• 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

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

Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,395 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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, the pedestrian-friendly streets of Lucca, harbor-hugging villages of the Cinque Terre, and the amazing art of Renaissance Florence. Along the way, you'll enjoy Italy's distinctive culture, wine, and cuisine. Join us for the Heart of Italy in 9 Days!

Dates & Prices

2019

2020

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 2428 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 15 group sightseeing events • Ancient Rome walking tour • Colosseum • Roman Forum • Pantheon • Evening walk through Rome including Trevi Fountain • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel • Volterra walking tour • Guarnacci Etruscan Museum • Alabaster workshop • Wine tasting • Lucca walking tour • Orientation for "vacation" day in the Cinque Terre • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Florence's Accademia (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery…and more
  • 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 (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2020
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

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, Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon before enjoying our first Italian dinner together at a favorite restaurant. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 2: The Vatican Museums

Today we'll focus on Renaissance (Catholic) Rome. With your smart-phone in hand and the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, Rick’s voice will guide you through the treasures of the Vatican Museums to the stunning grand finale: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. You'll have the rest of your day free to continue your modern-day pilgrimage at the greatest church in Christendom: the awe-inspiring 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. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

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. Sleep in Volterra (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

This morning we'll take a walking tour with a local guide who will 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. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Lucca and the Italian Riviera

Today we'll head west, stopping in the charming and prosperous town of Lucca, hometown of Puccini. We'll take a walking tour of Lucca's elegant pedestrian streets with free time to explore its impressive outer walls on foot or by bike. 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. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre (2 nights; may be split between two hotels). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

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

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. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

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! No bus. Walking: moderate.

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

Suzanne

Mahtomedi, MN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great mix of time together and time on our own. The tour guides were all outstanding and helpful. Suggestions: skip Lucca and let us check the Leaning Tower of Pisa off our bucket list and grab lunch. Lucca was interesting, but Volterra (because of our tour guides) was equally or moreso, and Lucca felt like a shopping mall with all the stores. Also, please consider making that Italy guidebook digital! I would pay money to have it on my phone-- it was too heavy to carry around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the forum in Rome."

Ova

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy tour guide Francesco was fabulous, and he really made our vacation very special and memorable. We had so many fun and interesting activities planned every day, and we ate the most delicious foods. I can't wait to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, too many to count ! In Rome, it was the magnificent Sistene Chapel. In Volterra Tuscany it was the breathtaking view of the town from our hotel. In Cinque Terre, the wow moment was watching the lovely sunset from the beach. And Florence was full of wow moments: the cathedrals, the shopping, Michaelangelo's David."

Michael

Winooski, VT

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed the tour. The itinerary was spot on in terms of seeing great sights and spending an adequate amount of time in each place. Francesco did a great job, particularly in setting up dinners in Volterra & Levanto and the wine tasting in Volterra!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick out a "wow" moment because I enjoyed so much. But seeing the towns of the Cinque Terra by sea was a highlight. Of course so were the attractions of Rome & Florence, visiting Lucca and our stay in Volterra."

Robert

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely thrilled with the quality of the trip tour guide and the local tour guides. Their ability to bring alive the historical environment was amazing, engaging, and inspiring. The logistics support from the company before, during, and after the trip was so helpful. It really let us be free to enjoy the pleasures of food, new friends, and new experiences. This was my first Rick Steve,s tour. Thank you so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The parade of the crosses, the buddy system routine, the Alabastor workshop demonstration, and the mountain"snow" that was really Carrera marble dust. sorry, I could not pick just one."

Sarah

Cherry Hill, NJ

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Seamless, amazing, educational, cultural, breathtaking, and absolutely memorable (for the rest of my life).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Francesca (local Rome guide) take us through the pantheon, roman forum, and Colosseum. She had an indescribable way of making you connect to the city and its history that I will never forget."

Carla

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anna as well as all of the tour guides in each city helped to bring the culture and history in Italy alive during the 9 days we were together. Anna was constantly engaged with all of us and would not only ensure every day was interesting and organized beautifully, but looked to each of us to learn how we spent our free time and make personalized suggestions. Her care made this tour a special time in our lives.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most days there were several 'wow' moments. One of my favorite "wow" moments was looking to the mountains and it looked as though they were covered in snow- and being told that it was marble dust from the quarries being cut out over hundreds of years- with no snow at all...."

Corby

Bend, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience. We learned so much in such a short time -- well worth doing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count! Probably the tour given by Francesca in Rome -- she really painted a picture of how the Coliseum and Forum looked back when they were first used. Loved that!"

Julian

Winthrop, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the hotels in which we stayed. The bus rides were good-and air conditioned! The intermediate stops were well timed. I was a bit disappointed to be staying in Levanto instead of a Cinque Terra town but when I got there I realized it was a perfect choice. I wouldn't have wanted to be in one of them. I loved seeing the art and architecture. The local guides were informative and easy to understand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really like Volterra. I liked the small size, the alabaster workshop experience, the Etruscan history and museum and the ability to walk all around the town. I didn't expect to enjoy this town at all. Of course seeing David, The Vatican, the Colosseum, the forum and all the other sights were so special."

Anna

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first tour in Europe, it was great to have someone knowledgeable handle all the travel arrangements - bus and hotel reservations, and show us how to ride the trains at the Chinque Terra. There was a good balance of types of activities and free time. Our tour guide was very consciencious and made sure that things went smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- Jumping into the Ligurian Sea at Manarola on a hot day - we avoided the crowds and beat the heat - rounding the corner and seeing the (Michelangelo's)David and other outside statues in Florence in the piazza"

Sharon

Orange, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect blend of learning about the history of Italy and experiencing it as a country. We had a great tour group that was a blend of young and old. Everyone was very respectful of time, and we never had to wait for anyone. We got so much in during the tour, but we also felt like we had plenty of time to do things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how safe it was, and how easy it was to get around."

Peter

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well done. professional, courteous, well organized. good sequence and reasonable expectations. Really nice group of well educated kind people on the tour. Very nice exposure to each area which is what we hoped would happen.

Joanne

Merrick, NY

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations.The hotels were great- their location was key to the overall experience . The people running them were great and made us feel so welcome. The dinners were perfect and the quality of the food great. I liked the fact that we were not dining as a group every night.. we had time to ourselves so it wasn't overload. The tour guide (Andrea Wolf) was also key to our experience. She was so knowledgeable about everything (history, local customs)!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Was hiking from Vernazza to Monterossa in the Cinque Terre and climbing up an exceptionally challenging portion of the trail to arrive at the top and see the most awesome scenery of the sea and the beautiful mountains and pastel colored buildings. That was my favorite Wow moment! also, turning the corner into the Academia and seeing the David in Florence as well as the Duomo. In Rome, being part of the crowd being blessed by the Pope in St Peters Square. The beauty of St Peters at sunset."

Erin

Mission Hills, KS

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our Rick Steve's Heart of Italy Tour! We met wonderful people, saw many beautiful sites, ate delicious food, learned fascinating history and saw places in Italy we never would have dared to venture to on our own. Andrea was fabulous - she kept 27 people on schedule and happy! Our fellow travelers were great - it was fun to share the experience with so many new friends. The tour was the perfect balance of structured/planned events with lots of free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but if I have to narrow it down it would be hiking the cinque terre. When we came to the point where we could see Corniglia in the distance it took my breath away. I am not a "hiker" and that trail was pretty challenging for me, but it was absolutely worth it for the beautiful views and the sense of accomplishment."

Steve

Mission Hills, KS

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guides on the tour were amazing. Truly passionate about their cities and really seemed to enjoy sharing their knowledge. I felt like I learned what it was like to live in those places. Our guide/coordinator was also first rate. She was incredibly informative the entire trip and did a wonderful job keeping us organized. Andrea is a very good fit for her position. The tour was well worth it and delivered everything I expected (except the hotels - discussed below).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lucca and the Cinque Terre were the wow moments for me. Both were unlike anything I had ever seen and both will leave lasting memories. I wish we had more time in Lucca."

Joanne

Minoa, NY

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really made the right decision to do a Rick Steves' tour. From start to finish we were so pleased and thrilled with every experience. Our guide was fabulous, the people in our group were so friendly and each hotel had it's own charm and was a wonderful place to recharge and cool off after a busy and hot day. It took us years to make the decision to take this trip and now we want to do another :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm really not sure how people can list one "wow" moment as it all was "wow". But I would say seeing the Pantheon in Rome left me speechless. To think about how well preserved it is and how it was constructed is a marvel. Also our vineyard walk in the hillside above Manarola in the Cinque Terre was truly a highlight for my family. The views were absolutely stunning."

Diane

Vista, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic and seemed to have a healthy balance of scheduled and unscheduled activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the city of Florence. There was so much to see and culture to absorb."

Jessie

Duluth, MN

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour was prefect from the sites to the tour guide to the other travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Mike

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely *loved* the Heart of Italy. Not just the venues, but the guides were great and we really had a great time traveling with our group, many of whom we will continue to stay in touch with. The agenda was very well designed and organized. We loved how it began and ended in busy cities with more rural locations in the middle of the tour. It was the perfect mix of group time and on-your own time. I could not have asked for a better way to experience Europe on my first visit there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a fantastic backyard cookout with some of Francesco's friends in Volterra. The relaxation of that night contrasted with the hustle and bustle of Rome was a particularly satisfying evening."

Steve

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was excellent. I thought Francesco was an excellent and engaging guide who combined the expected knowledge for the tour with his own personal insights and experience. The tour had a good balance between intensity, activity, and cultural sites in the two major cities, with more relaxed stops in Volterra and the Cinque Terre. The group was excellent and everyone got along well and seemed to gel by the time we stopped in Volterra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the group dinner Francesco arranged in Volterra. While that would be the wow moment if I had to pick one, I would say the stop in Volterra and the events Francesco arranged there were the best part of the tour."

Karen

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip - from beginning planning stages to end - was beyond our wildest expectations and dreams! Rick Steves company was recommended to us by many people, several who have gone on multiple trips, so we had set the bar pretty high from the beginning. Every detail was well thought out, and our guides had answers to questions even before we asked them. Excellent accommodations, superb tours and guides, an unforgettable experience! We will definitely return. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra, for sure. Driving into the Tuscan region after several days in busy Rome was a refreshing change with its hilly, green landscapes, steeped in history, and the slower, lovely pace of a backyard outdoor farm to table fresh dinner and wine pairings among new friends. By far, this was the highlight as it was unexpected and perfect."

Colleen

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our family of 5 had a wonderful tour with Sarah. Having 3 teenagers on the tour, my biggest concern was them being bombarded with too many museums, architecture, and history talks. This tour provided an nice balance of touching on the "must do's" in each area and also having plenty of "on our own" time to relax and explore. Sarah was a perfect tour guide-informed, funny, and super personable! Italy is very crowded in July and having that back door entry into all of our sites was priceless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments on this trip. I was really wowed by Rome in general. Francesca was, in my opinion, the best tour guide I have ever experienced. The Colosseum in Rome was amazing. Also, at Sarah's recommendation, our family decided to see the Basilica di Santa Croce instead of waiting in line for the Duomo and church in Florence - another "wow" moment. Another would be our group dinners. I appreciated eating at family owned restaurants off the beaten path. We were treated so well!"

Chris

University Place, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a family of four, the balance of structure and freedom was perfect. It kept us on schedule but allowed for private time to rest (it was hot!) as well as see additional sites. We were happy with the accommodations and restaurant selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the unexpected stop at the U.S. military cemetery outside Florence was an eye-opening "wow" moment. Also on the list of wow moments: 1. Floor entrance to Colosseum. 2. Wine tasting in Volterra 3. The hike in Cinque Terre"

Michael

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great Trip! We decided on a Rick Steve's Tour as we were traveling with our 3 teenage children and wanted to have a defined plan to keep everyone motivated not debating "where we go next"! Sarah was a wonderful guide and was incredibly helpful, energetic, and made the trip amazing. It was also nice to get to know other folks who joined the tour as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, I'm going to pick 2. Climbing to the top of St. Peter's at the Vatican and seeing the amazing views of Rome from this vantage point. Also, exploring Volterra in Tuscany. It was a nice, off the beating path, hilltop town. Very quaint, welcoming, and relaxing."

Chad

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded all of our expectations in terms of both the sights, museums, and everyone in the group! The schedule was the perfect balance of group tours, activities, and time to explore on our own. There are too many highlights to list, but being able to walk with the tour guides and Sarah added so much to the trip and brought a beautiful depth of insight that was personal and made us feel so connected to a place that we had never been.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the immensity of the sights such as the Pantheon and the Duomo was something that pictures cannot prepare you for. Awestruck is how I would describe it. Also, we made an unexpected stop to the US WWII Memorial outside of Florence that moved me to tears. Coming from the US, WWII seems distant, but standing in the Memorial bridged the divide between the historical and the personal. Connectivity was the theme of the entire tour for us."

Diana

Decatur, GA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love having transportation and hotels all taken care of for us. The guides are always first-rate on a Rick Steves tour, so we get much more understanding of what we are visiting as opposed to just reading a guide book. I enjoy the culture and history of places I visit, and this is the best possible way to find out about it. I bring my (adult) daughters when I travel, because I feel it is the best way to learn about the world--first-hand experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time I walked into one of the beautiful cathedrals and looked up!"

Virginia

Laura, OH

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first time in Italy and we couldn't have asked for a better experience! Our guide, Marijan, was friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, and overall exceptional! Everywhere we went we also had local guides who were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the area and it's history. The tour was a good mix of planned activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't narrow this down to just one. Walking through the entrance to the city of Volterra was amazing. We also loved seeing the towns in the surrounding hillsides in Cinque Terre from the boat."

Lynda

Cedar Grove, NJ

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy, Rick Steves was recommended to me by members of a Facebook group I'm in. The Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour fit our time frame and did not disappoint. I feel we were able to see all the spots we wanted to and had some down time too.Our guide Marijan was awesome as were the local guides in each town. The hotels, all different, were in great locations and had wonderful breakfasts each day. The group dinners were delicious and fun. We had great group to top it off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments but my first was when we had our first group meet and greet on the rooftop terrace of our hotel and realized we were starring at the Vatican, we were so close it was unbelievable."

Myra

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first visit to Italy. We went during the heat wave of upper 90's to 100's in temperature. In spite of the unbearable heat, we enjoyed our tour. It was a bit more strenuous in terms of walking around than I expected, but the sites were amazing and the various local guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and the Forum were really special (Francesca is an excellent guide and she really brought the story to life). The Vatican was OK (crowded and very hot) but St. Peter's was wonderful--the choir was practicing and it was moving to hear the music in that space. David--oh my, my,my he is gorgeous. Tuscany is lovely and Cinque Terra was really restful amid all the heat."

Holly

Cleburne, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

really enjoyed the resident tour guides. Our favorite was Francesca in Rome, but the guides in Lucca and Florence were outstanding as well. the planned activities and dinners made the experience very enjoyable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was our "wow" moment - Tuscany was the highlight but Volterra was just so quaint and full of history"

Jeff

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived a few days early to get over the jet lag which turned out to be a very good idea. Our tour of the west coast of Italy was very well organized, allowed us to see all the big sights on our wish list, gave us plenty of time to explore on our own, and took us to some small villages that were interesting and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the inside of the St Peters Basilica in Vatican City."

Anne

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had always used the Rick Steves tour books to chart our eight European vacations, but this was the first time we actually signed up for a guided tour. I was very impressed at the organization, attention to detail, and choice of locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica-- There were no words to describe the emotion and connection that I felt as I toured it."

Antonio

Cedar Grove, NJ

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, experience tour guides were awesome, loved the hotels. I would do it again in a second.!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amount of knowledge and thoughtfulness of Marian our guide...He made it a memorable experience"

Jean

Thornton, CO

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our Italy Tour! We were with a group of people that were absolutely wonderful. Molly was our main tour guide and she was fantastic. She was so knowledgable of our area and offered so many hints for us to do on our "own" time. The local guides that knew their area well and were passionate about their areas. I learned so much! The dinners we had together were a wonderful taste of the area!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the Pantheon. The building with its circular oculus and it rained while we were there. To see the sarcophagus of Raphel and the two kings with their guards was a highlight for me."

Sara

Brier, WA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was the perfect length to give a brief introduction to Italy and its vast history. We saw ancient ruins, ancient artifacts, historical and religious art, experienced wine tasting, ate delicious food, and spent time at the beach.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the walled town of Volterra. I found it hard to grasp how long ago the walled city was built, only to discover that people lived there mush longer ago than the age of the oldest walls. They are still discovering ancient ruins, and I'm sure Volterra's story will be more fascinating as the years go by."

Adam

Cypress, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great. The guides were well versed in the subjects they covered, the itinerary was evenly paced and the sights and meals that were included were worth the value. If I were to do another tour, a RS tour would be top on the list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots of WOW moments for me on this tour, but the experience of walking through the Forum in Rome, where Emperors had tread the same stones, looking at the remnants of a once great society, was very awe inspiring."

David

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and provided a good balance of necessary tour guide presentations with freedom to explore on one;s own. The careful planning and implementation of schedules by the tour people allowed us to have an action-packed adventure in a relaxed time frame.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a welcome stop, especially after the hustle and bustle of Rome. This medieval city is remarkable and a place we would like to visit again. Florence and the museums ranks right up there as well."

Martha

Rocky Hill, CT

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rome is layered with history and Italian food can't go wrong anywhere in Italy so this trip is idea for those who love both! Also as expected RickSteves tours' guides all exceptional, they make or break a travel experiences! All in all it is a positive experience, except very hot weather (very unusual in June) and over crowded with tourists (summer high season),

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me still the Patheon, built two thousand years ago still standing with it's simplicity, yet unardored beauty! It's technology and architectural design influences eons builders and engineers!"

Shena

Cypress, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour was a great experience. I appreciated the thought and planning that went into the itinerary and logistics of leading nearly 30 people around Italy. The meals and hotels were great and the tour guides were top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Vernazza. The hike was tough, but we got out early to beat the heat. The views made it all worthwhile."

Micah

Perkasie, PA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My mother and I had a wonderful trip which went way beyond our expectations. Each day was well organised yet full of art and history. Our guides were excellent, knowledgable and very funny. I especially enjoyed that we walked to most places in each town making every day worth try new delicious italian dishes as well as any gelato imaginable. Our group was so well picked and that we all got along swell everyday. This trip filled my creative bank account and has inspired me to sculpt even larger.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a sculptor myself, I especially enjoyed Bernini's Baldacchino in St. Peter's Basilica. One night we walked to Bernini's Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi which was beautifully illuminated. Walking through the gladiators exit at the Colosseum was a breath taking moment. Our guide got us into the perfect lower level of the arena. Cinque Terre was beautiful with a winding foot trail that had a breath taking view from every vantage. Our wine tasting with our Sommelie was truly illuminating."

Keith

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was expose to the crazy chaos of Rome along with the fascination of it's ancient history. I loved the quietness, history and beautiful views in Volterra. Lucca was an interesting community and the Cinque Terre was so beautiful. I had the best steak ever in Florence!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fact that 80% - 90% of the ancient history in Italy has still not been discovered because it is below the surface of the ground. Also the contrast of the ancient Romans: great architects/builders but so brutal to anyone who disagreed with them."

Caroline

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was nervous to go on an "organized tour" with my mom for her 70th birthday. I thought we'd be stuck in a bus looking at things rather than experiencing them. This was NOTHING like our tour! We were out walking with local guides, had free time in every city to see what we wanted, and had delicious meals in local restaurants. I feel like I got to see Italy in an authentic way. Our guide, Patricia, was funny and informative. The group I was with was fun, adventurous, and interesting.It was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the tour with Francesca in the Colosseum and Roman Forum. History usually isn't my thing, but she brought the past to life with her storytelling. I also loved hiking in Cinque Terra, stopping for coffee and food in between strenuous hikes."

William

Columbia, VA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1st class tour with excellent guide and extremely knowledgeable and friendly local guides in each place visited

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overwhelming history, architecture, paintings and sculptures in each place as well as the beautiful countryside of Tuscany."

Joan

Perkasie, PA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour made it easy and fun to enjoy one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations in summer.I want to come back to Italy as explore more. We are really into Art and Rome and Florence pack a lot into very walkable parameters. The food- we started a gelato chronicle. An appreciation for Tuscan wine. Heart shaped pizza hot out of the oven in Florence.People watching in the Piazzas while sipping bellini's or expresso.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two. Francesca set the scene at the Colosseum of the sights and sounds the gladiators would have experienced and then we entered through the tunnel to the platform in the middle. She turned to us and said- "can you hear the roar of the crowd?' Then our last night in Florence, heading back to our hotel walking into the Piazza Della signoria, a string orchestra had just started a concert, playing in one of the arched alcoves amid the statues. Both gave me goosebumps."

Rita

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Is there a better choice than outstanding????? I would choose it! This was a trip of a lifetime. So well put together, and quite a few great surprises along the way, like our stop in lucca, like GELATO! As much as I try I cannot seem to come up with a favorite location...........all of them were wonderful.................the itinerary was perfecto, truly, the heart of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As much as i try i cannot come up with a favorite wow moment...........there were too many wows...................cinque terre, wow...................tuscany...................wow, Rome was so crowded, it is loved to death but our fearless leader led us through the masses with such an upbeatness, ( is there such a word)...........Just incredible, the moves she had to make to get through zillions of rome lovers."

Jeff

Johnson Creek, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time in Italy AND our first Rick Steves tour. We watched many Rick Steves tv programs so the bar was set pretty high. Once we started to tour, we were very happy that we made the decision. Our tour guide Patricia was outstanding. Patricia (and the county of Italy) made our tour something to remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In college (a while back) I achieved an art history minor. Learning about the art and architecture from different time periods was fun and relatable. My first "WOW" moment was walking around in Rome and seeing the Pantheon for the first time. Was I really here? Awesome!"

Theresa

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves' Tour and it was more than we hoped! Our tour guide, Patricia Fannon Avolio was not just humorous, friendly, and knowledgeable, but was extremely compassionate to one of our tour members who had some special needs and very understanding about dietary needs. The members of our tour were wonderful. My husband and I went on a Viking river cruise after Italy; it was great, but didn't compare to the culture, knowledge, and experiences we gained with this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca made me reevaluate some of my thinking of history and ancient Rome. The fact that 80-90% is still unknown and changing with discoveries was one wow moment, but the views in the Volterra, the Cinque Terre, and Florence were spectacular!"

Nancy

Summerville, SC

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was so impressed with our guide, Patricia, and all of the local guides that we had on this tour. Their knowledge of the area and presentation of information was superb. The hotels were very comfortable and had all the amenities I would expect but the charm of a local, smaller hotel. Bus transportation was also fabulous as the bus was brand new and was even more comfortable than the plane we flew to Italy on! I also loved that the group size was relatively small.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose just one! Francesca, our local guide in Rome, was amazing and had me close to tears at times with her eloquent descriptions of architecture and art in Rome. Also, I loved that we made a quick "side trip" to the American Cemetery on our way to Florence. It was very moving to read the names on the wall and see all of the crosses in the cemetery."

Brad

Jenks, OK

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour experience and found it to be everything as promised. We loved our guide, the tour group, and the places we visited. I hope to take another Rick Steve's tour in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many moments that left me in awe that it is difficult to narrow it down to one "wow" moment. If I had to choose one, it would probably be the beauty of The Cinque Terre. I truly loved the beauty of the blue waters, the beaches, and the colorful villages. Taking a boat tour of the coastal villages and swimming in the Ligurian Sea were a highlight for sure!"

Diane

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. We covered SO much in 8 days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was in Volterra, the beauty of this ancient town was beautiful????"

Elaine

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip, filled with beautiful sights, fascinating information, great company, delicious food, and memorable experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rainer arranged for us to enter the Colosseum in Rome via the "gladiator" entrance, putting us at the arena level. It was thrilling walking through the tunnel and then seeing the expanse of the Colosseum seats, imagining what it may have been like with the cheering crowds and excitement in ancient times. I have been to the Colosseum before, but this experience was the most memorable. Well done!"

Terri

Jenks, OK

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Tour of Italy! I loved the beauty, the history, the art, the food and the people. Each city offering a different highlight and a different view of Italian culture. The hotels were very nice and in a central location. The transportation was comfortable, and the guides were top notch. There was plenty of time to explore on our own, and the group tours were very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on this Tour. Rome wowed me with its history and the "layers like lasagna" that are everywhere. Volterra wowed me with the beauty and serenity of the Tuscan hills and the charming, relaxing atmosphere of the small town. Cinque Terre was definitely a highlight with the beautiful coastline contrasting with the colorful villages in the cliffs. Florence was the "cherry on top" with overwhelming beauty everywhere. I would not be able to pick one above another."

Ruth Pamela

Palmetto Bay, FL

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, you have this down pat, from hotels, to itinerary, to local guides and tour guide. Well done. Would definitely do another tour and recommend Rick Steves to others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to have a favorite!"

Matt

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rainer was a very good tour guide. He does know the areas and very glad we had him on the tour. I would go on another tour with Rainer.

Becky

Highland, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. I feel like I just came home from a study abroad, the educational content was superb.The tour guides were so informative and entertaining. Having breakfast included was so convenient. Not having to worry about planning hotels and transfers between cities took out a lot of stress, and going to the front of the line as a group was so nice. Some of the towns we visited were remote and hard to get to so it was nice to have a reliable driver to get us there. The Cinque Terre was magical.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming home from the restaurant in Florence on the final night and encountering a string quintet performing on the street. Phenomenal performance, and so unexpected. The entire ambiance was magical. So moving to experience this with this group of people we came to know and love over the previous week."

Janean

Pocatello, ID

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Sunday

Lagrange, IL

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first time to Europe and it was all I hoped it would be. Great balance of scheduled activities & free time. All of the guides were so knowledgeable, the the accommodations were great in every city. No major surprises, a few that were outside of the tour guides control, but she warned us on day 1 that in Italy, things just happen. That helped us to roll with it when the train set for 20 minutes, and when we got rerouted by security on our tour of the Sistine Chapel. GREAT TIME!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views! Advice: take advantage of the opportunities to take your tour to the next level. Top of St Peter's Basillica & Bell Tower in Volterra...wow the views were breathtaking."

Darlene

Arlington, TX

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A lot of great moments -interesting and informative guides, awesome tours, amazing breakfasts, singer for Italy group dinner-so much fun, great group. Voltare, Lucca, Cinque Terre delightful. Loved the free day in Cinque Terre. Rome was a beat down - the bathroom situation when not at our hotel was generally disgusting, strong odors from the dumpsters lining the streets unpleasant. The overly crowded, hot, humid Vatican tour cancelled the beauty of any experience we were suppose to enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the roof top breakfasts in Rome and roof top drinks in Florence. Loved the quaintness of Volterra. Loved the history and bike riding in Lucca. All tour guides were great, but my favorite was the tour guide for the Uffizi."

Michael

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic, fun, educational, interesting, enjoyable company

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wows" to pick just one. It was all good."

Dave

Bloomington, IL

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anna was excellent as a group leader and resource about Italy. She had the right balance of information, keeping things on track and making the experience fun. Overall we saw and did a lot but had enough time to relax and enjoy the country. This was a great way to see Italy and get to know the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome and Florence were amazing. But the smaller sites such as Volterra and Lucca were so much fun. However, Cinque Terra really stood out for the beauty, small village life, nature and a welcome rest from our experiences."

Holly

Evansville, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the Heart of Italy tour! It was a very active tour, packed with wonderful experiences! We saw such a diversity of towns and cites to get a sampling of the diverse culture and country of Italy. Our tour guide was so professional and gracious, making her very detailed and demanding job look effortless. We also met incredibly nice people in our tour group and really felt bonded to them as well as our guide by the end of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moments were seeing The Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica (very moving!) and the beautiful Tuscan towns of Volterra and sea side towns of Cinque Terre and Venice. Volterra was charming and beautiful. I took many pictures of doors and windows! Cinque Terre was so picturesque and rugged, by the sea. Venice was so unique. I tired to imagine what it must be like to live in these towns, but really can't imagine it."

Scott

Evansville, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized. Our tour guide, Anna, was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica"

Mark

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, our main guide Anna was spectacular, she is truly committed to being the best she can be, knowledgable and a people person. The guides for specific sites were wonderful. All in all as a customer I could really feel the passion they had for their role in the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and I celebrating our 27th anniversary were walking thru Florence after a late dinner, came upon a classical quartet playing Cannon in D, which was the song my wife walked up the ailse on her dads arm on our wedding 27 years earlier. A magic moment indeed."

Maryanne

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Passionate, interesting tour guides across the board. Great historical story-telling! They seem to love what they do and I learned so much - quickly! Overall trip was extremely well-organized, efficient use of time; very little waiting in line; ample time to see the sites plus plenty of time to be on your own or interact with others in the group. Bus was a great way to travel between cities as opposed to train - it was just our group - relatively quite, fun time with no stress.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm Catholic so big take away for me was in Rome... hearing how the Catholic church in the olden days just slapped a cross on the top of buildings to claim them. And the opulence of the Vatican. Let's sell some of this stuff for social service projects!!!"

Benjamin

Ramona, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely amazing, between Ferdi our guide and the overall attitude of the group we had an absolute blast. Everybody was friends by the end of the trip and our guide was very knowledgeable of every area for food recommendations and exciting things to do in our free time. I definitely recommend doing a Rick Steve Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved the town of Volterra. I was stunned by the views of the little town in the hills and the overall culture surrounding it was an awesome experience. It was here that I really connected with some other members of the group as well and started to make friends."

Jessica

Billings, MT

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and first time in Italy. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I absolutely love the whole thing. We had a great time getting to know our guide and tour group. The local guides were excellent and brought history to life to make everything we were seeing more memorable. The trip was very time efficient and great mix of group activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Volterra. It was an amazing drive and fun experience to walk on the quiet streets after the hustle and bustle in Rome."

Allison

Hot Springs, AR

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Ferdi, was very good! I was happy to have the whisperers so that we could hear everything the guides were saying. Overall, I would do a Rick Steve,s tour again. But I developed bronchitis and with the heat, did not enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. Not your fault, just put a damper on my trip. Most vendors and shop owners were friendly, but some were not. The tour guides, including Ferdi, really knew their history!!!! Our accommodations and meals were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed with the Coliseum and the architecture. Hard to believe that it is still standing even after it was torn apart plus the earthquake. Also the building, The Temple of Mars Avenger, with the pillars, that noone can get it torn down because it was built so strong. Amazing!!!!!"

Peggy

Hot Springs National Park, AR

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was planned to a "t" with a great itinerary. Our tour guide was fabulous and most knowledgeable about all sites. I am ready to "go again"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to narrow this to one event because each place was a great moment. I really did enjoy Voltaire is I had to choose."

Mark

Palm Springs, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was flawless. Loved the tour group and we both enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Portovenere, (Cinque Terre, and the Islands) .. just beautiful. Tour guide gave a great recommendation for this."

James

Ramona, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ferdi was superb, ensuring all logistical obstacles were handled and smooth. His recommendations for eating were great, every time, never even a so-so meal experience. The local guides were outstanding; providing so much depth of history and interesting tidbits. The timing of the tour seemed to be just right in the amount of scheduled tour and free time. It was just an awesome experience throughout all aspects.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was probably the top of the'wow' moments"

Jan

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had heard wonderful things about Rick Steves' tours and this did not disappoint. Our tour was wonderfully planned but at the same time we had many opportunities to make our own choices about what to do. All of the hotels reflected the ambiance of the town that we were in plus they were all clean and appeared to be well run. The restaurants that our guide took us to were unique and reflected the area. Our tour guide plus all of the local guides were extremely knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many people have asked what was your favorite place?, what was the best thing you saw?, what was the best thing you ate? To all of these questions plus favorite "wow" I have to answer that I really don't have a favorite. Every place we went, everything we saw, was unique, fun, and interesting. This tour had a great blend of big city to small town. We saw and experienced so much history and it all fit together into a wonderful story."

Sandra

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a very good first Rick Steve's tour experience. We had great group comeraderie. Having all the tour skip the line tickets taken care of along with transportation and lodging was wonderful. We think the addition of local guides added a huge depth to the tours. The dinners were wonderful too. If I had a grip it would be the accommodations. Leaky tiny showers were not pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Volterra/Tuscany. Also being on the floor of the Colliseum."

Sandra

Dade City, FL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip. Everything went smoothly from location to location and activity to activity. Our guide, Graeme, gave us suggestions each day on how to navigate the language and custom of the country. He had a tremendous knowledge of the history and areas. We were exhausted by the end of the tour but no complaints about that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two really. As I walked into Saint Peter's Basilica I was totally wowed at the huge expanse and its beauty. The other was the view of the Tuscan hills from our hotel in Volterra."

Jason

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful experience on our 9 day Italy tour. The Rome, Volterra, Luca, Cinque Terra and Florence stops had just the right amount of time in town exploring the local history and taking in its unique ambience and culinary. Our guide was the best and the local hired guides truly gave authentic realism to that locales character. And the highway breaks had some of the best cappuccinos and tiramisu as well! Alla prosimma!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow factor for me was witnessing the Sistine Chapel and the many churches and museums with all the enormous paintings and architecture involved in producing such biblical history and each artist's own personal ideology."

Bill

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. Our tour guide had encyclopedic knowledge and great passion for history, art and architecture. Everything was well coordinated and everyone in our group got along splendidly. Our group dinners were in wonderful little restaurants where the chef/owner and staff proudly served Balfour meals. The tour provide a very appropriate amount of free time and our guide provided good suggestions on how to spend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peter's Basilica in Rome"

Anne

Laconia, NH

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe. We are grateful that we chose a Rick Steves tour as our introduction to this part of the world. Every minute of the nine days was perfectly scheduled and I really appreciated that your company wasn't overzealous when creating the daily activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm still feeling emotional when I see my photos or recall a memory from this trip! I enjoyed the more intimate destinations, Volterra, & Cinque Terra for sure. Soaking up the culture, being able to just walk through the historic streets and embrace the ambiance! It was a dream."

Jeanine

Algonquin, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience on the tour was fantastic. It was my first trip abroad so we felt going with a tour was the best option. Our tour guide was amazing and our group was the same. My husband and I enjoyed the group activities as well as having time on our own. The group dinners were fabulous and loads of fun with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite spot was the Cinca Terre. Hiking between cities was breathtaking!"

John

Algonquin, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. It was a great blend of relaxation, learning history, exercise, and socializing. This was our first time to Italy and it would have been impossible to experience or learn as much on our own. Thank you for relieving the stress of planning! Having never taken a group tour, going in I was apprehensive about the dynamic of our group, but we were blessed with a great group of people which added to the enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it is hard to pare down to one, but if I had to pick I'd say the scale and grandeur of St. Peter's in Rome. Coming in closely behind would be (in no particular order)the Baptistry doors in Florence (the whole Duomo museum actually), the Uffizi gallery, and the beauty of hiking in the Cinque Terre."

James

Lakeport, CA

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I have never had the desire to go to Italy, my wife has wanted to go for many years. We booked the trip and I was thinking, here we go, another boring tour. Boy was I wrong. Graeme did a fantastic job explaining EVERYTHING. It was truly the best guided tour experience I have ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Between the history of Rome, the beauty of Volterra and, and the art in Florence........I'm not sure how to choose."

Lynnette

Lakeport, CA

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been home for a week and still dream of my Rick Steves "Heart of Italy in 9 Days" tour. I'm certain my family and coworkers are becoming weary from hearing me gush about the fantastic time I had. Graeme, our guide, made every day interesting and fun. It was so nice to have everything planned and managed expertly. All of the activities were excellent and the local guides were equally knowledgeable and informed the experience. The other members of the tour were friendly and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While each day had a Wow moment, I will never forget that first evening. When we walked thru the gates into Piazza Del Popolo I was stunned by its majesty. Graeme shared the history of the Piazza, obelisk and the 3 thoroughfares leading away from the Piazza. I couldn't have asked for a better start to my Italian vacation. It just kept getting better!"

Mary Christine

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience in Italy was everything that I had hoped for and more! The itinerary for this trip was very well planned. It was the perfect mix of bustling cities and quieter villages. I feel like I learned so much about the history, art, culture, beauty, food and the wonderful people of Italy! It was so much fun to share all of this with an amazing group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment on the tour took me by surprise. It was the presentation given by our guide, Alfio, of Ghiberti's Bronze Baptistery Doors and the construction of the Cathedral Dome by Brunelleschi. It was so interesting to hear the stories of these two men and their creative genius. The dramatic ending when we turned to face the marble statue of Bruneelli looking up at his Dome was very moving and emotional!"

Dawn

Newport News, VA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Alfio was a fantastic guide! He was well-organized thereby preventing any glitches, his knowledge and presentation of history made it come alive, and, his sharing of the customs and culture of the people were both educational and entertaining. The itinerary was a nice balance of scheduled and free time as well as urban vs. rural settings. The most disappointing part of the trip were the crowds especially at the Vatican, the Academia and the Uffizi. The Uffizi guide was a blessing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments and hard to identify a favorite. They included the Pantheon, Brunelleschi's dome, and the stunning vistas of Cinque Terra. Ever since I was introduced to David in my 1961 art appreciation course, I vowed to see Michelangelo's masterpiece up close and personal. WOW!!!! I even bought a marble composite souvenir that entertained the TSA personnel in Atlanta when they were distracted by the naked man in my backpack."

Vivian

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy so to make sure it was a good experience we decided to go on a tours like yours because we don't speak the language or know our way around and it did not disappoint. We felt taken care of and very comfortable the whole trip and that was largely due to our guide Alfio. He was definitely the key to us having such a fabulous time in Italy. The cities in our Heart of Italy tour were excellent choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlights of Rome were amazing, the beauty of the land surrounding Volterra, when we had happy hour with the group in Cinque Terre the view was amazing and all of Florence."

Nicole

Enid, OK

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Italy was a wonderful tour! It had a great combination of big cities and small towns. We added a couple days in Venice at the end. Alfio was an amazing tour guide and we had a great group of people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all of it but my favorite parts were the smaller cities. Volterra and Cinque Terra once the cruise ships left."

Carol

Buford, GA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Alfio did an amazing job with scheduling our activities. We brought our family on this trip. There was the right mix you young adults and older adults on this tour. We went home making new friends. Having special tour guides at certain cities was an added bonus as was getting to skip long lines at some of the places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being from America we dont see much in the way of history dating farther than the 1700. I loved watching the amazement on my children's face when they saw the Colosseum and Roman forum, Pantheon, etc. The history lessons in school were nothing like the real visual they saw on this tour."

Karen

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing tour! From our guide, Alfio,and all of his knowledge to the hotels, tours, food and group of wonderful people, this could not have been a better trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW - the churches that we saw were so beautiful but St. Peter's Basilica was the most amazing sight that we saw in Rome. The coast of the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre was another WOW moment!!"

Allison

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never could have asked for a better tour! From the great group of people to our amazing amazing tour guide, Alfio, it really was the best trip I've ever experienced! Our group became our family and we are already planning reunions, hoping our great tour guide will join as well! The amount of knowledge and love for history grew tremendously over the 9 days we were there and I couldn't have asked for more. I would go back with the same group and same guide and do it all over again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica was the most jaw dropping and absolutely mesmerizing thing I've ever experienced. The details and architecture was superb, the most amazing place I've ever been to. We just walked around for probably at least an hour just starstruck with its beauty. Definitely something I will never ever forget."

David

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience can be characterized as delightful, meaningful and basically "a lot of fun".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could list a bunch of "wow's"....walking into the Coliseum in Rome, looking up at God touching Adam's finger in the Sistine Chapel, walking down the street in medieval Volterra at night, looking at the Birth of Venus in the Uffizi.... But for me the bottom line was the passion and personal interest of our guide Alfio gave to the group. It's so rare in today's "electronic world" to be touched by interpersonal attention and thoughtfulness. Seeing ancient stuff was great but Alfio was greater!"

Scott

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A bit overwhelming the first 2 days in Rome. Totally exhausted, but enjoyable. I know it cant be fixed, but the sheer number of people in Rome at the Vatican venues detracted severely from the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out my window in Volterra and seeing the Tuscan Landscape. Even though it was a bit rainy, Volterra was that magic place we were looking for on this tour. Then Following up with Cinque Terre, was another great moment."

Katherine

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was amazing, the accommodations were very impressive and clean and the staff was so polite. All of the dinners were very good highlighting Italy's unique foods. Trish ur guide truly made the whole experience. She was so enigmatic and you could feel her love for each city. All the guides that she had set up for us shared the same love for each city and made each walking tour something special. Trish was able to show us the city as a local and it was unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment. Trish's has a way with words and she can put you into a story as she explains the city. Our group dinners felt more like family reunions, and there was never a dull moment with the group."

Sarah

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed our trip. Trish was a fabulous tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly my favorite part of the trip was the people. We all got along very well and it felt like a little family at the end."

Hollie

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a lovely trip my husband and I both really enjoyed the trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the small towns and finally visiting the Cinque Terra"

Melinda

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Italy for the first time and using a tour company so that I didn't have to stress over making all the arrangements myself. The places visited were all very enjoyable and interesting. I felt at some of the locations there was just a little too much crammed into one day and our whole group was left exhausted. When they say "Moderate to Difficult walking", they aren't kidding. Get yourself in shape before going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a lot of them, but seeing the Vatican and museums for the first time was pretty amazing. The biggest thrill was the scenery driving to Volterra and being [INVALID]ped off and seeing that amazing view from our hotel room. Tuscany really is all that! We wanted to stay there for the rest of the tour and explore. Cinque Terre was also quite amazing and we plan to go back."

Martin

Fresno, CA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary. My wife and I really appreciated the visit to the US military cemetery outside of Florence. Very nice group of tour members. Trish and our local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peters"

Kaye

Ephrata, PA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trish and the quality of the local guides exceeded our expectations of this trip. Their collective knowledge of the history, the travel logistics, and the nuances of each area had them each add such value to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide Paul at the Uffizi. In over 50 years of life I have never had a guide that made me think and look differently at art. It was a life changing experience."

Max

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Our tour guide added so much knowledge and information to the process. She knew a lot about each of the sites we toured and was very helpful in making our tour more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Volterra. The alibaster demonstration was superb. The quaintness of that small town was great, just what we needed after leaving hectic and bustling Rome."

Lisa

West Dundee, IL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and I must say we had a wonderful time. There was the right mix of group and personal time. All of our guides were outstanding, possessing an abundance of knowledge and passion on every subject. I was always engaged - their passion couldn't help but be contagious. All our meals were delightful and delicious. Our hotels were always in the ideal locations, close to everything a traveler could hope to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps our first view of the beautiful valley as we rounded a corner while walking in Volterra. We had already seen the hectic streets of Rome, with all it's art and architecture, but it was that first incredible view in the peace of Volterra that made me think "Now this is what Italy is all about.""

Christine

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great group in our tour. It was 28 people as opposed to the expected 24. Our guide, Graeme was so knowledgeable and pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite of the tour was the town of Volterra. The hotel and town was so quaint and friendly. I would return to there for my next trip to Italy. Other WOW experiences were from our guide, Graeme, with our wine tastings, happy hours and chosen restaurants. It was nice to experience his recommendations! Lastly, the Alibaster tour in Volterra was a nice experience. THANK YOU GRAEME for the wonderful tour."

Norman

Augusta, GA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Graeme is an outstanding guide. His knowledge of the currents of history, culture, and politics and abiltynto place landmarks in historic context was amazing. Good group of travelre's. Really enjoyed the opportunites to go off on afternoons to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican mueseum"

Carol

Bellvue, CO

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great experience. A good mixture of group time seeing some incredible sites and time off on our own exploring or relaxing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The places in Italy are all so amazing it was hard to nail down one "wow" moment. I guess it could be the fact that we could breeze through all the amazing places without standing in a mile long line. Logistics of the tour were outstanding!"

Julia

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never ben to Europe before and wanted to have a guided experience. This was exactly what I was looking for!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Cinque Terre"

Gail

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Graeme was a very good guide as were the area guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The RenaissanceTour was great."

Bruce

Bellvue, CO

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour. Our guide, Graeme, made the whole itinerary come alive with his knowledge and appreciation of history, while the local guides each gave us great perspectives of particular attractions. The logistics were nicely handled, such as staying two nights in each area. I liked the itinerary changes that Graeme made, such as breaking up the fountain walk on the first day. I recommend those changes for future tours. One other suggestion: spend more time in Lucca? Thanks!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lunch of ravioli in bolognese sauce in Lucca."

Greg

Belle Isle, FL

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking my Wife to See "David".. She had a great time."

Patsy

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Graeme, was very knowledgeable about the history. We enjoyed him and found him to be very approachable and helpful with all our questions. I would have preferred the tour include Venice and not Tuscany. The town of Volterra is very small and offered little to do and see. Also the town of Lucca was okay, but isn't how I would of preferred to spend my day. I just feel Venice would of offered more than both Volterra and Lucca, historically and tour experience wise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent in Cinque Terre was the highlight."

Gary

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great experience! Will do it again on another tour.

Curt

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the Rick Steves Tour and would do one again. Everything was setup for you - the hotels were lovely and daily tours were amazing. A wonderful way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in the town of Volterra - absolutely amazing - the hotel, the tour, the dinner, the alabaster factory and the wine tasting - our favorite!!"

Sara

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was absolutely a trip of a lifetime. As a solo female traveler I had never taken a guided tour, thinking I could do it all on my own. Was I wrong! The people, culture, food, local guide and authentic experiences provided by a RS tour were outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour provided the perfect balance between guided tours and free time. Group dinners were by far my favorite part of the tour. Getting to know other members of the group over authentic, local and traditional foods was the ideal memory making experience."

Barbara

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the variety, history and art and culture and food and vistas. The daily guides were very good, interesting and funny too. The group dinners were so much fun, and the pesto demo and the wine tasting!I enjoyed meeting the rest of the group, and Jesse was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the music additions during our bus rides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's "David". I can see why it was so important to the history of Florence. Also his "Pieta" in the Duomo museum, even better than the one in St Peter's, in my opinion."

Gary

Saco, ME

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth RS tour and, just like our first three, often exceeded our expectations! Each one has truly been "the trip of a lifetime" for us, offering so much art, history, and architecture along with so many rich cultural experiences and dazzling scenery - all the things we desire in a European vacation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, this tour was more about "AHA!" moments -Art-History-Architecture-than "wow" moments. With the help of our great guide and all of the local guides I was able to finally "get it" and tie together the incredibly rich and complex tapestry of the history of Europe and its people. This tour was the History of Western Civilization up close and personal. . . and in 3-D! (St. Peter's and listening to Andrea Bocelli on the bus as we drove into the Tuscan hills were both wow! moments,though :) )"

Jeannie

North Andover, MA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible experience! Each of our destinations was charming, beautiful, and the history fascinating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Winding through the Tuscan hills on the way to Volterra listening to Bocelli. Also a visit to Saint Peters basilica.... astounding beauty!"

Mary

Saco, ME

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned so much and saw so Much! Jesse was an excellent and exhuberant guide and introduced us to so much . The local guides had so much knowledge to share with us. They all were so interesting and we're pleasant and open to our questions (despite the rain). The different places we visited were so different and the beauty of the Italy could be appreciated in so many ways, food, wine, culture, and terrain. The wonderful people we shared the trip with made it so much easier.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All new places were a WOW, buti will say the group meals were extraordinary and fun and delisoso! What terrific finds"

Loren

Newberg, OR

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

5 years ago we did a Your Way to Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The trip was amazing. How could our trip to Italy be better? IT WAS!!! The sites, the hotels, the tour guides, the travel arrangements, and the food...simply one of the most spiritual experiences my husband and I have had. We loved every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our one WOW was a local guide, Paolo, in Rome. I had know idea I'd be so touched emotionally by the history and descriptions of Ancient Rome. The unexpected was the visiting of St Ignatius Chapel and the Pantheon. I'll never forget it. 2nd WOW moment...were the connections we made with our tour mates. Conversations at breakfast and dinner times were some of the most unexpected pleasures."

Helen Feng Lan

Andover, MA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am very pleased with the tour. I truly enjoy Rick's knowledgeable tour guides which are very engaging and professional. They have enriched us with the culture and histories that makes this a very memorable trip. Another important fact that make this trip easy to travel with are the buddies in our group that we travelled with have become like family and it was sad to depart from on last day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have quite a few wow moments during this trip, but one stood out most is at a hiking trail of Chique Terra overlooking the beautiful Vanessa village."

Jean

Seabeck, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

'Trip of a lifetime'! Our first RS tour, we traveled with an amazing group of adventurous, inquisitive travelers who made our days special! Rome was 'magnificently crazy-paced', ''Volterra' was absolutely everything you could ask for in the beauty of Tuscany. 'Lucca' was interesting; the 'Cinque Terra' was simplicity, beauty, soul-renewing! 'Florence' was simply 'amazing'; where the architecture is as amazing as the fashion store window displays!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See 'David' in person was equal to standing in the Sistene Chapel; both were beyond words!"

Wayne

St Laurent, QC

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the Heart of Italy in 9 Days tour was better then anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised on the out of the way places we managed to see and the interaction with like minded travellers. Group dynamics was kept in control by the tour guide and we were made to feel cohesive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was pleasantly surprised by Volterra. I have already visited Rome and Florence but not the smaller out of the way places which added to the overall experience."

Sharon

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed the tour to a point. The logistics were well handled, the local guides exceptional, my tour group wonderful, my on board guide not as accommodating and good as I anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amicable group I traveled with: kind, easy, interesting and friendly. The Grandeur of the Vatican. Walking into the Colosseum where the gladiators stood."

Donna

Newburgh, ON

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience with excellent accommodations and great recommendations for places to visit and wonderful restaurants. It was just the right amount of scheduled tours and free time. We loved all the locations we visited. All the tour guides in each city were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to come up with one "wow" moment since there were so many. Perhaps my favorite "wow" moment was sharing a drink with friends on the tower of our final hotel in Florence while enjoying the 360 view of Florence. Everything about Volterre was a wow moment."

Curtis

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was not sure how I would like being on a tour. But it was a great experience, with much less stress and worry, having Reed take care of all the details (and us as well). I would, and already have, recommend it to anyone wanting to tour a foreign country. Getting not only the "inside scoop" on the areas you visit, but also have someone shepherd you around gives you the freedom to enjoy yourselves and your time away.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the vistas from the highest point of Volterra."

Kathryn

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time my family has joined a group to tour a foreign country. We were impressed by the ease of communication, the information given leading up to the actual tour, and of course, the tour itself. Reid was a great guide and made the trip fun, informative and educational. He encouraged connection and communication and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. We will definitely go on another RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the Pantheon and realizing that it looks just like it did more than 2,000 years ago. Walking into Saint Peter's Basilica in the early morning and feeling the presence of God. Walking the Cinque Terre trail and seeing Vernazza for the first time. Looking through the Etruscan Gate in Volterra and knowing it was the same view as when those stones were first laid more than 3 centuries BC."

Terri

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip! The tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour was our time in Volterra. Our guide was Claudia and she was delightful."

Taylor

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first group tour experience and it exceeded my expectations. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the overall take away from what we saw and did and were thrilled with the ease of pace and logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed by Volterra and the history as well as the breathtaking views. The alabaster workshop was one of my favorite parts of the tour."

Elizabeth

Lake Elmo, MN

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour with Rick Steves--The Heart of Rome in 9 Days tour. It was everything I had hoped and more. I was blown away by Rome and all the sights and sites; by Volterra, Lucca, Monterossa al Mare and then Florence with all it's sights and sites. Reid was a great guide and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Gallery was breathtaking for me. Also, Lucca was an amazing city. Loved it!"

Stanley

Aurora, CO

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very satisfied with my overall experience. It exceeded my expectations. Our tour guide, Colleen, was very knowledgeable about all the sites we saw in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its hard to choose. The views of Tuscany from Volterra and the Cinque Terre were beautiful, but everything we saw was amazing."

Stephanie

Aurora, CO

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, and our first time to visit Italy. The tour details were very well organized. Hotels were unique and added to the whole experience. We liked the mix of group time vs. individual time, and the mix of busy city vs. calmer "country" sites. I feel like we experienced it all - history, food, art, and beautiful scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many wow moments to choose from, but my two favorites were St. Peter's Basilica and the Cinque Terre."

Donna

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the mix of places visited, quality of activities and local guides, the thoughtful arrangement of hotels and dining experiences, made for a very enjoyable trip.The mix of free time and group time felt about right. The size and comfort of the bus was great and made getting from city to city more enjoyable. We felt more time in Cinque Terre would have been good. We could have easily done without the few hours in Lucca in exchange for more time in Cinque Terre.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Seeing the David statue up close. The beautiful Tuscan countryside. All of Cinque Terre. Volterra."

Michael

Brookhaven, GA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David in the Accademia was far more impressive than I had anticipated."

Linda

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our overall tour experience was very good. The weather was a little bit off so that influenced our experience in a couple of the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Cinque de terra. I was pretty amazed by everything though and again, the weather is influential in how I view things. I loved Florence and was amazed by Rome (and incredibly disappointed in humans!)."

Kerry

Bourbonnais, IL

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves. We liked staying in small hotels in the heart of each destination and appreciated a two-night stay at each stop. We like walking to see the sites at each stop and felt comfortable with the pace of exploring at each destination. The online guides provided allowed for a great introduction to each site visited. The Rick Steves book on Italy was a wealth of information on restaurants., local travel options and side trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the towns and ocean after hiking several thousand meters up one of the hills at Chinque Terre."

Rick

Gaithersburg, MD

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent as usual. We did a Rick Steves Germany/switzerland/Austria tour 5 years ago that was excellent, and this Heart of Italy tour did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre hikes. Tuscany country-side."

Timothy

Brodhead, WI

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can not imagin that a tour could be put together any better than our's was. The whole experance was much easyer than I ever thought it could be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the meals we had together!"

Michael

Stockton, CA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nice tour, well organized. The hotels were comfortable. Good group of people to share the experience with. However, the food was a disappointment. Food is an important part of a travel experience, and the dinners provided weren't even mediocre. That was a bummer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's basilica. The whole Vatican experience was excellent. Our dinner in Rome was a total waste."

Carolyn

Arlington, VA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was cinque terre! Lovely location and a nice chance to relax and enjoy our surroundings with a glass of wine right on the water!"

Barbara

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. Each location had interesting activities and enough free time for individual preferences. Our tour mates were outstanding--they really added to the overall enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Cinque Terre was my favorite wow moment. It was my first time to visit, and the views were amazing."

Stephen

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ferdi and the guides that assisted him were fantastic. The dinners provided as part of the tour were outstanding. The accommodations were for all our overnights were very adequate. The breakfasts were great, too. The buses were very comfortable and made the travel from place to place easy. We traveled with a great group of folks, that just added to the enjoyment of the trip. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip and will be back on a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is really hard since there were many "Wow Moments". I think the main Wow for me was the Cinque Terra town of Corniglia. The views, the town, the water so blue. Absolutely, breath taking. A close second was meeting Rick as we were walking to our hotel in Monterosso. So cool!"

Roger

Washougal, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the balance of guided tours and free "explore" time on your own. Hotels were were very good being smaller quaint properties. I thought the guides did a great job giving us historical information but not overwhelming us with facts and dates. This was my wife's first trip to Italy and being on a "Rick Steves" tour. She loved it! The tour hosted dinners were "awesome"! Everything was well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the quaint towns of Cinque Terre and the beautiful sights."

Jeff

Garden Grove, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Great mix of time with the group and personal time. The format of touring each city with a local guide followed by free time on your own to explore is perfect. The local tour guides were all excellent. Being able to enter main attractions like the Vatican and Uffizi Gallery with the group and not wait in line is a lifesaver. This is my 7th Rick Steves tour and they have ALL been great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but the one that stood out the most was our day hiking in Manarola in the Cinque Terra. Absolutely beautiful and one place that lives up to all the hype it deservedly receives."

Peter

Greenville, NC

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip. Our fellow group members were great. Our invididual site guides were well informed and communicated effectively.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Statue of David at the Academia in Florence. Unbelievable even though I had seen it 35 years earlier."

Connie

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was one I will always cherish! It was perfectly organized and didn't disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides meeting Rick Steve's, it would difficult to choose one wow moment. Each destination held its own WOW moment!??"

Walter

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time that we spent in Volterra. I loved the charm of the town and the views of the Tucson countryside."

Bryan

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed this tour. I feel what I learned should get me three semester hours at any University! We didn't just visit beautiful cities. We learned about their history, experienced classic central hotels, great food, and wonderful art. Our group became friends and established a way to visit each other in the future. With all that is included, hotels,meals, and guides in various locations in addition to our great guide that accompanied us the entire trip, it was a bargain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Florence from atop the Torre Guelfa hotel."

Bill

Lexington, MA

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Reid Coen's guidance was outstanding. He went out of his way to help the tour members get settled in a make the most of trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was wow."

Nydia

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fabulous. We loved all our tour participants. Everyone was lovely ??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many wow moments to pick just one. I think Florence was my favorite city."

Scott

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The cities and venues we visited were interesting, I especially liked Volterra. The Vatican Museum was too crowded for my taste but everything else was great.

Kathy

Sparks, NV

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. I was very anxious about it, but being on the Rick Steve's tour reassured me. The tour was a perfect blend of group time to visit all the "must see" sites and down time for us to enjoy the country on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One day as we were exploring on our own we came across a farmers market. Since we had done our research with Rick Steve's travel book and videos, we stopped! We bought sausages, cheese and wine and made our way through to a small courtyard where locals were having a wonderful time complete with music and dancing. We felt like Italians!"

Rob

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 05/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Appropriate balance of group activities and free time to explore. Guide was excellent (Reid Coen). I had been to Italy a few times before, but the guided tour gave much better understanding and thus more enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, Colosseum and Forum."

Katarzyna

West Islip, NY

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Itinerary and organization was fantastic.Everything run smoothly:checking in to hotels,museum visits,bus trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Cinque Terre , Pantheon at night, and of course David."

Martin

Webster, NY

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met all our expectations .... great balance of structured and free time, stellar tour guide and wonderful local guides, friendly groups etc etc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peter's of course !"

Barry

Sun City West, AZ

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent trip to Italy, and it was the best trip of my life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David"

Theresa

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

An aptly named tour has a terrific itinerary providing a great taste of the heart of Italy. Each local guide was magnificent and improved my understanding and knowledge of all the sites, towns and villages we too-briefly visited. Another friendly, engaged group of travelers sharing the journey in a joyful way. Colleen is genuine and caring and steered our band with pluck and an always present smile and easy laughter. Must consider changing to a fab HOI in 13 days, 3 nights in each stop!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre was as thrilling and gorgeous as it was challenging and just a little bit scary in the wet conditions. Experiencing this was a huge part as to why I picked the tour. Fun dining in Vernazza and exploring its environs. Whew, easy 10-minute train back was a quads saver!"

Patricia

Sun City West, AZ

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized. All of the hotels and restaurants were outstanding. Our guide was excellent and I enjoyed interacting with her and the rest of our group. The presentations regarding the visited sites and towns were very informative and gave me a better understanding of what I was experiencing. It was a dream to walk between the towns in the Cinque Terre and this was accomplished.I truly loved every minute of my trip and I am already planning my next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the David and the Vatican museums. Walking thru the Tuscan towns was also very memorable."

Stacy

Boynton Beach, FL

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is a convenient and safer [INVALID]native to total solo travel. Everything seemed very thoughtfully and well planned. I had hoped to meet other solo travelers but that didn't happen on this trip. Everyone else was in a family unit or couple. This was a good taste of Italy for me since I have not traveled there before. I would feel more comfortable to return and see more of Italy as a solo traveler or with another group tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local tour guides were truly best in class. Each one had so much passion for their part of the tour and truly made the trip special. I think the British lady who gave the street tour of Florence was my favorite. I learned so much about the customs and people who inhabited Florence in the Renaissance - and just before and after."

Mark

Schaumburg, IL

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience overall. Trip provided an appreciation for the historical development of society and role that Italy played. Overnight accommodations were good with great locations.

Carol

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lots of fun, good mix of urban and village. Great hotels, food, guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pastel houses of the Cinque Terre clustered on vine-covered terraced hills"

Jerry

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable. Use of local guides was very good. Included meals and hotels were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra. Staying in and exploring hill town gave me a new perspective on this part of Italy."

Stephanie

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found it a wonderful mix of planned visits to attractions / museums and the free time to do as we wanted. The trip was well planned and executed. Sarah was delightful!!! The local "experts" who guided us through the various museums and destinations were so well qualified and prepared, they gave us such wonderful "behind the scenes" and a look back in some cases thousands of years.

George

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely well organized, great hotels, good options for free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, challenging and beautiful."

John

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole experience was more than I expected. the quality of the local guides and the convenience of reservations for popular destinations greatly increased my overall enjoyment. Sara did a wonderful job of entertaining us and made us feel quite secure. The hotels and meals we're all first rate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel in florence had a tower that we could climb with cocktails and a magnificent sunset view of the city."

Karen

Blue Springs, MO

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time we'd taken a group tour and we were very pleased! So fun to meet lots of new people from all over and to have the hotels, meals and transportation planned for us. Our guide was excellent and all the local guides were superb and added a richness to our experience we wouldn't have gotten going on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of Wow moments! Going through the Colosseum and the Forum have to be near the top! Loved Volterra and the beauty of Tuscany. Cinque Terre was beautiful also!"

Scott

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was managed very well. The sites were well chosen and interesting. I learned a great deal about Ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy. I really enjoyed the group dinners and local guided tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Tuscany from the top of Volterra. Hiking the trails in cinque terre."

Stephen

Blue Springs, MO

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very well run; I would find it very hard to complain about any aspect of the tour. The accommodations, transportation and guides were all first rate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Tuscany region was just too great to put into words."

Bianca

Welches, OR

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really couldn't have "hand pick" a more perfect group of people to travel with from all parts of the States which added to the total experience of the 9 days spent in Italy. Each person added so much to the overall experience and Sarah, our guide was just the icing on the cake!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca, our guide at the Vatican was so incredible at bringing the art to life. She is so gifted at her craft that it brought me to tears. Each and every local guide added so much to the experience but she was off the charts!"

Elaine

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about the tour! Our tour guide, Sarah, and all of the local guides were outstanding. We enjoyed all of the group tours and the guides gave us great advice and assistance for using public transit and touring on our own as well as where to eat and shop. We had marvelous welcome happy hour at all stops on the trip. Group dinners were so much fun and enjoyed wonderful food and wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the walks and the sea in Cinque Terre. Also, thoroughly enjoyed Volterra."

Janis

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was amazing and exhausting. Our main tour guide, Sarah, and our individual tour guides (in Rome, Volterra, Lucca and Florence) all were excellent, very knowledgeable and entertaining as well. The hotels were excellent; the group meals were outstanding (as were all meals in Italy). Even though I thought I was prepared for a lot of walking, by day three my feet were a wreck in spite of good shoes, and there was little relief from walking until day six.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment (maybe not wow, but moving) was our visit to the American Cemetery outside of Florence. The director there graciously spoke to us about the history of the Italian campaign in WWII and about the cemetery itself. It was a very peaceful and solemn visit."

Nina

Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour and overall travel experience was perfect. This was our 1st tour but it won't be our last.

Deitra

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Donald was great!!!! I would want him every time I take a tour :) He made everything smooth and top notch. His knowledge, availability, and ability to make everyone comfortable was amazing. He took all of my insecurity about traveling abroad away and made everything very comfortable and inviting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum was my favorite "wow" moment and our tour guide in Rome Francesca (?) was incredible. The way she opens your eyes and releases the statues to their original design was enlightening."

Deborah

Portland, ME

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more then I ever expected. It was so well organized. I loved all the tour guides, they were so informative. Visiting these locations would not have been the same, without their guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love, love, loved Volterra, It was an amazing find. My husband and I got up early one morning, and walking through the streets with local bread delivery and street sweepers, I can really explain it but the simplicity was beautiful. We over looked walls the views were breathtaking. I highly recommend anyone visiting Italy to make this stop!"

Ali

Shelby, NC

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I thought everything was on the money. We had great guides, no wasted time, plenty of free time, great support and a good, congenial group of travelers. We were extremely happy with everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several, but mine was seeing the Sistine Chapel."

Peggy

Shelby, NC

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The variety of locations was wonderful. Our guide, Donald, went above and beyond to make each segment meaningful at every turn. We were also impressed with the knowledgeable city guides who greatly enhanced our experiences. Ground transportation was excellent. We were pleased with each hotel and with the huge breakfast offerings each day. We thoroughly enjoyed the four group dinners. Most of all, the comradeship that grew within our group added greatly to our overall enjoyment .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spectacular, breathtaking Tuscan landscape!"

Art

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

OVERALL EXCELLENT TRIP. We normally travel to places on our own however a travel agent friend said try a Rick Steve's Tour they do and they love it. It turned out to be a great suggestion, our group was comprised of 28 wonderful people from all over the US and only 2 had been on a Rick Steves Tour before so the rest of us were first timers. Our guide Donald was SUPER always greeting us with a smile and explained everything in detail that we needed to know and to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was great sightseeing and information however I was amazed how well the tour was organized WOW!"

Scott

San Diego, CA

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience! Our guides were very knowledgeable, the other tour participants were very fun to explore with, and the food was great! Definitely would be interested in another Rick Steves tour in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Pantheon! An amazing piece of architecture!"

Deborah

Bend, OR

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time that we had traveled on a tour. We were pleasantly surprised & enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The hotels were in just the right area of each town. The individual guides for the towns, museums & sites were very knowledgeable & friendly. Our overall guide, Donald, was spectacular. He knew his facts, was very friendly, had very good suggestions on what to do in each area & where to eat, etc. Our amount of time planned was just right leaving time for ourselves.

Patsy

Somersworth, NH

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly had a wonderful time. It exceeded my expectations in every way. Well worth the money!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many wow moments for me to narrow it down! Florence and Rome ticked off several of my "bucket list" items, but I also loved the quaint beauty of Volterra."

Lincoln

Somersworth, NH

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations and they were met! Experience energized and empowered us for future travel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments...other than the obvious ...masterpieces and buildings...Voltaire was a favorite."

Karan

Mansfield, TX

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved almost everything about this trip. So nice to not worry about anything. Donald our tour guide was terrific. Loved all of the places that we stayed. Loved the local guides. They really captured the culture for me and made me understand it. Will definitely be doing a Rick Steves tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were really so many "wow" moments to choose from. Walking into the Colosseum was amazing. The age, the beauty, the history comes to life those first moments when you walk in. Amazing!"

Denise

Hicksville, NY

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment our plane landed in Rome I kept telling my husband to pinch me so I knew I was not dreaming. From hotels to food to touring cities this was an amazing adventure. It was my 60th Birthday gift - I did not want a party that would just be remembered as another party. I wanted something I would never forget and this was the best gift I could have ever wished for. I came away with so much and met so many great folks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to share this experience with my husband. I was engulfed by the art and inspired to want to paint. I could not believe that these building could be thousands of years old, my roof needed replacement after only 12 yrs. I would touch walls in cities and think how old and how many others passed under this archway or sat in this church or ate in this restaurant or who slept at this hotel. It's really mind boggling."

Linda

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! The pre-trip preparation tips and well-planned itinerary made this a most excellent experience! Teaching us to use the train and bus systems right out of the gate was wise. I actually managed to not get lost during free time :) My expectations for a "taste of Italy" were far exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I' must pick two. On Good Friday evening in Volterra we had just left our charming restaurant after a wonderful meal and met the followers of a procession in the piazza. A walking cadence on a drum, a canopy over the priest, a wagon bearing a wooden cross, a wagon bearing an ornately carved statue of Jesus, followed by villagers with candles and lights. And as we joined the procession, we became part of the village. Tears. And In Firenze, David. Tears."

William

Hicksville, NY

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected this to be a great trip, but it was beyond all expectations! Not only the places we seen, but everyone in Rick's staff and the people we were traveling with. I compare it to Dorthy landing in OZ! Thanks all for a true trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome! What a great place."

Juanita

Napa, CA

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Italy and I loved every minute of it! Sarah was a terrific guide very informative and fun! The transportation was just as nice as i expected if not better. Sarah helped us navigate through the different modes of transportation and was always available if we needed help. Loved the time we had as a group and the time we had to explore on our own, perfect! Sarah always pointed out places that we may want to explore on our own and she was always right. Italy is an amazing place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is difficult to pick one. I believe visiting the Coliseum would be my wow moment. The history and the size was just amazing!!"

Diane

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David in Florence"

Priscilla

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first-time Rick Steve's tour-taker, I feel that I started with the best! The tour was beyond any expectations I could have had. Our tour guide, Sarah, was awesome! Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, organized, and yes, FUN! There was so much history, art, scenery, and food to experience, there was never a dull moment. With a group of strangers, there's always a possibility of clashes. That did not occur. Everyone was friendly and had a good attitude. No complainers. GREAT TOUR!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my biggest "wow" moment was the realization that America is truly a young country. In school, ancient history was never a favorite subject, and I probably felt what I learned was in someone's imagination. Then, there I was in Italy, actually walking on streets that were thousands of years old! Seeing the ancient buildings, STILL IN USE! I felt my world at home was very small, indeed. It was a very humbling experience, to say the least."

Daniel

Panama City Beach, FL

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided an excellent balance of guided activities and independent time to explore, with each approach providing memories that will last a lifetime. I also thought the package was a good value, with many meals and attractions included, in addition to lodging and transportation between destinations. I probably could have saved a little money booking things myself, but I shudder to think how much time would have been wasted standing in lines and wandering around lost!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As an engineer, it was interesting learning about the methods used to construct the dome of the Pantheon in Rome, with each layer getting progressively thinner, with the highest sections near the occulus using pumice rock for aggregate. It became a "WOW" moment when I realized this was done 1900 years ago!"

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fast paced, active and full of many interesting sights and activities. Our guide, Sarah was energetic, fun, knowledgeable and kept the group on point. She seemed to give attention to everyone and helped us find things to do and see on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Absolutely loved the Cinque Terre despite the thousands of people. The hike, the views, the sweat, boat ride made it all worth it!"

Thomas

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah Shortreed brought such a positive energy every single day, with excellent organization. We had little to do but soak in the Italy experience. The Italy guides were also exceptional. They mixed a wealth of knowledge of their areas of expertise with humor that allowed us to learn so much more than reading a guide book. I really appreciated the trip organization schedule which allowed us to explore on our own, giving freedom to explore We look forward to more Rick Steve trips soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alabaster carvers in Voltarra! After the demonstration of how they carved, I, being an amateur lathe wood turner myself, returned later in the day and spent some time with the Master Carver. Despite the language difficulty, I was able to give him an ink pen I brought which I had turned, and in turn, he gave me two beautiful pieces of white and pink Alabaster to take home to turn on my own lathe."

Fred

Montrose, CO

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I imagined. Well organized, fantastic vistas, comfortable hotels, great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terra. I just about hyperventilated many times trying to inhale all the scents from the orange and lemon blossoms. Trying to take in the view made walking interesting because I didn't want to look down at the trail, but rather see the breathtaking views! Made me appreciate what a beautiful world we all get to live in."

Judy

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 04/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It has been my dream to visit Italy and this tour more than exceeded my dreams! I couldn't have asked for a more adventurous and fulfilling first-time trip to Italy. We couldn't pick the people who were going to be in our group but I have made a new set of friends. Our tour guide Susan made the trip even more special; and talk about fun! That seems to be Susan's middle name. The art, the food, the people and the places in Italy are amazing! To misquote Dr. Suess: Oh the places I saw!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mid-trip I was doing laundry in Levanto; I sat outside waiting for the dryer. It was fun to people watch. I look up the street and an older couple came down the sidewalk; the woman was helping the man to walk. They stopped to rest in the middle of the street and before they started up again they stood cheek to cheek then smiled sweetly at each other and moved on. It was such a tender moment. It could have been my parents in Nome, Alaska but it was a beautiful older couple in Levanto, Italy."

Diana

Arlington, WA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. Not only was Italy a great place to visit, but the tour was laid out very well. We had nice accommodations, plenty of free time mixed in with great group time and David was a fabulous guide. Also all of the local guides were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a lot of wow moments - but the first time we came around the corner of our narrow street into the piazza in front of the Duomo would be the most memorable. Such an imposing yet beautiful structure. However, there were many others, close behind. We saw so much beautiful art and amazing history it is hard to put one above the other."

Sandra

Yuba City, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing trip with a "out of this world" tour guide and a wonderful group of people. The amount of time in each city was good and the guides in each city were excellent. I would encourage anyone to take this trip to beautiful Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my fourth trip to Italy and the surprise for me was Volterra. I loved the history and the size of the town. Those views from Volterra to the surrounding country side was amazing. Florence was also an amazing experience. What a beautiful city with so much history and art. Both David and the local guide did a great job in guiding us through this great city."

Gerald

Los Osos, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great from start to finish. This os our 3rd tour and the best yet! Our tour guide was David and we all just loved him. His knowledge of his home country was amazing. Its history, its various regions and the provinces- he just was so informative in every area. All that and he was funny and caring to all of us. I can't imagine a better tour guide in all of the roster of Rick's guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never think of "wow" experiences. It ALL is a wonderful experience. The most affecting was being able to walk on the floor of the coliseum."

Kathleen

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip throughout-not having to stand in most of the museum lines was great. Everything went according to the schedule with lots of time to do your own thing. David was a great host and very considerate of the group needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terrra-maybe a little more time there. Had a beach picnic."

Michele

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. It was well run tour. David our guide was incredible! He made the tour !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum in Rome."

Shelley

Montpelier, OH

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was very well organized with the best restaurants and hotels possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Clinique Terre was our favorite . The beautiful , colorful buildings built into the cliff sides ."

Katherine

Los Osos, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy Tour was fabulous! The tour exceeded my expectations in every way. By visiting both large cities and small towns, we were able to see many sides of Italy. The itinerary of the tour is amazing! To see the art and architecture of Italy was a dream come true. Through our wonderful guide David, and the exceptional local guides that led us in stops along the way, I learned about the history of Italy, shaping my understanding of Italy today. It was truly a trip of a lifetime!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first wow is our guide David who is so engaging, intelligent, caring, and has a warm and spirited sense of humor (and what a musician!). Another wow was getting caught up in a thunder storm while walking to our first group dinner. The group got drenched, and what a wonderful way to get to know one another! Another wow was walking on to the floor of the Colosseum through the doors of the gladiators. I will never forget looking up to where the spectators would sit... it was "jaw-dropping"."

Gayle

Glen Carbon, IL

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and it exceeded our expectations. We had been to Italy before, but this time we experienced Italy through the eyes of an Italian. Our tour guide, David, was terrific. We learned so much about Italy's history and people thru David's stories and the excellent local guides. The four group dinners provided us a wide variety of local cuisine, allowing us to experience many more dishes than dining on our own. Must mention the fantastic group of fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first "wow" moment was experiencing Rome traffic via our taxi drive from FCO to the hotel. Visiting Volterra after the crowded, busy city of Rome was wonderful. Cinque Terre is so charming it must be mentioned. In Florence, watching our Florentine steak be cut, weighed and brought to our table was a fun dinner on our own. Introducing grandson Mike to Italy was a "wow" moment for us all. Can't forget our last night's entertainment provided by David; so enjoyed it!!"

Richard

Calgary, AB

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were entertained, taught, well fed & tired from many miles of walking but very happy with the whole 9 days. Our first evening together, the skies of Rome opened up and it poured!!! Thunder and lightening added to the excitement. We persevered and David held fast with keeping us entertained while walked & stuck close to walls trying to skirt out of the rain as much as we could. By the time we got to our restaurant, we were wet but warm friendships and great memories were already developing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day tour through Rome. The day after our wet night walk, the sun shone bright. Rome's air was fresh and we made our way to Pantheon & Trevi Fountain. We visited a cathedral, we would have otherwise missed, if it weren't for our amazing day tour guide, Francesca. Italy is fascinating and with the direction from all our wonderful guides all of our senses were fulfilled. They offered so much history & told the stories so well, it made me feel like I was actually a citizen of Italy."

Joseph

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic journey through history, art, culture and architecture. Should have done this years ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the WWII memorial south of Florence."

Karen

Heath, TX

Tour: 04/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about this amazing experience. Our guide David was totally awesome!

Nickie

Signal Mountain, TN

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Loved Italy! This was my second Rick Steves Tour. (First one was Barcelona and Madrid.) I liked Italy more (more beautiful, more history, great food!)--but I preferred the slow pace of the 2 city trip. It's a dilemma for me. I loved all 4 cities---but wished we had less travel on the bus and more time in each city. I ruralize that you do offer trips like that.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Voltaire---because I had no expectations. Loved it. Same with Lucca. Loved the tour guide. Also loved guided tour of art museum in Florence. All then local guides were excellent."

Elizabeth

Westminster, MA

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments however seeing the statue of David rates as #1!"

Emilia

Highland Village, TX

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I discovered places I would never have found on my own and a very interesting cultural experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra - the absolute splendor and beauty of Tuscany"

Kathleen

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Donald did a great job. He encouraged group members to mix and for the most part they did. Individual tour leaders were also very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" was my reaction when I saw St. Ignacious (sp) Church. I have been to Rome before but had never seen this church. What a great addition to the tour."

William

Durham, NC

Tour: 04/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My posiitve comments would be too long to write. Really, really great trip and great itineary. One (and probably only) disappointment for the tour was visit to the Vatican Museums. Not the fault of Rick Steves and team, but the experience in Vatican Museums was very uncomfortable and unpleasant because there were just too many people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra was fabulous."

Cynthia

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely fascinating from start to finish. The hotels with character, the intense history lessons from tour guides at each site, the delicious food in the most wonderful venues. The whole trip was filled with extras!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop at the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. This was an emotional stop, I was completely overcome. This is a beautiful sacred stop. What an honor i felt paying respects to the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The grounds are beautiful It made me want to find history on the other 13 USA cemeteries outside of the U.S. There were many moments of awe during the trip but this unexpected stop was special to me."

Terrill

Renton, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia was an amazing guide!! The experience was remarkable and I appreciated the balance of guided adventure and free time. I will recommend this tour to friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but too experiences included the history and architecture of Roman ruins, cathedrals and the Duomo in Florence. My favorite "wow" city was Volterra. I could see myself retiring there!"

Paul

Brevard, NC

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply great! Our group was very cohesive and I certainly enjoyed getting to know all of them. In terms of organization[INVALID]spectacular! The places we went, restaurants that had been chosen for our group meals, the hotels, transportation, well, I cannot say enough good things. And our guide Patricia is simply the best. She always had time for each of us, set a very pleasant pace as we toured and is the veritable "wealth of knowledge". The other guides were also tops, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had dreamed of seeing the Coliseum since a youth and wow, there it was. What a memory!"

Laura

Elmwood Park, IL

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Kudos to our guide Patricia. Never saw such a hardworking, passionate host. Patricia worked throughout our tour to handle every detail while providing ongoing information on each stop. Each local guide was also amazing: hilarious, insightful, wise, thorough. The guides were a feast for my brain. I loved each hotel, most of the meals were fabulous. I felt taken care of and challenged. It was a perfect blend of together time and separate time. A remarkably well planned trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was stunning and Annie our guide was unforgettable. Her passion and knowledge were infectious. Her stories were powerful. Our hotel was great. The countryside and Etruscan museum took my breath away."

Arthur

Spring Lake Heights, NJ

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had toured Italy years ago on my own and got a taste of the country amazed by the architecture, statues and paintings in Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice. While I was delighted at the time, in retrospect I did not gain a full appreciation of what I had experienced. This tour with the professional guides Laria, Annie,Cindy and their respective expertise on the histories of the cities and its treasures filled that void.The meals on the tour provided an appreciated gustatory experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the unscheduled visit to the American cemetery in Florence was an interlude to our busy schedule, it was a reflective moment for me and other members of our tour. We learned much about the ancient Roman brutal world and were confronted with the same in recent history. To me the dead in the cemetery had given their lives so that we tourists were able to visit Italy today and ponder its treasures."

Edward

Renton, WA

Tour: 04/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end Rick Steves tours provided a abundance of material to prepare us. There was never a time during the tour that I felt I was unprepared or neglected. The mix of locations on the "Heart of Italy" tour, from big cities Rome and Florence to small towns Volterra and the Cinque Terre, was a pleasant contrast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My greatest "wow" moment came when seeing the Pantheon come into view on the first day of the tour. The history, architecture, and immense size smacks you in the face when you see it in person. Being from Washington state, this was my first time leaving the country and experiencing history greater than 500 years old."

Keith

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime...everything I imagined and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I just loved the history, Wine and food but was my wow was the land, green and country while riding from place to place."

Robin

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first group tour experience and it was what we were hoping for and would do it again! I liked that the group was small (25) and that so much of the planning was taken care of. The group was friendly and easy to interact with and our guide was helpful. I liked that you had some free time each day and thought the hotels were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This one is hard because I felt like each city was different and had things I liked - I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Rome and I really liked seeing the Coliseum/Forum. Volterra was probably my favorite city on the trip - I loved our walking tour with Annie, the alabaster workshop and wine tasting with Francesco! We did a pesto making class on our own in Cinque Terre that was a highlight and our group dinner was fantastic!"

Genevieve

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never booked a group tour experience, I didn't know what to expect. I speculated that for the majority of this Mother-Daughter trip I would be grumpy about co-mingling and making small talk with the same strangers for 10 days and feel personal exploration would be limited by a tight schedule. What resulted was a truly perfect 9-day introduction to Italy and a memorable journey my mother and I will bond over for years to come.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While impossible to choose a favorite moment, I think I was surprised by how riveting it was to see Michaelangleo's David. For the 7 days prior, we had absorbed so much knowledge and art history regarding Michaelangelo that when it came time to see what I considered prior as the most cliche, over-hyped piece of art in history, I was actually captivated. The museum was not too crowded which made the experience that much more personal."

Deborah

Youngsville, LA

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the idea of organized tours but still had free time. I also liked the buddy system and the fact that there was a time to leave/meet and guide would stick to it.I know things happen but I hate having to be on time only to wait for people who are always late. Liked the idea of headsets so tour guide could talk while walking and didn't have to gather us all around are "yell" to be heard. I wear hearing aids so that was a real concern for me. I got along pretty well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the food on the evening meals we had together"

Lana

Windham, NH

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a single traveler and was worried about how I would get along with a group of "unknown" couples, but Sarah (the guide) and everyone was so kind, I was very thankful to be in the group. We would see each other around the various towns, which to me was comforting to see familiar faces, and a lot of times we would end up eating together or doing an activity together. I also was worried that there would be not enough free time, but I found the balance to be perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terra was amazing, as well as exploring Manorola. I LOVED Volterra, it was so quaint, quiet, beautiful, and not touristy, and it had a wonderfully rich history. I loved being able to open the shuttered windows at the hotel and look out over the quiet town and just soak it in. I didn't really know what to expect in Volterra, so I was wonderfully surprised and it ended up being my favorite town we stayed in."

Judith

Buchanan, MI

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was just so much to see and learn about each city we visited. Having such informed and passionate guides made for a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Coliseum and the Vatican Museums were my "wow" moments."

Veronica

Bridgman, MI

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was listed as strenous and I think that was true although I did enjoy all the walking. It seems that every place we visited was different. We started in Rome with the Vatican and the Coliseum and then to Volterra which was a beautiful smaller town, from there to Lucca and then on to the Cinque Terra with its beautiful seaside villages. We ended in Florence visiting Michaelangelo's David and more great architecture and museums. In some of my free time I visited more churches

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to choose, I would have to say that I was most impressed by the Coliseum. It was such an awesome experience to be standing in that structure. It is one of those things that you can't explain, you have to experience it. And of course - gelato."

Karin

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 04/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was fantastic! We felt like we were given plenty of detailed information up front to help prepare us for the type of trip this would be and how much stamina we would need for each day. I thought there was a good balance between scheduled activities and free time, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Tuscany and Cinque Terre areas! The views are simply indescribable!"

Lydia

Chino, CA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience! Our guide Stephanie was knowledgeable, helpful and really made the trip fun. I also enjoyed the local guides as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was at the Colosseum, that is something you have to see to believe. Hearing all the historical information from our local guide Hilaria was amazing."

John

Clifton, VA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a combination of the perfect tour agenda, tour guide and tour participants as possible. Of course, our tour activities and places visited went way to fast. All the travel details were expertly handled and any changes in plans were openly discussed and agreement upon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and Roman Forum were spectacular. I only wish that we would have spent a bit more time touring the Colosseum. Being a vet, I was also very touched and humbled when we stopped at the American WWII Cemetery outside of Florence. It wasn't listed on our schedule BUT it needs to be included on all future Roman/Florence tours. Walking in Rome at night and eating gelato on the the Spanish Steps. Also the fascinating history of the Roman Theatre in Volterra was very interesting."

Richard

Chino, CA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was excellent. For a first timer to Italy, this tour covers four completely different areas of Italy emphasizing ancient history and how it reflects and shapes todays architecture, politics and cultural views upon the world, the joy of solitude and peace in a hilltop village, how seatown villages just within sight of each other can be totally unique and enthralling from one another, and meditating moments gazing on some of the greatest art collections in the world creates awe

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was being able to get an up close view of all the unbelievable artwork Florence has to offer"

Miriam

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding - well organized and facilitated. The tour allowed us to experience the essence of Italy through historical and cultural explorations with folks who had an opportunity to bond and share these unique experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop at the American Cemetary in Florence. The Colisseum. Getting to know the other tour members."

Camille

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our 30th wedding anniversary celebratory trip. My spouse had never been to Europe and was a skittish traveler, but this trip not only put his mind at ease, it was so spectacular it made him a convert! And as someone who has been to Europe a couple of times in the past, I had a lot to compare this trip to. It exceeded my expectations, and surpassed both other tour companies and independent travel I have experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one??? Being immersed in the culture and scenery of every stop was amazing. We were not only spectators, we were PART of whatever activity we engaged in."

Mike

San Jose, CA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and thoroughly planned out making the process very smooth and stress free. From the initial preparations through the last day, all the necessary information was clearly communicated. The local guides were wonderful and the ability to explore on our won after receiving the overview and being introduced to special locations was very fun and contributed to the overall sense of vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to try my hand at "flash painting" with the artist Caterina Balletti in Florence was an experience I will never forget. She was a wonderful and very generous person to share her time and materials for me to make a painting following her example."

Mary Anne

San Jose, CA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was such a fantastic vacation. I felt like I got so much support from Stephanie, the hotel staffs and the group. I really enjoyed the group times and having time to wander on my own. It was a great balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stephanie's artist friend, Catalina, invited us to her studio after hours to show us her technique and her work. My husband even got to create a painting that evening that she allowed us to take home. It was such an amazing experience that could not have happened without Stephanie's/Rick Steves' connection."

Jo

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Stephanie was outstanding. She really focused on bringing the group together as a family in a very short time. She always seemed to have that mid morning second breakfast snack that we needed in our excursions. We really enjoyed our group. Our local guides were all knowledgeable and extremely engaging. Travel arrangements were smooth and well coordinated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was Eliria our local guide in Rome. She was so funny and engaging. Her Italian accent was something I could listen to all day."

Janet

Lakeway, TX

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was amazing. I've never been on any kind of organized tour before and wasn't sure what to expect. Well organized, interesting and fun with plenty of free time too. Hotel picks were perfect. Our guide was knowledgeable and extremely helpful and seemed to be enjoying the trip too. She threw in a few surprises along the way that only added to the experience. Keeping the group small meant we had a chance to get to know each other and make some wonderful new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscan countryside in the spring. Gorgeous!"

Jeanette

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have travelled on many tours with students over the last 25 years and have travelled to Italy probably close to 10 times (I am 100% Italian and have family near Bolzano that I visit often) and this was by far my best trip to Italy. Everything about it was exceptional from our tour supervisor to the hotels to the food and especially the city tour guides. I also loved the balance between on tour time and free time -- a great balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't part of the official tour but I had advised and did visit the Santa Maria Novella Farmacia in Firenze -- AMAZING! And a hidden gem!"

Karol

Centralia, WA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful! Scenery, history, art, architecture and especially cruising the side streets and meeting some of the amazing "older" folks we met in the coffee bars. Age has its own special beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Cindy

Norman, OK

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled to many places on our own. This trip we decided to expand and meet new friends as well as have the history and expertise that Rick Steves is known for. Our Heart of Italy tour met these expectations and so much more. Sarah and Tina were amazing Guides and the group really was perfect as far as personalities and ages. We had such a variety of personalities, but we all enjoyed each other. The planned activities were amazing and always included a little extra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course each day was filled with WOW moments in Italy. I think the one that stayed with me the most was touring the Colosseum and Forum with Francesca. She really brought the "Lasagna of Rome" to life and made us feel the stories that developed over time. It wasn't just "rocks". It was life for now and for many past events. The wonder and the horror of the Romans was brought to us that day."

Lisa

Scarsdale, NY

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time my husband and I took a tour. We did not know what to expect but it was a wonderful experience. We knew we wanted to see different cities in Italy but we did not want to drive ourselves. It was nice having a comfortable bus to move around with. Our group was relatively small. Everyone was friendly and were willing to share what they did in their "free" time. Our group was exceptional and really cared about each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was visiting the Pantheon in Rome, looking up at that dome and trying to comprehend how that was built without modern technology and how it is still standing after 1900 years. Amazing. I visited Rome 2x in my youth and I thought I knew Rome. Visiting again was like visiting an old friend you thought you knew but still had secrets you had yet to discover."

Robert

Centralia, WA

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah and Tina did an outstanding job with all the arrangements, and by providing exceptional guidance for everyone in our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Colosseum in Rome was of great interest, but I was very impressed by all of the tours in Rome, Voltera, and Florence."

Katherine

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 03/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous tour from start to finish! Our tour guides ( Sarah & Tina ) were extremely knowledgable, organized&professional. Tour members were friendly & considerate & fun to get to know. Our hotels were very comfortable & our room with en-suite in the hotel in Volterra was palatial ! This tour was a good mix of big cities ( Rome, Florence) and small towns ( Lucca, Volterra & Cinque Terra).Group meals were excellent & hearty& trying new things was fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many Wow moments-it's hard to nail down just one... but the talks from Francesca in Rome in the Pantheon & the Forum were fantastic! Her knowledge & passion for Rome's history was exhilarating & left me wanting to know more. The drive into Tuscany & reaching Volterra was beautiful, especially with Sarah playing Italian music over the speakers in the bus.Another highlight would have to be the views at Rio Maggiore & the sunset at Vernazza!Fabulous!"

David

Temple Terrace, FL

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Upon returning from vacation, countless people have asked me, "How was the tour?" My response, "There are not enough superlatives to describe how this was The Greatest Vacation Ever." Where do I begin? This tour hit a "10" on so many levels-It was stress-free, well organized and FUN. We have never done an organized tour and I was a little skeptical, but the Rick Steves Heart of Italy was beyond our greatest expectations. Our only question, "Where do we go for our next Rick Steves Tour?"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments,but here are some of my favorites. The first night, Nina & Marijan's ease and precision during our evening stroll though the streets of Rome,capped off with an incredible dinner. The Cinque Terra, Chef Carlo's amazing buffet and pesto demonstration it was an amazing night of fun. Exploring the Cinque Terra and hiking from Vernazza to Monterossa. Wine tasting in Volterra with Francesco. Awe inspiring art & history lessons everyday. Biking,Beer and Pizza in Lucca."

Denise

Temple Terrace, FL

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations in every single category. I was giddy when I returned to the US,describing the tour to friends and family. There are not enough superlatives to describe how this was The Greatest Vacation Ever!!! This tour hit a "10" on so many levels: It was stress-free, well organized and FUN. I had never done an organized tour, and I was a little skeptical. But the Rick Steves Heart of Italy was beyond my greatest expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have too many "wow" moments to list. The tour was that good. Obviously, the David, the Uffizi, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were Wow moments. But we were able to hike from Vernazza to Monterosso, and the scenery was spectacular. In the Cinque Terra, we adored Chef Carlo's amazing buffet and pesto demonstration. I also loved the city walks with Nina & Marijan and the local guides."

Kelli H

Starkville, MS

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking into Vernazza from Monterosso. The views made all those steps worth it!"

Lisa

Toronto, ON

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The perfect cultural experience for our teenager's first trip to Europe. We travelled as a family and all felt fulfilled on every level as artists, explorers, foodies and curious students of world history. The leadership was energising and charming, the schedule was manageable. And all of the local tour guides were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to count: being severed freshly squeezed lemon/orange juice by a local on our Cinque terra hike wine tasting in Voleterra dancing with our group in Cinque Terra Climbing the tower in Voleterra Seeing where Juilus Ceasar was laid to rest and Mark Anthony spoke the words, "Friend's Roman's Countrymen, lend me your ears!""

Anne L

Madison, MS

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and the tour guides were knowledgeable. The hotels were good with greexcept the one in The Chinque Terre. it was not clean and I didn't like carrying my bags upstairs. I would gladly pay a little more to have the luggage delivered to the room. would have been a huge improvement to have a guide in the Vatican, St Peter's and the Sistine Chapel.

James

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 03/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have been to these cities & towns on other RS trips, but I went back to fill in the gaps of things not seen. Accomplished most of these goals; the list of things to see is inexhaustible. Unfortunately Florence failed me. I twisted a knee in hotel upon arrival, so I'll have to get back there! The dinners were magnificent, the free day in Cinque Terre was invaluable for photo ops, and, who doesn't love medieval Lucca's Magic? There's no place on earth like Rome??.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Forum view from The Tabularium was breathtaking. I ventured there solo. Deserves super strong recommendation for those who have free time to visit via the Campidoglio museum. The view from the little "vineyard walk" over Manarola-- thank you, Nina-- was an awe-inspiring WOW. I highly recommend this over the longer ( and more arduous ) inter-village hike, which I did 13 years ago."

Bob

Milford, CT

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to parts of Europe before but never Italy. I thought the best way to go was with a tour. Boy, was I right. Only way to go. Everything was perfect all the boxes were checked. Food, Lodging, Tours,and the Wine . Everything was perfect. All the guides were excellent. Of course Dimitri was just greart

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Cinque Terre the mountains , the villages,the people, the houses. And of course Rome. Everything about it was fabulous. Tomy experience the whole tour was a "WOW" moment."

Jeffrey

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dimitri did a wonderful job bonding the group so that everyone was comfortable around each other. It made the trip so enjoyable that everyone was friendly and caring toward each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Volterra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Julie

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While in Volterra, the Netflix series "Medici: Masters of Florence" was filming its third season. Seeing the cast members walking thru the medieval town in costume was truly surreal. Then seeing those same actors and actresses reaching into their costumes for glasses, cell phones and cigarettes was mind blowing!"

Mary

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing tour, wonderful tour guide, and support and goodwill all along the way. We met wonderful fellow travelers, and in only 9 days, forged an incredible sense of community and connections with one another. Loved the balance between free and structured time, and the great "sub" guides that took us to the Vatican (Ilaria), colosseum (Ilaria), Volterra (Annie), and the Uffizi gallery (? name).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to single down to just one...I particularly loved the coastline in Monterosso, the winding streets of Volterra and the view of Florence from the Basillica San Miniato."

Kathy

De Pere, WI

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sixth Rick Steves' tour did not disappoint. 22 of 26 tour members were RS virgins and they were amazed that I had been on so many tours. By the end of the trip I think everyone had ideas about a 2nd tour. My first trip to Italy was amazing. Great food, beautiful sights, enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides, and fun travel companions were all a great part of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and I took a pre-breakfast walk to the ancient gate in Volterra to see the sunrise and the misty Tuscan countryside. It's a beautiful city with a beautiful vista and wonderful people. Of all the places we visited, we think this is where we'll definitely return. And David. He's definitely "wow.""

Joseph

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experienced guides brought the historical context of ancient and modern Rome into view and provided us with both a fun and enlightening trip through the culture of Italy. Dimitri brought our group from all over the USA ranging in age from 25 to 80 together as a band of curious travelers to enjoy a shared experience of the history, art, food and culture of this wonderful country.

Sandra

Apex, NC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw sights on this trip we could not have seen on our own. Primarily because our Rick Steve's tour guides knew how to bypass the lengthy lines at places like The Coliseum and Vatican in Rome, just to mention a few. They also took us to restaurants that were not just tourist places but instead the local favorites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cinque Terre region! So absolutely colorful and beautiful!"

Margaret

Hannibal, MO

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 4th RS Tour. I'll keep coming back. Love this model - a perfect mix of stress-free organized experiences with a top-notch tour coordinator/guide, local guides who add their passion for their culture and history, just the right amount of free time, centrally located hotels, delicious local cuisine, and a small tour group starting out as strangers and soon becoming friends. Karin, thank you for a five-star tour experience. Ilaria, your knowledge and humor made my 3rd trip to Rome the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just the right mix of big (Rome, Florence) and small (Volterra, Cinque Terre, Lucca) make this entire tour a "wow." The beauty of Volterra is unforgettable. Cinque Terre, more crowded now, does not disappoint. Manarola, wow, a view from the terraced vineyards is my new screensaver. I experienced my "wow" in the antiquities, the art, the food, and the natural beauty of the places we saw. Loved my sister's "wow" reaction upon first seeing the Colosseum and the David."

Christopher

Manvel, TX

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really loved the tour. Saw everything we wanted to see stress free. It was great having all hotels, transportation and high point tours planned for you and not have to worry about it. Perfect balance of group and individual time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Cinque Terre and staying in Montorosso. Got to watch the sunset that evening on the beach and sunrise from the balcony of the hotel."

Pamela

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, this trip exceeded my expectations.I wanted to experience the heart of Italy for the first time without having to do tons of research and I got my wish! The hotels were great and located right in the thick of things. They also included breakfast! Our tour guides were excellent -- knowledgeable and delightful; the choice of sites on the money, the restaurants were also great! And the ample free time we got was perfect! An awesome value for the money!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our three days in Rome were magnificent! St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Forum and Colosseum -- and the chaotic backdrop of the city were amazing. Yet, the other locations were almost as impressive in their own distinct ways -- so unique! I can see why Rick says his favorite country to visit is Italy! I will be back!"

Keith

North Liberty, IN

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour. Just the right mix of structured time and free time. Fun to explore on our own. Everything went smoothly and there were no bad experiences or surprises. We were not too rushed like on some tours that seem to think you must be in constant motion to enjoy yourself. They don't try and overload the schedule so you don't have time to enjoy the moment of seeing history in front of you. I would highly recommend Rick Steve's tours and will be going on another soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I know most people will say some place or thing they saw but for me it was the whole nature of the tour. From the very start to the final goodbye Karin did things a little different. She helped us become a cohesive group much like friends or family. Anyone can take you around to see sites but it takes a special person to make you feel like you have been friends for a long time. Everyone was comfortable around each other. Our other guides were also delightful using knowledge and humor."

Robyn

Crofton, MD

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

PERFECTION. This was a lifelong dream trip come true. First, Karen is like a sparkling glass of prosecco - bubbly, fun and a treat to be with. Her knowledge of all things Italy was quite amazing. And the tiny details of navigation and customs were incredibly helpful. The stuff we could not buy was perfect - the weather and the other travelers in the group. I would 100% join another Rick Steves tour and reccommed it to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the original art, painting and sculpture with my own two eyes was just breathtaking and at times brought tears to those eyes."

Debra

Wexford, PA

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience was wonderful! We chose this tour because of the itinerary, and were not disappointed in any way! Everything planned was excellent and the free time was well balanced and sufficient. Our tour guide, Karin, was outstanding. Local tour guides were excellent as well. Hotels were good; meals included were great; transportation was easy; suggestions for free time were always available. And our group was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably time in Cinque Terre. Perfecto!"

Emilia

Mishawaka, IN

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was so much more than I expected. It was the experience of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but I loved the stories about Volterra. Very emotional!"

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 online customer account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your customer 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 (FLF) — 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.