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

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Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,695 per person + air

Single Supplement $525

See Dates & Prices

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

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

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

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

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

Plus you'll get all this, too.

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

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

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

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

Day 2: The Vatican Museums

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

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

Day 3: Ancient Rome and the Heart of Tuscany

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

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

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

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

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

Day 5: Italian Countryside and the Riviera

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

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

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

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

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

Day 7: Florence and David

Today we'll drive straight to Florence and take a Renaissance walking tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our tour at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Then you'll be free to find a special trattoria for dinner on your own.

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

Day 8: The Uffizi Gallery

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including masterpieces by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more. The afternoon is yours to visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, or browse the colorful markets. As it's our final night together, we'll have a grand dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute!

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

Day 9: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Florence's airport by taxi or shuttle bus. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Heart of Italy in 9 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Linda

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a great time. Everything was perfect, except when we flew home. Tim felt sick in Amsterdam and tested positive for Covid! He’s about over it now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Florence, David especially."

Colleen

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing sites and the guides were outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough question! So many great moments. I loved VolterrA"

Susan

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was an excellent guide...both knowledgeable and caring. The tour was pretty fast paced, personally wishing I had a little more time in every place we stopped. The guides in every stop...were also excellent...especially Annie in Volterra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I was sure it was going to be Cinque Terre it ended up being Volterra."

Jennifer

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Can't say enough good things about this tour- expertly managed and curated experiences, excellent cuisine, lovely lodging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A single moment would have to be seeing "David" in person - wasn't expecting to have been as impressed as I was, but the history of this piece came alive for me in that moment. More expanded "wow" was absorbing all that Volterra had to offer us."

Marcia

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great preparation guide from tour group. Great guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The group dinners were awesome and fun."

Jeff

Tour: 10/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip with Rick Steves'. We will be back. Logistics and planning were great. Guides were fantastic and really added to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. We had wow moments every day. St Peter's, Ancient Rome, Tuscany, and Florence were all wow."

Dana

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Marianna, was great. So knowledgeable and caring. The local guides were also amazing. Our fellow tour members were also great people. Enjoyed every last one of them. There was a great balance between time with the group and free time. Really enjoyed the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Volterra. Beautiful town, amazing history, not so crowded."

Diedra

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish it is apparent that every detail has been considered. There is no way for us to replicate this unique experience that is curated from the decades of Rick Steves’ exploration. From the small family-owned boutique hotels to the local guides and our wonderful Marianna, the experience was excellent. We were hesitant to take a group tour, but there is plenty of time for exploring on your own and we enjoyed getting to know our tour companions. I highly recommend a RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The old stone hotel in Florence with a rooftop bar providing a 365 view of Florence- amazing!! A surprise, and my favorite stop, was Volterra- so easy to love this Tuscan walled town. From watching the master artisan carve alabaster to listening to Annie our local guide, who is a born storyteller, share the interesting history of this town to our wine tasting with a local sommelier, and the very tasty local gin, this small town is a gem, and I am sure a return visit is in my future."

Cheryl

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have always dreamed of visiting Italy. The Heart of Italy Tour was a trip of a lifetime. The sights were amazing and the food was incredible. Our tour leader, Marianna, brought the tour to life with her insight, love of her country, and her sincere interest in the tour participants. The local guides were so very knowledgeable and personable. The accommodations were delightful and unique in each location that we visited. Such a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Florence, on our walking tour and seeing the Duomo and Giotto's Tower for the first time. Our tour leader Marianna smiled and said to me "my friend with the big eyes, your eyes just keeping getting bigger with everything that you see". And that is exactly how I felt. Everything was just so amazing to see. During free time in Rome, I visited and climbed the Holy Staircase in remembrance for family who are no longer with me. It was a very spiritual moment.. Loved the beauty of the tour."

Sarah

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Just wanted to say this was my 3rd RS tour and by far the best yet! Although your guides are always superb, this time around I believe every single person in our group agreed Marianna was absolutely fantastic. She was not only very knowledgeable about every location, but took time to get to know each member personally so as to suggest the most personalized recommendations for them in order to get the maximum out of the tour. Myself included which meant she took special care of any questions I ha

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything!"

Sheryl

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your guide Marianna was wonderful! Organized, great leadership, friendly and gin!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Marianna planned special treats for the group, snd we all had great fun together. The group dinners were a real highlight."

Donald

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide (Marianna) was professional, experienced and a real credit to the Rick Steves organization

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican"

Gary

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and great itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was an unexpected surprise and Annie was a terrific local guide"

Thomas

Tour: 10/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and EXCELLENT guide, Marianna. I don't think the tour could have been any better for me. She was fun, interesting, and kept things organized and moving along at a reasonable pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unscheduled "bonus" stop at the American Cemetery near Florence. This had special significance to me due to family history."

James

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was great! Anna the guide was amazing with her experience and information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anna's face when my wife and I told her I told her that I went to confession for the first time in about 30 years in the sistine chapel."

Candace

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of people, extremely well organized with excellent guides and tours. Whole trip was perfectly paced, between group meals/ tours and free time. Hotels and restaurants were great choices . I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. There were many ! The colosseum/ guide were extraordinary ,I also loved the balsamic vinegar tour/ lunch."

Kristin

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is difficult to express how amazing the tour was. It all started from a funny, organized, and thoughtful tour guide. Followed by tasty and unique meals, knowledgeable and thought-provoking guides, and one of a kind experiences from an alabaster demonstration to a painting lesson! I made so many friends on the tour and it was great to share these experiences together. It is a trip I will remember and think of fondly forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my fellow travelers and I were exploring Rome in our free time. We stumbled upon the most exquisite view of Ancient Rome during “golden hour”. It was just simply amazing to see the forum and colosseum from that perspective!"

Mark

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Anna was a great guide and "local expert" for the entire tour. The local guides only added to the breadth and depth of knowledge and insight for each city. The other members of our tour were fantastic travel companions. We all agree, as Rick points out, that the tour style and content brings together people of like travel styles, interests and a joy for travel and learning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments over our 9 day tour. The Sistine Chapel, David, the Colosseum, and the Villa Borghese were great. But looking back on our tour, the camaraderie with our group, fostered by Anna's amazing personality and coordination is the "wow" I think will last the longest."

Linda

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The local tour guides were great; they were knowledgeable and added a lot to the experience. Our main guide, Anna, provided great tips and kept us all organized. It was rewarding and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing olives harvested at the Castille de Trebbio, then having an olive oil tasting and fastastic lunch onsite in a Castle!"

Ralph

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time visiting Italy, and I can't imagine a better introduction than the "Heart of Italy" tour. Our tour guide, Anna, was fantastic, the group members were wonderful travel companions, and the local guides really brought the culture and history to life. We loved the numerous opportunities to see first hand the art and architecture of the Renaissance masters, and enjoyed exploring the smaller towns of Volterre and Cinque de Terre as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many to choose from it is hard to pick just one. Aside from seeing amazing works of art, I would have to say it was the thrill of entering the hilltop town of Volterre at dusk, and parading through the narrow streets to our hotel with luggage in tow. It was a fun way to get an initial impression of the town, and the sudden clamor in the streets from our group provided a bit of entertainment for the locals."

Daina

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour! We found it to be an excellent itinerary, with a great balance of cities and countryside, art and nature. Our tour guide, Anna, was outstanding: charming, knowledgeable, caring, and funny. Our local guides, especially Ilaria in Rome, were also exceptionally good. Tour members were warm, friendly, and companionable; all stayed healthy and were conscientious of others' well-being.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being the first people to visit the Uffizi Gallery on a Sunday morning was wonderful. We were able to get up close and personal with some of the best art works in Europe with an excellent guide and very few other tourists. This was an experience that would only have been possible with the skilled planning of a Rick Steves tour."

Wendy

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour was as advertised and more. Our guide, Anna, was superb. All our local guides were excellent, particularly Ilaria in Rome. She was informative, knowledgeable AND funny. She made history come alive and kept our interest throughout the tour. Anna was a great teacher, leading us through how to use the Metro in Rome to educating us about Italy, the culture and its politics. Our tour group was stupendous. I couldn't have asked for a better group on my first tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David in person was worth the price of admission. You cannot get an idea of its scope, craftsmanship or sheer presence from any pictures. The anatomy of his right hand as Michelangelo sculpted it will be something I will never forget. Stunning and perfect."

Eugene

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with a wonderful group of travelers, and lead by an amazing guide. The local guides in Rome, Volterra and Florence were also fantastic. Really enjoyed taking advantage of all the knowledge the guides shared to get more out of visiting all the historic sites and museums, and especially to learn more about the people and culture of each area we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting lost wandering around the streets of Rome, then "stumbling upon" the view of the Forum and Colosseum from Capitoline Hill. Just a breathtaking sight."

Cindy

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime. The stars were aligned to provide us with the perfect tour guide in Anna and the awesome group of travelers all together. Couldn’t have asked for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The awesome feeling in the Vatican in the Sistine Chapel. A special miracle happened for me. Life changing moment."

Sally

Tour: 10/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides, good accommodations, great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Cinque Terre was amazing."

Laura

Tour: 10/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thought Stephanie was among the best guides we have had. Our group was fun, thoughtful and easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to say - it was a lovely, beautiful tour."

Helen

Tour: 10/14/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Had a great time on the tour. I thought the amount of free time vs tour was a good mix. Local guides were excellent and our tour guide Stephanie was very good. She was calm cool and collected when guiding us through Rome on the hectic metro and busy streets. She was very helpful arranging alternate hotel rooms when several tour members flights were canceled including mine. My only complaint was the size of the group at 28, which is not a very small group. 20 should be the max.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was getting off the metro and seeing the coliseum for the first time. I thought it would be the Sistine Chapel, but that turned out to be underwhelming for me."

Roger

Tour: 10/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very impressed with the organization and planning of our tour leader for each day of the trip. Really enjoyed the local guides that led us through many sites. I was not aware that would be included. Having free time, afternoons, evenings and the entire day in Cinque Terra was great to have. Being with the group was fine but some off time was also valuable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow was the knowledge and presentation given by the local guides at the Colleseum/Forum, Vatican, Volterra, and Florence. They were the "icing" on the cake. Not to take away from the knowlege base of Stephanie and Rebecca. Both excellent."

Teresa

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dimitri was an enthusiastic and fun guide. I appreciated that he provided the vegetarians with options for the group meals. The wonderful hotels were centrally located with large breakfasts. The city guides Hilaria, Annie, and Roberto were informative and knowledgeable. There was a nice combination of group and free time. Our 28 tour members were friendly and bonded well. This was my 10th Rick Steves tour and I will travel with the company again next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to the Colosseum three previous times but the Rome guide Hilaria gave a wonderful presentation that provided new and interesting information. I enjoyed getting there early and walking right in. It was wonderful to view it on the lower level with no crowds. This is one of the many perks of traveling with the Rick Steves company!"

Heather

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the small group, our wonderful guide Dimitri, the local guides, and the feel of going to hyperlocal restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The olive oil mill tour was a nice surprise and a bit different. I also loved the terrace at the Amichi hotel in Cinque Terre"

Glenda

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every single moment was extraordinary! The tour was what I had expected and so much more!! Our guide was friendly and very helpful. The food was so good and plentiful. All the restaurants were excellent and gave the atmosphere of being in Italy. Each day was well planned out. We loved all of our guides. We didn't feel like we were rushed through any of the sites. The group size of our tour was just right. Not enough room to express all of my thoughts and feelings about our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Colosseum and Forum. Walking into history. Our tour guide made us understand and feel what it was like in Ancient Rome. She made those times come alive! Learned things that we never were taught in history classes or found in Roman history books."

Cynthia

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed our first RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Group dinners"

Dennis

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning Our tour guide Dimitri was fantastic, the whole tour was very well done, fantastic individual tours of sights and museums, the accommodations were very good, the every other nightly dinners and Italian wine were much than expected. A great deal of fun and lots of history at a reasonable price.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing the actual Roman Colissium."

George

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So very pleasant, made easy for us with all arrangements and the best guide, Patricia. So knowledgeable and always available to us. Hit all the spots we wanted to see in a very timely manner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The friendships we made with everyone on the tour, thats a WOW, didnt realize that would be part of our journey!"

Alice

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia made our Heart of Italy tour absolutely amazing. She provided plenty of information and help to everyone. She is kind and warm while always professional. I loved the great balance of tours and group activities with time to be on your own. I would definitely take another Rick Steves tour and recommend it to anyone. I appreciate the early entries to popular venues and not having to stand in line. I expected to like somethings and not enjoy som things. However, I loved everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre was my favorite, but honestly the whole trip was WOW. I have no complaints and am so very thankful we were able to take this perfect trip."

Walt

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all expectations for what we had hoped for. It was a great mix of seeing the great sites in Italy but also the opportunity to take some time to explore other places on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was absolutely amazed by the The Tribune hall in the Medici Uffizi. The idea that it had been in there since the 1500's was inconceivable."

Steven

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first I was very hesitant about going as I was my wife’s second choice on bucket list. After meeting Nena she assured me it would be a great tour as she laid out the days events that came about. Roma was overwhelming too many of everything people,cars,artifacts,churches,monuments etc. Accommodations were a little tight but we learned to live with it. Breakfast each day was good and started the day. The move was fine but didn’t like to move as often as we did. Each new place was a new ad

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner in Voltera"

Mike

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour! We thought it was very well organized and just the right mix of tour time and personal time. The hotels we stayed at were awesome. We loved getting a peak into real life Italy. Our guide, Nina, was the BEST! Fun, entertaining, knowledgeable, easy to talk to, organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Obviously the historical sights in Rome were awe inspiring! As we’re the crowds of people. My biggest “Wow” moment were the views from the trails in Cinque Terra and also our stop at the MIA cemetery near Florence. That was heartbreaking. I had no idea it existed, and hear there are a couple more like it in other parts of Europe."

Rhana

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and it was more than we had hoped! From the care in selecting the hotels to the quality of the guides to the variety of arranged tours, all were stellar!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to see some of the places we saw in the PBS show—especially Cinque Terra areas."

Carol

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 1st RS tour was a balance of well-planned well-structured group activities, with healthy doses of free time and some meals on our own. We had fantastic weather (regardless of the many rain days predicted) and really enjoyed the different experiences of our tour (Rome, Volterra, Cinque Terre, Florence). We were very satisfied with our tour and had a very good impression of the level of preparation that went into the trip planning. We appreciated all the efforts to mitigate Covid-19 risk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aperitivo at a terrace bar (Bar Il Gabbiano) with a fabulous view along the trail between Corniglia and Vernazza near the trail's high point on a cool morning. (Morning to avoid cruise ship crowds on the trail.) Also views of the Tuscan countryside from Volterra, high on a hill, as well as strolling along its walls at sunset and at night."

Jennie

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Nina, was fabulous with her narration and education during our bus rides. She was friendly, knowledgeable and made herself available for guidance and questions. We are so glad to have chosen the Rick Steves tour for the small group of fellow travelers and flawless ease of travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite location was Voltaire. Cute, small, romantic, fairy-tale town."

Donna

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, tour was great. Our tour guide Nina was exceptional as were the other day guides. We had a great group to tour with. I learned a lot about history and culture and enjoyed the beauty of the places we visited. Also fun. The tour was very well organized. Only disappointment- I was not happy with hotel near Cinque de Terre. I was disappointed we didn’t stay in one of the villages but mostly the Hotel used was not good- very disappointing. The other hotels were great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence- was beyond my expectations!"

Janet

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour has a fine itinerary, and the pacing was very good. What a great group! Everyone was on time, and although a strenuous tour, participants kept up and were in good spirits. Nina was a fine tour guide. The schedule changed several times unexpectedly, substituting a WWII cemetery for a trip to a family farm. And adding a sister owned olive oil factory tour. This olive oil experience turned out to be a highlight of the tour for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No matter how often I see Florence, it is always a wow moment upon arrival."

Maria

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never been on a tour, so had no expectations. The tour was organized down to details and the advice and knowledge of the guide was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved St. Peters in Rome. The Vatican tour was underwhelming since it focused on just rooms of wealth, we didn't get to see any real historical artifacts that were meaningful to that Catholic City state. The Sistine chapel was loud and disrespected. But, ending in St. Peters, being able to take in the vast glory of it and climbing the dome made up for it."

Al

Tour: 09/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busy, fun, and informative

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vatican, including the view from the top of the dome"

Margaret

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the actual stones that Julius Ceasar trod on his way toothed Senate, and looking across the Forum to the platform where Marc Anthony spoke to quiet the riots. And sunsets in Volterra."

Nancy

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour! Very active, as advertised. Enjoyable introduction to Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved our visit to Volterra. The town was charming, food was outstanding and scenery was breathtaking."

Dixie

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and we loved the balance of organized tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite was the beauty and charm of Volterra, and the depth of information provided by Annie, our local guide."

Annette

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The schedule and itinerary was well planned out with a mix of structured guide time and free time for folks to pursue thier own interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was a collective, last minute decision to write a "thank you" card to our guide Andrea. Using a paper place mat, we secretly passed it around and everyone wrote a message of gratitude and thanks. Andrea's response was so heartwarming."

Michael

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Andrea was an outstanding tour guide! He made the trip fun, educational, and personable. Local guides Antonella and Annie were also outstanding! Accommodations and meals provided were all exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We can't possibly identify just one moment. The entire tour was excellent!"

Hunter

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well managed by our guide. Hotels and food exceeded expectations. Good fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a surprise hit and our local guide the first night in Florence."

Daniel

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific tour guide, great local guides and an itinerary that was well thought out! After several days in hectic, action packed Rome, our time in Volterra was a welcome relief!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum was a highlight! Our local tour guide truly brought ancient Rome to life and we were amazed!"

Carol

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was marvelous, really exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was especially enjoyable. Our local tour guide's knowledge of local history and personal reminisces made the Etruscan civilization and the local WW2 events come alive."

Laurel J

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Interesting visits, comfortable rooms, excellent guide, smooth travels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being one of the first of the day tour groups into the Colosseum"

Gerry

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Exceeded expectations for the most part

John

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd RS tour and we it was great. Our only complaint is 8 days isn't long enough! Our first 2 tours were 2 weeks each and for us that makes for a more complete and fulfilling experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local guides at each of our destinations were fabulous; extremely knowledgeable and very entertaining and personable. They made each of our destinations come alive. Our tour guide, Tim, was also very helpful and interesting."

Philip

Tour: 09/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. Some of what we visited, we had visited before, but it still seemed fresh. Our primary tour guide was knowledgeable and fun, and all of the local guides seemed to be experts and were pleasant. Also, I have to mention that our other tour members were all good people, I enjoyed their company as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I expected crowds at the more popular sites, the number of people surprised me. As I said, we have been to many sites before, but the crowds seemed larger. Perhaps it was a combination of latent demand after COVID and some extra travel by Italians who avoided the heat during the summer. Still, the crowds didn't significantly dampen my enthusiasm. It's all part of the experience."

Kevin

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic 9 day adventure! Each stop had wonderful experiences and amazing discoveries. The guides were amazing. They provided great suggestions for sights and food. They know their cities. Great balance of structured and free time. The food and wine were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from, but the Florentine steak was probably the best steak I have ever eaten! Wandering Volterra and Cinque Terre and getting off the beaten path rank up there too."

Susan

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra, Tuscany....everything it was rumored to be, amazing"

Kevin

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite the unusual experience of having not just one or two or three but four tour guides. the handoffs were smooth and our group resilient. The tour was quite informational about the various sites and overall about the history and culture of Italy. The hotels were well located (if not always close to the bus) and the bus travel was wonderful since we somehow scored the front seat perhaps in deference to our age.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pre-trip our Rome friends lead us into a church off the Plaza Navonna where a chorale was performing a heavenly piece. On the trip, most everything to do with being in Volterra, the ancient theater and other hill views, the alabaster workshop, and the wine tasting."

Alysa

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great overview of Italy for someone who had never been before. I felt it was a good mix of big cities and smaller towns. We saw and did a lot, but also had time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the paths between the hill towns in Cinque Terre. And exploring Volterra."

Marcia

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had great guides even though we didn’t have the same one for the whole trip. It was a great mix of activities and tours and time on our own. All of the guides gave us excellent rest recommendations about what to do in our free time, which trains, which towns, which shops even.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre- the views, the food , the people… just wow!"

I-Fan

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is well planned and well organized. The local guides the tour hired are all experts in the site we visited, They have wealth of knowledge of the history and culture of the sites or the region/country. I highly recommend Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Volterra the most with the stories of its Etruscan history and culture. I had no clue before how important Etruscan people are to Italian culture and history."

Rebecca

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All your guides very knowledgeable and friendly. Easy going daily atmosphere. Good mix of free time and scheduled activities. Hotels were decent accommodations, mostly clean but issues were always handled like stained bed sheets or air conditioners not working. Not having help with luggage was not fun. I bought too much merchandise and had to purchase additional bag, which is difficult to carry/transfer when a single lady on tour - missed my husband at that point in trip!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best lasagna and apricot biscotti!! Food experiences were great! Dinners with tour participants always brought about laughter and good way to connect."

Joan

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized. Good balance of organized time and free time. Great guide - knowledgeable, friendly, personable, good communication. Clean, comfortable hotels with very good breakfasts. Very good group dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in the footsteps of so much history and beautiful scenery. Favorite experience was the tour of olive farm, oil production and lunch."

Iliff

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my first visit to Italy, I couldn't have asked for a better introduction!! My wife, Deborah, and I just LOVED the Heart of Italy tour!! From the big city experience of Rome, to the seaside villages, to the music, food and arts center of Florence, we just drank it all in and will never forget the experience!! We will definitely visit Italy again!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three moments: 1. All the meals that our tour participants experienced together! They were all different in style and truly delightful! 2. The wine tasting in the cellar of the family restaurant with the outstanding wine specialist! 3. The tour of the olive oil grove and factory owned/operated by the two wonderful sisters carrying on their family tradition!"

Brenda

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was well organized without unnecessary downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Robert

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour group was amazing, convivial. Good mix of structure (tours) and free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting @ an outdoor Bar in Cinque Terre, watching an unexpected religious parade, drinking a Liter Beer, with one of our tour mates in the parade (total immersion into the community/culture)"

Robert

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It as a good tour with great people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No real WOW moments. The drive up to Volterra was a memorable moment."

Deborah

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply amazing...all of it. Our guide, the rest of our group, the accommodations, itinerary, food--all of it was perfect. I would do it all over again exactly the same way with all the same people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to say because there were so many "wow" moments. If I must pick just one, it would have to be the charm and accomodations in Volterra. What a charming and history-rich town. My second "wow" would be the Colosseum tour in Rome."

Thomas

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was the third time I've taken the HOI tour and I rate the RS part of the experience as Outstanding, and only rate the overall experience as VG because of the crowded nature of the towns, something RS has no control over.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bargello Gallery in Florence, where you can see the two earlier David sculptures, the first by Donatello done about 1440 and the second by Vernacchio, done about 1470, both, IMHO, more impressive than Michaelangelo's."

Karen

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is my 4th RS Tour, and not my first time in the areas of this tour. I chose this tour as it fit my schedule and I enjoy the areas we were planning on visiting. Generally speaking, the tour went as planned. I enjoy these cities but now realize the difficulty of traveling in Early September (heat and crowds!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my WOW moments was the drive leaving Voltera, when our tour guide decided to put on the music of Andrea Bocelli. The music coupled with the views brought tears to my eyes! Additionally the drive into Cinque Terra and specifically to Monterosso was incredible!"

Amy Jo

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great group of people!! Appreciated the hour down time when we checked into our hotel, before town walking tours. Bus was very comfortable! Local guides were great. Vatican tour seemed longer than last time I did it on RS. It was extremely hot though so may have just felt that way. Loved all the history and Art. LOVED the Duomo Museum which we did on our own. Had a wonderful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving up to Volterra"

Rebecca

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been on a tour - was expecting it to be like herding cats - great experience, great guides, great meals and great wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra - the guide Annie and learning about Etruscans"

Jennifer

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben was awesome as a tour guide. He made our first experience with a tour group very memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unbelievable architecture and artwork. Loved Florence"

Barbara

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first ever tour after years of planning our European trips using Rick's guidebooks. It far exceeed my expectations. Ben, our guide, was a key component of the tour's success.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wows"--the Sistine Chapel, the walking tour of Volterra, the amazing food--I can't pick just one."

Russ

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though we've traveled in Europe before, this was our first trip with a group and it was fantastic! Our Guide (Ben) was outstanding and the group size (24) was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I find it hard to identify one "wow" moment as I think all 4 destinations were amazing in their own right. Whether it be the amazing art in Vatican City, the hilltop views in Volterra, the beauty of the Cinque Terre, or the statues in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, there were lots of wow moments for me."

Mark

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The RS Tour was most efficient way to travel an unfamiliar country. The main guide had lots of valuable insights and the guides at each major attraction had been filtered and were top notch. The right combination of structured and free time with meals and sight seeing. The sequencing of events and hotel selections worked added the right amount of variety.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican was amazing."

Nancy

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum for the first time was breathtaking!"

Sarah

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Restaurants great, accommodations good, transfers worked well - everything (despite rail strike/ museum strike) worked well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Colloseum at the gladiator level was awesome."

Thomas

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved everything- the guides were very knowledgeable and interesting, the people on our tour were wonderful and there is a great mix of planned tour activities and on your own time. The "buddy" system is awesome. Can't say enough good things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among many other things, seeing St. Peter's Basilica at night from the roof top bar of our hotel in Florence was a big WOW!"

David

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide and our stay was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pulling into Volterra."

Emily

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly what we hoped it would be. There was a great balance between scheduled tour activities and free time. Some experiences were outstanding and unlike any other vacation I've taken, especially those that got us close to the local culture. The tour guides were phenomenal - very engaging and caring. It felt like the group formed into a family by the end of the trip. The balance between city and countryside was perfect too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we walked into St. Peter's Basilica, I couldn't believe how massive it is, and at the same time so ornate! Having the context from the tour guide on Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel and the other Vatican Museum art really enriched the experience of seeing this Pieta and other works of art throughout Florence and Volterra."

Ann

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was fantastic! I had never been to Italy before and this was a perfect mix of classic, culture and cuisine. The four stops were so different from each other and really gave us a feel for the whole country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to choose one thing, but seeing Michelangelo’s David up close and personal was amazing."

Robert

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina and all the local tour guides were fantastic. Great tour! Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many “wow” moments, the great group, magnificence of Rome, the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s David, the works of art, but I especially enjoyed watching the alabaster bowl being made in Volterra."

Jennifer

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, and I'd heard from friends about their positive experiences on the company's tours. I was not disappointed. I had traveled to Italy in 2017 and was excited to return there again. Rick's tour encompassed some of the same spots---Rome and Florence---but introduced me to Volterra and Cinque Terre. I felt I had a broader exposure to Italy with this tour; it wasn't all churches and museums like my first trip. And the sprinkling of free time was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love being around water, and was enchanted by the pictures of Cinque Terre I'd seen. So my goal was to visit there, explore as much as possible in a day, and soak up the Mediterranean seaside vibe. My tour mate and I did a strenuous hike from one village to another, then soaked our tired feet in the cool Mediterranean waters, and completed the day by taking the ferry back to the village and our hotel. I had a great sense of accomplishment--- from the hike and seeing Cinque Terre!"

June

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence, seeing all the David sculptures!"

Leslie

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anita Wyatt

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vicki

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved every minute of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Emma

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alicia

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurie

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Josh

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fascinating

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of David."

Maureen

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all good."

Stephanie

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

everything i wanted and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Megan

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ana Paula

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carisa

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Travis

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katrina

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erica

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Heather

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gerri Ann

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cindy

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The right balance of scheduled activities to free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch at the olive oil/winery"

Steve

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

loved it and will do another

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence"

Janice

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was seamless from booking the tour enjoying the sites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nikolai

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katherine

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Heidi

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Megan

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunsets in Volterra!"

Thomas

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Worth every penny! Superb introduction to Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Virtually every moment"

Denise

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide Jaime was amazing!"

Robert

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chris

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The enormity of St. Peter's."

Tricia

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sarah

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mason

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic the guides were knowledgeable and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Edward

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lauren

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Belinda

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Ruth

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from the rooftop bar in Florence"

Beth

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jess

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terry

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mitun

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gail

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bonnie

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kelly

Tour: 05/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count!!"

Beth

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra without a doubt."

Deborah

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Matthew

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michele

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michelle

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Todd

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tamara

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Louann

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Larry

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vickie

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melvin

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ronda

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect balance between organized activities and free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art in Florence"

William

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Hailey

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mistie

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ava

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phillip

Tour: 05/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolute awesome time as usual

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Volterra"

William

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phil

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was unbelievable!"

Thomas

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome"

Terry

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre Was spectacular!"

Charity

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good guides, good food selection

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the Roman coliseum"

Margaret

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Cinque Terre! Beautiful!"

Clara

Tour: 05/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maureen

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cortney

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Heidi

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Clare

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jennifer

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jordan

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

S

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Patricia is a wow, outstanding tour guide!"

Randall

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judy M

Tour: 05/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every element of the tour went off with out a hitch

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Keith

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Colosseum"

Ryan

Tour: 04/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The country side was the best part for us"

Karl

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sam

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned. Great guide and awesome experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every minute in Volterra"

Barbara

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barb

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list."

Krystal

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Victoria

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alex

Tour: 04/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Tour: 04/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized,great location of hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and the drive to Volterra."

Leslie

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Velarde

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Tour: 04/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judy

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the Cinque Terre was magical!!"

Chuck

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything"

David

Tour: 04/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the entire experience, especially our guide Patricia :

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kerry

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Wanda

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brad

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David."

Arlecia

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre took my breath away!"

David

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the roman colosseum and forum."

Beth

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amy

Tour: 04/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome."

Cathleen

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Earl

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alan

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roberta

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susie

Tour: 03/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tim

Tour: 03/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

When To Go & Weather

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

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

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

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

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