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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

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 26 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
  • 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
  • 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, take 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 then the afternoon and evening are yours to explore the glittering St. Mark’s Basilica, 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

Kathryn

Tour: 10/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Surpassed all expectations. Well organized, tour guide and driver excellent, good group of fellow travelers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list"

Patricia

Tour: 10/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe. We had a great tour group. And our guide Deborah was outstanding. The tour exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are really so many - the art, the architecture, the history. But I really loved the landscapes of the hill towns and Cinque Terre. So beautiful!"

Ray

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

From beginning to end the tour was well organized and efficiently run.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel."

Mary

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first tour and we were impressed with all aspects of organization, the smooth coordination of logistics and the number of amazing sites, culinary tastes, and experiences. It was the best no stress gift we could give ourselves for a vacation which had been in our plans for many years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to choose one as there were so many. Waking up in the Alps, hiking across, Cinque Terra- visiting /hiking all , pesto making, gondola ride on Grand Canal, learning history of the Roman Empire and the churches, monuments, & structures built to support the power was constantly mouth dropping. The wow moments were what I had only read about & to be able to experience in person-there were no disappointments. The number of photos taken is in the thousands, so many moments to relive again."

Lisa

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Italy was amazing. Our Guide Sara was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. I would say the Dolomites and Venice. The country itself was amazing and breath taking."

Heidi

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Most everything was better than I could have imagined. We had such a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being up in the Dolomites. I cried it was so absolutely beautiful. This was also our favorite hotel."

Janet

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy Tour was amazing. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. We saw so many amazing sites and ate the most delicious food. Our group of 27 travelers were all wonderful travel companions and our guide, Sarah, was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Grand Canal of Venice was amazing. It was bigger and more grand than I had imagined!"

Jacqueline

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable and truly Italian experiences. A good balance of personal time and group time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Siena Dumo"

Edward

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and outstanding leader, Sarah. So much history, beauty and culture packed into 17 days. With all the amazing places in Italy, RDE has done a great job of tailoring the tour. From Varenna to the Dolomites to Venice, the Cinque Terre, Siena, Orvieto and Rome, it was awesome from start to finish!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost impossible to pick only one on this tour - how to compare Venice with the Cinque Terre with the Pantheon, etc.? If I had to choose one, I'd say the Cinque Terre hike from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza and Corniglia."

Ric

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome. The art and the history intertwined with each area, and how much that still is carried within the regional communities is amazing. Also, though not adhering to any religion myself, seeing the importance these beliefs still hold (for good or ill) for Italy's culture, and the world beyond its borders, is something in itself. Lastly- the food was incredible and it was cool to sample the unique flavors of each area (though I wasn't up to the tripe).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"looking out of our room in the dolomites down the hill with the crags above us, the crisp mountain air flowing through the doorway, and hearing the cowbells softly clanging in the distance"

Kelly

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour surpassed all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up in the Dolomites and then getting to hike there."

Michael

Tour: 10/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was more wonderful than I had anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the hotel at Lake Como, Hotel Royal Victoria, with a fantastic view from several floors and beach access."

Hannah

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the whole thing. A great variety of places and experiences. Nancy was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many I can't even pick a favorite. The lake day in Varenna. Hiking in the Dolomites. Many of the places in Rome. The fact that Nancy knew the answer to every question we asked her, she was like a walking textbook."

Bryan

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour! I loved the varied locations, scenery, hotels, food, and history. Starting in Varenna on Lake Como was a stunning location to start the tour! We were very fortunate to only experience a slight sprinkle one evening in Florence and only a few times did we have cloudy skies. The weather was great with temperatures mid 60’s to upper 70’s everyday! Each new destination had new and different things to explore. Our tour guide and group were easy to get along with and this helped a lot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two I thought were wow moments! The first was seeing Lake Como from Varenna! The lake was so serene and the deep blue color of the lake against the surrounding villages and mountains were like picture postcards! The second wow moment was doing the Witch’s hike in the Dolomites. I enjoyed seeing the Austrian Alps in the distance, loved the alpine meadows with the grazing cattle and horses, and viewing the villages below on our hike back to the resort!"

Susan

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy tour exceeded expectations. We had a fun group, excellent guide, talented bus driver, perfect weather, and a good balance of activity & down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many and each town or village had unique characteristics. I did enjoy hiking in the Dolomites, the gondola ride in Venice, exploring Siena, Assisi, Pisa, and Orvieto. I had been to Florence, Rome, and Cinque Terre on a previous tour, but it was just as exciting to revisit the museums and sites."

Rebecca

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were scheduled for the 9 days Venice, Florence and Rome trip in March of 2020. Needless to say that was one of the first tours that need to be cancelled due to covid. We long anticipated our recent 17 day Best of Italy tour. We took a few precautions like getting the latest covid booster and wearing our masks during crowded indoor venues and during transportation. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour particularly the bucket list items such as the statue of David!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoy hiking so the Dolomites provided that energetic physical and natural beauty and stillness."

Tracy

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was hesitant to book a bus tour, as I did not think that we were "bus tour people". This tour exceeded our expectations! Not only was our guide Nancy AMAZING, but the overall itinerary was incredible. It was expertly put together with the right amount of group activities, travel time, as well as personal downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Absolutely LOVED the Dolomites. The view from our balcony was spectacular. Mountains and nature fuel my soul. Crowds do not. Therefore, I was not looking forward to Rome. OMG... Rome was incredible! An absolutely must see. You can't go to Italy without visiting Rome!"

Mandy

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nancy was the perfect tour guide! I am SO glad she was our guide--so knowledgable and helpful! My fellow tour-mates were lovely people. I am married, but did this trip solo, and everyone was so welcoming, kind, and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a few: the Florence duomo at night, the Orvieto and Siena duomos, the Vatican, the beauty of Lake Como, the mountains of the Dolomites, and the Mediterranean at Cinque Terre. There were several times I was moved to tears during the tour. Orvieto stands out as that place for me."

Barbara

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A bit regimented at times but overall enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice, at night with a musician. The moon and lights reflected in the water."

John

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overview of Italy. Great group of people. Greatly enjoyed the trip.

Bryan

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An wonderful tour of Italian highlights and antiquities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking out of the metro and seeing the Coliseum for the first time."

Nancy

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour guide (Sarah) added so much to our experience! Great blend of humor, history & advice. Loved that the hotels were situated near important sites. Lovely bus; amazing meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vatican City!"

Gregory

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful new friends, amazing locations and awesome guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to highlight just one, but I would mention the Dolomites and Coliseum."

Barbara

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was outstanding. I enjoyed getting to know the other people on the tour. There was a great balance between planned tours and free time. The hotels were great. I appreciated that breakfast was served at each hotel, the tour guides at each destination were outstanding. There were so many unique planned cultural experiences in the different locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every moment was a WOW moment for me! It would be hard to pick just one. We were blessed to have good weather on our tour of Italy. I really enjoyed hearing from the artisans who have perfected their craft (Venice, Sienna)."

Brad

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the whole trip was a WOW experience. Our tour guide Sarah, made the whole trip more fun with her wit, charm, and positive attitude. All but one of the hotels were excellent. The food was fantastic. The sites and tours that Sarah took us on were all memorable and informative. The size of our tour group was perfect with 24 people, and they were all a pleasure to get to know and share the experience with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was on our first night of the tour in Varenna. Sarah took us all to a local family's apartment for dinner. The whole family made us all feel welcomed. The husband was a chef, so the food was top notch. The chef showed us how he makes the pasta during our dinner. The 4 course meal with wine and after dinner drinks was just a great experience for me, with a local family. We would have never got that experience if we would have been traveling on our own."

Craig

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall tour experience was very good. We appreciated the beauty and history of Italy. The tour attendees on our bus were outstanding. Each stop was somewhat unique and has its special attraction. I spent a few days in Milan and will need to go back to see more. Lake Como was beautiful and relaxing as was the Dolomites. All of the stops were entertaining and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very surprised by the size of structures that were built over 2000 years ago and that some of them survived natural and man made disasters. The frescoes were amazing. I had many wow moments, but I couldn’t get enough of Rome in general."

Arlea

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Sarah was wonderful. All the things we saw and hotels were great. All the local guides were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the wow moment's were many, but I will pick Lake Como and the Dolomites were the best."

Anne

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful, like always. We saw so much of Italy that we knew we wanted to see and so many things we didn't know about. Our tour guide, Sarah, was amazing, as all of our guides have been in the past. I am amazed at the quality of guides that Rick Steves employs. After past tours I didn't think we could have another guide as great as the one we had, but then we do!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Florence American Cemetery was both amazing and emotional, and something I didn't know about. Also, the ruins in Rome were unbelievable."

Tamara

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

R.S. Tour was beyond my expectations. It felt like having a mom by your side taking care of all the details; from getting the train tickets (which would have been overwhelming to me), arranging dinner plans at an amazing family run restaurant, to reminding us how to best protect our belongings. Our guide Deborah did all this and more, and wore a pleasant smile with words of encouragement in her adorable British accent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose when there is still so much to absorb of what we had the amazing opportunity to be apart of. I loved the variety, from the busy cities of Rome and Florence, the museums and churches that make you awe in the accomplishments of people in the past. I love hiking the spacious mountains of the Dolomites, swimming in the sea after hiking the Cinque Terre, or Lake Como where one can begin to understand where men have received inspiration from God to create such masterpieces."

Deborah

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"group dinners Cinque Terre altarocco"

Julie

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful beginning to end! Meeting new people and seeing the incredible sights made for a memorable tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments to choose from but seeing the awe inspiring Sistine Chapel gave me goose bumps!"

Bruce

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour guide and bus operator, as well as very friendly tour group. Well organized and executed. Wonderful, fun trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from. One Duomo grander than the next. Scenic Lake Como; great food and fun group dinners. Rome was the culmination!"

Sheila

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. Our tour guide, Deborah, was amazing in every way. She was informative, fun, beyond helpful, and kept us abreast of tour timetables. Hotels and meals were great! I had never done a whirlwind tour with only 2 nights (1 1/2 days) in each town. I might have preferred 3 nights in Venice and Florence and omit 1 stop. Really enjoyed our tour mates, very sweet & interesting people. Overall, I would recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. The Dolomites and Alpe di Suisi were spectacular. Other highlights for me were all of Venice and Franco's oar locks demo, Florence museums, Sienna & the Contrade dinner and Palio horse races, San Gimignano and Tuscany hillsides, Pesto dinner in Cinque Terre."

Thom

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, marvelous, wonderful, and exceptional!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not just one WOW moment. There were multiple moments. Most had to do with the Guides and their knowledge and caring for all the needs of the travel group."

Patricia

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were exceeded. From start to finish I felt like everything was very well planned and thought out . The tour guides were outstanding to beat. We felt like a family. The bus driver was amazing not only with his driving skills but his friendly and caring demeanor. Everywhere we went I felt the true reputation on the Rivk Steves company. It was outstanding t

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to pick one. Cinque Terre was amazing and I enjoyed the pesto dinner."

Neil

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very well organized and our tour guide Vanessa was fantastic. I would highly recommend Rick Steve's tours to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, my "wow" moment was the effort and concern of our guide and the Italian people to make sure that I had wonderful gluten-free food at every meal. As a celiac, finding gluten-free food is the scariest part of travel and it was not an issue on our tour thanks to the efforts of our guide and hosts."

Rand

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well-crafted itinerary with diverse locations and educational experiences

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday on the tour bus with our outstanding and knowledgeable tour guide Vanessa"

Nanette

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much more fun than I expected it to be. I think our guides knowledge and wonderful sense of humor are responsible for my increased enjoyment and for making time spent on the bus just breeze right by! Vanessa was also VERY helpful at finding gluten free food options for us, which also made our trip more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stay at the Altarocca Wine Resort was a welcome change of pace. The scenery of Orvieto in every direction from the Resort was absolutely breathtaking. I could have another day there in order to take advantage of some of the spa services that were offered."

Jen

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 17 Day Best of Italy was truly the experience of a lifetime. Our RS Guide Vanessa, the several local guides and our driver showed us the Italy I have always dreamed of. In addition to what's on the itinerary there were so many unexpected treats and treasures in each of the 20+ towns I spent time in as part of this trip. I will treasure my memories forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't chose one "wow" moment, so I'l narrow it down to this: Being in the same room with some of the most incredible pieces of art I could imagine (Pieta, Sistine Ceiling, Michelangelo's Prisoners, Laocoon, Caravaggio's Medusa ... to name just a few). The views! (from the trail between Monterossa and Vernazza to those in the Alpe di Suisi, from the Accademia Bridge to floor of the Colloseum...Italy does not disappoint. The food (eat the pasta, drink the house wine...tried and love it all)."

James

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

well planned and orchestrated

Favorite "WOW" moment

"swimming un the Ligurian"

Amanda

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can’t imagine having experienced my first time in Italy any other way. I feel like I got the absolute most out of my trip and it was stress free!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For our first meal together on the tour, our guide arranged a home cooked meal from a retired chef in his home. The generosity if him and and his family and the stories he had to tell is a night I won’t soon forget."

Patricia

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well done. Not having the stress of doing the planning ourselves or finding our way around was so helpful. It just enhanced our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Umbria. Our vision of the "real" Italy. Beautiful countryside. Calm and peacful."

Maureen

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the group travel experience, especially because it allowed us to feel comfortable with Covid precautions in place. The choice of cities included on our 17 Day tour of Italy was good. The hotels, guides, bus comfort, and daily events were all excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A simple hike at Castle Ruth, a stay in a beautiful vineyard spa, and the sights of Rome were definite highlights of the trip."

Darren

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The cities and the order of travel was very workable. Having a bus, instead of public transportation, made traveling between sites comfortable. The diversity of locations gave a nice overview of this part of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel, David, and the Coliseum area."

Walter

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all is what it was built up to be. The team leader (Donald) and the local guides were all terrific - very knowledgeable and articulate. The whole tour was nicely orchestrated. No surprises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the art, buildings, cathedrals, etc. were all "things to see in one's lifetime," I personally real enjoyed the more outdoorsy sites (Lake Como, the Dolomites and particularly Cinque Terre). The stay at the vineyard (altarocco) was a nice treat as well."

Janice

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como"

Marie

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour, itinerary, guide, and fellow tour members! Our tour guide, Donald, was a wealth of information with a side of comedy. Very knowledgeable on the history and the how not to get lost. He taught us to to navigate the cities using trains, subways, taxis, and buses. It was a godsend and made touring easier by saving our energy. We had taken the Best of Europe tour several years ago and wanted to return to Italy. It was exactly what we hoped it was going to be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Alpe di Suise!! Beautiful mountains, meadows, and people. 2) Eating a pesto dinner after watching “Nana” make it from scratch. 3) Altaroco, our accommodations in Orvieto. Walking through the vineyard and olive groves and relaxing for a needed day of rest."

June

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was excellent, the logistics were handled very well, and we saw and did things we never could have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Dolomites."

Christy

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Donald, really made the tour fantastic. Great info about the cultural customs, awesome sense of humor and lots of relate to info made the tour so great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites, unbelievable!"

Al

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well planned, I especially appreciate the effort on the part of RSE to give us the opportunity to connect with the locals

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking around the witches walk in the Dolomites. The beautiful, vast, spectacular scenery was definitely a “wow”."

Mary Beth

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! The variety of experiences, cities and villages, planned events...the itinerary is well tuned. Our guide Donald was just excellent and contributed to the overall enjoyment of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local guides in Florence for the Accademia Gallery (Paolo) and the Uffizi Gallery (Paul) were incredible. Their comprehensive story telling, sincere passion and broad knowledge of history combined with their entertaining personalities was astounding."

Antoinette

Tour: 09/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our group leader Stefanie is stellar. Very knowledgeable and personable. Our many guides throughout the many cities were absolutely brimming with enthusiasm and the intimate knowledge of the particular site/city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was actually after coming in before the tour started. We came up out of the subway in Milan and the Duomo took our breath away! It was unearthly shimmering spiritually enlightening."

Renee

Tour: 09/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a "trip of a lifetime" for me, so I had high expectations. The tour met and almost always exceeded my expectations. From our guide, Stefanie, to our local guides, to our driver, to the locations and activities, I cannot imagine a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I have to pick just one "wow" moment, I would say it was the evening in the contrada in Siena. Entering the awards room where we ate, seeing the centuries of tradition and the amazing hand-crafted awards, and talking with the younger generation of proud Sienese contrada members brought me to the surprising realization that I was truly experiencing a part of Italian history, tradition and culture."

Greg

Tour: 09/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was our first experience with Rick Steve’s tours and Italy, it was beyond our expectations. Looking forward to many more trips with you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to pick a wow moment because the whole trip was a wow experience"

Anna

Tour: 09/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was special. This was the right mix of group activities and free time for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Cinque Terre's coastal trail from Corniglia to Vernazza. We started at dawn--roosters were crowing in little Corniglia--and had this beautiful trail all to ourselves."

Mark

Tour: 09/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour met or exceeded most of my expectations and I was sorry to see it end. All of the two night stops on the tour could have been destinations on their own merits and there were none that I would change. The non overnight stops, such as Mantua, were excellent. The guide was exceptional and the other members of the group were friendly and engaging. The hotels were generally very good and well located in each cite. The Florence hotel was my personal favorite but the others were fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Visiting the topc cites in Florence up close and with good weather; 2) Lake Como; 3) Dinner at the Social Club in Siena; 4) Collesseum and Panthion in Rome; Climbing to the top of the monastery cemetary in Monterosso (Cinque Terre). Many more candidates."

Jill

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour! The combination of cities, such as Rome and Florence, and smaller towns in more rural areas gave me an appreciation of Italy’s true essence, I believe. The tour was very well organized and I always felt safe and well cared for. I especially liked the fact that we were given a lot of free time to explore on our own. The hotels were comfortable and situated in the heart of town, near the main attractions. I learned a great deal from the excellent guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to choose my favourite “wow” moment, as I had so many! I think perhaps travelling down the Grand Canal in Venice had to be my favourite moment as that experience is so unique."

Kelly

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip! Rick Steves did all the work for us. Hotels, entrance tickets, ground transportation, and many meals were all planned for us. All we had to do was show up. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ohhh… it is hard to pick one “wow” moment. Italy has so much amazing art, history, and many beautiful views. I was most taken by the age of things. We stood among artifacts and buildings that were 1400 or more years old. I never ceases to amaze me"

John

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the extra education sessions of the Gondola oarlock, stained glass, the Siena chapel dinner and horse race history, the utzi, plus all the guided local tours

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A tie with stained glass and oarlock"

William

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Low stress. Tour guide(Coleen) amazing. City guides fun and knowledgeable. Everyone in the group was friendly, helpful and enthusiastic about the trip. So much great food and art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a couple. The Sistine Chaple. In the Dolomites, on our meadow hike, the clouds parted and the 2 huge peaks came into view."

Maria V

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was very well organized and our guide Colleen was excellent. The tour group was compatible and we made some enduring friendships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to Italy before so the sights were familiar. I enjoyed the things not available to most tourists like the dinner with the contrade in Siena."

David

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best sites, tours, food and especially the very best guide! Colleen made our tour amazing! She brought each destination alive with the history of the area, pertinent information, stories, facts, funny legends! She is enthusiastic and loves her job and Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Duomos and Churches!!!!"

Kari

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was amazing! It covered all the must see sites in Italy at a whirlwind pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sailing along the Cinque Terre towns during sunset was my favorite part of the trip."

Mark

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the Italy tour was a fantastic experience. The sites that were selected to visit where amazing and I believe all of the cities were ones we would have picked if we planned the tour. I didn’t expect the speed of the tour at each city to be as fast as it was, but I understand as we hit so many cities in really just 15 days as day one and 17 where just bookends of the trip. Many days getting up at 6:30 to make sure we had breakfast and meet the team was tiring. Many of the older folks agree

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picking one favorite “wow” is tough. I believe the time in Rome and walking through the Ancient Rome are and the coliseum was most impactful. Being somewhere close to where Christ, Paul and Peter walked gave me chills. Close 2nd was Sistine Chapel."

Paul

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was amazing! The cities, hotels, transportation and food were fantastic. Our guide Colleen made the trip, so professional, so organized, so kind and so helpful. I lived this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como, the view from our hotel at breakfast was breathtaking."

Brenda

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was our 3rd Rick Steves and second time to Italy. Was great to see things again and super great to see and experience the new places and things. Our group was all wonderful people. It felt it started off slow and a little bit "my way" but by day 4 we had a more hands on by the guide experience as well as group activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Cinque Terre again, getting to do another section of the trail and then, swimming in the sea in Manarola which I did not get to do the first time as I was not prepared. This time I was. Honestly made my trip. Cinque Terre was wonderful all the way around the second time even! Also, Siena was new to us and I learned so much! Contradas and Palio. Having dinner prepared and served by the contrada was extra special."

Cynthia

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best tour ever and truly a trip of a lifetime! Our tour director, Colleen and every member of the group made this trip outstanding in every way. Colleen was excellent in coordinating every detail and gave great historical facts for every location we visited. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of individuals to travel with too. Everyone looked after each other and new long lasting friendships were forged. We will definitely book another Rick Steves tour again. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como was breathtakingly beautiful. The Hotel Royal Victoria was excellent with a lovely breakfast buffet and outstanding views of the lake. We loved taking the water ferry over to explore Villa Carlotta, Bellagio and Menaggio. Staying in Varenna was a lovely start for our tour. Would definitely go back to visit."

Sonja

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour in Italy for 17 days was outstanding in every sense! Major highlights in each city were included with enough free time on our own. Hotels were centrally located; accommodation was very comfortable with substantial buffet breakfasts. Our tour guide, Colleen - an exceptional leader with extensive knowledge of history, love of the culture & a joy to be with. Dino, our driver, added a fun element. All local guides were also amazing. I would definitely recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "wow" moments throughout the tour, that I can't pick just one. Each city offered its own special aspects."

John

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistene Chapel"

Cheryl

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very positive experience overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite wow moment was our discovery of the Pitti Palace in Florence which definitely rivals Versailles and yet I had never heard of it."

Guy

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled extensively in many countries, but this was the best trip of my life. The itinerary was a great mix of city and country; man-made creations and nature’s beauty; anthropology, history, craft, cuisine, tradition, and human nature. It could not have been more efficient. Our group leader Sarah was outstanding, and local guides and exhibitors were experts in their fields. Dinners were delicious and delightful. And my traveling companions were all wonderful like-minded souls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tha Uffuzi art gallery in Florence blew me away, as did the natural beauty in the Dolomites and the Cinque Terre. But just as we finished viewing the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica, we were unexpectedly able to attend Mass with a few thousand others. It was a great blessing for a great trip. Wow!"

Marcia

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and we visited some amazing and interesting places. I learned alot about each of the areas visited. We had a group of 16 travelers which made it easier and kept us safe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the beautiful and picturesc town of Orvieto in Cinque Terra. Hiking thru the beautiful villages was amazing and later on sitting by the lake to watch the sunset was an amazing and very memorable moment."

Janice

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was very good and I saw places and things I had no prior knowledge of and actually enjoyed these special places most of all. The locations of the hotels were spot on, right on Lake Como, on the beach in the Cinque Terre and a vineyard in Tuscany! Unfortunately most of the group dinners had no choices, but they were mostly fine. A train strike on the start of our tour day meant a lot of stress, no answer at the Travel Guard line to help us. Cost of taxi to Varenna was 200 euros!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So difficult to pick just one! The natural beauty of the mountains, lakes and seaside was a definite wow moment. An unexpected wow was in Verona at our lunch stop seeing a beautiful nearly perfect Colosseum! Unfortunately there was no time to get inside but still a wonderful sight to see from the outside!"

MaryAnna

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Rick Steves guide, Sarah, was phenomenal. We were suppose to have rainy weather but enjoyed warm weather throughout our trip. Loved Varenna, Bolzano, Florence, Cinque Terra, Siena (WOW), Assisi, and Orvieto (WOW). The Venice gondola wood carver, Siena’s Massimo the stain glass maker, and Siena’s Contrada dinner, Paul Costa, our supper impressive guide in Florence (I really looked at art differently after Paul’s intriguing explanations, Alexandria’s Rome tour and the Pantheon (WOW)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several WOW moments that were so special. Our hike in the Dolomites in Bolzano was so breathtaking. Our Siena tour and Contrada dinner was eye opening and memorable. The hills in Orvieto and Winery were very relaxing and the spa was just what my tired body and feet needed. Lake Como and the great hotel, Hotel du Lac Varenna was so quaint and wonderful to start our tour. The Pantheon inside with a concert playing was memorable. Hotel Pasquale in Cinque Terre and pesto making demo also WOW."

Rick

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. Exhausting, but wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sienna was unexpectedly beautiful and interesting."

Barbara

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great taste of Italy! We saw and did all of the highlights, learning about Italy and the distant past. Our tour guide, and other guides shared much knowledge with us. Accommodations and dinners together were excellent. I enjoyed seeing so many beautiful and amazing things from the time before and soon after Jesus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love nature, so probably the views of the Altarocca Wine Resort was my favorite wow moment. The Dolomites, Lake Como, and other beautiful scenery along the way were gorgeous as well."

Gary

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had an excellent Italy tour of key cities and areas from Rome to northern Italy. Saw beautiful landscapes, amazing works of Renaissance art, many historical towns and inspiring churches and museums with the opportunity to stay in city hotels and enjoy excellent Italian foods and feel a part of the culture. Trina did a fine joy of shariing country and area history, familiarizing with each city and sharing highlights and recommending restaurants as needed. Great local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing outstanding Renassance art, lovely churches and beautiful areas of Lake Como, rolling hils of Umbria and opportunity to hike Seiser Alm Dolomite and Cinque Terre areas was special. I appreciated Trina's beautiful guided hike of the Dolomites. Seeing orgicnal paintes with almost three dimensional views was unbelievable. Great trip."

Nancy

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well designed and very well “executed” (that sounds awful!). From the first day through to the last all went smoothly. Variety of areas we visited was broad and both captivating as well as interesting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 2 (sorry!) First was the breathtaking beauty of the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside. It was more exquisite than imagined! 2) was seeing “The Rape of Persipone” at the Borghese Gallery. The intimacy of presentation combined with my overwhelming amazement for such artistry overcame me emotionally."

Beverly

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We so enjoyed Italy, for me a trip of a lifetime. Our guide, Trina was very knowledgeable, which helped explain a lot of what we were to see and experience. I loved getting to see so much of Italy, the variety of city and village and country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible art in Florence, the gondola ride (with music) in Venice, the alpine meadows, the lovely winery near Orvieto."

William

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing. It started kinda slow but once we got to Venice it was like a freight train through Northern Italy. There was excitement every day. Masking was consistent. I believe our guide's example and consistent messaging was the reason all of us got to Rome. In addition, I particularly enjoyed seeing the Peace Bell, Uzi in Bolzano, Pistoia, a small town without ANY tourists and The American Cemetery in Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No dinner reservations:(. Rick would say..."Ask for help." So I asked Christian, who was working behind the reception desk at the Hotel Grand Victoria. Result: A tuktuk ride( hmmm.. I think four plus driver was a bit overloaded but what a hoot!) up the hill overlooking the lake in Varenna to La Veranda den Pescatori. An amazing meal on the terrace with exceptional sunset views with new friends that turned out to live less than 50 miles from our home."

Linda

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Rick Steves tour of Italy was everything I could hope for and more. I particularly enjoyed Florence and the Cinque Terre. But on the other hand, I would love to revisit and spend more time at each location we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be looking up at the 17 foot sculpture of Michelangelo’s the David. Amazing! Particularly when we learned that the master was only 5 feet tall and that he created this masterpiece while in his 20’s."

Elizabeth

Tour: 09/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was fabulous, always on top of everything. I enjoyed each of the different towns we went to. The amount of amazing site’s & historical significance it was a lot of information to take in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was beautiful. Enjoyed the water ways & all of the history of that are."

Roger

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very fast-paced and we were able to cover a lot of ground during the 17 days. It gave us an opportunity to see more areas of the country than if we had tried to do it on our own. Having a knowledgeable guide also helped us better understand the history and culture of the areas we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost all of it was overwhelming, but seeing Michaelangelo's David in person was a highlight for me."

Lisa

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time on the "Best of Italy" tour! The experiences and locations visited were just incredible. I loved the combination of big cities and also small towns and villages. The food and wine were delicious. This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed our tour guide, Lorenza. She was just excellent and contributed to the overall enjoyment of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como, hiking in the Dolomites, Cinque Terre since I had never visited those places. Seeing all of the art up close and personal! Magical Venice at night. I loved the Palio dinner experience in Siena! Honestly- I really enjoyed every location and special experience. I even enjoyed our "learning" experiences conducted on the bus by our wonderful tour guide, Lorenza!"

Lawrence

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had visited many of the places on prior trips, so no real wow time."

Robert

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Northern Italy to Rome

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites, the views were fantastic"

Douglas

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip was wonderful, my only criticism was Venice is really a destination spot and I did not feel like we had enough time to explore it on our own, while Otzi was interesting I would have enjoyed more time in Venice or not so much time in Verona, another half day in Venice and the trip would have been outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that there was one, so many amazing things and they just kept coming."

Lilette

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 9th RS Tour and overall, the tour ran as expected with no significant hiccups except in Pisa. It met all my expectations. Our group was cohesive and everyone was willing and able to follow all the time requirements. Our rides, Lorenza and Jennifer got us checked in to our hotels efficiently which was a real plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to narrow this down but really enjoyed learning about the Contradas in Siena-and Siena in general- and the welcome dinner we had from the Contrada della Selva because it was just a unique cultural tidbit and experience. The views of surrounding landscape of Tuscany and Umbria were long awaited and definitely a wow along with the tour of the Campatelli house in San Gimignano which also stands out."

Sharman

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was good but the crowds were horrendous. Revenge travel is real. We enjoyed our guide, Lorenza.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites were something we hadn't experience before and they did not disappoint. Breathtaking."

Nicole

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing experience! We were able to see and learn so much; it was the best way to explore Italy for the first time. We all can’t wait to go back. And having the structure of the Rick Steves tour was incredible. It took so much of the stress out of traveling and the special touches made the experience that much more special. Worth every penny!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every moment from start to finish. From our first breakfast overlooking a foggy Lake Como to standing in the middle of the Coliseum in Rome."

Carol

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the mix of group activities and free time. Every place we visited was interesting and unique.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Dolomites, the cliff views of the Cinque Terre, and the gondola ride in Venice."

John

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I loved the beauty, food, and pesto-making demonstration of Cinque Terre."

Robert

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of Italy itinerary was a great blend of of wonderful experiences. The mixture of planned activity and free time was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of cinque terra was fantastic- didn’t want to leave"

Michele

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was never a dull moment during our tour which provided an incredible variety of fun and interesting experiences at every stop. (Even the bus ride in between stops was interesting and fun!) There was a good balance of structured group activities and free time to explore on our own. It was amazing how our group of 28 strangers became such good friends after just 17 days. I miss them now and I miss Italy- 'til we meet again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments! My favorite was sitting on our balcony overlooking the Ligurian Sea of the Mediterranean after hiking the steep cliffs between the villages of Cinque Terre. Wow!"

Barbara

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour totally exceeded my expectations. From our tour guide to our tour members to even our wonderful bus driver Sauro, each day was fun and exciting and I looked forward to each new experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our tour director arranged music and singing for our group during our gondola rides and it still only cost £30/ person"

James

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. It met all of our expectations. No one in our group of 28 had covid. Our group was a fun group to travel with. They were always timely. We hope to do another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall scenery of Italy was a wow 17 days. The Pantheon was certainly a highlight."

Dorothy

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 8th RS Tour and it is one of our favorites. The locations we visited were all wonderful, and the local guides were all excellent. We especially loved our Tour Guide Vanessa. She helped bring the places we visited to life with her energy and enthusiasm. Vanessa was very knowledgeable and was eager to share that knowledge with us. She has a wonderful sense of humor and she made the bus rides fun and educational. We also travelled with our son and that also made it special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not just one WOW moment, there were many! The locations themselves can all be described as WOW moments. We especially liked the unexpected "jewels" that make the RS Tours special, such as meeting Franco Furlanetto and learning how he produces fórcole for the Venetian gondolas, We also enjoyed visited Massimo Bracciali's stained glass shop in Siena and the pesto demonstration by Felicitá. The evening meal at the local Contrada Della Selva was an amazing experience not to be forgotten."

Marcy

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Italy in 17 days tour was our first tour and we wanted to get the best experience so we chose Rick Steves. This tour did not disappoint! We were amazed at how many famous Italian sights we saw and experiences we were able to take part in. I believe we were spoiled by our wonderful guide, Vanessa. She was the master of coordinating it all with such good humor and kindness, all in our group became close friends. The pace was challenging but the venues were worth the early get-ups!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was definitely a "wow" moment in each place we visited, that is why this tour is so fantastic. I loved the magnificent views in the Alps, the picturesque towns of Lake Como and Cinque Terre, and amazingly the huge picture of Birth of Venus by Botticelli in Florence - wow!! Perhaps my very favorite was our moonlight gondola ride that Vanessa arranged for us. We had perfect weather with a wonderful singer and an accordionist. I remember thinking "I don't think it gets any better than this!""

Daniel

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm always impressed with the quality and detail of the tours you manage. This was our third tour via Rick Steves and we marvel at the quality of the guides on your staff. Travelling with Vanessa was a pure joy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, if pressed I might have to choose the Dolomites. Unexpectedly grand beauty."

Tom

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I came down with COVID with just over half the experience completed and had to leave the tour, but what we were able to enjoy was magnificent! Our guide, Stephanie, did an incredible job communicating her expertise and affection for Italian culture and people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from, but the gondola ride over the Dolomites was unforgettable."

Linda

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything was wonderful until we had to leave the group with 9 more days to go due to my partner getting covid. Our guide Stephanie and fellow travelers were great. The trip was organized, the hotels (with the exception of one) were wonderful and the excursions were very informative. Our bus driver, Dino was not only an exceptional driver, he was always a smiling addition to the group. We were very impressed with RS & would do another trip, but not until covid isn't an issue.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably St Peter's Basilica, even though we had to do it on our own due to leaving group because of covid. However, there were many wow moments and we enjoyed them all. Stephanie didn't take us anyplace that wasn't wonderful."

Tamera

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My introduction to Italy was all I could have ever asked for! 100% Well paced, options for rest if needed, or full speed ahead, I immersed myself into the Rick Steve's way of being whilst on the Italian roads of knowledge to include all the beauty, food, culture, people and history that one could possibly absorb in 17 days! Our guide, Stephanie, was the absolute best! Cool, calm, collected and full of fun ideas. I am completely happy...frankly, I'll never be the same! Favoloso!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many things to pick from, but this image will never leave me. When we turned the corner into the Dolomites and then remained up at the lodge area for a while...you could've left me there. Balzano as homebase would be just fine for me! The blend of traditions across culture and history is fabulous. One must see it all to believe it!"

Susan

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour group, outstanding guide, wonderful tour moments

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Dolomiti for the first time!"

Janet

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had wonderful experiences in a terrific variety of Italian locations, just the right balance between group and on-our-own time, and beyond amazing care and attention from our tour guide.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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??"

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."

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.

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!;"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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"

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!"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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!"

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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.