• 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
    Birth of Venus in Florence's Uffizi Museum
  • 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

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Best of Italy in 17 Days Tour

from $4,995 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $775

See Tour Dates

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, Eternal Rome, and St. Francis' Assisi. 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 dolce vita come vividly to life. Join us for the Best of Italy in 17 Days!

Dates & Prices

2020

    • Apr 8–Apr 24 (We–Fr)
    • $4,995 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Italy

    Filling Fast
    • Apr 22–May 8 (We–Fr)
    • $5,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 26–May 12 (Su–Tu)
    • $5,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 8–May 24 (Fr–Su)
    • $5,395 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 10–May 26 (Su–Tu)
    • $5,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Sep 23–Oct 9 (We–Fr)
    • $5,195 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 27 group sightseeing events • Lake Como ferry pass • South Tyrol 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 demonstration • Orientation for "vacation" day in Cinque Terre • 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…and more
  • 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 (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2020
  • 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 Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

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. Sleep in Varenna (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Cruising Lake Como

Equipped with your included Lake Como ferry boat 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. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 3: Scenic Drive to the Dolomites

Today we'll hit the road and drive high into Italy's Dolomite Alps, 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. Sleep peacefully in the Alpe di Siusi area (2 nights). Bus: 6 hours. Walking: moderate.

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 (weather permitting) — and the free-roaming cows — for a peaceful walk among towering granite cliffs, 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. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

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. Sleep in Venice (2 nights). Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 5 hours. Walking: light.

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, maybe 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. No bus. Walking: moderate.

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. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Renaissance Florence

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. The rest of 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. No bus. Walking: moderate.

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. Sleep in Monterosso (2 nights, may be split between 2 hotels). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

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. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

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 at one of the town's proud contrade — 17 neighborhoods that compete for glory in the famous Palio horse races. Sleep in Siena (2 nights). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: strenuous.

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). No bus. Walking: moderate.

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 destination: 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. Sleep near Orvieto (2 nights). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

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. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: moderate.

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 and the birthplace of Ancient Rome, the Roman Forum. This evening we'll enjoy a floodlit dolce vita stroll, soaking up the city's evening ambience at the lively campos, classy piazzas, and splashy fountains. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 16: The Vatican Museums

Today we'll uncover more layers of Rome on a morning walk including visits to the awe-inspiring Pantheon and famous Trevi Fountain. We'll continue on to Renaissance (Catholic) Rome and the Vatican Museums. With your smart phone in hand and the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, Rick's voice will guide you through the Vatican's treasures to the stunning grand finale: 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! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

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

Kirby

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals."

Nancy

Green Cove Springs, FL

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Poway, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

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."

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!"

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."

Margaret

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lorne

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

Michael

Aiken, SC

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeff

Lathrop, CA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

Lauren

Lynn, MA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erica

Charleston, SC

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Westfield, IN

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific. Great guide. Excellent intinerary. Wonderful group.

Kathleen

Oak Lawn, IL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!)"

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."

Cheryl

North Canton, OH

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!!!"

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."

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."

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."

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"!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Alvin

New Russia, NY

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Overall," I went to Italy and returned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Ronald

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deanne

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much and met so many great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Mediterranean Sea for first time."

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Richard

Montgomery Center, VT

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture and history of Italy"

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........."

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!"

Wayne

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lawrence

Fairfield, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

Donna

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anthony

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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.

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."

Ruxton

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carole

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

Tonia

Palm Bay, FL

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Don

Henderson, NV

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Roger

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barry

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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"."

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."

Robert

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Everett, WA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Keokuk, IA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheryl

Redmond, OR

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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..."

Rebecca

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Scotts Valley, CA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eric

Whitman, MA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suzanne

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was excellent! I enjoyed the diversity of experiences and sites, our group was very compatible, and Deborah and Adrian were an impressive combination in helping us navigate our way throughout Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not so much a wow moment but certainly a favorite experience was savoring the disparate landscapes: Alpine meadows and mountains, Venetian canals, views from hilltop medieval towns, rolling Tuscan hillsides, sunrise over the Mediterranean ."

Jack

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Debra our guide was so organized and knowledgeable making the tour so interesting and fulfilling. With the assistance of Adrian our bus driver, the two of them kept us safe, comfortable, and schedule dropping us off in our tour cities at or near our hotels. What a great team the two of them where. In addition to Debra, all our local tour guides where excellent subject matter experts making each tour site interesting. I was highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two on this row. The stained glass demonstration in Siena and the gondola oar lock demonstration in Vienna."

Deborah

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was great. I loved all the special interactions with local craftsman. Our guides were very knowledgeable and made the history of their home towns interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Italian alpine meadows."

Michele

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cary

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations were very good, tour guide and bus driver (Deborah and Adrian) were friendly, approachable, and helpful. All the stops on the tour were historical and/or pleasurable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Deborah gave a inspirational lecture on the ceiling paintings of the Orvieto cathedral that moved me."

John

New Albany, OH

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've never liked the idea of a 'group' tour; this tour was my first. Add to that the fact that I was traveling solo, and there were numerous opportunities for disappointment. I can not say enough in praise of this experience. First and foremost, our guide, Deborah, was exceptional. She led us with grace while always being in firm but friendly control. I see there is a section below for additional comment about her excellent abilities. And, wonderful fellow-travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to many of the locations before, but still found much to experience anew or discover for the first time. Too many "wow' moments to narrow it down to one."

Barbara

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Chose this tour because it hit all the places we wanted to see. That being said, we could have used more time in the places we loved--Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Dolomites, Siena, and Altarocca Wine Resort, and less or no time in the cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. We didn't know this before we went. Cities, and their marvelous sights, are very difficult because of the crowds. Perhaps in January they would be enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking straight out of the train station in Monterosso al Mar to a view of the Meditteranean. Gorgeous day and blue water took my breath away. Later we would swim in the sea. Fabulous"

Alina

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good about everything except Rome hotel, it's not clean. Enjoy a lot free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como , Dolomites,;Cinque Terre . Like those small towns."

Kenneth

Grand Haven, MI

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the sights in Italy that we visited. The tour giude was great and I enjoyed the companionship of our fellow tour travelers. The bus driver did a great job getting us everywhere. I liked most of our accommodations (our Rome room was very noisy outside).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed with the opulence of the Vatican City."

Alan

Duluth, GA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations as we were prepared for average hotels and poor infrastructure. Wow - all the properties were above average and most were excellent. As to the infrastructure - wifi was never an issue, roads and public toilets (at auto grills) were as good as home (ever better for thoughtful design with flush petals on floor, & 2 flush system and bidets at all hotels). The walking tours with local guides were well done and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extras enriched our experience at Cinque Terre (pesto making demo), Venice (craftsman), and Siena (craftsman). The surprise short visits to Verona, the Florence American Cemetery and San Gimignano were outstanding and much appreciated adding more joy to our adventure. Too many wows to name just one - but here are my favorites - hikes in the Dolomites and Cinque Terre, Otzi the iceman, backstreets of Venice, Siena, Orvieto, San G, Assisi & Alta Rocca!"

Lynda

Henderson, NV

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized and enjoyable. Food was great. A note about suggested clothing: At the time of year we went, we could have used our blue jeans but didn't bring them. In the future, I would recommend blue jeans - they are durable and do not need to be washed during the trip. Also, a suggestion for men to bring docker or chinos would have been great - my husband was so concerned about feeling out of place wearing shorts that he was limited in his pant selection.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The room in Tuscany and Lake Como."

Patricia

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was designed very well, starting leisurely and quietly (Lake Como, Dolomites) and building towards the more crowded and hectic places, the most hectic being the Vatican on the last day. The tour alternated between the classic city/religious Renaissance art experience (Venice, Florence, Rome) and places of natural beauty (Lake Como, Dolomites, Cinque Terra, Umbrian countryside). However, I found the Vatican very stressful and would have preferred a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss-up between Varenna/Lake Como, the Dolomites, the Cinque Terra, and the view from my balcony in the Umbrian countryside . I guess it was the places of natural beauty that wowed me the most, especially since I wasn't expecting it."

Cyndi

Lethbridge, AB

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded even my own expectations!! Not only did we get all that was outlined in the tour itinerary but there were special "surprises" that happened (or were planned) that served to enhance the trip. Our tour guide Marianna and our tour driver Massimo were just outstanding! I felt more than cared for on this trip - both personally and from a safety perspective - Massimo is an amazing driver! Marianna went out of her way to ensure that she got to know us all! Fantastic experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour did not advertise a trip to a certain place in Italy that has always been a bucket list location for me and when it was announced that we were "spontaneously" going to be taking time to go there on the way to our advertised location, I was over the moon excited!!!! ( I won't give the location away in order to not spoil the surprise for future tour participants). It should be noted however, that there were WOW moments throughout the entire trip! Just amazing!!!"

Suzanne

Larkspur, CO

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning, our group of 28 had a like-minded approach to the adventure we were beginning together in large part due to Marianna's graceful, easy going manner and expertise in facilitating group bonding and connecting personally with individuals. Everyone was included and valued. My intention was to feel a part of the culture rather than just rushing to see all the sights. There was a perfect balance of structure (schedule, transportation, accommodations) and freedom (orientation).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the spontaneity of the Orvieto gathering at a local wine bar with another tour group for appetizers, wine and music by the other tour director's group...it was magical! Others were coming by to see all the fun and you could sense they wanted to join in."

Roger

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Marianna made the tour for me. She was so efficient, thoughtful, and warm. Made me feel welcome and part of the group. I loved the countryside and smaller cities, but Rome and Florence not so much. Mossimo was a great bus driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Performing with the men in our group in an impromptu water ballet at the Altarocca Wine Resort. Lovely day spent relaxing by the pool in a beautiful spot."

Carl

Excelsior, MN

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour from start to finish exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre I think was my favorite and if I would go back to Italy it would be an area that I would like to spend more time there."

Judy

Parkville, MO

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was a wonderful adventure. Everything went so smoothly. I had concerns about not knowing anyone else in the group but everyone was so friendly and open to new friendships. This was a very active tour with lots of walking and almost all group members embraced the activity level and there was little to no "moaning" about the extended walks. We were able to see so much is those 17 days and all our group members were very good about being timely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I truly enjoyed the optional tour to the Carrara Marble mines. This was a fabulous addition to our itinerary and I'm so glad our guide offered it to us. It was really indescribable, like nothing I've seen or experienced before. We were fortunate our guide took the initiative to offer this experience to us. The additional side trip to the American Cemetery in Florence was also a treat--moving in so many ways and a touching surprise as we were departing Florence."

Karen

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped it would be. It was a college graduation trip for my daughter. Neither of us had been to Italy so we wanted to see as much as possible. The tour covered a lot of ground, which we wanted, handled the logistics, provided amazing local tour guides, better than expected hotels and we had great food the whole trip. Rainer was perfect. I can't imagine a better guide - funny, helpful, professional and incredibly knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like everyone, there were too many to pick one. The hike at Lake Como provided wow views as well as the hikes in Cinque Terre. And there was rounding the corner to see the statue David - that was a jaw dropper. Similar jaw drop getting off the transit in Rome and seeing the Coliseum."

Julianne

Carlsborg, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour having previously planned and traveled on our own in Europe using RS guides and itineraries. Given how many people visit Italy and the long lines for sites it was nice to have someone else do the planning, organizing and booking details for this trip. It was a wonderful 17 days with a fun group of people and memorable experiences in every location. I liked that each city was unique and the balance of planned activities and free time in each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was taking the vaporetto along the grand canal in Venice to our hotel. It just said, welcome to Italy! Navigating the island's alleys and bridges on my own and taking photos while getting a little lost in the early evening was magical. My other favorite moment was spotting the town of Varnazza while hiking the coastal trail from Monterosso in the Cinque Terre. I thought Rome and the Sistene chapel were going to be my wow moments but I fell in love with the smaller towns of Italy."

David

Carlsborg, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. It would take a great deal of time for me to "book" this tour on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exiting the Metro station and seeing the Colosseum looming up before us."

Davey

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Otzi the Ice Man and the optional Carrara Marble Tour!"

Madelaine

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour opened my eyes to so many different experiences that I would not have discovered on my own. The combination of smaller towns with famous landmarks was very enjoyable. I also appreciated the various geographical areas, interesting food and the history, art and architecture knowledge along with way. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that offered good value while making meaningful memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turning the corner and seeing the statue of David then being able to get up close to it and watching it come alive from every angle. Putting my feet in the Mediterranean Sea despite the fact that it was very cold. Climbing up the Carrara Marble Quarry in a Land Rover. All the churches and my memories of high school history, art and Latin classes."

Rick

Langley, BC

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, but certainly not our last. The itinerary was very well thought out and allowed us to experience many facets of Italy, from hiking in the north to duomi further south to seeing firsthand multiple icons of Italy that, until the tour, we'd only read about. There was a perfect blend of arranged activities and time to explore on our own. Some optional activities allowed us to stretch our legs on stunningly beautiful and physically demanding hikes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments - seeing David for the first time, swimming in the Mediterranean, hiking Cinque Terre, being in the Sistine Chapel*."

Catherine

Clovis, CA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! This is a very educational and enjoyable tour with a variety of interesting experiences, and wonderful travelling companions. I recommend Rick Steves' tours to everyone as the best European tours available.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments, but the following stand out: The beauty of the Lake Cuomo area and the Dolomites; Otzi, the Iceman; The Cathedral in Venice; The Carrara marble quarry; The Cinque Terre towns, The stained glass workshop in Sienna, The Altarocca Wine Resort, The Colosseum and Pantheon, and Francesca's commentary. Orvieto And, even though it was not part of the itinerary, the Cathedral in Milan, especially walking on the roof, as recommended in Rick Steves' Guide Book."

Kurt

Clovis, CA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met or exceeded my expectations in almost all areas. In particular the guides, both local and the main guide were excellent. the lodgings were wonderful in some instances and in all cases at least adequate. I loved the breadth of the experiences that we were given. I would highly recommend this tour to others who are interested in learning about and experiencing Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is really difficult to narrow it down to a single wow moment. Four instances really stand out in my mind. The first was seeing the Colosseum and being he told about it by our local guide. Another was the entire experience with the local retired chef in Varenna. Another is seeing the Carrara marble quarry. Lastly I loved our visit to the Cinque Terre villages."

Keith

Parkville, MO

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. This is our first of several Rick Steves' tours, and we are amazed at how superbly the entire trip went. Rainer was the consummate tour guide; organized, and knowledgeable in terms of Italian art, history and politics, he led us through each stop of the trip with excellent insights and suggestions. The 17 day trip perfectly blended "aggressive" days of walking in large urban areas with "laid back" days in more rural/scenic locales.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count, although I would say the overall "wow" moment was learning that Italy was a much more advanced European country than I had expected. My previous bias was based on Italy's and Greece's debt problems, but I was floored when I learned that Italy was an industrial powerhouse, possesses the world's six largest total wealth (by country), and is the world's #1 wine producer. I left the tour with a totally different impression of Italy."

Carlotta

Excelsior, MN

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't think of a better way to spend my time. Rainer was great as were all the special tour guides. I especially loved Francesca in Rome. She is special. Traveling with a small group was ideal. The accommodations surpassed my expectations. The tour was well paced with the right balance of guided tours and free time. And the food...the group dinners were amazing and I really appreciated being give options as I do not eat red meat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were more than one. Two that stood out was my first glimpse of Michelangelo's David and the Colosseum."

Donna

Palm Harbor, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I must say that looking back my favorite memories are not so much of the magnificent cities, towns & food, but of the camaraderie shared with our amazing tour mates. We were amazed at the quality of the hotels, restaurants and food that were part of the tour. Our tour guide Elena, and our bus driver Adriano were wonderful! We never had to wait in line, which was pretty awesome! We loved the unannounced stops at towns not on our itinerary and demonstrations given by local artisans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is almost impossible to choose one wow moment. The entire country was a wow worthy. I will pick my first view of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Venice was such a unique city, only accessible by water transportation. The Basilica was massive and depending on the time of day had a different look and feel. We were told to simply wander the streets and get lost and that's what we did. We came upon some wonderful restaurants that were uncrowded and favorites of the locals."

Joanne

Wyoming, MN

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned and organized every step of the way. Elena was awesome as our guide! She was very enthusiastic and so knowledgeable on the history and culture of Italy. We learned so much from her and the different guides we had in each city we visited. We enjoyed the balance of scheduled time and free time to explore our own adventures and always felt we had the information we needed to venture out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: coming into Venice, seeing the statue of David, hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, walking into St. Peter's Basilica, the Cistene Chapel, looking out over the Dolomites, the list goes on."

Joseph

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall - excellent trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably our first meeting with our guide and group - hearing about what was to come."

Mary Jo

Rochester, NY

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Only disappointment on my behalf was the unusual cold and rainy weather, especially in Lake Como and up North (Caselrotto). But the fellow travelers and our tour guide Elena make up for this - IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The underground tour in Orevieto - amazed how preserved were the ancient dove cotes and olive oil press."

Veronica

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I like very much going to this tours. Organization and leadership was wonderful. Our leader Ms. Elena was outstanding leader, she treat us as family, she was very warm and take care of details to make feel us welcome in her country. Such amazing ambassador !!! She make me feel like this trip was a beautiful dream!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a lot of beautiful moments!"

Paul

Bexley, OH

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very great time and our overall experience was superb. The travel destinations, our tour guide (Elena), our bus driver (Adrian), our hotels, and of course the food and wine, were all wonderful and fully up to expectation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were truly many, but my personal favorite was the wine resort near Orvieto, where the wine was very fine, the accommodations were first rate, and the views from our balcony were among the best of any place we visited in Italy."

Christiane

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow what a trip 28 people and we all had so much in in common as though they were hand selected. We covered so much in our 17 days that we had something amazing every day. The accommodations and food were top notch and Elena our guide was beyond belief always happy and full of information and willing to help out w anything and provide the day to day info we all needed she kept us all safe and well cared for .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose one the Duomo in Milan was probably the most awe moment I had but every day had a new wow, walking through the W W 2 cemetery near Florence caught me off guard and moved me tears while seeing the over 4,000 grave stones and realizing our freedom is in their shadows."

Helene

Bexley, OH

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the combination of touring and vacation that the tour provided. The guides were fantastic!A great introduction to Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that there was just one, but I think the Pantheon, Colliseum and the Roman Forum were the most amazing sights."

Richard

Denton, TX

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour, as all of Rick Steves' tours have been, was excellent. From the moment our group met we started bonding, in large part to the efforts of our guide, Elena. There was a great balance of fast pace and slower in the sightseeing activities. Also, it was a good mixture of group time and free time. I loved the way our driver, Adriano, was involved with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Out of many "wow" moments that were a daily occurrence, one of my favorites was when we drove up to the winery outside of Orvieto. Seeing the vineyards and olive groves surrounded by mountains was breathtaking. It was a wonderful place to relax before the hectic pace of Rome."

Carmen

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized. We had a very knowledgable tour guide. I loved having the freedom to explore the areas on our own. Our tour guide gave us the information we needed to get around and then we were free to explore. The hotels were centrally located, and were very comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel like the whole tour was a "wow" moment!!"

Donald

Vernon, TX

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think Molly was the best guide we could have had for the 17 day Italy tour. She is a very skilled manager, with a vast knowledge of the many skills it takes to make a great trip for so many varied personalities. Above all she made herself one of the team, by having a wonderful sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was everything I expected and more. It would be hard to see any more great sights in the time we had. I was a good balance between travel time, sight seeing and relaxation."

Maureen

El Granada, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good experience but very strenuous. Very fast moving every other night.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra - wonderful!"

Janet

Boonville, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was not prepared for the crowds in the larger cities Venice, Florence, Rome. No solution really, travel in January or stay small town. Fast paced, covered a lot of territory, good balance of famous must sees and local. Thoroughly enjoyed stained glass tour; especially liked the dinner in the Forest/Rhino Contada, tour of the church/building with the drummer practicing in the background, and the video of the Paleo. Unique and wonderful insight into local culture. The guide was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love Italian men. Such snappy dressers. Especially the 5600 year old from Bolzano. Glad we stopped in to see him. Quite the guy. Leather pants never go out of style. Seriously, couldn't pick just one, but loved the Dolomites. Cinque Terre walk with smell of lemon blossoms and roses...and then a glass of Prosecco on a terrace. Sienna Contada tour/dinner/video of the Paleo. Wow-hoo!"

Patricia

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second time on the Best of Italy tour. We did it 13 years ago, and it was so fun that we decided to do it again. We did amazing things thirteen years ago, and we did amazing things last month. Although we went to the same cities, the itinerary was enough different that each day had something new.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We popped into a church during a downpour and Molly explained the art in a small chapel, including how the artist attempted to draw the viewers into the painting. Anytime Molly talked about art, I was entranced. Why couldn't my college professors have been so interesting?"

Julianne

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect blend of guided excursions and free time to explore. We had some unique opportunities to meet artisans,artists,families and farmers that I'm sure the typical tourist never gets to experience. Our guide, Molly, was wonderful, knowledgeable, patient and resourceful. She gave us great tips that allowed us to enjoy our free time without being too intimidated. I can't say enough good things about her. She was awesome. My husband and I had the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the gates and seeing Piazza San Marcos and seeing the fabulous Duomo for the first time. A close second was the gondola ride in Venice with an on-board singer and accompanying accordion player."

Mellani

Pvp, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great blend of nature/history/art/artisanship/food/wine/culture/city/countryside/group time/independent time and all with an exceptional guide (Sarah S), fantastic driver (Massimo) and the most amazing group of fellow travelers. All around wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really? Just one? Impossible! So many moving experiences packed into this tour. The art! The culture! The history! The locations! Wow!"

Thomas

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was the best ever. She was knowledgeable, personable and demonstrated a genuine care for the tour members. We were pleased with the entire experience. The organization, sites and variety of experiences were excellent. We felt the tour was exceptional and felt valued by our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was unexpected as I don't remember seeing anything about the American Cemetery stop. My favorite uncle whom I was named after, was wounded twice in the Battle of Poe in Italy. That stop put into perspective how precious life is and how many men and women lost their life fighting for our freedoms. It was a very solemn stop/site and it took me a long time to adjust. However, for me it was a very touching place. I enjoyed the tour immensely but that stop will be forever imbedded in my soul."

Richard

Stevenson, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was our first organized tour and was MUCH better than we ever expected! The group was incredible and we bonded with each other very quickly. The lodging was great, the food even better, and the sites were fantastic! The weather could have been nicer but it didn't ruin anything, only really got rained on one day in Cinque Terre, which was still wonderful. We will definitely do more Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it's difficult to pick one. Varenna was beautiful, the Dolomites spectacular (but cold), Venice and Florence speak for themselves, Cinque Terre is so picturesque and fun to see all the towns, and Rome is full of so much (maybe too many people). I feel our "wow" times were when the group was together and having fun. The group meals were the best! Fantastic food, great wine and even better people."

Donna

Stevenson, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Italy tour was nothing short of super fantastic. I had dreamed of spending time in Italy for 20 years and so was very excited about the trip. However, the tour ended up being much more than anticipated. The pace was challenging but exhilarating. The locations visited varied and were spectacular. The weather was cooler and wetter than expected but that did not interfere with our tour. We adapted and enjoyed it. Rick has definitely put together a great tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is not an easy task as there were so many wonderful sites. Arriving in Varenna I said "I love this place!" It was such a lovely town. The Basilica in Florence was such a beautiful site with all the fantastic marble. And then climbing the Duomo in Florence and looking over the city was a wow site to behold. I loved the community feel in Sienna with everyone's loyalty to one's district. Rome was a wow with all its history and size of historical sites. And each cathedral was a wow."

Craig

Richardson, TX

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Italy. It will not be our last. The 17 days flew by. Every stop we made had highlight moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we visited the Italian Alps. We were going to follow our tour guide on a hike but it had snowed and the only path available was the road. So, we hiked along the road to one of the "Huts" where we enjoyed a nice beverage. The beauty of the day was that we got to see the alps covered in snow. Unusual for the time of year we traveled."

Karen

Richardson, TX

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Rick Steves tours was highly recommended to us by friends who had done the Best of South Italy a year ago. Our tour far exceeded our expectations. The sights we visited were truly remarkable, the food was outstanding and our guide was simply fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving down the mountain to Cinque Terre. One of our tour members lost count of how many times I said WOW!"

Jean

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

overall the experience was amazing, it was a LOT of walking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"arriving in Lake Como, the beauty of the little town"

Joseph

Somers, CT

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy is a great country to visit, but our tour guide, Sarah, made it even better. Sarah was very informative and helped everyone individually if needed. Our hotel locations were superb. We want to stay near the sites and that is one reason we choose a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Michael's Cathedral was our wow moment. Just when you thought you couldn't possibly see a larger or grander church, and there were many, along came the king of them all.......wow! But, there was something about Varenna........I fell in love with that little town. Peaceful and not that crowded."

Debbie

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were so very pleasantly surprised out how seamless the entire trip was! Rainer, our guide, always had the travelers best interest in mind and he was always one step ahead of the itinerary, making sure the arrangements/tours/accommodations were in good order and ready for us. We were also quite impressed with Rainer's knowledge about Italy, it's history, culture, architecture, food, etc. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see "The Best of Italy"

Peggy

Wake Forest, NC

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour to Italy and also our second with Rainer Metzger as our guide. Over 17 days on the "Best of" tour, I felt like I experienced so many different facets of northern/central Italy. It gave me the perspective and variety that I was hoping for. Our first trip in 2015 was the Venice, Florence, Rome tour and this is quite different--less in-depth in the big cities (we still hit the highlights) but great variety in exploring the regions of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" came from Rainer taking us to so many more Italian towns than I ever expected. In addition to staying at Lake Como, Bolzano, Sienna, Assisi and outside Orvieto, we made wonderful leisurely stops in several towns that were a surprise--Lucca, Verona, Pisa to name a few. I was amazed at how lovely these ancient towns still are today and how vibrant--not just for tourists but for locals as well to live in and enjoy."

Betty

Selah, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end it was delightful! I didn't realize how much I would appreciate the talks by the guide. One of my goals for taking this tour was to learn how to plan my own trips. The guide gave tips on so many small details as well as leaving us on our own to make decisions on how to spend our days that I feel very confident in undertaking a trip on my own. That said, the camaraderie of the group and professionalism of the guide makes me want to take more tours with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WAY too hard to narrow down to one moment really. Trying to look overall I'd have to say the Italy is just one wow after another!"

Elaine

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

I'd never do another "Best of Anywhere" tour again! Not enough time in any one place, too much rushing from one place to another, whole days "off," then exhausting full days standing around listening to the guide or running around. Little help from guide in booking other things for free time. Orvieto was the worse- he spent an hour in one church room, gave us a lunch break, them we were taken back to a remote resort. It was to late to book the underground tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Statue of David, touring villages. Too many churches. Enjoyed "workshops" about stained glass & gondola forcola."

Mary

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fast-paced and packed taste of northern Italy... AS I have come to expect, there was a balance of group and personal time, variety of activities including natural beauty, history, culture and art, and, comfortable hotels, bus and fellow travelers. Always worth special mention is the quality of local guides, and we had several great ones on this tour.

Christine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like all of our previous tours, our guides help us to understand, appreciate and love the country we are visiting. Italy was more beautiful than we were expecting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was absolutely gorgeous. Also, each church we visited in Italy was an absolute visual knock-out! At times, it was like we couldn't believe our eyes."

Carol

Castle Rock, CO

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing way to experience Italy for first time.wonderful blend of cities and countryside. Walking and stair climbing were demanding but worth it. Deborah, our guide made the whole experience interesting,educational and lots of fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many hard to choose ! Just getting to spend time with locals in family run hotels and cafes was so incredibly special."

Mary

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very well-planned tour. I loved the itinerary, the special events, the dinners, the ratio of free time to group time, etc. Overall, an excellent experience. Any minor problems that came up were dealt with easily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many!"

Sherri

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous. It was as the book states a 6-8 as far as activity. We were so fortunate to not only have an amazing guide, the group was very diverse although very cohesive as well. Many new friendships were formed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The David, the Colleseum and the Sistine Chapel."

Linda

Myrtle Beach, SC

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The key words are variety and balance. Not only did I see and do all that I expected to and many things that I didn't anticipate, the days were perfectly balanced with social time, free time, and guided time. If one day was heavy with seeing and doing, the next day had a bit more relaxation built in. If one day exposed me to regional food that I had to stretch myself to like, the next day provided an opportunity to choose a restaurant that served food that I love.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Forced choice, and I'll make it - favorite "wow" moment was hiking from Vernazza to Monterossa in the Cinque Terre. It had long been a goal of mine. The views from high up on the coastal mountain trail were spectacular. That said, I experienced "wow" moments in every single place we visited, each time thinking "this has to be the best" only to find the next place was equally stunning either visually, or educationally."

Bruce

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow This was an amazing trip. Everything about it we loved & everything about it surprised us. We were not sure what to expect from a RS trip, although we have heard nothing but great things from people who taken your trips. Being with 28 people, who were all great people to be around (no smokers was great) my onlyconcern was all the bus time,before we booked,but really kinda did not notice it. Debra with insight during the ride & getting us prepped for the next city or stop made it go by fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My dad asked me when I got back, what was your favorite part of the trip. I said all of it, I'm not sure I can point to one thing over another because everything was so enlightening 1) David- as you walk around the corner and you see him - assume! 2) Pisa center 3) Sistine Chapel- Michelangelo painting - Never thought we could stare at a painting for 30 minutes or more. 4) Uffizi Gallery - Michalangelo & Learnord & Botticelli among some of the great art work and paintings,"

Randy

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour was outstanding. Great coverage of Italy. Our tour leader was exceptional. A great mix of city, country, resort type areas. Note: This was our third Rick Steves' tour in a row having just completed Best of Paris and Best of Barcelona prior to this one. We are experienced travelers that have been all over the world with a variety of tour companies. Appreciated the extra presentations on stained glass, gondola oar production.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alpe di Siusi meadow hike, Cinque Terre, Seine contrade dinner, Rome colosseum and forum. Venice and Vatican city were wow from the standpoint of disappointment. Venice is too commercialized and the Vatican City is too crowded. Venice should be a day trip. A wow moment was the Cooking Class we did on our own (recommended by you) in Varenna. What a highlight."

Jane

Racine, WI

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy was even more than we anticipated and we felt it was a very high quality tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting all the beautiful cathedrals and especially The Vatican."

Dennis

Racine, WI

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We not only enjoyed the trip but Deborah our guild was perfect for us!

Julius

Hoschton, GA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it; our tour guide - Roxanne was absolutely fabulous. Loved her interest and knowledge of Italian history and her sound mind and patience with our group. Kim and I just loved her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at Lake Como in Varenna - the birthplace of my grandfather; so beautiful and I really felt like a part of the country."

Glen

Dickinson, ND

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized. Rozanne was excellent at establishing goals and guidelines for the group and at all time was professional in her communication. The tour stops were interesting and each offered something unique. Transportation to each stop was by a clean roomy bus with an excellent driver. The only negative of the whole tour was the lack of heating in the rooms at the winery near Orvieto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since we have already been to Italy our wow would be Bolzano. Loved the landscape, food, and hospitality."

Robert

Spokane, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. We saw each of the advertised spots, and got background information on them while there. I appreciated the emphasis on the history, rather than the current political situation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the local church in Siena where the horse is blessed prior to the racing of horses in the public square."

Miriam

North Bend, WA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized and professionally run. The tour guide was outstanding. We appreciated her expertise and eagerness to help us at every turn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's difficult to choose! I would have to say the scenery in upper Bolzano and surrounding areas wowed me the most."

Gerald

Austin, TX

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour experience. We enjoyed the company of the other tour members and were extremely impressed by all of the tour guides and the many varied wonders (both natural and man-made) that we saw. I must however single-out our lead guide, Miss Elena. I believe that she was the primary reason for the success and our enjoyment of the tour. She did an amazing job of handling the varied personalities of the 27 tour members. Highest praise for Elena!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our gondola ride with the musician and vocalist in Venice was truly memorable. I also need to mention the extremely emotional experience I had at the US Military Cemetery outside of Florence. This was not a scheduled event (that I was aware of), but it made a lasting impression on me."

Gordon

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very nice time. Italy's beauty and treasures lived up to our expectations. Some of hotels, such as the Villa Steno in the Cinque Terra and Altarocca Wine Resort were terrific. One sorry exception is noted below. And, as also discussed below, Elena was a terrific and special guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to choose just one. Michelangelo's David is moving beyond description. The Uffizi and Accademia in Florence are spectacular are worth the trip by themselves. And, it is magical to stand in the Pantheon and lasting monuments of Rome and marvel at their splendor, ingenuity of construction and history."

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EXCELLENT !!! EXCELLENT !!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one ? The meal served the home of the Chef who was assisted by the entire family !!"

Jane

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" from the tour were the special demonstrations (Handcrafted Forcula demonstration in Venice, Stained Glass shop demonstration and visiting the Rhino horse district in Sienna, the group dinners and the passion of the local guided history tour in Rome."

Alyssa

Medford, MA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the tour of a lifetime. I will recommend this tour to anyone looking to go to Italy or on a European tour. It was a perfect balance of free/explore time and organized time. My favorite moments were during the group dinners - each were filled with exquisite tastes and a unique experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Roman Forum! It truly showed the "lasagna" that makes up Rome."

Lisa

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded expectations, especially the group dinners( particularly in ones in Varenna and Cinque Terre). We also had very good local guides and artisan demonstrations. We never felt pressured to buy anything. We also enjoyed the extra surprise stops in Verona, Lucca, the American war cemetery. We also appreciated the complimentary wine with most group dinners, an unexpected surprise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several "Wow" moments, hard to pick just one. Rhe beauty of Varenna and Bolzano were certainly Wows as was having dinner at Chef M...apartment. Also in Sienna, seeing the guys practicing the flag and drums ceremony was special as well as having the women from the selva contrada cook for us."

Carolyn

Yardley, PA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An amazing 17 days. This is my fifth Rick Steves tour, everyone of them I came away with special memories. It's wonderful to experience the history, culture, food and of course vino with like minded adventurers. I found the companies approach from the guides, hotels, visits to tucked away places I would have missed on my own speaks to their interest In providing a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From Varenna to Rome provided so many WOW moments hard to choose but Orvieto Underground and Elena's presentation of Signorelli's amazing frescoes is certainly one."

Ellen

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Traveling to Italy was on my bucket list since I was a teenager reading the Agony & the Ecstasy. Our tour experience with Elena & fellow guests surpassed my expectations. It showcased art & history in astounding ways. Through the cultural opportunities included I learned so much. From the cooking demonstrations by chefs to experiencing the passion of artisans with stained glass, carving, wine --I fell in love with the culture. Seeing the lovely towns of Tuscany & Cinque Terra inspired me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sorry, I can't limit it to a single moment. For me, seeing David, the Uffizi Gallery and the Sistine Chapel were profound. I was also in awe of the natural beauty of the Mediterranean Coast, the Dolomites and the Tuscany hills. All of Venice was a WOW moment. Exploring cathedrals, the Duomo, Sienna, Assisi touched me at a deep spiritual level. The tour was fantastic."

Deborah

Austin, TX

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour, and even though at 17 days, it is one of the longer ones, it was good for me as I wanted to see as much as possible on my first trip to Italy. Every city and town that we saw was beautiful, and each one was unique. There is so much history, culture, and art to take in. All of the hotels that we stayed in were really nice, and we had some amazing meals! Our tour guide and bus driver were great, and there were lots of thoughtful surprise side trips and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"-Seeing the Dolomites (and all of the scenic beauty of this country!) -Of course, all of the Duomos are unbelievably beautiful and over the top with art everywhere! -David -Our gondola ride in Venice with opera singer accompanied by accordionist -the gorgeous views of the sea and/or mountains from our hotel windows or balconies"

John

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can we say to convey our feelings about our recent Best of Italy Tour? We LOVED it! From our first meeting with Elena, we felt that something memorable was about to happen. Elena expertly guided us through our first trip to Europe and showed us her home country as we explored northern Italy. The cooler than normal weather didn't dampen our experience because the itinerary was so intriguing that we didn't want to miss a thing! It was a fabulous tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every day of the tour!"

Kyle

North Bend, WA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe since high school. I came in with no expectations other than I was sure I was going to have a great time. From the time the tour started everything exceeded my hopes. With how well everything went, I would be hard pressed to go to Europe without being on a Rick Steves' Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a "wow" moment. In every city there were so many wonder things that I couldn't bring it to one moment."

Barbara

Harrisburg, PA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third trip to Italy. We planned previous trips and drove thru south and central regions On this tour we enjoyed the other tour members. We liked staying two nights in each location and having free time to explore on our own. This was an energetic trip for us age 75+ but we knew the level of activity and did just fine. The pre trip information answered all our questions. The sites were well chosen and we hardly ever waited long in lines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como Being serenaded in a gondola Snow-covered dolomites in the AM and Bolzano in the afternoon with flowering gardens Surprise stop at American cemetery"

Dennis

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the variety and pace of the trip. Trip leader was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finishing the hike from Veranazza to Monterosso"

Stephen

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first time to Italy and our first Rick Steves tour.Without question, the tours success resides with our guide, Marianna. Her knowledge, organizational acumen, 1000 watt mega smile and outstanding ability to herd 27- strangers was spectacular. I would be remiss if I did not mention the local guides in Verona, Assisi, Venice, Florence and Rome. Outstanding knowledge and insights which added to the richness of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Totally blown away by the American Cemetery outside of Florence. A somber, moving and important experience. Would love to see this aspect of the tour formalized as it is so important to the cultural fabric of Italy and the US. Cinque Terra was stunning in its physical beauty. Florence was almost overwhelming with its rich political and cultural history. Totally amazed with Francesca and the tour of Rome. Her insights and observations were amazing!"

Joseph

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick and our tour guide, Marianna, provided a wonderful experience! Two days in each city/village was excellent, providing the perfect balance of organized activities and free time. Our small group, our caring and able guide, the fantastic group of fellow travelers made for a memorable, fantastic vacation. We will definitely sign up for another Rick Steves Europe trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved being at the Coliseum in Rome, with a fantastic local guide, who led us from the Coliseum and spent two days with us guiding us through the Vatican, the Roman Forum, and all Rome had to offer."

Claudia

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the focus on small towns with highlights in the bigger cities. A very compatible group of people on the tour, the Rick Steves kind of travelers are always great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the art and monuments that I have heard about for so many years in person, finally."

Darlene

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good experience. Wonderful guide, Mariana. Nice group of people. I would have appreciated more local guides .Lake Como

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como area"

Tracy

Meridian, ID

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a bit reluctant to take a scheduled "tour" complete with a guide, bus and 30+ of my closest friends (not). But I am so glad my reluctance didn't keep my sister and I from joining the Best of Italy tour. It was overwhelmingly wonderful. Our guide, Mariana, was perfecto and we would have missed so many beautiful moments without her and the Rick Steves tour. Terrific choice of cities, tours, local guides, the food and- oh - the vino. Tutto Bene!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one. The lights coming in like the sun rising inside San Marco Basilica in Venice, our hilltop stop for a "spritz" in Rio Maggiore, Francesca evoking the memories and moments of gladiator Rome in the Colosseo. And and kneeling inside the small church where St Francis used to pray. Too much. ."

Leroy

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awsome, so glad we tried the Rick Steves tour. It was well worth the cost. The tour was a once in a lifetime experience. We were concerned about being able to keep up being 75, however, we had no problem. The local guides brought the cities to life and made you feel like you were a part of the action.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is an impossible question to answer, everyday day had it's WOW moment. I will never forget entering the main floor of the Coliseum in Rome after our local guide took us back in time to explain what it would have been like for a common person in Rome. Being Catholic I was humbled by St Peters and the Vatican. Too many unforgettable moments to mention."

Carol

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour. Everyday was carefully planned to maximize your limited time. If you read about every city and made a list of what you wanted to see, this tour covered it and more. I especially liked getting to meet local people and learn about their way of life

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could probably name a wow moment everyday on this tour. Having to pick one, I would say walking into the coliseum at ground level. Still remember that exact moment!"

Michelle

Mountain Home, ID

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time traveling outside of the US (except Canada) and it was such a positive experience I can't wait to do it again. We had a great group of travelers and Marianna was pure joy. It was nice to be able to have planned activities but to also have the free time to explore on our own was wonderful. We could even choose to take a nap or get a massage! Of course, the really fun surprise was our unexpected visitor, Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick just one....from seeing the beautiful Mediterranean Sea for the first time, to realizing the size of the Trevi Fountain and then standing on the floor of the Coliseum, imagining that particular spot 2,000 years ago."

Mary

Arvada, CO

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the smaller villages and scenery - cinque terre, dolmites (bolzana), lake como, cortana, orvieto/umbria, siena. Venice, Florence and Rome were too crowded, unfriendly people and dirty so much less desirable even though the art and ruins were amazing. Going through the vatican museums and sistine chapel was quite disappointing as we were herded through with a mob and had little room to move stop or look around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Como and the island of Carlotta with the gardens."

Susan

Mankato, MN

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Italy was fantastico. We had an unbelievable tour guide, Stacy, who was this unique combination of entertaining, knowledgable, caring and simply, a lot of fun. She made sure we knew what was scheduled and how to negotiate every city, museum, or hike. We had reservations about a group travel experience, but this tour gave us so much as far as background and history, and also allowed plenty of time to explore independently of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Lake Como area. Taking the beautiful boat tour on the lake, enjoying the stops in charming towns like Bellagio with its amazing gardens, and discovering interesting side streets made it one of the best stops on our tour. It was so relaxing at the end of the day to sit at a little table on the lake enjoying a glass of vino."

Tim

Mankato, MN

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned from hotels to local tours to excellent bus driving and a most outstanding tour leader. The number of 28 people was perfect for touring as we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out over the ocean from our room at Monterossa and the quaint village below us."

Jerry

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally beautiful, wonderful and exciting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra: The hike, the food, the room with a view! Altarocca was also great providing a bit of a respite between cities."

Joan Cheryl

Mclean, VA

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had hoped that things wouldn't be so crowded in April-early May, but the major sights were mobbed. I enjoyed most the smaller, less crowded areas, Varenna, Orvieto, Assisi. The Vatican Museums crowds were so awful that all I wanted to do was get out of there alive. The overall pacing of the tour was good; the combination of structure with free/on-your-own time worked well. Tour members were friendly and easy going -- an enjoyable group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This sounds strange, but it was the wisteria in Lake Como and Florence."

Barbara

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wow moments everyday. Most created by the tour. Some by my choices of things to see like Ostia Antiqua."

Bridget

Mankato, MN

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped for and more. From our expert and engaging tour guide to the excellent hotels and unique experiences and tours...it truly was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There really were so many "wow" moments that I don't have one favorite! But I would have to say that the small demonstrations by the artisans in Venice (gondola forcola) and Siena (stained glass) were so special and we felt so honored to hear about their art."

Gary

Baldwin, WI

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I absolutely loved every minute of this tour. It combined every thing we had hoped to experience from Italy's fascinating history and historic sites, to its food and beverage culture, to its amazing geography, and to opportunities to interact with its people. Our tour group members were also exceptional, warmly embracing Rick's concept of bonding together and becoming true travel partners. It all made for a never-to-be-forgotten experience for us all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On this tour, not a day passed without a "wow" moment. Honestly! But, if I had to name one it would be a tie: watching a forkela demonstration in Venice by a craftsman at his trade; and listening to another craftsman in Sienna explain and demonstrate how to make a stained glass window. These were not factory-tour demonstrations, but experiences we had with a dwindling number of skilled craftsmen sharing their trade. Truly memorable! Thank you to Rick for these truly unique experiences."

Beverly

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 04/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 17 Day Best of Italy Tour was outstanding and exceeded our expectations. We would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to experience Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments it is difficult to come up with just these two. My favorites locations were Varenna and The Cinque Terre. My favorites wow moments were: (1) having dinner in the early evening overlooking looking the lake in Varenna; and (2) hiking from Vernazza to Monterosso along the beautiful Ligurian Sea. Another WOW moment during the 2 days prior to the tour was taking the rooftop tour of the Duomo in Milan. I found all of the Doumos we visited to be breathtaking."

Weather

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 online customer 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 customer 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's Malpensa airport (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.