinner at the Forest Contrade in Sienna. Just the craziness of the palio but mostly the comradarie of this community-bellisimo!"

Laura

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was pleased with every aspect: foods, accommodations, amount of free time, choices of sights to see and options for more. I felt like we hit every import highlight and even got extra with the alpine hike and visit to Otzi, special concert in Venice, pesto lesson in Monterosso, side trip to San Gimignano, fun hiway stops at AutoGrill where our guide offered samples of Italian goodies, learned some Italian words, how to navigate subway and foil pickpockets, appreciate gelato, art and history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One: the personal pesto making lesson in Monterosso: Felicita the hotel matron is a dear Two: the evening gondola ride in Venice: with music and singer! Three: climbing to The top of the tower of Pisa on the worn steps, and discovering the grave of Fibonacci in the cemetery next door. Four: alpine hike in Compatsch with swathes of purple and white crocus blooming Five: the David: a most monumental and striking artwork. If I could see only one piece of art in Italy, this would be it. "

John

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Way more material than could be absorbed in the time of the tour. Overwhelmed by all that was presented, but had difficulty leaving things out, like I didn't want to miss out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"camaraderie of the group, knowledge of the tour guide"

Frank

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Julie

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and certainly will not be our last! From the first group gathering to the last dinner together our 17-day adventure was wonderfully planned and executed. We appreciated having the travel details arranged for us (hotel, transportation, tickets) with plenty of time allowed for exploring on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To choose just one “wow” moment would be to ignore so many others! Hiking in the Cinque Terra was amazing and of course, the art and history in Florence was sublime."

Barry

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything from the tour guide to hotels and local guides, transportation, etc was just great and first class

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were in Florence on 4/25 that is a national holiday in Italy marking the death of Mussolini and the end of fascism there. We had no knowledge of the holiday so it was serendipity that I happened to be near Piazza Duoma and saw a parade. The piazza was jammed with people making speeches, waving flags, and an orchestra playing music. After we left the piazza we ran into a fantastic drum band playing rhythms. It was just pretty magical, the whole day"

Jacqueline

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful, beautiful and we met so many fun wonderful people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all wow"

Lisa

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Gondola the ride with gentleman singing. "

Cadance

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and the overall goals explained. I enjoyed the ebb and flow of small towns and big cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I saw the Adriatic ocean for the first time! I especially enjoyed Orvieto, Italy - I was taken by the frescos in the Orvieto Cathedral and the fact that they were studied by both Michelangelo and Sigmund Freud."

Amy

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel fortunate to have been part of such an amazing tour experience of Italy. Our tour guide Colleen was awesome! She enriched the experience by her knowledge and her enthusiasm, impressed by her planning, making the experience even more special. Her love of the country and the people was obvious and contagious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments on this trip! So many amazing and beautiful places one after another! I feel grateful to have been part of it. "

Ronald

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First and foremost, we had a fantastic guide. This was really our first trip to Italy north of Naples. Colleen was both extremely knowledgeable and personable. We enjoyed all of the diverse rural and urban sites. We were able to get a feel for what Italy is all about. If I could change one thing it would be to add one extra day in Florence, Rome (I realize we could have stayed an extra day or two in Rome) and maybe Venice to really explore the area. A reason to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the beautiful ancient structures, cities and art were certainly up there. However, I really enjoyed our time with the stained-glass artisan in Siena. Simply fascinating."

Frank

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful trip this was. We got to see so much of Italy in such a short period of time. It was a perfect balance of guided tour and exploring on our own. Our guide, Colleen, and driver, Pino were just the best. They made minor itinerary changes to enhance our trip even more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many on this trip: seeing Lake Como for the first time from the train; gondola ride in Venice and water taxi ride on the Grand Canal; climbing the Florence Duomo; the entire Cinque Terre experience; beautiful hill town of Siena; St. Peter's Basilica....."

Roger

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing! We loved it and will do many more Rick Steves tours in near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count in 500 words. Top stops were Venice, Rome, and Florence. They were all GREAT!"

Caren

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized with many little extras from cookies from the guide to lessons on how to use the trains and metros to extra stop at an American military cemetery to name a few. Colleen was an excellent guide with her knowledge, organization, warmth & humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many-walking into each & every church & cathedral, the natural beauty of the different landscapes ( Lake Como, the Dolomites, the Umbria vineyards, cinque Terra, the Rome Coliseum). Loved the tour and dinner in Siena-being in the local neighborhood. Having a gondola ride with music was great & special."

Martin

Tour: 04/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour. and like the first one, it was great. Colleen, our guide was very knowledgeable, helpful, insightful, and energetic. Being a solo traveler can sometimes be lonely, but like my last Rick Steves tour everyone spends time together and it's like one big happy traveling family. And of course, our bus driver Penio (Not sure of the spelling) was absolutely the best. Awesome trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love all the Architecture, art, and history, but I love just hanging out and people-watching. My "wow" moment probably would be sitting at an outside cafe next to the Rialto Bridge in Venice drinking a beer and just watching all the boats and all the people and talking with people from all over the world. That's kinda why I travel,"

Joe

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide Vanessa was outstanding in making Italy's geography, history, culture, language, food, religion alive for us to share in the experience. Her personality made the experience outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como, Dolomites and Siena were my favorites."

Mark

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous tour in every respect: tour leaders, local guides, city tours, transportation, hotels, and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many, but the least expected "wow" moments came early for me. We were looking forward to places like Venice, Florence, Siena, and Rome, but I hadn't expected to be so wowed by Lake Como and the Dolomites!"

Marsha

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

it was wonderful seeing so many historically significant sights, experiencing a variety of culturally different areas of Italy and enjoying the terrain and climate throughout our trip. Our tour leaders. Vanessa and Rhianna made the journey fascinating with their knowledge of each area and the personal stories that they shared.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping into history and realizing this was where so much happened throughout the centuries, and understanding how we got to where we are today."

Cheryl

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour tour guides were excellent especially Vanessa. She was knowledgeable & engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow but Venice stands out as the most wow ."

Kathleen

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Vanessa made the trip. Very well organized and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como"

Deborah

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides were informative and personable. Vanessa and Rhiann set us up for success as we toured on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the agritourism visit, enjoying the beautiful grounds. Venice was amazing to learn how people function in a unique environment."

Steve

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful introduction to much variation of the country, from the Dolomites to Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Initially riding a boat down the Grand Canal to get to our hotel, taking in all the history and uniqueness of Venice."

Terri

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations due to having a phenomenal tour guide, the quality of hotels, the right amount of excursions versus our own time, the comfort of the bus, and the comradery developed with the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several to chose from but seeing the David sculpture in person was more impressive than I thought it would be. To see the detail up close of the muscles and tendons was very realistic."

Vernon

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling about Northern Italia with Stefanía and Dino was fun, humorous, educational, and inspiring. Fun, exploring beautiful, historical, and culturally significant places in history. Funny, the interaction of US transplant wife and Italian husband. Educational, thru historical and personal stories told by Stefanía and local guides. Inspiring, thru experiencing the appreciation Stefanía has for her adopted home, love for, and respect of Italian culture and people she shared everyday with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the sense of “Contrada” family community in Siena through the invitation to share a traditional meal in their private Social Club. Learning of the pride for and responsibility to maintain social and cultural accountability through the city wide Contrade culture. Siena’s population enjoys a more safe place to live, culturally rich heritage, and a centuries long spiritually healthy and nurturing city in which to raise a family. "

Marsha

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second RS tour and just as pleased! Loved all the unique and family run hotels and agriturismo experience! Our guide, Stephanie, did a fabulous job managing constantly changing conditions such as weather, covid cases, long lines to ensure tour members had a safe and satisfying travel experience. We had a great group of travel companions for 17 days-flexible, easy going, and fun. Dino, our driver, was expert Italiano driver with excellent people skills! RS continues to deliver a great value!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The “postcard view” looking out from the balcony of our Monterosso hotel."

James

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first guided tour that we participated. It was worth the cost. The ability to have hotels, restaurants, and museums pre selected was helpful. In many cases I am not sure I would have selected the places we visited. The villages we visited the hotels we stayed and places we ate were family owned and operated. This provided an authentic experience of Northern Italy. Having a knowledgeable tour guide was invaluable. Our tour guide was bilingual speaking Italian and English.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Cuomo and the Italian Alps beauty offered unparalleled beauty."

Dawn

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was packed with wonderful opportunities to see some of the most beautiful sites of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I stood in awe in front of the Statue of David."

Barbara

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything was very well organized. Our guide constantly let us know what to expect and when. We loved Italy but found the crowds in Rome overwhelming. The accommodation was better than anticipated. The group got along well although we felt somewhat intimidated being the only Canadians and certainly the most travelled in the group. The group dinners were a lot of fun and again well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list! Probably the most notable was being in the Colosseum , just the sheer size and age of the building. "

Robert

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie is a great, experience, caring guide. Dino is a great bus driver and goes way above that to do whatever is needed to is help to make the tour enjoyable. The local guides were all great, and the destinations where outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several - the beauty of Lake Como, a gondola ride in Venice, and the Pantheon in Rome stand out in my mind."

Karen

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! Wonderful experiences, food, culture while tour guide took care of the daily details of travel, entrance tickets, lodging, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat Taxi into Venice then trek to St. Marks square. Wow moment!"

Rhonda

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I had to leave the tour early because of Covid I loved everything about the tour. The hotels were amazing the guides fantastic and the tour director was attentive and caring when dealing with my getting sick

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and St. Marks cathedral!! Wow!!!"

Patricia

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being first time Rick Steve's travelers, my husband and I look forward to the next opportunity to travel with a Rick Steve's tour. Our guide Stephanie was well informed and made a point of keeping our group engaged in the culture and history of the area we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments! The introduction night in Lake Como, the pesto making demonstration in Monterosso, the glass blowing demonstration in Sienna and the entire Rome tour."

Paul

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded all my expectations, from our great tour guide who went above and beyond, to the comradery of our fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person."

John

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized, tour guide Stephanie and her husband Gino the bus driver a very amiable couple.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Negative wow how crowded Rome is"

Connie

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was extremely well organized. We had a lovely group of 28 people. It was a mixture of ages from 50’s to 70’s. Our guide, Sarah, was phenomenal. She helped us book extra experiences, make dinner reservations and gave us great recommendations. Loved that we spent 2 nights in each location so you were not constantly packing and unpacking. The group dinners were great. Especially loved the Florence dinner experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hiking in the Dolomites was spectacular! Another wow was walking in a Florence neighborhood and then you come around the corner and see the Duomo! The view from the top was worth the climb."

Greg

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just amazing. My first tour group and was somewhat anxious. But I loved it. Tour was very organized and tour guide Sarah was the best. I wasn’t sure about taking 4-5 hour bus rides, but in the end I must say I really enjoyed them - very relaxing and a time to catch my breath.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice - so magical."

Julie

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour covers many areas of Italy from the north to Rome. The planning, the lodging, the food, the guide and the bus driver were all excellent. I would have preferred the tour to begin in Milan with only a day stop at Lake Como. As a single, it was challenging to get to Lake Como from Milan. I added two extra nights to be sure I arrived in time. There just wasn't much to do in the Lake Como area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in the Dolomites was my "wow" moment. It was spectacular!"

Sueann

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a perfect trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice was my wow moment. The ride was so romantic and unforgettable. "

Thomas

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw and experienced the true best of Italy with other fun travelers and a great guide. Seeing Lake Como

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Lake Como from our hotel. Such a beautiful view made it feel like our tour would be special. And it was. "

Lonna

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations which were high. From the excellent guide, and many fantastic local guides, to the centrally located hotels, included group dinners and extra "experiences", this tour exemplified Rick Steves' commitment to optimizing the tour experience and distinguishing it from other group tours. This was our first group tour and I think we're going to be repeat customers. Yes the activity level was high but so worth it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sharing the home of our agriturismo host family was so intimate and fun. Marco's passion for his craft and Gaiva's excellent meals made our stay so personal and memorable. "

Carolyn

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Vanessa, brought Italy to life for me. She shared so much knowledge of each region we visited. Seeing major UNESCO sites as well as smaller mountain top treasures was wonderful. I feel the tour was well thought out and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the smaller charming villages was amazing. Seeing the beautiful Michaelangelo sculptures as well as the Cistene Chapel and other works of art from other masters was a highlight for me. Each region had a “wow” moment for me. "

Susan

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time making new friends, seeing new places and experiencing the culture of Italy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our hotel on Lake Como"

Sue

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful! I learned so much. I met some very cool people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Tuscany, Umbria. Loved the Dolomites and the Cinque Terra. Not a fair question! David was amazing, Venice was amazing"

Kate

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Bonnie

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the wide variety of places and venues we visited, everything from our hikes in the Dolomites and Cinque Terre to the museums and cathedrals of the cities on the Best of Italy Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hikes along the Cinque Terre and the cultural aspects of Siena with the horse race and districts, as well as St. Peter's Basilica were all inspiring in different ways."

Geraldine

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Small, intimate group. Variety of fun enjoyable activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monorosa"

Jeri

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a fabulous authentic dinner in Siena in a church basement prepared by volunteers! Who gets to do that?!"

Karie

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first Rick Steve's tour and our first visit to Italy. It was everything we could have dreamed of, plus more. The tour allowed us to experience Italy in the best possible way. It was full of variety and unexpected unique finds. Experiences that were not main stream, experiences that only our local guide could have given us. It was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't a specific wow moment. It was filled with so many. I loved our group dinners. I loved learning about the communities and getting to know the locals. "

Shawn

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over all the tour was nothing short of amazing! From the people, the food, the information, and our tour guide Patricia was absolutely the best! I couldn't imagine doing another tour without her! I'm sure all the other guides are just as good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one. Every time we got a wow moment another one would pop up"

Robert

Tour: 10/06/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking a narrow path to the ruins of a castle above Varenna. We heard crying in the distance. Soon we discovered a young couple from Poland. He had just proposed marriage to his girlfriend. She was crying for joy. I immediately asked for their camera and took many photos of the happy couple with Lake Como in the background. We never exchanged names, but I hope they have some beautiful photos of their engagement day that will bring them joy for a lifetime."

Susan

Tour: 10/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very well organized and we found the hotels exceptional. Sarah provided language and cultural information that was helpful for first time visitors to Italy. A good balance of guided tours, admissions with free time, and unstructured time. Her daily postings helped keep us on track, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tours in Florence museums were very informative & I came to a new appreciation of the alter pieces. As much as I hate to admit it, I was quite taken with the Tower of Pisa. It can be so trivialized in our popular culture I wasn’t prepared for how wonderful it was to see it in context, with the church, bapistry, cemetery, and city walls. Having a lovely sunny day made the entire experience memorable."

Ken

Tour: 10/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. So much art and history. Wonderful group guide. Wonderful town guides. Great accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dolomites"

Jeffrey

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Italy and it exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Daniela gave comprehensive and detailed historical talks both on the bus and on location regarding what we were about to see. The tour guides she introduced us to on location were exceptional. We would not have appreciated the art and history without their explanation. Visiting Lucca and Verona, not on the itinerary, was a plus. The people we traveled with were so nice including Riccardo our driver. Ciao Italia!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many eye-opening experiences! Varenna, Menaggio, Villa Carlotta,Verona & Romeo & Juliet's setting, Bolzano and hiking the Alps meadows, Gondola ride, Doge's palace, seeing and visiting Cinque Terre towns by ferry, and breakfasts at the hotels. I think my favorite was Orvieto and the Altarocca Wine Resort."

Leslie

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's Italy 17 day was fantastic. Very well organized, lots of great information, tons of free time, fun walking tour, and incredible cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exploring each city in Italy was amazing to me. Every day was a new magical experience exploring a new village or city."

Paula

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FANTASTIC!! Beautiful sights, wonderful accommodations, super city guides, interesting & captivating Artisan demonstrations, and the BEST Tour Guide!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW! MOMENTS-1st Waking up before sunrise at Hotel Royal Victoria, walking out to veranda & seeing the full moon still shining over Lake Cuomo-BREATHTAKING! 2nd- seeing the St. Mark's Square the afternoon we arrived in Venice. The time of day was perfect because the sun was directly shining on the basilica making it one big Golden glowing masterpiece!"

Daniel

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For the entire 17 Days, Best of Italy Tour, everything fully meet or exceeded my expectation

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St Mark's Square in Venice while the sun was setting on St Mark's Basilica"

Stephen

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the trip was great. Our guide Daniella was awesome. So much knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St, Mark's square in Venice, the Duomo di Orvieto and St. Peter's Basilica."

Chloe

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were exhausted after the trip. The guide was great! There were too many crowds everywhere, and Covid going around which both made the trip more of a challenge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful and relaxing Wine Resort. It was a much needed break from the crowds!"

Timothy

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Variety of destinations was amazing, Daniella was an incredible host, the tour group was filled with great people, the sights that we packed in a short-ish amount of time is so difficult to process… such an unforgettable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More than a few to count, but specifically the “reveal” moments getting off a subway, train or bus as landmarks like the Colosseum, Cinque Terre, etc are present just around a turn or through a tunnel. Knowing that you finally made it to a destination and seeing the scale of things in real life were always such a delight."

Jo

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and tour guide chosen extra places to visit were absolutely great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide was very knowledgeable about art history. She took us to a smaller Duomo in Orvieto where she took the time to really explain a fresco and its impact/inspiration for Michelangelo. This made such a difference in my understanding of the sistine chapel which we visited a couple days later"

Deirdre

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lodging, tours, side trips and tour guides at stops in between our nightly destinations were outstanding. The other positive was the amount of free time we had at each stop was very welcomed. This time gave us the opportunity to do some of our own discovery and follow up of areas we were interested in and wanted to spend more time at.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice! My favorite for sure. With that said, there was not a stop that I didn't find something that made that location wonderful."

Berni

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was awesome. Incredible group of people in our tour group. Very happy we traveled light with minimal luggage because it made our days on the go much easier. A dream trip come true.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There isn’t one there are many. Each place we stopped was a WOW moment. The history, the incredible art everywhere. It’s going to take awhile to process all that we saw."

Judith

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was fabulous. This was our 5th RS tour, and as before, the sights, hotels, food, fellow travelers, bus driver, local guides, value and group spirit were all excellent. But what made all of the above come together to create an unforgettable life experience was our guide Marianna, who is sweet, kind, funny, caring, informed, attentive, smart, unforgettable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Mediterranean, meandering in the Dolomites, swimming in Orvieto at the wine resort, the beauty of Lake Como, the Palio dinner and history in Siena and Marianna, our wonderful guide!"

Cynthia

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Marianna, made the trip! Organized, efficient, with a great sense of humor. Not one person was a minute late - I think because no one wanted to disappoint her!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many…"

Cynthia

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I could not be more pleased with the Rick Steve's "Best of Italy 17 Day Tour" we just completed! Everything was in perfect order and so organized. We saw much more than we would have been able to on our own but also had enough down time to spend just the two of us. Our guide Marianna was amazing as were each of the local guides we encountered. Highly recommend and we will be traveling with Rick Steve's again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count! From the hustle and bustle of Rome to the quiet moments in Cinque Terre. Each day was a joy."

Paul

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, the bus driver, the group meals, our companions, everything was excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The accommodations in Cingue Terre and the dinner at our hotel"

Steve

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marianna was excellent and lives up to our giant expectations after 3 other RS tours. Great structure with 2 nights at each stop. Exceptional group of people and Marianna helped add to that

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake como-Balzano alps walk-Venice-cinque terre-rome Lots of moment's experienced"

Sandi

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first introductions in Verenna to our tour guide, Marianna Iermano, and our tour members the next 17 days in Italy just kept getting better. The tour provided us with a busy schedule with enough free time filled with so many wonderful towns along the way. We loved the surprise visits to Verona and San Gimignano. Local guides provided expert information for the group. This was our third RS tour and not our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments but Balzano and the Dolomites took my breath away. Amazing vistas and hiking experience. Also loved the beet and food. "

Janet

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish this tour was amazing! Our guide, Marianna, is one of the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wows in 17 days to mention all. Boating around Lake Como and hiking the Dolomites stand out along with seeing the charm and beauty of the Cinque Terre. "

Mark

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and won’t be our last. We found our tour guide, Mariana, and all the local tour guides to be very and knowledgeable. Also funny and full of interesting details. They really added to our experience. We liked the balance of busy touring days with days giving us time on our own to do what we wanted. We really liked the overall organization and the choice of locations included in the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing views during our hike in the Cinque Terre. Also the location and views from the wine resort."

Bob

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Marianna, was outstanding: knowledgeable, funny, kind, empathetic, a good listener, as well as a good narrator. She heard some of us talking about our fathers' experiences in Italy during World War II, and she responded by arranging a previously unscheduled visit to the American cemetery near Florence. We deeply appreciated her thoughtfulness. Our tour group was unanimous in our admiration and affection for Marianna. We also admired the driving skill of our bus driver, Roberto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the two top highlights were the glorious alpine views in the Dolomites and our stay at the Altarocca Wine Resort in the peaceful countryside near Orvieto."

Juliet

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a very positive and enjoyable experience. Ricardo's (coach driver) excellent skills made traveling from each city restful and pleasant. Deborah(tour guide) was very accessible, engaging, and knowledgeable. The local guides in the cities we visited provided us with fascinating facts and history, focusing on important stuff AND providing humorous anecdotes. They (along with Deborah) helped prepare us to explore & navigate the city on our own. We will to return to Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como, Venice Forcola demonstration, Venice - Saint Mark's Basilica, Siena stained glass demonstration, Florence - Michelangelo's David, Cinque Terre Hike, Tiber River early morning and sunset. I could go on and on!"

Craig

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was an amazing experience of many impressive sights, wonderful group dinners, walking tours and cultural immersion which was impressively coordinated by our excellent guide Deborah.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow moment may be difficult to determine, as the entire trip was filled with "wow" moments! The moment which I reflect on the most was our visit to the Italian Alps village of Compatsch. In Compatsch we were able to join in celebration with the locals, as they move dairy cows elaborately adorned with huge bells and festive wreaths from summer to winter pasture. Moving of the cows was down the main thoroughfare with a beer fest, singing and other great festive activities. "

Collins

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deborah was an outstanding guide. Her expertise lent itself to our enjoyment of Italy and the culture of the people. She was wonderful at educating us in local culture which was invaluable during our extra days after the tour. She went out of her way to provide unique experiences that highlighted local regions. Our tour group was very "Rick Steves". No grumps, no late-comers, no friction at all! A great group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Dolomites and Cinque Terre!"

Timothy

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I could not have been happier with the tour as it far exceeded our expectations! Deborah our tour guide made it so much more than a standard tour, telling us about sites along the way the history of the sites also. We never waited in line with the "Europe through the back door" approach! She worked tirelessly on our tour going well over the call of duty! The timing of arriving at the destinations and the tour times we had were before the major crowds also a major plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was the Dolomites. The weather was great, our time aligned with the marching of the cows down to lower-level feeding for the winter. The was a great "party" Oktoberfest celebration. "

Susy

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! So well organized! We saw so much and were always given lots of background information to get prepared for the next destination. Our guide, Deborah, was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorites- Lake Como, Cinque Terra, Umbria Wished we could have stayed longer!"

Charmaine

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Packed with information and experiences

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Selva contrada dinner. Seeing the very young and very old members of the contrada come together to enjoy a dinner together in the open was the very essence of what I think Italy means."

George

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a nice mix of guided tours and free time to explore on your own. Our guide, Nancy, was outstanding. She mixed history, etymology, humor and local customs to fill our time while traveling between stops. Ours was a very diverse group who bonded more closely as the tour progressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was our evening dinner in Siena hosted by the Rhinoceros district, winners of the July 2nd horse race. Held in the basement of the local parish, we were treated to an authentic Italian meal proudly presented by a proud group complete with a documentary film of their success in this year’s horse race where we were introduced to a phrase which I love because of its humor and subtle truthfulness. Finishing 2nd is the worst place because “second is the first to lose”. "

Debbie

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was so well planned out. Our tour guide (Nancy) was outstanding. She was very knowledgeable, timely, had interesting facts and stories, and made us feel like one big family. The architecture and Art were unbelievable. I thought 17 days might be a bit long, but it wasn’t at all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Art and architecture. To be standing in front of things I studied in my Art History classes gave me chills and tears of joy. "

Christopher

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour experience is outstanding in every way! The balance of structured tour time and on your own time was perfect! Our tour guide Nancy was awesome! Full of cultural and historical information and very personable while keeping all of us on track and on time! Two nights in each hotel and location was perfect so as to slow us to enjoy the sights, food and culture of each area. Northern Italy to Rome in 17 days provided a great overview of the important sites. Great experienc!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one! So hard to pick one when you have the beauty of Lake Cuomo, majestic Italian alps, a gondola ride on the Grand Canal of Venice, seeing David and the beautiful Duomo of Florence, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, swimming in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and seeing the villages of Cinque Terre, all of the beautiful villages and towns in Tuscany and Umbria and a beautiful stay in a Winery Resort, and then Rome! The Pantheon, Forum, Coliseum, St. Peter’s Square and Bascilica!!!!!"

Cathy

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Rick Steves tour of Italy. Our guide Sarah was amazing. Her knowledge, insights and overall good humor enhanced the experience for us and our travelling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments--hiking in the Dolomites, St. Mark's Square in Venice, Cinque Terre, the Uffizi gallery in Florence."

Debra

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed the tour while we were there. However, we attracted the dreaded Covid (although symptoms were very mild) and we were immediately removed from the 17 day tour. We were left in Florence to either arrange for new flights home or stay in Italy and find new hotels and transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was hiking in the Dolomites. The views were amazing everywhere we looked. We really had a chance to bond and make friendships with a several of the people on the tour here while hiking. "

Kevin

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour, enjoyed the time that went by too fast

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having drinks on a plaza in Florence with my wife in the evening watching the world go by"

Stephen

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I was happy with the tour while we were on it - I contracted COVID and we were removed from the 17 day tour after 7 days. We tried to use the OnCall International help line, but found it basically useless in making any kind of arrangements - we were on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moments were hiking the Dolomite mountains - the views (and the weather) were spectacular!"

Julie

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Sarah was the best guide and made the experience great for us. Georgio, the bus driver, was a expert driver and a kind man that was wonderful to be around. The tour was a great way to see many important places and have a true understanding of what you were seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the rough, rocky steps on the Cinque Terre and looking out at the Mediterranean Sea."

Darlene

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience in the beauty, history, and culture of tour stops and Italy. Every tour and tour stop incredible and fuels my need to return for more touring in this beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome left me speechless! Everywhere I turned, another incredible piece of history. Stepped off the underground station at the Colosseum and my jaw dropped (despite the hoards of tourists)."

Judy

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a great blend of scenery and location (lake, river, sea & hilltop, mountain, cliff and level land), culture and food, transportation (bus, boat, train, subway, funicular, gondola), recreation and education. Tourist spots, historical ruins and artistic legacies alongside fresh open air and quiet spaces were perfectly mixed in throughout the 17 days. I feel like we have just touched the surface of all that Italy is and has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The camaraderie with the other travellers and the insights and humour of the guide created a very relaxed and enjoyable family-type relationship. I appreciated the wanderings and discovering quaint alleyways, architectural features and impressive buildings."

Wayne

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience was great. We enjoyed our time with everyone on the tour, including the guide and driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites of all the old buildings."

Tom

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The organization on all components of the trip were extremely well thought out and executed. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and provided opportunities for the group that went above and beyond

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was almost incomprehensible to imagine how the people of those time were able live, work and construct what then did with such beauty "

Mary Kay

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sights were extremely well thought out

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome experience "

Ellen

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Stephanie our tour guide had fun and interesting excursions for us to participate in such as, meeting with a man who does stain glass windows and pottery in Florence. A oar maker in Vince and olive oil tasting where we took a tracker ride to get to the location. All things I would not know how to set up. The tour size was a bit large.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment came in Venice when we saw how Forcola and oars were made and how each one is specific to each gondolier. It showed me how much skill is required to make the Forcola correctly so the gondolier can make moving the boat look so easy. The shop reminded me of my dads wood shop so it brought me back to my childhood. "

Krista

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first trip to Europe and we were delighted with how well our tour guide, Stephanie , prepared us for what each day would bring, as well as giving us the tools and info to use our free time to wander and "get lost" if we wished. She was outstanding at managing our group and helped keep our nervousness to a minimum while encouraging us to try new things! She made it look easy, and she got us into St. Peters before it closed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a very hard to do! Every stop had something to take our breath away, from trying out the ferries in Varenna and Cinque Terre, to seeing the breathtaking Dolomites and St. Peters Basilica. I would have to say that the lunch we had at the rooftop cafe attached to our hotel in Monorossa ( all to ourselves, looking down at the village, the sea and the beautiful sky) would be one of mine. I fell in love with Rome thought and want to go back!"

Dennis

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall impression and tour experience was one of sheer enjoyment in experiencing the sights , sounds, and tastes of Italy for the first time, anticipation of what each day of the tour would bring, and finally sadness and exhaustion after saying goodbye to our great tour members and of course Stephanie our superb tour Mom and Dino our fantastic bus driver. The tour spent the proper amount of time in each city and township and balanced the proper amount of tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed the quaintness of Varenna and the Dolomites mountains. A “wow” moment was when we hit Venice and saw the canals and bridges. We have always seen them in pictures and to finally see them in person was “wow”, we are here. "

Nancy

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary, truly a "taste" of Italy with both small towns and well-known cities. Our tour guide, Stephanie, was great! She educated us regarding cultural expectations, gave us helpful historical information, and was sensitive to the needs of individual travelers. She went "above and beyond" to make this a memorable trip for all! Our driver, Dino, was an expert at navigating small streets as well as heavy traffic. He also looked after our best interests even when not behind the wheel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one! The beautiful Dolomites, the first glimpse of St. Mark's Square & Duomo, our gondola ride in Venice, and viewing Michelangelo's David."

Janyce

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superior tour! From our first group meeting through 17 days of very active sight seeing...we were amazed by the beauty and the art of Italy. Our fellow travelers were all kind, thoughtful and fun people. Colleen our fearless leader (guide), was so knowledgeable and helpful - "Andiamo". A true dream trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Rome, at the Vatican, wandering through St. Peter's and listening to the music being played As a Catholic kid, growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I said to my sister "Did you ever think you would be here?" She shook her head, "No" she said. "Me either" was my reply. That was an awesome moment."

Joy

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was great. So nice that the hotels and transportation and entry tickets were taken care of for us. I would leave out Florence and spend an extra day in Venice and/or Cinque Terre. Too many churches for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The iceman. Siena and hiking in the Dolomites were a close second. Demonstrations by the stained glass maker and the Venice focula maker were really interesting. "

Jane

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well organized and our guide Colleen was excellent. Two days in each place was perfect and the additional tours with local guides very informative

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como was an amazing way to start the tour but the wow moment was the gondola ride in Venice with the surprise if a singer and accordion player. Magical"

Lelania

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned and expertly guided by Colleen. I loved the mix of scheduled activities and free time - it was the perfect balance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick just one! Venice blew me away - the local guide was delightful and so full of impressive knowledge. "

Patrice

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was as expected and more. Our tour guide Colleen was fantastic, very knowledgeable and fun. Roberto our bus driver delivered us to our destinations safely. It was great meeting our tour mates from all over the US and Canada.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments, but I would say hiking in the Dolomites, the views were breath taking. I also loved Varenna on Lake Como, the Alta Rocca Wine Resort and winery near Orvieto, Siena with itsII Campo and the wonderful dinner we had there along with the locals celebrating the Pallo win. Piazza San Marco in Venice at night with the music. Cinque Terra -pesto lesson and meal (no hiking or boat due to weather) David in Florence, San Gimignano, Assisi and Rome. I really enjoyed everything!"

Mary

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 1st. Rick Steve's Tour. It surpassed our expectations! Colleen was an outstanding guide and tour manager!! All the places we visited were wonderful and our hotels were all centrally located and very comfortable. We enjoyed making new friends with our fellow travelers. All the group was very friendly and compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow Moments -- Dolomites & Cinque Terre - great views and hiking - Venice and Rome - seeing all these famous sights for the 1st. time in person - Tuscany & Umbria - hill towns and countryside were unique and beautiful."

Lori

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy RS tour was incredible! I couldn't imagine trying to navigate the trip on our own without our knowledgeable RS guide Colleen and the local guides. I learned so much on the history of Italy and how that shaped the country. Italy is a beautiful country with such kind people. I highly recommend this tour and look forward to our next adventure with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to narrow down to one "wow" moment, the entire tour was a "wow' moment! However, if I have to choose one "wow" it would be the beauty of Vatican City."

Timothy

Tour: 09/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience on the tour. The Rick Steves' tour team back home and our guide locally took care of all the important arrangements, which allowed us to enjoy ourselves without being bogged down in planning. The tour combined the perfect mix of planned activities with free time so that we could still have room to brag about all the exploring we did on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments to choose from, so I'll just list my first big Wow! In Varenna, the first destination of our tour, walking from the train station and viewing the beauty of Lake Como for the first time."

Beth

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The 4 dsys of the tour were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last supper ( but then that was the end of MY tour)."

Jennifer

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very pleased. Personal preference to have a few days to linger at some of the destinations. Good blend of structured vs on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name"

Patricia

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went smoothly as soon as we joined the tour and throughout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide knew it was our 50th anniversary and put musicians in our gondola. We as well as our group and everyone else around were treated to a wonderful accordian player and a lovely young woman with a sweet voice singing some of my favorite Italian songs include one my grandmother used to sing. So moving!"

Nancy

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

SO appreciated the well organized, enjoyable day-by-day adventures. The choice of stops across Italy varied and kept us amazed. Marianna our guide was AWESOME, a kind, thoughtful good spirit who prepared us well for our days. We appreciated the local guides and their insights. We grew more confident about venturing out on our free days. Fellow travelers were a GREAT group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Numerous wows: turning a corner and facing another historic, awe inspiring "something"; the breath taking hike in the Dolomites; the meals (a whole pig at the winery! Siena's contrade tour and dinner, pesto making, Autogrills); Cinque Terre, Lake Como, Venice. "

Florence

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime. An outstanding experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to pick just one? This is really hard. There were soo many. Seeing the David up close. The Sistine Chapel. Putting my feet in the Mediterranean for the first time. A gondola ride. "

Hedwig

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! Exceeded my expectations! The tour was amazing with a wealth of cultural and historical treasures to explore. Every day was well coordinated through the expert hands of our tour leader Marianna- she was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about Italy and really helped to bring my experiences in Italy to life! This was my first RS tour and I was very satisfied with the itinerary and that I was able to get the most out of every moment of the trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many favorites on the tour, from Venice to Sienna, even some of the lesser known gems like San Gimignano but my "wow" was hiking the Alp di Suissi and hiking in the Cinque Terra. Seeing the towns from higher perspectives really added to their beauty and I enjoyed that the trip had time for me to explore on my own "

William

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christie

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first thought is that we got everything we paid for and then some. The tour was awesome and it ran perfectly. We were lucky to have the best group to travel with as I know that’s not always the case. The sights and experiences along with the good friends to share them with made this an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many Wow moments to mention. I didn’t know a lot about Italy so I had few expectations. With every Duomo I thought “Wow, it’s incredible.” With every small town I thought “Wow, it’s so charming.” With every hill or stairway I thought “Wow, another one.” Every stop along the way brought many, many Wows. "

Timothy

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything and more we hoped it would be. Met some lifelong friends in our group along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to tell but I personally enjoyed Verenna, Balsano, Siena and the Altarocca wine vineyard. But have to say it was all very informational and interesting. Guess I truly like the smaller cities. "

John

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I saw many amazing sites and enjoyed my tour group and leaders. However, a few nights we got back to our hotel as late as 10:30 and had to arise by 6:30 or 7:00 am for an 8:30 start the next day. Too many activities crammed into one day. As an example, we had gondola ride in Venice the same day we arrived; back to hotel at 10:30 PM after a very long day (including bus). This would have been more enjoyable the following night in Venice. Last two days in Rome similarly crammed with too much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites - and staying at the Alpe di Siuisi Hotel in Compatsch! The scenery and hiking here are amazing, and the hotel and its amenities blew my socks off! Staying in Bolzano would have greatly diminished our experience of this area by the travel time to get there plus the loss of staying in this amazing facility. Please keep this venue as lodging for your future trips, even if you must charge a bit more or this experience. It is well worth it! "

Frank

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was "The Best of Italy" there were wow moments at every stop"

Donald

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized. Trina, our guide, expertly handled a series of problems including: a missing tour member, covid cases (including her own), reservation adjustments caused by delays due to extremely heavy traffic, etc. Cesare, the bus driver, was pleasant and helpful. He skillfully handled the bus on some really treacherous roads. I would have not been able to see the number and variety of sights had I tried to make travel arrangements on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel and scenery in the Dolomites. The terrain looked like I was in the Sound of Music! The Seiser Alm hotel amenities were superior. "

Ralph

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th Rick Steves Tour and the experience totally met and in many many instances, exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Trina, was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in guiding and preparing us for each experience along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many WOW moments, this was my first stay in the Dolomites.The mountain area and the accommodations were above and beyond expectations as was the stay at Alta Rocca in Ovvieto at the winery ~ Top Shelf!"

Joseph

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was absolutely fantastic in the tour it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary on the tour.The gondola ride with the music and serenade was something special that can’t ever repeat that moment.In addition ever location we visited had it’s on special wow moment.If there is a place I would want to return it would be the Dolomites.The scenery was beautiful and the hikes awesome."

Cozette

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic. Couldn’t asked for anything better. From our tour guide to where we went to the people on the tour. It was really perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride with singer and accordion player, a gift from our tour guide celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. It was very precious. We also fell in love with Sienna, it wasn’t overcrowded and had pristine meandering streets. Loved Il Campo, it’s positively insane and fun. Acts as a core inspiration for the younger generation, there’s no crime. Loved the stained glass demonstration, seeing his work for 9/11 Villanova U. "

Elaine

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous!!! Tour was very active and offered so many opportunities for exploring with the group as well as on our own. Two night stays in each stop allowed us to explore and relax. It was convenient to have all the details taken care of…accommodations, driving, tickets, most dinners and entry to multiple tourist sites without the wait.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Orvieto we visited the cathedral and luckily a wedding was taking place. As an organist, it was shear delight to hear the music in this beautiful cathedral! Ava Maria was mesmerizing for me. One other wow moment at this same location was the impressive Pietà by Scalza….I found it more moving than Michelangelo’s sculpture. Very powerful interpretation. "

Mary

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent itinerary, excellent tour guide. Disappointed in several hotels we stayed in - no air conditioning or elevator. Good tour timing, very fun excursions. Good balance between directed events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Vatican, Second choice, view from the hotel in the Dolomites."

Dian

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were exposed to a nice variety of Italy. Enjoyed our tour guide Vanessa, and had a great time with our fellow travelers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Lake Como. Beautiful hotel in Varenna to start our tour with views overlooking the lake. Would have loved to stay longer"

Ben

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour but needed more time at some destinations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Venice first hand was amazing "

Marilyn

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, wonderful! First trip to Europe, first tour. Nothing was missed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites, hands down."

Glenda

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the itinerary and our tour guide, Vanessa Nicol was great. However, many of the hotels were substandard and meals provided were average at best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vanessa arranged a gondola ride for us that included a singer and accordion player which we had requested. It had been on my wife’s bucket list for sometime. It was better than we could have imagined."

Patrick

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great with lots of great experiences and interesting and useful information from the guide that we had. Vanessa

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites. Absolutely stunning"

Steven

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Overall the experience was good, we did feel it was more like a religious tour than we would have liked. We traveled through some of the most famous wine regions in the world and didn't even visit a real winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were amazing!"

Robin

Tour: 09/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well planned and guided. Very good accommodations and centrally located. Excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable and supportive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites. Stayed in unique hotel high in the mountains. Unique experience."

Kristi

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour: the itinerary, the guide, the group, the group time, the independent time. It was a great balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow is that I really bonded with some of the other travelers. I went into this expecting a great travel experience. It was a surprise and bonus that I made new friends I plan to keep in touch with. "

Mark

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were kept very busy seeing the highlights of every city we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine and olive farm in Umbria and the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica were the highlights."

Karl

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time to Italy. The tour was as described. Donald White was excellent. We are going on the RS Southern Italy tour spring 2024 (booked it already).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Donald arranged for gondola rides with music."

Ronald

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We’ll balanced between tour time and free time. Guide Donald very knowledgeable and controlled tour friendly, professionally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I would have to say, learning history in Sienna about annual horse races, the different communities and how close each community is to residents. The annual horse race parades took place while we were there and it was amazing."

Timothy

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Stephanie, was excellent! She was very informative and well organized. The bus was comfortable.and the driver was very good. The hotel accommodations were clean and comfortable. The local guides added detail to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was the view of the Dolomites from the top of the chair lift."

Bernadette

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic guide and driver! Stephanie's wealth of knowledge and kindness made me feel like we were just visiting an old friend, who had a lot of other friends joining us on a walk. The food the locations, the knowledge, local local guides allowed us to take a walk around inside the history books we have been reading all of our lives. The hotels were great, although having hair conditioner would be nice, as you can't travel with liquids. Some of the hotels made us feel like old friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fact that Stephanie asked us what we hoped for when we started was great! I wanted the Stanley Tucci, "Oh My God" moment when tasting great food. I not only got that moment, but fell in love with the multiple times we got to eat at a large family table. It was a feeling, I will try and re-create at home. I LOVED the Contrada and feeling like part of the family. I will now dig into my Italian family history to see if I can have dual citizenship. This was our first overseas trip of a life time"

Chad

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful, chance of a life time tour. Great tour guide, great places to visit, great hotels with great locations, great food, great bus driver. Tickets to museums etc were all provided and was easy to get in to the places. The food experiences was the best food ever and a lovely experience as well. It was a long time dream come true!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Outside of Italy itself, my favorite wow moment was all the extras that our tour guide thru in and all the wonderful knowledge shared. Loved having local tour guides share their expertise as well. "

Lynn

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Stephanie was amazing! The hotels we stayed in were great. The group meals were delightful. We had a great time in all of our cities. There was the right amount of tours and down time for our personal choice activities. We were given great information for ideas of what to do with our free time by our guide, Stephanie. She was amazing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite time was spent in our agriturismo. We had spend several days in wonderful cities. It was just a nice change to sit out in the country and enjoy the view and peace."

Ross

Tour: 06/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my first Rick Steve's tour, so i could have maximized my experience by reading a little more carefully and planning ahead a little better, but overall the experience was very good. I remember looking at one of the group photos on the website and wondering how the Best of Italy '23 group would be like. Met some interesting and cool people on the tour, including "Ferdi and the Local Guides".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best moment for me was the tour of Assisi. Our group was mesmerized by the local guide. He transported us. He spoke about the historical significance of Assisi, but more memorably the famous people that visited and performed there. When he spoke about Dionne Warwick, and "the look on her face when she was about to take the stage", he got choked up, we got choked up. Stardust!"

Matthias

Tour: 06/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceelent tour overall. My favorite cities to visit were Venice and Sienna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour were the contradas of Sienna, and getting a personal tour into the chapel of one of them. All of the local guides were excellent throughout the tour. I also enjoyed seeing the Roman Forum and again, we had an excellent tour guide who had outstanding visuals that helped us imagine what this area used to be like in its full glory, or even just before the excavation in the 1800s. Also loved the Gondola ride in Venice! "

Sonja

Tour: 06/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a dream trip to visit Italy. Our guide and fellow travelers really made the trip memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Sienna and experiencing the enthusiasm and passion they have for their town/Contrada. Also swimming in the Mediterranean for the 1st time in Cinque Terre."

Sara

Tour: 06/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip of a lifetime with amazing sights, food, and culture. But, the agriturismo rooms had either no A/C or broken A/C and temps were in the 90s. None of us slept more than a few hours those two nights. There were no screens so people who left the windows open for ventilation woke up covered in mosquito bites. The Vatican was miserable: hot, overcrowded, and you can't linger to look at the beautiful art without getting yelled at. Felt like a modern version of selling indulgences to tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Borghese in Rome - astounding sculptures by Bernini and other masters. We went on our own but I think it should be included instead of the Vatican. We saw a fantastic concert in Venice and scurried back to our hotel amid a thunderstorm. Splashing through five-inch high water in darkened Venetian alleys was the coolest experience!"

Lois

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip, experienced more with my travel group than I would have on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Local guides and our Rick Stieve guide were able to explain/educate and add to the experience. There were many wow moments."

Stephen

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I'm very satisfied overall. The guide was excellent. I was not happy with most of the hotel choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably hiking in the Dolomites."

Maria

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Daniela was amazing at navigating the crowds, the sites and difficulties that arose. She was always positive, helpful, informative and fun!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of WOW moments…one of them was walking the cinque terre path to the other villages "

Cheryl

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met and exceeded our expectations in every way. It was our first Rick Steves tour, but it won't be our last. The itinerary truly gave us the "best of Italy" in terms of the locations and activities. There was a great mix of big city excitement and rural relaxation. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and had a knack for meeting the individual needs of all group members. Our hotels were located right in the heart of the action allowing us to get to the sights quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that it's difficult to pick just one. One location I was really looking forward to was the Alpe de Suisse. and it didn't disappoint. As we hiked through the idyllic countryside with majestic mountains ringing our lush green valley, I thought everything was perfect. Then what should appear but a herd of contented cows, peacefully grazing as their bells provided an alpine soundtrack to our adventure. Pinch me - am I dreaming this Italian Alps paradise? "

Mary

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience! Our tour guide Daniela was great! We had a good group of people and we saw and did amazing things!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry but I didn't have one 'wow' experience; every place we went had it's own unique and wonderful experience."

Angus

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything described in the materials and guidebook plus additions along the way. It was successful in giving me a true picture of the antiquities of Italy and a good feel for the culture of present day Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments from the tour. I'm tied on my favorite. The 2 nights we spent in Cinque Terre including the walk from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. Seeing the dome of the Pantheon crackless after 2,000+ years of existence."

Slavka

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew that the Italy tour would be great; however, what really made it wonderful was our tour guide,Daniella. She really knew about the sites we were seeing and provided lots of historical, geographical, cultural and political insights. However, what made it the best was her. She was funny, caring and an absolute delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way too many "wow" moments to list them here."

William

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves 17 Day tour of Italy far exceeded our expectations. We couldn't have had a better guide for our group than Daniela Wedel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Dolomites with Daniela and the group."

Gerald

Tour: 06/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outlined by Rick Steve's Company, but Daneila Wedal took it to the next level by enhancing our days with other stops and dining.

Mary

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour with a great group of 23 friends and our outstanding guide, Lorenza, and driver, Sauro! We enjoyed seeing many different cities and regions, as well as learning much about the history, art, and people of Italy. Our guide provided us all with a great personal experience, and we had a few extra moments that really added to the depth of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - we even all said “wow” in unison for several of them! The list includes the beauty of Lake Como, the walk we took in the Dolomites, our farmhouse anniversary dinner, St Peter’s Basilica, a street fair/fundraiser in Siena, and our stop in the American World War II cemetery near Florence. Lots of wow!"

Michelle

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

James

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I have a very good experience. It met expectations and I enjoyed the places we visited and the hotels provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Cinque Terre, Lake Como and the Dolomites. Hotels we stayed at we above my expectations and most were exceptional."

Eric

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It really was the best of the best of northern Italy. Beautiful scenery and world class museums, cathedrals, art, history and culture. We really had a great group of adventurous folks who made it fun and the spirit made it better for all. Our guide was fun, warm hearted and added her insights all along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michaelangelo's David, And Sistine chapel ceiling were world class art I wanted to see, but really the whole tour group, and leader made it great."

Wayne

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first group tour experience so I chose to lessen the chance of my being disappointed by choosing a well established tour company. Rick Steves and his people exceeded my expectations at all times and I was comfortable just relaxing and enjoying the experience knowing our guide and her support system had it all under control.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The panoramic views from The Alps. Best morning walk ever."

Karen

Tour: 06/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent from beginning to end! We were able to focus our attention on enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes, and places of our Italian adventure while our experience guide and capable driver, took care of all of the logistics and planning. This is exactly what we are hoping for, and we were delighted!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views in the Tuscany region were so beautiful that it looked like we were standing in the middle of a painting! The views of Cinque Terre, as we approached from the water were stunning! The masterpieces of sculpture and art in all of the places we visited were breathtaking."

Ingrid

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We liked the overall itinerary of the tour and places we went. The guide and bus driver were excellent and the other tour members were pleasant as well. We are not religious, and the extent of religious sites grew a bit tiresome at times, although we understand the historical significance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was the Sisteen Chapel and David. We really enjoyed the Dolomites as well. j"

Edward

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman ruins."

Barbara

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

17 days in Italy tour was for our 50th wedding anniversary & it did not disappoint. Sara was an incredible, experienced, knowledgeable, fun guide. Our bus driver, Massimo made us feel safe. Our group, very diverse, was wonderful, we will miss them all! The hotels were clean, with nice meals and in unique in so many wonderful ways! We went on several town/city tours as a group,- plenty of time to choose our individual preferences. Lots of favorites with memories for us to hold on to. Great tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were incredible to see. The clouds coming and passing over/around the steep, ruggedness was incredible to see.We took the”easier route hike” and at the end we’re not so sure easier was the best description. It was a beautiful hike, but much longer than we anticipated. At the end of the day my Steps Tracker said 8 miles. I’d also recommend hiking poles, mostly for the hike down, where the incline & loose gravel made it difficult to get a grip on the trail. Overall a wonderful hike!"

Richard

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every place we visited was worthwhile and many could justify at least one more day. Our guide was outstanding in managing the complex logistics and keeping a positive attitude throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe the iceman. It was amazing to hear more details of the story which I was already somewhat familiar with and see all the gear that was found with him."

Teresa

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide was professional, helpful, informative and great fun. I think there are a few parts of tour that could be changed

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Lake Cuomo, Dolomites"

Chuck

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wild Boar Pasta "

Sheryll

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour once we got to the meeting point. The tour itinerary was very extensive but it was the personality and knowledge of Sarah our tour guide that made the trip exceptional. I liked the mix of scheduled tours with free time. The size of the group was a good size. The tour guide modified trip slightly to adjust to the situation and the group. This made the tour even more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all the personal experiences that we were exposed to that we would never have had if we had traveled on our own. The dinner and session on the farm, the dinner in the contraband in Siena, the pesto lesson, demonstration by the stain glass and focula maker were such a treat. The hike and lunch in the Dolomites was incredible."

Michael

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great, and our guide Sarah was fantastic. We enjoyed the mix of scenic towns and big city experiences - the history and culture of the various Italian regions and stunning views of the Dolomites, Lake Como, and Cinque Terre. The bus was quite comfortable, and although it appears to be a lot of bus time, several non-itinerary stops along the way made it much more tolerable. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the Trail of Witches hike in the Dolomites was great. Stunning views and a semi-challenging trail made it special. My wife enjoyed the "surprise" stop at the hilltop town of San Gimignano near Siena. A great stop that was not on the itinerary."

Leon

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, and we were delighted with the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thinking it was seeing Venice for the first time after having seen so many images and its being described by friends."

Lynn

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience with an exceptional guide, Sarah, and a great group of fellow travelers. As this was our 4th Rick Steves tour, we knew there would be unexpected and non-touristy experiences along the way and we were not disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites took my breath away. My favorite "wow" moment was high on the Panoramic Trail. There were snow capped mountains all around and beautiful Alpine green meadows at our feet. Sarah played "The Hills Are Alive" from the Sound of Music and we couldn't help but sing!"

Lee Ann

Tour: 05/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was great, and I appreciated that our tour took care of the details- transportation, hotels, tickets, many meals- so that I could focus on being where I was. I had been to Italy before and was happy to revisit Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome, but I specifically wanted the "Best of Italy" itinerary to see places I hadn't seen before like Lake Como, the Dolomites, Cinque Terre and Umbria, and it was a perfect mix of locales for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking back at Vernazza from the Vernazza-to-Monterosso trail. It is the iconic view of Cinque Terre that I loved seeing for myself. "

Xiancheng

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the tour thoroughly. This is the first time we visited Italy. The comprehensive and thoughtful tour logistic arrangements completely allowed us to focus on enjoying the tour contents. The itinerary covered the most key areas that interested us, plus some "bonus" stops that we did not know. The hotel choices were excellent in their location and service quality. The tour guide (Ferdie) were so professional, knowledgeable, and courteous. We wish to see him again in our next tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are a few stops on tour that were not mentioned in the published itinerary, such as San Gimignano, that were so interesting."

Kathleen G

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good lead tour guide and group of people. Mix of group and free time good. Several highlights include: Dolomites (day of hiking); Cinque Terre (hotel great; pasta demo and dinner great); Winery stay including hotel, surroundings, visit to Orvieta, and meals great. Several missteps include: landslide front of tour that prevented train access to hotel in Varenna - lack of communication from tour company to advise contacting hotel to get from ferry to hotel well above Lake Como (physically hard).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely being in Dolomites for one day of free time - hiking the beautiful hilltops and mountain views. Second misstep was having a last minute change of hotel from printed itinerary which resulted in the group not staying in mountain chalet or having special meal there. Rebooked hotel was in rather large city (Bolzano) with limited mountain views so not nearly as charming as staying in mountains as planned. Email from tour company as to why the location change would have been preferred."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the volume of places we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra"

William

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent experience and accommodations. Bus transport comfortable and efficient. Great driver and guide. Special tours turned out to be wonderful. Stained glass, pesto, and forcola making were unique and memorable. Wish sequence was Academia then Uffizi so we could have spent more time at the Uffizi. Bad timing due to holiday prevented a return to Uffizi the next day. Wanted more time in Assisi. Would have preferred a short stop in Lucca to San Gemignani (Rick really down on SG in the guide)I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy in general. Loved Varenna, Alpe di Suisse, First sighting of the Grand Canal, St Mark's, Cinque Terre, the bridges over the Arno at dusk, Assisi, Orvieto, both side of Rome (ancient and Catholic Baroque). The Sistine Chapel and Upper Assisi basilica were amazing. We did The Last Supper and Scrovegni on our own. We had to make separate plans for St Peters due to event. Also, Galleria Borghese was stunning, had to stay an extra day on our own for it."

Yingping

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is the best organized tour I have ever had in my thirty year’s traveling experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first sight of San Gimignano because it’s unexpected."

Julie

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour as we've done Europe trips on our own with Rick's guide books in the past. We loved the experience. It was great to have the itinerary and hotels booked as well as all of the transportation and travel details once we arrived. All of this takes so much time to plan and figure out! We loved our tour guide, Ferdi. Had an excellent bus driver, Roberto. Great comradery with the others on the tour. Got to see and experience so much! Enjoyed the local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many wow moments. I keep getting asked this question and struggle picking a favorite. I think seeing and experiencing Lake Como by ferry for the first time and enjoying our wonderful hotel in Varenna was a wow. Also, experiencing the beauty and uniqueness of Venice again was a wow. "

Maureen

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on the Best of Italy tour. We were so lucky to have Ferdi for our guide. He was informative, kind, funny, knowledgeable. He was the perfect blend for a guide. Without a doubt, he was the reason our tour was so much fun. We had a wonderful group of fellow travelers. This was our 5th Rick Steves tour, and it did not disappoint! The Itinerary was excellent. A well put together tour full of fun and laughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride that Ferdi arranged for us was one of my favorite moments. We started at dusk and ended with the lights on the Grand Canal. We will never forget that evening. And the visit to Assisi was one that really touched my heart. What a beautiful city! Of course, the hike in the Dolomites was breathtaking as well. This tour had more than one wow moment. I would recommend this tour in a heartbeat. "

Catherine

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! The hotels are wonderful, the guide is great, the food outstanding. Every detail was thought of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine resort. "

Teresa

Tour: 05/26/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Miles of walking, fantastic food, culture, architecture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the winery was a delightful respite"

Richard

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We weren’t sure what to expect, as this was our first tour, our first experience of Rick Steves’ organization, and our first significant trip abroad — and this was far beyond what we’d hoped or imagined! It was outstanding in every aspect, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the whole experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite? Impossible to pick out just one. Every day brought a new and wonderful surprise, or actually set of surprises. Endless “wow” moments."

Roxanne

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw the most of northern Italy you could see in 17 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on our balcony in Monterosso in Cinque Terre drinking a glass of Prosecco at sunset. Life doesn’t get much better. "

Mike

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, great group. Trina, our guide, did a great job with both the history, art, and practicality of the tour. Dino, our driver, navigated around several issues. The group meshed well and enjoyed each other’s company. Whew! This tour should be called a taste of Italy! We saw so many cities that you would want to go back to and see in a more relaxed pace. Essentially, we got one full day in each city. The only disappointing thing was cold showers at the agritourismo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment on the tour was seeing the David at the Academia in Florence."

Carol

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very educational and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the David."

Barbara

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The only stress was getting through the Milano train station. It should be mentioned that the ticket validation machines are the small "yellow" ones on the track and that we could buy a ticket to get off in Varenna, not the end of the route. From Varenna on we were overwhelmed with the entire tour. Our entire group were fun and easy to travel with. Our tour guide Trina, was amazing and even our bus driver Dino was the best! We loved the locations and felt we got a doctorate in Art History!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a WOW in every place we visited. Probably the ancient architecture, the churches were like walking through a Ken Follett novel. But also the Dolomite Mountains which was like a scene from The Sound of Music!"

Candra

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly, turning the corner and seeing David."

Gina

Tour: 05/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina was an excellent tour guide! Our 3rd RS your and she’s the best! Lodgings were better than before! Great bus driver- we loved Dino! Not too large of a tour ….. keep them small please..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alpe de Suise in the Dolemites!!!"

Michael

Tour: 05/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time and made many new friends on the tour. We have never taken a tour in the past and we’re concerned that we wouldn’t have adequate free time but it was a good mix of group events and free time to peruse our own interests. Several of our group had previously been on a Rick Steves tour and that gave us confidence we were in for a very positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After touring Saint Marks cathedral we went to a restaurant on the square for a bite of lunch and a little people watching . That’s when it hit us we were really experiencing Italy. "

Janet

Tour: 05/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was magical and surpassed my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting atop a terrace in Cinque Terra with amazing views over the mediterranean sea. We had a local family (82 year old grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter host our group. We sipped champagne as they demonstrated their family pesto recipe. The views were spectacular and I loved seeing this 3 generation family share their passion for Italy. "

Sharon

Tour: 05/14/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Paris and Italy was sensational

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris the Eiffel Tower when I walked out of our room. Sacre couer. Love the green fields in Italy, lake Como and Balzono. Venice was awesome, as was all of Italy. My bucket list complete,"

Steven

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and our first Rick Steves experience. Both did not disappoint. We had been planning this trip since 2019. The trip exceeded our expectations. The tour was eventful and filled with sights that we don't think we could have gotten on our own. Our guide Karin was absolutely fabulous. We've been home a week now and we're already planning another Rick Steves trip for next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. When you're touring Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Pisa, the Cinque Terre, Asissi, Siena, then finally Rome, the "wow" are many and almost daily. Of them all, the biggest "wow" moment was when I first walked into St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. I was literally in awe. But that was just one of many "wows.""

Frederick

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Karin, was super. I was amazed with her skills in keeping a large group together and focused with each city visited. Her knowledge of history was super and most enjoyable. All the guides in each city were super. Paul Costa(sp) really stood out with the way he would engage the group and making history fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was learning about Sienna. The unique history of this city was very interesting with how they evolved with districts, horse racing, and family. And basic concepts of life hold strong today. "

Lynn

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time, fantastic food, great companions and a top hat guide. The hotels were located for easy walking and exploring. The guide went beyond her job to find a running guide for us in Rome and live music for our Anniversary trip on the waterways of Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide made each and every experience well worth our time. Special drinks on a snow covered peak, cookies on the bus and a joyful smile.The Wow was her ability to bring together a very diverse group of people into a team in such a short time."

Monique

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Bart

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good, bordering on outstanding. There were only a couple of things that kept this tour from being outstanding and neither were within the tour guides control. First, the weather could have been better. The poor weather impacted our ability to hike in the Dolomite’s. Despite the weather our guide, Karen, did a great job improvising and we still had a great time. The second issue was the fact the Vatican museum was stupidly busy. That I completely blame on the Vatican.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Otzi, hiking the Cinque Terre and running in Rome. The Ice Man was fascinating. I recall hearing about the discovery years ago, but to actually visit the museum, see Otzi’s remains and learn about his life and death is something i will remember for the rest of my life. However, personally for me, I think my “wow” moment was running in Rome. My buddy Jay and I had arranged a 15K sunrise running tour. We saw all the major sites, essentially empty and watched the city come to life. Beautiful."

Judy

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Schedule was a comfortable pace and itinerary was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride in Venice and Sienna"

Mary Lee

Tour: 05/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the entire experience, From our excellent guide Karen, to the sites, food, and hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and CinqueTerra were both wows!"

Maureen

Tour: 05/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great and wonderful memories were created.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre and celebrating our Anniversary with a pesto making class and delicious meal."

Joseph

Tour: 05/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Our guide Sarah always addressed any problems which was not often

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Cinque Terre."

Deb

Tour: 05/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While we weren’t able to finish the tour, the trip was outstanding up until we left. Great tour leader, local guides and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly, seeing Otzi at the S. Tyrol Museum in Bolzano. Unexpected and fascinating."

Edward

Tour: 05/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour even though it was a bit fast paced. Perhaps a one or tow 3 night stays in one place would allow for down time, illiness etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visting artisan studios such as Remi the forcole maker in Venice and Masimo the stain glass artist in Senia. "

Joe

Tour: 05/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been to Europe and booked this for our 30th wedding anniversary. It exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were seeing the scenic natural beauty of Lake Como and the Cinque Terra were breathtaking. Also Saint Marks in Venice was spiritually moving. "

Jon

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded all my expectations. The accommodations were stellar and the food was excellent. We had a great tour guide and she made the whole trip so enjoyable. I really enjoyed that we had a lot free time to explore on our own. The guided tours in the cities we visited were so educational and helpful to understand the culture and life in ancient Italy. Just loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first night in Varenna we were lucky to have a lakeside room with a view of Lake Cuomo. It was so beautiful. What a way to start your trip."

Ann

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Vanessa, really created a great experience for all of us. This trip is a dream come true. We were able to see so much in just 17 days. That was a bit aggressive, but we knew that is how it would be. I do like the fact that we were in each are for 2 nights. The art, history and architecture just amaze me. While it rain just about every day, we were all troopers and didn't let it stop us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmmmm.....my "wow", I had a few! Umbria and Tuscany wowed me and Cinque Terre really wowed me too. I have wanted to go to Cinque Terre for years! I would love to have been able to spend more time there. Maybe we will go back."

Lynelle

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply amazing! From start to finish, this trip exceeded every expectation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many “Wow” moments! Sunrise at Lake Como; the Spring flowers blooming on the Dolomite meadows; the Grand Canal opening up in front of our gondola; the David and “prisoner” sculptures; the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the 11:00 chant in the Baptistry; Cinque Terra; the Tuscany hills; San Gimignano; relaxing at the vineyard; Orvieto and the Etruscan caves; Rome! The food and regional suppers…so delicious! I was simply “wowed” from start to finish. "

Linda

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride with music arranged by our guide Vanessa!"

Nathan

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour experience was amazing! Vanessa just made everything exciting and fun! This was our first time traveling with an "organized tour" and it far exceeded any expectation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite. I just felt like I was in a motion picture seeing all the things I have seen in movies."

Thomas

Tour: 05/05/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The towns/sites visited provided a great sampling of the different regions of northern Italy, and Vanessa provided a perfect blend of history, religious significance, Italian language lessons and humor as she guided us through the 17 days. We experienced an unusual amount of rain for this time of the year, but she even made the best of that through her upbeat personality. 2 things I didn't like: Vatican Museum tour was VERY rushed, and seems like we crammed too much into 2 days in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to choose one, but the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Roman Forum would all be at the top of the list."

Michelle

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience on this tour was just wonderful. Our tour guide, Stephanie is outstanding and made the trip remarkable! I feel fortunate to have traveled to so many unexpected places in Italy and gain knowledge of the Italian culture, history and exquisite art. I feel blessed to have experienced a terrific adventure and the many friendships long the way. Thank you Stephanie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many "wow" moments on the trip for me. The beauty of Lake Como and walking in the Dolomites stands out and I have to say the mid-evil surroundings of Siena I will never forget. I loved that city!"

Kaye

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing travel experience from the best guide, Stephanie, to bus driver, Dino, to a wonderful group to spend 17 days, to the very well planned cities including the unplanned stops between cities like the American Cemetery, & beautiful San Gimignano. Lots of walking & steps so you do need to be fit enough to keep up & carry your own luggage. My husband & I are 72 & very active, walking daily & exercising so it was perfect for our lifestyle. We never could have covered so much unguided!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Alta Roca Wine Resort outside Orvieto, Varenna & Cinque Terre in the evenings after the cruise ship tourist go back to their ship & you get to enjoy the beautiful towns without the crowds! Learning about the horse races in Sienna, the stained glass presentation & of course the statue of David in Florence, ride on a vaporetto in Venice, the Ice Man museum in Bolzano, & the gorgeous hike from one hill town to another in Cinque Terre."

Caran

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a single female I was originally reluctant to participate in a Rick Steves tour. However, I am very glad that I did it anyway. I was very pleased with the Best of Italy tour that I took in May 2023. For starters, we had a wonderful tour guide, Stephanie B who provided a lot of information and care with just the right approach. I had previously toured Italy using Rick's guidebooks, but this tour let me know just how much you can miss by doing it yourself. I will go again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sum of the parts! WOW! I want to do it again. "

Timothy

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfull! It gave us as first time travelers to Italy a great look at the most notable sites in northern Italy. Each of our hotels were within easy walking distance from the sites and we had free time to see interesting sites that were not on our tour allowing us Rosenurg maximize our tour experience. When closures happened our guide was great at leading us to great alternative sites and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history and art was astounding! From Ott's the ice man in 5000 BC that they now know a remarkable amount about, to the Sassi, Etruscans and Greek from the first 5 centuries BC, how advanced Pompai was in 79 AD to the Renaissance art of the 14th century. I have never before been exposed to such a wide range of historic sites and art."

Jolene

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nice tour that made it easy and convenient to see different cities and attractions

Maureen

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

17 days full of new sights, old art, new drinks (aperol of course), old architecture, and new friends. The guide, Stephanie, was superb. The itinerary was busier than I expected, but I wouldn't have missed any of it. The hotels were better than I expected, but often noisy so those earplugs and white noise really helped. The ancient towns were a joy to explore, especially with the chance to meet artisans in several towns and cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are more than one: when the meat was served at the Bolzano restaurant, Donatello's David, views when hiking the Cinqueterra, when Stephanie surprised me with a postcard of the St Frances chapel where I couldn't take a photo, the map room in the Vatican...."

Susan

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the "mix" of big city and nature. Our Rick Steve's guide, Stephanie,and the local guides, shared insightful information and did it in a fashion that inspired us to learn more. We appreciated the balance of planned activities with free time to explore on our own, which also came with good recomendations. We found our tour group to be cohesive and encouraging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turning a corner in the Florences's Academia and first seeing Michelangelo's David. "

Edward

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Candy

Tour: 04/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was incredible! Starting with our guide!!! The accommodations were great! It was fun meeting the fellow travelers; they all were so enjoyable! Of course the sights of Italy are awesome! The extra added excursions so added to our experience (glass blowing, fulcrum craving, stain glass, gondola serenade, and much more). And the food and wine were of course delicious!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one “wow” moment?? Each stop was wonderful and had its own exceptional experiences. Hiking in Varenna with views of Lake Como! The tram ride and hike in the Dolomites! Venice was awesome no cars and the local guide was great! Cinque Terra was a dream with the ocean views and hiking! The Siena/Tuscany area was beautiful! And Orvieto and the Agriturismo was so beautiful and relaxing And Rome was much more enjoyable than expected!"

Carol

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. It was so scenic and informative. It was nice to get a flavor of different regions of Italy. The food was outstanding, the guide was first rate, and the group was easy to get along with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery at Lake Como and Monterosso were my favorites."

Jennifer

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour of Italy was everything I hoped it would be and more. From Lake Como to Rome I learned so much about the history of each of the regions we traveled in and the scenery was breathtaking. The people of Italy are lovely as was our guide, who was so knowledgable and charming. Lastly, I really enjoyed getting to know the other travelers in our group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day in Italy is full of ‘wow’ moments, but there are standouts. Walking in the Alpe di Siusi, with the jagged tops of the Dolomites peaking through the clouds was a moment in time I hope to never forget. The same is true of attending a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Venice, in a historic venue where chamber music has been performed for centuries!"

John

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything we expected, and more. The pace was brisk, but manageable, and the content made all of our effort worthwhile. The hotels were fantastic, the coach and driver were outstanding, and the group activities were enjoyable. Our guide, Sarah, made it all even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From a number of "wow" moments, I would select viewing the Cinque Terra villages from the ferry as my favorite wow moment. Every image looked like a postcard. The colorful villages carved into the seaside cliffs are amazing."

Mark

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable, fun tour group and excellent main guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing "David" in Florence was truly magnificent."

Sharon

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all we hoped it would be. I'm so thankful that no one got sick, no one got hurt, and everyone got along so well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think going on gondola ride in Venice was a highlight. I never thought I'd actually get to do that! "

Anne Marie

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was incredible! I have never been to Italy before and this was the tour to do; besides having the best Rick Steves tour guide ever....Sarah Shortreed! All the work that went into having a successful tour; all the behind the scenes to make it all happen was seamless. The sights, the sounds, the food, the extra knowledge, history that we learned and saw was priceless and I will never forget. It was a trip of a lifetime for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many...starting with the Lake Como village of Varenna...hiking the Dolomites..exploring Venice...seeing Michelangelo's David...Pisa's Leaning Tower...being awestruck at the beauty of Cinque Terre's villages...going behind the scenes to see how stain glass windows are created.. and how the Gondola paddles and stands are made...staying at a winery... going to the Florence and American Cemetery and Memorial...ROME..SISTINE CHAPEL..COLOSSEUM..ST. PETER'S BASILICA..memories forever!"

Richard

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing trip, beyond my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very difficult to pick just one, here's mine. The Cinque Terre area and the charming town of Monterosso. We stayed at the Hotel Pasquale and had a room with balcony facing the Sea. We could have stayed here many more days."

Beth

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience-my first with Rick Steves. The guide, itinerary and group were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I have two...Varenna and the Lake Como region was so beautiful, as was the experience visiting Cinque Terra. Each village had its own true color and personality."

Deborah

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Italy dream came true! The tour not only met but exceeded my expectations. I saw everything I hoped to see and more. Some days were quite demanding, logging10 miles once, and close to that several on others, but every step was worth it. Our tour group was filled with nice folks. Last but not least was our tour guide.....the SUBERB Sarah! She's a gem. This will not be our last Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first view of Lake Como from our hotel terrace on day one to St Peter's Basilica in Rome on our last day. Honestly, everyday held a wow moment for me. Cinque Terre was charming and San Gimignano & Venice made quite an impression."

Marshall

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed being with enthusiastic, positive fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terra. Lived up to and exceeded the hype."

Rex

Tour: 04/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First trip to Europe. Was impressed how every day was so well planned out and our guide (Sarah) was the absolute best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Iceman ‘Otzi’ How amazing that a 5,000+ year old preserved man and many of his belongings were found and preserved. "

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to take a Best of Italy tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for offering good weather, lighter crowds, and the full range of tourist fun.

Italy / Milan


Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in the Itinerary section of your tour confirmation email, as well as in your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Venice (VCE) and out of Rome (FCO) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Italy guidebook.