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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 $5,095 per person + air

Single Supplement $825

See Dates & Prices

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

Dates & Prices

2022

What's Included

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

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

  • Lake Como ferry pass
  • South Tirol Museum of Archaeology (Ötzi the Iceman)
  • Venice walking tour
  • St. Mark's Square and Basilica
  • 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
  • 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 prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

The sleepy Lake Como village of Varenna is a quick, easy train connection from Milan. At 5 p.m., you'll meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel for a get-acquainted session. We'll then take a village orientation walk, pointing out places for dinner on your own tonight.

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

Day 2: Cruising Lake Como

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

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

Day 3: Scenic Drive to the Dolomites

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

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

Day 4: Hiking the Dolomites

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

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

Day 5: The Iceman and Venice

We'll head downhill from the Dolomites, with a stop in Bolzano to visit its most famous resident: the 5,300-year-old, naturally preserved remains of Ötzi the Iceman, along with a museum exhibit on prehistoric European life. After some free time for lunch, we'll set a course for Venice, where we'll board a vaporetto boat for a Grand Canal ride to our hotel in Venice's historic heart. Tonight, we'll take an alleys-and-canals orientation stroll before setting you loose for dinner on your own. 

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

Day 6: Exploring Venice

Our local guide will join us this morning for a historical walking tour — with a modern Venetian's-eye view — through the backstreets of Venice. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's remarkable past and its challenging future. We'll finish our morning walk in St. Mark's Square and Basilica. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore the imposing Doge's Palace, take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. Later tonight, your guide will help organize an optional romantic gondola ride for those who are interested.

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

Day 7: Florence and David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Florence.

Day 8: Renaissance Florence

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

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

Day 9: Pisa and Cinque Terre Villages

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

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

Day 10: Exploring the Cinque Terre

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

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

Day 11: Tuscany and Siena

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

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

Day 12: Savoring Siena

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

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

Day 13: Assisi and Wine Tasting

Let's make a modern-day pilgrimage to the hill town of Assisi, where, in a time of unprecedented church wealth, St. Francis inspired a refocused spirituality through poverty, humility, and the beauty of nature in Umbria. As we learn about the life of the saint, we'll take a walking tour of the town and its beautifully frescoed Basilica of St. Francis. Then we'll wind our way across Umbria to our agriturismo: a country hotel that is also a working family winery. We'll end our day amid the peaceful vines and olive groves, tasting several of our host's award-winning wines and sharing a country-style dinner together.

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

Day 14: Hill Town Italy

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

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

Day 15: A Walk Through Caesar's Rome

We'll drive straight to Rome today and spend the afternoon uncovering the heart of the Eternal City. A local guide will take us through the larger-than-life Colosseum, the Roman Forum (the birthplace of ancient Rome), and the awe-inspiring Pantheon. 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

Joanne

South Bend, IN

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kirby

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals."

Lorne

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Green Cove Springs, FL

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Poway, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Stephen

South Bend, IN

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Vista, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeff

Lathrop, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Diana, WV

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Caledonia, MI

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Mentor, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Aiken, SC

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Martha

Concord Township, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Upton, MA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gregory

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Lathrop, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erica

Charleston, SC

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Westfield, IN

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific. Great guide. Excellent intinerary. Wonderful group.

Lauren

Lynn, MA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Oak Lawn, IL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Woonsocket, RI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lesley

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Valencia, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Canton, GA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Randall

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Louis

Aberdeen, MS

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of Dolomites was breath taking views."

Stephen

Valencia, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christie

Canton, GA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheilagh

Brentwood Bay, BC

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathryn

San Diego, CA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Hermiston, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheryl

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Duane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roberta

Wilsonville, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Bend, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Carrera marble mine and Sienna"

Virginia

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Lewisville, TX

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Northbridge, MA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Craig

Littleton, NC

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcia

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre."

Margaret

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Harry

Lake Tapps, WA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and the Cinque Terra."

James

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michelle

Emerald Hills, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rory

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roy

Suffield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Suffield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gretchen

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alvin

New Russia, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Overall," I went to Italy and returned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dolomites and Florence were both really great."

Nina

Westport, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deanne

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much and met so many great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Mediterranean Sea for first time."

Christine

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Lynn

Bethel Park, PA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Toronto, ON

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Top notch tour. Seen tons of stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vivian

New Russia, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

River Falls, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judith

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sally

Mililani, HI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Mililani, HI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Victor, MT

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Louisville, KY

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bob

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"God touching Adam in the Sistine Chapel"

David

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wallace

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Howard

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Louis

Euless, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much more than I had expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Euless, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheri

La Quinta, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Neil

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing sights, knowledgeable, kind, energetic guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Tumwater, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

comprehensive. Good group. Good guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The David."

Carl

St Paul, MN

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronald

Louisville, CO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Moraga, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynnette

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

John

Jefferson City, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Jefferson City, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristine

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maury

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Barry

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kelli

Louisville, CO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanne

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wayne

Troy, MI

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lale

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherry

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience was really good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Connie

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maria

Sandy, UT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Humble, TX

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Earl

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Fairfield, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cathy

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture and history of Italy"

Kenneth

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Montgomery Center, VT

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Canton, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wayne

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Luann

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The variety!"

Katherine

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. Flight to and back were brutal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"History and the smaller towns we went to."

Anthony

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gregory

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Willowbrook, IL

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Missoula, MT

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tracy

Marysville, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Marysville, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much everything"

Wanda

Southport, NC

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Glen

Houston, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jane

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Louise

Ogunquit, ME

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carole

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kevin

Gladstone, OR

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Palm Bay, FL

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Geraldine

Lansdale, PA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Ruxton

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Newton

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jack

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Hollister, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robin

Eugene, OR

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lourie

Arlington, WA

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had wanted to go to Italy my entire life. My husband was not a fan of going out of the country. He finally gave in and took me for our retirement present. Rick Steves tour was the only way he would go. I cannot thank our guides (Stephanie and Daniela) enough. They made him feel comfortable and safe. This was my dream trip and it was fantastic.

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.