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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

Leslie

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and we were beyond impressed with the room locations, knowledgable and upbeat guides, safe bus drivers, 5-star group meals, and surprises along the way. The group bonds over shared experiences making the tour even more special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our trip included Volterra in the Tuscany area. I was not familiar with this town and didn't have any expectations before arriving. As we pulled our luggage along the cobbled streets to the center of the charming medieval village- it brought me to tears. It was unbelievably beautiful making you feel like you were in a fairytale surrounded by a wall and a large bridge. RS tours do a great job of delivering the unexpected."

June

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour and tour guides Sarah and Lorenza. We enjoyed the wonderful Italian art, food, and scenery. Appreciated having their help riding the Rome Metro and Amalfi Coast trains. Bus service was very efficient. Enjoyed the group meals (esp the Belvedere) and guided tours. Our guide was able to arrange a special visit to the American Cemetery-Florence, much appreciated. It worked out well for us to spend a few days on our own pre- and post-tour for museums and sights not included in the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence, seeing all the David sculptures!"

Alicia

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable. Loved Marianna and all the local guides were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"can't pick one. Overall enjoyed the food, spritzs, scenery, culture, art..."

Vicki

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved every minute of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo’s Unfinished sculptures of the slaves. I love seeing the bodies emerging from the marble. It is amazing to witness the technique he was using. I love seeing part of the process by which he sculpted his subjects."

Anita Wyatt

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything every day was wonderful. The itinerary was a perfect balance of historical sights, free time and group time. It was my first time on a RS tour and my first time in Italy. I want to go back and do the exact same tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The realization of just how old the buildings and sites were. Unbelievable."

Josh

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fascinating

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the food would be my highlight and it didn’t disappoint but I was greatly impressed by the David statue and the Roman engineering"

Stephanie

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Marianna (and guide in training Rhianne) were outstanding! Both were knowledgeable and offered their own personal touch on the tour. Loved the itinerary, which was a perfect balance of scheduled activities and free-time. We had a great group of travelers who we enjoyed getting to know. Hotels were nice and perfectly located. We are already looking forward to our next Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few… the walking tour of Rome after our first group dinner, Volterra, which exceeded all of our expectations, and the panoramic view of Florence from our hotel rooftop."

Laurie

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Marianne did an outstanding job. She was always in good spirits, always available to answer questions, solve problems, offer advice and provide commentary on Italian culture. Our hotels were good, and fit expectations. Our dinners were a little hit and miss, excellent in Volterra, but our Rome dinner did not offer an entree. All local guides did a great job, with special notice about Riccardo in Florence. The olive oil tour was interesting, but we missed going to Lucca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We made some good friends on the tour, and several of us got up early one morning for a sunrise swim in the Mediterranean during our stay Levanto. It was magical."

Emma

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to abroad and it was a great experience. My partner and I were able to learn and see things that if we had traveled on our own, we would not have experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say each group dinner was a "wow" moment!"

Timothy

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent tour in Italy. The guide was fantastic, the trip was well organized, and it was a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all good."

Maureen

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

everything i wanted and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Patricia our guide. In addition to being a fabulous guide, she helped me arrange an additional private tour of Tuscany. 6 of us who had extended our stay spent the day w Guilllanno seeing San Giammano and Sienna w a fabulous lunch in the countryside and ended on the piazza overlooking Florence. She was also able to arrange for me to use the Michelangelo library. I had just studied about this at Oxford and was absolutely thrilled to spend time there"

Ana Paula

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw and did more than I ever could have alone. There was a good balance of structured and unstructured time. Took until about day 7 for me to wish I could sleep in, not a relaxing vacation, but a fabulous one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose one. I sobbed when I was finally in the presence of the Sistine Chapel, but that may be from 40 years of longing to be there. The views from the medieval walls of Volterra viewing Swan Lake performance in the distance was an unexpected wow moment. Seeing the Duomo in Florence, the Pantheon, so many. The Cinque Terre we’re spectacular!"

Megan

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I really enjoyed having most of the details taken care of, but also having plenty of time to explore on our own. Our tour guide Patricia was the best. She went over and above any expectations we had. She created a personalized experience for each of the tour members, remembering our personal details and making great specific recommendations for free time at each location. She is extremely knowledgeable and professional. We would take another tour with her anytime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extra stops we made were really special, like the lunch at the olive oil farm. Also notable were our guides Annie and Elaria in Volterra and Rome. I didn’t expect to have “resident experts” on our trip. They truly brought history to life!"

Stephanie

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Italy. Can’t think of anything that could have been better. Great itinerary, excursions, local history, hotel selection and expert local guides. Our Rick Steves guide, Patricia, was fabulous. So knowledgeable and always seemed to have time for every single person in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to name a single “wow” moment but the coliseum and nearby monuments lit up at night were spectacular. Volterra was a gem and last evening in Florence was so fun. Great vibe in the city."

Maureen

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience and learn about Italy. We were completely immersed in the awesome culture. I appreciated being able to spend 2-3 nights in the same hotel in the different cities. Patricia was a superstar tour guide! She truly cared about all of us and made sure we were having an optimum experience, as well as being really funny. Our city tour guides were great - especially our Rome and Volterra guides - very knowledgeable. Wine & olive experiences- great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mediterranean Sea is spectacular- clear, blue and warm. Taking the ferry to the five towns was a beautiful respite from all the walking."

Daniel

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. The lodging, food, tour guides, transportation - it was all well coordinated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of David."

Dan

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. Good to start daily events early to avoid crowds and heat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bus ride going down into Cinque Terre region. Also art in museums of Florence. And alabaster artisans carving objects."

Travis

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of the tour exceeded my expectations. The itinerary was thoughtful, impactful, personal and engaging. Our tour guide, Andrea, was outstanding and added tremendously to the experience, both with her knowledge and her personality. The local guides were knowledgeable and insightful. The meals were outstanding. The group was fun and the atmosphere was extremely positive. I could not have asked for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are really too many "wow" moments to be able to single out only one. I suppose I can just generalize by saying that there wasn't a day that my wife and I didn't turn to each other at least two or three times to say to one another that we were so grateful to be on the tour we were on."

Joseph

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very informative guides with an enthusiastic tour group The best food and drinks that I ever tasted—thank you Italy. An authentic Italian experience including the heat of a Mediterranean summer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The colosseum with the realization of how our ancient and modern world has been connected thru this still standing time capsule"

Elizabeth

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the balance of group tour activities and free time. All of our tour guides were outstanding, and I loved the humanistic context they brought to all of the historic sights. Our group was friendly and adventurous, which really made our time together enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of the Colosseum and the Forum with Francesca was outstanding. She is an amazing guide. In terms of locations, I loved the Cinque Terre, and wished we had more time there."

Carisa

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations! Our tour guides were amazing and added so much to the experience. Andrea was fun, helpful and so knowledgeable and friendly. We felt like we were in good hands the entire trip. We were a bit anxious about going on a vacation with 20 other people, but the "family" dinners only added to our our experience. It was so fun to share the day with our new friends! The meals were exceptional. I cannot rave enough about this trip. We are already planning our next one

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour guide in Rome for the Colosseum was AMAZING. Her passion really shone through as she shared about "our" history in a way that inspired and sparked curiosity. The way she spoke brought the history alive and helped us connect to the past in a real way. Walking through the Colosseum and Roman Forum was a dream come true. It was such a rich and powerful day. One of the favorate days of my life!"

Katrina

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour was amazing. It was my first time in Italy and the tour was the perfect combination of art/history/cuisine/scenery. The mix of group time an free time really allowed us to make our trip our own while getting a unique guide through the big attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest "wow" moment was arriving in Cinque Terre and driving down the massive hill right up to the Tyrrhenian Sea."

Sandra

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Nina made the tour great. She not only led us everywhere, she knew the history and told us in a way that never bored us. She was energetic, available, charming and helpful. She always had lots of suggestions for our free time and was available to chat with us and hear our adventures when we returned. We were a group of strangers but, with her help, we all became friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wows - it's hard to choose. The Coliseum in Rome, the views of the countryside in Tuscany, the terraced hills in Cinque Terra, the David and the Uffizi gallery in Florence."

Terri

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina our guide was amazing. The people we traveled with were lovely. A nice mix of touring and free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have traveled to Italy several times but this trip I brought my 17year old granddaughter, as a high school graduation gift. It was wonderful to see this experience through her eyes."

Gerri Ann

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the Rick Steves tour amazing. It was all very well planned by the company. The staff was very helpful. The tour guide we had was absolutly wonderful. The tour was fun, informative and just a great time. The meals were great , the hotels were very nice and the group of people we had on our tour were just fantastic. I would use Rick Steves Europe again for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Colosseum. Breathtaking."

Heather

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable and understanding about traveling with Teens. All activities were excellent.. Our whole family enjoyed them..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the tours of the Vatican and Colliseum.. they were my Favorite.."

Erica

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide made our trip. She was super knowledgeable about everything. She took amazing care of us. She was funny, kind, and always looking out for us. We loved her. Nina!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing up to the lookout spot/bar at our hotel in Florence for a 360-degree view of the city. Breathtaking! There were so many moments like this though. Hard to name them all."

Mary

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, well hosted, fun and educational - just what I hoped it would be. I was a little concerned about subjecting my husband to a group tour, but he enjoyed it as much as I did and said he would definitely go on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many wow moments, including looking down to the sea from the hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia, my favorite moment was seeing the statue of David in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. In fact, all of the art in Florence was a "wow" because of our exceptional guide, Ricardo."

Karen

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The right balance of scheduled activities to free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch at the olive oil/winery"

Janet

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomas so was wonderful! The local guides were great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St. Peter’s Basilica. It is breathtaking!"

Janice

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was seamless from booking the tour enjoying the sites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My trip to Italy was fabulous. There were many “wow” moments. Standing next to Michelangelo’s David, being inside the Roman Coliseum, being so close to such amazing historical sites and works of art that you only see in books took my breath away."

Cindy

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed having partially planned tour days and lots of freedom interspersed throughout our trip. All the tedious parts were planned out and taken care of by the tour which freed us up to enjoy more time on our own and less stress to deal with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Castillo del Trebbio tour and fabulous Tuscan meal. The host was great and the meal was my favorite for the entire trip!"

Steve

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

loved it and will do another

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence"

Jeffrey

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The group ended up being very compatible and eager to participate. This went a long way to making the tour very good. Tommosso had very few if any personalities to deal with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter basilica in the Batican was just wow. The others wow was Volterra. Simply picturesque."

Nikolai

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well organized , warm and friendly relation between guide and group members. we'll balanced team and private time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Magnificent views and museums of Italy. Generous happy hours."

Katherine

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelangelo's David in Florence. It took my breath away."

Megan

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Adequate, clean lodging and transportation. Fantastic tour guides! The itinerary was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunsets in Volterra!"

Heidi

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was beyond words! The tours were top notch and the dinners were truly experiences that I will cherish. The olive oil tasting and lunch in a castle were spectacular. The communication and expertise from our tour manager , Ferdi, and his sense of humor certainly added to the overall experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra! Quintessential Tuscan town. Quaint, relaxing, and picturesque - both day and night."

Denise

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide Jaime was amazing!"

Nancy

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was an excellent mix of structured and unstructured time. Tour guide - and local guides - were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being humbled by the beauty of St. Peters... or maybe it was our dinner for two on our anniversary at a sidewalk cafe in Florence."

Robert

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Italy, and we came with a group of 7 adults and 10 kids, so we made up 60% of the tour group. We had an amazing time from the hotels, the sites, the food, the guide Jaime, bus and transportation, and the right mix of structured tours and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terra were all breathtaking and amazing."

Chris

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well organized and our guide made sure to find ways for us to avoid the worst of the heat during our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the views in and around Volterra. Beautiful."

Thomas

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Worth every penny! Superb introduction to Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Virtually every moment"

Sarah

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall this was a very good tour. It was obvious that Rick Steve’s groups had connections other tour groups did not, especially with getting consistent quality museum/excursion guides. I wish there would have been a little more communication about tour logistics and timing before hand to help plan other activities safely and help with packing appropriately. But overall it was a good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter’s Basilica was amazing. I’m not religious, but the sheer scale of the building and the art inside is spectacular. My mouth was literally open in awe."

Tricia

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it! It was a great balance of group time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to choose but probably the Vatican and the Colosseum."

Carolyn

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end our trip went like clockwork. Our guide Lisa was so good at herding us around, giving us history and making us feel safe and comfortable. Every guide throughout our trip was excellent. Fully equipped and fun to be with. The food was delicious and we had plenty of free time to explore. This trip was for my granddaughter’s graduation gift. She told me she would hold these memories in her heart forever. Thank you so much!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many, from the history of Rome, the beautiful landscape around Volterra, the absolutely breathtaking Cinque Terre and the artwork in Florence. So so many Wow moments."

John

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked having the tour in the mornings and afternoons free to rest or continue.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The enormity of St. Peter's."

Mason

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience hotels, restaurants, museums and tours were great. My family had a great experience and we have many good memories. Lisa Smith, our tour guide did a wonderful job making sure that everyone had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra Tuscany and Cinqua Terra was very relaxing with great food and many beautiful things to see."

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."

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."

Susan

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the Rick Steves' "Heart of Italy" tour. The itinerary was filled with rich experiences, as well as down time. It was great to be traveling with fellow adventurers. Our tour guide, Jaimie, planned extravagant meal experiences and kept us on track. We have never been on a tour before that planned all of our stops and itinerary, so this was an experiment. We did more than we would have on our own, and this aspect of the tour was a success. The pacing was a little manic, as promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hill town of Volterra was an amazing surprise. We LOVED it. The local guide here was fantastic. She brought history to life. We even got to meet her husband's aunt who has been a part of saving the Etruscan Arch during WWII at the age of 9. Seeing the Etruscan museum was life changing, and we followed the Annie's advice to see the art museum. There was a mind bending art exhibit and I learned about mannerism. Another WOW moment was getting to see the Caravaggios in the Uffizzi."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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.

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!"

Mitun

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked how the activities were planned. It was a good mix of sight seeing and "own" time. The tour guides were knowledgeable and engaging which made every moment of the history come alive. Liked the hotels we stayed in. Over all very positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked how the guide described the history behind the Colosseum. I was so fascinated that i watched Gladiator that day at the hotel."

Terry

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

we had a great time on our trip to thr heart of Italy. we were the oldest pair in the group but we were able to keep up and enjoy all the wonderful info the tour guids gave us. It was Hot and tired every night but well deserved---

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing the Coliseum, the first time , wow it's big---"

Bonnie

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 25 travelers were all ages, lively, good sports, very interested in the history and culture so well explained by our Italian guides. We found we had a lot in common and made new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose one, but I guess I would say it was swimming in the Ligurian Sea in the Mediterranean at Montessoro del Mare in the Cinque Terre. After our beautiful, hot hikes in the five hillside towns, floating in the cool salty sea was a perfect finish. Then of course, topped with a feast with our new good friends."

Gail

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even with the Covid protocols, everything was so well planned out and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza. Challenging, but so worth it for the views."

Daniel

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. The tour had the perfect mixed of scheduled activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into Saint Peter's Basilica was amazing."

Kelly

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marianna, our tour guide, and all of our local guides, we’re superb. They added so much depth and richness to the travel experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count!!"

Matthew

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fun trip. We saw so many different sides of Italy. The hustle and bustle of Rome, and the quiet alleys of Volterra. Hotel placement was always near where we wanted to be. The check in to our rooms was seamless. This is an exhausting trip. Your up early hitting the town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the bell tower in Volterra and seeing the countryside for miles."

Michele

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great experience and felt very supported despite having multiple guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, this is tough! Maybe the olive oil tasting?"

Michelle

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Before testing positive for Covid the trip was going very well. I loved the addition of local guides, they added great value to the history of places visited. Ilaira was exceptional at the colosseum and forum!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course Rome has the amazing colosseum. Forum and remarkable Vatican / Basilica. All stops were amazing but the 2 wow, if I had to choose, was Volterra and Castillo Dell Tabbio! Volterra has such charm and impressive history. The Castle tour, wine tasting and lunch was truly memorable! Without being on the tour as a regular tourist these stops would've been missed. I believe everyone that goes to Italy should add these stops as a MUST see!"

Mary

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw an incredible number of sights for the length of the tour! Our local guides in particular were extremely knowledgeable and could answer nearly every question thrown their way. When our original RS guide had to depart due to a family emergency, other RS guides stepped in and the tour continued nearly seamlessly. We enjoyed getting to know our group throughout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our entire time in the town of Volterra was a WOW - what a treasure. It showed us a side of Italy we were not expecting and we loved it."

Charles

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well planned, had a very good mix of organized group and individual activities, and covered the major sites in Rome & Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra without a doubt."

Beth

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything we had hoped it would be and more. We expected to visit wonderful places but we really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers and guides and got to experience things we never would have found on our own. Overall an excellent experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question. We were definitely blown away by the beauty of Cinque Terre but the crowds during the day were disappointing. I think our favorite destination was Volterra and getting to do a wine tasting but we also loved visiting Castello del Trebbio on the bus ride between Volterra and Cinque Terre."

Deborah

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 9th Rick Steve’s tour and it was special because my 3 best friend’s shared it with me (their first RS tour). Had a lovely time visiting Rome, Volterra, Cinque Terre, and Florence. We had a seamless transition with four guides - Cecilia, Stephanie, Lisa, and Susanna. There was a challenge with COVID affecting our group, however, the tour members were respectful and got along easily with multiple guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Castello Del Trebbio - the biodiversity olive oil and winery estate. Learning the history of the castle and rotation of growing crops to replenish the soil, variety of products (olive oil, saffron, spelt and vineyards) to sustain future generations. The lunch they served was delicious with generous portions and all the foods that they produce from their land. The staff was professional and knowledgeable."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

Todd

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour and it was superb, from the wonderful group of people on the tour to Anna,our guide, who was a delight. The pace was good and the guides brought in for specific tours were also great. Such a nice surprise to visit Italy with such nice people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was an amazing hill town and its history was remarkable. The views from there and the country side was impressive. Also really loved Cinque Terra and the 5 villages"

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"

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."

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."

Hailey

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was WONDERFUL! Our guide Francisco was amazing! All of the guides were amazing! This was my first time touring and going to Europe so was the perfect option for us. The places we visited were so nice and beautiful! I will definitely be taking another tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was in Volterra. We were walking back to dinner and stopped at a beautiful outlook over the land. That was really the moment I got to take it all in and really feel I was in Italy."

William

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-designed and executed. Our guide, Francesco Gronchi, made everything we did more meaningful and enjoyable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Volterra was especially good - we wished that we had at least another day there. After several days in Rome, visiting this hill town gave us a stark contrast and insight into what a small town could offer an American tourist. Everyone was so welcoming!"

Ava

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time on this tour. As a couple in our late 20's, we did not fit the usual demographic, but our tour group was wonderful - friendly, timely, excited, and capable. The convenience and extent of what we got to see (and the insanely good early morning tickets) made it well worth it! There was tons of free time to explore on our own as well. Saw a ton, ate a ton, drank a ton, learned a ton...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Pantheon and being totally blown away by its size"

Phillip

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolute awesome time as usual

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Volterra"

Mistie

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

truly everything from the hour we met Francesco to when he told us good bye wall filled with positive happy energy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Volterra and hearing a bit of his family history"

Terri

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided the variety of experiences I was looking for, and though the pace was very fast, there was a good balance of free time built in as to not be exhausting. The local guides were enthusiastic and well-versed on their subjects; I feel that I learned a lot from them. This tour was well-organized; we stayed perfectly on schedule even at a hectic pace. Overall, a very good job on planning and execution from the RS team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up the hill to Volterra, then seeing Volterra. Our tour guide took us on an impromptu walk after dinner to the Roman theater ruins, which are beautifully lit up at night, and you can see straight to the sea from that view. It was breathtaking!"

Kim

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour. Guide, all local guides, all group meals were fantastic. Hotel locations were easy to find and either close to transit or in the center of were you want to be. Everyone on the tour was so friendly and made sure that I as a single traveler was included in with other groups of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to museums and seeing art I have studied, seeing Florence a place that has always been number one on my bucket list place to go to standing in the Roman Forum. Being someone that loves art and history the guide and local guides all brought the art or site we were visiting to life."

Amy

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect balance between organized activities and free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art in Florence"

Mary

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went super smooth and according to plan even though I was expecting we would have to potentially make some last minute changes. Our main guide and local guides were all amazing. I loved the balance of group activities and free time. The tour provided benefits we would not have received on our own such as early entrance to the Colosseum and right at opening Vatican Museums entrance. Hotels were in great locations and staff were excellent. Buses were comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On our free day in Cinque Terre, I hiked up to the Capuchin Friars Monastery in Monterosso. I went into the chapel and sat in the back pew and had the whole place to myself. It was a beautiful, tranquil moment after busy travel and crowds. I then continued on to the cemetery. I was amazed at the overwhelming beauty of the final resting places on the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, while the waves crashed against the shore far below. A very special moment."

Julie

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience with a great guide Colleen. She is so passionate about what she does and it shows. She definitely made the experience memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum and the Pantheon for the first time."

Margaret

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Coleen Murphy was our tour guide. She was great- attentive to our needs; explained the procedures; tried to teach us basic Italian!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Cinque Terre! Beautiful!"

Phil

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience for this first time traveler! I’m glad my tour covered four cities. Great to see so much of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was unbelievable!"

William

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized; terrific guides; a good balance between structured and free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Blown away by the Tuscan Hill towns and the scenery of Tuscany."

James

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good guides, good food selection

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the Roman coliseum"

Clara

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned about history and art that sometimes you cannot find it in the books or you must be a professional to know to know about Italy and other countries

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I saw David's statue and many more overall everything was "wow" moment"

Terry

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. The whole trip was well planned and organized. Our Rick Steves guide and all the local guides we vey knowledgeable. We enjoyed making new friends with our fellow travelers. Also, enjoyed experiencing things off the beaten path and just not the standard tourists sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre Was spectacular!"

Thomas

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour guides were the best - more like story teller - they were special The hotels were all excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome"

Charity

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was great and nearly what I experienced in my first tour. There were a few places that could be improved which I'll discuss in later questions. But, overall, it was magnificent to get back to Europe and we are already eyeing 2023 for another RS Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking from Corniglia to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre. We took the 7am train and hiked Corniglia to Vernazza, stopped for a bit of espresso, and then continued the hike to Monterosso. The views were outstanding and are still happily bouncing around my mind."

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."

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."

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."

Maureen

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An exciting and stimulating experience. Our tour leader Ferdi was excellent. All of the local tour guides were wonderful. Very informative and entertaining. Loved hearing all the factual accounts and their personal insights on historical events. The overall pace was a good balance of structured sightseeing and free time. First time to Italy and I certainly felt that this tour did indeed provide a great overview to the heart of Italian history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't choose just one. Seeing Michaelangelo's statue of David in Florence, Spending time in the Vatican, St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine chapel. Beautiful Volterra and the boat tour of Cinqueterre. The extraordinary privilege of seeing and standing in midst of the ancient Roman civilization."

Heidi

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and it did not disappoint! Our tour guide Ferdi was outstanding, had a great sense of humor, extremely knowledgeable and fun to be around. The tour was very well organized with amazing local tour guides that added the personal touches to make it come alive. I liked the time on our own mixed in. Hotels and meals were great with the touches of the local people and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I’m not sure I can pick just one as each area we visited had it’s “wow” moment. The Colosseum and Sistine Chapel in Rome, the olive tasting tour at Costello del Trebbio, the main gate in Volterra, the Cinque Terra views and hike, and the art in Florence."

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."

Cortney

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of fellow-travelers (23 total including us). It was a good mix of people from around the US with several age groups represented. We soon became like family. Our tour guide was exceptional. He has to be the best one available anywhere. Our local guides were also fabulous. We enjoyed the group tours and time together but we also liked the free time that is interspersed throughout the trip. We would do another Rick Steves tour in a minute (looking at 2023).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from. Seeing the Pantheon and St. Peters are certainly in the top 5. The Tuscan hill town of Volterra was great and Cinque Terra was fun, although it did get crowded. The duomo and baptistry in Florence were also terrific, as were the Vatican, Uffizi,and Borghese museums."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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"

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"

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!!

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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"."

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"

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."

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.

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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!"

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.