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

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

Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,395 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2020

    • Mar 22–Mar 30 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 3–May 11 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 10–May 18 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 15–May 23 (Fr–Sa)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

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

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

We'll have a get-acquainted meeting at 3 p.m. at our hotel in Rome. After an orientation walk through our neighborhood, we'll learn about the city's transportation system. Then we'll enjoy a fountain-splashing, dolce vita trek through the heart of Rome, soaking up the city's evening ambience at the classy Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon before enjoying our first Italian dinner together at a favorite restaurant. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 2: The Vatican Museums

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

Day 3: Ancient Rome and the Heart of Tuscany

We'll do some time-traveling this morning, as a local guide takes us on a walking tour through the ancient heart of Rome, telling us vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum and the birthplace of Rome: the Forum. Then we'll leave the city and drive to Tuscany, ending our day in the hill town of Volterra, enjoying a Tuscan feast together at a favorite local restaurant. Sleep in Volterra (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

This morning we'll take a walking tour with a local guide who will make Volterra's traditions and history come alive. We'll also visit an alabaster workshop and tour the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, one of Italy's best places to learn about this mysterious pre-Roman civilization. Then you'll have time to poke around the ancient lanes on your own. We'll regroup later this afternoon to learn about and taste some of the region's famous wines, followed by dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Lucca and the Italian Riviera

Today we'll head west, stopping in the charming and prosperous town of Lucca, hometown of Puccini. We'll take a walking tour of Lucca's elegant pedestrian streets with free time to explore its impressive outer walls on foot or by bike. Later this afternoon we'll complete our drive to our seaside getaway, nestled along the harbor-hugging villages of the Italian Riviera. You'll have plenty of free time to explore before we gather this evening for dinner at a local family restaurant. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre (2 nights; may be split between two hotels). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. You may choose to hike the famous cliffside paths, taking in lots of fresh air and panoramic views between Cinque Terre villages. Or pick a village where you can spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping cappuccino or vino while catching up on your journal at an outdoor café. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 7: Florence and David

Today we'll drive straight to Florence and take a Renaissance walking tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our tour at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Then you'll be free to find a special trattoria for dinner on your own. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Train: ¼ hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: The Uffizi Gallery

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including masterpieces by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more. The afternoon is yours to visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, or browse the colorful markets. As it's our final night together, we'll have a grand dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Teresa

Elk River, MN

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Volterra!"

Julie

Andover, MN

Tour: 10/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sarah

Exeter, NH

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The little flowered back alleyways in Cinque Terra"

Thomas

Exeter, NH

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth

Farmington Hills, MI

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Cinque Terra."

Joan

State Center, IA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Catherine

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Will

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Allen, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Henrietta

Williams Lake, BC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ann

Allen, TX

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out over the ruins in Volterra."

Elizabeth

The Villages, FL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Chuck

North Pekin, IL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Toni

North Pekin, IL

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ralph

Roseville, MN

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Seth

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Marshallville, OH

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Richland, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elisa

Camas, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dwight

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Fernandina Beach, FL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hiking in Cinque Terre"

Pam

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Buda, TX

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre"

Leslie

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Anne

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cyndie

Garberville, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Amelia

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Viki

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Ann

Hershey, PA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrea

South Jacksonville, IL

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Hummelstown, PA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jerald

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peggy

Oak Ridge, TN

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Mechanicville, NY

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lai

Nashville, TN

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Acworth, GA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheryl

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gretchen

Paonia, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judith

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Washington, DC

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Regina, SK

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darryl

Regina, SK

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Jo

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Oral

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre, Volterra and Florence were exceptional."

Paula

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful art in Rome and Florence!"

Roger

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jennifer

Greenville, NC

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Irene

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cornelia

Sheffield, AL

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lori

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was beautiful and unexpected"

Daniel

Mccordsville, IN

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Giok

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Therese

Decatur, GA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Coliseum."

Beth

Fayetteville, NY

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Decatur, GA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra in the Tuscan hills."

Roberto

Brier, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shari

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eric

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Keller, TX

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dennis

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Brier, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jen

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Kenwood, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jill

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nicholas

Rockville, MD

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Andrew

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Wesley Chapel, FL

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debbie

Davis, CA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sharon

Edina, MN

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Colleen

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nathania

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joyce

Oak Brook, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marchia

Chadds Ford, PA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leo

Oak Brook, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Roy

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Shrewsbury, MA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tim

Kingston, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Stevensville, MD

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful well paced, well organized trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Forest Lake, MN

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Todd

Winter Garden, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rochelle

Winter Garden, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

North Salt Lake, UT

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Nestleton, ON

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dave

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jennifer

Nestleton, ON

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I only need two words - Cinque Terre!"

Rhonda

Del City, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Clare

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jill

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Greenwood Village, CO

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brian

Martnez, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanne

Enfield, CT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Enfield, CT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Ann

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcia

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sylvia

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Shrewsbury, MA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Catherine

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tami

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marie

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Betty

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terry

Moneta, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Fiona

North Bend, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cynthia

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sharon

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Saint Charles, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Diane

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well guided, good pace, hit the high spots .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roof of hotel in Florence"

Jean

Elida, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Helen

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Sistine Chapel and David."

Sandra

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terry

West Lake Hills, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

St Charles, MO

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherry

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Katie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christy

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Stow, OH

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donald

Beaumont, TX

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Will

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Caroline

Livermore, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Martha

Grand Junction, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Sewell, NJ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time traveling with a group tour and I was worried about it being too touristy and regimented. Also traveling alone was a concern. To my delight the tour was outstanding in every way. The knowledge of your guides along with the guides on site in every city made the trip an absolute joy. I have been to Rome on my own and did not scratch the surface on the sights that I saw on this tour. Sarah and Marianna were terrific as guides and always made me feel part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sights in Florence were breathtaking. I look forward to returning in the future to see more"

Candi

Riverview, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tamara

Loganville, GA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nathan

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Benjamin

Orem, UT

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great people, great sights, great accommodations, and a beautiful part of the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was breathtaking, gorgeous vistas, small streets, family friendly, tasty restaurants."

Lisa

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found out about Rick Steves one week after booking a tour with another company in 2016. Everything Rick says about other tour groups...we experienced. We paid additional for excursions, tipped guides, servers, bus drivers, we stayed outside of towns so it was difficult to venture out on our own, etc. Finally we went on a Rick Steves tour and I was so impressed! The tour was exactly what I expected and more! Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra and the Cinque Terre. Travelling to both places allowed us to see the Italian countryside away from the big cities. Volterra was charming and I felt like local visiting their markets and dining at their family restaurants. Staying in Levanto was perfect. We were able to visit 3 of the 5 Cinque Terre towns and get back to the beach for a late afternoon swim and sunset."

Donald

Carlsbad, NM

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guides, especially Christina. The pace was just right with plenty of free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra."

Bob

Liberty, MO

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was simply outstanding in every way....precise, pleasant, game day problem solving, and constantly engaging. The local tour guides were excellent also. I loved the balancing of organized tours and free time. The busses were comfortable and efficient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although Florence was my favorite city, the Colloseum was my Wow moment. To see what has become the continuing model for modern stadiums in person was amazing! I loved the other aspects of Ancient Rome as well."

Joy

Jackson, AL

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I enjoyed our tour experience immensely! It was absolutely perfect for us!!! All the guides were excellent--they communicated clearly and made it fun and interesting by telling personal stories etc. We would not have been able to appreciate what we saw nearly as much without our wonderful guides making history come to life! We also enjoyed the many times that we were given free time to explore on our own. We thought the tour contained the perfect balance of structure and free time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there were many "wow" moments, but I especially enjoyed the Tuscany region, with its quaint villages nestled in the hills. Volterra and Lucca were both very beautiful and relaxing, after a busy time in Rome. I also loved the gorgeous views during our hike at the Cinque Terre. I honestly felt like I was in a picture book, and what I was seeing wasn't even real! Loved the local flair of all restaurants and hotels!"

Norman

Jackson, AL

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. It was even better than I expected going in. Our guide was awesome!!! There was a perfect mix of organized, guided tours and free time to explore on our own. The hotels and meals provided were perfect and we feel like we experienced the "real Italy". I learned a tremendous amount of history that I never knew. Everything about the tour was perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra and the Cinqua Terra."

Michael

Winooski, VT

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suzanne

Mahtomedi, MN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the forum in Rome."

Susan

Winooski, VT

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed changing pace of trip. Loved Volterra and our pool at hotel. Rooftop bar at hotel in Florence was great. Loved bringing up trip to Cinque Terre with stop in Lucca. At wine tasting,would have appreciated water being offered . I cannot drink alcohol due to heart murmur but wanted to tag along with husband but felt a bit awkward when no beverage for me. Of course I know it was a wine tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly lounging by pool at hotel overlooking Tuscany area with many of our tour group lounging with us. Appreciate the relaxing time."

Ova

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Corby

Bend, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peter

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Carla

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sharon

Orange, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anna

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sarah

Cherry Hill, NJ

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julian

Winthrop, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My daughter and I really enjoyed our tour. Andrea was a fabulous tour guide, she was a big part of making the tour special for us. We enjoyed the activities, most of the hotels that we stayed in & the local tour guides that were hired. We had a nice group of people from all areas of the United States that we enjoyed getting to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was seeing the fabulous S. Peter's Basilica in Rome, no words can describe it! Other moments were walking amongst the Roman Forum and seeing the Cinque Terre for the first time from a boat ride."

Steve

Mission Hills, KS

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Erin

Mission Hills, KS

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Merrick, NY

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joanne

Minoa, NY

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Vista, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mike

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being treated like family in Volterra. Francesco treated us to an amazing al fresco garden group dinner. It started with bubbly and ended with homemade limoncello and the most lovely delicious dinner in between. You can tell he loves his hometown and loves to share all his favorite restaurants and must sees."

Karen

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jessie

Duluth, MN

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Steve

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chris

University Place, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Colleen

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chad

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Holly

Cleburne, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeff

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anne

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Myra

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Antonio

Cedar Grove, NJ

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Decatur, GA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Virginia

Laura, OH

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynda

Cedar Grove, NJ

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Martha

Rocky Hill, CT

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Thornton, CO

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shena

Cypress, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Adam

Cypress, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sara

Brier, WA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rita

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Summerville, SC

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Keith

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Theresa

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joan

Perkasie, PA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Micah

Perkasie, PA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Columbia, VA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Caroline

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeff

Johnson Creek, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Becky

Highland, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Jenks, OK

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brad

Jenks, OK

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth Pamela

Palmetto Bay, FL

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to have a favorite!"

Elaine

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Matt

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Maryanne

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Holly

Evansville, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Scott

Evansville, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica"

Mark

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic, fun, educational, interesting, enjoyable company

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sunday

Lagrange, IL

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darlene

Arlington, TX

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janean

Pocatello, ID

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Dave

Bloomington, IL

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Palm Springs, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Ramona, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jessica

Billings, MT

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Benjamin

Ramona, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peggy

Hot Springs National Park, AR

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Allison

Hot Springs, AR

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jason

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Naperville, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peter's Basilica in Rome"

James

Lakeport, CA

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeanine

Algonquin, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Algonquin, IL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Dade City, FL

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jan

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anne

Laconia, NH

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynnette

Lakeport, CA

Tour: 05/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Christine

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vivian

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Weather

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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