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

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Best of Italy in 17 Days Tour

from $5,295 per person + air

Single Supplement $725

See Dates & Prices

The Rick Steves Best of Italy tour is exactly that — the very best. Starting on beautiful Lake Como, this tour treats you to Italy's must-see destinations: timeless Venice, 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!

Dates & Prices

2022

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 27 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

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

  • Lake Como ferry pass
  • South Tirol Museum of Archaeology (Ötzi the Iceman)
  • Venice walking tour
  • St. Mark's Basilica (when available)
  • 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
  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Pantheon (when available)
  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • 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 Varenna to Rome
  • 16 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • 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
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel 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.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

The sleepy Lake Como village of Varenna is a quick, easy train connection from Milan. At 5 p.m., you'll meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel for a get-acquainted session. We'll then 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. No bus. Sleep in Varenna.

Day 2: 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 Varenna.

Day 3: Scenic Drive to the Dolomites

Today we'll hit the road and drive high into Italy's Alps (the Dolomites), where locals speak German first, Italian second. Our destination is Europe's largest (and arguably most beautiful) alpine meadow, the Alpe di Siusi. This evening, we'll share a hearty Tirolean dinner together at our mountain retreat. 

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

Day 4: Hiking the Dolomites

From your totally yodel-y home base, you'll have all day to explore the dramatic Dolomites, Italy's hiking and skiing mecca. Choose from an array of challenging hikes, join your guide — and the free-roaming cows — for a peaceful walk among towering granite cliffs (weather permitting), or wander through the squares and side streets of a mountain village and enjoy the unique blend of Italian and Austrian cultures. We'll regroup tonight for dinner at our cozy hotel.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in the Alpe di Siusi area.

Day 5: The Iceman and Venice

We'll head downhill from the Dolomites, with a stop in Bolzano to visit its most famous resident: 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 Venice, where we'll board a vaporetto boat for a Grand Canal ride to our hotel in Venice's historic heart. Tonight, we'll take an alleys-and-canals orientation stroll before setting you loose for dinner on your own. 

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Venice.

Day 6: 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 and Basilica (when available). The afternoon and evening are yours to explore 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 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. Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 4 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 agriturismo: a country hotel that is also a working family winery. We'll end our day amid the peaceful vines and olive groves, tasting several of our host's award-winning 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 take us through the larger-than-life Colosseum, the Roman Forum (the birthplace of ancient Rome), and the awe-inspiring Pantheon (when available). 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 Vatican Museums

Today we'll focus on Renaissance (Catholic) Rome. At the sprawling Vatican Museums, we'll visit what seems like a limitless collection of treasures as you make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. You'll have free time to continue your modern-day pilgrimage at the greatest church in Christendom — St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. Wander through this immense church and explore more of the Eternal City on your own. This evening, we'll have our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our newly made friends. Salute!

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

Clorinda

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scenery was fabulous, the museums are outstanding, the hotels were wonderful, the local guides are extremely knowledgeable and Marianna was a great tour guide. As always fun group of travelers from different parts of the US.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but being in the cool of the Dolomites and hiking was one of my favorite experiences."

James

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The knowledge provided at each stop, her insights, and genuine care for the quality of my experience provided by the tour guide Marianna made this an exceptional tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exploring the lovely town of Varenna and touring Lake Como by ferry. I would never have gone their on my own."

Caylan

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was wonderful! Our guide, Mariana, was warm and knowledgeable. Our fellow group members were fun and kind. Our experiences were AMAZING!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite “wow” moment of the trip was visiting the Roman Forum."

Gian

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour, thoughtfully organized, excellently lead by Marianna. Lived up to its title "The Best of...". I can think of several stops where I could have spent more time. Just begs for a return trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment? Hiking in the Dolomites. No... Swimming in the Cinque Terra. Possibly... an impromptu Vivaldi concert in Venice featuring Quartetto Italiano (and ensemble) in a church on the Grand Canale (where the red-haired Vilvadi resided and composed). Sublime at E25. Renaissance Fierenza or seeing Opera in Siena? OR...the quiet of the Umbrian countryside vineyard (where we early morning walked the vineyard and olive groves and had picture postcard views)?"

Shawn

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first day, I could tell the tour would be well organized, thoughtfully planned, and would offer plenty of unique opportunities in a variety of settings across Italy. Our tour manager, Marianna, was so welcoming and created a lovely climate from our first meeting, including addressing concerns regarding Covid. Roberto expertly maneuvered our bus through tight spaces, tunnels, bridges, etc. Our group was friendly and shared many good times together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments, but my top two were the views/scenery from our stays in Varenna and the Dolomites. I felt like I was “on top of the world” over the village on the Mediterranean, and then our sweet spot in the alpine meadow up in the mountains with the babbling brook lulling me to sleep. All of the sights were impressive in their own unique ways. A third tie was in Venice, listening to the singing gondolier in the middle of the grand canal at sunset, surrounded by new friends."

Christine

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, flexible, had many fun experiences with our other travelers. Our guide was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To pick one? Whew....the view at Altarocca Wine Resort, Umbria."

Steven

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was awesome. Overall value was excellent as we got much more than what we had expected. The variety of locations added to the enjoyment providing a new experience every couple days. The guides provided great insight into Italy and augmented our tour immensely. The accommodations were also comfortable and in great locations. And the food was over-the-top good. There is no doubt that we will take another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment wasn't a singular occurrence...it was a culmination of the fantastic variety of this tour...from a lake to the mountains to the canals to the art to the Mediterranean to the winery to the history...the overall tapestry of Italy was incredible to experience."

Mary

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time in Italy. Tour was overwhelming- more information than I could absorb on every walking tour and in every church. Most of it not my favorite style, but all the elaborate art work was take-your-breath-away- beautiful. The country side, views from the bus, were stunning. Best food I have ever had! Hotel staff were very helpful. Looked up mass times in Florence and showed me how to get there on the map. Tour guides in cities were cheerful, funny, and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First view of the horizon- from the dining room over lake Como, of the Mediterranean from my balcony, of the mountains from my bed! in Alpe di Siusi, and the farmland from my room at Altarocca. OK, in the cities, the juxaposition of ancient ruins and archeologic digs downtown- in the middle of modern commerce in Rome was amazing. My favorite part of Rome was the Borghese Museum which is NOT part of the tour."

Lisa

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing with so many places to see. It was well balanced with structured tours and plenty of free time to explore on our own. We had a bump in the road but our guides Vanessa, Stephanie, Regan and Lisa were awesome. As well as the staff back in the States coordinating. Our driver Massimo took great care of us and was outstanding on winding mountain roads and tight turns. It was a great experience with amazing Rick Steves team and fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' was when our guide Vanessa pulled out a map of Italy and pointed out all the places we have been so far and going. It was pretty cool how much the tour covered. Also, hiking in the Dolomites, beautiful countryside and the sounds of cowbells in the distance."

Neal

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really enjoyed our tour until we had to leave because my wife tested positive for Covid! Our tour guide Stephanie and our bus driver Dino were excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Venice. More beautiful than I expected, and less crowded than I expected."

Charles

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour guide Stephanie, on the 17 Day Heart of Italy Tour, made this experience one of the best travel experiences in my life. I am so thankful I booked Rick Steves. Her attention to detail and attention to the safety and health of the participants stood out to me. Although I contracted Covid on Day 15 which interrupted the tour for my wife and I, Stephanie continued to help us adjust to the isolation required by Italy. A very class woman with a very classy organization from owner & staff

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the presence of the work of some of the greatest artists who have ever existed was the highlight of my experience. The professional guides employed by Rick Steve's enhanced the experience tremendously. We also made great friends on this trip. Stephanie is so nurturing of experiences and relationships."

Larry

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scheduling and use of time was outstanding. The information the guides provided was excellent, particularly the nuances given about the people. The comradery developed among the participants added to the experience. Mostly, the hotel and dinning selections were great. It would have taken me months to prepare a trip like this and I'm sure I could never have equaled the experience on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several, almost every day. Seeing the sites I had read about made it surrealistic at times. I think one may have stood out, our stay at the Agritourisimo. The dinners and views of the valley were truly memorable."

Crystal

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word: Phenomenal! Our guide was so adept at planning the perfect side activities along the bus route, and was kind enough to re-arrange some days so we could avoid bad weather & take advantage of good weather. The whole itinerary was incredible and just the right mix of history, art, artisan demonstrations and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not expect this to be my favorite activity, but hiking in the Dolomites was breathtaking."

Susan

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie guided us through the 17 day Best of Italy with joy, care, tons of TLC, and through the eyes of a long term expat living in Italy. Her thoughtful little local candies and I sights were amazing. She guided us through Covid with much care, concern and knowledge. Stephanie added so much more to the tour than any brochure could ever mention!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The view from the Dolomites hike! The David. Stephanie’s personal guide of the amazing frescoes of the Basilica of Orvieto??"

Robin

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The first 12 days of the tour were wonderful! We had a great guide and a fun group that got along well. Everything went very smoothly--until I tested positive for covid on the 13th morning. Obviously, that changed everything for the remaining time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding a gondola in Venice was the highlight of the tour for me. It was all I had imagined--so beautiful and romantic!"

Jill

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While the agenda was amazing, it was the people, Stephanie the tour guide, Dino the bus driver and our fellow travelers that made this tour so memorable. We bonded with our tour mates and hope to have friends for life now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but I think Pisa was because it was completely unexpected. I knew about the tower, of course, but never knew about the baptistry and the amazing acoustics, or the pretty cathedral. Venice was way beyond my expectations and all the places we visited with water were my favorites. Stephanie's handling of the COVID situations also made me say wow more than a few times."

Betty J

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide and bus driver were top notch! The tour itself went along smoothly and quickly. Enjoyed all of our stops, our guide and local guides really added to the trip, can not say enough wonderful things about them all! Although I do also have to say that our group of people clicked together and really sealed the trip into being fantastic!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our side stop to the WWII Memorial to the missing Americans.....So thankful to our guide for making the time to go and see it....not a dry eye in our group, lots of prayers to the missing and their families..."

Mary

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour went way beyond our expectations. Each location was outstanding in an of itself. The scenery, history, architecture, people and food, each so unique and awesome. Our tour guide and bus driver were absolutely fantastic, both going above and beyond to make sure we had as many experiences as possible. And the local guides were so knowledgeable and engaging. Stopping in small towns along our tour route that were not listed was an added bonus. It was worth waiting the extra 2 years!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all so fantastic that I just don't have a favorite "wow" moment. The whole tour was a "wow" moment for me. An added "wow" was the camaraderie of our group. It was like we had known each other for a long time."

James

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Stephanie was over the top great. It was our first overseas tour and it exceeded our wildest expectations. We did underestimate how strenuous it would be, but the fantastic things we saw and learned were well worth it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to list just one, but the back alleys of Venice, and the view from our hotel room patio in the Cinque Terre were the tops!"

James

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am very pleased with the itinerary that we followed, the amount of time spent in each location, and the tour guides utilized. All in all, it was an exceptional tour and experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the special side visits that were set-up such as the Gondola oar lock maker in Venice and the stained glass maker in Sienna."

Gerard

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got to see some of the sights that we never would have without taking this tour. It took some places off of my bucket list. I probably never would have gotten to show my wife the Dolomites, never have seen Venice, never had seen the Cinque Terre or David in Florence. The wine resort was a perfect place to rest and get ready for the end of the trip. Our group was great, everyone was very friendly, I couldn't have asked for a better group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick between Lake Como, Alpe de Suiss, Venice and Monterossa. Loved them all and would go back to all of them except Venice, saw most of Venice."

Shawn

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 3rd RS Tour, it did not disappoint. Again we were joined by 24 fellow travelers who were a major reason the tour was so good. Our guide, Ferdi and bus driver were both informative, helpful and added so much pleasure to our tour.

Jo Ann

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe, this was an experience of a lifetime. Started out slower to help with jet-lag. appreciated

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to be honest to name just one moment each day was better and better , the whole trip had me in a wow unbelievable moments."

Ann

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-organized, allowing for both spontaneity and guidance. Loved the extra teachable experiences... woodworking in Venice, glass works in Siena, pesto making in Cinque Terre, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in St. Marks square at night, listening to the orchestras playing everyone's favorite tunes, as the light reflected from the cathedral. Magical moment!"

Mary Lynn

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having taken this same tour before (18 years ago), I was delighted to find many things still the same, as well as some new. Even more enjoyable was sharing these places with my family who were also on the tour. The members of our group made the trip even more memorable. Our guide, Ferdi, with his wealth of information and great sense of humor was a great leader. We loved our driver, Sauro, who always help us start the day with a warm greeting. The selection of locations was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most favorite "wow" moments for me were seeing my family marvel at the sights and hearing them proclaim each new location their favorite!! Our location in Orvieto, a winery and spa resort, was a big "WOW" for us."

Ralph

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end our tour was really wonderful. We had great group, a great Tour Manager and the interaction with both was full of laughter, helpfulness and poignant karma. We worked hard too...every day we did 7+ miles with lots of stairs, hills and the opportunity to take some amazing hikes. We listened to Rick Steve's suggestions of packing light and it was rewarded with ease of travel and mobile flexibility. This was a trip of a live time that had been on the books since 2020. A+!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first night in Cinque Terre on the hill side terrace above our hotel with members of our group sipping on Limoncello spritzes!"

Lee

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was near perfect, my wife and I felt we really did experience the “Best of Italy.” Our tour guide Ferdi was superb in knowledge, personality, quick wit and good humor, give the man a raise. Same goes for our bus driver Sauro his skill at driving challenging roads was appreciated by all. The hotels were generally very good except Aberdeen Hotel in Rome. Bad internet, bad breakfast, bad bed. Staff were fine. Ready next time for “My Way” style tour as too many local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First day in Italy in Europe beholding the insane Cathedral of Milano. The streets of Varenna and the tranquility of the botanical gardens next to our Hotel Victoria. And then things just got bigger and more awesome."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a chance to see the best of Italy! It was our 50th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. We had a great 17 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Dolomites. I had no idea how beautiful the mountains were and the meadows surrounding them."

Jamie

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour. Very comprehensive, well organized, It’s so nice to be able to relax and have confidence in the tour company. We appreciated both all the scheduled sites and our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Liguran Sea in Monterosso al Mare, looking around and realizing we were in this marvelous little village in Italy."

Jim

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience. Saw more of Italy in 17 days than I thought possible. Many highlights, and tons of photos!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to pick just one. Varenna / Lake Como is one. Beautiful, relaxing and peaceful."

Jon

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy in 17 Days tour was a wonderful experience for my wife and me, especially because we were also able enjoy it together with our adult children. It was extremely well-planned and gave us an opportunity to enjoy a very rich, endlessly interesting and truly inspiring range of sites, people, food, history and art. Our tour guide, Colleen, was absolutely the best - so genuine, informed and fully engaged in helping us to feel included, confident, and excited in our adventure together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each part of the trip was filled with several “wow” moments, so it’s hard to select just a few - the elegant and idyllic beauty of Lake Como; the gentle and restorative grandeur of the Alps; the intensely rich and profound history and art of Venice, Florence and Rome; the beautiful setting and fascinating traditions of San Gimignano, Assisi, Siena and Orvieto; the heavenly blue of the Ligurian Sea; and the lovingly cultivated and gorgeous countryside surrounding Altarocca. “Wowed” at every turn!"

Richard

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves' and it was so much more than we expected. The itnerary was full and busy but we always has time to rest in between stops. Our tour guide Vanessa with her knowledge and personality made this trip to Italy fun and enjoyable. Our bus driver Massimo was an awesome driver and we always felt safe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband's wow moment was the Wine resort in Orvieto, the scenery of that area and outstanding accommodations were wonderful. My wow moment was the history of Rome. I had been waiting my whole life to see the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta'."

Janet

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well organized. The centrally located accommodations meant it took no time at all to get to and from most desired sights and activities. Every hotel team - reception, housekeeping, kitchen - was very welcoming and helpful. Good balance between guided group time and personal time to wander at will. Even the "rest stops" during travel hours were full of wonderful sights and cultural experiences. Tour stops really showed off the regional variety across the top half of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the WOW really was the differences among the regions we traveled through - the colors of the landscape, the natural building materials, the food and agriculture, the history (which to most Italians that we met is till very much alive!) and even language differences. All these aspects were different from each other, but still very Italian."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well-orchestrated itinerary, fantastic guide (Vanessa), well-executed logistics, good appreciation of COVID precautions, great balance of structured vs unstructured time, really nice group of fellow travelers - I had concerns about doing a package tour but this was a great experience as the group was small (24 people) and the people were very respectful of schedules and each other. We never really had to wait for anyone who was late.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David in Florence and views from the bell tower in Venice, the Duomo in Florence, the wall of the unfinished new cathedral in Siena, and the Victor Emmanuel/Altar of the Fatherland memorial in Rome. Those wide views were fantastic."

Nicholas

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great variety of local scenes; informative; engaging; & FUN!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty & serenity of the Dolomites in early Spring. Astounding… bordering on being a spiritual experience."

Stacy

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had the time of my life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Colloseum from the floor where the Gladiators actually fought!;"

Steven

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just a great Trip with an outstanding group of people. Vanessa our guide was outstanding. So many "little" things along the way that just made the trip even better and run so smoothly. Enjoyed the local guides in each area and the knowledge they had to share. This was our 1st but not our last Rick Steve;s Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not any special "wow" moment but many great moments from the Sistine chapel to Venus to Varenna. Special group dinners along the wy were awesome."

Robert

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great balance of structure and free time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of “wow” moments, seemed like one at every location we visited. Each one was, wow this can’t get any better, but it did! Not always better in the general sense, but each in different ways because of the location!"

Brenda

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed it. 24 nice people was just perfect, and Vanessa was a fantastic guide! The tour was very well organized and it was great to spend 2 nights in each city -- not repacking after 1 night in each town. We saw so much in 17 days but never felt exhausted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really liked Cinque Terra, since we had not been before. Also the charming little villages were charming and great: Varenna, Bellagio, Monterosso and the agriturismo! And Venice and Florence are always delightful."

Roberta

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We enjoyed the trip overall, and the tour description sounds perfect but in reality it felt too rushed. Not enough time to savor the locations. Maybe we should have realized due to the number of locations that there would be a lot of travel. The issues with Covid and wearing masks did detract from the pleasure of travel. I think the trip would have flowed better in the reverse order, i.e. starting out as the Heart of Italy tour does in Rome and ending with relaxation in Lake Como.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gardens at peak bloom in Villa Carlotta on Lake Como."

Diane

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have waited a decade to get to experience our first Rick Steve's tour. The itinerary told me of the expected experiences, and I was blown away with how much knowledge, walking and fun can be packed into just one day, and we had 17 days!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Umbria pleasantly surprised me with the landscape and beautiful towns, plus alllllll the little shops with gelato. I just knew it was going to be Tuscany. Cinque Terre Villages were calming, so much fun to see each of them during our boat ride and then take the train back to our hotel."

Loretta

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall a great tour. We met many new friends in the group and saw many interesting places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gardens at Villa Carlotta in Cadenabbia. Exactly the right time to see all the azaleas and rhododendron in bloom."

Susan

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved guide, tours, local guide, bus driver outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Monterossa to next town in Cinque Terre."

John

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Considering Covid, all considerations for our safety were appreciated. Stephanie was excellent as our guide and obviously experienced with every aspect of our trip. Dino, our bus driver, was also remarkable with his driving skills and happy disposition; not to mention his prowess at one of our group dinners where he produced a ring and proposed to Stephanie! She couldn’t resist his natural charm and accepted. We also enjoyed having local guides and especially with the use of the radios!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing bell towers, gelato, beautiful scenery, and the history, and rivalries, of places such as Venice, Sienna and Florence. The history of the horse races in Sienna was very entertaining."

Anthony

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was terrific, just as expected. Beautiful sights, excellent guides, very nice hotels, fun loving group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ability to find quiet and peaceful experiences in Lake Como was a wow for me. I expected crowds but could find plenty of absolutely beautiful spots with few if any people. A respite in heaven."

Carol

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and it was outstanding. I was concerned about the lengthy bus rides but they didn’t feel long and there was plenty to look at and hear about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every cathedral was different. I did not get tired of seeing them."

David

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful time meeting new friends, enjoying the beauty of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Lake Como for the first time."

Brett

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time on the Best of Italy tour. This was our first Rick Steves' tour, and it was everything we had hoped for. Our tour guide, Stephanie, did a phenomenal job. Every location that we visited was memorable, the local tour guides were excellent, the back door experiences made the trip unique, and the pace of the trip was perfect. In addition, the tour group got along really well, and it felt like we had formed a little family by the end of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We have three favorite "wow" moments - the gondola ride with the singer and accordion player in Venice (Stephanie arranged for my husband and I to have our own boat in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary that was supposed to be celebrated on a 2020 Best of Italy tour), the first time I saw the Tuscan countryside from the tower in San Gimignano, and visiting with the Selva contrada in Siena and then coming upon the boys from the Torre contrada practicing their drumming the next night."

Tom

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Looking back at our experience and taking into account EVERYTHING we were able to see and do, I am, quite simply... AMAZED at what an exceptional job Rick Steve's 17-Day Best of Italy Tour staff did for all of us who were there! Hats off! Kudos! And a high five to everyone involved! Incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Absolutely impossible for me to pick just one favorite "wow" moment... SERIOUSLY!!! The people, the food, the wine, the ancient ruins, the art, the history... it just goes on and on!!"

Sheryl

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! A well oiled machine . Marianna our tour guide was outstanding . So warm , cheerful, and patient . Can’t imagine a tour without her. She was our Mother Hen , she made us feel safe , with knowledge and humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much everything!! The Dolomites and the countryside surrounding, Cinque Terra and the beautiful coast line. The lemon garden at our hotel there in Montessoro with the outstanding view of the village rooftops and the Mediterranean."

Chris

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide made our trip. Maryann’s (sp) was amazing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one"

Cathy

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really fun and educational! We enjoyed the special speakers and local guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's was very impressive! We were really blown away by the Iceman in Bolzano."

James

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, fine selection of hotels, excellent local guides, very compatible group

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excellent tours in Rome of the Colosseum and the Vatican Museum. Another great was the dinner prepared and hosted by the Selva (Forest) Contrade in Sienna."

Ted

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great pre-planning advice. Extremely well organized & planned. Tour guide Marianna was the "Best". WE would go on another Rick Steves anytime, anywhere. Best of Italy 17 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alta Rocca Wine Resort just outside Orvieto."

Laura

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy tour was wonderful! The itinerary was well thought out and covered the major sights as well as some other interesting stops along the way. Learning about Italy and all of its treasures was fascinating and getting to meet artisans such as Remi E Forcole who made gondola steering posts in Venice and the man from Arcaico in Siena who made stained glass windows made the trip a unique experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments! To name a few--Otzi the 5300 year old Iceman was amazing! Much more interesting than we ever expected. The Verona Arena dating back to 30 AD that is still in use today was very impressive. Varenna, Bellagio and Lake Como were beautiful as was Cinque Terre. David and the Sistine Chapel were awesome! San Gimignano was a gem. To choose one moment would be unfair!"

Jeff

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All of Italy should be designated UNESCO world heritage site as far as we’re concerned. This is our come away perspective, From having toured With Marianna, our guide and host thru-out the 17 day Best of Italy. Marianna, who voice was like music, made us feel safe and secure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Guiessipe in Orvieto. Down narrow cobbled street , his shop has most amazing collectibles, some with historical value I’m sure, that I’ve seen, but he’s the Gem. Sign says Land of OZ, I think"

John

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Italy is a place filled with incredible architecture, amazing art, fascinating history and delicious food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn’t choose just one thing- it would be a very long list."

Rene

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized with enough free time. Our leader Sara was fantastic, she was well prepared and organized and went beyond her duties to make sure we had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being serenaded in Venice on a Gondola ride, it was my birthday and Sara placed an accordion player and singer on the Gondola with my wife and I."

Reita

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very comprehensive, covering almost all of the primary tour stops in northern Italy. Our guide was exceptional. Not only did she provide outstanding attention to each member of the tour group, she also arranged to stop for lunch and a brief tour of Verona, Pisa, San Gimignano and the American Cemetery which were not on our itinerary. Our tour group traveled from all over the US, were diverse, interesting and most congenial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gardens at Villa Carlotta on Lake Como were absolutely spectacular. The azaleas and rhododendrons were huge and in full bloom. All this at the foot of the Alps and at a latitude of Boston."

Shelley

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Organized, thoughtfully planned out, never a dull moment, time by ourselves and a great tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Opening the window of our hotel to view the beauty of Cinque Terre, the fantastic wine resort surrounding the countryside of Tuscany"

Ian

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was incredible

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to pound the pesto in cinque terre"

Betsy

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 17 day tour of Italy was amazing...not only in historical sites and art but also in our knowledgeable, congenial guide, Sarah (no request was too big or too small for her to assist us), and a great group of tour companions sharing and laughing as we made our way from Varenna to Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When the gondola ride in Venice coincided with my husband's birthday, Sarah made sure we sat in the gondola with the musician and singer who serenaded us with our idea of what songs should be song in a gondola - O solo mio and Volare! It was a treat and memorable for not just us but all our tour mates. A truly shared time!"

Nicole

Tour: 04/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic introduction to Italy. The tour put me at ease with being in a foreign country and I loved every minute of it. I was fascinated by the culture, language, food and beauty of the various regions we visited. Our tour group formed a great (and helpful) bond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Cinque Terre was my WOW moment. I've seen pictures and had some expections, but actually seeing the small towns from the ferry boat and then being able to hike into the high country for spectacular views was amazing. I had the best homemade pesto during the group dinner there and felt inspired to improve upon my own cooking at home. It is these experiences that will stick with me forever and make me smile!"

Sara

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We were very happy to arrive in time for our tour of Italy after navigating plane delays due to the President being in town and a KLM strike in Amsterdam. Only being 2 night in each stop felt rushed as you really on had one full day at each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre"

Willem

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful sights and guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter’s"

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! Daniella was amazing and so informative. I learned a lot from her and the local RS guides. I felt like everything ran smoothly. I have no complaints! Would sign up again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a WOW moment! BUT, my favorite WOW moment was stepping into St. Mark's Square in Venice for the first time. I loved everything about Venice! I also really enjoyed our Alpe di Siusi hike and seeing the Roman Forum and Colosseum!"

Linda

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time! Great group of people, fantastic guide, courageous bus driver (I would not want to drive a bus in Italy!!)and beautiful art/architecture. Very busy and active trip. Never experienced "ABC" (another b** church) syndrome; each was beautiful and distinct. Italy's streets can be chaotic but with guide/tour, it was never a concern. Fantastico!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Mark's Basilica"

Cheryl

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time overall, our bus driver Roberto was brilliant and Daniela took fabulous care of us. The sights did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s difficult to select just one…probably the impromptu stop at the Florence American Cemetery brought us all to tears."

Daniel

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and it did not disappoint! Everything went smoothy from start to finish. From our fun and informed travel guide, Daniela to our amazing bus driver, Roberto to the wonderful people and food of Italy. We covered allot of territory and packed in a full schedule of amazing sites and experiences. Learned much from Daniela and all of the professional guides along the way! I had a wonderful time and am already planning my next Rick Steves' adventure! Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult question, since there were so many wonderful moments and experiences, but the bus ride from Bolzano, Italy to the Dolomites and the amazing hike among the snow covered peaks that followed will live and linger in my mind for a long long time! It was absolutely beautiful and invigorating!"

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An amazing first tour w r Steve’s! Our guide was fantastic as were all the local guides. The scenery was gorgeous, accessible and completed by an understanding of what I was seeing , unforgettable . We had a lot to see but the pace was pleasant, made human by our tour leader , driver and other travelers. Wow!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching a craftsman explain how he made stained glass windows the exact way they have been made for hundreds of years was amazing. I was touched by his love and humble passion in creating such works . Another was a group dinner where our proud host did everything possible to feed us with both pride and warm friendship."

Rebecca

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was amazing in every aspect; our guide Daniela and bus driver, the group members, and all the sites, sounds and tastes we experienced. A whirlwind of taste of Italy but we covered everything I believe one should see in Northern Italy and Tuscany. This tour hit all the must see places and much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. I can't even begin to pinpoint one. I feel like I said "wow" at every every place we visited. The history, art, golden ceilings, fountains, ancient streets- it was all a "wow" moment."

Kathryn

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-organized beginning with signing up for it and throughout the tour itself. I appreciate that important precautions were taken to minimize the risk of COVID transmission for all participants. There was a good mix of group time and free time. The hotels were located nicely in town centers so it was easy to walk to major sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a difficult question to answer because there were so many. I was 'wowed' every day. Of course, Michelangelo's David and the Sistine Chapel stood out even among so many other fine offerings. And the hiking in Cinque Terre was something I looked forward to and totally enjoyed - and it felt really good to get into the ocean afterward."

Joan

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well planned, the guides were excellent, we saw many different places in Northern Italy and learned a lot. The people in our group of 20 were all really nice to travel with and get to know. The trip is exactly as described on the website: a lot of walking every day, 2 nights in each place, some dinners on our own, and free time in which to explore either by ourselves or with others from the group. We had a wonderful time! Tired at the end but happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many peak experiences on this trip. The first dinner we had together in Varenna was at the home of a retired chef. This was the first "wow" for me."

Brenda

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First timer to Europe, Italy and the Rick Steves' tour experience. It was amazing. All the arrangements were perfect, the bus was luxurious, and the appointed sights magnificent. My only complaint is there was not enough time to see everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick just one. I am an Art History grad, so my wow moments were many."

Patricia

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was great, personable and efficient. Unfortunately he came down with vivid and was replaced by an equally personable and efficient guide. Where do you find these fantastic people?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel"

Donald

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredibly comprehensive, educational, and fun. The tour guides, local guides, hosts and driver were exceptional. The itinerary was packed and we were always on the move. The hotels, bus and meals were all A+.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Assisi we serendipitously met up with Calendimaggio with people in 13th century regalia parading through the town. Amazing!"

Ray

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, lots of history. A whirlwind of an experience. Very knowledgesble guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery and vinyards iUmbria"

Peter

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well taken care of, from how to manover highway stops, to history of next stop, to concerns regarding Covid

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into gallery, and there was David. Wow."

Regina

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable. Better than we anticipated. Bus travel very comfortable and accommodations were very nice. Tours guides so knowledgeable and kind. Saw and experienced so much in a short time it was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Firenze the guide Paul opened up a new way for me to look at the paintings of the masters. The group dinners that we were treated to especially the ones in Varenna hosted by Ferruccio Castellis family, Felicita and Angelo in Monterosso and the Contrada dinner in Siena. The breathtaking views of the ancient town and cities. Loved the ability to stop and explore places on our way to our overnite stay."

Ronalene

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the combination of guided tours and free time to wander on my own and getting to know the different regions of northern Italy. The trip guides and the locale guides where all very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course seeing the highlights that I’ve heard about for years. I particularly enjoyed Orvieto to learn a bit about Etruscans."

Lorrie

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was initially anxious about traveling with such a large group for two and a half weeks in a place I'd never been before. Our guide immediately set the tone for a positive and varied tour that included expected activities and options for possible experiences based on our interests. Trina used an icebreaker with our group which helped initiate positive interactions with everyone from the start. We enjoyed wonderful new experiences everyday and easily shared these experiences with our new friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Here is one. Our group took gondola rides after dinner in Venice one night. Unbeknownst to us our guide hired musicians to play and sing as we traveled through the canals. What a fun and magical experience! I need to mention that a surprise stop at a US WWII cemetery near Florence on Italy's Liberation Day and a guided tour by the memorial's superintendent was an amazing and emotional experience."

William

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides, accommodations, fellow travelers & tour bus. Excellent Covid safety requirements. Very well organized with room for last minute adjustments as circumstances changed. On this particular tour there was a very significant amount of “explore in your own” time built into the schedule, which was much appreciated considering the 17-day tour length. This was our first Rick Steve’s tour, and our first with such a large group, but this particular group was very good. Enjoyed immensely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alpe di Siusi area hiking was my personal favorite."

Tim

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves trip and I loved it! The best of Italy was terrific. I appreciated skipping the lines and having back door experiences with locals. Our tour guides Trina and Vanessa were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Our local guides were terrific and really brought to life the places we visited. My wife and I enjoyed the balance of structured time and free time to explore on our own. The small group size was just right. With definitely take another Steves trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the planned group dinners were back door experiences…like dining with locals."

Dennis

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina, Vanessa (our guides) and Dino (our driver) were outstanding- the perfect combination of professionalism, friendliness, and leadership. We had a great collection of people in the tour group, too. Everyone was so happy to be traveling again. Overall, my expectations were exceeded in every category and I really could not imagine a better experience- it truly was the “Best” of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many “wow” moments including the gondolas in Venice, Caffe Florian, seeing David in Florence (no words), the waves providing lullabies for sleep in Cinque Terre, the jovial group dinners, the Contrada dinner(!) and the top- notch local guides and artisans we encountered along the way. Trina and Vanessa provided wonderful preparation and a few surprises, too. Our guides were walking Wow Moments!!!"

Julie

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with an outstanding guide and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the beautiful of the alps!"

Joan

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw an incredible amount of places and had many wonderful and unique experiences. In retrospect, it might have been a bit too much to cover. It was somewhat of a whirlwind and the pace was too quick.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenes from our windows in Orvieto and from the Steno(?) hotel in Cinque Terre. I loved Varenna-the hotel and botanical garden that was adjacent was magical. Our dinner on the terrace at La Vista was one of the best! The gondola ride in Venice and walks away from the crowds."

James

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very good tour. My biggest problem wasn't really your fault - it was just too busy. However, if you sign up for a 17 day tour of Italy that covers that many cities you can't really complain that it's too busy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Free time when we were left to explore on our own. Walking around in Assisi, exploring Varenna."

Heidi

Tour: 04/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a long but very good tour. Trina and Vanessa were terrific. We were the first group out and many of the local guides and establishments were emotional at seeing the return of RS tours. I felt the blend of guided and free time was well organized. Group meals were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably staying at the winery near Orvieto. That was a great blend of much needed relaxation to go with amazing scenery."

Stephen

South Bend, IN

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was exactly how one would want a very ambitious vacation to be: both exhilarating and exhausting. It was extremely fun while also physically challenging. Our group was expertly guided but also left to explore our own curiosities, which is a great way experience the sites and diverse cultures of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful views in Cinque Terre and Alterocca in Umbria stand out. Also, the sound check in the bapistry in Pisa was a close second."

Mary

Vista, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, better then expected, WELL organized, BEST of the BEST tour guides Donald and Alfredo who made this whirlwind tour possible. Every step of the way, they made the BEST OF ITALY in 17 days informative and fun. All the local guides also did an outstanding job. Did a lot of laughing, eating and enjoying the local wines, and definitely there was no whining in our group. We did pick a perfect week and the weather and crowds did cooperate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention individually, but hiking along Cinque Terre and looking out at the beautiful blue ocean."

Joanne

South Bend, IN

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized to make the most of your time. It seemed like we were always in the right place at the right time. That can only be accomplished with experience. The balance between planned activities and personal time was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Near the end of the tour while reviewing my Facebook posts/pictures I was amazed at all of the epic sights we saw but also the intimate experiences we had with the local culture. Looking back on this tour it was all a WOW!"

Margaret

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in all ways. I appreciated the tour and guidelines. It forced me to make decisions on what to bring and to pare down, which made it easier for travelling and walking with my luggage. Trip design was exceptional – there was the perfect blend of big cities and small towns, which provided a wonderful pace. The structure of the trip fit my needs – usually a group dinner the first night in a new place, which allowed me to not worry about logistics. Fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Church of the Gesu (The Jesuits) in Rome. That was my favorite wow experience (there were others as well). I suspect it was related to being totally surprised by what I saw and Francesca's introduction and enthusiasm. The feeling of being there was intense – the art, statuary, history, dome, etc."

Lorne

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, the tour was a smash. From the excellent pre-tour support (I think our longest hold time when calling to ask silly questions was less than a minute) to the superior guides, to the "never would have seen that myself" moments on the tour, to the bonding with the group, everything went better than we could have hoped. Cap it off with incredible weather (we did not think being too warm would be an issue in October) and we couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly, "Caesar's Rome," between the Colosseum, the Forum and the Pantheon. I was not expecting to be so overwhelmed, but especially in the Pantheon (thanks in part to a wonderful guide who brought it to life) I marveled at the ancient wonders. I had low expectations for Rome (friends who had said they didn't like it), but going at the end of the season (while still enjoying great weather) meant no summer heat and reasonable crowds. It was a tremendous conclusion to a tremendous tour."

Kirby

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than I expected partly because as a Rick Steves' Europe rookie I didn't quite know what to expect. The pre-trip details were spot on as Donald would say and the packing advise was excellent. The trip locales were perfect, the weather cooperated and there were no whiners. Donald was a terrific tour guide and I especially enjoyed the history and art lessons he provided. Alfredo did a terrific job of providing Economics 101 of Italy. We'll be back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals."

Nancy

Green Cove Springs, FL

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My tour experience was mostly positive. I met nice people, saw interesting things, ate great food, and learned many things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments, but first arriving at Lake Como and its surrounding beauty comes to the forefront when I think of my trip."

Helen

Poway, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could never have seen so many places in Italy and learned so much on our own. Tour was well organized and our guides outstanding.

Michael

Aiken, SC

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was Outstanding with a capital O. I expected great things but this by far exceeded my expectations. Our guide Daniela was truly incredible. She was so knowledgeable on history & art, incredible enthusiasm and energy level. She made the whole group gell and feel like family. Our bus driver Dino was fantastic and smooth rides. The hotels were 1st rate along with breakfast and team. Each city guide was fantastic as well. I'd recommend your tours to all and will take another soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a favorite moment in this 17 day tour because there are so many. I guess my favorite moment is in the Dolomites walking thru this incredible scenery. It felt like a postcard view and you happened to be in it. Other favorites were in Venice the top of St. Marks and the views of Cinque Terra and Ovieto.... too many to name."

Jeff

Lathrop, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I researched a lot of tour companies before deciding on a Rick Steves tour. I am familiar with your TV series and have often watched them, and rewatched them after signing up for the 17 day Italy tour. Overall it was wonderful. I had been to Italy before, but my wife had not and in fact it was her first time flying internationally so I was very concerned that we get as much out of this trip as we could. It did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To be perfectly honest there were so many I would have a hard time isolating one out. It was everything I remembered from my first visit to Italy, and more. I particularly loved the location of the hotels being in the heart of the cities. All you had to do is step outside and you were there. No traveling to get to the city like I had the first time camping throughout Europe."

Ronald

Upton, MA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the way the tour was organized. It focused on sightseeing with art and historical sights you must see for yourself! Also the hotel locations always in the city center was so enjoyable, allowed you to explore on your own, dine, shop or just sit on a piazza and take in the beautiful scenery. Our tour guide's knowledge of art and history really imparted the capsule of education which added so much to the visual experience! Thanks Daniela (and Dino) for the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to pick one! The wow city moment has to be Venice! The Piazza San Marco and everything surrounding it is a masterpiece! The other wow moment would have to be seeing the Mediterranean in Cinque Terra for the first time...looked like sea glass!"

Carol

Mentor, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent tour guide, Daniela and driver, Dino. They made our 17 days together fun, interesting, surprising, and delightful. Everything was perfect in timing, a blend of group time and free time. Rick Steves obviously knows what most tourists want and can absorb in 17 days. This tour far surpassed my expectations, and my expectations were very high!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two wow moments--The stop at the WWII American Cemetery in Florence was extremely moving. The Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica were outstanding. The whole trip was a wow experience, and as I shared it on Facebook, my friends have commented on what a wonderful trip it was."

Janet

Lathrop, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the most meaningful trips of my lifetime. Instead of just visiting "places" along the way we were directed to the best of whatever city/museum/demonstration/attraction in the city we were visiting. Being my first visit to Europe, I never felt lost or confused.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one "wow" moment because they were all meaningful to me, but if I had to choose I think it was my first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea in Cinque Terre, and we were in Hotel Pasquale, right on the water so that I could open the window at night and hear the waves crashing."

Elizabeth

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a nice combination of information, guided walks, etc. as well as free time. We found each destination even better than the last one. We very much liked Lake Como and hiking in Cinque Terre. Sienna was wonderful and Orvieta was also a place to return to. The balance between structured and un-structured time was good...we so appreciated the info, background, history, culinary insights during the structured time, as well as being out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose--How history influenced art, architecture, and evolving culture even to present day was fascinating and enlightening. One moment for me - in Assisi, as we walked down a corridor there were 2 doves, inside, cooing, against the backdrop of the gardens, etc. outside the windows. Also the Sistine Chapel and Basilica-all of the churches were amazing but those were especially breathtaking. A public market in Rome--can't recall name-Daniela took us first, and we returned for the market."

Martha

Concord Township, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy was our first time visiting Europe,first tour experience and wanted to see as much as we could. It did not disappoint. The tour is very active not only physically but the amount of places we visited. Our tour guide was fantastic in many ways. She presented information, as you would expect of a "local guide", with facts, humor and personal anecdotes. The ability to "go with the flow" was our mantra. Our co-tourists made the trip all the more memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Simply stated, I was totally taken with the statue of David. Much to my surprise I teared up when I first saw him in the gallery. Beautiful. The Colosseum was another "Wow" Everything about it was a "Wow" What a feat of engineering. The Dolomites was a "pinch me" experience. The scenery was literally and figuratively breathtaking. Visiting the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. A quiet and reflective experience. We were asked to visit a grave as many had never had a visitor."

Stephen

Caledonia, MI

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour as we typically plan our own trips. I was impressed by the quality of tour overall and especially our guide Daniela and bus driver Dino. I really appreciated the information given almost as much as the sights that we saw. I learned a lot about art, architecture and European culture. It was helpful having our guides to point out the highlights of each location and I am convinced we did see the best of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been reading the book I Claudius and even though I typically don't care for large cities, being able to see the Forum in Rome as well as the other sights associated with the Roman Empire was very special."

Jeffrey

Diana, WV

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour checked off almost all the must see destinations in Italy from Rome and North. Our tour guide Daniela was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, attentive, and just a kind special person that we were all very fortunate to meet making our experience truly unforgettable. Even our bus driver Dino was a joy to be with. The limitations of a group tour made the pace of the scheduled group activities slower than I would have liked, but during free time I took full advantage of seeing more sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Multiple "wow" moments, including hiking the alpine meadows in the Dolomites and the trails in the Cinque Terre, the group gondola ride with music serenade in Venice, and the peace and tranquility of the Umbrian countryside accommodations and time in Orvieto."

Gregory

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour not only met but exceeded my expectations. It was a pleasure traveling with such nice people. Our tour guide Daniela was superb. Dino, our bus driver, was fun & one of the most skilled & safe drivers I've seen. Our itinerary was well-planned & executed. We did indeed experience the best of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about the tour was a "wow" moment but, when I first saw the Colosseum, my lifelong interest in Roman history came to life in a dramatic & concrete way that became the thrill of a lifetime. It was breathtaking."

Patricia

Woonsocket, RI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy tour lived up to our expectations and beyond! Our tour guide Sarah - vibrant, witty and full of energy - set the tone for an exciting, wonderful adventure. Our group blended beautifully. It truly felt as if we were sharing every experience and destination as a unit - laughing and marveling at everything together as if we'd known each other for years. Every destination was a delight - there were no disappointments at all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were a wonderful surprise. My "wow" moment was getting to jump off the mountains to paraglide over the gorgeous, pristine valley - something I never expected to do in a million years. Eleven in the group joined in on the fun - including Sarah! The Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Lake Como were also exceptionally incredible."

Michael

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fabulous! Well organized, well led, some great additions, great group of people to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say as it was all "Wow"! Maybe I would say that I was incredibly impressed with how well organized the tour was. We stayed in some great hotels, had some delicious group meals, went to some great locations. As for Italy, I think I was impressed with their roads and railroads, tough train travel not included in the tour. Obviously, Italy comes by those skills honestly. I actually really liked the bus rides. It came to feel like a "second home" on the trip."

Timothy

Westfield, IN

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific. Great guide. Excellent intinerary. Wonderful group.

Kathleen

Oak Lawn, IL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was extremely well organized. We had the perfect mix of large city, small town, and rural destinations with several thoughtful short stops along the way. Perfect mix of group time and alone time. Our trip was hassle free because your organization handled all the arrangements for travel, tickets for attractions, and lodging. We enjoyed every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm usually not eager to get to know new people. My wow moment was when I realized this trip was going to be much more than beautiful scenery, great wine, great food, and history. Our tour group was amazing. We were not cliquey...we could sit next to anyone and be happy. We truly enjoyed each other, and this added a dimension to the trip that I was just not expecting. During our free time, we often met up with our tour mates and spent some time with them. It enriched the trip for me!"

Lauren

Lynn, MA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Myself and my wife had a wonderful time. We used the Rick Steve's tour for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it. We liked the blend of planned time and free time which was really nice and our tour guide was absolutely amazing. We would highly recommend doing a Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was going to the Dolomites in Italy. I had never been that far up north in Italy before and the views, atmosphere and energy were heavenly. I could have stayed there an entire week hiking and exploring. I couldn't get over how beautiful it was. One of the most beautiful I have ever seen."

Erica

Charleston, SC

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's Tour exceeded my expections in all areas. The Best of Italy Tour provided a wonderful overview of Italy north of Rome. Getting to Varenna from the Milan airport was a challenge but doable. Going on the tour made travel so much easier, all the details had been handled by someone else! There was a nice balance of tours and free time. Our guide Sarah provided valuable guidance and suggestions for our free time. The local experiences were wonderful and a additional value

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments! An unexpected moving experience was at the Florence American Cemetery, an addition to our our tour. Lake Como, the Dolomites, Cinque Terre, the art, the sculptures, the duomos....all provided WOW moments."

Lesley

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it exceeded our expectations. The tour matched the description and was truly the Best of Italy! There was a good balance of group time & free time, and large city vs. smaller towns. Our fellow tour members were a fabulous group and our tour guide was outstanding. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would like a taste of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were certainly more than one! The Dolomites were spectacular. Such a beautiful and peaceful setting. The rooftop view of the Grand Canal in Venice at sunset. Happening upon the Via del Corso in Rome on Sunday in the early evening during the passeggiata stroll. Just strolling down the street with so many other people wouldn't sound amazing, however there was such relaxation and joy in the atmosphere. Locals and tourists, elderly couples arm in arm, families with children."

Karen

Valencia, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and it exceeded my expectations. The hotels were centrally located which made it convenient to traverse the different sites. The food was outstanding at the hotels and at the special meals provided. Our guide, Patricia, was fantastic. Friends have asked me what I liked best about the tour and I have to say "all of it"! I am already thinking about my next tour and I have only been home a few weeks. Great job to the RS team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting the sites in the Italian countryside. Being surrounded by and hiking the Dolomites literally took my breath away. Cinque Terre's villages along the coast were a treat for me with their colorful buildings and people. Italy is a beautiful country with so much to offer. I look forward to returning to see the areas I missed."

Mark

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the fact all I had to do was show up. No planning on my part. Hotels and transportation all arranged by Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites. I was not expecting such beauty."

James

Canton, GA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply spectacular! Do not hesitate to take this trip. Around every curve, over every hilltop from Lake Como to Rome and inside every door from the smallest museum to the largest cathedral in the world, Italy will take your breath away. The food was wonderful, but don't worry, you will walk it all off...sometimes up to eight miles a day. And Italy isn't flat, so come prepared. Great group of 26. Enjoyed seeing other tour buses (same size) pull up and disgorge 60 people - thank you Rick!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All moments were WOW - too many to list. Apparently no other tours know about the Seiser Alm, but what an idyllic place to spend a couple of days - serenaded to sleep by cow's bells in the pasture below. Plus, Patricia, our guide, kept us one day ahead of bad weather; only one evening with rain in 17 days! Did have a "YOW" moment when my wife, trying to get a video of the Cinque Terre sunrise stepped barefoot on an Italian yellow jacket - glad we chose the boat tickets; not the hiking pass."

Sheilagh

Brentwood Bay, BC

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our holiday and found the tour guide, driver, itinerary was busy, but presented as advertised the best of Italy. We enjoyed the diversity of the tour with time in the Dolomites and the Cinque Terra. Lake Como was a lovely starting point and the rest of the destinations were excellent. My least favourite spot was the last day in Rome with the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel- too hot, too busy and just unpleasant. Unable to see anything comfortably.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra was fabulous. As we hiked into Vernazza there was a saxophone player perched on the side of the trail playing to the hikers. It really was a magical moment."

Stephen

Valencia, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all of our expectations. The itinerary was great, the accommodations were nice and very conveniently located and all of the guides and driver were exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly and patient. We were completely blown away by the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's almost impossible to single out a particular moment as being our favorite, but for me, waking up to the amazing freshly snow capped Dolomites in Seiser Alm was an incomparable experience."

Louis

Aberdeen, MS

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much Better than I expected. Patricia our tour guide was the best . She was extremely knowledgeable and went out of her way to ensure each tour member received personal attention to enhance the tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of Dolomites was breath taking views."

Christie

Canton, GA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I took this trip to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. It certainly did not disappoint! We had a wonderful time and met some really nice people. It was wonderful seeing the places we have heard about all of our lives, like the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. But we also loved seeing places we had never heard about like the Dolomites. Another highlight was going to the retired chiefs home and eating a meal in his home prepared by him. I think all of our group loved that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh well there were so many because each place we visited were so different. I loved seeing Lake Como and thought it was so beautiful and the Dolomites were breathtaking! But the statue of David was also Breathtaking. I loved seeing MichaelAngelo's art. It was truly amazing."

Randall

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moon over lake Como, hiking in the dolomites after a light snow,a duomo a day, the Pitti Palace and Uffizi galllery in Florence, Francesca's tour of Rome and the Borghese Gallery. Impossible to pick a favorite."

Kathryn

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Italy in 17 Days was wonderful. Each location we stayed for 2 nights and most stops I wanted to stay longer! As our prior Rick Steves tour (GAS 2019) having the small group, central locations for our hotels and the coordination for tours was excellent. For example, the city tour in Venice then the guided tour of St. Mark's Basilica to the point of timing our step onto the rooftop to see the Clocktower strike noon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice! Vaporetto ride, Gondola ride, walking to St. Mark's Square each evening to enjoy the live music!. Cinque Terre, ferry ride (and I have to mention dinner at the Chef's house in Varenna with demonstration on how he makes noodles was memorable!)"

Duane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was excellent. Rainer was a great tour guide very engaging and kept the group moving and interested. Everything ran on time. Our fellow tour members were really nice and fun to be with. We couldn't have had a better experience. As this was our first ever tour we didn't know what to expect but it met all our expectations. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots of WOW moments. The group dinners were all great especially the dinner with the Italian family in Varanna and pasta making demonstration. Of course Michelangelo's David? was fantastic as was the Colosseum. Also the demonstrations of stain glass making and gondola oar making."

Cheryl

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David was one of many "wow" moments and the first one that comes to mind."

Nancy

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Because I had toured Europe for 3 months when a college grad, I wasn't as excited as my husband about this trip. He had never been to Europe and a Rick Steves' tour was on his bucket list, so he talked me into it being we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with this trip of a lifetime. And THAT it was!!! Friends had gone on the same tour just one year before us, so we thought we knew what to expect, but this tour far exceeded our expectations on every level - truly unforgettable!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Please allow me 3 "wow" moments as this was a longer tour. In the Alpe di Suisi, witnessing a cattle drive down the mountain by local herders through our village with all of its festivities was like a fairytale come true, as if I was living the story of "Heidi", one of my childhood favorites. And visiting the marble quarries of Carrera was an experience unlike any other. Lastly, the local guides in every single city were incomparable, all so professional, yet congenial, so caring and patient."

Richard

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

-The whole tour was an experience in itself. Had a great time and enjoyed myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, in seeing the old city and the Vatican, the museum, the Sistine chapel and St. Peters."

Roberta

Wilsonville, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was all I expected it to be. It was fabulous! The hotels, the food, and the education were a perfect combination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I commented to the tour group when we at the wine resort, that the wow moment could have been the gentleman who was showering with his window blinds open, but my eyesight isn't that great! For me the wow moment were the churches, basilicas, and cathedrals. The were all beautiful and unique. If I could have, I would have seen more. My favorite by far however, was the Duomo in Florence. Just magnificent!"

Diane

Bend, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour with generally nice hotel rooms and action packed itinerary. The group is too large. 28 people is way too many. It would be much more enjoyable with fewer people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gazing upon the statue David for the first time. It was so much bigger than I imagined. I also wowed at our view from our room in Monterosso."

Mark

Hermiston, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable! Saw so much it nearly blew my mind. All accommodations were very friendly and usable. Transportation was excellent with an excellent driver. All group meals and activities were well planned and executed. Rainer our guide was very informative and insightful. His passion for Italy was apparent throughout our tour. All in all a very positive experience! I loved that there were plenty of planned activities as well as ample time to yourselves to do your own thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites and the Colloseum were my two highlights of the tour. Although all the unbelievable art and cathedrals were a close second highlight!"

Virginia

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience all the way around. As I told Karin, it was seamless. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect experience, from meeting everyone on the veranda of the Royal Victoria Hotel in Varenna, to the unbelievably beautiful evening when we strolled through The Forum in Rome. We loved Karin as well as our bus driver, Roberto!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. I think the view from our hotel window overlooking Lake Como. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Also eating homemade Pesto made by Felicita? in Cinque Terra. For sure standing at the base of the Forum and realizing the column I was resting on was most likely 2200 years old! Watching the video of the last Palio race with some of the men and women from the winning team who had been there. Their sense of pride and joy was infectious!"

Linda

Lewisville, TX

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour from beginning to end. I feel so very lucky that we could enjoy so many different cities and towns in Italy. Our guide was excellent. Besides being absolutely adorable she was very knowledgeable and we could tell she loved Italy. She wanted the same for each and every one of us. Our new friends from the tour were all so fun and we truly miss them now that we are home. And where is my buttery croissant and cappuccino now that I am at home?!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but I'll start with the first. We walked into our beautiful room on Lake Como and opened our window and there was the lake right before our eyes. Gorgeous. Our second favorite spot was Cinque Terre. St Peter's Basilica, the gondola ride in Venice at sunset, the view of Florence from Michelangelo Piazzale, seeing David, the list goes on and on."

James

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "extra" things our guide arranged for us in between the major site visits made the trip especially memorable. I especially loved our time in Tuscany and at the winery- olive farm!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Carrera marble mine and Sienna"

Paul

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt that everything was wonderful! One could get picky about this or that but in the whole big picture neither my wife nor I felt there was anything to complain about. The weather was fantastic, the hotels were extremely nice, the food was terrific (and so was the wine and beer, and spritzes), the bus driver was exceptional and our guide, Karen, was beyond exceptional. Our group was also exceptional-all got along quite well. Saw and did so much!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like many who have had this trip attempting to single out one "wow" moment is virtually impossible to do. Our view from our hotel in Varenna, overlooking Lake Como, was definitely a "wow"! Seeing the mountains in the Dolomites with a light sheen of snow on them in the sunlight, after a storm, was a "wow". A side trip to the Carrara marble quarries was a treat. Cinque Terra is a spectacular area, especially Manarola. Then, of course, all of the cities with their fabulous art works."

Steve

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I looked forward to this tour with it's several stopping points along the way as it was our first trip to Italy. It presented an amazing array of sites and experiences that we will long treasure. One of the many reasons I enjoy the Rick Steves tours is the way they encourage, indirectly, the interaction among tour members. The group dinners are the most obvious for tour members to get to know one another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were several highlights, I enjoyed our time in the Dolomites for the dramatic scenery. The visit to Siena was exceptional that it tied more directly to the the local culture and people than the other stops. The visit to Assisi was inspiring and led me to read more about St Francis."

Karen

Northbridge, MA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Italy tour was a great way to see a lot of different places across Italy. We enjoyed getting a taste of the major cities as well as the smaller towns. It was the perfect introduction to a country where we had never been, and the commentary from the guides added a lot of value with their knowledge of history, culture, art, architecture, and of course food. If we had done this trip ourselves, we could have seen the same places but not have had nearly the depth of understanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While perhaps a bit touristy, taking a gondola ride with musicians in Venice is a memory we will always cherish. It was a beautiful night and a unique way to travel and see the city."

James

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the entire tour! There was a lot of variety in the destinations, the food, the sights, and it totally met our expectations. Our tour group was congenial (no grumps!) and we enjoyed getting to know new travelers. There was sufficient independent time so that we had the opportunity to explore on our own without the pressure of having to meet a time schedule. Our tour gave us a good overview of the varied areas, from lakes, to small towns, to larger cities, mountains, and meadows.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed the big monuments and sights that are symbols of a given area such as: The David in Florence, all of Venice, Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum in Rome, the natural beauty of the Dolomites, Lake Como, and the Cinque Terre."

Marcia

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre."

Craig

Littleton, NC

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Looked forward to this tour for a long time. We saw so much and experienced so much of Italy that we will love this country always. This trip was supposed to be a guided trip, and that might be a problem. There were just too many all free days. A free afternoon or evening is fine, but 3 whole all free days is not a guided tour. The first meeting was a reception, 30 minute walk around, and then free for dinner on our own. Second day-all free again. That is not the way to establish group unity!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the Italian National airshow team perform over Lake Como. I understand our guide personally used her influence with the Italian Air Force to provide us a real Wow experience."

Gretchen

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip that will be a lifetime highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, everything and every place was a "Wow"!"

Margaret

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I enjoyed the tour, and I picked this itinerary because I wanted to go to a few new places in Italy. But I would have to say that staying only 2 nights in each city didn't allow much time to really get to "know" the place(s) and it meant a lot of moving around and a lot of bus time in between. (8 cities in 16/17 days is a lot of moving.) We arrived one day, explored the next, and then left the next day. In the future I will pick trips that have at least a 3 night stay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the hike in the Dolomites. The gondola ride up was fun and it was my first time on a 6-person chair lift. We walked through cow pastures with the pleasant sound of ringing cow bells, and ended up at a small ski lodge where we had hot chocolate. It was a lovely day."

James

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour gave me a good introduction to much of Italy and the confidence to travel there again. The ending in Rome was horrible at the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved , Varenna, the Italian Alps and the Cinque Terra."

Michelle

Emerald Hills, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time tour- exceeded every expectation. Very organized & informational. Good amount of group time & free time. Our guide Trina was exceptional & all the people in our group were wonderful. Loved Dino our bus driver also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My surprise birthday singing in the gondolas in Venice. Thanks to Trina who organized it."

Rory

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Never being on a tour before, I was blown away with the knowledge, organization, timing, patience & friendliness of Trina & the whole group. Being rookie tour folks, we didn't know what to expect & our trip was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wows, from the moment we got to Lake Como to every place we stayed. The personal wow for me was in the gondola, with the accordion & singer for my wifes birthday. A great surprise, thanks to Trina. Also Sienna with the horse racing tradition packed into that campo. Holy crappo!!!"

Harry

Lake Tapps, WA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything went smoothly. We saw a lot of memorable sights and have some favorites we would like to return to. My only suggestion would be to start in Rome and then use the other stops to slow down from the all the history compressed into 1-1/2 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and the Cinque Terra."

Roy

Suffield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour director (Trina) and driver (Dino). Perfect mix of educational information; direction; structured/planned activities and free time. For the most part, hotel facilities chosen for this tour were clean, comfortable, interesting and welcoming. Local Tour guides were all outstanding. Group meals were timed well within the tour; and were good introductions to culinary specialties of the area we were visiting. We were fortunate to have been traveling with a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them. But seeing da Vinci's "Adoration of the Magi" at the Uffizzi was tops for me. I never expected to get such a look a a Master's process in my life. Truly inspiring, awesome, and humbling."

Donna

Suffield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all my expectations. This was my second Rick Steve's tour so I came to expect great, passionate tour guides, a fun group of fellow travelers and comfortable accommodations. This "The Best of Italy in 17 Days" did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wonderful memories, its hard to pick one "wow" moment."

Stephen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Top notch tour. Seen tons of stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour oraganized Dinners were my favorite part of the trip!"

Margaret

Toronto, ON

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This tour was overall a good experience. Each member of the group was friendly and approachable, and a pleasure to travel with. The bus was comfortable and the driver was capable and friendly. The guide was fluent in Italian and was a capable problem solver, as the itinerary was reorganized near the beginning of the tour, and at the end. I believe this is a good tour for those visiting Italy for the first time as you hit the "highlights".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time in Lake Como (Varenna) and Cinque Terra (Monterosso) were the highlights of the tour for me. I also enjoyed the Tuscan countryside at AltoRocca."

Nina

Westport, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth trip to Italy, so I had been to most of the venues on this tour before. However when I visited them previously I didn't have the benefit of our tour guide and the local guides giving me so much new information and background about the sites. I learned so much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing three towers (Florence Bell Tower, Pisa and Siena's City Tower) and to the top of St. Peter dome. Amazing views and experience, unless you are a bit claustrophobic. The biggest tearjerker was visiting the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. Not one of us on the tour knew of its existence nor the fact that this is only one 20+ in Europe. It contained over 4,000 headstones and 1,400 tablets of the missing of Americans list in WWII, just in northern Italy. Very moving."

Vivian

New Russia, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy has been on my bucket list for years. It was my mom's favorite country and now I know why. The tour was above my expectations. I had no idea what to expect, but I enjoyed every moment. Thanks to your staff who put the tour together and thanks to Sarah who made us feel like family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think viewing " The Last Supper " in MIlan," David" in Florence, and the Borghese Museum in Rome. I was mesmorized by " David". I just kept on staring at this incredible art piece."

James

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just as explained by Rick Steves website. We were told what to expect and what the demands of the tour would include and that is exactly as it happened. The tour guide and the local guides were all superb. Excellent tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dolomites and Florence were both really great."

Ronald

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour. Saw a lot of sites and learned a great deal. I was not as impressed with some of the hotels or room assignments. Since we were all paying the same rate all should have had equal rooms. Views of walls and rooms with broken shutters and windows were a real turn off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the Dolomites. Beautiful area. Otzi the Ice Man was a wow moment. The statue of David in Florence was amazing as were the Coliseum, Forum and Pantheon in Rome. Liked northern Italy landscape the most."

Deanne

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much and met so many great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Mediterranean Sea for first time."

Mary Lynn

Bethel Park, PA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour! I loved the cities that we saw. I loved our tour guide, Sarah! I think it was the right amount of free time and planned activities. I wish the experience at the Sistine Chapel could have been better - perhaps go first thing. It was way too crowded. I liked how we took public transportation also. Looking forward to another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing David was a wow moment for us. The beauty of Castle Rocca, Cinque Terre, and the winery were also my favorite."

Christine

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. I was a little concerned about traveling with so many people for 17 days, and that actually turned out to enhance the experience. I made some wonderful new friends. I think the buddy system really fosters getting to know one anther.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each stop provided a special moment: the gardens in Varenna,dinner at the home of the chef, the Panoramic trail hike, Otzi was amazing. The gondola ride and Saint Marks Square at sunrise. Hiking in the Cinque Terra. The places selected for the tour are all marvelous and the experience was truly enhanced by our guide Sarah, each of our local guides and my fellow travelers."

Alvin

New Russia, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Overall," I went to Italy and returned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no specific, "wow," moment. I was greatly impressed with the architecture and that people living 500 and more years ago could create such magnificent structures and art. The Florence Veterans Cemetery was very moving. I also enjoyed walking through the narrow streets in the small towns. The Sistine Chapel was a nuthouse- not your fault."

Richard

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and hit all of the high points plus more. Sarah was a superb guide. She always took care of us but gave us enough direction that we felt comfortable going off on our own. when we had the opportunity The group we were with was great and very compatible with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great experiences that it is hard to identify just one. I was very impressed with St. Mark's square in Venice and the wonderful tour we had there."

Sally

Mililani, HI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As the fog lifted the beautiful views of the Dolomites from the Alpine meadow. Such a magical place!"

James

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely well organized, expertly guided, and fun! Clearly the result of commitment to a continuous improvement process. My wife and I are seasoned (read older) travelers and have done most of our own logistical work. We looked forward to shelving that chore and it was a delight. Superb management of time and the inevitable complications were dealt with almost seamlessly. The was our first Rick Steves Tour and it exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one but our early morning trip to St. Peter's was the show stopper. It was a before sunrise bonus option that Donald did not have to do but was incredible. To walk in and see the Pieta with no one else pressuring for a view was amazing. The Rick Steves films always suggest this time to visit crowded venues but to be shepherded there was great."

Robert

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my very high expectations. We covered a lot of ground and I liked the balance of free time and tour time, big city time and small village time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow: When the history and art of Italy were brought to life by our lead guide Donald and city guides Paul in Florence and Francesca in Rome."

Michael

Victor, MT

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an outstanding guide in Donald. We also had a great group to tour with. My wife bruised the heel on her right foot on a cobblestone during the tour and hobbled along behind everyone else. Other tour participants often offered to assist. Very nice group of people. We were celebrating 40 years of marriage and wanted a memorable experience. Yes to that! Tour of a lifetime! I wanted to see Tuscany. My wife wanted a gondola ride in Venice. Got both - plus much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Opening the window in our hotel window in Monterosso and seeing that gorgeous blue Ligurian sea in front of us!! Sort of took my breath away for a few seconds! I took several pics out of that window. I sent it to so many friends. A second one was seeing the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome. Such beautiful sculpture! And seeing David in person in Florence!"

Judith

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations in every way! I loved the pace of activities, the knowledge and enthusiasm of Donald White, the "cultural special activities", the included tickets and fares, the size of the group, the comfort of a large bus, the quality of the accommodations, etc. etc. ???? I loved this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moment was visiting St. Peter's at 6:30 in the morning with Donald in order to avoid the crowds. This extra effort by Donald to enhance the quality of visiting St. Peter's was very special. The sun rise at St. Peter's and viewing the Pieta without a herd of other tourists was a WOW!!"

John

River Falls, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great cities - great sites - good food and wine- great art

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art - what the masters did to create the jump between the 1300 and 1400 hundreds is amazing"

William

Mililani, HI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were told this tour was the most popular of all the Rick Steves tour - I can now see why. It was, in all of its dimensions, an extirely enjoyable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Major wow moment occurred when I first walked into the Monet display in the great room of the Orangerie Museum. I was almost brought to my knees by the size of the paintings. The oval shaped room permitted standing in the middle and simply turning around to gaze slowly at it all. Wonderful moment."

Susan

Louisville, KY

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our first Rick Steves' Tour. Everything about it suited our needs perfectly. It was the right amount of activity vs. downtime, structured vs. free time, big city vs. nature experiences, etc. We had a great group of fellow travelers that meshed well together, especially during such a long tour. Everything was thoughtfully planned and we loved all the little touches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Alpe di Suisi! We had perfect weather and conditions the day we went. Loved everything about it and Castelrotto!"

David

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed this excellent tour of Italy. This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we didn't know what to expect but it certainly exceeded all of our expectations. We really enjoyed the balance of guided tours and free time to explore on our own. Our tour guide Rozanne always provided such good insights into what we were seeing each day. We had a great group that bonded well, and we shared fun times that made for some great memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Alpe di Siusi in the Dolomites on a picture-perfect day was a highlight for me. Another one would have to be in Siena when we learned about the Palio and then got to visit the winning contrade and the fantastic meal the volunteers there prepared for us."

Steven

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour experience. Great group of fellow travelers that quickly bonded with one another. Bus driver Stefano expertly navigated us through the chaos of the Italian roadways. Tour guide Rozanne art history insights were so helpful. Amazing food, first rate wine that was never in short supply at our group dinners. Museums, sculptures, cathedrals, this tour truly covered it all. Good mix of organized activities & free time. Needed the vacation from our vacation day in Monterosso.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David. Pictures & replicas simply do not capture the magnificence of the actual sculpture."

Bob

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience and saw sites/locations in addition to the tour itinerary that enhanced the trip immensely. Our tour guide was amazing with expert knowledge and a knack of taking exceptional care of us all. This was our very first Rick Steve's Tour and we are convinced that this was a great decision to take advantage of what this plan offers. We had a wonderful group of people traveling in our group that embraced the experience as we did and all had so much fun together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the museums and churches were without a doubt the top of the tour. Hard to beat 'The Last Supper', 'David', 'The Pieta', and 'The Sistine Chapel'. However, we surprisingly enjoyed the stop in Siena. The visit to the church of that won the 2019 Palio was my favorite experience of the trip. Of course hiking the Dolomites and eating German food in the Italian Alps was great fun."

Donald

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour with a nice mix of museums, crafts (winemaking and gondola oar making), outdoor activities (dolomite hiking in a ski resort and swimming in the Mediterranean), fantastic food, historical sights and world class art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"God touching Adam in the Sistine Chapel"

Wallace

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, a great tour. That being said, I felt overwhelmed with Catholic religious basilicas, churches, shrines and art. I would have liked to hear more of the history of Italy, how certain areas developed from the early ages to the present, more information about the geology of the area (we passed several volcanoes that went unmentioned, even though I brought the subject up with Rozanne. I would have preferred less religion (although I recognize it was a huge part of Italy's growth) more histo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The City of Siena, the Palio horse race and the history of the race and the wonderful meal hosted by the region's volunteers. What a lovely night."

Diane

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rozanne was a terrific guide; hotel choices were excellent and close to sites; dinners provided were generous and tasty; pacing of the tour was good, even for we older tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. The hike in the Dolomites with the cows and their cowbells, the gondola ride with musicians that Rozanne had arranged, seeing masterpieces in the Uffizi, having dinner in a contrada center in Siena."

Carl

St Paul, MN

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Almost everything was as expected or better.Visiting the local artisans was a nice surprise.Also the allied crematory was a surprise that I was very happy to visit. I didn't carefully read the tour materials ahead of time so these visits may have been noted but in any cases they were enjoyable. The hotel locations were great.All the cities and towns were very interesting

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to note one. Everyone of the small and rural towns were so beautiful I was amazed.The Forum and Roman ruins boggled my mind."

Sheri

La Quinta, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I've been to Italy 6 times on my own. I picked this tour based on my experience last year on the Best of Spain tour which was outstanding. I had never been to Spain, had recently lost my husband, and went by myself. My fiance is not a "tour" person, but I convinced him that it would be a good experience as he'd never been to Italy. Overall it was very good, however, the general consensus was that a lot of the time we got into town late and then only had the next day in that spot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Pisa, as I'd never been. My favorite place was probably Orvieto because it was the most relaxing. Along with Cinque Terra. Having the owner make us pesto was excellent."

Neil

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing sights, knowledgeable, kind, energetic guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Ruins in Rome, with presentation by Francesca."

Louis

Euless, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much more than I had expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list- but Varenna and Cinque Terre wowed me the most."

Howard

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is almost impossible to sum up my overall tour experience. Everything about is was absolutely fantastic. Italy is amazing. I learned so much about the culture, the history, the art, and the people. Everything I was hoping for. The accommodations were great. The weather couldn't have been better. (How do you guys arrange for that? And the food!!! My traveling companions were so much fun to be with. I enjoyed meeting all of them and hope to continue our friendships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone asks what was the best part. I have to say it was the Uffizi Gallery. Our guide, Pallo, brought art history to life and gave me a much better appreciation of how it all fit together. But, I have to say that just picking one "wow" moment is not easy."

Judy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

comprehensive. Good group. Good guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The David."

Susan

Euless, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It beat all expectations. We started by trying to plan our Italian vacation our own and reAlized it was impossible. We are so happy we went with a Rick Steves tour. The fellow travelers - our guide, Lisa, hotels, bus driver, Roberto, and all the wonderful sights and sounds of Italy were perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Varenna - the CinqueTerre - and Italian Alps the most ' but everything was great!"

Donna

Tumwater, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overwhelming, exhausting, magical, glorious, memorable!! While it is not an exaggeration that this tour is "moderate to strenuous", it is worth every re-pack, cobblestone, incline and stair-step to be exposed to indeed the very best of Italy. Lisa is AWESOME, as both a person and a guide, and her dual-citizenship brings a unique perspective to the trip. Love her!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rounding a corner and suddenly seeing St. Mark's Square in Venice made me cry. Several other sudden exposures choked me up. It was truly overwhelming at times to take in all the beauty, i.e., culture, countryside, history and art, and is difficult to explain to people. It will live inside me forever."

Pamela

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience with excellent guides and lovely group of people. Loved the accommodations as well as extra authentic experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We particularly enjoyed Lake Como, Venice, Dolomites, Orvieto, Siena, and Cinquettera."

John

Jefferson City, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not enough space to convey how much we enjoyed out tour. This was our first time for a guided tour and we would definitely take another of your great tours! I have always driven in our past travels, but found this to be a very satisfying way to enjoy the countryside as we moved from place to place. A very ambitious program but extremely well organized. Covered a lot of territory but very effectively!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick one "wow" moment from a tour filled with highlights! The paintings, sculptures, Cathedrals, food, wine, great people, where do you stop. Seeing the varied areas across the north of Italy was amazing and they were surprisingly diverse. The Dolomites were inspirational as well as overwhelming, but the one moment would be in Venice. We were on a gondola ride in the evening and as we were on the Grand Canal a full moon started rising over the water!"

Lale

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time overall. The itinerary was fantastic. Molly was great. We had expert guides in every place we visited. The hotels were strategically placed to allow us maximum free wandering around time. Created lifetime memories that we will cherish as long as we live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! Soo many 'wow' moments. How can I choose one? I can perhaps choose one 'wow' moment from every place we visited. Vistas of Lake Como from Varenna, Puflatsch views of Alpe di Suisi. Top of the St. Marko Church in Venice. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence. View of Vernazza from Monteroso -Vernazza trail. Views of vineyards and olive groves near Assisi. Trevi Fountain in Rome."

Wayne

Troy, MI

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time I've taken any kind of tour and was extremely satisfied with the experience. We visited all the major locations and a few that I had never heard of and all were outstanding. The guides were very knowledgeable and liked to answer questions. I had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to select just one. If forced, I think It was dancing to the battling orchestras in St. Marks square after dark."

Kathleen

Moraga, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and the group got along well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites and Assisi were high points. I have been to Italy before. I loved the Duomo Museum in Florence and it wasn't crowded."

Ronald

Louisville, CO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime and the Rick Steves tour was everything I hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every location was a "Wow" moment, each unique, beautiful, and inspiring. The Dolomites were awesome and Sienna was really special."

Kelli

Louisville, CO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time and appreciate the extra time and details that were taken to make this trip one we will NEVER forget!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Dolomites! Dinner in Sienna was outstanding! However, every place we stopped had it's own WOW factor. I LOVED staying on the farm near Orvieto."

Jane

Jefferson City, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was beyond our expectations! This was our first official tour that we had ever taken, most of our travels have been independent planning, rental car driving, and hotel and meal planning. Our tour was much more than we had ever expected. We were relieved of so much decision making we were able to spend our time enjoying every minute. We read and researched before going and I believe we saw and experienced all on our list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am sure others have said the same, but there were so many "wow"moments! From hiking up to a spectacular view in the Dolomites, to rounding a corner and seeing THE Colosseum, to uncountable outstanding works of art and architecture. As it was our 50th anniversary this year it was magical to float in a gondola, with music in Venice, Italy and see a full moon rising in the sky. I can't say enough about the many many wow magical moments that made up our trip."

Jeanne

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great...more cities, tours and events than expected! and our tour guide was amazing, Molly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Varenna! Wow...we stayed in the Alps, a farm and swam the Mediterranean all in the same trip!"

Joseph

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Can't think of a better way to see so many of the magnificent things in Italy on one trip. The pace of the trip was challenging at times, but overall, this was a wonderful way to experience northern Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to list just one, so here's a few. Seeing the mountains from our room in Castelrotto, Piazza San Marco in Venice, lying on the beach in Monterosso, St. Peter's in the Vatican."

Barry

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time. Molly, our guide was great. The local guides were great. We enjoyed everything about our trip and are already going through the R S catalog for our next trip. My wife and I agree that we would not have had the quality experience we had if we had planned it ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Alpe de Suiss, a dream come true. Rome was fantastic as well."

Douglas

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

first time on a "guided tour" so I didn't know what to expect, but Molly did a great job with even the most minute details. Tour guides in various cities were really good (tho a few were kind of long-winded, and group could have used a break). I found the SMALL towns to be as interesting as the larger/more famous ones, and was glad we had a chance to see them. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the hotels (some more than others). Last day in Rome was very hectic/overcrowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"fav had to be celebrating my wife's 70th at the farmhouse in Umbria! I really liked Monterosso (swam in Mediterranean!), Siena, and most of the other stops. Having a singer and accordion player on our private gondola was a real treat (thanks, Molly!). Alps stop was beautiful as was Venice, and several other towns."

Lynnette

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was decadent, and efficient.It was nice to have everything taken care of.

Maury

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well run tour. Everyone was knowledgeable, pleasant and very helpful. The itinerary, was varied and interesting. The unexpected extras were lovely. Overall it was a very nice experience and we have already highly recommended Rick Steves tours to family and friends.

Kristine

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour The information we received on how to pack, words to remember, insurance coverage, where were going, what were to see and what to expect walking was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be hard to say, there was so much in each place!!"

Sherry

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour experience! Stephanie was our tour guide and made sure the tour members had a memorable trip while connecting with each traveler on a personal basis. She is very knowledgeable about Italy and has personal experiences living in Italy which gave me a deeper understanding of Italian life. The itinerary was set up up perfectly so we had hectic big city days mixed with small town experiences. The pace was active as advertised and exactly what I was wanting out of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and hiking Cinque Terra, and Lake Como, and the Dolomites, and of course David."

Mary

Humble, TX

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was filled with wonderful visits to fantastic places. There were a few blips that were unexpected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed being on my own and walking through the towns. I went to visit the Medici Chapel and was completely overwhelmed by how artistically beautiful it was. I was extremely disappointed by being left for the tour of the Uffizi. That really woowed my in a negative way."

Earl

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the first guided tour for us. Stephanie was the BEST! She had great ideas for during free time. Good ideas for the meals on our own. 22 other people on our tour - just the right size group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first evening in Rome Stephanie offered an evening outing for any that we're interested. A dozen of us were game for the outing.Stephanie handed us bus tickets but never said where we were headed. After a lenghty bus ride Stephanie said it was our stop. After a short walk we turned to the right and there was St. Peter's Square! All lit up, very few tourists. It was one of stop in your tracks and just be amazed by the sight. Thanks Stephanie for one of those once in a lifetime experiences."

Maria

Sandy, UT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Italy Tour was an absolute wonderful life experience. Through this tour we were exposed to spectacular country, wonderful culinary experiences, stimulating cultural and historical understanding of the country of Italy. We felt safe at all times and our guide Stephanie and our driver Pino were highest caliber professionals and perfect ambassadors for this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived to Venice, it actually was a touching moment. Walking in this very old place felt surreal and hard to believe. My husbands favorite wow was visiting the Pantheon and Stephanie arranged an add-on nighttime walkabout of Rome where we were dazzled by the nighttime illumination of Basilica and other fountains."

Connie

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I only wanted to see Michelangelo's works; my husband picked Italy. Fortunately, I was more than pleasantly surprised at the landscape beauty of Varenna and Lake Como and then the Dolomites mountain vistas and farmlands. Unto the larger northern and central Italian cities- each so unique with wonderful cultural training from fluent Stephanie and the local tour guides. When people in the US ask me my favorite place, I CANNOT name one; rather I name 6 or more places or activities. Well done Rick

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were those times when you've been walking down and through the winding narrow streets of a new city and suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, you enter a huge open square, piazza, campo. My breath was taken away each time. I can't forget the beauty of Lake Como, I liken it to Norway and New Zealand fjords. And Cinque Terra! Oh yes."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience was really good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the American cemetery outside of Florence. It was a surprise stop. And it totally made me cry. Really moving. In the midst of all this traveling and experiencing Italy, it was a quiet moment to say hello and thanks to all these fellow Americans for their sacrifice. Getting to tour the stained glass shop (master craftsman) in Siena. That was really interesting."

Luann

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Tour guide was informative, helpful, friendly and organized. Sarah was a delight to be with. Very approachable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The variety!"

Cathy

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of this tour. The itinerary is superb, giving a look at various aspects of Italy from the beautiful lake Como and Cinque Terre, to charming Venice, to the peaceful agritourismo (where our group engaged in lively comaradarie, just enjoying ourselves) to the beautiful cities. The history and architecture of all the towns is fascinating, and this tour presented this in a way that was educational, and also allowed for personal exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was so many "wow" moments that I cannot claim a favorite. St. Peter's basilica certainly is the most impressive church on earth, but other cathedrals were also beautiful. Learning about the Italian way of life was interesting. One wonderful surprise was the visits to two artisans, a oar lock maker in Venice and a stained glass maker in Sienna. It was fun to learn about the process and artistry that goes into making their art work."

Kenneth

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a totally immersive experience. It took you away to another world where all the routines of your life back at home were just vague memories. You would focus on one place for a day and a half, and barely enough time to focus on what you just experienced before it was time to move on to a new place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every thing and place had it's own value. I can't say I like one moment better than another."

Karen

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all of my expectations. Our guide,Sarah, set a tone of discovery and camaraderie the moment we met and 21 strangers quickly became 21 friends on an exciting adventure through Italy. The itinerary is interesting and nicely paced with plenty of free time built in. Two nights in the same hotel was relaxing and allowed us to become more comfortable exploring the area on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments because Italy is so diverse, but Cinque Terre was a wonderful surprise! You could hike from town to town or ride by boat or train. No matter how you traveled the vistas were breathtaking!"

Scott

Canton, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Strenuous with one wow moment after another. Far exceeded expectations. Flexible schedule with very little wasted time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprise stop at San Zeno in Verona! Or maybe the moonlight on the water in Monterossa! Or the dinner/lecture with Marco! Or........."

Richard

Montgomery Center, VT

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had never taken a tour of this type before and were very pleased by all of our experiences. We greatly appreciated the comfortable, clean, and often beautiful accommodations, the ease of travel, the diverse destinations, and excellent tour guides in cities like Venice, Florence, Sienna, and Rome. Sarah's attention to detail, good humor, and helpful suggestions throughout our journey also contributed significantly to the well being and enjoyment of all particants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour was a series of "wow" moments from our first breakfast at the Hotel Royal Victoria on Lake Como to the stunning vistas near the Witches Benches in the Dolomites,, as well as our meals at the agritourismo site near Orvieto, and special treats like pistachio and hazelnut gelatos! Nonetheless, my favorite "wow" moment has to be a surprise encounter with a sketch by Edvard Munch of an old man, mindful of the larger dimensions of living, in among all the treasures of the Vatican."

Lawrence

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a great time. Would recommend Rick Steve's tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture and history of Italy"

Wayne

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

found the trip to contain "much' more than I had imagined it would. We really appreciated ou guide Sarah and what she added to the "adventure' too. Thanks Sarah

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel.........minus the crowd. Unreal"

Lawrence

Fairfield, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was wonderful. Itinerary is everything and this trip delivered. I actually did more and saw more than I was expecting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments on the trip, but I guess if there was one in particular it had to have been the Assumption of the Virgin painting by Titian that hangs in the Friar Church in Vienna. I had read about this painting for some time and heard it to be considered one of the most beautiful in existence. It is! To have seen it actually left me a bit light-headed. The walk in the rain to see it was worth every wet step."

Tracy

Marysville, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was everything we'd dreamed of and so much more! This was our 30th anniversary trip and we couldn't have picked a better way to celebrate! We met new friends, saw amazing places, enjoyed fabulous weather, tasted incredible food and wine, and enjoyed every single minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "WOW" moments from our tour it is difficult to choose just one. Standing in places we've seen on TV or read about was amazing. We continually said to each other, "Can you believe we're really here?" Each of our stops holds something very special and memorable for us. We have a favorite "view", a favorite "hotel", a favorite "day", a favorite "city", a favorite "group meal", a favorite "pasta", a favorite "wine", and each is in a different place."

Richard

Marysville, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Starting with our tour guide Marianna and the bus driver Adrian. They were absolutely outstanding. They have the skills and perfect personality's for their jobs. Both were very prepared and kept everyone engaged throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much everything"

Katherine

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a wonderful trip. I liked the variation between busy bigger cities and smaller, more relaxed towns. I loved the workshops we attended; the man in Venice who made forcula's and oar's for gondolas, the winemaking and tasting and the stained glass workshop. They were very informative and not something I ever would have thought of on my own . Both our tour guide and bus driver were wonderful and a lot of fun. Our fellow travelers were also great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sistine Chapel was something I had dreamed of doing ever since I read about it's having been cleaned. I had seen it 41 years ago, but the brightness of the colors after it had been restored was breathtaking."

Helen

Missoula, MT

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marianna was grace in motion. Her efforts to make our tour smooth were seamless. She seemed as enthusiastic as we were, and that's a lot to say given the length of time she's been a guide. Adrian, our driver, was fantastic steering us through narrow streets effortlessly. His sense of humor was spontaneous and truly funny. The two of them worked together effortlessly and gracefully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The small church inside the larger church at Assisi."

Marc

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. Flight to and back were brutal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"History and the smaller towns we went to."

Donna

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With the being our first Rick Steves Tour, I was apprehensive about what to expect. We had the most wonderful experience....mainly great hotel experiences (some were better than others)great meals, fun bus rides, incredible "experiences"...loved the wood working demo in Venice. The pesto Demo in Cinque Terres....The Social Club dinner and stained glass demo in Sienna; The winery tour (wine and olive oil). Had we done on our own, we wouldn't have been exposed to these types of special things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alta Rocca Winery was perfect with some down time. Property was incredible....the only thing I didn't care for was the BBQ meal. I came to Italy to enjoy Italian Food!"

Anthony

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best of Italy was truly that! From our initial group meeting and then throughout our time in Italy together, Marianna guided us through all our adventures with the everyday smile and greeting of "Bon Giorno"! She was organized, thorough in her preparation, caring in meeting the groups every need! Our visits to the various towns, cities, and sites within were always a pleasure. At certain towns and cities Marianna was supported by well knowledgeable area guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name just one!!!!"

Thomas

Willowbrook, IL

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marianna was great, itinerary was great , fellow travelers were great... highly recommended

Favorite "WOW" moment

"ambience and atmosphere at Altarocca was wonderful...all the hill towns were special"

Cynthia

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Loved the bus. Great first dip into Europe. Loved Italy and would go there again in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride for 60 Th. birthday. Marianna, our guide, hired the singer and guitarist to serenade. So great!"

Gary

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour with Rick Steves. We went to Ireland last year. This tour was more intensive on the sights since there are so many in Italy. I thought there were too many churches - I suggest skipping the minor cathedrals in lieu of other local sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the local guides added GREATLY to the tours of the churches and the art, sculpture, and architecture. When we were on our own, I definitely was not "tuned in" to what I was seeing. The wine country inn in Orvieto was so beautiful and comfortable."

Gregory

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like our previous tour to Ireland, this Italy tour was wonderful! The itinerary was very thoughtful and allowed 2 nights in each stop which facilitated washing / drying clothes and getting comfortable enough to explore on our own. Marianna was an extremely caring and conscientious leader who added tremendously to our enjoyment of the tour and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Shopping for gold jewelry on the crowded Ponte Vecchio, Having a limoncello spritz in the piazza in Florence, Trying to find the best gelateria in each town we visited during our evening passeggiata, Learning to slow down and savor each meal with the company we kept."

John

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations throughout, and Donald, our guide, was excellent in every respect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had no idea the Dolomites were so spectacular or that they were surrounded by Sound of Music meadows."

Jane

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific and our guide was absolutely fantastic. We experienced all the highlights in each area as well as the culture. Our guide was like a walking encyclopedia, giving us all the local information (even when just driving through an area) and helping us make the most of our free time. The scheduled program was always spot on. When we arrived home, we were tired (especially our feet!), but my husband and I looked at each other and said "where next?".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being my first time in Italy, there were too many to name. Every day brought a new "wow" moment. The small tours that the normal tourist would not experience like the focola factory, the stained glass studio, restaurants and food especially where we had group dinners, and the cooking demonstration, were all "wow". And of course the major sites that everyone sees are spectacular. The biggest "wow" was realizing how great the Rick Steves way of travel is."

Wanda

Southport, NC

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first tour my husband and I have taken. We have always planned and booked our trips on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The food provided on the tour was wonderful. I was just a little bit disappointed in the food at the winery in Siena. The hotels was good, my least favorite was the Hotel California as It was just not up to par with the others. Donald , our guide and Stephan our driver were superb. You could not have asked for better guidance and assistance .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the favorite was the outstanding cities, tours, and sights."

Mary Louise

Ogunquit, ME

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From Louise & Lisa... We'd like to start our review by saying thank you to Rick Steves and his staff for a truly amazing adventure. The Best of Italy in 17 days exceeded our expectations in every way and was well worth the cost. We weren't sure about traveling in a group but this turned out to be one of the best parts of the trip. We learned so much and can't wait to return! We have and will continue to recommend Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list just one... 1. The art, sculpture and history everywhere we went. 2. Meandering through the villages and riding the water taxi around Lake Como. 3. Hiking in the Dolomites listening to the ringing of cow bells. 4. Listening to a wind ensemble playing Astor Piazzola's Oblivion in front of the San Stae Church watching the vintage boat regatta in Venice... it was just beautiful! 5. Strolling around the Piazza San Marco listening to live music. 6. Hiking in the hills of Cinque Terra."

Tonia

Palm Bay, FL

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour, our first RS guided tour. The balance between guided and free time was very good, although we weren't prepared for so much free time. Partly due our crazy summer, partly due to other guided tours we've been on. We would be better prepared in the future. A highlight for us was actually not on the tour. It was a cooking class we took in Florence. If we didn't have the amount of free time, we wouldn't have been able to do that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guard singing in the Baptistry in Pisa. (That was new to us.) Riding bikes in Lecco(?). Cooking class we took in Florence (on our own). Ötzi Hiking the Dolomites again and the yodeler at the end of the hike Stained glass and forcola demonstrations Donald, he does a fantastic job Our tour group, good people, great chemistry, bonded quickly Seeing David, Sistine Chapel, Pieta, and other sites, again."

David

Palm Bay, FL

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good trip but I did get tired of going to all the churches. This tended to get repetitive to me. My favorite stops were Lake Como, the Dolomites, Cinque Terre area, and the Altarocca Wine Resort in Umbria. Each of these areas showed the beauty of Italy. Some things that I enjoyed on this tour that I wouldn't have been able to do if we were traveling independently was to see the making of a gondola's forcola and oar in Venice and making stain glass windows in Siena.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sistine chapel was my wow moment. Even though I had seen it before, I loved seeing it again and it still takes my breath away. I was happy that the tour used the Rick Steves' app to go through the Vatican museums since this allowed each of us to take as much time to see it as we wanted."

Geraldine

Lansdale, PA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Orvieto was a wonderful village. Our wine resort lodging was the best. Beautiful. Food was not the best there though. Wished we could have stayed 1 more night for relaxation as trip was very busy.

Don

Henderson, NV

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding, incredible and I could go on and on. We had so much fun and learned so much about Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may sound odd, but my "wow" moment was the incredible beauty of the Dolomites. Of course, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's basilica were jaw dropping."

Ruxton

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first tour my wife and I have ever tried and we were very impressed with our experience. We feel we were fortunate to have such an experienced guide in Donald as well as great group of fun loving fellow travellers. I felt it was great to be with people from all over the states who are part of a shared adventure. Like minded individual who were excited to see new and interesting historical sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Per our guides suggestion, we woke up at 5:30 and left our hotel in Venice at 6 to check out St Marks Plaza early in the morning. With trepidation going through the dark narrow "streets" with no one around produced an eerie feeling but once we reached the plaza, it was well worth the journey. An empty plaza, locals busy starting their day and a beautiful sunrise."

Carole

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Italy and this tour was fantastic! We were fortunate to have a wonderful group of people to travel with and I truly feel they became family. Donald was the best. He was funny and so knowledgeable. We all loved our driver Stefano, as well as the local tour guides - they were fabulous. All the main cities where we stayed have been on my bucket list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exploring the cities of Cinque Terra was definitely a highlight for me. I also loved Venice and walking through the streets/alleys and exploring. My wow moment? Hiking up in the Dolomites. I felt like Maria from the Sound of Music."

Glen

Houston, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to dueling musicians in St Mark's Square in Venice. The Sistine Chapel. Using Rick's audio guide as an excellent way to view this jam packed venue. I used my own headset with 2 earbuds. It made me feel almost alone when listening to Rick while looking at the unbelievable setting."

Kevin

Gladstone, OR

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! Met all of my expectations and beyond. Our tour guide, Donald, was outstanding. His historical and present day knowledge of Italy is phenomenal. The group dinners were great! My wife and I learned so much! We were also fortunate to travel with a wonderful group of people. 2 days at each location often felt too brief, but there was so much territory to cover in 17 days!!! Thanks again Donald, you handled everything so smoothly. A truly experienced professional!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough because there were so many "wow" moments. Loved seeing Michelangelo's David up close, St Peters, the Sistine Chapel and so many other places & works of art. Enjoyed Cinque Terre, Dolomites, Siena, Assisi and Orvieto. We plan to return & spend more time in some of these places."

Newton

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed with the organization of the tour and the execution by Molly our tour guide and Dino our driver. Both of these people went above and beyond to ensure everyone on the tour had a great experience. The hotels overall were good and the food was FANTASTIC! The places we visited more than met my expectations and the guest guides provided valuable local cultural insights. Overall, everything was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the David in Florence was the wow moment. The second WOW was an impromptu stop a an American WWII cemetery. This was very moving and I saw quite a few tears being wiped away during the presentation by the guide. Very moving. Thanks to Molly for arranging this."

George

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, great locations for hotels and very experienced local guides. The format allows for a full day in each place so it can be considered a taste for later return and deeper exploration. I enjoyed the inclusion of the smaller towns and most of the included meals. Our guide Molly was particularly aware of individual differences and managed the group with responsibility and efficiency.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the Villa San Michele in Anacapri."

Susan

Hollister, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was really well organized. It was a perfect mix of structured and free time. Molly tried her best to educated us in activities, history, politics and even some Italian. She was always available for questions of any type, from recommendations for dinner, schedules or personal needs. Our bus driver, Dino, was amazing. He managed to get us to our destinations as close as possible in the rather large bus, and even had cold water available!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra was everything I hoped it would be. Quaint villages, endless trails and relaxing coast line. The meal of pesto and white lasagna was very special. Over all, most of the provided meals had extra special touches. How can you top dinner with the winning Palio Team in Sienna on their lovely terrace? Loved Alpe di Siusi and Castelrotto. Beautiful. Could have used another day to explore more. A surprise visit to the American Cemetery. Touching. Beautiful setting."

George

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Italy in 17 days certainly delivered the best of Italy. Probably based on past experiences, this tour relies on scheduling free time almost every day. That was not at all the case on my two previous tours, Best of Switzerland and France from the Loire Valley to the South of France. As a result, this tour resembled to some extent a My Way tour. That may have been necessary in light of the enormous number of sights and the need to allow choices to be made. (Continued in Paragraph 16).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como, Alpe di Suisi, St. Mark's Basilica and Piazza, Uffizi Gallery and museum tour guides, Pisa Field of Miracles, Orvietto Cathedral, St. Peter's, Vatican Museum. Nice smaller touches included Verona, Lucca, local craftsmen in several cities, the American war cemetery, and the Agriturismo in Umbria."

Barry

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time; were very pleased with the tour. Tour's success goes to our guide - Molly - informative and handled both all situations expeditiously and professionally. Cannot praise her enough. Rick Steve's local guides were very knowledgeable and very insightful. Low point - Umbria family farm accommodations - the pool was in disrepair;room door would not lock; window shutter not close. Owner harangued us about olive oil which we knew. He should have spent time meeting your requirements

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring in Florence - seeing David and the art work"

Roger

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Alpe di Siusi/Dolomites area was amazing. The hiking experience was "breathtaking" and there was a nice place to eat lunch. A blister on my little toe was properly treated and my mobility was not seriously impacted. I have always been fascinated by Brunelleschi's dome in Florence and was pleased to be able to observe his technique in the museum in the construction of a well. At the Pasquale in Monterosso, I won an apron by coming the closest to spelling "sciacchetrà," a unique desert wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venezia at San Marco Capella was magic: the illumination of the gold tiles at 11 am, the clock tower striking the hour from the rooftop. The commedia dell'arte production of "Arlecchino and the Magic Ring" and the awesome Interpreti Veneziani concert of mostly Vivaldi with authentic realization were other highlights."

Robert

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was just as great as our first tour. The balance of planned time versus time on our own to explore was just right. It was great to be able to "skip the line" at all of the popular venues. Our guide was excellent and always able to provide us with suggestions of things to do with our time based on her evaluation of our interests and abilities. It was great having such a small group and all of out tour companions were wonderful. Will definitely do more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several wow moments. The stained glass demonstration was amazing. The "flash art" demonstration was also very cool. I'm a woodworker so the oar lock demonstration in Venice was very interesting (better than the mask demonstration in our last tour). Finally the unexpected stop at the American Cemetery in Florence was very moving and a wonderful experience."

Jack

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While the pace was brisk, all of us were able to keep up. To be honest, my wife & I expected to be the oldest folks on the trip (we're both ~70 -- experienced international travelers -- not cruise ship types). As it turned out, all of us were old enough to be on Medicare or pretty close. We chose to do a Rick Steves tour because Italy has so much to see. We usually use the RS guide books for our trip planning. Our total Italy stay was 5 weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Uffizi Gallery (our best guide) & The David. Varenna and the Dolomites were excellent too. The Last Supper (before the tour), Pompeii and Paestum (after the tour ... but with Rick Steves recommended guides) were other big "wows"."

Susan

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an wonderful tour. I had been to Italy before and saw some of the sites but Karen took us to places that I did not see on my previous trip. The hotels were great and in the center of town. The meals together were very delightful and always full of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sight of coming in Varenna and seeing our hotel looking out on Lake Como was breathtaking. Walking the streets of Monterosso in the Cinque Terre was a place that I never wanted to leave. Sitting in front of our hotel having an afternoon drink and looking out on the ocean was a once in a lifetime experience. Going up the side of a mountain in Range Rovers to see a marble quarry was something I never would of thought I would enjoy but what an experience."

William

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superb itinerary. The trip flowed effortlessly and logically like a well-told story. Fast-paced but with restful pauses in the most beautiful and delightful places. I didn't just "see" Italy, I experienced it in a way that if the trip had been a week longer and my spouse said "OK" I might have applied for a visa and still be there. Going back over our photos and souvenirs brings back a flood of great memories of the country, its art, culture, and most of all, the wonderful Italian people..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Common throughout the trip were the spectacular Sunsets - in Varenna, Venice (!!!), Cinque Terra, Siena and Orvieto in particular. Twilight bathes the buildings and landscapes in the most amazing pastel glow. The hustle and bustle of the day gives way to a hushed stillness as everyone seems to take a moment out to appreciate the beauty of it. Other moments: Our excursion to the marble quarries of Cararra. Canazei and the lift ride to Pordoi. Any gelaterie!"

Denise

Keokuk, IA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I would have been better suited for a my way tour than this type of tour but know that now ... was impressed with the tour guides k knowledge about the places we went some of it wasn't necessary when we got to Florence any time a guide tells you while talking about a place in a city and says the walls looked like they had been puked on is NOT necessary! I've been to the place she was describing and it's beautiful! I think many people never even bothered to go there because she said that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many!!! Too hard to pick just one but I think my favorite places were Cinca Terra and St Peter's Basilica in Rome that i went on my own to as i had already been to the Vatican..."

Kimberly

Everett, WA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was my first Rick Steves tour and it was absolutely incredible. All of the locations were amazing and I enjoyed every single thing that we did on this tour. Everything was very well-organized and the entire tour ran efficiently. I cannot say enough good things about the Rick Steves staff. Karin and Krista went above and beyond for us, our bus driver (Adrian) did an incredible job, and all of the local guides were top notch (Elisabetta, Lucia, Annaliese, Giuseppe, Maria Laura).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many "wow" moments to name just one and it's nearly impossible to compare one city to the next, however I will say that the Colosseum in Rome was one of my favorite things to visit and to take time to appreciate the magnitude of the influence that the Romans had on the world. The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City was also breathtaking. Lastly, the natural beauty of the Dolomites is unlike anything I've ever seen. No camera could ever capture how stunning it truly is in real life."

Robin

Eugene, OR

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an incredible tour experience. I had been to Italy before, visiting the larger cities. However, this tour provided a richer, more in depth experience. It had the perfect mix of organized and free time, and introduced me to places I hope to return to in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was filled with "wow" moments: hiking in the Dolomites, the vibrant colors of the little towns on Lake Como, experiencing by chance the "witch's night" in Castelrotto, the gondola ride and evening music in Venice, the Field of Miracles, listening to Rick's podcast in the Sistine Chapel, the sunset in the Cinque Terre, enjoying a meal with the people of The Forest in Sienna, the pool in Altarocca, learning and using the language, the fresh food, the delicious wine, our group members..."

Cheryl

Redmond, OR

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! So many wonderful experiences, sights, sounds, tastes and people. The tour had a nice balance of group time and time to go explore on your own. Strenuous days alternated with less strenuous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a tour of "WOW's, culminating in the tour of the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's and then the Pieta by Michelangelo. Simply not enough WOW's to describe the beauty and the impact of the sculpture. To have seen the raw material at the Carrera marble quarry, then this most beautiful of sculptures was beyond amazing."

Eric

Whitman, MA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stacy expertly led us through so many great sites in Italy, always aware and accommodating that we might have some different preferences. Although we signed up for a hot month, the vacation was one of our best. Food, sites, great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the churches are wow moments - Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's - many others"

Rebecca

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great itinerary, sights, architecture, artwork, food! (A few too many churches.) I've been on ten Rick Steves tours and the pace of this one felt more hectic than other tours I've been on, but that's because there's so much to see and do. If our schedules had allowed, I would have preferred going in May or September when not so hot and crowded. Loved Lake Como and the hill towns!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Numerous WOW sights. Lake Como. Hiking in the Dolomites. The gondola ride in Venice at sunset. The Field of Miracles in Pisa. Downtime in the Cinque Terre. The wine resort and the music in Orvieto!"

Brian

Scotts Valley, CA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stacy was awesome and the itinerary was amazing. The tour far exceeded my expectations. Gino the bus driver was super fun and an awesome driver. Our group made some pretty strong bonds and I highly recommend the RS tours (this was my first tour of any kind). You learn much more than you could ever do on your own, the local guides on our trip were awesome and well managed by Stacy. Our hotels were so cool and way above my expectations, as again, was the whole tour. Well Done!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick a single one although hanging out in a small cafe having Stacy's friend's band rock us out was soooo cool. Loved the Lido beaches, Venice in general, actually all of it."

Michele

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Debra was highly organized, personable and a wealth of knowledge. The itinerary exposed us to the incredible history, culture, sites that Italy had to offer. The local guides used at each location were excellent. The food and wine were excellent as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, from hiking we chose to do in Lake Como, the David in Florence, St. Marks Basilica in Venice, etc.. But if I had to pick one or two,the colloseum and the Roman Forum would be it. They exceeded all expectations. Being there was so surreal."

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 Milan (MXP) and out of Rome (FCO) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Milan is about a one-hour train ride from Varenna, where the tour begins. 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.