• 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 $2,495 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

2018

2019

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
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • 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 2018
  • 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/interrupt 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. At the sprawling Vatican Museums we'll visit what seems like a limitless collection of treasures as we make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: 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, climb the dome if you're feeling energetic, 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

Nancy

Ballston Spa, NY

Tour: 05/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great mix of organized and free time. Great accommodations, bus was roomy and comfortable, group dinners we're fantastic! Our fellow tour group travelers were all friendly, not a grump in the bunch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved Volterra! It was out of a fairytale beautiful. I've never been to a place like that!"

Jean

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with a Rick Steves Tour. I have traveled using Rick Steves books and DVDs extensively for years. This tour was fantastic. I will definitely be booking more adventures with the company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had the opportunity to enter the Coliseum from a seldom allowed, side door. Our guide explained this was the hall the Gladiators used to enter. It was very cool. We walked through and onto the stage looking out over the rest of the arena. We were allowed 20 minutes there. I have visited the Coliseum several time before on previous trips to Rome. This was a special experience."

Bertrand

Groton, CT

Tour: 04/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Better than expected. Mr. Tordi, beside his charisma, integrated what we were experiencing (geography, landscapes, museum, architecture, gastronomy, etc...)in a large context that made the tour very relevant in today's World.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra: its "human scale" - not overwhelmed by people - and the remarkable guided tour by Mrs. Annie Adair who made me appreciated Volterra's extraordinary history from Antiquity to modern times in particular, the WW II actions of the Italian Resistance and the people of Volterra."

Janah

Carnation, WA

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned more than I ever imagined. The adventures on this trip had just the right balance of history and culture. I feel like I really got to know the places we visited even if we were only there a couple of days. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think our local guide at the Colloseum did a great job of making us understand how important, yet brutal, the Coloseum was in its time. She gave me goosebumps a couple of times!"

John

Epping, NH

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our previous tour to Sicily in 2016, this tour was everything we could have hoped for. Great guide(s), great local experts, great food, good hotels, great buses. Lots of activity (I lost 5 pounds!) - you weren't kidding that this is one of your most strenuous tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick just one. "Winning the lottery" and getting to walk out on the Colosseum floor with Francesca was one. The wall around Lucca. The Duomo Museum in Florence was absolutely amazing, too."

Elizabeth

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Husband and I had the most amazing time in the Heart of Italy Tour. Our guide Karin was wonderful, smart, funny, kind, and she genuinely wanted all of us to have an amazing time (Thank you Karin). We enjoyed all the planned activities, local guides, Hotels, free exploring time, and the delicious group dinners. We learned a lot about each place we visited from Karin and the local guides which made the experience even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For myself it was the colosseum and the roman forum. Our local tour guide was amazing and en-captured the feeling of what life would be like back then in Rome. For my Husband it was the Vatican city and learning all of the history behind it."

Philip

Lutherville, MD

Tour: 04/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was exactly what I had hoped. The 12 couples made for a fun, intimate and manageable group. The scheduling with about half organized and half "on your own" was great because members or our group had diverse interests and we were all able to do more of what we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the coliseum through the gladiator's tunnel was spectacular, even emotional."

Carol

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 04/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour covers the highlights every tourist should see. This is a great trip for the first time traveler to Italy. The only improvement I could see would be to spend more time in each of the locations. Fellow travelers and terrific tour guides made the whole trip worthwhile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence is always a "WOW" experience. When you see the Cathedral, Baptistery, and Tower - well that's a WOW! While on tour you visit the Uffizi Gallery, and Academia, both are WOW experiences. The gelato is also gets a WOW!"

Tina

Grain Valley, MO

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa Anderson was a great tour guide. She made us all feel welcome and was very knowledgeable about everything and every place we went on the tour. All of the people on the tour with us were extremely nice and made the trip so much more fun. I would definitely go on another Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I originally thought it was going to be the Sistine Chapel but it ended up being the map room at the Vatican Museum. I'm a huge history fan and I was just amazed by their ability to draw those maps so long ago. There were so many wow moments!. Italy is a beautiful country! I'd love to return some day."

Robert

Brevard, NC

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa was an incredible guide that showed us the Italy I was hoping to find.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many that it is hard to name a single one. Cinco terre is a "WOW" in so many ways. The views, people crowds,tunnels, the natural beauty are the source of great novels."

Dany

Brevard, NC

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So well planned from the time we booked the tour and our final day in italy. This is our second rick steve's Tour, and that is why, we are flexible and can go with necessary changes, but big disappointments no, not on a rick steve's Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible viiews in the hill towns and along the coast."

David

Nashville, TN

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful balance between organized/scheduled activities and free time to explore on our own.

Donna

Nashville, TN

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Italy was fabulous! Lisa, our guide, was knowledgeable and offered many helpful suggestions. Her knowledge of the country and the language helped make the tour interesting, as well as educational. We appreciated the balance of structured events (especially the groups dinners) and free time. Lisa offered great suggestions for how to enjoy our unstructured time. Lisa's understanding of the Italian culture and her personal experiences helped bring it all to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was full of "wow" moments! The countryside views Tuscany on the ride from Rome to Volterre are still with me now. Hiking the rigorous trails of the Cinque Terre was memorable as well; the views of the cities and the water while walking beside olive groves and vineyards were beautiful. Finally, seeing "David" in Florence was yet another "wow" moment for me."

Brian

Lynden, WA

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first R.S.'s Tour and it exceeded our expectations! It was so well-organized; our lead tour guide, Lisa Anderson was experienced, knowledgeable and fun. Our site guides were prepared and very informative. We also enjoyed being part of a small group whose bond grew tighter each day. We definitely benefited so much more than had we visited Italy on our own. Combination of group activity and independent activity was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick a favorite, as there were so many: the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, the Forum, the wonderful food; Volterra and the wine tasting; the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza at the Cinque Terre; Florence. I loved our dinners together especially the dinner in Levanto and of course our final feast in Florence! I enjoyed all our knowledgeable guides, and how we bonded as a group. It was difficult to say good-bye after our final breakfast in Florence."

Loretta

Little Rock, AR

Tour: 04/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When asked during our first get together with the tour group what I looked forward to most I replied the food, the wine and the history. My expectations were met and exceeded. I enjoyed the group, the food, the wine, the history, the sights, the local guides and Lisa Anderson! It was a fabulous trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a great description by a local guide, viewing the Sistene Capel for the first time. It brought tears to my eyes."

Lena

Burlington, OK

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was everything we wanted and more!! Sarah and Jesse were both so professional during the tour. They made the trip so interesting. Their experience and knowledge about each destination made the trip even more exciting. While traveling on the bus Sarah and Jesse offered information about each place and told us what to expect when we arrived at our new destination. I hope to tour again with Rick Steves and will recommend that others travel with your company. Thank you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was my favorite "wow" moment!! Loved the town and the scenery surrounding it. This was my 3rd trip to Italy and it was nice to spend some time in a smaller populated area and to relax away from the hustle of the larger metropolitan areas. Enjoyed the wine tasting and also our meal we had together. The accommodations were very comfortable and Mateo,the young man at the desk during the evening was so pleasant and helpful."

Keith

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first Rick Steves tour and I am thoroughly impressed with everything about it. I thought it was well organized with the perfect balance of free time vs. group time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was having a drink on the rooftop of our hotel in Florence at sunset. Overlooking the skyline of that city that changed the course of history was something to remember."

Christine

Newburyport, MA

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations! Sarah and Jesse were engaging, caring, so funny and knowledgeable. Always there to answer questions and checking in to make sure everyone was on the same page.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I first saw the pantheon. I don't use this expression often, but it blew my mind! Also the colosseum and forum were so profound and moving. The idea of Rome as a ruin upon ruin, in the deep past and so in the present resonated in a visceral Experience that will always stay with me."

Dale

Maitland, FL

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great organization of the tour! Sarah, our tour guide, and Jesse, our apprentice tour guide, were enormously helpful and made the entire trip fun from the start. Even our "down time" on the bus was an opportunity for Sarah and Jesse to talk to us about the Italian people, their lives, food, mannerisms, etc. We were learning new things all the time, which was both worthwhile and fun. Our local guides were uniformly excellent. We had the time of our lives - my first time out of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was not expecting to think about WWII history, but Sarah made a point of visiting the American War Memorial near Florence, and our guide in Volterra told us about the German occupation there. Fascinating! Truthfully, there were many "wow" moments, and I could name another dozen which were just as "wow"."

Patricia

Maitland, FL

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I totally enjoyed everything about the tour. The guests on our tour were so wonderful. We all got along beautifully. Loved our tour guides. They made it so much fun and set a very relaxed and informative atmosphere. We learned how to ride the train and even some Italian. I liked the Rick Steves philosophy in teaching us how to be great travelers and how to blend in with the locals. Sarah and Jesse were outstanding guides and worked together as an awesome team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a very personal moment when I realized the Grandfather I never knew, probably walked down the same streets of Rome and they probably hadn't changed much since then. I loved having an Aperativo on the Piazza in several locations. I also loved trying different foods and wines prepared by the Mom and Pop restaurants that were chosen for us by our guides. Fabulous!! I also loved having an experienced tour guide that lived in the town we were visiting, and having them teach us about the sights"

Mary Beth

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 04/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment we arrived, the tour met or exceeded all my expectations. Having experienced, knowledgeable tour guides enhanced our first visit to Italy, no question. It gave us a deeper understanding of the historical sites, while providing easier access to them. We could never have put together such a comprehensive and fun experience without Rick Steves and his team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to walk out onto the platform into the center of the Coliseum. Our tour was granted a limited access opportunity to do this!"

Nancy

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding experience with lots of sightseeing, walking and Sarah was a wonderful tour guide. The local tour guides were so informative too! I always love trying all the local foods and snacks. I really like riding in a not-so-full bus and staying in hotels in the historic areas. Fellow tour members were a joy to meet and spend time with also. I love the Rick Steves travel philosophy - to be a traveler, not a tourist. I will be planning another RS tour next year!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved seeing the Pope and going to mass in St. Peter's square even tho I'm not Catholic. My favorite location we visited was Volterra - not so crowded but full of local charm. I could spend another week in Florence also! AND I LOVED THE FOOD!!!"

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour provided us with a wonderful balance of experiencing the magnificence Rome, the picturesque Mediterranean coast, the historic and lush hills of Tuscany, and ending up in the spectacular city of Florence (where we met up with our son, who was studying abroad for a semester). Each tour stop provided a rich combination of history, art, culture, cuisine, and genuinely warm people who assured that our experience with them was memorable. I cannot pick a favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it, just wow! Books couldn't convey the skill, magnificence and sheer scale of we experienced. We were able to bypass long lines, but the seven local professional guides at the different venues were each superb by captivating us with their story telling,knowledge and humor (especially Antonella at the Vatican, Paolo in Ancient Rome, Annie in Volterra, Anna in Lucca). Not to be outdone, Paolo's fun & lovable wine tasting guide and Carlo at Primavera served a seafood feast fit for kings."

Nancy

Bennet, NE

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves "Heart of Italy" tour was outstanding. Our guide Sara was always enriching our knowledge of the places we visited. The food was awesome, hotels were all very unique which added to the experience. The one unexpected surprise for me was how I enjoyed getting to know the other tour members. We were a group of like minded souls who loved to learn and experience new things. This was my first Rick Steves tour but will not be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the David"

Patricia

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a great time on the Heart of Italy tour! The variety of locations was perfect, without too much travel time between them. The mix of guided time and time to explore on our own was perfect. While I can't say enough about our expert guide, Sarah, all of our local guides were exceptional. Steves provided us with all of the information we needed to make the most of our trip. We can't wait to book our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was stepping into the Sistine Chapel, tilting my head back and looking up at Michelangelo's masterpiece. I have read about the ceiling and seen pictures my entire life, but was still awe-struck by the scope and beauty of the work."

Steve

Nashville, TN

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The last time I was in Italy was in 1966 as a teen on a summer visit. That was just a visit seeing sites. Your Tour was much more! The guides were absolutely amazing with the history they included in all the site visits and the wine and food was wonderful. I would recommend this to anyone that wanted more than just a site seeing adventure. All was well done with attention to detail and including the history was a big plus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot sort it down to one WOW moment! All the tour was a WOW moment! My wife did not want to come home."

Algis

Bennet, NE

Tour: 04/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nancy and I are seasoned go-on-your-own travelers and have been to Europe several times. This was our first tour and we're glad we chose Rick Steves. We liked the combination of scheduled activities and your-on-your-own time. Having said that, we really enjoyed our tour. Our guide was great and the local guides hired to tour such sights as the Coliseum were awesome. Many had advanced degrees or had been with Rick Steves for years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving into Volterra and listening to Andrea Bocelli, courtesy of our guide. A little touch but it made the experience so memorable. Also listening to Dean Martin sing "Volare" on the drive into Levanto. It was the extra small touches provided by our guide that made the tour so memorable along with the people."

Raymond

Barrington, RI

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of my life's great experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many for one. The Collossum and the forum. Capitoline hill and museum. Lunch canal side, al fresco at a Murano restaurant. Michaelangelos Pieta at the Vatican. The Tuscan hills in the mist and fog. One we set up on our own that I recommend including in the tour, The Borghese, especially for the sculptures. The art in Florence, and the history. There are your wows!"

Rich

Rainier, WA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Never having been on a guided tour before we did not know what to expect. Having every last detail thought of and taken care of made for a heavenly experience. A perfect mixture of tour time and alone time. Totally dispelled our fear of what to do and how to get there on our alone time because of such great tips and education from our Tour Guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite wow moment was when the two of us (Rich & Cathy) danced to Volare being sung by a street band somewhere down in the town that we could not see at the top the hotel tower (can't remember the name) in Florence at night, with a central 360° view of all of Florence."

Thomas

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's Tour and we felt the experience was just as excellent (and similar) to the first. The quality of the schedule, guides, hotels and other tour members are was super.

Ming

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list."

Roderick

Clayton, CA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our entire tour experience was made better each day by the outstanding Rick Steve's tour guides. They are very passionate and so well prepared with knowledge on each step of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved everything about Florence"

Omayra

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first time to Europe and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The time spent in each city was perfect. The tour guides used in each tour was appreciated as they were engaging and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I completely fell in love with Voltera. The city was so quaint, the hotel was nice but the view from the hotel was amazing."

Lisa

Hyattsville, MD

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of central Italy was fantastic. I learned a lot, met interesting people and experienced an amazing part of the world that was new to me. Each day was full of new experiences and sights. Our tour guide was smart, funny, on the ball and seemlessly ensured we saw all the sites and got on to the next part of the trip intact and on time. It rained about half the time of our trip. This could have brought our spirits down but it didn't. Our tour guide set the mood and we gleefully followed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Volterra in the cold rain, fog and wind. Sometimes doing things in an adverse environment makes it more meaningful and definately more memorable. Standing at one of the ports while our tour guide Annie told us an inspiring story about the Volterra citizens saving the port from being bombed by German and then American solders in WWII by working all night to build a blockade on the road. Hearing the story in the cold/fog/wind/rain brought it to life just a bit more."

Sherrie

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every need was taken care of and our days were carefully planned. When there was a strike at one of the museums, Patricia made sure we got there at a different time to not ruin our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a hard time narrowing down to one "wow" moment. This trip is so overwhelming with information and beauty."

Mark

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. Our guide Patricia was very helpful and was always willing to go above and beyound to help us out. Really enjoyed the tours at the different cities and the passion the guides had when talking about their town, museum etc. This was a very hard physical trip and your explanation as a strenous trip is a good expalantion in your brochure.

Don

Olympia, WA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The cities and sites within that we visited gave us a good understanding and 'taste' of Italian culture and history and left us yearning for more! Our overall tour experience was greatly enhanced by the humor, guidance and knowledge of our tour guide as well as the expertise of the local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The was no singular "wow" moment. Each place we visited had its own particular charm and character. Among many superlative places we particularly enjoyed our time in Firenze."

Carolyn

Locust Grove, VA

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very impressed with the knowledge of our tour guide and the local guides. The added benefit of not having to stand in the long lines made the trip very enjoyable. There was also plenty of time for us to go out and explore on our own. Our guide, Patricia, provided us lots of confidence and was always available for questions, helpful hints and directions. She even took her own time to take some of us that had colds to the pharmacy and helped explain what we needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it is hard to think which was my favorite. I did especially like Lucca. It was a very fascinating city. I especially liked the stories told by the local guide. He was funny and kept us very interested in the history of the city."

Bernadette

Midland, TX

Tour: 04/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous all the way around. I can't wait to return and see whatever I missed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican- I could have stayed there & never left. The is so much to see and take in. I was blessed to be able to go to Mass and receive Holy Communion while there."

Mary

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. I thought it had the right balance between scheduled activities and free time with suggestions. I thought the tour guide Nina was excellent and I really appreciate that we didn't spend a whole lot of time on a bus (like with other tours.) The local guides ranged from good to fantastic. The joint meals were really good. The hotels we stayed in ranged from good (in Rome) to fantastic (in Florence). I would definitely recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the top of our hotel in Florence. WOW! Worth the climb. But there were many more: walking through Rome, St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Uffizi, etc."

Valerie

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, just great! We had to miss two events because it was Easter ... Pantheon and St. Peters Basilica, tho' some were able to get in at 6:30 same day. The Pope cancelled our tickets and Pantheon was closed. Nina kept us going and informed and spoke and kept the bus trip so interesting we never thought to sleep. This was our first trip and we could have researched locations, maps and extras we wanted to see much better than we did for times when we were on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra's amphitheater on a misty afternoon down below us ..."

Melanie

Mequon, WI

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our forth tour and as always the tour was excellent. We choice to do tours with our family to keep structure and we enjoy groups. Nina was excellent and overall the tour was good!

Laura

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic Guide, fantastic group of people, and amazing sights!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Collesseum through the gladiator entrance! So amazing to be right there and envision what took place there 2,000 years ago. And we did not have to waiting in the 2 hour line! Great experience with a great tour guide!"

Jeffrey

Holt, MI

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the trip. We had a terrific guide, and the local guides were outstanding too. I thought the accommodations and the meals were better than several other tours I've been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed our time in Volterra. What I thought might be the least interesting location turned out to be my favorite experience. I also had to say WOW when our group skipped right by the line of thousands of people waiting to get into the Colosseum, AND that we got to go in the gladiator entrance and have access to the stage. Very special indeed."

Douglas

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rome was very busy on Easter Weekend. Still got around to see different sights. Missed St.Peter's Basilica and the Pantheon. Something for another trip. The rest of the trip was wonderful. Volterra, Lucca, Cinque Terre and Florence all super. Too many things to do but savored what we did. Many students in Rome, Lucca, Cinque Terre and Florence. Spring break.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the Collosseum. Walking around and trying to imagine what was going on all those years age."

Laura

Albany, NY

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time in our tour in Italy. It was , what we thought would be a a once in a lifetime trip. Now, we are eager to book our next tour!.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, seeing St.Peters Basilica for the first time was awe inspiring."

David

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our heart of Italy tour was fantastic. It was a good balance of structured time with guided experiences and free time for exploration independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pin down any one moment as a favorite. I will say that one of the things that really stood out to me is that I felt like we were still able to have a back door travel experience on this tour despite being a group of 28 travelers."

Sandy

Lake Worth, FL

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour guides were top notch.knowledgeable and personable. restaurants were outstanding. hotels left something to be desired. Hotel Museum was excellent as well as hotel in Volterra. hotel in the Cinque Terra, was sketchy. the showers were very indicative of local small Italian cities, but were extremely small no shelves to put shampoo, conditioner. We were on the tour which was scheduled to go to the Vatican on Mar 19. Due to a holiday we had to reschedule. That was inconvenient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican, The David and the Ufuzzi Gallery in Florence."

Sheila

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

500 words seem vastly inadequate to encapsulate this marvelous experience of the Coure d'Italia tour. The well informed ( & I dare say truly passionate) tour guides, the bright company of a small group, the education that went with the wonder of my first experience in one of the seats of western democratic thought; all a genuine marvel. The pace suited me as well, with free time available to continue (or not) on my own as I chose. I can and will highly recommend the experience. Brilliant!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tilting my head all the way back to peer through the oculus at The Pantheon was pretty dazzling. That moment has been processed hundreds of times since. It was, for me, a glimpse into the human want to reach the loftier aspects of life rather than hold attachment to the earthly and venal. It has always been a part of our souls to want to do so, I think...the oculus suggested that these ancient peoples were 'kin' in that regard. Difficult to choose one thing."

Richard

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour blew my expectations out the window. I could not have imagined trying something like this on my own. All the arrangements, the short lines, guides, camaraderie, meals, wine... this was a good value with a lot of punch for what I got. Definitely an active tour, we went morning until night most days. Yet there was enough free time to pursue further interests or rest a bit too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To pick just one wow moment, I'd have to go with the Roman Forum. I felt like I was I was in ancient Rome among the temples and palaces. It gave me a close connection to this world. On second thought I might also go with hiking in the Cinque Terre!"

Jerry

Wescosville, PA

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

We were asked to go along with two other friends. I would not do another group tour simply because I don't want to be tied up with 28 people, most who never traveled, that I don't know for 9 days. In saying that, the tour is fine for your target group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very fortunate to have traveled overseas on a quarterly basis in my business career so somethings were more interesting than others but no WOW moments."

Larry

Tehachapi, CA

Tour: 03/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide as usual. As you can see from the number of tours we have taken that we approve of your tours. Much of this one was a repeat of things seen on previous tours, but each guide has a slightly different view and knowledge base so we learned things missed before. Moreover, the same can be said for the different local guides. We enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to have a "wow" moment when you have been there before. The closest we came was the local guide at Lucca. Elena was beyond description, stamping her foot to reinforce a point, making members of the group actors to dramatize her history lessons, all done with an infectuous sense of humor. I smile even now thinking of her performance."

Steven

Stillwater, MN

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Stephanie was a great guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history of the area and the food."

Linda

Bethlehem, PA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were knowledgeable and personable (I learned SO much I've annoyed many friends by sharing), the mix of guided tours with time to explore our interests on our own was great, the hotels were amazing and the food was outstanding. (I had several dietary restrictions and the food I was served was delicious - I was truly spoiled. I told a friend I ran out of superlatives to describe the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from some of the towns in CinqueTerra, after walking up some of the smaller streets to the clock tower."

Jessica

Lubbock, TX

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We LOVED our tour - it was exactly what we were looking for and the perfect time for what we could be away from work. We thought it also had the perfect amount of time for you to spend with the group and away from the group and highlighted most everything we wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I personally enjoy the free day in cinque terre and hiking between small hill towns. My other favorite moments were the family dinners and trying the local cuisine."

Gary

Bethlehem, PA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have long looked forward to experiencing a tour of Italy. Also having seen many Rick Steves Tour programs on PBS, it was at the top of our list as we began to consider tour options. The "Heart of Italy Tour" was much of what we were looking forward to, an opportunity to experience Italy within the time frame that worked best for us. I was more than impressed with the entire experience...informative, relaxing, inspiring and all we were hoping it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although very hard to pick one "wow" moment, I must say that my experience of St. Peter's Basilica was tops. Before we met with the entire group, my wife and I were able to worship in the Basilica on Sunday morning. Later that day and on Monday with the group we had the opportunity to tour the entire cathedral including Vatican Museums and Dome view. It was breathtaking."

Mark

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A no fuss, no muss trip. It was nice to have hotels and tours booked. The tour group was small, only 17 people. We had a combination of planned events plus free time. A good mix of both. Italy was in a cold spell this week, I felt we could have booked a couple weeks later for better weather. But the lower number of tourists was nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Saint Peters Basilica was amazing. Every square inch was magnificent paintings, sculptures or stonework. Truly inspiring."

Michelle

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

fantastic insight on locations, locals, customs and people from your well informed and personal guides in each city. Ample time after tours to go back and check out what we may have missed in each location while on the tours. Our group was small allowing for bonding amongst the team, which was great. when you travel alone you don't have instant friends like that to communicate with, and all the folks in our tour all seemed to be like minded. I loved the ability to Walk the towns we were in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre just walking the coast line there, seeing the sights, eating the food. An amazing place. we went in low tourist time and were able to get around quite easily with no crowds. it was great. Also after wandering St Peters we were surprised - no totally awed - with a Papal sermon! yes we got to actually see and hear the POPE! Chance of a life time...."

Pamela

Brinnon, WA

Tour: 03/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour early in March! We had a small cohesive group which we nicknamed the "lucky group". So many little extras happened to our group and the usual crowds in Italy we almost non-existent. The weather was a little drippy but any downpours came when we were in a museum or on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many special places in Italy to choose just one. This was my second time visiting most places but I learned and appreciated it so much more on this trip. My past experience was during a heat wave in the summer so having a guide and cool days was such a pleasure. Thank you!"

Cynthia

Palm Coast, FL

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Our" Lisa is such a confident, warm and knowledgeable guide. She kept things fun, interesting and didn't let anything get her flustered, including the pouring rain! The group was just the right size, keeping it intimate and moving smoothly. The shared meals were great! I really enjoyed the local fare(and wine!) This was my second visit to Italy and I learned so much more being part of a tour. I would definitely take another!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The forum. I was so fascinated by the sites of ancient Rome! Looked like a movie set, but...it's real! AMAZING!!!"

Thanh-truc

Renton, WA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour experience and it certainly didn't disappoint. All the guides were very informative and interesting. My favorite local guide was Ilaria from Rome. She alighted in me an appreciation and small understanding of art and architecture which I didn't possess before. And definitely I don't think we would've enjoyed our experience as much as we did without our guide, Lisa. She was approachable, knowledgeable, adaptive, caring and wonderful. Overall, we were happy with the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hm...a wow moment? I think the most unusual and wow thing was the fact that all the art and history was displayed in such an accessible way. It wasn't behind a piece of glass standing from 10 feet away, it was in front of you and all around you. You were able to experience some of the things that someone living hundreds of years ago experienced - that was pretty cool."

Lisa

Arlington, VA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Heart of Italy Tour was most enjoyable. Why? Let's start with the guide, Lisa. What a marvel. She is incredibly knowledgeable about Italy as she has been living in the country for more than two decades and just as important, she knows how to share that knowledge with the group. The specialist guides also were fantastic and presented in enjoyable, memorable ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wow moments: Seeing the Coliseum in Rome from the gladiator's viewpoint at the ground level for a special tour made put us right there in the middle of what would have been the action. Seeing the Duomo, Bell Tower and Baptistry in Florence for the first time--I couldn't take my eyes off the beauty of those buildings--also a wow moment."

Lynda

Arlington, TX

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 4th RS Tour and it may be my favorite so far. Always wanted to know more about the Etruscans and I loved Volterra. I also always wanted to see Lucca and get a feel for the Cinque Terre and this tour did that too. Rome was great to see again and I love Florence and was so happy to be able to remain there 8 more days at the end of the tour. It was just a terrific experience overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was wonderful but my passion is the art we are able to see, and David and the amazing pieces in the Uffizi just stop me in my tracks everytime. The Botticellis, the Leonardos, the Michelangelos etc etc. just incredible. St Peter's in Rome was amazingly special too."

Leslie

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour so our expectations were already set very high. This tour met and exceeded those expectations! Our first tour were the big three: Venice, Florence and Rome. This tour exposed us to the small town side of Italy - the hill towns, the coastal towns and still tossed in a dash of the big cities - who could ask for more? The group was small, only 21 of us, and all were excellent travel companions - a tribute to the personality types attracted to a RS Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick just one? Enetering the Colosseum via the Gladiator's gate with few other people in the arena. Walking the quiet back streets in Volterra. Standing cliffside and looking down at the little harbor in Vernazza. Gazing up at the David statue in Florence. The 360 degree view from the tower at our hotel in Florence. Pick one? HA! How can I?"

Mark

New Palestine, IN

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I have been to Italy several times traveling just the two of us but we enjoy the Rick Steves tours so much we decided to travel 'with Rick' for this experience. We were NOT disappointed. As always the tour was well planned and our tour guide (Lisa) and local guides were amazing. The hotels were clean and charismatic and located in great areas. This tour was completely filled with great things to experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoy the unique experiences that Rick and his team organize for the group. Having a private alabaster carving demonstration or a private wine tasting in Volterra make these tours so great. Enjoying the team dinners with Pesto making lessons or the lunch in the AutoGrill or hot chocolate and Gelato stops along the way! The private guides that teach us so much with their passion for their country and treasures. All amazing experiences. Visiting Volterra was the highlight for me."

Jill

The Villages, FL

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. I enjoyed how organized it was and the places that were visited. Lisa was an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it was wow."

Joanne

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was such a wonderful experience that will be a very happy memory. We had such a great guide and group of people to share the trip. It was a very compatible group of tour mates and I'm convinced your tours attract only the best! I love to read my travel journal and look at our photos because it is so hard to believe all we saw and experienced on the tour. And all in only 9 days! Lisa is a terrific guide and one of the reasons we has so much fun. Love her!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking onto the Colosseum through the gladiator's entrance was a great "wow" moment. The early morning and rain did not dampen our spirits. In fact, it contributed to the moment because the arena was almost completely empty. Not many people get to experience that!"

Richard

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 03/04/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was interested in learning more about the history and art of Italy, and this tour met my expectations. This tour provided an active learning experience from the Etruscans through the Renaissance (and beyond). Lisa (guide) and the local guides were all great in bringing alive the history of Italy. Seeing the art of the Masters was incredible, and having guides to describe the detail and background made it even better. This tour fully met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually caught myself saying "WOW" as we walked in through the Gladiator's Arch and Entrance to the Colosseum Arena. It was an incredible experience to stand on the Arena floor and look up to where the Emperor, Vestal Virgins, and crowd would have been seated above you. Also, viewing the magnificent artwork was "WOW" time: Michelangelo- the David, the Pita, Sistine Chapel; Bellini; da Vinci; Titian; Donatello; Raphael; Brunelleschi..."

Robert

Kerrville, TX

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour and without doubt will not be our last. We were extremely impressed with Rick's entire operation, his travel philosophy, itinerary, accommodations, guides ( all exceptional ), and focus on group cohesion throughout tour. By the end of the tour our guide extraordinaire "Alfio" had transformed 28 strangers into one big happy Italian family touring The Heart of Italy. It was truly hard to see everyone go their separate ways by tour end. Unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first evening of the tour we did a walking tour of Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon, all beautiful in their own right. The Pantheon though was for me just incredible. The engineering, architecture, art, and sourcing of materials. Before there were computers, and software to facilitate the design, heavy petroleum operated equipment to erect the granite columns and huge brass doors, just blew my mind. They were able to accomplish so much with nothing but brains and brawn."

Ellen

Boston, MA

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I have been to Rome's Pantheon before, on this walking tour, Alfio talked about it in such a way that made me realize that what I was looking at was even more remarkable than originally presumed. I think that is what a great guide does they bring the experience to a different level. Halloween Dinner/Dance Party at the Hotel Primavera -Lively Chef and Staff, Great Food, Amazing tour group, add great music into the mix, include one fun guide-output equals super fun dance party."

Tom

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great trip, well designed, well led. Weather was perfect except for one day (who could ask for more).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Volterra. We arrived to a beautiful sunset. The old stone streets are charming. We enjoyed everything there."

Jane

Gresham, OR

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fabulous trip! Alfio was the best Guide I have had on now 3 Tours. He knows so much about history and is passionate about about life! He was extraordinary and nice and caring. Our group bonded quickly and everyone in our group watched out for everyone else; i think Alfio was A large part of why this happened....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing up the dome steps; Duetto?"

Mia

Chuo-ku, 13

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had some apprehensions about what a tour would be like - this was my first tour (and first Rick Steves' tour). But I absolutely loved it!!! This was in large part due to a great leader, Alfio, who with brio, a sense of humor, and a wealth of knowledge about Italy's history, led the way for our induction into a crash course of Italy and its historic sights, wonderful food, and amazing culture. Great people on the tour also made it a memorable experience. Truly awesome, through and through!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many. Seeing the rolling, verdant hills of Tuscany enshrouded in a late night mist was breathtaking; marveling at the awe-inspiring symmetry and celestial beauty of the 2,000 year old Pantheon; eating a delicious tomato-based pasta in a family-owned restaurant in atmospheric, small town Volterra which felt like a town suspended above the clouds."

Donna

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous and exceeded our expectations! We had never been on a group tour before, but there will definitely be more Rick Steves tours in our future! It was just the right balance of structured time and free time. We loved the group tours and dinners but it was also nice to be able to explore on our own and go out to dinner just the two of us. The tour was completely stress free!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure "wow" is the right word, but we very much enjoyed the walking tour in Volterra."

Jamie

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Alfio was so informative, fun, patient and helpful! He made everyone in the group feel so welcome and we ended up having a wonderful time together. Alfio made the trip unforgettable. In fact, all of the local tour guides on the trip were exceptional in their specific knowledge about the history and culture of the areas we were touring. It inspired me to do further research on my return home, and start thinking of my next Rick Steve's Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first evening out on the tour we visited Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and my favorite...the Pantheon! That structure blew me away, and although we saw so many beautiful, amazing famous structures and art on the tour, the Pantheon still sticks in my mind as the most powerful impression."

Peter

Lebanon, IL

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first organized tour. It was everything I hoped for and more. Alfio was outstanding. He was my friend, not my guide! The pace was just right. The hotels were great for us. The local guides were knowledgeable and more importantly, passionate about their areas. I really liked the two-night stay in each city. Our dinners together were also just right. I would be hard pressed to find any serious complaint. I guess I have to say we were very lucky with the weather as well. Fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Carlo's "feast" in Levanto was my wow moment. What a great time. He and his staff made that a truly memorable night. I felt like an honored guest at a family dinner. Once again, Alfio was the perfect host/interpreter! We will never forget that evening."

Matthew

Chuo-ku, 13

Tour: 10/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time on this tour, which really exceeded our expectations across the board.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think maybe the Pantheon, during our night walk around Rome -- incredible impact (supplemented by interesting explanation of the construction and subsequent history of the structure)."

David

Westerville, OH

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting, stimulating, variety, and well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sculpture of David and Sistine Chapel."

Sue

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought it was a great tour and appreciated the group tour time as well as the free time to learn about each place with visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our RS tour group was invited specially to come into the coliseum in Rome through the same gate the gladiators entered. It gave me a great perspective for what they must have felt and seen as they entered the arena. I also loved riding the boat and coming into the docks of each town in the Cinque Terra. The views from the ocean were awesome and the sunset was incredible!"

Rex

Westminster, CO

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized, and very fun. A good mix of tour time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany and Volterra. I couldn't sat why."

Karen

Westerville, OH

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the guides, sites and accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelangelo's David took my breath away."

Gerald

Lenexa, KS

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trip was 9 days us & 9 days R Steves. R Steves part much less stress, more learning, no lines, no hassles, but you lose some of the adventure. Liked free time. Missed some of interaction with locals

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Walking over bridge into Venice. 2. Buying tripe sandwich with locals in Florence & enjoying it overlooking river. 3. Seeing Cinque Terre 4. Assisi 5. Chivita 6. Learning to ride trains, tram, buses 7. Learning to use ATMs 8. The view from our hotel window in Montepulciano 9. Trying to talk with 2 older ladies in Orvieto (giving up & just hugging & kissing)"

Ruth

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! For years I've wanted to travel to Italy and didn't know how to make it happen. One of my friends said "just put the date on your calendar and hi." I was traveling alone to Europe for the first time so there were a lot of unknowns. The many details handled by the tour company [INVALID] including the small book for speaking the language [INVALID] were so helpful and enabled me to experience different micro-cultures within Italy. I could never have known where to begin coordinating this myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the many steps to the Duomo and seeing the incredible cityscape of Florence (many thanks for the e-mail tip to make reservation ahead of time). Later that day, experiencing a magnificent sunset and taking in a different perspective of the Duomo. Numerous WOW moments....very hard to narrow it down."

Glenda

Lenexa, KS

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had traveled in Italy for 8 days prior to our joining this tour. Yes, we enjoyed more spontaneity on our own and could detour when we thought of other opportunities, but what was missing was the in-depth look at some of the sites. For example, we walked through the Roman Forum by ourselves, but we didn't really understand the role of the Vestal Virgins; we walked around the Colosseum but didn't know an in-depth analysis of the gladiators. So, the tour enriched our comfort and knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I treasured seeing the number of women drawn on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, knowing of the current extent of unemployment in Italy, seeing the number of Italians who smoke cigarettes, watching the line slowly snake toward entrance to the Vatican as we just walked in, truly internalizing that my husband and I had made it abroad."

Gina

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was very well thought out, organized, efficient, and informative. There is no way I could have enjoyed everything we did and saw on my own. Being able to listen to our well-educated guides provided a great education/backdrop as well as a personal/human touch to the experience. Sometimes I felt like I was transported in time and given a inside look at life in each place we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow," moment was feeling like I belonged in Italy. I felt like I was home and how familiar and connected each place and experience felt to me."

Connie

Orange, CA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very, very much. My husband and I had just completed another 9-day tour (of Israel) before we flew to Rome to start the Heart of Italy tour, and I was a little hesitant about doing tours back to back. Though we did get a little bit weary of bus-riding by the time we were done with Italy, both my husband and I were completely pleased with almost every single aspect of the Italy tour. From our guide, to our food, to our pace, to our destinations, it was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- The ceiling in the gallery of the map room in the Vatican Museum. - Entering the Coliseum via the gladiators' entrance - The city walls of the town of Lucca - The dinner we enjoyed with the group in Rome - The view of the Ponte Vecchio and other bridges down river in Florence"

Yvonne

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a solo traveler and never felt alone, everyone in the group was so friendly and truly no grumps in my group. It was so well organized, hotels were so conveniently located to get around the towns. I am ready to book my next trip - this is the only way to travel . Thanks for a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra the hotel , the town was so cute and amazing ."

Diane

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was very well organized and was advertised very honestly. Our tour director, Ann Long was excellent. She was helpful when needed and very willing to just let us learn on our own. The guides at each tour were the best I have ever experienced- knowledgeable, easy to understand, great senses of humor and patient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre"

David

Clovis, CA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was hard to find a toilet any place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"FOR MY HUSPAND IT WAS HIKING THE HILLS IN ITALY"

James

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting experience. Art history insights by Cynthia."

Joan

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 10/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third tour with Rick Steves' Tours and once again I was very satisfied with the tour experience. I was especially impressed with both Ann as our tour director and our local guides. They were all knowledgeable, enthusiastic and experienced. I learned so much from them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard not to say "wow" in Rome and Florence. The history, art, museums. But I also enjoyed getting to know Volterra and Lucca and of course Cinque Terra was awesome. Maybe it was the variety of cities and countryside that made the tour a wow."

Keith

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was great as our guide! We enjoyed the scheduled sites that we toured. And we very much liked the mix of scheduled tour time and free time. The free time was very important to us and provides great flexibility to see and do other things and to have some quiet time to ourselves. We also like the "back door" aspect of the tour, a glimpse into things other than just the main tourist sites, a local perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time in Volterra, what a beautiful place and was not crowded, peaceful. Of the popular tour sites, touring the Vatican and the Colosseum were great. It was especially exciting to enter the Colosseum through the Gladiator's entrance to the arena."

Janice

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip. Nina was so energetic and positive. She really made this trip outstanding. The local guides were fantastic. It was evident that they all enjoyed what they do. It was enjoyable to hear about some of the local guides grandparents memories of WWII in Italy. They made the museums and towns come alive with their stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra ~ what a wonderful town ~ so much history!! It is charming with wonderful people."

Leslie

Silverdale, WA

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a perfect way to experience Italy for the first time. With transportation and hotels pre-arranged, I was free to delve deeply into the experience of the country, the history, food, and not worry about where I would be sleeping or how I was getting there. The community that developed within the tour members gave another layer of enjoyment to the tour since we had a built-in group to go to dinner with, and spend time with on our free day. I can't imagine a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night walk around the historical sights in Rome brought the city to life. Full of historical sights and bustling people, beautiful fountians, and a finish with great food. As a beginning to the tour, it set the tone of a rich country with a great culture and from that moment on, I couldn't wait to get out and explore every moment of the trip."

Gwen

Chillicothe, IL

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first tour outside the US and it was very well organized, very informative, and over all just a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the ruins in Rome, the coliseum and roman forum."

David

Chillicothe, IL

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were with a great group of people and by far Nina (our guide) made this trip incredibly special. She was so fun, so knowledgeable and managed, somehow, to keep us all together. We were also very fortunate with the other area specific guides. Altogether they brought Italy to life. This was my first time with a Rick Steves tour but it won't be our last. Perfect amount of together and on your own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's all wow but my favorite part was the Sistine Chapel."

Mary Jane

Littleton, CO

Tour: 10/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves was the best decision I made for my first trip to Italy. From beginning to end, I couldn't have asked for more. The pre-planning/advice was excellent and our tour guide, Nina, was so fun, knowledgeable, and energetic. Our group of 28 really got along well and it was just the right mix of guided tours and personal time to roam on our own. I see now why so many people take more than one Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I really enjoyed the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel with all of Michaelangelo's art. After that, I'd have to say the quaint hill town of Volterra and all its artisans and shops."

Michael

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves' Heart of Italy tour exceeded all of my expectations. We had never been on a tour before, and we didn't really know what to expect. We don't enjoy planning the details of a trip; Rick Steves let us grab our passport, flight, and they took care of the rest. We made great new friends on the trip and had plenty of time to ourselves. Our tour guide Stephanie was incredible in every way. We look forward to our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our trip was really full of "wow" moments, but the one that really stands out is Michelangelo's David. We saw so many beautiful places, like St. Peter's Basilica, Volterra, Cinque Terra, and so much more. It's hard to pick just one, but the man in marble, David, was my favorite "wow" moment."

Charles

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Perfect balance of group activities and free time. Most of the hotels were fine. We had a great group of people. Our Rick Steves guide was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough question. In total awe of the ruins in Rome but loved Voltera. Voltera was beautiful , not crowded, lots of history, wonderful food. My favorite place."

Domingo

Mahopac, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Prior to this vacation, the best vacation I had experienced were on Cruise ships. However this vacation topped them all. The tour guides, each one of them were very insightful, well experienced, resourceful expecially during unexpected issues, and at the same time were entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The insightful information just before entering the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, then entering and actually observing what had been previously mentioned"

Kathy

Damascus, OR

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did 2 tours back to back. I wish i had completed this eval prior to taking the 2nd. I would give more detail. Our 5 weeks in italy were fantastic. Your books and of course tour guides gave me confidence to take this amazing adventure. Weather was great. Guides consistently excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the last night 3 of the guys bought leather jackets. It was such a bonding experience and I was happy to observe it. They had them tailored and they modeled them, gave each other advice and in the end were like little boys with their big fancy bags. It was a small shop and felt very personal. The best part was the 3 men had been strangers prior to this trip. Now were like " bros"."

Nancy

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie did a great job! She was very helpful when we were getting train tickets to continue our trip to Venice. She even gave out Kleenex when some of us had colds! Lovely pastries and treats were a nice touch. Our local guides were wonderful at each place. I have traveled independently in England, Ireland, and Scotland. I took a big bus tour years ago in France. This was a perfect mix of a small group with tickets and lines avoided, yet plenty of time to be independent each day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each place was unique. I couldn't pick a favorite place, but was very surprised by how lovely it was in Volterra. This was not my first choice tour, so I wasn't excited about that part. How wonderful it was! I'm so glad that I didn't miss it. We easily added Venice on our own at the end of the tour, so I felt we did get the best tour for us! Our tour members were all great people. The group got along well. It was great to travel with these wonderful people."

Dianne

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was beyond my expectations. This tour was so special to me and the arrangements handled by Stephanie were so detailed and complete to give each one of us a most fantastic time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's Cathederal. I felt like I was sent back in time. The art and history of the area was amazing. Ae"

Soraya

Mahopac, NY

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. Having an excellent tour guide complemented by the local tour guides added value to the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. If I had to pick one, it was stepping off the train in Cinque Terre and seeing Monterosso. The photos on the internet do not do it justice. You have to experience it for yourself. Many people at home have not yet heard of Cinque Terre. Maybe that's a good thing for now. I picked this tour because of Cinque Terre and so thrilled it did not disappoint."

Brian

Clayton, CA

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. A lot of walking and standing, but the tours that were lined up each day were outstanding. The main tour guide, Stephanie, was great and would love to attend another one of her tours. Though you can't everything, nine days was a perfect length of time for the tour. The tour exposed you to various life styles in Italy from the hustle bustle of the city in Rome, to the slower paced life in the hills of Tuscany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite "wow' moment was the town of Volterra. I fell in love with the ancient town with the narrow streets and magnificent views overlooking the Tuscan valleys."

Jane

Easton, MD

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip with a group. It exceeded my expectations. We have taken many trips where we did all the planning. We tend to stay in similar type hotels, so this was just what we expected. The advantages I saw with the group was: 1. Less stress for us finding the hotels, transportation, etc. 2. Getting the local guides and passing the lines for the sites, 3. Having a person (our guide) to handle all the plan B days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The vatican, Lucca, impossible to pick one moment."

Fred

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 10/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip has a very interesting and entertaining itinerary and our guide, Stephanie, carried it through masterfully. This was our first trip to Italy and we decided that we needed to take a tour since there was so much to see and we didn't even know where to start. This trip was just what the doctor ordered and more. We loved all the destinations and also had a great time getting to know and experience Italy with the other tourists on the trip. Also the dinners were very good and lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waiting for the train would normally not be an experience to write home about. But for us even this was elevated to a sublime experience at Manarola, Cinque Terre. The station had a wide open vista to the glistening Mediterranean and the rugged Cinque Terre shoreline and made a most beautiful picture. Turning a mundane location into a thing of beauty for us typified the power of the Italian experience we had on this trip."

Zelda

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good Tour guide; Good group of travelers on this tour. No waiting in long lines for entry to museums, etc. An overall great experience. This was my third trip to Italy and it was definitely the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""David"- Michelangelo"

Mary

Savannah, GA

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always dreamed of visiting Italy. I didn't know that my dreams were inadequate in comparison to what I experienced. The history, art, culture, food, architecture, landscape all surpassed my expectations. I made the trip with my adult daughter who is a fabulous photographer, so we have wonderful photos and memories to treasure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the David statue in Florence"

Tom

Dallas, TX

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Most fun trip we've ever taken. Our tour guide was over the top. He handled last minute curve balls, I.e. unforeseen schedule changes, with ease and never seemed to get frustrated with anyone. Great attitude, sense of humor, etc. He was extremely knowledgeable about the areas we toured. We loved his recommendation of leather goods shop in Florence. This was a perfect trip to us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scenery/hike in Cinqueterre was beautiful. Would love to have been able to spend more time in Lucca. (One reccendation might be to spend night here. We loved the city.) We loved rooftop view and having wine on the roof of our hotel in Florence- also loved the town of Volterra. There were so many favorites; it is hard to say we only had one favorite."

Jean

Amesbury, MA

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

amazing,better than i ever dreamed,Graham could not have done more or given more to all of us during our trip to Italy.These memories will last a lifetime and knowledge Graham gave us, we have already shared with family and friends.we will definitely do another Rick Steves tour in future, thinking of Greece with great anticipation.we will never travel to Europe again without Steve and his guides, can't say enough about Graham brilliant mind filled with morals and deep integrity miss him already

Favorite "WOW" moment

"everything was awe-inspiring every day filled with child like wonder, best trip of my life can't thank you enough loved the Vatican and Cinque Terra. will go back some day, my eyes have been opened to this awesome world we live in, thank you all, Steve and Graham and company."

Mary

Bradenton, FL

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and the experience could not have been better! Our guide was awesome. Everything went so well. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Toss up between driving through the beautiful Tuscan countryside listening to Andrea Boccelli on the bus speaker (I was not the only one with tears in my eyes); or seeing the David in Florence (especially the way Graeme had us enter the gallery backward and back up to the statue in order to see it in all its glory up close)."

Martha

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was outstanding! I couldn't have asked for anything better. I took my husband on this tour with me. He hasn't been out the country much, so I was hoping he would have a good time so he would want to go again. He had a wonderful time !!! It was so nice to arrive and then not have to think about anything after that. The knowledge of the guide (Graeme) as well as the local guides was amazing. I could really feel the passion from Graeme on the history of Italy and everything we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I had two moments - One was visiting St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel and seeing "David" in Florence."

Arthur

Amesbury, MA

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was apprehensive about going on a tour rather than on our own. Because we have never been on a tour vacation. Watching PBS, we started to see your tour episodes. Also we went to the Colonia Theater in Boston MA, to hear Rick Steeve talk about his tours. Well, we were totally blown away with our Italy tour trip. It was way beyond our expectations, was outstanding! Our tour guide, Graeme, was terrific, very knowledgeable, excellent communication skills. We would highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it is difficult to select a favorite " wow" moment during this tour. However, my vote is the Vatican City and St. Peter's church."

Dan

Mandan, ND

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not having the experience of traveling with a guided tour before we did not have any predetermined expectations. With an open mind we set forth on an unforgettable journey. This trip has to be one of the most enjoyable experiences that I have had. Our trip guide(Graeme)was outstanding! With his knowledge of history and all the stories of things we were to see, it could not have been more memorable. The local guides were equally entertaining and knowledgeable.Overall,couldn't have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name. One of the most memorable had to be when Graeme had us, as a group, back into the hall containing the statue of David and turn around at the base of David to give us a truly "wow" moment.:)"

Dixie

Polk City, IA

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and I was impressed from the moment our guide gave an overview of the tour during orientation. Each day was so well planned and totally immersed us in the city or region we were visiting. I loved the local hotels, amazing food, great background history information, the discovery of unusual places and our fellow travelers. We owe a big thank you to our expert guide for making this trip so wonderful.

Linda

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first Rick Steve's tour. I was not sure it would be worth the additional cost but my significant other did not want the angst of planning a trip on our own. Now I'm a believer. I will never again travel out of the states without the benefit of a Rick Steve's tour. Everything is taken care of for you. Our guide was incredible, our group delightful, the hotels awesome and the pace just right!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my goodness, there are so many, the Sistine Chapel, looking over the countryside at Volterra, seeing the David, Venice at night from out tower rooftop. I loved it all."

Susan

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. Graeme, our tour guide, was fantastic. Knowledgeable, organized, energetic. A great history teacher who put everything in perspective for us. I saw everything I wanted to see (except the Pieta, but that's the Pope's fault).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David. Which Graeme handled beautifully. Also Volterra - arriving there and walking to the hotel was almost surreal; such a picturesque setting."

Dolores

Bethel, CT

Tour: 10/13/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled and lived abroad before...this was our first group tour with Rick Steves and it exceeded my expectations! Fantastic way to experience a place never visited before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many 'wow' moments... some that encompassed small discoveries, and others that were larger than life. Hiking the cliff-side trails from Levanto to Monterroso was an amazing experience - the views from the cliffs, the quirkiness of the trail itself which often wound through welcoming private properties fed my soul and my senses. The almost indescribable experience of coming face to face with so many great works of art - The sculpture of Mary Magdalene as Penitent moved me deeply."

Brian

Folsom, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife had I have wanted to visit Italy since, well...since before we met one another. This was our first trip there and we were not confident in being able to arrange hotels and travel between locations, so this was the perfect solution. The tour also provided us with many other benefits, including access to museums (and the Vatican!) and many meals (and wine) included in the price. The tour is set up so that we were able to see the most important attractions in cities like Rome and Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one... seeing Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, Michelangelo's David and Pieta, the Cinque Terre, the Pantheon, as well as classic Italian towns like Lucca and Volterra."

Sarah

Hopkins, MN

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour and experience! I loved the variety of cities, each so unique, and two nights in each allowed time for wandering and exploration. The Rick Steves approach is fantastic. The "no grumps" requirement sets the tone right from the get-go. Everyone was so friendly and ready to dive in, have fun, and enjoy an experience of a lifetime. The cadence of the trip is just right, the food was incredible, the culture, the local guides - I felt immersed in Italy and loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking up the hills in Vernazza to see the post-card view was stunning. We just went to the trail head which was still a decent hike. Our guide, Jamie, highly recommended it, and I'm so glad he did and we didn't miss it! Another high for me was the Forum in Rome. History on top of history, buried and discovered. The local guide was fantastic! So knowledgeable and a delight to listen to. Without her tour, I wouldn't know all that I was looking at - she really brought it to life."

Debra

Danville, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third Rick Steves tour and I wasn't disappointed. Jamie was great, all the individual tour experts were so knowledgeable and the group we traveled with were so friendly and easy to get along with. The hotels were lively and the bus was super comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was when I hiked to the cemetery above the harbor in Vernazza. The view was so beautiful."

Janice

Winter Springs, FL

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was very perfect, pace from location to location was very good, meals were very good, and hotels were perfect. The amount of free time was also important and scheduled well. I and others struggled with what felt like long lectures while standing by our main guide, Jaime. He is knowledgeable and passionate, but standing for 20 or 25 minutes while he gave a lengthy discourse on a piece of history or figure, took away time from our site time and too much uncomfortable standing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Rome has an amazing energy but you can also find a quiet residential street and the food is just great everywhere. I was truly "wowed" by the Tuscany countryside - I had high expectations and it was exceeded. Mu favorite guide was Elena, in Lucca; she kept things concise, fun, and engaging."

Bob

Cottonwood, AZ

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fast paste tour, which is exactly what we were looking for. We spent two extra days in Rome prior to our tour, and did a walking food tour and a day trip on our own. This was our second Rick Steve's tour. Part of the reason to booked again with Rick Steve's, was to see if his tours were consistent, and they are. The small group & free time are real pluses. Thanks to Rick and the entire organization !!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but mine was seeing "David" in Florence."

Lydia

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour and our guide was just fabulous and we couldn't have asked for a better guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The private wine tasting that Jammie put together for the group."

Sandra

Cottonwood, AZ

Tour: 10/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steve's Tour. I enjoy the balance of structured time and free time, the excellent guides, and the comradery of the group. The hotels have all been excellent. Yes, we have carried bags up three flights of stairs, slept in rooms with no air conditioning and listened to the street sounds outside our bedroom window. It just added to the experience and we enjoyed every moment.loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several 'wow' moments on the tour. The Vatican museums, wonderful even with the crowds, the charming and beautiful town of Volterra with all its history. The walled town of Lucca and our sweet and funny guide. She had a personality plus! Our boat ride at the Cinque Terrence villages, seeing them perched on the side of the cliffs. Finally our final night dinner in Florence; what a feast!!"

Jerome

Beach Park, IL

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and it was great. We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. Every day was a new adventure. Some things we did exceeded our expectations and some things did not quite live up to expectations. But that was what we expected. Our only complaint would be that our Rick Steves back pack didn't hold up very well. One of the straps started to rip half way through the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to fully explain. Probably our first sight of The Duomo in Florence. It was a grand sight. St. Peters Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were spectacular also. The views of the Mediteranean Sea from the Cinque Terra hiking trails. Quiet moments strolling through the streets of Volterra. Then there was all the art. Most of it I never heard of before but it was all spectacular. Every time we turned around there was a new wow moment."

Stacey

Columbia, MO

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was my first international travel experience and I can honestly say that the bar is set very high for any future travel plans. I was blessed to share this experience with my daughter and I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide or better group of people to share my time with. Overall, the trip was amazing! The word my daughter and I used often during our travel was serendipitous as we found something new to marvel at around every corner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moments were taking in the beauty of it all ... the architecture, the culture, the countryside, the rich history and art that show how a culture can embrace, preserve and cherish the past as true antiquity while demonstrating to the world how to grow and prosper by it. Realizing that wine is a food group that should be appreciated fully was a Wow moment, as well as the permission to succumb to your gelato craving no matter the time of day!"

Robert

Glen Ellyn, IL

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My biggest fear was being paced by the slowest member of the herd. The entire tour group was very compliant and respectful of the meeting times and the 9 days went off like clockwork. Huge cultural immersion and educational experience, focused on politics and art. At the beginning, Ben passed out a historical timeline of Italy and world events, and a concurrent timeline of art and key artists. Would like to have seen a similar timeline of music and science. It would have tied it ALL together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Expected what we saw in Rome & Florence - which was pretty wow. Volterra and Cinque Terre were very interesting and I'm sure we probably would not have gone there on our own. Ben Cameron was great and 3 of the 4 supplemental guides were outstanding and enhanced our knowledge and experience."

Connie

Beach Park, IL

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our first Rick Steve's tour, hopeful for many more in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turning a corner to see the magnificent "David" standing there, I got goose bumps!"

Sylvia

Oak Park, CA

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our first trip with Rick Steves' travel company to Europe. Everything works out extremely well, exceeding our expectations. Special kudos to Ben Cameron who is super helpful, friendly, knowledgeable and fun to be with. We look forward to our next trip with Rick Steves'. All local guides/experts are outstanding, well versed and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pantheon in Rome was surreal for my husband. The breathtaking moment for me was the first sight of Duomo in Florence while the church bells went off."

Michael

Sisters, OR

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The organization and tour arrangements made for an effortless 9 days. As it was my first trip to Europe, the planning and experiences afforded may the trip both memeorable and effortless. It was a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local tour guide Annie brought Volterra to life, and made this hill town and its history and charm my wow day and half."

Barbara

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As with other Rick Steves' tours, the experience was wonderful. The logistics of getting places and seeing the highlights of each location went smoothly. Our guide was fun and knowledgeable and our group of travelers was terrific! We ate very well and were able to appreciate what we were seeing with the help of good local guides. All in all, another wonderful RS travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were three "wow" moments for me; in Rome, coming around the corner and seeing the Trevi Fountain in full glory in the twilight was breathtaking. Walking out of the train station in Monterosso and seeing the beautiful blue Mediterranean in the sunlight was another "wow" moment. And walking into a room at the Uffizi museum and seeing David standing in front of you was awesome in the original sense of the word."

Janis

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a little apprehensive about taking a tour. I was afraid we would be hearded like cattle day and night. However, I found this a great mix of tours and time to explore on our own. The supplemental guides were great at adding little tidbits of info that I would not have gotten on my own.

Jamie

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as promised, knowledgeable guides, comfortable hotels with friendly staff, spacious tour buses, and delicious food. The ease of access into the museums was huge! Breezing by other tour groups with our experienced local guides made all the difference. I appreciated the suggestions from our tour guide, Deborah, for the free time sight seeing. There is a lot to see in Italy and she helped us make good use of our time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pantheon brought it all together for me. The genius of the people, the rich history of the culture, and the craziness of modern Rome. I remember getting a little teary eyed in awe and wonder."

Regina

Columbus, OH

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The simplicity of the tour was very relaxing...I didn't have to think about wayfinding or getting lost or standing in line for hours, and the venues were terrific. The group was very relaxed and laid back, with no big drama to deal with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Volterra. The history, the quaint town, the lack of crowds, and especially our guide Annie. I would have liked more time to wander the town and take in the views."

Colleen

Richmond, VA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time on our "Heart of Italy" tour! We were so lucky to have had beautiful weather, which meant we were able to spend lots of time outdoors. Whenever possible we chose outdoor cafes for our lunches and dinners on our own. Sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping Prosecco, looking up at the Duomo in Florence was a once-in-a-lifetime-experience! Our pictures are stunning ... because they are all framed in the brilliant blue of the cloudless sky we had every day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "Wow" moments! As already mentioned, sipping Prosecco next to the Duomo as the golden, setting sun reflected off of Brunelleschi's Dome took our breath away. Eating lunch (and sipping Prosecco) at an outdoor restaurant on Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking all of Florence was another "Wow" moment, as was viewing miles and miles of the Tuscan countryside from the highest point of the hilltop town of Volterra. And we could have spent all day on the Manarola Vineyard Trail!"

Cindy

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a bit unsure about going alone but everyone on the trip was friendly and made me feel at ease. I enjoyed the blend of guided hours and free time, and the tips our guide gave us to help us make the most of both. The local guides enriched our understanding. The significant and beautiful places we visited met my expectations, and I was surprised at how many new things I learned about each place we visited and the people - past and present- who lived there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around the hill town of Volterra and seeing how people live there today, thinking all the time about the similarities and differences between them and my life in northern California. Learning about the Etruscans and admiring their advanced thinking."

Monica

Burlington, VT

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was rated as the most active. It kept its promise. Great tour guide and assistant!! I especially liked the time we had on our own to explore...bonus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Volterra. That town was unbelievable and with all the history...fantastic!"

Sydney

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first tour and it was wonderful. I had always been a bit leery of a planned vacation as I usually prefer making my own arrangements and being more spontaneous. But with this being my first trip to Europe, I appreciated all of the planning being done for me. The itinerary was varied and all of the guides were both entertaining and very knowledgeable. It was a perfect balance of guided tours and free time. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the hustle and bustle of Rome, I really enjoyed the low key charm of Volterra. But thinking back over the entire trip, there were so many special memories and beautiful photos, that it is hard to say one really surpasses another."

James

Collegeville, PA

Tour: 10/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, so we weren't totally sure what it would be like, but our experience was wonderful. Great guides, well thought-out itinerary, and gracious friendly fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking above Manarola in the Cinque Terre was breathtaking. We took the Vineyard trail high above the town. The views were amazing. Going up the tower in Volterra was neat (and the tower in last hotel too!) The dessert trolley at Il Giglio Rosso on our last night was pretty "wow" too!"

Cynthia

Sherman Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my first tour and first trip to Europe. I've been a fan of Rick Steve's on PBS for years and I was so pleased to find out he has tours when I Googled small Italian tours. I think the tour was perfect in terms of the cities we visited, our wonderful group leader, and the balance between guided tours and free time to explore on our own. I definitely fell in love with Italy?? I really love photography and I had such a wonderful time taking pictures of the most amazing sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well that's a hard one, because everything was wow!! Maybe the view of the Cinque Terre towns from the ferry. I stayed on the ferry for a few trips up and back just because it was so lovely being on the water with the magnificent views. David in Florence was breathtaking. The coliseum and Pantheon. Unbelievable!!"

Martin

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We liked the fact that most of the planning for food, hotel, transportation and tours were planned out for us. This provided for a low stress and very enjoyable experience. I really liked all the members of our tour group-all had a good attitude and were pleasant to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra! Wow!"

Joanne

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and it was fabulous! Being part of the tour helped me get the most out of the experience. I appreciated having the logistics worked out, and the venues and restaurants were fantastic. It was fun being part of a group and meeting new people. I learned a lot from the tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything I saw in Italy was bigger and grander than I imagined (except the cars - the cars in Itay are tiny). It would be hard to pick just one moment because the tour included a terrific variety of sights and experiences."

Robert

Ada, MI

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Well paced, informative and enjoyable. Our group was congenial and bonded well during our time together. Suggestions for free time were very helpful and enabled us to use our time to maximum benefit. This was our first time for a Rick Steves' tour and we were very pleased.

William

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a fantastico experience. All the sites, hotels and restaurants were all top notch. What really made our Italy vacation special was our wonderful guide Rainer. His knowledge of the language, culture, sites as well as architecture and local food added that special touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our, (actually my) Octopus dinner in Cinque Terra! The entire Cinque Terra and Volterre region was gorgeous."

Stephen

East Setauket, NY

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went beyond our expectations. My wife and I are musicians, love art, and I am a history buff, so expectations were high. It was a deep plunge into our ancient Western heritage from the viewpoint of history, culture, art, and religion. Of course it was wonderful to see all the things we had read about and to experience a culture different from our own. But I also got the sense that it was our history and culture too.Our heritage is much more "present" to me now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. The first was catching my first glimpse of the Colosseum. The size was striking as well as the fact that here was a historically important structure that was ancient and still in existence. The second was accidentally coming upon the excavation of the 2nd Senate in the middle of the modern part of the Campo De Fiore."

Bonnie

East Setauket, NY

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first encounter, our guide Rainer was friendly, humorous, knowledgable, and encouraged us to get to know one another (the choosing of buddies based on lack of familiarity really worked well). He was quite articulate and displayed a wealth of information about history, culture, good restaurants, transportation options, and almost anything else he was asked about. The use of local guides such as Paulo in the Colosseum and Vatican added special richness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose one. The ancient sites, especially the Colosseum; the charm of Volterra; the stunning Cinque Terre; Michaelangelo's David."

Deborah

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of our tour was outstanding. Rainer's leadership, commentary and advanced planning (we know he had lots of help) made this a carefree and totally enjoyable experience for me. We packed so much into a small timeframe yet the pace was just right...a good balance of organized and free time. I would never go totally without a guide again, as I learned so much! It was also fun to explore and get lost a bit on our own. We felt totally safe the whole time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Coliseum for the first time; seeing Michelangelo's David; overlooking the city of Florence at sunset; climbing the narrow stairways at Vernazza...the list goes on! I learned so much about Renaissance Art and Italian history (and ...wine.)"

Sheila

Grand Haven, MI

Tour: 09/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were happily surprised with this vacation. It was our first European vacation and our first Rick Steves experience. We thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of "The Heart of Italy" tour...accommodations, food and drink, tours and the various local guides and the places of course. We will be doing a Rick Steves tour again. Could we have Rainer please!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our wow moment was the first view of the steps on our hike starting in Monterosso and then all the beautiful vistas as we hiked the two trails."

Keith

Rockville, MD

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was a wonderful tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the sites we visited as well as cultural and local customs as they differed from what we have at at home.

William

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire registration process was simple and easy to follow. David our tour guide was excellent. His demeanor, humility, sense of humor, and strong desire to constantly ask all of us was there anything else he could do was outstanding. I liked the balance of structured events and time windows that allowed for personal time to explore the areas we were in. Hotel selection was impressive. Hotel Museum started it off and it only got better. like the rotation of different areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vatican, tour, Rome and all of the history involved in the Roman empire and the longevity of the buildings."

Joanne

Croydon, PA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, David, was outstanding. He is very caring and wanted to make certain that everyone had a good experience. He went above and beyond to make sure each person's needs were met. We had the opportunity to see things that most tourists and there was some opportunity to do things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We missed the last boat back to our hotel in Cinque Terre. We decided to take a water taxi back and the view was priceless. Also, the view from our hotel in Volterra was breath taking."

Lars

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Looking at my bookshelves, I have more than two dozen Rick Steve's books, and this was our third Steve's Tour - outstanding as always!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David - the statue; although David our Steve's Tour guide was amazing as well."

Donald

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Made especially outstanding due to David with great music and and no excuses help with our return flight cancellations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David adding to overall wonderful experience."

Allison

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, David was wonderful- smart, funny, helpful, light-hearted. The itinerary and transportation was fabulous. Our hotel in Florence was a wonderful treat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum was one of my many wow moments of the Colosseum. We were the first to enter and came through the gladiator entrance! As our tour guide was talking, David came over and whispered, 'do you realize that outside there are hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in line to get in and we are seeing all of this just among ourselves'. Later, we asked David to take a picture of us and he took a few from different angles and they are the best pictures we have of the trip!"

Florence

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itself was absolutely wonderful and everything and more than we expected.Our trip was marred by a cancelled flight on our return trip that resulted in staying in Florence for two more days.This wonderful trip was ruined by AIG, (travel insurance co).The agents acted like they had never had a flight cancellation and when we tried to get reimbursement, it took innumerable hours and frustration.They knew that the flight was cancelled but needed WHY. The barriers to payment were unreal.

Kathleen

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David is poetic. He just nailed it as a tour guide in knowledge, storytelling, tone, fun, personality, goodwill, direction, clarity on plans, and so much more! A gem! Thank you! And loved how many places the Heart of Italy Tour included

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from the classics, Paula cooking at her restaurant Hotel Torre Guelfa The fruit & vegetables & the exceptional bakeries The Florence shop windows All the doors in Volterra"

Carol

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour had to be the most remarkable tour that I have taken with Rick Steves' Tours. The tour director was incredible. His knowledge of Italy and Italian cuisine and culture was fascinating. His sense of humor and musical talents were always hilarious and awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel."

Robert

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels were historic. And located perfectly near our major sights yet tucked away just off major thoroughfares. The group dinners were at intimate "ma and pa" places. And gave us a great cross section of Italian cuisine. The itinerary and transportation were well planned. Our guide and individual site guides were extraordinary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum Our guide arranged an early entrance into the Colosseum through the gladiator entrance. We had it to ourselves! Later, all the sightseers came in through another entrance as we were exiting. Our guide at the Colosseum could teach a master's class. He was a passionate archeologist and his knowledge of dates, emperors, and facts were unparalleled."

Cynthia

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very enjoyable trip. Our guide was great. The locations of the tour and what we saw during our stays was great. The group meals were all great also. This is our 3rd Rick Steves' tour and we'll be back for another, I'm sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was the Cinque Terra coast from the water. We took a water taxi back to Monterosso just before sunset. Wow! Gorgeous. Also loved seeing Michelangelo's David, the Sistine Chapel, and the Colosseum."

Leann

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and it definitely lived up to its reputation. I was entertained, educated and thoroughly thrilled by the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Roman Coliseum through the gladiator entrance early in the morning was a serious "wow" moment. There were many "wow" moments, but that one...well...WOW!"

Linda

Dewitt, MI

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was wonderful. We had the perfect balance of free time and tour time. Our destinations were amazing and the transportation was very nice and hassle free. The accommodations were very nice and their locations were amazing. I very much enjoyed learning more about all the local sites but more importantly it was nice to get a taste of what everyday life is like in each town we visited. I would definitely schedule another tour with Rick Steves' Tours!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to have just one "wow" moment but I would have to say the first was seeing the statue of David with my own eyes. Secondly, the time we spent in Cinque Terra was my favorite location. Strolling through the shops, spending time on the beach and eating the local cuisine was simply amazing."

Cheryl

Hickory, NC

Tour: 09/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best tour experience I ever had. David ( our tour guide) was energetic, fun, caring and had a great knowledge to share with us. Our whole group loved having him as our tour guide. The places we visited were beautiful. The meals were great and the interactions with local guides and local people made the trip even more special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few "wow" moments. When we walked into the Colosseum through teh "Gladiator Gate" with our group when no one else was in the Colosseum yet was wonderful. I loved the city of Volterra and we happened to be there when a Bike race was finishing there. Our last evening meal in Florence was wonderful and David sang and played was a great experience."

Mike

Washington, DC

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cecilia was a funny and knowledgeable guide through the history and culture of Italy. The tour group was made up of wonderful people and we all got along well. The accommodations were excellent as were all of the logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Running into a former colleague at a dinner in Florence. Seeing the Pieta was a close second."

Thomas

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

having been to Rome and Florence 2x in the 60's when I parked my moterscooter safely near the Vatican museum and walked in no security, no admission fee things have changed. too many tourists for me although cecilia did a great job and the local guides were good. really liked luck and Volterra. pleasant group of tour participants. I felt again the tour was as promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"luck was winner. seeing david again and appreciating the anatomical details in the sculptures[retired surgeon]"

Diane

Suncook, NH

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This wasn't a tour for the faint of heart. It was a lot of walking and standing but worth every aching muscle. I learned so much and I think that is what I liked most about this tour. I learned about the people, the customs, the history and so much more. It was far more than what I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots of "wows" The biggest wow, I guess was how informed our tour guide was and how much fun she was to have around. Swimming in the Mediterranean was pretty special! Very salty! Another Wow - the delicious food and gelato!"

Brian

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good tour. Always enjoy meeting/interacting with other tour members. Excellent weather. Good sites and meals. All went well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No specific wow moment. Enjoyed Lucca, Volterra, and Monterosa - probably getting out and walking those towns was closest to a wow moment."

Tony

Oakland, CA

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very well organized tour / travel group, having a precise set of daily activities which were very interesting and which were followed well! I am a 50s year old single man and going to Italy with a Rick Steves Tour group gave me plenty of opportunity to socialize and meet people and to learn about the people and culture of a different country. The Rick Steve's Travel Group also provided me with a good way to get to know MYSELF in a social way by socializing with others in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach and nature scene of the Cinque Terre was beautiful. Raised my emotions to how beautiful nature can be. The beauty of certain iconic little churches in the Cinque Terre and along the way raised my emotions and brought love to my heart."

Pamela

Noblesville, IN

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very happy we chose this tour. It was a great combination of cities and smaller villages. The Rick Steves organization plan was fun and so educational. We were glad to have extra time to adjust and see more of Rome before the tour began. The group of friends we made as we traveled were delightful. Fantastic trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last group dinner was outstanding with awesome wines, food and people. We will remember so many special places and museums we enjoyed together."

Patrick

Grove City, OH

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized and led, leaving very little for us to worry about other than showing up on time for scheduled activities. Kudos to the RS staff, guides, bus drivers, et. al. But the real stars of the tour were our fellow travellers: a diverse group ranging in age from about 40 to 86, each interesting and enjoyable in their own way. I'd love to take another tour with all of them onboard. In fact, I wish they were my neighbors, co-workers or golf partners. A GREAT group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome & Florence (the "stars" of the tour) were good, but the the unexpected gems were the previously unknown towns: Volterra, Lucca, and the Cinque Terra. Given the unavoidable crowds and congestion in Rome, I would have gladly traded in a day there to spend it in the middle-tour towns. My favorite was Volterra."

Sheila

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been on a couple of RS tours in the early 2000's. It readied me to travel confidently on my own for a number of years. This time I decided to do another RS tour then another few day on my own. It was so great to have wonderful accommodations planned and incredible meals to enjoy all with no energy on my part. The tour group was made up of super friendly people. The time spent as a group and "free" time was perfect. Travel from cities to hill towns was very comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many "wow" moments from the ground we were standing on to the culture, art, food and wine. Just get out and walk, walk and walk so more. Explore! Really every moment was so special."

Michael

Miamisburg, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour is a great introduction to a beautiful country. It certainly makes you want to come back for more. It was a good combination of big cities and small towns. The amount of time spent touring as a group and the free time was just about right. I'm sure that everyone wishes they could spend more time in some places and less in others but those are personal preferences. I'd recommend this to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where do I start? The Sistine Chapel, David, the Uffizi, Tuscany, climbing St Peter's Dome, climbing Il Duomo? Ok, I'll admit it was the food and, of course, the wine."

Marie

Miamisburg, OH

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With an impeccably brilliant guide, incredibly knowledgeable sub-guides, and gorgeous vistas, my tour experience was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing first-hand the weight of the years of Roman civilization was my "wow" moment."

Susan

Horton, MI

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ferdi was a terrific guide. He paid attention to all members of our group and helped us get the most from each place we visited. The local city and museum guides were also great. Hotels were comfortable, breakfasts more than adequate, coffee heavenly! Group members were friendly. Things were on time. Travel was comfortable. Cities and villages were nice contrast to one another. Felt like we got a good sampler of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two moments are tied. One was the view from our hotel in Volterra -- magnificent! The second was our free day in Cinque Terre.The weather was sunny and mild and the ocean was amazingly calm. Our lunch at a restaurant overlooking one of the villages was amazing."

Nancy

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful adventure. One I was unsure I was actually in shape for, as I read your descriptions carefully. I fell into bed exhausted most every night but felt I was seeing so much in such a short time, which is what I wanted. It was the best "weight loss" program ever! I do confess I was not one of the "multiple servings a day" gelato eaters, lol!!! It is good that you stress how physical the days are because some people are not always good at reading these details. ;)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just trying to comprehend the sheer enormity & complex civilization the Romans built with mere brain power and man power. Combined with so many artistic geniuses of the time, it truly was overwhelming. The amount of art that has been saved is more than impressive. That in itself was a definite "wow" moment."

John

Tuscaloosa, AL

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife Inez and I really enjoyed the tour. Your tour guide was great and we would sign up with him in the future. Good thing you let us know about the walking we were prepared but a few in our group had a hard time keeping up. I was the oldest (75) in the group and I did fine. The tours were good and accommodations were good. The local guides did a good job except the one we had in the museum in Florence. He knew his stuff but would just take off to the next exhibit leaving us to follow

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome tour of the Forum and ruins throughout the city."

Mark

Carmel, IN

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were immersed in the history of Italy. The sights were spectacular. The back stories provided by our guides people, architecture and art alive. We would have never been able to see what we saw, stay where we stayed and eaten where we ate on our own. The tour venues, hotels and restaurants were extraordinary. The behind the scenes logistics allow you to experience more than you ever could on your own. i would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to experience Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i particularly liked Florence. The stories of Medici family and the Renaissance "wowed" me. The Florence Cathedral was my favorite structure. Where else can you see Michelangelo's Holy Family and David in the same day."

Ah Shed

Montebello, CA

Tour: 09/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was excellent, the tour manager and local guides was excellent, so is the dinners. We really appreciate the information given and how to reach the hotel via train was excellent, the people and the buddy system was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but the best is when we first saw the Parthenon in Rome."

Tasha

Claremont, CA

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing trip to Italy. I came here on my honeymoon with my husband and we have never been overseas before. This was a huge trip for us and this was a perfect introduction into Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think right in the beginning walking the streets of Rome and seeing the Trevi Fountain for the first time. I have always seen pictures of the fountain and thought it was beautiful but I have never realized the sheer massive size of it. It is incredibly huge! And the Pantheon. As a Famous Italian American said "fuhgeddaboudit! (which means forget about it!)""

Wayne

Chetek, WI

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Our guide Deborah, was very knowledgeable, and a lot of fun. We stayed in fairly nice hotels, and were left with lots of time to explore on our own. My personal favorite was the city of Volterra. It's like a medieval castle on a mountain. Also the meals together with the group was really fun. Highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having dinner in Cinque Terra, overlooking the harbor on the patio of Piccolo Diablo. Top 50!"

Elizabeth

Dayton, OH

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an incredible trip to Italy to celebrate our 25th anniversary! Our group was cheerful and ready for adventure - we made new friends! Dinners together were highlights - Incredible regional food, plentiful wine, intimate restaurants, and great conversation. We enjoyed art, architecture, history, culture, and hiking. I loved the experiences: wine tasting, walking tours, shopping the outdoor market in Volterra, biking the wall in Luca, museum visits, the Vatican and Colosseum, and more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved hiking in Cinque Terre. We did a challenging 3 hour hike on a beautiful day through lemon trees, vinyards and olive groves with an incredible view of the coastline and Mediterranean Sea. It was so so beautiful!"

Milo

Fremont, NE

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first big trip to Europe, and our first guided tour over an extended number of days. The organization of the itinerary was just what we needed to have a great representation of Italy's central districts. The mix of city and small town atmospheres was very enjoyable, and the presentations of the historical perspectives at each locale were exceptional, whether done by Debra or the local guide for that specific site. There was a good variety of organized events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During the walking tour of Rome, coming around the corner for the first viewing of Trevi fountain, followed by the Pantheon, were breathtaking moments. The drive from Volterra and into Cinque Terre was also awesome."

David

Kettering, OH

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very happy with the format of the tour. I did not feel like a sheep, nor was I left to fend for myself. It was a good combination of knowledge about how to navigate the country / city and free time to see some things I wanted to see that were not official agenda items on the tour. I liked the combination of big city / small city and the pacing. Rome can be overwhelming and it was nice to get to the country for awhile before going to another "big" city - Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at the Cinque Terre between Manarola and Corniglia. The weather was amazing and the views were spectacular from the top of the hillside."

Lorine

Akron, OH

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour - we can't believe how quickly the time passed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many beautiful and intriguing moments on this trip. We really enjoyed the historic village of Volterra and the wonderful seaside town of Monterosso in the Cinque Terra. The rooftop/hillside terrace provided a spectacular place to sip wine among the olive and lemon trees while overlooking the town and the ocean."

Melissa

Charleston, SC

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide(s) was (were) wonderful!!! Loved everything we saw and did... The history was so fascination, as was the architecture, the scenery, the people, the food and the wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Roman Forum was a big moment, as it felt as if you were actually there during the time of its in inhabitants. But Cinque Terre was probably the biggest overall WOW for me, as I am a big beach person."

Nancy

Le Sueur, MN

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deborah and Jessica were the best! They went above and beyond expectations. When Deborah found out that the trails in Cinque Terra were closed to hiking, she put together activities for us to chose from on what would have been her "day off" from group activities.

James

Fremont, NE

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the fourth Rick Steve's Tour my wife and I have taken, so we have come to expect an exceptional experience. This was certainly true of this one. Planning is always down to the detail which makes traveling easier and the inevitable changes in local conditions or circumstances are always handled in a professional and non-stressful way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot, of course, mostly of new and gorgeous vistas heaving into view on a regular basis. One unexpected wow! was in Monte Rossa, in the Cinque Terra, where we were treated to a complete full course seafood dinner. I don't much care for seafood and would never order it. But this was truly outstanding and helped remove my prejudice against seafood. Loved it! I should add that we live in Nebraska, one of the chief beef exporting states in the U.S."

Karen

Fremont, NE

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 4th RS tour. Every single one of them has been excellent. Loved it. Great scheduling. Enough free time. Terrific guide and travel companions. Scenery amazing -- Tuscany was gorgeous. Outstanding local guides. Loved that we got to spend a little time in Lucca. Nice to be about to bike -- felt like another side to tourism besides museums, cathedrals, etc. which I really, really love, too. Learned more about art on the Uffizi tour than I learned in school.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Drive from Rome to Volterra. Stunningly gorgeous. Also Etruscan museum there."

Daniel

Brecksville, OH

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations! Great group of people and Deborah is an awesome guide. You can't help but take an instant liking to her, with her sunny demeaner, incredible knowledge and organization skills. We will definitely plan on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many highlights, but we enjoyed the landscape and tour-planned meal in the Cinque Terra."

Cheryl

Fremont, NE

Tour: 09/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the perfect balance between big cities and small villages, active planned times, and time on our own. It was extremely well organized , and our tour guide, Deborah, was knowledgeable and congenial at all times. We had such special experiences in every location, and I wouldn't change a thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many wow moments to pick just one!"

Lou Ann

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that Ben did an amazing job at initially making our group feel comfortable and excited about our experience. I felt that our group meshed very well, had a good attitude and no "winers". Ben did a wonderful job of seamlessly making it fun for everyone and keeping us on track and learning a lot of history at the same time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think seeing The David sculpture in Florence was the wow moment for me. It was incredible and a lot bigger that I thought it would be. I thought it was great that we saw this in the late afternoon when that crowds were smaller, letting us spend more time taking this all in."

Susan

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew that the trip would be good based on what I had read about and had seen the thoroughness of the Rick Steves shows on television. I was actually much more impressed once I had actively started the tour. The group (28) really gelled; there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. I was also very impressed with Ben's vast amount if knowledge everywhere we went. Ben, and of course the group made the trip so very enjoyable, Ben is adorable and was very nice to us "older folks". Cannot wait for the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Thee obvious one is "The David. It was so much more in person than I would have thought. We had planned this trip based on the Cinque Terre, but I fell in love with the peacefulness of Volterra and Tuscany in general (we also visited Siena and San Gimignano)."

Michael

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over all it was better that I expected. Even though the tour description said it would be one of the most in walking, standing and moving-it was do able. I was awed by the amount of art works in Rome. I loved the small streets and the alleys that led you to something new, a small plaza or church. The age of the buildings seems to be embraced there vs building new. I loved the hotels-out of the way. Ben was a walking encyclopedia. loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the "wow for me was how well the age of the country supported adapted to the modern traveler. The number of people visiting Rome. The streets of Volterra the hike in Cinque Terre and coming around the bend of the trail and here is the view of the city below. Wow."

Greg

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with Ben our tour guide a wealth of information. All the local guides great but in Lucca, Elena's energy as she talked about her city was infectious. We were always well taken care of by Ben with our transportation choices in Rome and thier quirks. We always had plenty of suggestions for our free time and help or tag alongs with Ben to start things out. The hotels were up to our expectations having been on previous Rick Steve's tours. The hotel in Florence was especially historic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the Alabaster workshop in Volterra. Watching the skill of the owner as he fashioned a bowl from a square of raw alabaster was amazing."

Sidney

Heath, TX

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow and more Wows!! My husband and I had the best time. Our guide, Ben, was awesome. His knowledge of Italy and the history was unbelievable. We had the best group of people. All 28 of us got to know each other and the camaraderie was amazing. All of the tour guides at each of the tours were awesome too. Very knowledgeable and passionate about each of their cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was David in Florence by Michelangelo!! It was phenomenal to say the least. However, the views from the countryside of Volterra and the views from the Italian Riviera in two of the towns in Cinque Terre from Monterosa & Manarola were spectacular!!! There really were so many moments. The church service in the Vatican was so emotional. All of the art and history is so much to take in and to hear the history is more than I can put into words!"

Virginia

Albany, TX

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was truly amazing! Our tour guide Ben was fantastic, and made our time in Italy unforgettable! I loved the walking tours and the amount of free time that we had. Every time we went to a museum, we didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes, which was so nice! The group dinners were charming, authentic, and delicious! Having meals together was a great way to get to know the rest of the group. Overall, communication, timeliness, scheduling, and entertainment was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the group dinners, one night in Rome we went to a restaurant and were served course after course of delicious, fresh, hand made Italian food. At the end of dinner our tour guide had the cook come out for us to applaud. This sweet Italian woman who cooked for the whole resutrant came out and it was such a neat way to end the night, thanking her for the talented cooking she provided us with!"

Christopher

Heath, TX

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben did an outstanding job.It was very nice to just relax and enjoy ourselves not have to worry about a thing.Bonus was we met a lot of new friends. And we got to sees some of the best art and architecture man has created.Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence the statue of David"

Dan

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. We saw (and ate) so much, experiencing Italy up close. Ben was a terrific host and tour guide, very knowledgeable and personable, funny and very experienced with all of the venues. We really enjoyed the Rick Steve's tour philosophy of traveling light, walking to venues, etc. The local guides hired were great too and showed a real love and respect for their towns and its history. We're already plotting our next Rick Steve's tour, maybe to Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having already traveled to Egypt and Greece and with a real interest in antiquities, I was most looking forward to Rome's early buildings, the Coliseum and Forum. It was so much more than I expected. They were well presented through the local guide and I learned so much! My first experience with the radio receivers we often wore. Pretty common for tour groups, but my first chance to enjoy them."

Gregory

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the tour very much. A little sample of many things. As our group got to know one another, it felt as though we were traveling with long time friends. Having things prearranged (such as the Vatican tour)was a real plus. Kept the waiting in line to a minimum. The variety of experiences and scenery was just what we had hoped on our first (vacation) trip to Italy. Our guide, Ben, was great. Very knowledgeable and willing to teach or inform us about anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was Volterra. Friends have told me about the small hilltop villages - actually staying in one was a real treat. My wife was most impressed by Michelangelo's statue, David."

Judy

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific time with our guide Ben and the fantastic group of people on our tour of Italy. We had excellent tour guides for all of the museums, Vatican, the Colosseum, Volterra, Luca, and the Uffizi. We found the pace of the trip to be very comfortable....with busy mornings followed by relaxing afternoons and wonderful evening dinners with the group on four different occasions. The restaurants chosen by the Rick Steves staff were wonderful experiences with delicious local cuisine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment had to be the statue of David. We walked into the Accademia and there he stood...WOW!"

James

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just had a terrific trip and all the tour members were great. Really enjoyed the balance of group activity and free time. The trip had a "just right" feeling and would do it again. Ben was phenomenal leading the group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery walk above Manarola! Each step revealed a more stunning view of the village and the sea."

Cheryl

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/10/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have been traveling internationally for quite a few years and have always done it on our own, with the help of guide books. I was a bit worried about joining a tour and all of the together time. What I really liked about this was the mix of the group time and the alone time. It was really the best of both options. We learned a lot on the group tours in the morning and then had time to explore on our own later in the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Cinque Terra was my favorite! The only city I had been to before was Florence and I was amazed at how different it seemed when getting the insight from Ben. His input added a lot to the city. So many interesting little things like the Do Not Enter signs that have been altered."

Michael

Oakville, ON

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Andrea, made the tour an outstanding one. Her knowledge was very impressive, and would be able to answer our questions spontaneously. She musters our group and guides us along with ease, and is always in a great mood. Her travel passion is infectious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Leaving Volterra on the bus, I glanced out the window as a rainbow appeared to flow out of the fading town and into the sky. Magical."

Pamela

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Andrea was amazing and made our trip a very pleasant experience. The food and sights were wonderful. It was worth every penny!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, however, Volterra and Cinque Terre stand out the most. Possibly because I had already been to Rome and Florence in the past."

Thomas

Berthoud, CO

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the tour very much... I thought when I saw the itinerary at first that we had an awful lot of free time... but it turns out, it didn't feel like too much at all. As soon as we turned around it was time to meet he group again. I saw places on this tour that I would not have put on my bucket list, that turned out to be some of my favorite places. I really liked not having to wait to check into our hotel rooms, just give them your number and you're handed a key.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many... turning corners and seeing sculpture and paintings I have read about for 30 years right in front of my eyes. And everywhere you turn there is beautiful 1,000 year old architecture."

Candyce

Yuba City, CA

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour gave an outstanding experience for anyone wanting a glimpse of Italy, with the intention of going back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. I have been to Italy several times, but had not been to Voltera, which I loved. The tiny hilltop town was a jewel."

Susan

Martinez, CA

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on the tour with a friend of mine and we both had a wonderful time. Our tour guide, Andrea, was a lot of fun and filled us with interesting information. The dinners were excellent and the other tour members were friendly and fun. Even though we got caught in a tremendous rainstorm at the Coliseum, it still proivded me with an experience I'll never forget. I've never seen rain like that before. It had to be the storm of the century! Our bus drivers were all wonderful too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be our stay in Voltera - it was beautiful and filled with very interesting history. The shopping was good too! And to be able to be in a building that was built in 500 AD was amazing. I also liked the hotel we stayed at."

Tim

Provo, UT

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and provided a good mixture of organized time and free time. There is so much to see in the areas we visited so it is important that the time be divided between those things that everyone will want to see and those things that make a trip special that may be a little off the beaten path. This tour was able to do both of those.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but being in the Sistine Chapel and not only viewing the paintings of Michelangelo, but realizing that you are standing the same room that he spent 10 years of his life is very special and actually somewhat sacred. Volterra was a hidden gem and could easily spent another day there."

Sheree

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was excellent . We had an excellent guide in Andrea! The pace was just right with enough free time. The plans for avoiding crowds when visiting the Vatican, Collisium, Ufizzi was much appreciated! Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative and we had to miss the Forum, but it could not be helped. My Cinque Terre experience was also somewhat marred by weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At every group meal that Andrea selected ??. Food was very good on this trip."

Julie

Fishers, IN

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great first tour experience, a perfect mix of tour togetherness and on your own exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exploring Cinque Terre. Sistine Chapel!"

Eddy

Enid, OK

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What a great experience. I never expected everything to go perfectly. Our tour guide, Andrea was knowledgeable and completely organized. She knew what to do for anything that came up and took very good care of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was amazing."

Lara

Laramie, WY

Tour: 09/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was amazing. The hotels and restaurants were all very good. I was impressed with the knowledge of our tour guides and especially our tour guide Andrea. It might take us a while, but both my husband and I would love to do another tour someday!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - I really enjoyed being in the smaller towns of Volterra and exploring the Cinque Terre a bit more than Rome and Florence in many ways, but it was definitely a wow moment to be standing in front Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery. I don't think I ever expected seeing it in person before the trip and hadn't realized how tall and impressive it would be."

Paul

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a WONDERFUL time with Sarah. She is the consummate professional and a wealth of knowledge. The tour had the right balance of history, sightseeing and physical activity. We really enjoyed our travel partners on the tour and the whole group interacted extremely well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that meeting the people who ran the small restaurants was my "Wow" as I'm a food and wine junkie. I really loved all the love and care they put into the food and their special interaction with Sarah was evident by the many years they had known her. I felt like I was visiting "family" and got a truly local experience."

Steven

Faribault, MN

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first Rick Steve's tour so we didn't exactly know what to expect. I was very impressed with the tour. The mix of scheduled tours and sight seeing with free time is perfect. It is encouraged to get to know all the people on the tour which we did. We met some great people who I'd love to travel with again. The buses between locations is first class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess I'd have to say my favorite wow moment was the dinner cruise we took in Cinque Terre. It was a beautiful night and just sitting on the boat taking in all the beautiful coastline was incredible. I also enjoyed the enthusiastic crew on the boat and there stories. The food and wine was also fantastic."

Larry

Hancock, NH

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have been on a Rick Steves tour before and knew that we would be pleased with the destination choices and enjoy the cultural experiences along the way. This tour did not disappoint! Like the last tour, there were destinations we wish we had more time to explore, especially when we arrived at a destination late in the day, it felt rushed at times. The food was plentiful and the rooms were clean, it was what we had expected. We were very pleased with the local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was our favorite destination. We hit the trail a little after 6AM and hiked from Monterosso to Corniglia. We could see a thunderstorm over the water just north of us, thankfully it continued to head north and we remained dry! We enjoyed beautiful vistas and appreciated the fact that we had the trail to ourselves, not seeing anyone until our descent into Corniglia. We treated ourselves to a fantastic breakfast and then took the train to Vernazza and then back to Monterosso. Perfecto!"

Bill

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first trip to Europe...we were quite hesitant about taking a tour. We could not have had a more fabulous time. Our group was great, our 'family' dinners were fun & totally entertaining (could have used a little more Red wine...lol). Sarah, our tour guide was fantastic, her knowledge of all things Italian was incredible. She has such a passion for Italy, it was a huge part of why we enjoyed the tour so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think hiking between the Cinque Terre was my biggest WOW moment, the views were incredible. Seeing St Peter's Basilica in the early morning when we were pretty much the only ones there was incredible. There were many, many more WOW moments..."

Elizabeth

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had such a wonderful time on our tour. The great mix of people, the wonderful cities and an AMAZING guide made for a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really don't know if I could pin point one thing. I loved all the knowledge of our guide and local guides who really brought the cities to life."

Janice

Sandy, UT

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip overall! Expert guide, fun travel group, excellent destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one??? Walking up to the Roman Colosseum. Walking into the town of Volterra. Seeing the statute of David for the first time. All WOW moments."

Janice

Lebanon, OH

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have wanted to tour Italy for many years but my husband was not interested in travelling abroad as he travelled worldwide extensively for work before he retired. At last, he "caved in" and signed us up for my Christmas gift last year. Needless to say, the trip exceeded all our expectations! We both found the trip amazing. Sarah, our tour guide, provided wonderful information and tips with humor and grace. The history and beauty was breathtaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The well preserved historical buildings of Rome! However, I would love to rent a place in Volterra for a month and relax and explore the area even more."

Bruce

Lebanon, OH

Tour: 09/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the history, art, and architecture we experienced! Local guides were exceptional! Shara a great organizer/ coordinator! Rome, Volterra, and Florence way exceeded my expectations! Great group of people we toured with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colloseum and Forum in Rome,inside of St. Peter's, all of Florence, and the history of Volterra. Can't select just one, was blown away by many, if not all of stops and experiences."

Elizabeth

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour of Italy with our wonderful tour leader, Lisa. The cities were great, but the smaller towns, especially Volterra and Levanto, were much to our tastes since they were very walkable and we were able to really see and appreciate these towns in the short time allotted. We continued our trip,for another 5 weeks working our way up into Germany, Austria. And the Netherlands. The Italy trip was a good start for us and gave us the confidence the rest on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra with it's closed in feeling, narrow streets and great vistas was my favorite part. We walked around the town after dinner one night, feeling completely safe and enjoying the warm starlit evening- so romantic!"

Scott

Burton, MI

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Arrived a day early which was a big help. I am in good physical condition but found walking pace and being mostly on concrete and paving stones quite demanding on legs and feet. Good footwear very important. Our guide's commentary was very enriching, including stories and discussion on bus. Our Rome local guide was too wordy for me. All hotels were fine, Voltera a bit rundown but the swimming pool was a big plus. Got plenty of sightseeing, exceeded my expectations. Sound system very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one favorite. Hiking the trail between towns 3 and 2 at Cinque Tierra yielded some fabulous seaside vistas. Coming to grasp the extent of Roman Empire Rome was an enlightenment! The Parthenon very cool. The enormous scale of both Ancient Roman structures (at the Forum) and Roman Catholic basilicas and churches impressed me."

Dale

Grand Haven, MI

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Italy in 9 days tour Guide Lisa was excellent. She was more than tour guide she allowed each person to experience each stop in one on one basis allowing the moment to be "special". Each breakfast lunch and supper she planned was an event. It allowed for bonding time for each person and as a group. Food was soooo good. Was fun learning to ride trains from place to place and Metro in Rome along with bus transport in city. Buses from city to city very clean modern and good drivers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved stop in Luca with local guide giving "Stories" with flair. Bike ride on top of wall"

Dawn

Escondido, CA

Tour: 09/01/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very happy with everything and feel like we were educated on many different levels of traveling through Italy. It made us comfortable to be able to do something on our own next time. I loves how specialized the tour guides were in each city/destination. And also having time on our own was great too. It was so nice not having to get to point B from point A on our own and just being taken care of. Would highly recommend to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing the actual statue of a replica you have looked at your whole life. And the Cinqua Tera was amazing!!!"

Earl

Orange, TX

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour all around! I really enjoyed our guide as well as the mix of tour guides we had for individual days. I also liked the mix of organized and "on your own" time each day; to me it was the perfect balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first evening in Rome! When the sun had gone down we were having a drink at a little spot on the Via dei Coronari. All of a sudden Rome became this quiet "little" town that we seemed to have all to ourselves and a few locals!"

Henry

Livermore, CA

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Last time we were in Italy was 12 years ago so we did not expect any WOW moments, we expected just enjoying some needed time off. What resulted from a last minute booking resulted in a life long appreciation of a well run tour, great meals and meeting new people that are now part of our life. Andrea was always attentive to everyone's needs and made sure you were ready to hit the streets with all the information you needed! Traveling Italy with Ricks Steves tours is the only way to go!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When you step off the trains and walk into the towns the only words that are spoken is "WOW' you don't want to leave!"

Alan

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was pleasantly surprised with the overall tour. This was my first tour. I enjoyed the smaller group setting. This made it possible to get to know many other people on the tour. We have met up with another couple in San Francisco. I like the "buddy" system for role call. Very efficient. All of the tour guides at the different locations and cities did an excellent job, i.e. Rome, Florence, Lucca, Volterra, etc. I will do another Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My girlfriend & I took the train to Manarola. There we saw 2 guys from our tour group that recommended the restaurant on the hill (Nessun Dorma) around 4pm. We got an excellent couch type seat that overlooked Manarola. Incredibly romantic sitting & watching the sunset. We stayed until after the sunset and got a beautiful picture of Manarola at dusk with the moon in the background, the sky a dark blue, and a light shining off the sea. The picture is as beautiful as it was in real life."

Lisa

Orange, TX

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic tour guide, Andrea, a fantastic itinerary, an amazing country to visit and a fun group of people. We absolutely loved everything about the trip. It was such an added feature to have guides at major sites, I really feel that we got so much more out the experience. Each guide was excellent and their love and knowledge of their particular site was evident. Did I mention the food? :) I thought that the trip was the perfect balance between group plans and on your own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments in this trip. I am so thankful for the experience. It may seem a small thing, but the evening meal at Paola's was such a wonderful experience, that I will choose that!"

Marietta

Glendale, CA

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was exceptional. I expected it to be nice based on Rick Steves' reputation ,but it was much more than that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The reason for choosing this particular tour was the stop in Cinque Terre. However, the guided tours by local guides was an unexpected , really "wow" moments"

Christine

Mckeesport, PA

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Newly widowed and fresh off the psychologists couch, I decided to do something to test my true resilience and character. Never been any place outside of the US. When friends talked about Italy, their eyes glazed over and they were instantly transported back to there, enthusiastically and lovingly, describing their experience. I wanted that. I got it and more; an amazing beautiful place. Now watch my eyes when I talk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the courtyard at the hotel in Volterra with a glass of prosecco, looking out over the countryside. Never will forget it. So peaceful. So picturesque. Just beautiful. Oh, and David...absolutely awe inspiring. WOW!(that is an homage to Alan)."

Karen

North Salt Lake, UT

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter & I had the best time! Thank you to a great tour guide, Andrea! She made the tour enjoyable & stress free. I also liked the individual tour guides... they had a plethora of information in regards to their respective areas. Oh, the breakfasts & dinners were amazing. This was my first Rick Steve's tour & can't wait to take another!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The selection of amazing tour guide (s)."

Grace

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 08/27/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! Loved our group and our tour guide. Hotels were all comfortable and group dinners were delicious. The tour offered the perfect balance between group activities and solo activities, and the activities themselves kept me interested and excited. My only "regret" was not booking a longer tour. I'm already planning my next Rick Steve's trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful views in Volterra!!!"

Karen

Mentor, OH

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely a top notch tour! Great balance of sightseeing and free time. The museum/city guides ranged from excellent to superb. Nina, our tour director, was wonderful and clearly enjoys her job. I personally feel this trip was worth every penny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't one specific wow moment. Just being in Italy and seeing the sights that I have read about was amazing."

Scott

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I definitely liked the fact of having our site seeing tickets included with the overall package. These also included local guides, scheduled times to the museums, etc. This allowed me to avoid the hassles of getting admission tickets and waiting in long lines. I thought the total cost was very reasonable considering it included all hotels, some meals, tours and guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and the Forum. Our guide was fantastic about telling the story of these sites, and making us able to visualize their original condition and their history."

Tina

Moscow, ID

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was a fabulous tour guide, knowledgable, engaging, fun and very organized. Never a dull moment with her in charge! We were also fortunate that every one of our fellow travelers were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was more than one "wow" moment for me. Seeing the David in Florence and The Pieta and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican were very special moments for me. Staying in the beautiful Florence Hotel was amazing, and I loved exploring and hiking in the Cinque Terre."

Norma

Palos Park, IL

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed the tour. Nina was such an amazing leader for our group. Her knowledge of the history, things to do on our own and restaurants were so helpful. Meeting and bonding with complete strangers on this trip was the best thing ever! We be came a strong band of new friends...no one was ever left to feel alone or not part of the wonderful locations. This was our first RS Tour and I cannot say enough about it! Amazing experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day on the Heart of Italy Tour was a wow moment! From the history and beatuiful scenery to the restaurants we went to. But Nina did suggest that while in Cinque Terre we take the boat and stop in Portovenere. Wow was that amazing! That is a must! We than took the boat back and got off and the different stops to explore. This trip was full of daily wow moments"

Georgia

Arlington, TX

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really HOT in August in Rome, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment in the Sistene Chapel when I looked up and saw God's finger touching Adam. Our guide, Ludovica was fantastic."

Bob

Moscow, ID

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped for, and much more. We were blessed with such a wonderful guide, Nina. Nina's knowledge of the history and culture of the sites we visited was incredible. It was like taking short college courses in history, archaeology and anthropology. We were also fortunate to have such wonderful local guides at each locale. Rick Steves' Europe has done an outstanding job of finding the best local people. I will highly recommend this company to my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum in Rome. I am so amazed at the architectural and engineering skills of the ancient Romans. That was my favorite site, though there were so many amazing sites that we visited on the tour, too numerous to mention here. The Colosseum was part of a walking tour of ancient, central Rome. Our guide for that tour was Francesca, my personal favorite local guide."

Patrick

Mankato, MN

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Nina, was fantastic. Well organized, knowledgeable and interacted with everyone in the group well. Our accommodations were great (good locations and comfortable). Transportation between locations was very comfortable. Every fellow traveler was fun to be with and all participated in group activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from but our first evening in Levanto was great. We stayed at Hotel Primavera and had dinner together. Great meal and a lot of "unwinding" after dinner."

Molly

Mankato, MN

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! All the planning and scheduling was done for us. It saved us so much time and they made sure we hit all the important "don't miss" sites. We were given tips on out of the way non-touristy spots to visit on our own. We had plenty of free time to explore and had direction for those times so we were not wasting any of our precious vacation hours. Nina had us feeling like a "family" by the time we walked out of our orientation meeting together that first day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick just one, we had so many. We had great experiences in Rome and Florence. Our guides did a wonderful job helping us understand not only how incredibly ancient everything was we were seeing and walking on but how resilient the people were and what their lives were actually like 1000's of years ago. However, the small towns of Cinque Terre and Hill Town of Voterra were some of our most memorable "wow" moments. The buildings, towns, streets, & views were incredible."

Rita

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first RS tour and I had a great experience. What I liked most about the tour was that there was a good balance between group and independent (free time) activities. This provided the best opportunities to visit museums as a group (and saved the hassle of standing in lines and getting an excellent tour by the amazing local guides) AND explore the various places on our own. It was helpful to have Nina give us an introduction, maps etc so one could explore independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several. The top "wow" moment was hiking in the Cinque Tere. The views were spectacular and the ability to do this on my own was very meaningful. Another "wow" moment was in the Sistene Chapel soaking in Michelangelo's brilliance. Of course, I have to include the Colossuem and Forum among the "wow" moments. The views along the drive from Lucca to Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre to Florence were also amazing."

Debra

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 08/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing tour experience. I was reluctant to sign up for a group tour because large groups slow you down and there's bound to be at least one grump. However, we only have positive things to say about our Rick Steve's tour. It was particularly helpful to "skip the lines" on our tours. Of course, having everything planned in advance makes a trip more efficient and the staff know the best days and times to visit particular sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was hiking the trails between the Cinque Terre villages. There is only one way to capture the iconic images and it involves some sweat and sore muscles."

John

Corona, CA

Tour: 08/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jamie and our fellow travelers made this a fabulous trip. I am physically active but at 52 it is no joke, the walking is strenuous and by the tour end I was tired. We stayed in Italy for another week. Italians are very gracious, some can be rude but rude people are everywhere. Learn a little Italian and it will make a big difference. If I had it my way I would pick up today and move to Tuscany! Thank you Jamie for facilitating a wonderful Honeymoon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was fantastic. The food and views from the mountain top were life changing. Steep hills but beautiful terrain. Look forward to returning."

Shirley

Scarsdale, NY

Tour: 08/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was outstanding; got even better by the day! The tour guide, Jamie, was organized, knowledgeable, generous with information and gave us great balance of touring and free time. His daily doses of history and background were invaluable to put the sites and artifacts in context. The food was plentiful and delicious. Hotels were very good except for the Vatican hotel which was away from central Rome and breakfast was mediocre. Otherwise the other hotels were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were absolutely blown away by the level of preparation, depth of knowledge and passion about Italy's history, sites and local culture which the tour guide Jamie and the local guides have. The history and art information they provided made standing in the Coliseum, the Forum, Lucca and Volterra very special."

Kevin

Cedar Rapids, IA

Tour: 08/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed all of the people on our tour, there was a right balance of free time as well as group tours. Our tour guide did a wonderful job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide of the Coliseum was amazing, her stories that she provided during the tour were unbelievable."

Julia

Stoughton, WI

Tour: 08/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well done. Everything flowed smoothly, the accommodations were nice and unique. Jamie (our tour guide) knew what he was doing and did a good job with group cohesion and sharing interesting information about the places we traveled to. The tour guides for specific sites were well picked and exceptional at what they did. Not only were all of the guides very knowledgeable, they were also very passionate about what they spoke about. The food was very good as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When touring the Collesseum, the tour guide, Francesca, told the story of Rome and the ruins that we walked through in such an amazing way. The story was ours, not just an old and disconnected history. It had something to do with each of us. We were told that her tours had evoked tears, but I didn't believe it until I saw that she had indeed evoked tears from several in the group."

Courtney

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 08/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour guide that the company provided and also really enjoyed the tour guides that were used within the tour itself at the different sites. They were all really great guides and had a wonderful experience with all of them. Also, the sites were wonderful and the way the tour was set up with starting in Rome and ended in Florence was perfectly planned. I wish that the Rome hotel was more in the center of Rome instead of close to the Vatican City, but that is the only complaint I have.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming into the hill top town of Volterra was probably my favorite wow moment. It was just such a cute town and was exactly what I thought the countryside of Italy would look like. I was amazed looking out over the city walls to see the beautiful countryside."

Samuel

New Freedom, PA

Tour: 07/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was ROBBED in Rome airport upon arrival. Overwhelming CROWDS were horrible. Tremendously HOT weather was exhausting. I do not recommend travel to Italy during the months of July & August? NO WAY! Your company should not plan trips to those HOT & CROWDED places. Maybe it was not that HOT & CROWDED 30 years ago but today...FORGET IT! Ferdi was attentive to client needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Worst WOW and unbelievable moment was when I noticed that I had been violated ( robbed ) even after purchasing a Rick Steves' money belt. Favorite moment was drinking cold H2o with ice & delicious Gilato Ice cream. Learning that police don't arrest thieves because they don't want to pay the thieves medical insurance, housing and food."

Eileen

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 07/30/17

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

Very disappointing. This was my 4th Rick Steve's tour and the overall experience was nothing like the previous 3, which were all outstanding. Tour guide was very disengaged, was untimely as to visiting certain sites (we were late to the Pantheon and did not get in), did not learn everyone's needs or even our names. He stated several times he was not from Italy and criticized the country several times. He did not speak about timeliness. We had to wait several times for late tour participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot say that there was one on this tour."

Weather

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Italy: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

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. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members arrange to fly into Rome and out of Florence ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, and/or additional overnight stay in Europe. Both Rome and Florence are major transportation hubs, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy. Milan and Venice are both about three hours by train from Florence, our tour's end point. Siena is less than two hours by train from Florence. From Rome, Naples is two hours south.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Rome before the tour begins, use the Rick Steves Italy guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Italian, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing that we do not do as a group: Borghese Gallery (reservations mandatory, closed Mondays), Spanish Steps, Capitoline Museums, Santa Maria Maggiore, Castel Sant'Angelo, Capuchin Crypt, Ancient Appian Way (great for biking), and catacombs. Most museums are closed on Mondays. Confirm your sightseeing plans with any tourist information office. If you are interested in seeing the pope, you may want to attend the Sunday blessing. You can check the pope's schedule in advance.

Packing

There are great opportunities for hiking in the Cinque Terre. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.