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  • Colosseum
  • 'Creation of Adam' (Michelangelo), Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
    Sistine Chapel
  • Volterra
  • Wine Tasting in Tuscany
  • Rural hillside, Tuscany, Italy
    Tuscan Hillside
  • Lucca
  • Vernazza (Cinque Terre), Italy
    Vernazza in the Cinque Terre
  • Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
    Ponte Vecchio in Florence

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Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,695 per person + air

Single Supplement $525

See Dates & Prices

Tight on time? This tour is Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our Best of Italy tour. Beginning with the "must-see" sights of the Eternal City of Rome, your Rick Steves guide will help you experience the very heart of this remarkable country: the Tuscan hill-town ambience of Volterra, harbor-hugging villages of the Cinque Terre, and the amazing art of Renaissance Florence. Along the way, you'll enjoy Italy's distinctive culture, countryside charm, robust wine, and farm-fresh cuisine. Join us for the Heart of Italy in 9 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 15 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

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

  • Ancient Rome walking tour
  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Pantheon (when available)
  • Evening walk through Rome including Trevi Fountain
  • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • Volterra walking tour
  • Guarnacci Etruscan Museum
  • Alabaster workshop
  • Wine tasting
  • Countryside visit and lunch
  • Orientation for "vacation" day in the Cinque Terre
  • Renaissance Florence walking tour
  • Florence's Accademia (Michelangelo's David)
  • Uffizi Gallery

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Rome to Florence
  • 8 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

We'll have a get-acquainted meeting at 3 p.m. at our hotel in Rome. After an orientation walk through our neighborhood, we'll learn about the city's transportation system. Then we'll enjoy a fountain-splashing, dolce vita trek through the heart of Rome, soaking up the city's evening ambience at the classy Piazza Navona, Baroque Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon before enjoying our first Italian dinner together at a favorite restaurant. 

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Rome.

Day 2: The Vatican Museums

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

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Rome.

Day 3: Ancient Rome and the Heart of Tuscany

We'll do some time-traveling this morning, as a local guide takes us on a walking tour through the ancient heart of Rome, telling us vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum and the birthplace of Rome: the Forum. Then we'll leave the city and drive to Tuscany, ending our day in the hill town of Volterra, enjoying a Tuscan feast together at a favorite local restaurant.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Volterra.

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

This morning, we'll take a walking tour with a local guide who'll make Volterra's traditions and history come alive. We'll also visit an alabaster workshop and tour the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, one of Italy's best places to learn about this mysterious pre-Roman civilization. Then you'll have time to poke around the ancient lanes on your own. We'll regroup later this afternoon to learn about and taste some of the region's famous wines, followed by dinner on your own.

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

Day 5: Italian Countryside and the Riviera

Today we say goodbye to Tuscany and head to the Ligurian coast. On our way, we'll stop in the countryside to sample some of the region's tastiest products at a local family farm. Later this afternoon we'll complete our drive to our seaside getaway, nestled along the harbor-hugging villages of the Italian Riviera. You'll have plenty of free time to explore before we gather this evening for dinner at a local family restaurant.

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

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. You may choose to hike the famous cliffside paths, 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 or vino while catching up on your journal at an outdoor café.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre.

Day 7: Florence and David

Today we'll drive straight to Florence and take a Renaissance walking 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 tour at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Then you'll be free to find a special trattoria for dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Florence.

Day 8: The Uffizi Gallery

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 masterpieces by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more. The afternoon is yours to visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, or browse the colorful markets. As it's our final night together, we'll have a grand dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute!

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

Day 9: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Florence's airport by taxi or shuttle bus. 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 Heart of Italy in 9 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 four 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

Carol

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever, and we were unsure if we would like traveling in a group. After this tour, we are believers. Perfect balance of group time and our time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at the Etruscan Gate in Volterra and hearing the story of how the town’s people saved it during WW2. Then we chanced to encounter one of the citizens who was there as a child."

Margaret

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic the guides were knowledgeable and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra, was incredible especially the story how the town was saved by blocking off the entrance gate. We were fortunate to meet a participant who was just 9 yrs old at the time and remembers it happening. She is now close to 90 and was our guide’s husband’s aunt."

Karen

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like the Ireland tour we took, my fellow travelers were wonderful (THANK YOU for the vaccination/mask requirements) the tour guides fabulous, the food wonderful and the balance between group and alone time just right. Can’t wait to sign up for my next tour. And I am a very experienced solo traveler with my husband and family. I take these tours for the total relaxation it gives me not having to arrange everything and for the additional insights from the guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to Italy several times but never saw the Uffizi the way I saw it this tour with Ricardo as a guide. It was powerful."

Edward

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Italy was wonderful and amazing. I had no idea that I would enjoy the experience so much. Our tour guide did a wonderful job. He and the other guides pointed out things that I would never have noticed. The accommodations were clean and comfortable. All were well located. All the transportation was comfortable. I was really impressed with the drivers skill in negotiating those narrow roadways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many “wow” moments that it’s hard to pick one. However our guide Jamie did an amazing job with planning our group dinners. The food was so fantastic and the mood so festive! We loved it! Jamie also knows his wines. Great guy. Great time. Many thanks to him."

Lauren

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was super fun and easy to follow, the guides were all super nice and helped us get through the difficulties of traveling!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE FOOD. Jamie really knew how to put a meal together and having that time with the other members of the group was really fun."

Belinda

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Phenomenal experience. The trip embodied everything we had hoped; art, history, culture...all brought to life by our wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wows" but my favorite would be watching the sunset from high atop the hill town of Volterra while gazing out into the Tuscan countryside below."

Beth

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people were terrific, a real cross section of the US coming together. Tour Director Colleen was outstanding. I learned so much about history and culture of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. I really enjoyed our tour guide Ricardo at the Uffizi. Such a good historian and story teller."

Jess

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to be honest, I had never heard of (Rick Steves Tours) before my wife started planning our trip, I guess I live in a bubble. I am now so very appreciative that we selected to do your tour and would NOT consider any other tour company period. I felt we were given adequate amounts of time at the sights we visited as a group. I also liked the fact that we were allowed some free time to ourselves. I can’t say enough about our guide, Colleen, very professional, we were fortunate to have her!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When in Italy, of course you have to go to Rome to experience the Vatican, Coliseum, and Sistine chapel, but I was more then ready to leave. Volterra was #1 on our list followed by Cinque Terre and Florence, all so very Beautiful. I really liked to Olive farm we visited, being in their Castle home and seeing their wine cellar which was a sidebar of Colleen’s. I also was very moved at the National cemetery. These two stops to break up the bus trip, we’re simply fantastic, added to our experience!"

Ruth

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous. We chose to do a tour to outsource logistics and got that as well as knowledgeable guides who definitely added value to the experience. Our tour companions were also a plus. We definitely saw and did more than would have been likely on out own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from the rooftop bar in Florence"

James

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great experience for anyone looking for an introduction to Italy. Having the tour guides, transportation, and hotels managed by someone else made the trip much less intimidating. Pay attention to all of the advice provided by Rick Steves and note that it will not be a restful vacation if you want to take full advantage of your time. Our group was pooped at the end but it was well worth the strenuous effort. I’d highly recommend this tour to others interested in Italian History.

Ronda

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour, and going in, my exceptions were high because, well it's an RS tour. The tour exceeded my expectations on every level. The educational aspect was something we appreciated so much and found hard to obtain on our solo European trips. I loved the pace and having daily time on our own. We did not feel like we were part of a huge group following a scarf on a stick. We felt like organized, educated, prepared travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Walking down the street of Volterra for the first time. Volterra could be my Italian home. My heart connected with Volterra. 2. Discovering the most amazing quilt shop in Riomaggiore housed in a store front cave and owned by the charming Stephanie."

Deborah

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome tour guide who was extremely well educated and organized catering to everyone so they were as comfortable as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I had already been to Italy, some of the new things I enjoyed was the olive oil tour and the winery tour. Lived Volterra and the Tuscany country side"

Louann

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 5th Rick Steves' tour and again you do not disappoint! We had a wonderful experience - from guides, to food to hotels and amazing experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views in Cinque Terre were simply amazing. The water was clear and blue, the sky vast and beautiful and the village was picturesque. We were transported to another world. Loved it!"

Larry

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect pace on the trip with equal amounts of group activities and personal time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, nothing compares to the magnificence of St. Peter's."

Tamara

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! Absolutely, wow! I cannot say enough good things about the trip. Our tour guide, Anna Piperato, was amazing! Couldn’t have had a better guide or a better experience. Amazing from beginning to end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went into a little church in Monterossa to pray. The surroundings, the peace, it truly made me cry. We also went into a church off of the square near the Pantheon in Rome. When the organ started I was completely overwhelmed."

Vickie

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect mix of scheduled time and free time! Great group of folks and our guide, Anna, was phenomenal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually placing my hand on a wall inside the Colosseum. Very emotional for me. Had been wanting to see that since I was a child and couldn't believe I was actually touching it."

William

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations; to include an absolutely expert tour guide, compelling destinations with superior room accommodations, extremely informative (rivaling a full-semester college course), with continuous surprises in the form of activities, diving deep into another culture, food, scenery, and history! Couldn't have imagined a smoother, invigorating travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, but there were at minimum, two "WOW" moments: 1) The introduction and tour of The Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel), and 2) the wonderful guided tour of The Uffizi Gallery (with tour guide, Paul) in Florence. Both took my breath away."

Melvin

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Not enough superlatives. A great balance between seeing sights, learning new things, eating wonderful food, meeting new people and having down time to explore. Physically demanding, but nothing my wife and I couldn’t manage. Loved having intelligent, articulate, and interesting guides to explain and introduce us to what we were seeing, something missed on previous unguided trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the small town of Volterra for the first time. Had just left the crowds and noise of Rome and absolutely fell in love with this historic, beautiful and simple small town."

Diane

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a really great experience with wonderful preparation tools on the Rick Steves' website and clear communication of travel and expectations. Our guide, Ferdi, was wonderfu - fun and knowledgeable. Due to the length of the tour we needed to cover a lot of territory in a short amount of time which was tiring. Accommodations were good; clean, adequate, and good locations but tended to be noisy if you wanted fresh air; air condition wasn't always available. Group dinners varied in quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Voltarra - a fantastic story teller of a guide; idyllic setting; fascinating history and architecture."

Tom

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best trips I've taken. The local guides really made the sites more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night time view of the ruins at Volterra."

David

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got a nice mix of the chaos and incredible history of Rome and Florence, together with the breathtaking beauty and more laid back ambiance of Volterra and the Cinque Terre. Our guide Ferdi was fantastic and the local guides that accompanied us on portions of the trip provided historical knowledge and perspective that we couldn't have gotten any other way. The places where we stayed were nice, unassuming and near the action. Best vacation I've ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one. The Vatican in Rome, the views and the structures in Volterra and the Cinque Terre, and the art history and food in Florence were all wow moments."

Jean

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect combination of structured and free time. Tour guide and local guides were amazing. Small group contributed to family feeling atmosphere. Guise always provided suggestions for free time and restaurants for meals not included with trip. Just had a great feel about the trip , loved time to walk the neighborhoods, and learn the history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to pick one. We were in Italy. I loved the landscape, the art treasures, and maybe this is silly but there was never a time when anyone was late for a bus or gathering g to walk to a site or restaurant. There was true respect for others."

Nancy

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just back from Italy, and we're still smiling! Our experience was enhanced by a wonderful group of people, fun and fascinating activities, and a perfect balance between scheduled/guided experiences and free time. We'd highly recommend a Rick Steves Tour to any of our active friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra - an out-of-the-way, culture-rich city we would have never visited if not on this tour."

Bruce

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was well organized, the guides were outstanding. The restaurants, transportation, rooms and room locations were amazing. I appreciated the amount of information and deep dive into the culture. I WAS Italian for the duration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Strolling through the Roman forum and seeing layers of history exposed and explained. Knowing that I was walking over additional layers of time."

Jennifer

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first meet Rick Steve’s’ tour and I really enjoyed it from beginning to end. Guide to Patricia was excellent excellent every way. She was very prepared, organized and was able to connect with everybody’s needs on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am an art historian so the time at the Vatican and Florence were the most impressive. The guides were excellent especially Ricardo in Florence."

Mary Clare

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a dream tour for me. It was my first European tour and I loved every minute of this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the massiveness of St. Peter’s was a definite “wow” moment. But one of my favorite places was Volterra. It is such a beautiful peaceful town in the hills."

Cynthia

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia, our main guide, kept us all enthralled. Each local guid was fabulously full of storytelling like facts that kept me enthralled thru each different town/museum/site. Annie and Ricardo win best tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two really important Wow moments for me. Annie in Volterra when she showed us the gates where towns people all pitched I. To save the city from ruin. Ricardo in Uffitze gallery in Florence when he described art and artists to us in such a way that captured my soul."

Judy M

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! Nice blend of city, country, and seaside with amazing art, architecture, and history. Believe the VERY ACTIVE part! I prepared physically, but didn’t include enough steps and inclines. My stamina was fine, but I ached each night. Hint: invest in EXTRA good walking shoes! This tour, even though ACTIVE, was alternated between more and less strenuous days. It worked well for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If you’ve traveled with Rick Steves before, you know it’s hard to choose just one WOW moment. There were AWEsome moments at nearly every turn. However, Volterra and Monterroso were my favorites. Volterra was special for its hill-town charm and Monterroso fed my sea-loving soul."

Randall

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS tour and as expected, it was exceptional. The art and history of Rome/Florence, beauty of the Cinque Terre and quaintness of Volterra made for a well rounded tour. Enjoyed the diverse group of travelers ranging from students to newly married to nearly retired and retired. All were friendly and had interesting life stories. Local guides were great. Patricia, our tour guide was super helpful and worked above and beyond for group collectively and each traveler individually

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1. Cinque Terre. Hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. After long hike seeing the beautiful town from above then taking train from town to town #2. Ricardo’s tour of Uffizi Gallery explaining the Renaissance from beginning to end through the amazing artwork at the museum #3 walking tour of Volterra with very knowledgeable and entertaining story telling of Anna"

S

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I am in awe of the amount of preparation, attention to detail and high quality of tour guides that was provided throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Patricia is a wow, outstanding tour guide!"

Mary

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought all was as advertised and found the people in the group all very nice and like-minded about travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can’t name just one since I’ve never been to Italy before. Many being in St Peter’s in Rome since it’s been on my bucket list for so many years."

Jordan

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a fun and extremely well curated set of experiences. The guides were all the best of the best, and our "chaperon" Patricia was a warm, funny, informative person and consummate professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a very special town. My son loved it. My wife and I found the hiking in Cinque Terre to be exceptionally special. The Colosseum and Forum were also highlights."

Julie

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels, local guides and our tour guide were all excellent. Marianna's expertise and personality helped our group gel and have a rich experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Colosseum"

Ryan

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations! This was my first ever group tour and I can't imagine one being better organized and planned out than this one! Our tour guide, Marianna, was so incredibly helpful and I actually could relax and not worry for the ENTIRE trip--which allowed me to enjoy the trip more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many WOW moments but I was shocked at how much I fell in loved with Volterra. I had never heard of the town and I was not expecting to enjoy it. However, it was a perfect contract after a busy and overwhelming first few days in Rome. I was ready to buy a rental property after the first day of being there."

Carol

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Marianna, was the best! She was really in tune with our group and made everyone comfortable on their first trips abroad after the pandemic. The local city guides could not be beat either. I loved the balance of planned activities and free time. Of course the food and scenery couldn't be beat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Florentine steak dinner in Florence. As a meat scientist I had been warned that it might not meet my standards but it was excellent!"

Keith

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing tour! Our tour guide, Marianna, was the best ever! She made the trip so enjoyable. She made it a point to make our group like a family. So fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the best part was the Tuscan countryside and the town of Volterra. So beautiful and the local guide was very good."

John

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a small group of travelers with 5 of the 14 my family. We really enjoyed meeting our amazing tour guide Marianna. All of the hotels, guides for the individual tours and accommodations were more than satisfactory. I could not have asked for a better experience. This was my first Rick Steve's tour but will definitely not be my last. Italy is so amazing! Thanks Rick and all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from Cinque Terra were amazing as was the food along the way but the Pieta, Sistine Chappel and statue of David were absolutely stunning!"

Debra

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was fantastic! Our tour guide, Marianna, was amazing. She introduced us to the wonderful Italian culture and history while helping us navigate the changing COVID requirements. Marianna and all the local guides have so much knowledge and are great about sharing not only the history and culture, but also great recommendations for restaurants, gelaterias and shopping. This was our third Rick Steves' tour and we love the mix of time together and time on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable moment on the tour - and the most unexpected - was stopping by a WWII memorial to the American soldiers who died in Italy during the liberation of Europe. It was so moving to see all the promising young lives lost to free Italy. It was emotional, moving and inspiring. I am extremely grateful to Marianna for showing us this tribute. Rome, Volterra, Cinque Terre and Florence are all beautiful and awe inspiring, but the emotions from the memorial site were the strongest."

John

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every element of the tour went off with out a hitch

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the wow moments were many but one was the lack of crowds on this visit. I would say Voltaire with the beautiful vistas of the country side"

Susan

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a tour and our tour guide Marianna was wonderful along with all other local guides. Everything was arranged and scheduled perfectly. Enjoyed the perfect location of the hotels. Bus rides it all was awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican art! The colosseum! Tuscany Volterra was amazing. I can’t choose just one. It was all Wow moments from start to end."

Barb

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was beautiful, tiring, educational, amazing, etc. ,etc, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list."

Alex

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect balance of guided tour, shared meals, and free time. I particularly liked having the experiences away from the crowds in the large cities, such as the visit to Voltare, Cinque Terre, and the castle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Upon retirement I completed 2 semesters of art history, so I was completed wowed by the museums and churches of Florence"

Victoria

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Friendly group, knowledgeable tour guides, delicious dinners/lunch, and excellent tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several wow moments, like beautiful landscape sceneries, artwork at museums, and delicious food."

Krystal

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredible. The group size was small -- just 17 of us -- but it made it easy to get to know each other, plus there was plenty of space on the bus! Anna, our tour guide, was so wonderful. She's knowledgable, friendly, helpful, and funny; we always felt like we were in good hands with her. I liked the itinerary because it allowed us to see both cities and small towns. It was paced rather nicely. Overall we had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was simply amazed by Volterra. Everything about it is so charming -- the Etruscan and Roman and Medieval history, coupled with the livelihood of today. It's such a wonderful place to be! It wasn't crowded, the views were spectacular, the museums and wine-tasting were lovely, and I pretty much fell in love! I wish I could live in Volterra."

Barbara

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We spent 3 days in Rome on our own before the tour, then stayed in Florence for 8 days after the tour concluded. All in all, it was the perfect balance of a guided experience and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with our previous RS tour (14 days in Ireland) the guides are the "wow". The primary guide and the local experts provided us with good care and enrichment."

Karl

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great pace. Great guide. Anna was amazing and knowledgeable. Always had answers. Great food. Fun group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Pantheon was an unexpected WOW. Volterra and Cinque Terra were breathtaking."

Robert

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned. Great guide and awesome experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every minute in Volterra"

Karen

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We feel so fortunate that things worked out so well on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hotel in Florence had a tall tower to climb and sit with glass in hand, a 360 view of the town and lovely weather."

Sam

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had an amazing tour experience. This was my first "group tour" ever and it exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Anna, was awesome! Very friendly, knowledgeable, and energetic. Her passion for the various things she was speaking about was very apparent. I will look to another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the historic sites was phenomenal! Seeing Cinque Terre was stunning!"

William

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just a wonderful experience My wife and I had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The country side was the best part for us"

Thomas

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized. The mixture of group time and individual time during the tour was perfect. Our tour guide, Anna, was outstanding. She was so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful. The group size of only 17 was also a plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful views and picturesque sights of Cinque Terre. The views were breath taking and a new one around every corner!"

Donna

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For our first tour, Rick Steve’s or any other kind, we were very happy with the balance between education, school field trip nostalgia and ample free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Using Rick’s guide where we found the best “wow” of our trip - pesto making at Nessun Dorma. The best “wow” moment of the tour was walking into the middle of the coliseum which was made even better by our “VIP” status from Rick providing an Ancient Rome guide."

Leslie

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves tour and the best one yet! Sarah sets the bar for all tour guides as well. I’ve been to Italy before, but Sarah and this tour made me truly fall in love with it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding the bus through Tuscany on the way to Volterra with Bocelli playing over the speakers. It was foggy outside which made the Tuscan hills appear even more magical. The view from Volterra was also breathtaking."

Pamela

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved my Rick Steve’s Heart of Italy tour! The opportunity to see the parts of Italy that held my heart in a way that expanded my vision and eased any worries was truly a gift and blessing. The hotels were perfectly located and local, the local guides added a dimension beyond tourist, the dinners brought the group together and allowed us to use our senses to experience local cuisine, and our guide safely navigated the details, added so much information and made this special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After having our local guide take us on an amazing journey through the art in the Vatican museum, viewing the Sistine Chapel, and just feeling the spark of this special City/State, we entered St. Peter’s Basilica. I had read about it and listened to the audio tour, but actually seeing Michelangelo’s Pieta still, surprisingly, took my breath away and moved me to tears…even when I tried to talk about it later, the same thing happened. Experiencing for yourself can make all the difference."

Donna

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized,great location of hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and the drive to Volterra."

Velarde

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a refreshing re-introduction to group international travel/tour after 2.5 horrible years of Covid-19. Host hotels and restaurants are showing renewed enthusiastic welcome to RS groups. Group mates seem thrilled to be back in travel mode and were tolerant of prevailing restrictions. Overall a very high level of RS travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Holy Week time had some Churches closed for events (ie. Sta. Maria de Popolo had Caravaggio) but was shown not one but three Caravaggios for free at a Basilica near the Pantheon by ourTour Guide Sarah. Had mouth agape in awe(mask ??) when light switched on dark alcove. It was an Easter egg after Easter."

David

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our third visit to Italy but our first with Rick Steves (after previous Rick Steves city tours of Paris and London). We saw some familiar sights in Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terre, but of course with our expert guides and four of our friends joining us, the experiences felt mostly new. The places we visited were awesome, the information and history lessons we received were helpful and memorable, and the food was tasty and often fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our one new location was Volterra, and it definitely made an impression. Not the flash of the big cities or the natural allure of the seaside, but it had a real authentic and warm feel, and although there were tourists there (our group included), it didn't feel as if the town was there because of tourists. Rather, to me it seemed as if the tourists were there because of the town, a picturesque hill town that seemed like quintessential Italy."

Chuck

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. This was not only a vacation but also very educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, she was amazing, intelligent, friendly and very informative."

Judy

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy tour was FABULOUS!! Our guide was informative, and fun. The pacing of the tour was perfect. The city guides, and museum guides were perfect. We had a wonderful time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the Cinque Terre was magical!!"

Susan

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Italy was fabulous we wouldn’t have changed a thing. Our tour host was Andrea and she was wonderful, a real delight! Our local guides were fantastic so knowledgeable and passionate about what we were seeing and added so much detail and insight that we would never have known. The weather was perfect every day couldn’t have scripted any better! Can’t wait to do another Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything"

Amy

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely surpassed expectations!!! Absolutely loved the diverse experiences traveling to four different areas in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome."

Douglas

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Patricia, was energetic and quite helpful. The accommodations were well located and met our expectations. Group dinners were quite fun. Local tour guides were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking between towns in Cinque Terra national park. Spectacular views and the certainty of a gelato at each town."

Michael

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. All the people on the tour were friendly, engaging, and good sports. Patricia, our guide was outstanding. She consistently went above and beyond to make our experiences great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David."

Arlecia

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th and favorite Rick Steves tour. The things I saw, the people I toured with, and our guide made this trip great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment didn't happen until I returned home and thought about all of the wonderful things I had seen. I am truely thankful that I had the opportunity to take this trip."

Nancy

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's tour was fantastic! I can't wait to go again! Patricia was amazing! The perfect combination of enthusiastic, knowledgable and caring. She was always ready to help with questions and to smooth all the bumps. Wonderful group of fellow travelers. Everything about the tour was top notch! Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre took my breath away!"

William

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia worked her butt off to provide an excellent tour. Very good job of providing different dining experiences and the local tour guides were 1st class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the picture of the Roman Forum where the ground came up to the door vs. what was in front of us where the door was 20-30 feet in the air.... Gave great perspective"

David

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Italy was simply incredible! Our guide Patricia, was outstanding: very funny, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. The tour stops were quite unique and featured delicious food and comfy accommodations. Definitely the trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the roman colosseum and forum."

Beth

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely amazing and exceeded my expectations. Our tour guide Patricia was knowledgeable, thoughtful, organized and hilarious!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the Colosseum was the most thrilling and breathtaking moment for me on the entire trip."

Debra

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the entire experience, especially our guide Patricia :

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hard to say ... there were many... St. Peters Bascillica, Cinque Terra, Volterra and Florence...all amazing"

Wanda

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Over all was well planned, wonderful guide that was ready and willing to take care of every need.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and Roman Forum, history and sheer age. Comprehending what we were looking at was overwhelming."

Kerry

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Patricia and all the tour guests were so wonderful! The trip will always be remembered!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing the “snow” on the mountains was actually Carrara Marble!"

Brad

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was very enjoyable. It was fast-paced and energetic. Sometimes it was a bit exhausting but each day held wonder which pulled us along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hill town of Volterra. I knew very little about the town and it's history until we got there. Then I fell in love with it's quiet charm. And the views of the Tuscan countryside we're stunning. We are planning to return there and spend so time in the town and the surrounding area."

Cynthia

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel the tour saved us time by picking good hotels that were centrally located and easy to find. The organization with the guide, included meals and transportation helped us to get the most out of our time in Italy and found us some down time to relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each of the local guides were EXCELLENT! They really made the experience at each site come to life and much more memorable. They made overwhelming galleries, palaces and the Vatican more manageable and enjoyable."

Susie

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The heart of Italy tour in 9 days was an amazing experience. Our tour guide Tina was outstanding! I learned so much from the information she shared. This was our first international trip and picking a Rick Steves tour was perfect. We are already planning our next RS tour!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many. The biggest one for me was learning about Ancient Rome and just how old the city is and the buildings and structures that have been uncovered. Francesca was our awesome guide that day. I learned so much from her."

John

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour was fantastic! Tina was amazing and we all had so much fun. The tour was well planned, well organized, and informative the whole way. All of the logistics were taken care of and we, as tourists, could relax knowing that everything was taken care of for us! Tina was so caring, fun, and personable. She wanted to make sure that we had the best experience possible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The historic relics of Rome, the Vatican, and the art in Florence were all amazing. But, I really think the towns of Volterra and the villages of Cinque Terra that we explored allowed us to visit true Italian culture even more!"

Alan

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations. Our guide Tina was warm, experienced, articulate and seemingly unflappable. Accommodations and the catered meals were managed seamlessly. She really helped us feel welcomed to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of the Colosseum and Forum in Rome, led by Francesca, had me literally weeping more than once, inspired by her deep knowledge of the city and obvious pleasure at getting to share that passion with us."

Earl

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and it was fantastic. Our tour was relatively small, only 12 members, but it was a nice mix of backgrounds and experiences. Our guide, Tina, was exceptionally knowledgeable and had a good feel for what the group needed. She connected with all of us on an individual level. She was extremely professional and you could tell that she loved her job and wanted each of us to have a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, my wow moment was the striking beauty of Cinque Terre, specifically my view overlooking the marina in Monterosso."

Roberta

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime. We had never taken a tour before and honestly only signed up for a tour this time because we were nervous about the Covid complexities, but were amazed how much richness and depth the guides brought to our trip. Our tour guide Tina Hiti was amazing, so skilled and caring, and so much fun! The local guides taught us so much about the history and culture of the places we visited. Absolutely everything about the trip exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour had so many "wow" moments that it's hard to pick just one, but if pressed, I will report that the experience of touring the Colosseum and the Roman Forum with guide Francesca was transcendent. History came alive and I felt like a time traveler, understanding not just another time and culture but also fundamentals about the shared human experience that transcend time and place."

Cathleen

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary for seeing just some of Italy’s many highlights

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Colosseum and Forum with a fantastic guide who was a great storyteller. I felt I was transported back in time as we explored that ancient space."

Tim

Tour: 03/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip and accommodations were great. Our tour guides were very helpful, personable, interesting and knowledgeable. There was a good balance of tour and free time. The guides were very knowledgeable about the cities and towns we visited and had great advice on how to navigate about town. It was a real pleasure to be part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the evening walk through Rome and seeing the city come to life with its natives."

Donald

Tour: 03/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience! Better than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre."

Sophia

Tour: 03/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have only the best memories of our tour. In my opinion, it was just the right mix of activities and free time. Our guide, Marijan, was top notch. The local guides were incredibly knowledgeable. The hotels were simple, clean, and staff helpful. Our group was not too large and everyone got along well. I think this company attracts like-minded travelers, not high maintenance and ready to experience life abroad. Oh, and the food was lovely. It was Italy, so there was SO MUCH good food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our tour leader, Marijan, told us the entire history of Italy in two hours on a long bus ride between cities, it helped me enjoy the locations so much more. When we are looking at old buildings all over Italy, they are beautiful on their own but if you add the history too, they truly come to life!"

Martin

Tour: 03/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour experience with RSE far exceeded any expectation I may have had. The rooms were relatively large and comfortable, the staff from hotel owners down to the maids were very friendly, welcoming and helpful. The breakfast and included dinners were excellent. The tour guides were all friendly, knowledgable, and patient with all our questions. And finally, combination of guided tours and free time provided a perfect balance to see all we came to see!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So, beside the food which was beyond amazing, I was surprised that the hill town of Volterra was my favorite part of the tour. I enjoyed the combination of history and scenic beauty combined with a very relaxing, locals only, very peaceful vibe."

Theresa

Greencastle, IN

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience with the tour was very good. The instructions and information that we were given were excellent. Heart of Italy was more than I expected. I learned so very much. All of Italy was interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To pick one amongst many;. The view of Florence from the Medici gardens."

Julie

Andover, MN

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I have traveled with a group tour. It was great! I was traveling with 3 friends. I thought it was the perfect balance of tour time and our own time. I liked the smaller size of our group-26 people. Our Guide was fantastic. I have been to Europe before but not to Italy. I found a greater appreciation for the places we saw having the back ground information our guides provided. I found all our guides to be interesting, engaging, easy to understand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Volterra. The whole city, the tour, and the wine tasting!"

Teresa

Elk River, MN

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time taking a tour and I couldn't have been more pleased. Our tour guide Andrea was not only knowledgeable but lots of fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Volterra!"

Jack

Albion, MI

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Experience was far beyond expectations in all respects. Andrea is an amazing individual and guide. She is knowledgeable, personable and enthusiastic topped off with a right mix of history and humor. Local guides were all excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the sites within Vatican City."

David

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Andrea, was wonderful. She was very enthusiastic and a wealth of knowledge about Italy. The local guides were fantastic additions, augmenting Andrea's knowledge. I was original hesitant about touring with a group because my wife and I both do not like being on someone else's schedule but I quickly saw the benefits in it. Having someone to handle all the logistics (hotel and bus reservations and getting into the venues) was a welcomed change from our other travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is extremely difficult to pick just one so I will pick two: Seeing Michelangelo's David and the views of the Cinque Terre villages from the hill tops."

Steven

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The places, the people and the guide were all incredible. The trip went by way too quickly and I did not want to leave. So, I stayed! I am writing this review from Italy now!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were really two inspiring moments: Seeing the David again after 41 years and experiencing Volterra and the beauty and peace of the Tuscan hills. Big "wows" but in different ways - man made vs. nature."

Fran

Floral Park, NY

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was wonderful. From the itinerary, to our guide (Dimitri), to the rest of the people on our tour, to the food, to the transportation and drivers - I was very impressed with the whole Rick Steves'tour operation and approach. It was an extremely well-run, organized and comprehensive tour (even if it was my first real tour!). Rick really leaves no stone unturned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There really are too many to list. Standouts include the Colosseum & Forum with Francesca as our guide in Rome,St. Peter's, the Pieta, Volterra, the unscheduled stop at the WWII American Cemetery in Florence (you really should include that in this tour),the Uffizi with our most passionate & instructive guide - seeing The Birth of Venus and David.... day and night tours of the cities, local guides -( I wasn't expecting them!)- & extra activities (wine tasting, alabaster workshop, pesto demo)WOW!"

Joan

State Center, IA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing tour! We arrived 3 days early and using the guidebook were able to tour Rome comfortably. Every suggestion in the book was spot on! I was so impressed with the knowledgeable local tour guides who helped us truly see the art and history of each place we visited. The tour has a great balance of 'together time' and 'on your own time'. A poor quality sound system was replaced on the second day! Thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dimitry invited us to get up early the first day and go to St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican before the crowds - amazing to walk through that space without a crowd! In Florence we were walking down a quiet small street and entered the plaza with the Duoma covered in green, pink, and white marble and covered with statues and carvings - AMAZING!"

Ruth

Farmington Hills, MI

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the itinerary and the diverse areas we visited. Very impressed with the major historical sites such as Vatican, Basilica, Colliseum, Trevi Fountain. We have nothing like these architectural/artful giants in the USA. Just the right amount of formal tour vs on-our-own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Cinque Terra."

Thomas

Exeter, NH

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and chose it to have guides and ready access to the important museums. Our guides were outstanding and our entry into the museums was very quick and easy. The tour had a wonderful blend of city strolling and country leisure. The fellow travelers in our group were good companions, and there was plenty of free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to Italy before but St Peter's Basilica is always overwhelmingly breathtaking. The work of the craftsmen and artisans is fantastic. Amazing to learn that so much of the marble was taken from the Forum."

Catherine

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

my overall experience was great. We were a family group of 7 on our first trip to Italy together. Our tour was a perfect introduction to Italy and our Guide, Dimitri, could not have been a better guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Volterrra our guide, Annie (I think) took us to see the Roman Amphitheater and when we rounded the corner and looked down to see it everyone around me, including me, gasped..freat moment. I loved Volterra."

Sarah

Exeter, NH

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour guide and wonderful local guides who knew the important memorable places in the city. Excellent knowledge of history and dates Good group management. Buddy system Works well. Fellow travelers were delightful Buses from town to town were comfortable We liked having flexible free time for ourselves Food was outstanding Weather was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The little flowered back alleyways in Cinque Terra"

Elizabeth

The Villages, FL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific tour experience. 28 people in the group is perfect. Large comfortable bus with good drivers Including tips is wonderful - we don't have to worry with it!! Nice amount of free and structured time. The wine tasting in Volterra presented by a sommelier was over the top! BTW, the Brunello was outstanding!!

Jeremiah

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was outstanding. There were many eye-opening sites visited from the Sistine Chapel to the Pantheon. We learned many facts that were unknown before. The beauty of the Tuscany region and the stunning view at night from the top of our hotel in Florence. It was a most satisfying experience especially with all the knowledge gained about the early Roman Empire.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We did not just have one "wow" moment, we had three. The first was Tapestry in the Sistine Chapel. Absolutely amazing that tapestry like that was made that early in history. The second was ruins of Piazza Del Popolo. The third was the Pantheon. The dome and architecture going back 2000 years was amazing."

Will

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It couldn't have gone better. Great people on the tour and great tour guides who were very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed seeing the US WW2 memorial outside of Florence. Very humbling and got a lot out of it."

Chuck

North Pekin, IL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a tremendous experience on our very first trip to Europe, Italy, to be specific. I truly enjoyed the participation and the minor planning or decision making we embraced each day. From my perspective this trip in Italy offered history, architecture, art, culture and of course, great food and wine. The October timing allowed us to enjoy the cooler weather and smaller crowds. I really liked the other tour members, friendships and sharing experiences with our new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there were a few, the one stands out would be viewing the Sistine Chapel. It was truly a spiritual experience, beautiful and timeless."

Joe

Allen, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided a great value for the money and I would not have seen and experienced all the places and locations that were visited on our trip. All the guides were outstanding with a shout out to Jesse and Sally. They provided a wealth of experience and experiences. The accommodations were perfect for what our trip offered with a local flair at every stop. Thanks again for making this an experience of a life time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say stopping at the US Memorial on the way to Florence and the galleries in Florence."

Ann

Allen, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rvrything exceeded my expectations...the food, the guides, the accommodations. Everything was top notch. Our guides provided us with a few very special moments like a tour of an alabaster workshop, meeting the mayor of Luca and the visit to the Florence/ United States cemetery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out over the ruins in Volterra."

Henrietta

Williams Lake, BC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I travel under the name Henrietta, but I'm known as Minette, much to Jesse's chagrin as my husband also travelled under a different name, Bill. We absolutely loved our tour and will do another again!! We signed up for an active tour and we got it for sure as we used our free time to the max! (See bottom box) We loved having the transportation and hotel rooms and the food arranged for us! The guiding was spectacular, touching on some major parts of the area we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh boy that is hard to say! Every new location was so splendid, fascinating and enjoyable! The tour was set up like a candy store, there is always something new and exciting to see and explore!"

Ralph

Roseville, MN

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great for us. We were with a group of travelers who were good natured and friendly and who were excited as we were about all aspects of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments happened. Overall the artwork that we viewed was my wow experience (with the exception of the Vatican museum). The Pantheon was number one for the history that unfolded and the beauty of the structure and artwork. Next was the Uffizi with its works from the great renaissance masters. The Florence Baptistry and Dome round out the wow list."

Toni

North Pekin, IL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everywhere you turn it looks like a movie set. Every bite you eat is delectable. Everyone in our group was cheerful and interested in getting to know others. The tour guides and local guides were so informed that I learned way more than I planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments were turning the corner and seeing St. Peter's square in Rome, riding the boat on a sunny day of 70 degrees to view all five Cinque Terre villages from the water, and the dome of the Pantheon. But the non-wow moments were just as special: ciacoloto forte at every gelato stop, pasta alla Gricia our new favorite meal, enjoying the rest areas on the highway in Italy."

Dwight

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This being my first Rick Steve's tour, I have been telling my friends how much more I got out of the trip than traveling on my own. The guides were very knowledgeable and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was the opportunity to see the Parthenon in Rome, a structure I learned about many years ago in Architecture class, followed closely by Michelangelo's David."

Susan

Richland, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell in love with Italy AND our tour leader Ferdi plus all those in our tour group. Every hotel was wonderful and diverse. The meals were amazing and unique. I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra made me speechless with the color of the Sea and the quaintness of Montessoro which is where we stayed. Walking around during free time was lovely. However each new day in Italy brought another mind blowing view and experience. This is a must take tour!!"

Seth

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than I expected it to be. Most importantly, all of the tour guides were great. Our tour manager Ferdi was at once highly organized and laid back, and the combo kept our group in good spirits throughout the trip. The mix of scheduled time and time on our own was just right. The busses were really comfortable, and WiFi was an unexpected bonus. Lastly, the group of folks on our tour were well matched and pleasant to spend 1.5 weeks with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a single wow moment - there were multiple, and I can't single out a single favorite moment or spot. Perhaps the whole tour was the "wow" moment."

Margaret

Marshallville, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome! The is an overused word, but not in this case. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Our tour guide, Ferdi, always made sure that I was served gluten-free food at our wonderful group meals (I am gluten intolerant); I am very grateful for that! All the local tour guides were superb, especially Francesca at the Colosseum and the Forum in Rome. The hotels were all lovely, the bus very comfortable. It was super to have all the reservations and the "must-see" sights arranged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was "wow", but seeing Michelangelo's David was amazing."

Elisa

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent. The itinerary was very well-paced, with the right amount of group scheduled activities, plus plenty of time for us to explore on our own. I also appreciated the variety of types of places we visited and activities (i.e. museums, historical sites, towns, wine tasting, beach, etc.). The group dinners were fun and it was also nice to be able to make our own restaurant selections at other times. The tour guides were all excellent! Highly recommended!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since the entire tour was a treat, it is hard to pick a "wow" moment. But, it was perhaps viewing a Leonardo DaVinci painting in the Uffuzi museum in Florence and seeing how the perspective changed from different angles. Totally amazing and I would have missed it if it had not been for our amazing local guide, Ricardo."

Pam

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful This was my first time to visit Italy and it was so interesting. The tour guide, Trish, was perfect. So were the hotels and the other tour guides in the cities. The dinners were so good. I'm glad I took a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moment was seeing the Michelangelo, "David"."

Susan

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the people in our tour group, our fearless leader Trish, the hotel employees and owners. The excellent food and of course gelato. Loved the walled villages and of course Cinque Terre. Rome and Florence and all the art and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre"

Laura

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! It felt like I was on a tour that was the product of many hours and many miles of footwork to sculpt the most seamless presentation of the best of Italy, including all the must-sees of the big cities, with a nice break in between of smaller towns and less chaos. I like to do a lot and the pace was right for me, although I know for some others in the group it felt like a lot. It seemed like there was space to accommodate this with optional activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from, but probably the Sistene Chapel. Also, anytime I put real Italian gelato in my mouth"

Thomas

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trish was an awesome host for us! She kept the tour flowing smoothly and kept it fun too. Assisting guides provided wonderful historical information on locations visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a very difficult question as I had numerous "wow" moments ... even when we visited the American National Cemetery outside of Florence. From old towns, to art work, to old Cathedrals ... so many "wow" moments."

Karen

Buda, TX

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fabulous. It was a great group of people, with the best tour guide, Trish. She told us so much about each place that we visited and took us to all the good gelato places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to choose one (which is difficult because it was all enjoyable)it would be the meal that Carlo from the Primavera fixed for us in Levanto. That buffet was spectacular and it was also a birthday celebration for one of the travelers which made it more fun. A close toss up would be the impromptu visit to the American Service Members memorial and cemetery. That was very emotional and special."

Richard

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding local tour guides throughout trip, good balance between group activities and on your own time, right amount of time spent in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hiking in Cinque Terre"

John

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our overall tour experience was quite good. We are new to the tour form of international travel and were leery of the large/commercial operations that were very expensive. We also like the ideas that come from Rick's personal experiences shared in travel log form both in print as well as the PBS series. Practical, down to earth methods for everyday topics were most useful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived in Monterosso and realized we were in the Mediterranean! Equally inspiring was the walled town of Volterra."

Viki

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was amazing. Loved the family feel of group. All the hotels were great and the food was incredible. The small towns and their guides were so knowledgeable. Enjoyed the free time and pace of tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was visiting Cinque Terre. The pesto demonstration was incredible."

Cyndie

Garberville, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour is a great way to get to know another country. sometimes it can be intimidating your first time out. Our tour helped us get our "feet wet" visiting Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture in all of the towns we visited was amazing. So much history."

Mary Ann

Hershey, PA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of the trip. It was very well organized. Our guide Colleen was as sweet as can be, wonderfully knowledgeable, helpful, and in every instant gave clear direction, numerous time for those os us who missed it the first time. She was so patient as well.Her talks on the bus gave us a betterunderstanding of what was coming next. The balance of free time and schedule time was perfect for us. The local guides were beyond exceptional andI learned so very much. Thanks! Eexcellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure I can say I had one favorite, but here are. few: Trevi fountain at night, Parthenon at night and day, Voltarra, and all it's Tuscan beauty, Lucca, especially the guide, Cinque Terre, and the suggested walk which my husband and I did! Loved it. David and other works of art in Florence."

Amelia

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing trip. Not only did we enjoy all the beautiful cities, churches, artwork, and food, we made many new friends. Each day of the tour seemed to get better and better. All the locations were carefully chosen with the travelers' needs in mind. It was nice to have so many details taken care of by the tour, so we could focus our energy on the wonders of Italy and not the logistics. Thank you for the careful thought and preparation that was put into planning such a great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a "wow" moment for me. The town was charming and took me back in time. I loved being perched on top of the hill and seeing the beautiful Tuscany country all around me. Our local guide, the wine tasting experience, and the overall town atmosphere made me feel welcome and a part of the community. I thought the Vatican would be my wow moment, but the huge crowds affected my impressions. It was beautiful and magnificent but a different experience than what I imagined."

Leslie

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the experience was great. The only negative was our trip to the Vatican. Our time of 1 pm was really in prime time, which in my experience is not a Rick Steves thing. I was very disappointed. It was so crowded you couldn't stop to look at anything without getting pushed along with the masses. The mix of guided tour and free time was just right. We had a wonderful group of travelers on our tour.

Robert

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, great people, great places. What else could you ask of from a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stop in Voltera was simply perfect. Every aspect beyond our expectations. This is not to denigrate the rest of the tour, but Voltera was something extra special."

Anne

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time traveling with a group and guide. Loved it especially for our guide and local guides that brought history to life for us. We found the schedule and mix of "free time" perfect. Wan't sure we'd like the bus, but found that a great way to get to and from places. Also, glad we packed light as the RS suitcases [rolling backpack] worked great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Volterra. We were very tired of the big city [Rome] but I don't think we realized it until going to Volterra. Also, arriving in the Cinque Terre and seeing the Mediterranean for the first time!"

Peggy

Oak Ridge, TN

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was fabulous. Everything is so well organized that you can sit back and relax knowing that you will get where you need to be, when you need to be. This was our first trip overseas and it was wonderful to put the details into the hands of such a competent company. All the arrangements were top notch, hotels, restaurants, transportation and especially the tour guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, the realization that you were walking somewhere that people had walked for generations was amazing. The art through out the country was unbelievable. I truly enjoyed getting out of the city and into the beautiful countryside. The vineyards and olive groves are something to behold and Cinque Terre was gorgeous."

Andrea

South Jacksonville, IL

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, Rick Steve's tours are above average. I have taken other organized tours, and Rick Steves was far superior in accommodations and meals. The coaches were comfortable and the drivers were very good. My husband and I had an enjoyable tour. We will book a Rick Steve's tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our "wow" moment was viewing the Duomo as we emerged from a side street. The church is stunning in its scope and scale. It is breathtaking. We are in awe of the skills of the 13th through 15th century engineers and stone masons who built this marvelous structure."

Mary

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour this was! Great itinerary to see as much as possible in 9 days, and truly 'through the back door' as was advertised. Our guide Rozanne was really great and very attentive to everyone's specific needs and desires in each location. The pace was steady and yet we had plenty of time to ourselves to either rest or explore more on our own. This was our first Rick Steve's tour and after doing it I really know that Rick is 'the real deal'.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were almost too many to pick just one. I think after the hectic, crowded scene in Rome, the arrival in Volterra was the highlight to me. But how do you not include seeing The David in Florence or The Pieta in St. Peters?"

LuAnn

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, wonderful experience. Our favorite part was the middle of the tour. While we loved the history and art in Rome and Florence, the seaside, Cinque Terre and Volterra were more relaxing and intimate. Rozeanne is an absolutely fabulous guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre hike between Monterosso and Vernazza! It was invigoration with gorgeous views. Loved exploring those tow villages!"

Thomas

Mechanicville, NY

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience exceeded expectations! All of our guides were professionals and brought history to life. We wanted to really experience the Italian culture and food. Our hotels were located in the historical areas. The group meals were delicious and authentic Italian cuisine. Our itinerary was full, but we still had free time to explore on our own. We experienced so much more by taking this tour than we could have by doing the trip completely on our own. Everything was so well planned!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments! Historically, while visiting the ruins of the Roman Forum seeing the artist's rendition of how the city appeared centuries ago was breathtaking. Seeing the vivid colors of the Sistine Chapel was also amazing. We enjoyed the museums of Rome and Florence and walking the narrow streets in the hill towns. The churches, even the small ones, were magnificent."

Jerald

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! We experienced Italy first hand. The guides were excellent, both informative, knowledgeable, and personable. We loved them all, they made the cities real for us. Thank you

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many! Rome was fabulous! Volterra, Lucca, Cinque Terre, and Florence were all breath taking! I think the sequence was essential! Thank you!"

Linda

Acworth, GA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour!! Our group of 28 became one big happy family. Our Rick Steves guide, Rozanne was fantastic, everything we could have hoped for in a guide. She was knowledgeable, friendly, extremely organized. Each day was packed with activities and yet we had some down time in between activities. I was concerned that this tour might be too strenuous, given that I am 72 yrs old. But I managed just fine and wouldn't have wanted to miss a single activity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David has to be right up there as a "wow" moment. But, my favorite day was spent in Volterra. Loved the ancient history presented by our excellent local guide, Annie. Strolling the ancient, cobblestone streets was like stepping back two thousand years. Shopping in the market square and small shops was such fun. Our wine tasting experience was delightful."

Lai

Nashville, TN

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to what I had hoped for and more. We had an outstanding tour guide and the members all got along and enjoyed each other's company although most of us were strangers before the tour. I experienced new sights, taste, knowledge and interactions, all accompanied by useful and interesting commentaries from the guides. I will have long lingering pleasant memories of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike up the vineyards on the slopes above Manarola and watching the sun set over the Ligurian Sea."

Cynthia

Hummelstown, PA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour experience was phenomenal and my top #1-6 #1 would be our tour guide, Rozanne, who was exceptional, well-educated and kept everything moving smoothly #2 guides in each location were also excellent and very personable #3 meeting the fellow travelers in our group #4 spiked my interest in the history and culture of the different regions #5 planned events whether lunch, dinner, cultural experiences, wine tasting - all fun and glorious #6 having free time was the right amount

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1 Wow moment - seeing David in Florence #2 Cinque Terra beauty #3 Volterro was a delightful town #4 Rome was awesome yet overwhelming #5 how everyone in the group was so positive and simply fun (some I will see again and invited them to Hershey, PA) #6 Florence was exquisite #7 Great food - excellent breakfasts every day #8 Architectural wonders #9 Museums, Basilicas, Cathedrals, etc. - pretickets and easy access #10 Mountain biking through the Florence countryside was superb"

Denise

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our first trip together to Europe. Wanted a low stress but cultural, people focused tour. A friend recommended RS tour and we found just what we wanted - a low stress, fulfilling experience! We knew what was happening when and small group was helpful in connecting with our tour mates!! Best of all were the local tour guides who really shared their love of their towns, culture and history with us. This was the key..and Francesco was the ultimate leader!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I say there was one...Loved Volterra, immersing in the town and culture with Francesco and Annie. The art was amazing!!! This was one of our prime goals.. to see the art and learn more about the history (as well as explore local food and wine. Having quick access to the museums, guides and Ricks Podcasts added to the enjoyment. Cinque Terra was amazing to hike as well. Francesco's connection with the restaurateurs and his knowledge of wine made the experience even better!!"

Douglas

Washington, DC

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour is terrific. This was a special trip, as it was our 10 yr anniversary, and the tour made it that much more special. I can't imagine now doing it on our own as our guides and the guests themselves, made this trip so much more fun. We made friends and had great experiences with them. The trip was very well organized from the sites to the restaurants and the wine chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Drank espresso at our first group dinner and couldn't sleep (plus excited). So I took a cab to San Giovanni in Laterno. Saw the Scala Sancta with the nuns climbing on their knees and I watched a group of monks singing their morning lauds. I was the only lay tourist there so perhaps not many witness this. We also attended an unscheduled mass with Pope Francis, of which he decided last minute to celebrate. St. Cecilia sculpture/ruins, Pieta, David and view from Vatican dome."

Judith

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was so much fun! Met great people and learned so much. Hotels and meals were all excellent.Local guides very knowledgeable and interesting and our Rick Steves guide, Francesco did a great job of shepherding us from place to place on time without losing his sense of humour .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited some places, notably Volterra and Lucca that we may not have seen on our own and enjoyed them very much. The views of the Tuscan landscape from Volterra were beautiful!"

Cheryl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing! It was so special to have Francesco as our leader, as he was able to give us so much insight into Italian culture. He was kind, informative, and very entertaining. It was also fun getting to know everyone else in our tour group, and Francesco helped us to bond quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cappuccino at an amazing bakery in Volterra! Touring Volterra was my favorite part of the trip, as it was Francesco's hometown, and the depth of historical knowledge that his wife Annie shared with us was also incredible. The town offered so much to see and do, and the crowds were far less than in the other areas we toured."

Gretchen

Paonia, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just the right balance of group activities and on-your-own time. I appreciated that I was able to maximize my experience by depending on Rick Steves Europe to handle the logistics, which led to a stress-free travel experience. Our tour guide was wonderful, as were the local guides, and the information provided in the Rick Steves Audio Europe app was helpful when we couldn't have a tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the tour was a "wow" moment for me, as I have not traveled abroad since I was a teenager. I enjoyed spending time in every place we visited, and each place really had its own feel and character, which was great to experience. I have always wanted to see St. Peter's Baldacchin by Bernini (in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome) and it was truly breathtaking. It was also so amazing to be able to step into many of the churches in Rome to take in the gorgeous paintings, sculptures and architecture."

Darryl

Regina, SK

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Heart of Italy tour. We loved the itinerary and balance of scheduled vs. free time. The tour was very well organized and worked like clockwork. We also really enjoyed meeting everyone on our tour and sharing experiences and meals daily. Our guide Francesco was excellent and all the local guides were phenomenal. We feel we experienced the top highlights of Italy and learned so much about the history, culture and food. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to say because it was all so good. We really enjoyed Rome, the Vatican museums, fountains and the Colosseum. It was all awe inspiring. Cinque Terre was beautiful, especially hiking from Corneglia to Vernazza. Volterra with the Etruscan gates, walls, and alabaster workshop was also wonderful. And seeing Michelangelo's masterpieces in Florence was amazing."

Lisa

Regina, SK

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour. My husband spent hundreds of hours comparing companies and tour options and together we decided on the "Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour". While everything was clearly laid out, we weren't sure how we would like a group tour or if it would be active enough for our style of vacationing. We are SO happy with our decision! I wouldn't change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To be honest, we weren't all that excited to see Rome. We had heard that it was big, busy, stinky and over-rated. Yet, it was probably one of my top places that we visited and I'd like to go back and spend more time. The city, its history, the ongoing excavations were incredible. I really appreciated being toured with such a knowledgable guide. If we had toured this alone, I think we would have missed out on so much information."

Sandra

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Italy was fantastic! We saw so many things, discovered so many different towns, and really felt like we really learned a lot about each city's personality. Lisa was an outstanding guide and the guides she has to help her were outstanding as well. The food was incredible, the sites were amazing and our experience felt like a once-in-a-lifetime event. We felt so blessed to have gone on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but two of them were our dinners together. The first one was when we had dinner in Cinque Terre with Felicita and her husband Angelo. What a wonderful couple they were! It was such a beautiful place to stay and our dinner was fabulous. The other one was our last dinner together in Florence. The food was amazing and our hosts were wonderful. It was a bittersweet, but very incredible evening together. Plus visiting all of the famous buildings and artwork was amazing, too"

Oral

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall was excellent! I would not recommend touring the Vatican. Extremely crowded. Not a pleasant experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre, Volterra and Florence were exceptional."

Patricia

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with interesting fun people - very well planned with knowledgeable tour guides. Would have like more time, but only 9 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was our WOW moment. The tour guide was amazing. The history of this small Italian hill town was mind blowing- from Romans to the Florentine attack to the Germans in WW2."

Ellen

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As advertised, there was a lot of walking, which was not a problem but there was a little more standing which was a bit uncomfortable after awhile. I think that our tour guide Lisa, did an excellent job! The one negative, tour guide in Rome became repetitive making for too much standing. Other than that, a very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre! All that I expected and more! Kudos to the VERY professional bus driver who took us up the narrow and winding road to Cinque Terre and was able to expertly back down the hill quite a distance I might add, to let another bus get by and down the hill. It was an exciting and slightly frightening experience, but again...driver was supurb!"

Mary Jo

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, this was a great experience - lots of history explained by folks who mostly knew a great deal. People on the tour with us were friendly. Food was very good; special meals were exceptional (Voltare, Cinque Terre, & Florence). There was a lot of walking and climbing (hills and stairs), which was more than we realized, but doable. I'm glad we went! I thought Lisa, our tour guide, was intuitive, knowledgeable (without being overbearing) and flexible. She was really skilled at this work

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow - inside the Colosseum; views around Voltare; the entire Cinque Terre."

Jennifer

Greenville, NC

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our wonderful tour guide, Lisa, was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. The tour group connected well with her and each other. The tour itself was very well organized from the hotels arranged, tours booked and wonderful group meals planned. The individual city tour guides we had were wonderful as well. The 9 day tour ran smoothly and we were well informed for each day. I expected good things from the tour and my expectations were exceeded. Great value and money well spent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lisa was able to arrange a special dinner for our group at the Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso on the Cinque Terre. This hotel is not generally open to the 'public' but only hotel guests. The restaurant staff were friendly and the food was amazing! It was the most memorable night in an amazing place that I have wanted to visit for years!! Loved our experience in the Cinque Terre and the VIEW!!"

Paula

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. It was just the right mix of escorted and free time. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the people we toured with, but appreciated the time to explore or relax on our own. I liked that we had the tours in the morning and were free to do what we wanted in the afternoon, because in some cases we just wanted to take a nap. Having a "vacation from your vacation" at Cinque Terre was just great! The timing was perfect to not get overwhelmed with info. We learned so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful art in Rome and Florence!"

Irene

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed just about everything. The places visited, the hotels, the meals, the group (as an introvert I've never wanted to do a group tour but I survived!), the transportation, and especially our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra and Cinque Terre were my favorites! Can't single out anything, I loved it all."

Roger

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first travel on a tour and we were not sure how traveling with a group would work for us. Any apprehension we had going in quickly went away after meeting our tour leader, Lisa. Her organization, planning and thoughtfulness aloud us to get so much more out of our trip than we could have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not a big city or museum guy so Volterra and Cinque Terre were the wow moments for me. Definitely could have spent much more time in both."

Cornelia

Sheffield, AL

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was everything that the literature represented it would be. I will say that I found myself regretting choosing a tour during which we were changing hotels every two days. Of course that was necessary given the itinerary. This was more a learning experience for me about my preferred travel style. I would just caution potential travelers who may prefer choosing a destination and staying in that locale for a longer period of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I recently spent time in Tuscany, it never fails to wow me with its beautiful rolling hills. I would say that the Tuscany portion of the tour was my favorite, and that Volterra is a place to which I would love to return!"

Lori

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very happy with all the tour guides, the pace, and the other participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was beautiful and unexpected"

Bill

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved almost every part of the Italy tour. The hotels were superb, the main tour guide (Colleen) was excellent, each city or town was unique, I learned a lot about the history of Italy, and I was able to see some of the greatest artwork in human history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to list three: 1) The story of how the Etruscans threw the Medici representatives out the window of a building we stood outside of in Volterra...it just felt like we were there in the Middle Ages. 2) I hate to be trite, but seeing David, after all the buildup, was better than I had imagined. I'd been reading the Agony and the Ecstasy, knew how Michelangelo loved marble and carving. Colleen's introductory talk added some perspectives, things to think about. It was very moving. 3) see #16"

Daniel

Mccordsville, IN

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Colleen was an excellent guide. Our group was great too. On time, got along well. We felt at home in each city/town when on our own time as we would inevitably run into someone from our group. This made the experience special

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome and David In Florence were the WOW moments."

Mike

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the good: tour guides were great! Love the info they provide. Really enjoyed the group dinners and getting to meet the other folks in the group. Never had to wait in the really loooong lines to the big exhibits. Easy entries to places like the Vatican, coliseum. The guide was always available and did a great job keeping things moving along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far the Roman ruins. While I was impressed with Cinque Terrie the crowd of tourist (which I was one) was almost overwhelming. While it was very crowded in the tourist areas in Rome, at least, there was room to move."

Ellen

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. Just the right amount of information. We were very hesitant to do a tour but we are looking at another Rick Steves tour soon

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The location of our hotel after visiting the Vatican amazing location for our too tired bodies"

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was fast paced, compact and a thrilling ride because of the outstanding leaders we had throughout Italy. Our main guide Jesse was a terrific guide who kept us informed about each part of Italy. As we embarked through each designated stop, a local Guide would take us through the history of each town. The local guides were equally as knowledgeable, passionate and filled with love for their community. I would highly recommend this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. Jesse, our incredible guide deviated from the tour and took us to the memorial for the U.S soldiers killed in WWII. There were hundreds and hundreds of white crosses, some with names and some unknown. I can still visualize the hillside of those lives lost in the war."

Beth

Fayetteville, NY

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect tour for us. I was reluctant to do a tour, but chose Rick Steve's because it included plenty of time away from the group to explore. It was the perfect mix of having all the logistics taken care of (transport between cities, hotels, guides in museums, entrance to museums and historic sites) and autonomy. The hotels were all terrific! Small, well located, comfortable and friendly. Our guide Jesse was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, responsible and affable. No negatives!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible depth of the history in this part of the world."

David

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Coliseum."

Therese

Decatur, GA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our trip. Our guide, Jesse, was great. We enjoyed the change from big city, to small Tuscan city, to beach town, then back to a big city. The diversity was just what we wanted. Our group was great. From the onset we looked out for each other and everyone was open to getting to know new people. The trip is for the basically fit person. I'm over 50 and walk a lot at home so the walking was a good fit for me. It was a great adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite city was Volterra. It is perfect. I dream of going back and staying for an extended time."

David

Decatur, GA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. I enjoyed it so much that I was "home sick" for Italy when I got back home. The places we visited were the right mix of big city and small town. Our fellow travelers were a great bunch of people from all over the U.S. Our tour guide was the best. The hotels were really nice and in great locations for our tour and sightseeing. This tour is truly the Heart of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra in the Tuscan hills."

Giok

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the small group and enjoyed our friendly fellow travelers. Love the joy of having travel logistics taken care of that we can focused on just being present and enjoyed the experience. Love the strategically located hotels that are small and not overcrowded. The 2 nights stay at each location makes for the no rush feel to enjoy each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dinner experiences with family run restaurants! Love, Love them! The intimate group dinners provided good opportunities to visit and get to know different members of the group."

Mark

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding.......history of the areas........hotels and the meals all were outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Italian Riviera and the American cemetery in Florence."

Roberto

Brier, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an outstanding experience. The choices of hotels and their locations in each city, transportation between stops, group admissions to sites, the group dinners, local guides and most important, the guides that were with the group all worked seamlessly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I choose one "wow" moment? One that was one of my favorites was the pesto making demonstration at the restaurant in Monterosso was memorable."

Michael

Keller, TX

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour. Loved the local tour guide portion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history behind things like Volterra. St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel."

Shari

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and also our first trip to Europe. The reason we chose a Rick Steve's tour was the ability to have a guided tour as well as individual time in each city. This was something that was not evident with other tour companies. We greatly enjoyed both Italy and the tour and would do another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was our favorite area overall. The pictures we took look like postcards and we got to dip our toes in the ocean."

Eric

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. The guides, tour members, and sights were great. The group tour activities and free time was just the right balance. Having delicious group meals and a very spacious bus helped make the whole experience very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment were the Cinque Terre towns. Just a beautiful area."

Dennis

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a kid growing up in the rural Midwest, I have a particular fondness for the simple, stoic beauty of farmland. I was stunned by the Italian countryside, and not just Tuscany, but everywhere we traveled. Before civilization learned to write, it learned to farm. And that simple concept is still evidenced by the visual beauty of Italy's agriculture. There's so much more to admire in addition to acres of rolling grapevines. Another unexpectedhighlight was the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence."

Barbara

Brier, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized and I really enjoyed the people in our group. I liked how we skipped the line to get into museums, etc. without having to manage that part myself. The guides were experienced and knowledgeable and the places we stayed were central and characterful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the shared, organized meals in each city but especially enjoyed the one in Monterosso where our restaurant hostess showed us how to make pesto and then we enjoyed it in our meal. These types of experiences are ones that we would never have traveling on our own."

Jill

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best vacay ever! I plan to do more tours in the future. I am surprised how many people do not know RS does tours. As far as I am concerned, it is the only way to go for value, convenience, expertise and ease of planning. I would like to see one more night added to Cinque Terre. I missed staying there overnight for an early am without tourists, but I did enjoy not having to schlep my luggage there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1. Having Lisa as our tour guide. Hands down, she made the tour from the first day handing out tissues, just in case for bathrooms in Rome to handling many things behind the scenes. Calm and never appearing flustered, Lisa kept the tour and everyone on it living a "glass half full" philosophy. #2.Turning the corner and seeing "David". It reminded me of the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower."

Joseph

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience with a tour company and the first time traveling in Italy. You exceeded our expectations and provided us with an unforgettable experience. Lisa was tremendous in keeping us informed and did it with a great attitude. Our local guides (Ariela, Annie, Gabrial) did not just recite facts but provided us a real experience of what it was like to live in ancient Rome, Volttera and Lucca. Cindy did a great job when we were at the Uffizi as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome - the Pantheon and Ancient Rome. We also did a walk around Trastevere at night (on our own time). Volterra - The 400BC arch and the vista of the valley below. The alabaster demonstration, Lucca - the walled city walkway and the explanation of the park like setting because of Napoleon's sister. Cinque Terra - we did Rick's walking tour in Manarola and Riomaggiore. Florence - David and the Uffizi gallery, also the view of Florence from the Piazzle Michelangelo (which we did on our own time)."

Julie

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I must say that it not only met, but exceeded my high expectations. Everything was so well organized. The hotels were clean and comfortable. And we had a great group of fellow travelers. Loved the "Buddy" system!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, because there were so many. The Cinque Terre was like living on a movie set - towns were so picturesque. The other "wow" moment was the Basilica in Florence. And, of course, St. Peter's."

Jen

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Lisa, was great. Very knowledgeable and fun!! All of the local guides we had were also very good. You can tell they all love their jobs and their respective cities! I learned a lot from all of the guides whether it was about the history of the city or about art. This tour is quite active with a lot of walking. Glad we did a lot of walking though since we also ate a lot of pasta, pizza, and gelato!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Cinque Terre the most. I like places next to water, and it was beautiful. Glad we had a whole day to explore the area! Would love to return and do some hiking!"

James

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Typical positive RS experience (3rd trip for us) The individual audio receivers were highly appreciated - a few times the reception would get scratchy or intermittent. I think it is valuable to have the free time in the schedule to allow members to seek out personal interests after a morning tour. It might have been a bit more helpful to some to have some suggested free-time options printed in advance. The entire group was very adaptable, supportive and welcoming to each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable structures on this tour for me were of course the Colosseum, Pantheon and St Peters in Rome. The towns in the Tuscany and Cinque Terre were extremely fascinating as one could imagine living on those ancient streets and buildings."

Andrew

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy excursion was exactly what we were looking for. The tour is structured in order to provide some time in both the larger Italian cities of Rome and Florence, but also in the smaller towns of Volterra, Lucca, and Cinque Terre. We enjoyed the mix of time spent with our group, and ample time to explore on our own. The hotels tended to be smaller, family-run boutique hotels which we enjoyed. The tour requires a good level of stamina and fitness to enjoy all of the sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views on the drive to and from Volterra were spectacular."

Diana

Kenwood, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unfortunately I was ill during parts of the trip but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and all the beautiful sights to see in Italy. Our guide was fantastic but it was a bonus that local guides were hired to give the best possible info on specific places. The hotels were in great locations that allowed more exploration on our own when time allowed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was when I realized the quality of the food just even at Italian "rest stops" along the freeway exceeded the quality of some restaurants back home! I had no idea how much I would enjoy the food and this was consistent everywhere we went. Definitly plan on eating extra servings of gelato, pizza, etc! Also, silly me, I didn't know that the Pantheon had anything inside it that was preserved. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It was surprisingly beautiful."

Nicholas

Rockville, MD

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great first visit to Italy/Europe. We were a little apprehensive about traveling on our own for our first trip to Italy. Going with a small group and letting Rick Steve' Tours handle the details - hotels, travel between cities, dinners, museum passes, and local guides allowed us to really enjoy our time in Italy. It also helped us develop the confidence that we could negotiate Italy in the future on our own, although the benefits of traveling with a Rick Steve's tour group is still appealing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. It was all wonderful. My wife and I really loved Volterra, but everything we saw on the entire tour was worthwhile. We really appreciated how our visit to one city was tied to other cities. For example, seeing the Pantheon in Rome set the stage for seeing and appreciating Brunelleschi's Dome in Florence."

Cynthia

Wesley Chapel, FL

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have wanted to experience Italy, its history and culture for many years. This tour hits the mark. We feel the Heart of Italy tour provides an opportunity to see Rome and Florence and yet still get a sense of Tuscany and the deep history of the country. I certainly came away with a deeper appreciate for Italy and a desire to see more of the country. The tour guides selected by Rick Steves were amazing. The stories, and their deep knowledge of the regions made them come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was seeing David in Florence. Before we saw David we discussed (Lisa) the history of the stature and the background. The size, the magnitude, and the ability to get up close was so memorable."

Debbie

Davis, CA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than we could have imagined. Colleen was our amazing tour guide. We loved the hotels and restaurants she chose for our group. The bus transportation was comfortable and convenient also. The outside guides that were selected were all wonderful too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the the beautiful Cinque Terre villages. I loved the hike and the coastal beauty of the small villages."

Sharon

Edina, MN

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a trip of a lifetime and far exceeded my expectations. There were some very pleasant surprises and extras that I appreciated. After a very busy first night, vans picked us up that morning and brought us to our walking tour! Also the baggage carriers in Monterosa. I celebrated my birthday on the tour and what could be more special than the group singing Happy Birthday in Italian and Collleen treating everyone to gelato! I loved the wine tasting, pesto and alabaster demonstrations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few"wow" moments for me, but a stand out was hiring a small boat in Cinque Terre and seeing the fishing villages from the sea. It was a perfect, "pinch me is this real" kind of day! I felt so fortunate to be on the boat with some of my favorite people on the tour and the bonus was Colleen. Toasting with Proseco...seeing the clear beautiful water, it does not get much better"

Nathania

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience is without complaint as I feel all ran smoothly mainly because of great organization and planning, I would not change a thing. I throughly enjoyed every community we visited for each was it's own individual experience. Italy has such an amazing and rich history with all its layers of civilizations. With this in mind it had a huge impact on me coming from the centre of Canada where I feel we have little such history in comparison. The tour delivered in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moments were many which related to how far back the history goes in Italy. What we can see for ourselves overpowers anything you see on the screen. The amazing structures that still stand and have survived time. Evidence of this throughout the tour."

Colleen

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a family group of 8 and were unsure of doing a tour but we ended up having a wonderful time! Our tour guide, Colleen, was knowledgable, funny and just a pleasure. The other people on the tour were easy to get along with and we found out we had a lot in common with most. We especially enjoyed all the walking and hiking we did. Ive been on a tour before where we sat on the bus most of the day looking out the window. I would highly recommend a Rick Steves Tour to anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican, the Statue of David and the the beautiful seaside towns of Cinque Terre!"

Elizabeth

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colleen was so full of energy and knowledgeable as well. She even helped me plan my side trip to Venice, including assistance getting a fast speed train. Loved Tuscany and especially Cinque Terra. Even though I was a solo traveler, I never felt lonely. This was a "bucket list" trip for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the hillside of the Cinque Terra which included a boat ride back to our hotel"

Robert

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves' tour and it was fantastic. All accommodations were excellent and every group dinner was great. Francesco did an excellent job of managing the group and making sure that all our requirements were handled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many 'wow' moments to single one out; the Roman ruins, the Forum, the Coliseum, David, the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and the statue of David. All were fantastic. The town of Volterra was pretty cool as well."

Kimberly

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco was an excellent guide, humorous, easy going, and insightful plus the local guides were very knowledgeable and delightful! Everything went very smoothly! The sights we visited as a group were well organized. I liked the mix of guided tours and some free time. The trip was everything we had hoped for!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pantheon, David statue, loved Volterra such a quaint village. Seeing the Coliseum and the Forum. Walking the streets of Rome at night! Loved it all!"

Roy

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We knew a 9 day tour would be fast paced, yet this allowed ample time for individual exploration of the cities we visited and their amenities. The main tour guide and the individual city guides added insight and depth to what we saw and did. Hotels really were located right in the middle of things in every city! Transportation to each city was in a plush comfortable uncrowded bus. Our group became 'tour friends' and exchanged emails at the end. A splendid time to be had by all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Volterra there is an underground Roman Cistern, and on our 'free afternoon' (with Volterra City pass provided by the tour) we seemed to be the only people who went down a spiral stairway into the ground to a 100' x 100' by 50' chamber which was built in 100-200 AD to provide water to town fountains and was fed by town gutters. Being all alone in this plain, yet astonishing feat of Roman engineering (and cool on a hot day) was a favorite wow moment and contrast to the very crowded sites."

Marchia

Chadds Ford, PA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved all the tour guides. They are great story tellers, kept your interest, made history and art come alive. I enjoyed seeing Florence and Rome, Tuscany: Volterra and Lucca, and Cinque Terre was unique and beautiful also. I felt that I had seen small snippets of Italy, enough to get a feel for the people, culture and countryside. It has sparked my curiosity to return. My first time to Europe...trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Volterra and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence were two of my favorite "wow" moments. I have to admit the whole tour was a "wow" because of all the varied experiences and sights. Our first night walking back to hotel after dinner with all the lights of Rome and the fountains..magical."

Paul

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To begin, Italy is fantastic! The tour was perfectly structured to provide us with a great taste and overview of Italy. We feel like we saw a lot in a realtively short period of time and didn't have any time wasted. Our guide Francesco was truly fabulous and created a very fun experience as he took care of the details day after day. The local guides were also excellent. We enjoyed every person in our group even though we were from a variety of backgrounds and experience in travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to name a single wow moment. Tops are walking the quiet backstreets of Rome after dark, the Pantheon, The Forum, Volterra, David, and The Uffizi. On our own, we climbed both the St. Peter's dome and the Duomo dome in Florence and really enjoyed both of these. We love the coffee bars and gelato."

Leo

Oak Brook, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized. Francesco did a great job of setting up the day by his overview and logistics. The Tour Guides were first class. All provided a context and connected the dots. I learned a lot. Food, wine, and fellowship added greatly to our experience. I believe we were the oldest on the Trip at 73; the walking at times was a challenge but we soldiered on. It was well worth the effort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many including: the wine tasting in Volterra with Johnny and Francesco, and all of our local guides."

Joyce

Oak Brook, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves' tour. Our first one was two years ago; a family tour with our daughter, son- in- law and four granddaughters...from London to Florence. Our tour guide, Francesco, was very good and very personable. He took good care of us! All the tour guides at the different cities we toured were excellent. It was one of the most strenuous tours and I was a little concerned about that, but although it was tough; I made it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments on this tour. Learning about the vast history of Rome, enjoying the small hill town of Volterra through the eyes of Francesco; the beauty of Cinque Terre, seeing the city of Florence from the rooftop of our hotel and the wine tasting."

Nancy

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My senses are still overwhelmed after this amazing tour! The guides, hotels, special tours, food and bus/train travel all excellent and well planned. Good timing for "on your own time". Great information before the tour plus Francesco answered our questions, was patient with us, gave great suggestions for activities and restaurants when on our own. Loved the roof top terraces and their views from the hotels. Proximity of hotels to museums and activities was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra will always be a special place, history, sights, engaging with people who live there and exploring the town on my own. The annual festival was happening when we were there -wonderful to enjoy the local food, see and hear townfolks, children, families."

Tim

Kingston, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Action packed whirlwind tour. The time flew by so quickly because we were ALWAYS busy doing something fun. I can hardly believe how many sites and museums were packed into this tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was when I climbed the steps in the Colosseum and walked out to see the entire structure exposed, knowing just how old it really was. This experience was just breath taking."

Carol

Shrewsbury, MA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Great guides, knowledgeable. Reid was terrific. Everything I expected and then some. Hotels were nice, comfortable with all amenities. Food, wine excellent. Tour mates were fun. Itinerary gave a great overview of Italy. I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't think of only one Wow moment. There were several. Seeing St Peters Basilica bathed in golden early morning sunlight without tourists per Reid's recommendation. The Roman Forum was spectacular. I had been to Rome before, and did not appreciate its beauty then due to the crowds and traffic. However, this time I fell in love with it. Beautiful statues, domes around every corner. Another wow moment was the view of Tuscan countryside from our villa in Volterra."

Linda

Forest Lake, MN

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved all of it - the great hotels, the wonderful group meals, the skip-the-line tours and the balance of scheduled and unscheduled time. We wanted lots of activity and enjoyed all of the walking. I really liked the walking tours the first day/evening in each city which helped get our bearings for exploring on our own. Reid was a great guide - entertaining and passionate about art and history. Our group was fantastic - wonderful people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Pantheon, the Colosseum and Forum were very interesting. To think about the detail in the buildings vs. the tools available at the time was amazing!"

Donna

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was extremely well balanced between time with the tour and some free time to make our own choices. I was expecting the food to be good but not great because we had a group of 28 at the restaurants, but I was wrong! The food was amazing! I enjoyed the time with the other tour participants, saw amazing museums, historic sites, scenery and of course ate a lot of gelato! I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" of the tour was the Uffizi Gallery. Our local tour guide was amazing and helped me understand the context of the art as well as to be able to read a painting."

Diane

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was extremely organized, the hotels and restaurants were great. The transportation was well organized and very comfortable. Great blend of participants in the tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single "wow" moment all of it was wonderful. We really enjoyed the mix of big cities and then small towns."

David

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful well paced, well organized trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No favorite just overall great experience. The group meals were a great plus!"

Mary

Stevensville, MD

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an amazing experience. It was the perfect mix of group time and time on our own. We learned so much and saw so many incredible sites in a country filled with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a "wow" moment, but if I had to pick just one, it was as the local guide in Rome made the Forum come to life for us."

Jill

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing trip. I did my research on what my ideal first trip to Italy would be and the Heart of Italy had everything I wanted (except Venice, which we added on the end - on our own). And it did not disappoint. Rome, because you must. Volterra, the absolute delight of the trip. An afternoon in Lucca, charming. The Cinque Terre, it's magical. Florence was awe inspiring. And our guide, Patricia, made it perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We're on our on in the Cinque Terre. We did the boat tour along the coast. We decided to have lunch in Vernazza. We thought we were walking up stairs into the town, but found ourselves in a restaurant where we got the "Lovers Table", on a ledge all by itself, looking out over the Ligurian Sea. Our server, Andrea, gave us the most unforgettable experience. Sharing stories of our lives, bringing us food to try - some that we didn't order - much to our delight. I'll never forget it!"

Richard

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful ... a terrific introduction to Italy, a great group of travelling companions and really strong tour leadership.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one, but real stand-outs were Annie's tour of Volterra, along with the beautiful view of Tuscany from there ... lunch at the Lovers' Table at Belforte in Vernazza, with our waiter, Andrea ... David ... the view of St. Peter's at night ... the view of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Trastevere and Santa Croce were special favorites, too."

Dave

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great experience! It was well organized and our guide, Patricia did a great job. She is very positive and knowledgeable, handled the logistics with ease and made it very easy for us. She patiently answered all group questions and had limitless information to provide us as needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was probably hiking between towns in Cinque Terra. The perfect weather didn't hurt but what a beautiful area!"

Jennifer

Nestleton, ON

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time! Our guide, Patricia, made the trip fantastic. Her knowledge, her humour, her friendliness greatly contributed to the success of the experience because she brought the group together. We became a family. She was helped along by Lisa who was also wonderful. Bargain - two for the price of one! The local tour guides were also excellent. We had fabulous weather, great history lessons and made new friends. Volterre was our favourite place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I only need two words - Cinque Terre!"

Paul

Nestleton, ON

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was everything we'd hoped it to be. We wanted to experience Italy and I feel we did just that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterre. The old walled town with its narrow streets and charm really captured Italy at its best."

Clare

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's introduction to Europe and we couldn't have asked for better. Better tour, better group, better guide, better experience - you could 't do it any better! We didn't love the radios with earpieces at first (especially walking the streets of Rome - TOURIST!) but quickly saw their use and value. My previous tour of London didn't use them however and hearing/staying with the guide was not a problem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding bikes on the ancient walls of Lucca was an unexpected and fabulous time - I was absolutely giddy. Coming into Volterra and being rendered speechless by the scenery. Same experience from our Cinque Terre hotel rooftop overlooking the town, hills, and sea."

Todd

Winter Garden, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved every moment. The mix of tour and free time to explore on our own was the perfect blend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many amazing mental pictures in my head that it is hard to just one moment. The countryside views from the arch in Volterra, seeing Vernazza spread below from the hiking path, and seeing the Duomo from the hotel rooftop tower. All moments I'll never forget."

Rochelle

Winter Garden, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Patricia was outstanding! We learned, explored, ate, and laughed our way through Italy. I very much enjoyed getting to know the other travelers in our group - we all got along so well. There was a good amount of group time and free time in each destination. Hotels were nice. I had plenty of clothes in the single carry-on. Rick is right! The Heart of Italy tour can be quite strenuous, so be fit ready to go. Andiamo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping off the train at Monterosso, viewing the vibrant blue of the sparkling Lingurian Sea and the narrow buildings in shades of peach, apricot, butter, and salmon that line up like pastels in a terrace-shaped crayon box. Vibrant beach umbrellas inviting us down cobblestone streets. A glass of wine enjoyed with new friends on a hotel rooftop terrace and the ancient clock striking 6. The promise of pesto pasta and a favorite focaccia. Hiking to Vernazza and Corniglia's La Posada. Ah, life!"

Rhonda

Del City, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where do I begin? The tour, the guides, the food were all fantastic, but the fellowship was THE BEST!Patricia made us all feel like family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was my favorite part of the entire tour. It is a quaint, little village tucked in the hills of Tuscany. We had left the hustle and bustle of Rome and got to experience the quiet of Volterra. I will treasure the memory of that village for the rest of my life."

Patricia

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about the town of Volterra...the people, the history, the food, the walkability, the beauty, the spectacular views...everything!!"

Richard

North Salt Lake, UT

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

3rd trip with RS. Best group of people so far. Group Meals were not as good as other tours, or as good as we expected for Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dessert the 1st night in Rome! Gelato ball rolled in Chocolate. Best ever!"

Stephanie

Shrewsbury, MA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time traveler to Italy I appreciated everything about the culture, food, architecture,friendly and hospitable people. The tour went beyond my expectations of what I thought about tours. I loved all the places we visited and each place had its own charm and character. The number of people on our tour was good, not too overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very difficult to choose one "wow" moment because I think I was using that word a lot. The statue of David, Sistine Chapel,Colleseum,St Peters Basilica, and Cinque Terrence on the Mediterranean were all wow moments!"

James

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience overall. Have been on Rick Steves' tours to Spain and Ireland. The trip to Italy was every bit as good. Our guide Andy was great. The people on the tour were fun people. I cannot imagine a better tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment. Our stay in Volterra with the history dating back to the Etruscans through the Romans to the Floretines to the Germans was brought to life by the town and our local guide Annie. the experience was punctuated by being next to the bell in the town hall bell tower when it rang at 230 pm. WOW."

Ellen

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was really great. We couldn't be happier. First time in Italy and the tour indeed gave as the big taste of Italy we were looking for. Now we will return in the future on our own and feel confident in planning to see other wonderful places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from probably the first glimpse of the Mediterranean in Cinque Terre."

John

Enfield, CT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and i was amazed how organised and seamless the tour was.Andy did a remarkable job guiding our group.He really made our trip enjoyable and educational.Andy spent time getting to know each one of us,and joked with all of us.Andy made us feel welcome.Andy was very knowledgeable and informative.Andy did a great job,and he also arranged the best local tour guides to make our trip even more exceptional.I would definitely request Andy on any future Rick Steve tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but the Roman Colosseum, and the Pantheon were my favorites.The art work,the statues, and the beautiful Churches amazed me."

Jeanne

Enfield, CT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about this trip! Everything was so organized and went so smoothly. Each town we visited was made even more special by the local guides, charming hotels, and fantastic group dinners. Andy was an amazing guide who enhanced our experience with his knowledge, personality, and good humor. I would take another Rick Steves Tour in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved every minute of this trip, but some of my favorite moments were seeing the Colosseum, the Pantheon, going to a wine tasting,seeing the David and hiking in the Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Vernazza! It was a very challenging hike, but the views were spectacular! It was also special celebrating my 60th birthday with our group as we had a welcome drink on the rooftop garden overlooking the Mediterranean Sea! Andy even had the group sing Happy Birthday to me in Italian! What a memory!"

Sylvia

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations and this tour exceeded those expectations! Andy helped our group to meld well, offered great tips and insights, and provided a tour with a great combination of fun and professionalism. Our local guides were fantastic...very passionate about sharing the history of the places we were in. The food was wonderful and the hotels were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum was my definite "wow" moment. I can't even put it into words."

Marcia

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband & I were first time tour participants. Upon our return home he pulled out your most recent brochure & said let's pick our next trip. We had the most lovely time! We so enjoyed the small group of people with whom we traveled. We loved our well-traveled & knowledgeable guide, Andy. Speaking of Andy, he's quite a guy. Completely competent & comfortable handling our group, Andy was a joy. The local guides were terrific. We especially appreciated Paul's tour of the Uffitzi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were wowed by the tour of the Uffitzi Gallery with Paul. This was not our first visit to the gallery & thought about skipping it. So glad we didn't b/c we will never look at art w/o thinking of Paul. He changed art appreciation for us forever! Everyone should experience the gallery with Paul."

Brian

Martnez, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed the tour immensely. Having personal tour guides and our own tour Host made the history and the culture much more personalized; and brought every rich bit of history to life. Walking through history and getting a feel for the culture is so much more dynamic, than sitting on a bus and visiting from a distance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the most memorable and romantic moments was being on the Rooftop Bar at our hotel in Florence. Looking out over the city's beautiful nighttime skyline, sipping wine with good friends from the tour. Then as if by magic, classical music began being played on the Arno river, floating up through the antiquities, just melting everyone's heart. Absolutely Unforgettable!"

Linda

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt the tour was very well planned and included only the most important things to learn about and see. The optional sites were well explained and adequate time was allowed for things to be viewed and enjoyed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many...at least one each day! I had long looked forward to seeing Michelangelo's "David" so this stands out among the many memorable moments of the trip. My second place "wow" might be the Pantheon as I did not expect it too be so well preserved or so elaborate...a lovely surprise."

Mary Ann

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my once in a lifetime trip to Italy. Our guide Andy Steves was awesome. He was so knowledgeable. He was so kind, yet kept us on track. I especially loved exploring the Cinque Terra and the town of Volterra. In Rome, I especially liked the hotel we stayed, because it was so close to the Vatican! And we ate at a wonderful restaurant, our choice, late in the evening, when the residents of the area would be there. It was a delightful experience! Ciao!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was being able to wade in the Mediterranean Sea!"

Marie

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was very good. However, it was not as Outstanding as the Best of Paris tour we took last year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to choose one. I had been to Rome and Florence once before, 20 years ago. For this trip, I really enjoyed our local tour guide (Hilaria) showing us the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Seeing Monterossa, Cinque Terre and going into the Mediterranean Sea were some of the highlights for me."

Tami

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour or any organized tour. To say it exceeded my expectations is a bit of an understatement! We had a lovely group of travelers and our tour guide Reid was exceptional. You hit the ground running so I would suggest arriving at least a day early as suggested in the Rick Steves book. It's a perfect blend of group time and free time. The group time is VERY educational with local experts joining our group in each place visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to be limited to one. Just to be in Rome was a wow moment. I loved our tour with our guide Ilaria, her stories of Ancient Rome and also the tour of Colosseum/Forum...WOW!! Our hotel in Florence with the viewing tower was priceless. Private Happy Hour at the top of Florence...WOW!!!"

Terry

Moneta, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour Our tour was my first time to Italy and I (we) enjoyed it very much. Having served in the USA for over 23 years I like to see countries where I have never been. I also like history, old ruins and existing ancient temples, churches, etc. of interest and the culture of the country, and this tour hit all of them. Our tour guide was very good but I thought it was a special touch to bring in local experts to tell us about their "home town".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wonderful sights along the way but probably the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was the cherry on the top of the cake. The local lady that talked to my group was amazing with her knowledge of the paintings and of course the art work was outstanding."

Catherine

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 16th Rick Steves tour. I have always enjoyed them immensely. And that's why I keep coming back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the town of Volterra. So rich in Etruscan history which was made even more compelling by our local guide Annie. This town seems to be delightfully frozen in time. Just charming!"

Frank

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the various activities organized in the multiple locations we visited. The organization and leadership of the tour made it easy for us to get comfortable quickly and become independent travelers. The local guides provided invaluable content and guidance. The accommodations and meals were most enjoyable. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our tour and are Rick Steves' fans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping back in time to towns that were 500 to 2,000 years old. Experiencing history by being part of it. Seeing so many iconic locations. Being in Rome and visiting the Vatican, places I have seen on TV, movies, etc. many times. Nothing like the hands-on, personal experiences."

Betty

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well-organized, great local guides, friendly small group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through Tuscany, ending up at beautiful Volterra. Most favorite spot on the tour"

Cynthia

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first group tour. I have been an independent international traveler since I was 20 years old, and I was a bit concerned that being on a tour would feel restrictive or too lockstep. All my fears were unfounded. The schedule was busy but still provided lots of time for personal exploration and downtime. I loved having some meals with the group, and some with my travel partner (my mom). I felt the tips our guide provided helped us access the best of the local flavor!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra far and away. It's a place I never would have gotten to if I'd been traveling on my own. The town was absolutely charming, and full of amazing restaurants, artisans, and history. We met locals who showed us the authentic side of Tuscany. The views were astounding and our hotel so comfortable and centrally located. I loved every minute of it!"

Fiona

North Bend, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour! this was my first RS tour and it couldn't have been better.. would highly recommend. The guides/hotels/food exceeded by expectations ..Very busy tour and I was really pleased that all the members were able to keep up with the pace. Very nice mix of time with group and on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to say because so much of Italy was a "wow" beings our first time.. although I must say Tuscany was very high on the list. Loved all the food and wines - wines tastings and local tour guides were fabulous. Cinneque terra was amazing.."

Susan

Saint Charles, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great. All of the local guides were excellent

Jean

Elida, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steeves tour and we were amazed. From the outstanding tour guides, to the tour and the pace of the tour itself, the hotels and the food. Everything was just perfect. This was a well planned tour and we would highly recommend it for anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe being able to actually see in person and walk on the paths of places that are so old was my favorite "wow" moment. The history lessons we had on the tour were the best."

Helen

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I hoped it would be, and more. Everything was well organized and efficient so we could pack a lot of fun into each day. It was nice to have the planning and logistics taken care of. There was a great mix of structured time and free time to explore. I loved all the cities we visited. I came home with a sense of cultural enrichment that far surpassed the many independent trips my husband and I have taken. This is thanks to all the wonderful guides we had. Great memories!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say enough good things about Francesca, our local guide in Rome. She was warm, energetic, and fun to listen to. I loved her explanation that Rome can't be understood chronologically. The old and the new are intertwined. My wow moment was her tour of the Pantheon. She made all the years of history come alive. Her beautiful stories almost brought tears to my eyes. It is a moment I will always cherish."

Diane

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well guided, good pace, hit the high spots .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roof of hotel in Florence"

Terry

West Lake Hills, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time in Italy and a first on a RS tour. It was wonderful. Ferdi and Sally had everything running to a T and were just fantastic hosts/guides. All the city guides were outstanding as well and brought so much passion into the tour and were extremely knowledgeable. Food was wonderful everywhere especially in Levanto at the Primavera Hotel. Looking forward to our next adventure with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment for me was coming face to face with the 2000 years old structures in Rome and trying to wrap my head around the shear genius of how they were able to build such monuments and that they are still standing today."

Sherry

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Italy. Blown away by the GENIUS Engineering & Architecture (Structural & Psychological). Have to see it all to believe it. Franchesca & guide for the Colosseum were great. All the guides were good. LOVED Ferdi & Sally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The immense size & beauty of the VaticanMuseum & StPetersBasilica & ThePantheon. How was this able to be built back then? Still in disbelief."

Paul

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized. The tour guide Ferdi did an excellent job of outlining each days activities as well as keeping us on schedule. The local guides were incredibly knowledgeable and excellent at conveying their message. The accommodations were charming and well located. The included meals were culinary delights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Roma with guide Francesca was beyond description. Her incredible knowledge coupled with her insightful and passionate presentation brought Roma to life for me!"

Sandra

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

3 of the 4 of us had not been on a RS' tour. Our tour guides, hotels, meals, transportation were excellent. Our days were well organized with plenty of time on our own to explore each city. It was exceedingly hot in Rome for late September and I did not pack accordingly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guides in Rome (intro to city-Francesca and the colosseum/forum-Paolo), Volterra (Annie), Lucca (Elena) were knowledgeable and well spoken. However, our guide, Paolo, in the Uffizi museum was the best-so passionate. I learned so much having not studied art history previously."

Sharon

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Expectations were exceeded at every turn. Our tour guides were personable and knowledgeable. I felt secure and relaxed under their leadership. There was an excellent blend of structure and free time. The local guides were passionate and loved sharing their expertise with us. The dinners were outstanding and the hotel accommodations were surprisingly comfortable. Even the breakfasts were much better than anticipated. This tour is filled with wonders and leaves you wanting more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Local guide Francesca took us to the Pantheon and other marvels of modern/ancient Rome. Her perspective on the unity of past, present, and future was nothing short of mesmerizing. She gently coaxed us to put down our cameras and put away our check lists and just experience this magestic place which belongs to all of humanity. Of everything I saw in Italy, what I most wanted to bring home with me was Francesca!"

Kathleen

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time one evening at the tower rooftop bar at our Firenze hotel. Attentive service and spectacular view!"

James

St Charles, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was wonderful, how could it not be-we were in Italy?! The organized tours ere very informative and interesting, the guides very passionate and fun. It is a very busy tour, not a lot of down time. The places visited very great. Hotels mostly had good locations but were kind of marginal, especially the hotel in Rome and Levanto. Both of these had very small rooms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had lunch in Manarola at a restaurant high above the town. From there we could see the town carved into the mountain, with the sea in front of us. It was definitely a "wow" moment."

Deborah

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the guides! Everything ran smoothly. Hotel accommodations were good for the most part. Hauling luggage over cobbled streets inthe heat was sometimes a challenge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sistine Chapel and David."

Janet

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific. We saw everything we wanted to see. We loved the itinerary and the diversity of activities. The trip met our needs and made seeing spectacular places so easy. It really was fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome was amazing. Francesca blew our minds. Swimming in the Mediterranean at Levanto with a group of us under the stars, hiking the two high trails at Cinque Terre where we did actually say "wow". Cycling in Lucca. The lights at night in Florence. Seeing a real da Vinci at the Uffuzi. The Vatican"

Christy

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel doing a tour with a group, but because we had no experience with traveling to another country, we thought this would be the safest way to dip our toes in the traveling water. It was magnificent and our group was amazing. We had incredible guides in all our cities, getting us in to visit local artists, alabaster workshops, private wine tasting, and family restaurants. That is all special treats on top of the #1 treatment and Entrances to the sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many that it was beyond words. I was deathly afraid to travel and of heights. I cried thinking about flying so far, but once I was there, I conquered so many fears. I walked sometimes alone in the villages/cities without fear, I climbed to the very top of St Peters Basilica and several bell towers and roof tops, feeling empowered. I actually saw Madonna and Child, The Birth of Venus, and David. I swam in the Mediterranean and I hadn't even been in a swim suit for about 18 years. Amazing"

Will

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great, Stephanie & Tim, were awesome guides and super helpful. The heart of Italy tour accomplished everything it set out too for us. We'll definitely find our way back to Italy. It gave us a great introduction to a good chunk of Italy, the culture, and the history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking up to the half way point between Vernazza and Corniglia and looking down on the whole Cinque Terre was definitely one of my "wow" moments. It was 90+ degrees, with 80% humidity and we had completed sweated through our clothes but it was incredible. My other moment was St Peter's Basilica. Nothing can prepare you for its size and grandness. The Sistine Chapel was incredible as expected, but St Peter's can't be explained. You have to stand in it."

Katie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We truly had such a wonderful group - I'm not sure if it was Italy or the people that made this such an enjoyable trip! As happens, not everything went right, the heat and humidity was a double-whammy: & I loved every minute of it. The tour guides and our city guides were great: knowledgeable and kind, the family dinner well-chosen and special, and the sights, obviously incredible. Favorite stops: Volterra and Cinque Terre/Levanto

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the hiking between Corniglia and Vernazza - and then swimming in the Mediterranean afterwards."

Sandra

Stow, OH

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour totally exceeded expectations! First time to Europe and truly believe the RS tour experience is the best way to make the most of your time, while still allowing individual time so that you can create your own unique experiences and memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many "wow" moments when you're in Italy! However what stood out to me was the little extra "wows" that our tour guides provided - the unexpected bread snack when we were tired and hot from walking; the gelato treat in Florence; teaching us how to request our hotel room key in Italian - the attention to making the experience memorable and immersed in the culture."

Terri

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this trip was memorable. We had a wonderful time. It was everything we had hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Levanto. The Etruscan influence on future civilizations"

Robert

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, absolutely amazing experience! First trip with Rick Steves. The entire trip was everything that we dreamed it would be. Stephanie and Tim were a great team and added a lot to the experience. Our specialty guides in each town were also exceptional. Physically demanding but we were warned. Saw and learned so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was amazed, walking through Rome neighborhoods and all of a sudden some amazing historical monument is right in front of you."

Donald

Beaumont, TX

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, our Rick Steves trip was well thought out, planned and executed. Our guides were great, very knowledgeable and helpful. Gave us great information and tips. The dining was exceptional and with a few exceptions the hotels were fine as well. The tour met all my expectations and we'll be back soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was simply stunning. My favorite part of the trip by far. Also, really enjoyed Volterra. Both locations were out of the hussle and bussle and allowed relaxed touring and sightseeing. Could have used another half day in Cinque Terre. Wow moment was looking down on the Village of Vernazza from the church above the town. Stunningly beautiful."

Candi

Riverview, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely amazing! Sarah and Marianna didn't miss a step. They were both so friendly, available, and knowledgeable. Having tour guides from each city we visited was invaluable. The love and passion they showed brought everything to life and gave me a true appreciation. Especially Francesca in Rome! I had to hug her because she was just so amazing. The hotels we stayed at were great as well. Loved the locations and the people as they were very friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St. Ignatius church was definitely a wow moment. My friends and I teared up instantly and Francesca told us to just go with our emotions."

Tamara

Loganville, GA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was probably the best trip I've ever been on! From the first day orientation meeting to the final dinner, everything was well organized and well run. Great hotels, food, activities. I appreciated that everything I'd read in the RS tour books and seen on his shows was really utilized by the tour staff and with our daily activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Rome with our local guide Francesca, especially the Forum. She has such a passion for her city and it's history that really comes thru in her descriptions of the sites we visited. She has a way of making the places come alive so that you can actually see Caesar walking the crowded streets on the fateful Ides of March!"

Martha

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

During our Heart of Italy tour my fiance commented, "I didn't know that I didn't know" how important Italy was in the advance of civilization. While visiting iconic historical sites, we both discovered the tremendous travel advantage of a well educated, locally savvy, engaging tour guide. Sarah Corfield and Francesca (our guide in Rome) were superb hosts! I am a seasoned traveler who believed the cost and confines of traveling on a group tour were unnecessary impediments. Boy was I wrong!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca encouraged us to embrace emotion and allow ourselves to truly relate to the art, architecture, culture, and history of Italy. Enriched by an understanding of Michaelangelo's deep personal and physical suffering as he labored to finish his masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel, I was deeply moved to view the scenes with my own eyes."

Caroline

Livermore, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I travel several times a year on trips that we arrange and go by ourselves. This was our first vacation going on group tour. I was a bit apprehensive because I was concerned that it would be too confining, restrictive, slow moving, etc. Nothing was further from the truth. Sarah was an amazing guide! She made our trip seem seamless and effortless, which are signs of an experienced, professional guide. Our group got along extremely well. Overall experience was an A+ !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm... so many! Going on tours with Francesca and staying in Voltera (such a magical place)."

Nathan

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time to Europe and Italy proved to be a great choice. We spent more for the Rick Steve' tour but the benefits were well worth the additional cost. The logistics were smooth and the guides bridged the rare communication gap allowing for a more enjoyable trip. The invaluable insight, stories, and history our guide and local experts provided was outstanding, their enthusiasm contagious! The selection of destinations was a good sampling and maximized the time available.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire experience was a incredible! Every day was filled with architecture, art, and food, impossible to take it all in, the volume and scale impressive , history was leaping off pages being brought to life by proximity and the excellent knowledge of our guides."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between March and October is a good time to take a Heart of Italy tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with the most pleasant weather. Visiting in March offers the benefit of missing out on the sweat, stress, and crowds of the tourist season, along with cool and crisp weather.

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

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 your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

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

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

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