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

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

Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,395 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $575

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2019

    • Mar 29–Apr 6 (Fr–Sa)
    • $2,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 7–Apr 15 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Apr 14–Apr 22 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,495 + Air

    Opportunity to celebrate Easter in Italy!

    Filling Fast
    • Apr 28–May 6 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 26–Jun 3 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,695 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 15–Sep 23 (Su–Mo)
    • $2,895 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 2428 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 15 group sightseeing events • Ancient Rome walking tour • Colosseum • Roman Forum • Pantheon • Evening walk through Rome including Trevi Fountain • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel • Volterra walking tour • Guarnacci Etruscan Museum • Alabaster workshop • Wine tasting • Lucca walking tour • Orientation for "vacation" day in the Cinque Terre • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Florence's Accademia (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery…and more
  • All group transportation from Rome to Florence
  • 8 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2019
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

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

Day 2: The Vatican Museums

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

Day 3: Ancient Rome and the Heart of Tuscany

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

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

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

Day 5: Lucca and the Italian Riviera

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

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

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

Day 7: Florence and David

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

Day 8: The Uffizi Gallery

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

Day 9: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Mary

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joseph

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Sandra

Apex, NC

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathy

De Pere, WI

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bob

Milford, CT

Tour: 10/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robyn

Crofton, MD

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Christopher

Manvel, TX

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Hannibal, MO

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Keith

North Liberty, IN

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Debra

Wexford, PA

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably time in Cinque Terre. Perfecto!"

Laura

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. It was a great balance of together and solo time. Karin was an excellent guide and always available for questions and suggestions. She is very good at what she does. In particular I liked it what she shared stories and when we all got to listen to answers to open ended questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many. Every day was great. Really. Some highlights were the wine tasting, group meals, and every tour guide was outstanding."

Emilia

Mishawaka, IN

Tour: 10/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marilyn

Milford On, ON

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were a family party of six Canadians, and we enjoyed every minute of our "taste of Italy" trip. All of the guides, including our intrepid leader,Martin, exceeded our expectations with regard to the level of organization, entertainment,and historical knowledge. It was a jam-packed itinerary, but we managed to keep up!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one - standing in the middle of the Pantheon, the Colosseum, listening to a very heroic war story in Volterra, fantastic multi-course Italian dinner on our second night, the skill of our bus driver negotiating narrow hair-pin turns......"

Carol

Savage, MN

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour met all of my expectations. I was part of a group of 5 and appreciated the fact that we didn't need to take on the task of figuring out lodging and transportation. All of the tour guides were top notch and there was no time wasted waiting in lines. There was no way that we could have done and seen so much if we had planned the trip ourselves. I was also was surprised by how much I enjoyed being part of a bigger group. It was a great, fun group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Ancient Rome. I had been to Rome in the past and honestly was not looking forward to this part of the trip. Our tour guide showed us mock ups of what it would have looked like and brought it to life for me."

Janice

Eagan, MN

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was amazing. The Rick Steve's tour method of organizing time ensured we got a good overview of the city, that we had excellent local guides for indepth information, good food and fellowship and the specific group and guide we were with was awesome. It was educational, fun, and enlightening. Just the right mix of time together and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Art in the Vatican Museum and Art Museum in Florence."

Jeffrey

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Especially appreciated Martin as tour guide...wonderfully helpful, considerate, and funny. It would have been a good tour without him, but he made it exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A couple: the Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel,night time tour of Roman streets,the guided tour of Voltera, the wine tasting in Voltera, hiking from Lavento to Montarossa, shopping in Florence."

Diane

Rochester, MN

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group of 28 was so much fun! It was a good mix of caring, kind, friendly people from across the USA and Canada. If anyone complained about anything, I did not hear it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one famorite 'wow' moment as I had so many of them! I loved every city that we visited. I find myself telling about the Coliseum in Rome most often, so perhaps that comes close to a favorite."

Daniel

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Great group to travel with. Great tour guide in Martin. I loved everything about tour. We were in big cities, small towns and villages. Food was outstanding. Nothing I would change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman Forum. I forgot how BIG and grand are the ruins left from the Roman civilization. It is amazing when you consider that some of them were constructed 2000 plus years ago. Cinque Terre was absolutely beautiful. We skipped the hike and took local ferry to all five villages. The day was warm and sunny with no wind. Perfect for boat ride."

Karen

Rochester, MN

Tour: 10/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was the opportunity to see different versions of Italy in a 9 day period. I loved the instant camaraderie with our travel group from the get go. I believe Martin did I an amazing job of taking 28 strangers and melding us into a family/ friend unit. I appreciated both the busyness of the experience and the much needed time to " regroup, relax, plan your own time" at each location. I was hugely impressed with the local guides who shared knowledge and passion for the city

Tim

Paducah, KY

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was great fun for my wife and I. It will be something we always remember. In hindsight, the tour seems to get better the longer we have been home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Uffizi Gallery in Florence. My favorite "wow' moment is Michelangelo's painting that follows the viewer as the viewer crosses the room. After touring the museum, and listening to the guide's lecture, I am reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Leonardo."

Cherish

Fredonia, NY

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can I say, having this be my very 1st Rick Steve's tour, I really didn't know what to expect but I was hoping for the best. Honestly, my expectations were far exceeded! It was truly a wonderful & exciting trip. Around every corner new sites to see, our guide Jesse was gracious & informative. I couldn't have asked for more. The local guides were amazing & full of knowledge as well, I think of all the History I would have lost without them. Our tour group was super too! The best trip ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy has always been #1 on my list of places to see and to narrow a "wow" moment to one favorite is impossible!! Everything was a wow moment for me and at times I was even moved to tears. I loved it all, I can't express in words, or even pictures how amazing it was and I am already talking about going back so, thank you for that!!"

Patricia

Yakima, WA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was fine.It is difficult to enjoy the moment when in a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several of the unexpected things. An alabaster shop. The cemetery for World war Two Americans. Seeing "David ""

Noel

Dedham, MA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Jesse's enthusiasm and passion to ensure that each traveller and the group as a whole experience Italy's people, culture and history was truly a life altering 9 days. Jesse wanted us to return home as a better person and he has succeeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus ride's breathtaking ascent to Volterra."

Bruce

Groton, MA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The 2018 Heart of Italy 9-day Tour was our first Rick Steves' Tour. We traveled to Europe on our own many times before, and decided to try a tour this year. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, meeting new friends, and partaking in the "Rick Steves' Experience." It was very good value for the price. We would definitely recommend the Heart of Italy Tour to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many memorable moments from the tour, two "WoW" moments stand out for me: in Florence, the spectacular rooftop views from atop the Hotel Torre Guelfa tower at night and at sunrise; and the unscheduled visit to the American Military Cemetery outside Florence was very special and emotionally moving from a Retired Army Veteran's perspective."

Margaret

Paducah, KY

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The history, food, wine, and people in Italy were incredible. I enjoyed every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of Cinque Terre as we hiked from town to town."

Marian

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Heart of Italy" tour is well-organized with a great mixture of the must-sees and hidden gems. Our tour guide,Jesse,is very knowledgeable, personable and scholarly. I particularly appreciated his respect and command of ancient history and the Renaissance--so important when exploring Italy.I highly recommend this tour. Embrace the Rick Steve's philosophy of being a traveler, not a tourist, and you'll find the world is larger and smaller than you realized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When visiting the magnificent Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I was stunned by the great art. However, what really impressed me the most was learning that the Uffizi uses a climate-controlled technique that totally protects art behind glass so that people can now go right up the the painting--no ropes, no alarms. Then, next to Botticelli's masterful 'Spring' is a relief of the painting that the blind can feel. I literally thought 'Wow",art is truly accessible, for the people, not elitist."

Jolene

Groton, MA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have been traveling through the "Back Door" with you for at least 16 years, we've made 12 trips to Europe, and this was our first tour. We enjoy planning, traveling at our own pace, and making friends with locals so I was very concerned about this group experience with 26 Americans. Long story short ~ busy year with family issues, put name on wait list, 2 spaces opened up, and we made a quick decision. This tour was packed with wonderful adventures and amazing surprises. Well Done! A- or B+

Favorite "WOW" moment

"~Views of Florence from the Torre Guelfa ~A surprise visit with dear Matteo and Carla at the Hotel Villa Steno in Monterroso al Mare. We spent three nights with them in Aug/Sept 2017 and they greeted us like long lost family. We sipped prosecco on the terrace and visited. They are the BEST! ~Little Italian girl in the Uffizi Gallery sitting on the floor with her hand-held audio guide and looking intently at paintings. ~American Cemetery/Florence. BZ was the 17th Commanding Gen of the 91st Div."

Monica

Kimberton, PA

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour guide (Jesse) that kept us on a great pace and was very informative and entertaining at the same time. I enjoyed the aspect of available free time but I throughly enjoyed the group dinners at the chosen places. It was nice getting to know others in the group and traveling with them was very easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed Cinque Terre - so many people had said they loved that area so I had high expectations and they did not disappoint. It was at a good time on the tour that we needed a little down time away from museums so that was good and the weather couldn't haven't been nicer."

Denise

Hanover Park, IL

Tour: 10/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time! We LOVED Italy! The tour was awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just seeing the beaches in Cinque Terra at night.. and knowing that tomorrow we could go to visit if we wanted to."

Nancy

Coppell, TX

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely incredible. I feel actually passionate about the knowledge I gained on this tour - and I actually have degrees in History and Fine Arts. I want to tell everyone I know what I learned!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually the overall experience in Volterra was a wow for me since I wasn't familiar with the city and it's place in history - ranging from the Etruscans to the end of World War II."

David

Mamers, NC

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on our tour of Italy. All the activities were well organized and interesting. This won't be our last tour with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The majesty of St. Peters Basilica and the beauty of the Cinque Terre."

Jane

Ocala, FL

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This far exceeded my expectations! Our group was great, as was Rozanne, our guide. The hotels were nice, the local guides very knowledgeable, group dinners excellent. I think we got more than textbook facts, we learned about the culture and how it's shaped by history, the environment, and human interaction. We also ran into 3 different film crews in 3 cities, adding to the local flavor and our stories to tell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to say, there were many "wow" moments. I loved Florence, especially seeing David and the Uffizi. As a city, it was easily walkable, the Hotel Torre Guelfo was my favorite, and the atmosphere was energizing. I've seen pictures of all the art my whole life, but seeing it in person was an emotional connection to our past. Volterra was magical, and walking the Roman Forum along with the Colosseum brought history alive."

Edwin

Ocala, FL

Tour: 10/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had previously been to Rome and Florence. For those cities, I was impressed by the depth of new perspective that I gleaned. Volterra was special - especially being in the city 24/7 instead of just coming in for the day. Cinque Terre was new, interesting and great to see, but I do not feel the need to go back. The tour group was friendly and the "handling" of everything and everyone good. The special site-specific guides were fantastic. It was a great and memorable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed being in Volterra 24/7 - experiencing it in the evening and watching it wake up in the morning. That is was being turned into a movie set of Florence was a bonus (especially since we went on to see Florence as it is now)."

Anne

Findlay, OH

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour. It was packed with history and site seeing. We saw so many wonderful places in a short period of time. It was nice to have "free time" to choose what we wanted to do in each city. I really enjoyed getting to know the others in our tour group. It was the absolute best way to get the most out of 9 days in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was going to the ancient Roman buildings and knowing I was standing in the same place that the citizens of the Roman Empire stood. In the US, "old" means 200 or so years. In Italy, it means thousands."

Bill

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was very knowledgeable. The walking tours were informative and of the right length. The group dinners were always special. Despite visiting five locations in nine days, things didn't seem rushed. The tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking thru the narrow streets of Rome and finding a piece of history around each blind corner."

Eileen

St Paul, MN

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour with lots and lots to see. We did a lot of walking, pushing ourselves, but it was worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Flash Art experience with Molly's friend Catarina. Being in the Colliseum. Seeing the movie set for The Medicis. Finding the Fish Wall in Cinque Terre. The beauty of Tuscany. Seeing the David statute and other art pieces in Florence."

Nili

New York, NY

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with the Tour. This is my third Rick Steves tour. I was very pleased with the first 2, so when my daughter asked me to recommend a tour, I suggested this one. It did not disappoint. I had been to Rome, Florence and Lucca before but enjoyed seeing Voltaire and Cinque Terre for the first time. As with my prior SR tours, this was very well organized and guides, hotels and sites were terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was watching my daughter encounter the David."

Cary

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Molly was a fantastic tour leader. Everything about the tour exceeded my expectations. The schedule was ideal for us, the transportation was fine, the hotels were excellent, the restaurants were great. I really enjoyed the local tour guides, as well. I have spoken with other friends and relatives that have visited these parts of Italy and I feel that I got a much more informed visit than they did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say what the highlight was, but probably the visit to the Cinque Terra area was my favorite since I love to take day hikes. DIdn't hurt that the weather was absolutely perfect."

Steve

Durham, NC

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized tour with nice mix of planned events and free time. We are looking forward to another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ceilings were spectacular at many venues including the Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon and the Uffizi Gallery in addition to the Sistine Chapel."

Cynthia

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love having a crash course in Italian history, art and culture and getting to experience the big city sites as well as the small town charm of Volterra and Cinque Terre. The one thing I was a bit disappointed was that I thought that some lunches were included not just half of the dinners, but it turned out fine. The food was amazing and they made substitutes for us since we are vegetarian. Also, I thought the tour was for active people who could walk 6-8 miles a day, but many slowed us down.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Cinque Terre had many "wow" moments!"

Patricia

Warrenton, OR

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was fast-paced and included so much more than we would have been able to do on our own. This was my first tour experience, though I've traveled extensively, and it was well worth every dollar spent. The education the tour guides provided was incredible and so helpful in understanding place, people and culture. I loved Italy and now know where I want to spend more time. Lovely, lovely...thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the architecture most. Seeing the buildings and structures and pairing these sights with the stories helped me visualize the very ancient past and made everything so very real. I also enjoyed the 'behind the scenes' activities - pesto-making lesson, alabaster carving, etc."

Patricia

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was so well thought out as far as showing a mix of different geographical and historical cities of Italy. The hotels were wonderful and very centrally located. All of the guides were fantastic and very professional and knowledgeable. The pace of the tour was perfect with most days having plenty of free time . Everything was so well planned that it took all the stress out of traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Sistine Chapel and hiking between the towns in the Cinque Terra"

Joseph

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely weel l planned, vetted, and led.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably not one single moment - but many moments. The David, Rome, Vatican, Volterra, hiking the Cinque Terra, the hits just kept coming!"

Daniel

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 10/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I tell people that this was not a simple vacation-pleasure tour. It was rigorous intellectually and perhaps physically at times. I liked how on most days we had a good 4 hours of intense guided touring, followed by a significant amount of free time. Because my wife and I had some physical issues, we found we could rest up for the next day. Looking back, the whole thing seemed like a whirlwind dream. Images of Italy have, in fact, invaded my dreams at night, thanks to Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was totally floored by entering the storied Pantheon, tracing the same steps of untold thousands of people who walked through that relic of old Rome. In fact, I had long yearned to see the ancient Roman sites-- and was not disappointed. However, I will say that the stroll through the Vatican-- especially St. Peter's Basilica, was what blew me away. It's amazing the sheer scale they were thinking of when they built that place; so dazzling with its fine art and antiquities."

Tara

Healdsburg, CA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fantastic! Loved our tour guide Ferdi. The tour group, the folks in the group were all interesting an amazing which made it all the better. Itinerary was perfect, we did so much in nine days, I'll remember for the rest of my life. Thank you so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's probably walking under the arch and Volterra and realizing it's 800 BC era. I love learning about all the history, and I thought Volterra was a back road, a road less traveled anyway, an a fantastic place to visit."

Stephen

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was as seamless and enjoyable as our previous trip to Scotland in April of 2017. The tour guides do a lot of "behind the scenes" coordinating so that we travelers are not bogged down in operational details. This allows more time to just enjoy where we are, the people, the scenery and the culture. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed Volterra and Monterosso alMare and Vernazza. These were all "wow" moments for me."

Martha

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on this exact tour last year with my husband, and this year with a friend. The experience was just as wonderful as last year! Our tour guide, Ferdi, was awesome! Although I loved staying in Levanto last year, I really liked staying in Monterosso - it really gives you the feel of the Cinque Terre. The food was wonderful, I loved the "local" restaurants we went to. In addition, the hotels were lovely and quaint and right in the heart of the city which was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to count! I think one was the beautiful views from the Cinque Terre towns. As you hike up on the trail, the views are breathtaking - just like the pictures!"

Cathy

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was as advertised and promised. Ferdi was so professional, competent, and funny! He took care of business. The guides in the different cities were truly exceptional-knowledgeable, professional, relational and entertaining. One could not have ordered a better group of travelers....would go with these folks anywhere. Not a whiner or complainer in the bunch; and everyone was punctual. They were easy-going and interested!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my WOW moment was as I sat and viewed "David"...could hardly wrap my mind around this....almost tears."

Kathleen

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We liked our accommodations, our tour guide (we loved Ferdi) and Italy! (especially the food) The specific guides that were in each city were outstanding, entertaining and full of interesting information and insight! Our fellow group of travelers also made the trip enjoyable, because they were flexible, fun and engaging. We all had FUN! It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect either. We had confidence that our trip was being handled and that let us relax and enjoy! Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every single meal. Well, maybe not the breakfasts, but other meals were dreamy. Truly a culinary delight! Restaurant recommendations never disappointed. Planned meals were so delicious & enjoyable. My favorite site was the Forum and Coliseum. Loved the Mediterranean Sea, so blue, clear and inviting. The favorite area was the Cinque Terre which I definitely wished I had more time to explore. That was my only disappointment. I hiked the trail and that did not leave much time to explore the towns."

Julie Ann

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ferdi Menghi made the whole experience great. Ferdi kept us in the loop the whole trip. He explained things well, watched out for our safety, was available to us at all times.I feel I learned so much and I could never have seen everything I did and learned what I did if I tried to do this on my own. It was nice to arrive on my own and then everything was taken care of. Then just had to get myself home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything really, I would have to say the places I saw and the food and hotels were fabulous."

Jeffrey

North Kingstown, RI

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time! This was our first Rick Steves tour and we are hooked. Already making plans for the Paris tour for 2019! The tour was well organized and planned well with the right amount of structured and free time. We really enjoyed being part of a group of amazing people who love travelling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although so much of the trip had amazing moments, I would have to say the unique beauty of Cinque Terre was the highlight. The breathtaking views and charming atomsphere really blew me away!"

Lawrence

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overall experience, have to admit I was apprehensive never doing a tour before. It was everything I expected and more, the tour guide was great! Very knowledgeable and kept the group together, moving between different towns and experiences, seemlessly effortlessly. Everything from the food to the local guides were top notch. I would definitely consider taking another rick steves tour. My biggest surprise was to see how the members of the group bonded, it was just a fabulous tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments to consider but I think our penultimate dinner together proved to be a tour memory that will last. The dinner was the best of Italy, it was what I came to experience. Thanks to Ferdi, nice recommendation."

Don

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nothing was left to chance. Could not have been better Ferdi is a real professional that you should be proud of. The accommodations were perfect, the food was delicious and the tours were spectacular. There was no whining, nobody got upset, no anger displayed.., it could be the best time I have had on a vacation. I miss it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my, there were so many, but I think the Churches were breath taking, and not necessarily the Vatican, but those in the smaller towns."

Matthew

Cohasset, MA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! Our Guide was terrific, the folks in our group were all friendly, easy going and fun-loving. It was a nice mix of places to see. For our first trip to Italy, this was a great intro / sampling of what a wonderful place Italy is to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many cool things to see its hard to pick one. So my 'Wow" moment may be a little different. I was initially reluctant to go on a group tour. After watching several of the Rick Steves programs on PBS, It looked like this could be my style of travel. Still, I went with very tempered expectations. A few days into the trip, sometime while we were in Volterra, I realized that "wow" I am glad we did this tour!"

Sabrina

Malden, MA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour, and it won't be my last. The tour exceeded my expectations and left me eager to travel more throughout Europe. I love the balance and contrast of locations included in this tour. Everything is so thoughtfully paced and planned. As someone who ordinarily enjoys traveling solo, I've found the balance of group and free time to be just right, and have repeatedly been impressed by the kindness and camaraderie of travelers these tours attract.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, there are too many to list. Some standout "wow" moments are: the evening walk in Rome - particularly through St. Peter's square, appreciating the breathtaking views in Volterra (before and after the rain), boat rides admiring the colorful tumbles of buildings in the Cinque Terre, swimming in the Mediterranean ocean, viewing masterpieces (up close) at the Uffizi, the Ponte Vecchio at dawn, and the absolutely delicious food and gelato, gelato, gelato..."

William

South Lyon, MI

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked it because we spent 2 days in each stop vs one night like a lot of tours do then always having to pack. We liked staying in just the center of Italy it would be too much to try to see it all in one trip.

Tracy

Duvall, WA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time. Some welcome unexpected surprises like a stop at the US Military cemetery in Italy added to our experience. We had a ton of fun with the other tour members and hopefully some lasting friendships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum in Rome a definite favorite but Cinque Terra definitely was the highlight."

Julianne

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. I planned this trip as my trip of a lifetime. And it truly was spectacular. It' was everything I expected it to be and more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to pick just one. The Colosseum was amazing. I wasn't thrilled about going to see it but our guide made it come to life. I didn't expect to have that sort of reaction."

Gary

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tremendous tour experience. The size of the group and the expectations helped the group to mesh. Local guides were awesome. Loved the diversity of the the towns. Dinners were awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the night walk of Rome. Rome was less crowded and incredible beautiful. It felt like a different place from the crowded day. Our guide did a great job in leading us thru the beautiful sites! Also our Hotel in Florence had a tall tower, It was special having a cocktail at sunset!!"

Dawn

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. It was amazing to see all the wonderful places, but it was an added bonus learning so many things from our guide and the local guides. It felt like a mini college course! We have never done a group tour on a vacation and it was more fun than we thought it would be. Everyone was so nice in our group. I also liked how the tour was set up so that we were very busy for part of the day and then also had lots of free time to do our own thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Vatican, seeing David in Florence and the beauty of the Cinque Terre. Plus, eating amazing Gelato!"

Barbara

Liberty Lake, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine being able to plan and coordinate all the trip details on my own. Having everything taken care of was such a stress reducer. There was a perfect amount of group tour time and time on our own to explore our areas of interest. I would book another Rick Steves' tour in a heartbeat. We had so much fun with the two other couples we went with and met some really great people in our tour. Our tour guide, Molly, was amazing. She was extremely knowledgable and very organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is an impossible question to answer. I have goose bumps thinking about the story we heard from our guide, Annie, in Volterra about the citizens blocking the gate to the city during the war. The evening we got to Cinque Terra we had a happy hour at the hotel's upper terrace.I thought I was dreaming, it was so beautiful. The next day we spent time on the beach looking for sea glass,one of my favorite activities, and took a swim in the crystal clear water."

Jessica

Dunlap, IL

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the whole tour. It was my first trip to Europe and being part of a tour really took away the stress of navigating crowds, lines, and the major tourist attractions. Our tour guide Molly was fantastic, and the local guides were also great, they shared their enthusiasm with us and really helped me to appreciate the history of the places we visited. The Heart of Italy tour was a great mix of cities, both large and small, and full of wonderful sightseeing, museums, hiking, and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one favorite since I loved the whole tour and there were so many memorable experiences. I would say that seeing the Vatican and Sistine Chapel was a "wow" moment as well as seeing the David in Florence."

Martin

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience was fantastic. From the pre-tour planning all the way through the trip, everything was well-planned and [INVALID]d without a hitch. We thought the balance between organized activities and free time was just right giving us plenty of time to explore on our own but also great information from the tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing next to the wall in Volterra and taking in the beautiful Tuscan landscape. It really was wonderful and felt like it came right out of a movie scene."

Lisa

York, PA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first time in Europe, we had high expectations, and they were definitely met. Our tour was very well organized, the dinners together were delightful! Our fellow tour mates were excellent travelling companions. Our tour guide Molly was very helpful, very knowledgeable, and joined in the fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Forum. Just seeing the ruins, and having our guide be so enthusiastic in telling the stories, made it so real. Also the fact that all of that was buried for years. Seeing "David" was also a Wow moment for me. I have seen it in pictures many times, but seeing it in real life, seeing his expression, was definitely memorable!"

Eric

Spokane Valley, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I mentioned to Molly, our first tour exceeded our high expectations! Something that struck me when we returned home was that the trip, thanks to your great organization, was completely stress free. Even in the crowded streets of Rome and Florence, when we had the headphones on listening to Molly, it was an informative and amazingly calm experience. It was so nice for us to not have to worry about trip logistics, transportation, tickets, and hotels. We enjoyed every stop very much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many sites and masterpieces were outstanding in Rome and Florence, but we loved Volterra, Lucca, and the Cinque Terre as well. Seeing David and other masterpieces were "wow" moments. We did Stefano's boat tour in the Cinque Terre and really enjoyed it. We could easily spend more time there."

Gary

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First timer with Rick Steves. Had positive recommendations from friends, and glad We tried your company. Our lead guide Molly was fantastic, and thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the local guides you used. They were all very knowledgeable, and almost as important, they were passionate about their local areas The transportation was also first class, and was so glad I didn't have to drive? I was able to relax and enjoy the views. The group of people on our tour were also very fun, friendly & on time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many great places on this tour, I can't pick just one. Perhaps the two most pleasant surprisies were the Vatican museums and the Pantheon. Absolutely NO disappointments on each of the tour sites."

Christopher

Dunlap, IL

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica provided the first wow moment. Grandiose scale and atmosphere inside were something that cannot be conveyed in photographs."

Linda

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As was stated it was a fast paced tour. It needed to be to include all the activities. Colleen was excellent. I didn't like eating dinner at eight but that's the way it's done in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally seeing David and the Chinque Terre. One more free day in Chinque Terre would have been nice."

Henry

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 2nd Rick Steves tour and based on our experience certainly not our last. As expected, the quality and quantity of the tour were right on target for us. The tour guide, local guides and other tour members all enhanced the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Natural beauty, history and experience overwhelmed our senses as we gazed across the Tuscan countryside from within the massive stone walls of the hilltop town of Volterra."

Peter

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just what I wanted - great overview of central Italy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hill towns and Cinque Terre"

Elizabeth

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was wonderful! I appreciated the organization, efficiency, and outstanding experiences on this tour. In each place, we experienced the landmarks and sites that were famous combined with getting time to explore and immerse ourselves in the local culture. Our tour guide was experienced and personable. Able to give us valuable guidance and tips. The local guides were also outstanding, providing us with insight and willing to answer any and all questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, so hard to choose! I would have to say walking in the Colosseum and in the Forum in Rome. Places I have studied about, seen in pictures and movies. Incredible!"

Patsy

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour was a wonderful introduction to this historic country! The balance of large, busy cities and small, quaint towns was appreciated. We expected to really enjoy the smaller villages and were not disappointed! Our guide, Colleen, did a great job of sharing her love and knowledge of Italy with the group. This tour was very active, which allowed us to enjoy Italy's wonderful pasta, gelato, & wine guilt free!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As stunning as the Colosseum, Forum and The David all were to see in person, our wow moment was found in a quieter setting. Sharing sunset cocktails and snacks on the terrace of Torre Aurora in Monterosso, enjoying the gorgeous view across the Ligurian Sea was a moment that will always be remembered! Thank you for that opportunity to visit and enjoy Cinque Terre, an amazing area in Italy!"

Nina

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the organization of the tour in that we never really had to wait in a line, or figure out our transportation or hotel. All the hotels were basic, but clean, central, and friendly. We had great meals at our group meals and any suggestions for restaurants turned out great as well. This was our first tour and it won't be our last. I would love it if there had been three days in each place, because two just isn't really quite enough! It truly is 8 days though, not 9.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the ancient parts of Rome were fascinating and I loved seeing David in person! My favorite cities were Volterra and Florence. I love the medieval narrow roads and alleyways and the history of these places. It was pretty much all WOW!"

Ronald

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Everything worked like clockwork as promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the hustle and bustle of Rome, we really enjoyed Volterra and its speed as well as Cinque Terre, once the crowds shined out. Of course Rome and Florence is magical with its history and art, but too many people. We are glad we had the pass the line reservations from your company."

Deborah

Valparaiso, IN

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed every aspect of the trip! The hotels were quaint but clean, which I wanted. The food everywhere was outstanding. Francesco was a delight. I loved the guided tours, as I'm sure I would have missed a lot if we had just gone on our own. The history was interesting, though sometimes a little long, but I enjoyed learning and not just seeing. There was a perfect balance of guided tour and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel was amazing! I also loved the views we got when in Tuscany, both in Volterra and Cinque Terre. Absolutely breathtaking! And then there's the food!!!"

Georgia

Tyler, TX

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Disappointing. At times disorganized, poor communication, often we were told the tour was over, you can remove your headset, only to miss important announcements because they were made after we removed headsets. While we were prepared to haul luggage the street condition, distance to hotel and grade were ridiculous - two members were unable to make it and other tea membership to give them physical assistance. Our new and sturdy luggage split a wheel on that haul. vehcle should havebeen used.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset in Volterro"

Dwain

Tyler, TX

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Onset was confused. Guide spoke excellent Italian, some English that were understandable. Assistant was apparently new to Italy. Great group tourists. The experience started with me and my wife being called a racist, based on our difference to your ( quote "Mr. Steves desire to address difference in political policies". ) We are from The south ( Texas ) and that apparently made us a target. All others of the group were from east and west coast and northern states. Once we isolated ourselve

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra"

Ellen

Bedford, MA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was wonderful! Even the weather cooperated! The destination cities and towns in the Heart of Italy tour speak for themselves! The tour provides a wonderful "sampler" of busy cities (Rome/Florence), and quiet towns (Volterra, Lucca, Cinque Terra) .... a wonderful itinerary for an introduction to Italy! The local guides at (almost) every city/town ensure the success of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three favorite "wow" moments. Scaling the Tuscan hills enroute to Volterra provided most gorgeous views ... certainly a Wow moment. Gathering at the hill top terrace of the Monterosso hotel in Cinque Terra for appetizers and refreshments as the sun descended into the sea made for a moment to remember. Paulo's tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence will always be a highlight."

Vicki

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great mix of experiencing both God's and man's creations! We loved the scenery in Volterra and the Cinque Terre, and were awed by the "human" creations of art and architecture in Rome, Luca, and Florence. The wonderful meals and skilled local guides made it even more enjoyable. It would have been nice to go to Venice, but that would probably not be practical in 9 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite places were Volterra and the Cinque Terre. Beautiful scenery, quaint towns. Not too "touristy", but still had lots to see and do."

Carol

Cannon Beach, OR

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing from beginning to end. Great choice of hotels, dinners together and cappucino every day. Couldn't have asked for a better group of people..from all over the country. As many have said before, just the right amount of free time to "get our feet wet" as it was our first Rick Steves tour and first trip to Europe. Would highly recommend touring with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of those...but Florence was outstanding. Couldn't get enough, from the architecture, to the Uffizi, to the rooftop cocktails at sunset at our hotel. Outstanding. Volterra also...bought shoes there...love them and this little village. Francesco's home town. And Lucca...home of my family... LOVE Oh yes...then there were the Aperol spritzers on the rooftop terrace of our hotel in Montorosso with that view!! WOWWOWWOW"

Ernie

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would rate the overall experience a 10 - we have always gone on vacations as a couple or with a few friends, we are the guides and we sure have missed a lot of things. Your guides are excellent in explaining the local area - the added expert guides for art museums etc... are all top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that the Vatican was the wow moment for me - the amount of history and artwork to take in is unbelievable - and to understand that you are only seeing a fraction of the collection"

Bart

Janesville, WI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. Well beyond our expectations. We got to know so many people in our tour group from all over the US. Will likely stay in contact with several of them. Was amazing to not have to fret about details and the trip ran like a well oiled machine. Quite frankly, we are "hooked" on Rick Steve's Adventures. Already deliberating on next years trip. Treated with respect in Italy and never felt unsafe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfair question. This is like asking a child to just pick out one piece of candy from a candy store. Here are a few valued moments. Walking through the coliseum and imagining what life was like 2000 yrs ago. Looking up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling and picturing Michelangelo working on a scaffold in fresco. Then there was the amazing expressos with crema on top. Maybe it was the gelato choices, myriad of panini choices, amazing independent dinner meals."

Mary

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All of our guides including Colleen were outstanding! I so appreciated their depth of knowledge and this trip was a great learning experience for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow moments were ongoing as I was awe inspired seeing in person some of the most stunning achievements in art and architecture in human history!"

Jackie

Irmo, SC

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first group tour and first RS tour; we weren't sure what to expect. We normally only travel alone or with our immediate family. Our group was wonderful. We all got along and made friends on the tour. We feel that the tour had a great balance of group touring and free time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's very difficult to choose since all the areas were so different. The history in Rome was amazing; seeing the Coliseum and the Sistine Chapel. Cinque Terre was probably our favorite. It was nice to relax after the touring and the views were breathtaking. Someone in our group commented that they finally felt like they were on vacation after we arrived in Cinque Terre! Volterra was absolutely beautiful as well. I think we experienced more culture of the area there than any other place."

Sandra

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour was fabulous. I expected it to be good, but it was so much more than I expected it to be. Our guides were superb, not only bringing history to life, but making me want to only learn more. My reading list has expanded and I am so excited about it. I enjoyed the variety of places we visited, from huge city to quaint village. We also enjoyed sharing time with our tour group; they were all such a interesting and fun bunch of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't possibly narrow it to one "wow" moment; there were so many. I loved our night walk in Rome, walking into the Sistine Chapel, our tour of the Colosseum, opening the shutters in our room in Volterra and looking out over the valley (brought me to tears), eating gelato at Alberto's Gelateria in Corniglia, our view from the tower in the Torre Guelfa in Florence. There were more "wow" moments than I can count, reflected by the hundreds of lovely photos taken on the trip."

Steven

Dubuque, IA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The agenda was well-put together, though we walked A LOT! The local guides were an essential supplement to Colleen's ongoing escort and narrative, especially in the museums. The selection of sites was good for someone like ourselves who were visiting Italy for the first time. The balance between planned activities and time on our own was good. We had the opportunity to interact with the other tour group members and as a result, developed some great relationships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The narrative by our guide in the Uffizi Museum in Florence made that event exceptionally good."

Kelly

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I recently returned from the the Heart of Italy tour. We had a wonderful time. It was everything we expected it to be. Our tour leader was fantastic and we had a great tour group. We had a lot of fun with all the members of the group and met some great people. The tour is very active, you do a lot of walking. These tours give you to opportunity to see so much and it is all arranged for you. You also have time to experience Italy on your own during your free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two favorite "wow" moments during this tour. First was seeing the Sistine Chapel. I am not a religious person at all but seeing this magnificent work of art in person was incredible (seeing David at the Academia Gallery was a close second as far as works of art). My other "wow" moment was arriving in Volterra and viewing the Tuscan countryside. Absolutely stunning."

Jeffrey

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very enjoyable tour. A very good group of fellow travelers, and an excellent guide, Dmitri.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful scenery in the Cinque Terre."

Janet

Baton Rouge, LA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour exceeded any and all expectations that I had. I've travelled to Europe twice before and "did it on my own". Boy did I miss a lot on my own! The unique tidbits of information we received from our fabulous guide, Dimitri, was worth every penny we spent on the tour. The stress that was eliminated from not having to worry about when & how I was going to get to place to place made my trip so much more relaxed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The totally unexpected wow moment for me was The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial in Florence. When I saw the American flag flying in Italy, it took my breath away. I was blown away by my emotions. I didn't know this cemetery existed and I actually made my very first "selfie video" and posted it on Facebook (and as of this writing, it has over 600 views)."

Erik

Spokane Valley, WA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time my wife and I've been on a tour and was it a great experience! We loved the tour's format of giving us free time each day to explore Italy on our own. We had such a fun group and we got a chance to spend time with everyone in the group at our group breakfasts and dinners. We had so much fun together, we started our own social media group to share our experiences in Italy and beyond. Our tour guide, Dimitri, was perfect for the group. He knew how to have a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, there was a "WOW" moment every day. From the Sistine chapel, to the history of Tuscany, to the natural beauty of coasts and beaches of Cinque Terre, and finally to the art and architecture of Florence. Just unbelievable."

Jo

Hammond, LA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it won't be our last! Our tour was everything we hoped it would be and more! We loved the smaller group size. We felt we had a great balance between guided time and free time. I always felt safe while on the tour and in the hotels. Our guide, Dimitri, did an excellent job not only educating us about where we were, but in the culture of Italy, the food, the customs, the things to be cautions about, and the things to take a chance on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to really narrow it down, but we loved Lucca and our local guide, Anna. She was very funny and very informative! On a more personal note, attending Mass at both the Vatican and the Duomo in Florence were wow! moments for me."

Barbara

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting in Volterra and Cinque Terre"

Stuart

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. It introduced us to a wide selection of places and Italian culture. The tour group got along well with each other and we always ended up doing dinners or lunches and other activities with each other. Loved trying to be Italian having multiple Spirtz's, people watching while sipping an overpriced drink on every piazza we could! I'll never be able to eat a pizza in San Diego again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides the incredible renaissance art, it would be Volterra and the Cinque Terre. The wonderful hill town was a joy to explore the back streets and soak up the incredible views of the countryside. The wine tasting event capped it all off and we remembered that night with a bottle of wine we bought and enjoyed on our last night in Italy. The Cinque Terre was wonderful. The challenging hike with the incredible views, the evening boat ride, and the Amphora dinner at the Belvedere. WOW!"

Valerie

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous tour from start to finish! The perfect mix of planned activities and free time. Our tour group was stellar-a great mix of folks that got along great-really enhanced the whole experience. Our guide, Dimitri, was fantastic-friendly, knowledgeable, and always available! We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the hotels-all centrally located for flexibility when on our own time. Florence was too crowded for our taste but we did enjoy seeing the Duomo and the Uffizi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the "holiday within the holiday" when we were on our own in the Cinque Terre. The towns were so lovely and the hikes between so scenic. We loved the hotel there and had a picnic after our day of hiking on the hillside behind our hotel."

Sandra

Milwaukie, OR

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful.....Informative.....Convenient Hotels.....great communication with guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colissium!! I thought I was prepared for this wonderful opportunity but it far outshadowed my expectations! All of the museums and cathedrals were fantastic, but my 2nd WOW was the Cinque Terre area! AND I loved the gelato!"

Christopher

Hammond, LA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I must say I was a bit apprehensive when I read the tour details when we booked it. The "emursive, off the beaten path" part had me concerned. I was wrong. Dimetri was so informative and gave us such great ideas for our on our own time, I felt like it was my first time in Italy. I got to experience "real" Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There really are too many to narrow it down to one, but....how Dimetri introduced us to the Dumo in Florence was fantastic. I even told my wife, once I realized where were, to "prepare to have your mind blown" . Coming around the corner into the piazza and there it was - blew my mind. And I've been there before."

Jacquelyn

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful and all expectations met. I loved the mix of group time plus plenty of time on our own to explore. Heidi, our tour guide, was excellent and so knowledgeable about Italy and the language that she really helped enhance the experience. I appreciated the arrangements made to see the museums at times that missed the big crowds and enjoyed going to the head of the line - no long queues to stand in! Excellent local guides were always provided at these sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so MANY it is hard to pick one! I love art & history so standing in front of THE DAVID was truly a highlight for me. Another was visiting the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum in Volterra and seeing the Ombra della sera statue,or "Evening Shadow", which I've read so much about in studying Etruscan culture & art. I love food too, so I enjoyed our group meals, especially, the one in Monterosso featuring the local seafood cuisine - excellent!"

Michael

Glendale, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience is just what we wanted. We liked our travel companions and the tour guides as well. It was a very educational trip which is what we signed up for because we were seeing some historical sites for the first time. it was really nicely done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the tour of the Colosseum and the Forum. But also loved Cinque Terra."

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all good. Nothing particular stood out over anything else."

Harrold

Carterville, IL

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience on this tour, our guide Heidi was exceptional and very thoughtful. The tour had a perfect amount of "guided" time along with time on our own. The evening dinners together with the group were extremely fun and entertaining, it allowed us to make new friends and have great conversation over very good food and wine. The local guides were very knowledgeable and seemed passionate about relaying to us the history and culture of the specific site we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at just a single "wow" moment on this tour is very difficult since we had so many. I think our most favorable moments were during our visit to Lucca and Cinque Terre. The scenery and views along the coast are breathtaking and the quaintness of the smaller towns made our experience most memorable."

Gina

Carterville, IL

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect tour for us. We had never traveled overseas and felt we needed a safety net a tour would provide us. However, we wanted a small group tour that was active (my husband and I are avid walkers and want to be on the go during our vacations), but not so scheduled so that we would have plenty of free time to do some exploring on our own. Our tour was the best of all worlds for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first stop was Rome and the history, architecture, and art were an absolute WOW! Pictures of Italy can never due it justice. And . . . every stop we made in Italy held more WOWs. It is an extraordinary place with more WOWs than we could ever have anticipated."

F. Walter

Mount Joy, PA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As fans of Rick's TV programs, Italy was to be our next trip and we decided on a RS venture. Unfortunately, my wife, Kathy, had a stroke and passed in September, 2017. Hesitantly, I decided to make this my first solo trip. From Heidi's warm and personable welcome to the last glimpse of the Florence rooftops from the tower of our hotel, it was a stunningly beautiful, perfectly balanced, seamlessly executed, and perfectly partnered experience, and not my last RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the hike between Monterosso and Vernazza, and the serenely civil experience of wandering through the Villa Borghese."

Richard

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent mix of history, culture, and modern ways of life. Would have liked the hotel in Rome to be in the Pantheon neighborhood instead of Vatican. Could have skipped Luca in favor of another day in Monterossa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Combination of Ancient Rome and the museums in Florence. Cinque Terra was also incredible"

Kimberly

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour guide Heidi along with excellent tour guides in Rome, Volterra and Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire Volterra visit. Thoroughly enjoyed our tour guide- Annie, I believe, and what a special night when Annie's husband lead us through an incredible evening of wine tasting."

Carla

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How many times did my husband and I look at each other and say how glad we were that we booked this tour? Too many to count. Tour guide Elena was wonderful - funny, knowledgeable, provided good cultural information, and helped me with my halting Italian. The site specific guides were all outstanding. As far as we can tell, Rick Steves finds the very best guides city for each included tour. We loved the history, the art, the architecture, the food, the gelato. Amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. Highlights - the amazing buildings from ancient times. How did they do it? We texted our engineer daughter/husband that they "had" to come to Rome to see Pantheon to appreciate the engineering that went into it. Texted the same thing when we saw Brunelleschi's dome. And then there's David...."

Bonita

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great, wonderful, and exciting. Wonderful experience first time to Italy. Would like to see more of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say the Colosseum and Roman Forum was my highlight of the tour along with many other wonderful sights such as the Cinque Terre area, David, Sistine Chapel"

Michael

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough about Rick Steves tours. Why anybody would choose another tour operator is beyond me. My wife & I tried a Globus tour years ago and it was all upselling and quick looks at the sites. Never again!! With Rick you get in-depth historical & cultural experiences, and you're never being upsold. You really get to know the countries and the people. Italy was every bit as beautiful as advertised and the food was amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cathedral of Florence. Seeing pics of it doesn't do it justice. When you walk through the streets and the plaza opens up, it is unbelievable! The other "wow" moment for me was pretty much every minute that we spent in Volterra (including the drive up to it). What an amazing place! I would go back there in a heartbeat."

Cathy

South Haven, MN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved Elena, she not only provided amazing history and education but she has this amazing personality that was able to make our group feel like family. Starting out at our first welcome meeting she was getting us to all open up and really get to know and care for each other. That made our trip so enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely lover Voltara and our walking tour there at night. The beauty of being up on that mountain top looking down to the valley and learning about the history of Voltara was my favorite "wow" moment. Of course there were many other wow moments too."

Tina

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I both thought Italy (and especially Rome) too daunting to take on by ourselves. Our guide, Elena, made Italy, in all its quiet village tranquility and clamoring city bustle, approachable, navigable, and, ultimately, enchanting and captivating. Whether we moved through the streets with our group or as just the two of us, my husband and I felt comfortable and welcome and engaged with everything around us. We feel confident enough to take on more of Italy by ourselves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited the Pinacoteca in Volterra on Elena's recommendation to view Rosso Fiorentino's Deposition from the Cross. I have no strong religious convictions or affiliations; but, in the face of this work of staggering magnitude and beauty, I found myself dumbstruck, in tears and speechless. I spent more time observing--absorbing--this masterpiece than I did any other single piece of art during our trip."

Soncire

Brownsburg, IN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an incredible experience! We visited multiple areas, never in any hotel more than 2 consecutive nights, and had approx. 22 people in our group....but nothing ever seemed so well organized or run so well. It was a perfect blend of planned group events along with allotted personal free time to do as you please.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We just could not decide between Rome (with all of it's mind boggling history) and the Cinqueterre (with it's breathtaking views)"

Cynthia

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very pleased with the itinerary, all our guides (Elena and all the local guides at our various stops). Great group of fellow travelers. Nice to have part of each day on our own. Travel arrangements went smoothly and were well-explained more than once. Accommodations were comfortable and unique; the staff friendly and helpful. Nice to have a laundry 'opportunity' mid-way through the trip. Our group dinners were fun with lots of food, wine, and camaraderie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spectacular art that is the Uffizi Museum: the highly decorated walls, ceilings, and floors, and the exquisite masterpieces. It is too much to process in just one visit."

Darren

South Haven, MN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated."

Douglas

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wouldn't change a thing. The best part for me was I felt like my guide truly cared that I was having the best experience possible. Not only was my guide invested in my adventure, my fellow tour mates expressed their appreciation and care. As a solo traveler that is a bit more important. My lead guide and all of the local guides were clearly filled with incredible knowledge that they wanted to share. Their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. I feel lucky to have had the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only 1?! I had 100 WOW moments. Getting lost in Rome trying to find the Capoitoline museums and not caring because I had a 360° view of beautiful layers of history in the heart of Rome. Emerging from the train station and the view of the sea in Monterosso. The exhilaration of exploring 4 out of 5 villages by hiking through the alternative trails of the Cinque Terre. Then taking a boat to the last village. It's official, I'm part mountain goat. No need to contact Ancestry.com."

Dennis

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would rate this trip an 11 out of 10. Rainer was superb, giving us valuable information and advise along the way. The guided tour is the way to go. We didn't have to figure out where to go or what to see, and Rainer seemed to know everyone! All of the accommodations were clean and passed our "would you pay to stay here" test, with flying colors. It was a fast paced tour, and we were worn when it was over. But I'd do it all again. Thank you Rainer and Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing St Paul's Basilica. I expected a wow moment, but got a WOW moment. But really, everything we saw was amazing, just some more than others."

Anna

Omaha, NE

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a great first-time look at Italy. The time flew by all too quickly! The choice of stops was great -- I would have liked a night in Lucca instead of just a few hours there, but understand the time constraints. We definitely saw the major attractions in the places we stopped.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome. I couldn't believe these ancient attractions were in the middle of a busy city with shops and office buildings surrounding colliseums and fountains that have stood where they are today for centuries!!"

Darrick

Morris, IL

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were invited to a wedding near Venice and wanted to see as much of Italy in the 2 weeks before the wedding as we could. The Heart of Italy tour covered so much that was on our checklist, taking us from Rome to Tuscany to the Cinque Terre to Florence. The hotels chosen for the tour were centrally located and had character. All of our museum visits had local guides, who did a fantastic job explaining things that I would not have known had I walked through the museums just by myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmm, it's hard to chose just one. When we were in Florence, we stayed at a hotel (Torre Guelfa) in a 720-year-old building. It had a tower with a rooftop patio, where we could order drinks and snacks. One night, my wife and I made our way up the tower. The view of Florence at night was amazing. (Also in the running: sunset from the Etruscan arch in Volterra.)"

Brenda

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience far exceeded our expectations! Everything about the tour was well organized and high quality. We were not considering doing another trip for another 5-10 years but are seriously considering another one in 2 years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both my husband and I were astounded at the quality of everything provided; the historical information, hotels, food, programs, tours, guest tour guides, our own tour guide,Rainer, and the organization of the tour. We have recommended your tour company to everyone we have talked to about the tours."

Janet

Cartersville, GA

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the Heart of Italy tour. We'd been to Europe twice and had always planned our own trips - tickets, transportation, hotels, etc. What a wonderful experience to have the details worked out ahead of time! We had more time to relax and enjoy our time in Italy. The tour group was a fun mix of people - friendly, curious, fun-loving. Our guide, Rainer Metzger, was knowledgeable, organized, out-going, and helpful. He even arranged to have birthday celebrations for 2 group members at dinner!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra - a beautiful, quiet, old city on a Tuscan hilltop. After the busyness and noise of Rome, Volterra gave us a chance to slow down, enjoy a wine-tasting and a city walk with Annie, our local guide. My husband, an art major, was, of course, overjoyed with the Uffizi, Accademia, and Vatican Museums. He had tears in his eyes when he turned the corner and saw Michelangelo's David. The first views of a Florence sunset from the hotel rooftop and the Cinque Terre from the ferry."

Jerri

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 08/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first (and probably only) time in Europe. My expectations were huge! I was not disappointed. Best vacation ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The first night's Walk through Rome. Rounding the corner of what looked like every other street in Rome, and BAM! That's the Pantheon! Also David was much more impressive that I was prepared for. Scariest moment: the bus ride to the Cinque Terra! Gulp! Serious drop-offs!"

Eric

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves' tour was a wonderful experience. We had interesting, helpful, and interesting tour guides throughout (led by Stephanie). We were treated to some great meals, "perks", and opportunities. While I would have preferred a little more "down" time I received exactly what I signed up for. The hotels were all comfortable. Also enjoyed meeting our fellow tourists. I would definitely do another Steves' tour again and certainly would (and have) recommended the tours to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the historic sites and beauty of the various regions."

Steven

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a wonderful exploration of the BESt of Italy. And it truly was. We covered the essentials in Rome and Florence, and discovered wonderful Tuscany. Our Guide, Stephanie Bergmen was great. She was knowledgeable, organized, caring and provided a great experience. The many local guides added an essential enriching component to the overall experience. Hotels were great, located in the right places, and the two night at each location worked out great. I recommend this tour to all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Probably ancient Rome."

Terrie

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful group of people and saw and did a lot. It was very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Cinque Terra. The view from the hotel in Florence. Seeing the statue of David. Being on the gladiator level of the Colosseum in Rome."

Ledonna

Charlestown, IN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was exceptional. I give the Rick Steve's family a big thank you for making this trip very memorable. Stephanie our tour director treated everyone more like family members as she shephered us through the cities and small towns of Italy. She kept everyone informed about our day to day activities, she was excited to share her knowledge and love of Italy with us, she was courteous, patient and attentive to everyones needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was visiting Michelangelo's David statue in Florence. Stephanie did an outstanding job of preparing us this breathtaking experience."

Beverly

White Rock, BC

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I was very impressed. Our guide Stephanie was fun and went out of her way to take us places on her own time or sit down with some of us who were trying to plan side trips during our free time. There were 26 people in our group which I think was a good number. We all got along well and were interested in learning about each other. After a few days together it was travelling with friends. the local guides and bus drivers were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had never been to Europe before and every place we went was special for me but I think my WOW moment was visiting the Vatican and climbing St. Peter's basilica ."

Donna

White Rock, BC

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded any expection I had. From: Our wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable, lovely tour guide, Stephanie. Can't say enough great things about her. The dinners were wonderful and lots of choices for those who had dietary concerns. The tour bus experience was exceptional as well as the drivers we had. Easy access to all the spectacular places we visited. And many little extras along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the colosseum exactly where the gladiators did. Unbelievable."

Ann

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I try to describe this tour of Italy to others, it's always a matter of 'Just where should I start?". Every facet of the tour was stellar. It was the perfect balance of larger, gritty cities and smaller, quaint villages, all brimming with head-banging history, as well as exceptional culture and beauty. The accommodations were wonderful. And our tour mates were also great, as is typical of those who choose to travel with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I am a retired physician, having spent my college and graduate school years as a fine arts and art history major, it was thrilling to finally stand before the great masters--Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael, Titian--what dreams are made of. I thought my knees would give out before Bernini's sculptures.I could not hold back the tears, they were SO magnificent. So for me, that was my WOW moment, though there were certainly others that could compete for that honor."

Cheryl

White Rock, BC

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The description of this tour tells the whole story; the locations were perfect, the description indicated the different levels of walking they were correct. We were on the go everyday, all day; walking, learning about the history, the sites we saw were truly beautiful. When the day was done, we were happy and exhausted, but ready to the next day's adventure. The decisions made for this tour from the hotels, transportation, meals, sites, guides, was the best way to experience Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, the one that stands out the most for me was the Colosseum! The way our guide tells the stories of the gladiators and what took place there, you could almost feel it come to life."

Marlies

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was really great overall. The places, the people, the food were all 5 out of 5. My brother is a RS veteran and has been raving about the tours for years so I had no doubt this trip was going to be good but I had no idea it was going to be out of this world! I loved the quirky hotels, little Tuscan towns, group dinners, food recommendations, site recommendations on our off days, quick and dirty tours of major sites and the off time to decide how we want to spend our vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany, both the small towns and Florence. I appreciate the tour's ability to take us to towns off the beaten path to see how real Italians live as well as the local guides' abilities to make the towns' histories come alive. I will be coming back to Tuscany again and again and again..."

Cheryl

St Paul, MN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When you stated that this trip would be strenuous, you were spot on . This tour did not disappoint in all my expectations. In being organized,on time,accommodations pleasant, bus transportation pleasant,advanced tickets leading to no wait times,wine tasting with an expert, exceptional dinners and your choices of what we needed to see gave us a lifetime of memories. Most importantly is our guide, Stephanie. I will forever will remember her with love and respect. She is Italy!

Thomas

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cheryl deslauriers made statement on our behalf and I would like to elaborate in the following questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning the history of the beloved Italy at the time of Christ and beyond. Michelangelo was the upmost wow moment."

Rebecca

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A trip of a lifetime. I felt it was a great overview of Italy. It was nice to enjoy the trip and not have to worry about figuring out how to get from city to city. I felt the hotels were extra accommodating given we were with a Rick Steves tour. Cristina our guide went above and beyond to give us extra information, bought us candies to have on the bus and made sure everyone was comfortable at all times. She clearly explained when we needed to be where, always willing to give recommendations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to pick one - walking into the Colosseum was something I will never forget, the local tour guide was awesome as was the Vatican tour guide. I am no sot sure if it is a regular stop our guide took us to the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial can't put into words. Cinque Terre from Ferry. Hotel rooftop view in Florence seeing the Sunset - Hotel Torre Guelfa. The dinner at the hotel in Levanto was great especially the Limoncello! Wine tasting in Volterra too!"

Suzanne

Medford, OR

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

I expected to love it. But, after years of watching Rick Steve's shows and agreeing with his travel philosophy, for a large part of the tour I felt as though I was either led around by the nose or left on my own to flounder. Much of the tour was masterfully done, with smooth transports, wonderful guides, and enjoyable companions. So, the tour had high highs and some lows. Overall, I learned a lot. But, somehow the tour missed a mark for a connection with Italy or a desire to repeat the experienc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's marvelous tour of the Colosseum in Rome. Her method of teaching, setting the scene to bring her pupils back in time to Rome's powerful heights were impactful, and chilling. Brilliant."

Beverly

Hickory, NC

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. I have wanted to go to Italy for years and we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We chose the tour as my husband had seen him on TV. We wanted to experience Italy through the eyes of an Italian. The tour was extremely well managed, organized and we saw all the top sites of Rome, Volterra, Lucca, and Florence. We had great downtime for our own exploring as well, especially on the Cinque Terre. We celebrated our anniversary in Volterra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but I really enjoyed my first view of the Coliseum against the bright blue sky. I loved the Tuscany Valley and the quaintness of Volterra and Cinque Terre was breathtaking!"

Suzanne

Freedom, PA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. I love the mix of group time and free time. Our guide, Patricia, was outstanding. Her knowledge and humor were exceptional! When my daughter had a health issue Patricia was right there to help her out. Thank you so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were seeing the tour through my daughters eyes! We loved the hill town of Volterra. Our bike ride around Lucca was so much fun! We had a wonderful day in the Cinque Terre seeing four of the five villages. Phew! And the food, amazing! Thank you Patricia for picking great restaurants!"

Christine

Friendswood, TX

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour hitting all the highlights. Our guide was absolutely fantastic and I cannot say enough about the quality of the local guides in each city we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum tour with the local guide was just amazing. So refreshing to have someone speak unscripted and with such passion about the history of the coliseum and to bring thoughts of the evolution of rom thru present day into consideration."

Thomas

Lake Como, NJ

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience! All of the hotels were terrific, the individual subject matter experts were well informed and did a great job of communicating their knowledge to us and the group meals were delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My individual wow moment came during the tour of The Coliseum and The Forum. Our guide was obviously an expert on Roman history, and she presented her information with a passion that was infectious. She painted a beautiful vivid picture of life in ancient Rome."

Nicole

Decatur, GA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! Our guide Patricia did a great job - enthusiastic, informative and witty. Local guides were also outstanding, especially Francesca, who brought Ancient Rome to life at the Coliseum. Our guide at the Uffizi enhanced the viewing experience with knowledge and humor. As with other Rick Steves tours I've taken, it was a good balance of time with the group and time exploring on my own. Enjoyed the history of Rome, the art of Florence, and the small picturesque towns in between.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first breath-taking ocean views on the Cinque Terre hike. The mysterious funerary urns at the Etruscan museum in Volterra, carved with scenes resembling Greek myths. Entering the Coliseum and looking up at what would have been the crowd-filled stands in the arena. The gorgeous view of Florence from the rooftop bar at the hotel. Handsome David at the Accademia museum. Incredible pasta everywhere, especially gnocchi with clams in Rome and culurgiones with shrimp in Florence."

Pamela

New York, NY

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very comprehensive, exciting tour of The Heart of Italy. Visited some places I've always wanted to go and had the opportunity with this trip. This tour is beautifully curated with a mix of the city and countryside. The Tuscany town of Volterra was totally amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, all of Florence "wowed" me. What a beautiful city. I guess the main "wow" moment was seeing the famous Botticelli paintings in front of me. The guide for the Uffizi Gallery was wonderful."

Noah

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very well paced and interesting experience with a good mix of group activities and individual family time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in the colosseum and not only seeing but trying to imagine it back in its prime covered in marble."

Nolan

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour guides and an excellent schedule for a very enjoyable Italy experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum tour in Rome, with Volterra as a close second."

Tanya

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first time to Italy and our first experience with a Rick Steves' Tour. I have to say that the whole experience exceeded every expectation. The trip was fantastic and memories were made that will last a lifetime! Our tour guide Patricia was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was "wow" for me. Most amazingly was how much we saw and did in nine days and all without any problem or delay. Everything was so well planned for us. We never had to stress or worry about connections or line-ups or accommodations. It made for a very enjoyable and relaxing trip."

Molly

Onalaska, WI

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent and Patricia was a wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide at the colosseum was excellent, better than most private guides. I also appreciated the small moments like when Patricia bought gelato for everyone on our walking tour."

Joshua

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour experience was amazing. I felt I learned so much in such a small amount of time. It was all very organized and easy to follow/understand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was going into the special entrance of the Colosseum. Not only was the Colosseum greater than I imagined we got to do a once in a life time thing. Would highly recommend."

Julia

Hummelstown, PA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time exploring Italy with our tour group! Everyone was very friendly, and we enjoyed getting to know many new people as a result of our tour. All of the included sites, hotels, and dinners were fantastic. Ferdi was an excellent guide who made our trip a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many moments we loved on this tour! Some of our favorite "wow" moments were exploring the Vatican, hiking the trail in the Cinque Terre, and sitting on the rooftop terrace at our hotel in Florence."

Laura

Madison, AL

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've used the Rick Steve's tour books and watched the shows for years, but this was the first tour we've taken. It was everything we wanted. Lots of the kind of travel we like to do, with most of the planning and logistics taken care of for us. We had an excellent group with a wonderful mixture of folks of all ages from high school aged up to retirees.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wow moments were watching the full moon (it was the blood moon so it was huge and orange) rising over the city scape of Florence from our secret rooftop bar, and coming around the corner while hiking the Cinque Terre path on a hot summer morning and finding a little old man who had hauled a basket of oranges from his grove down to the path along with a battery powered juicer and was selling fresh orange juice (best tasting orange juice we've ever had!)."

Deborah

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall the tour was very good. The hotels were ok for European style hotels. The itinerary cities were perfect for our interests. The local tour guides in Lucca, Volterra and Florence (Uffizzi Gallery) were awesome. The social events were good with the exception of welcome dinner in Rome which was below par for Italian food. Commiunication was good and the bus was comfortable..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our wow moments included Volterra, Cinque Terre and the best hotel on our tour in Florence. We also enjoyed the Tuscan in Volterra and the Ligurian feast in Levanto. The wine tasting was also good. We loved when Ferdi played Andrea Bocelli music as we drove away from Volterra through the hills in Tuscany. Also, the other people on the tour were awesome."

Holly

Powder Springs, GA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough great things about my Tour Guide, Patricia. She was professional and in touch with each and every need of the entire group. I felt more cared for during this trip than I have ever experienced before. She made the experience wonderful and treated us like family. I would definitely come back to Rick Steve's Tours because of her. She is incredible! Holly Cook

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The birthday celebration in the Italian Riviera. I turned 50 and Patricia made sure that it was a memorable occasion. The hotel made a cake and sang Happy Birthday and then gave me a lemon cello."

Jayne

Pekin, IL

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour! It was perfect, action packed got to see all of the famous sites and local tour guides were fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been anticipating seeing Michaelangelos "David". I wasn't disappointed and actually surprised at how large it was!"

Julie

Clovis, CA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 13 year old granddaughter and I took this tour together. We had a wonderful experience. We learned without ever being bored. We got on well with all our tour mates. We felt that we really got to experience authentic Italian food and places. This was July, so was very warm and humid and I wish I would have packed less pants/capris and more sun dresses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First walk through Volterra. It was so beautiful and surreal. My granddaughter lived Levanto -Cinque Terre and swimming in the ocean there."

Richard

Lackawanna, NY

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tour Guide was amazing to start off with. Hotels were air conditioned and clean. You weren't confined to the group all day. It was small and aloud you to go off after a certain time and explore. Well worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Again, the tour guide made the trip enjoyable. The Collosseum was the big WOW factor."

Frank

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, very full of sites and activities. Liked the arrangement of tour times and time off. Patricia was a great guide and very, very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"boat at Cinque Terre"

Samuel

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the best way to travel to foreign countries. It is good value, the guides are excelllent, the tours are unique in somewhat off the beaten track, and the food was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tuscan countryside in driving to Volterra. Also, the statue of David in Florence (and I am not highly interested in art history)."

Steve

Pekin, IL

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was living "Dulce Vida" the whole tour. The tour packed an amazing amount into only 9 days. Patricia was wonderful and the local guides really made the tour exceptional. The heart of Italy was a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With all the amazing art, landscape, history and people experiences I feel guilty saying I really liked the wine tasting experience. I give whiskey talks and the sommelier was definitely outstanding. I even took notes. A gem that made the tour so special. The amazing meal at the Levanto's Hotel Primavera was also a "wow" moment. Michelangelo's David was absolutely impressive. I really liked Patricia's interpretation (different from what I'd read). It made David come to life!"

Pamela

Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much about each City we visited.

Lorina Daves

Pinole, CA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Trip was great. It was fabulous to have all of the tickets to the Vatican, Colisseum, etc. arranged in advance for us. I thought the mix of city and country made for a nice balance. Volterra was magical!!! Patricia was thoughtful as well as a good leader. Great group. I want to go again!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel, Volterra, Tuscany."

Dale

Coralville, IA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love your tours. We were never rushed from place to place but our time was never wasted. A very good balance between planned activities and free time. The hotels you provided exceeded my expectations. All the hotels were clean, comfortable and had friendly and helpful staff. I was pleasantly surprised that they (hotels) all had air conditioning. Your tour fit your description precisely. By the time we were leaving Italy my wife and I agreed that we must return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Rome. The history of the Roman Empire, the Vatican experiences. Rounding a corner and my first visual of the Trevi Fountain. Traveling through the Tuscany countryside in our bus. Every city actually had a wow moment."

Marie

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. It was my third Rick Steves' tour. It was well organized and packed full of sites and experiences, yet also allowed for down time with other tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments but honestly the chef prepared feast in Levanto was very memorable. He had so many wonderful dishes which were incredibly good including a desert he invented himself. He started out with a demonstration on how to prepare pesto. Yummy!"

Rhonda

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime! Sarah was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The Pieta in Rome would be one of the highlights!"

Joseph

Poolesville, MD

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's hard to express the experience is such a small space. We never stopped experiencing incredible moments. From our guide to the local guides they brought our experience alive. I can't wait to go on the next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tower bar at our last hotel in Florence. The view of the city was incredible at night."

Margaret

Englewood, NJ

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all aspects of the trip. Enjoyed having Sarah as our tour guide and access to talented and knowledgeable local guides. Felt we had many Wow moments [INVALID]getting granita when we were feeling tired and worn mid-day, receiving local treats (cookies/candy) while traveling, the exceptional buffet feast in Cinque Terre and having wine included with our group meals, and the opportunity to hear opera singers perform one evening to name a few,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in hotels where our group dominated."

Michael

Matthews, NC

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was that of a lifetime- wonderful. We fell in love with Italy; its people, its culture, history, food and wines, and beauty. This "heart of Italy" tour was just perfect for us- we loved the balance of guided tours and teachings with the free time with choices of activities to choose from. The size of the group was very nice- 25 folks with whom we shared many adventures and laughs. Our guide was excellent- taught us, guided us, laughed with us, and took great care of us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many- the layers of significant history all over Rome; the beauty and serenity of Tuscany (with music playing on the bus- tears!), the lovely and quaint people and town of Volterra that we fell in love with, the interesting Lucca, and the fascinating city of Florence where the ancient melts into the modern...."

Lloyd

Southlake, TX

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tommaso Our lead tour guide, and especially the people assembled for this tour made it great! The places and sights were memorable but after you have seen 2ooo irreplacable statues and 2500 priceless paintings, they sort of lose the impact. The historical places and great works of art are amazing but tour member interactions and shared experiences were my highlight. Then at end of the tour time My son and wife spent six days visiting relatives in Sardinia. My Grandaughter joined me in Florence

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was "WOW". but if I had to pick one spot it would be St Peters Basilica. We saw a number of cathederals at various cities and towns. They all were majestic but after seeing St Peters the others suddenly seemed plain. They were not plain but the Vatican location was spectacular. St. Peters Square was #2. We were able to visit there 4 or 5 times Including our last evening on the trip after dinner. Great calming spot."

Alice

Isle Of Palms, SC

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this was an outstanding tour! And we had an awesome group ! The trip was rated with some physical requirements which meant that those that signed up were all interested and able to be very active. There was a great balance between organized tours and free time and excellent guidance on options for our free time. I REALLY appreciated that the group was not larger than 24.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was such an awesome treat! A bit off the beaten path, not crowded, amazing history, wine, alabaster, food etc. Also WOW moments with ALL the local guides. Knowledgeable, personable, clearly loving their town and job. So much great information. This gave the tour so much value."

Julie

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent and efficient way to visit each city and town on our tour. Thoroughly enjoyed our professional and organized guide, Tommaso. (The people in our group were also terrific.) In addition, the balance between activities and "on our own" time was perfect. I also really valued the local guides at each site. They shared their unique knowledge, perspectives and personal experiences with us.The hotels were also well chosen for both quality and location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra-Our local guide told us how the Nazis were going to destroy one of the arching stone "gates" to block the Allies.The villagers made a deal with the Nazis to block the gate themselves to save the gate. They worked all night, successfully blocking the gate 2 hours before the deadline. The Allies came in a different gate and freed the town anyway.The most powerful part of the story was when an old townsman told our guide that he had helped block the gate when he was 17 years old."

Lisa

Wilsonville, OR

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing! It was my first experience traveling to Europe , and I'm glad we chose this specific Rick Steves tour as my introduction. With the fantastic Tommaso as our guide, and a great group of fellow travelers, I was able to enjoy the full spectrum of the Rick Steves experience. Thank you for providing such excellent service, opportunities to learn about history and understand another culture. It was an eye opening wonder!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count. It was all WOW! In Rome, the Vatican and Firenze we were shown a rich, visual history. In Tuscany we enjoyed the charm and postcard beauty. It was all so new to me. The rich colors, the delicious food, and the history was enlightening."

Cala

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tomasso made our Heart of Italy a wonderful, stress free vacation. No waiting around for decisions to be made, easy fun, loving group. The hotels were well selected and the meals tasty. A great way to see alot of Italy in a relatively short amount of time. We followed up this trip with a week in Sorrento on our own using RS's guide for all of our selections. Definitely would do another tour and refer others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiked from Monterossa to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. A bucket list event for us. We stayed in Levanto which was quieter and nice to return "home" to at the end of the day. Our hotel host there was also the chef and prepared a buffet feast of local delicacies one night. Just a wonderful day."

Tom

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent balance of guided and self-directed activities. Tommaso, our tour guide, handled the logistics perfectly and prepared us for each stop. He was very engaging and answered any and all questions. He helped us set up our "add-on" train trip south to Napoli and offered guidance on how to get around, where to find the stored luggage area, and what to see. His interaction with the various hotel and travel personnel was very nice as he treated them as old friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local guide's tour of the coliseum (Hillary or Hillaria) was terrific. The age of the architecture was just mind-blowing. That said, Cinque Terre was incredible."

Theresa

Audubon, NJ

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with a tour company. I enjoyed the diverse experience from walking tours to riding the bus/train and dining somewhere with the guide. The fact that we had the first day and a half with the guide to become familiarized with the area made me more comfortable to go out on my own when I had free time. The time on the bus was very nice as the guide took this time to give information on the area, culture and activities we would experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had the best guide for the Uffizi Gallery. He explained a new way to look at art and how it reflected the time period. How the Renaissance progressed and the paintings change both in perspective and lighting. How to recognize the work of an artist that was more fond of sculpting than painting when you looked at the portraits, I am an Italian American and thought I was going to the motherland and would eat my way through the tour, instead I learned so much more about the history and people!"

Cathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, and our tour guide Andrea was fabulous. The tour hit the highlights of Italy, and allowed enough time to explore on our own as well. The local guides were also very knowledgeable and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre trail, and coming down the hill and approaching the town of Vernazza was amazing. It was just as beautiful as all the pictures we have seen of Vernazza."

Jodi

Villa Rica, GA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing tour. Everyone was friendly; after 9 days together you feel like a family. The sites were just what you would want to see, and having local guides gave us an in-depth experience not otherwise had. As described, it is a fast-paced, strenuous tour. I was prepared for that, but was exhausted from that much walking each day (and I am very fit.) It was nice, but would have preferred to skip Lucca and have that time in the Cinque Terre because there's so much to do there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel and the charm of Volterra."

Rob

Cumberland Center, ME

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our past trips to Europe were planned using Rick Steves' guidebooks. This was our first tour, which slowly and gradually won me over. The most significant impact was the interaction with Andrea Wolf and the local guides that brought a wealth of knowledge and focused our attention on areas of museums and other sites that were important and relevant. Andrea also made great use of our time during the bus travel by challenging us to increase our Italian language skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the smile from the local municipal employee in Volterra using your Italian language basics which allowed him to direct me to the Piazza dei Priori. It was just enough to confirm he did not speak any English, but allowed me ask directions, thank him and share a smile. My second favorite wow moment was seeing in person at the Uffizi Gallery Botticelli's painting the Birth of Venus."

Robert

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a 1st timer to Europe, we did back-to-back RS tours (Germany/Austria & Italy),and everything about the tours exceeded our expectations.For Italy, the hotels were charming & right in the city center, the restaurants were cozy & gave you the real taste of Italy, the excursions were exceptional, the transportation was not just a journey but an experience with local snacks or a surprise stopover during the travel, and our tour guide Andrea made it all happen without a hitch-she was truly amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us, it was Rome - walking the halls of the Vatican & viewing Sistine Chapel and standing in the arches of the Colosseum. As children, my wife and I grew up hearing and reading about the Vatican or watching movies like Ben Hur, Hercules and Spartacus....and we actually got a chance to be in these historic sites- Amazing!"

Jennifer

Hiddenite, NC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, our guide, Andrea, was excellent! She was informative, and had a great sense of humor. The tour was thorough, and we learned a lot in the time allotted. The shared group meals were outstanding! The hotel accommodations were also very good. We left Italy worn out but very satisfied. We appreciated the free time allotted by the tour. Free time to explore on our own was very important.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre was beautiful! We loved how the Mediterranean Sea lapped right up to each town. We took the boat ride along the coast and the scenery from that perspective was breath taking. We took a train back through each town and explored each one. Loved all the sidewalk cafes."

Steven

Springboro, OH

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the make up of the tour from our leader, Andrea, to all the folks on the tour to the "guided" portions of the tour to the "free time", to the group dinners to the dinner's on our own. Italy is a beautiful and unique country and the tour was a great introduction to it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far as a "Wow" moment - that first stroll up the main street of Volterra was really fantastic - we loved Volterra. Two guided tours stand out - the Colosseum and the Uffizi Gallery. Also our 1st Dinner in Rome on our own (Before the tour began) and the last Group dinner in Florence."

Roger

Hiddenite, NC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I traveled together. I erroneously filled out her survey instead of under my name. My wife is Jennifer Dixon. So, I won't repeat everything here again except to say excellent tour.

Rebecca

Springboro, OH

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy, and I want to go back and explore other areas. Our guide was friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable. The guides for the sites were top-notch - they shared their knowledge and helped everything come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we went to Volterra in the Tuscany region. After the many tourist in Rome in was such a wonderful change of pace [INVALID] a very charming place with gorgeous views, cute stores, interesting history, great restaurants, and wonderful pastry. I didn't not want to leave Volterra."

Carolyn

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our family of four, two adults and our two grown daughters ages 18 and 23, enjoyed every moment of our Heart of Italy Tour. This was our first Rick Steves trip and the first time traveling to Europe as a family. The model of the trip provides the perfect balance of structure, the context needed to ensure each portion of the trip was experienced fully and a group of wonderful individuals to share in the experience with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could not pick one moment as a "wow" because there were so many. Andrea artfully allowed us to enter each experience from just the right perspective to realize the enormity of what we were seeing and experiencing. The sites in Rome were breathtaking, but we found the real treasures of our experience at the other places we had an opportunity to visit on this amazing Tour."

Joyce

Greensburg, PA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well above our expectations, fun and interesting. We gained new perspectives and historical facts about Italy and it's great cities and people. Our guides' passion and intimate knowledge of the places we visited made everything "come alive." It was good to visit venues after we'd gaine understanding of the history and culture. The tour packed much in a short time. Time in Volterra could be longer. Transportation and most hotels were great. Views and me were amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to narrow down. A favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Sistene Chapel after our local guide, Illaria, had gone over much of the history of the paintings and the life and works of Michealangelo. While I had read about the Sistene Chapel in RS tour books, it is hard to capture the beauty of the chapel in books/photos. There are so many different panels in the ceiling. The creativity and artistry is truly amazing. So thankful it had been preserved and that the public have access."

Kayla

North Huntingdon, PA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was simply amazing! We saw the great sights of Italy and shared moments together as a group. The tour guides at each city taught us all about Italy's history, which we were able to share with family members once we got home. Our tour guide for the whole trip, Patricia, was absolutely AMAZING! She made it easy for all of us to be interactive and have an amazing time together as a group. This tour was able to show us the best history, art, and food that Italy has to offer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Pieta in Saint Peter's Basilica was the biggest "wow" moment for me. It filled me with emotion and the piece of art took my breath away."

Mary

Yuba City, CA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous Loved the local guides also

Margot

Alexander City, AL

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Heart of Italy" tour was an AMAZING experience for our family of 5! We picked the tour because we wanted to see and experience as much of Italy as we could in a short time. From the introduction meeting to the final dinner, Patricia, our tour guide, orchestrated every detail flawlessly, which allowed us to enjoy each day to the fullest. We loved the flexibility that this tour offered with excellent local guides for group activities combined with free time for exploration on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the beauty of the Sistine Chapel and understanding the series of frescoes after a great history lesson from our local guide."

Denise

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our RS Tour was fabulous! Every part was well thought out and planned, from the guides to the locations visited, the hotels, meals, and schedule. We so enjoyed all our fellow travelers and feel like we began some lasting friendships. Our RS guide was amazing, which I can further comment on later, but also each of the local guides were equally amazing. They were knowledgeable, personable, with a good sense of humor. We also really enjoyed the mix of structure and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing and learning more about history through the churches and art. This was very significant and moving for me. I also really enjoyed the hike in Cinque Terre. The views were amazing! Our favorite city was Voltera. While we enjoyed all the significant sights in Rome, we loved the quiet simplicity of Voltera."

Stephanie

Florence, SC

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour was better than expected!! Our tour guide was AMAZING!! I made new friends, and experienced so much of the culture, sites, art, history, and leisure that all of our stops offered. I highly recommend Rick Steves tours, and hope to do one again soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of Cinque Terre from the boat"

Thomas

Whippany, NJ

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary and schedule are well thought out so that there is a good balance of group and individual time. The bus travel was comfortable and seemed to come at the right moment, when you were ready for some time off your feet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the terraces in cinque terre."

Michelle

North Huntingdon, PA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We took this family vacation tour to experience Italy. We were blessed to have such a knowledgeable guide,Patricia. My parents are 70y/o and she was always checking on them to make sure they were ok, which was very thoughtful. She gave us a wonderful history lesson on the various towns. The independent guides at the various cities were great- Ilaria was awesome, and funny. The tour itself allowed for flexibility with time on your own to explore. This allowed us to try different things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was my favorite place- the fillings hills and absolutely beautiful town was so peaceful. The volume of people was a lot less and made it more relaxing. It was nice to see the big cities also, hear the Pope speak, tour the Vatican, and see the fine shops of Florence, but again- Volterra was my favorite."

Sherry

Florence, SC

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the adventure of a lifetime on our Rick Steves' Heart of Italy Tour with our guide Patricia Fannon Avolio!!! Patricia is our "new best friend"....she made the entire trip so easy, relaxing, educational and fun! She answered all our questions, was so organized and "on-top" of all the small details to make our trip so enjoyable! We love Patricia! The hotels were fantastic, the food was so delicious, the local tour guides were so informative and friendly. We had a great group!

Christine

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Experience was amazing. The towns we visited each had so many exciting and unique opportunities for learning and experiencing their history and culture. The members of our group came from many backgrounds but were all open to new experiences and forming new friendships. And our guide was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was overcome with emotion while viewing the Sistine Chapel and the Uffizi having studied Art History in college many years ago. I overcame my initial hesitation about my hiking abilities and made the hike from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. It was a personal triumph and the views were breath taking."

Pat

Richland, WA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's Tour itinerary exceeded my expectations. Tour guides were outstanding, knowledgeable and organized. Our Heart of Tuscany Tour spent minimal time standing in lines. Our tickets were all pre-purchased and early start times were actually "start times". The tour included cities like Volterra and Lucca that I would not have visited if I were planning my own trip because I was unaware of their significance and historical context. Truly an exceptional trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I visited Rome for the first time. I was in awe of the buildings, ruins, antiquities, and art from 3000 years of history, but the Sistine Chapel is still the most memorable experience for me. Our Vatican Tour Guide Marta presented the artist Michelangelo and significance of the Chapel to the church; it is unforgettable even now in spite of the crowds."

Debbie

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Friends and family ask us what was our favorite place and thing we did. We reply by saying it was all great! We can't pick one place or thing we did. My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary and "special" birthdays by traveling abroad. We thought about places to go on our own but weren't quite sure where. Being fans of the Rick Steve's shows on PBS, we checked his website and found all of these fabulous tours. We are so thankful we decided on this one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the day we toured the Colosseum and the Forum. Francesca painted the picture for us as to what these sights were like back then. She had us think about what life was like during that time. She went over architectural features of these sights. It was awe-inspiring as to the history and age of these structures."

Ann Marie

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first-ever trip abroad, and needless to say, we were a little nervous; both about the trip itself, and going with a group of people we didn't know. Our trip turned out wonderful. Andrea, our tour guide, was excellent! Her knowledge of the language, areas, and history of Italy enhanced our experience. And our group was perfect too; a terrific mix of people who fit right in with the Rick Steve's philosophy of being flexible, respectful, and fun. We couldn't have been happier!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult question to answer, as each area had its own "wow" moments. The Cinque Terre was definitely a favorite -- we could have spent a few more days there exploring."

Melissa

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I had high expectations based on other reviews I read I was not disappointed in the least From our guide to the itinerary, restaurants and hotels everything was wonderful. I was worried about there being too much active time and not enough rest/alone time but this tour was the perfect balance of both. The orientations we received from our guide at each new city was excellent, I felt very comfortable navigating on my own. I can't wait for the next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum in person and with Francesca's knowledge and style, I was drawn in to experience and feel very deeply about the experience. I loved the town of Volterra the most."

Kenneth

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was everything I hoped it would be. I have been to Italy before, but my wife and sister have not. I know they thoroughly enjoyed the friendliness of the people, the excellent organization, and the breadth of experiences (as did I). I especially enjoyed Andrea's upbeat attitude, her willingness to interact with those of us on the tour, and her knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was a really fun experience. The scenic beauty, the unique towns, and the experience of traveling by train between the towns made it a memorable day."

David

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the museums were awe inspiring. The Pizzi Palace was a good recommendation. The ceilings at the palace are incredible. One of my favorite memories is hiking at Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre was a nice break from the wonderful museums. We loved the views on the trail of the beautiful coastline with the terraced gardens. It was fun to get a good sweat going. Also loved the swims at the beach. I'm glad I packed my goggles to swim."

Brenda

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was rated a strenuous on the activity scale and they weren't kidding. I don't think I have ever walked and sweat so much in my life, especially in Rome. I liked that Reid had different local guides for various adventures. My favorite was the one in Lucca. She was fun, entertaining as well as informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "Wow" moments. From seeing ancient ruins up close and personal. To seeing works of art I have read or heard about."

Derek

North Versailles, PA

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was great. We saw and experienced so much. My only concern was the length of the history lectures. I have a hard time standing in one place for an extended period of time. Most of the time I could find someplace to sit nearby.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was great. My favorite part of the tour"

Corrie

Papillion, NE

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time. We had a wonderful group of people in our tour. I get easily bored with history and Graeme made it very interesting. He displayed the right combination of facts and opinion. Everything was so well organized. Every tour guide, bus driver and hotel staff member was top notch. We couldn't have asked for more!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved being able to get an inside scoop from locals about the country that they are so passionate about."

Kim

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience! I was surprised and thrilled with how much I learned. It was a good balance of structure and free time. I appreciate our guide's attention to detail and the skill and care he used in anticipating needs or potential issues. I also appreciated the information we received throughout the tour about how to navigate cultural manners/expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like I can pick one? How about three: 1) Standing in the middle of the Cistine Chapel in tears because of the beauty and talent in the paintings. 2) The first time walking through Volterra. I felt like I was in a fairy tale town. 3) We loved Levanto. I did not know anything about it going into the trip but it was one of our favorite spots. We were not ready to leave and my husband and I like to dream about moving there."

Nancy

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour offered us the perfect mix of history and local culture delivered in an expert and engaging way. Our bright and energetic guide, along with the local guides, knew their subjects well and succeeded in keeping Italian history both intensely interesting and fun. We had two teenagers with us and the guides never failed to keep them focused and entertained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful David. Graeme's suggestion of walking backward to the statue really built up our excitement and made the first look ever more exhilarating. What a beautiful moment."

Steven

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great "big brush" stroke of Italy and its sites. Yes, you are moving quickly, but there is still time to see all the major sites in each of the areas. A very good balance between the guided time and the free time we had in each area. Our guide Graeme (Super G) was awesome. Extremely knowledgeable and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were so many. I guess my favorite unexpected was Volterra. What a great quintessential Italian city with such a rich history. But we truly loved each city and, quite honestly, could have spent another day or two in each. All lovely, all different in their own way."

Pamela

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect tour for us as it provided just the right balance of time with our excellent guide, Graeme, and time on our own to choose what to do and at what pace. Our guide was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun to work with. Our group had a great rapport as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to name! If I had to pick one, though, it would be gazing up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling. I've taught the Renaissance to my 5th graders for over 20 years and here I was, finally seeing Michelanglo's fresco ceiling. It was overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes."

Gregory

Papillion, NE

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the Heart of Italy tour. This was our first Rick Steve's tour and I am hooked. Can't wait to sign up for another one. The mix of small and big towns, the fascinating historical and cultural information provided by the guide, plus the fun itinerary of group meals and "on your own meals" made it such an enjoyable experience. I loved the country, the itinerary and the guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was after we arrived in Volterra and we began a follow the leader march through those narrow, ancient streets with our roller bags echoing of the sides of the structures. I felt like an out of place time traveler who just suddenly showed up in a historic hilltop Etruscan town. That was a memory I will never forget."

Gina

Shaker Heights, OH

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded our expectations! We were amazed at the connections we made related to the history, politics of the time. An incredible cultural immersion. And stunning beauty, delicious meals and wonderful accomodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Etruscan civilization 2,000 years ago in the midst of the beautiful and vibrant hill town of Volterra."

David

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my (high) expectations. Our tour guide was outstanding (knowledgeable,courteous, fun, organized, etc), the logistics made things very easy and the lodging/meals were great. Would do again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terra. Our tour guide provided 24-hour train passes which made transit between the towns a breeze."

Peter

Annandale, VA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing experience! We were able to see so much on this tour, and also learn a lot more than we ever could have had we done this on our own. The mix of planned activities and free time every day was well thought-out and appreciated. It was such a luxury to have all (and I do mean all) the details taken care of for us. From the hotels, to the transportation, to the admissions and local tours, this took the hassle out of travel and enabled us to enjoy the vacation to its fullest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip! We learned so much about the politics, society, art, and culture of the area while walking with the tour, and then to suddenly be standing at the exact spot where all the stuff we talked about actually happened--that was amazing!"

Richard

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Agenda was well organized & communicated. Appreciate having free time planned for each location. Hotels & busses were very nice. Staff was very kind & helpful as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra: how a walled city on a hill, with such profound history, could be so vibrant and technologically advanced."

Amy

Coppell, TX

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Surpassed all expectations. It was such an amazing trip and I couldn't have asked for anything better. We covered everything that was on my "bucket list" and more!! The history lessons along the way helped to bring everything to life and really made me realize there is so much more significance to things than we can see on the surface.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down; Volterra. I hadn't heard of this town before and even looking up things to do there before we went I wasn't sure what to expect and when we got there, it had some of the best pasta, gelato, and sites to see! Great small town with minimal tourists to make ourselves feel at home in our little Italian countryside town."

Jody

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This travel experience was both knowledgeable, organized, and fun. We were well prepared for the trip through Rick Steves material We had an excellent guide with Graeme, as history is such a passion for him. The tour guides at each site we visited were superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can not describe just me site as they all brought such rich history."

Drew

Hudson, WI

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It gave us exactly what we had hoped which was an experience that touched on different regions of Italy and related culture including history, architecture, art, culture, food and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in on the floor of the Colosseum in Rome. Spending time in the Sistine Chapel. Walking the trail from Vernazza to Corniglia in the Cinque Terra. Wow!!!"

Eleanor

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned so much and met so many people. It was a great experience for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Voltaire. Me and the other teenagers were ale to explore the town on our own and get to know each other."

Gina

Akron, OH

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip started out shaky because an hour into our flight there was a problem and we had to turn around, we ended up landing in Rome 6 hours later than expected and were late to our tour meeting and introduction! But honestly we started out right after the meeting for a City walk and then dinner. It was so exciting and fun that we forgot about jet lag and just became immersed it the tour, our group and how much fun we were having. Our experience was excellent from day one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first outing in Rome we went to the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps, followed by dinner at a restaurant located on the spot where Caesar had been assassinated. The dinner was in a wine cellar and was excellent. Our dinner was followed by a lovely walk back to our hotel. Wow!"

Sharon

Glenelg, MD

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Reid was amazing. He was so knowledgeable about all the locations on our trip as well as hints for us to make our trip go smoother. The trip was very organized and it helped us make the most out of our time. The people in the group were all very nice and easy to get along with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my son enjoy the Colosseum for the first time and also seeing the beauty of Cinque Terre."

Rose Marie

Waldorf, MD

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through Lucca, coming around a corner and seeing the cathedral of San Michele as Gabrielle was playing Puccini through the VOX. It was quite impressive."

Mark

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been using Rick Steves guidebooks for 14 years now, but had never taken a tour until this one. I've watched a lot of his videos, and so I knew what to expect, and had high expectations. Not only did the tour surpass my expectations, but by a long shot! This was one of the best vacations I've ever taken. All of the tour members were friendly and positive. Reid is absolutely fantastic; very knowledgeable and passionate about history, art, travel, and connecting with locals. Awesome!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's charismatic storytelling in the Colosseum. She got us to think as 1stC Romans, not as modern day people. She brought that world to life in a way I've never heard before, and really brought us into that world, helping us understand what the Colosseum was all about, and what those people were like. It was a fresh, totally different approach to tour-guiding I've ever seen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Brava!!"

Michael

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife Liz and I had a wonderful time on this tour. Reid Coen was our main guide and he was excellent. He is a very organized and informative individual who made our trip special, along with other local guides which we had for the Vatican and other places we visited. Their passion to travel is apparent and makes the history and facts of the area come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was our first time in Italy and we were "wowed" by the entire tour. The history, art, and beauty of the country was all we had hoped for in our trip."

Monica

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The mix of our attendees was wonderful and our tour guide was amazing. We had a nice mix of adults and late teens/early adult which gave everyone a chance to enjoy their experience. The tours were quite personal and interesting. We loved the small towns and their intimate feel. I really can't say enough about the tour. WE will definitely join Rick Steve's again when we venture overseas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Voltaire, Italy. The shopkeepers were so talented and interesting. The cafes were fun and laid back. It was a great respite from the big cities and had wonderful views and food."

Rod

Garibaldi Highlands, BC

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great hotels,great food,great site guides and our tour guide Patricia was amazing. We were very impressed with our first Rick Steeves experience and would definately travel with them again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was arriving in Volterra. My wife and I both loved the town and just felt very at home there,like we had been there before. Walking the trails in Cinque Terra was also a highlight for us...the villages and the views were incredible!"

Brenda

Garibaldi Highlands, BC

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great hotels, great food, great site guides and our tour guide Patricia was amazing. We were very impressed with our first Rick Steves' experience and would definitely travel with them again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Voltera. My husband and I both loved the town and just felt very at home there, like we had been there before. Hiking the trails in Cinque Terra was also a highlight for us...the village and the views were incredible."

Greg

Papillion, NE

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My two children and I had a great time and enjoyed the entire tour. Patricia and Francesco were knowledgeable, personable, approachable, and made us feel like w were all one big family. There were no problems with transportation, hotels, guides, or food. We were given time on our own to choose things we wanted to do and were given suggestions as to what we might do with our free time if we weren't sure what we wanted to do. The places we visited in each town were interesting and significant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Vernazza come into view from the trail above the sea along the cliffs of the Cinque Terre."

Christofer

Daly City, CA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time that we joined a tour for vacation. It was highly recommended by our friend who joined you tour last year. We love the tour and especially our tour leader; Patricia. She took care and make sure that we are all aware with the today's and the next day schedule. More importantly, she also tried to help anyone who needed additional info to extend their vacation. The dinners were great, and the choices of local tour guides are excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment of our tour was Voterra and the location of the hotels which were all very close to everything we wanted to explore."

Patricia

Bogart, GA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time! I never thought a tour would be as well organized as I wanted but this one was. Hotels and dinners were great. Local tour guides were perfect. Patricia was -in a word - FABULOUS! The tour was exactly as advertised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are probably too many to count, but the hill town of Volterra and the view from the Cinque Terre were definitely in the top."

Julie

Amherst, MA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Patricia Avilio was outstanding. Kind, organized knowledgeable and able to deal gracefully with a change in plan. We had had local guides at almost every stop who added depth of information. The hotels were interesting and comfortable. The provided meals were amazing. My dietary restrictions were graciously managed. The group was friendly and interesting. My daughter, who just graduated from college, and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! We would do a Rick Steve's tour again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a surprise. Beautiful and interesting and not crowded."

Garrett

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time with a great group of people. Patricia and Francesco were great. I know it may have been to an extent pure chance, but the inter-generational dynamic of our group really added to the wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hill town of Volterra itself was a highlight of the trip. There were a number of wow moments. One was the first view one gets of Vernazza as they hike the trail from Monterosso. Another was viewing the David as it is truly breathtaking and amazing."

John

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was Fantastic. The right balance of tour activities and free time. I had never been on a tour like this before and all of my expectations were exceeded. My next visit to Europe will be as a part of a Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the smaller towns visited like Volterra and Cinque Terre. The views from the rooftop of our hotel in Monterosso was amazing."

Jamie

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded our expectations! Let's start with our guide-Graeme, he was terrific! He's a compassionate,caring individual. We (my wife, our 16 year old son and I) had some great intellectual talks with Graeme and others in the group. While, the sights and food (oh the food and the wine!) were the main reasons we choose this tour, the conversations and personal connections we made are what made this trip memorable. We can't wait to get back to Tuscany-so beautiful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our son turned 16 on this trip, our guide, Graeme arranged a cake and candles for him after our group dinner in Cinque Terre - it was a wonderful gesture. And watching the group sing happy birthday brought tears to my eyes. In a world where people through your life so quickly and with so little connection, it was wonderful to feel like we had a big crazy fun family moment."

John

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Italy. We enjoyed Italy, the group, the guide, the balance between group and individual time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre, and the multi course meals."

Michele

Salem, MA

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was my first ever organized tour and it exceeded every expectation. It was well planned and paced with a balance of free time built in. The hotels were very nice and accommodating. The dinners were outstanding. The tour group participants were fun and congenial. Most of all I think the tour success was due to the guide-Graeme Sutherland. Graeme was the full package-organized, witty, knowledgable and very attentive to all the tour members. A true history expert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I came to this tour to experience the cinque terra. Despite the rain it was a great 10 hrs of exploration. I love to photograph and got some of my best shots here. Plus the people, the food all excellent."

Bonnie

Moore, OK

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was beyond better than I expected! I loved the combination of group and solo time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day seriously every day we had a "wow" moment."

Karen

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour! Rome, Volterra, Lucca, the Cinque Terre, and Florence were all wonderful. The food was spectacular, and the tour members were fun, welcoming, and interesting! I loved everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the castle in Vernazza were beautiful."

John Franklin

Moore, OK

Tour: 05/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Graeme was outstanding! Such a good "teacher" of the history we were seeing. Everything was smooth and error free and very comfortable. The accommodations were comfortable and the staffs of each hotel very friendly and helpful. Overall it was a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Below a church excavation had revealed a Roman street complete with a bath, some remaining tile work on the floor of the bath, and other places that were used. The "wow" was the fact that I was walking along the same path as the Romans had. That blew my. Ind to think of that."

Louann

Kersey, PA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both my husband & I were impressed with our tour guides and hotel accomadations. If we do another tour, I will go with your company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to pick just one."

John

Newport, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour...each has been great, and this tour was no exception. Our guide, Molly, was extremely knowledgeable and savvy in the Italian culture. I enjoyed the choice of hotels and restaurants for the group meals, and the our free time was well spent. It's hard to believe that in just nine days, a diverse group of people can bond so well and make friendships that last for years. This will not be our last Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our farewell meal...our "Last Supper"....the food was unbelievable!"

Cathy

Newport, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour in a different way than the other three Rick Steves tours (all Italian) we have joined. This tour touched on areas we've visited earlier, but I really enjoyed the time spent in Volterra and the amazing visit to Florence. Our guide, Molly, was the perfect guide as her background is in art history, and she was a constant source of interesting information...and such a really kind, funny, capable person as well! And we couldn't have chosen a nicer group of tour mates!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that would have to be two "wows"...seeing Michelangelo's David and Brunelleschi's dome. As I stood beneath the dome, the bells began to ring and it was just magical."

Glen

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned about other cultures and civilizations. Amazed at the thought that everywhere I looked, everything was older than the U.S. Kind of puts you into place. I think traveling to other lands will make me think more globally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe the Colosseum in Rome. Imagining how it was so many years ago."

Christopher

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour, had a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day provided a new "wow" moment for me. The roof top view of Florence from our hotel was the most unexpected experience for me."

Mary

North Attleboro, MA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My head is still spinning with wonderful memories of the tour. We especially loved our time in Rome, Volterra and the Cinque Terre. However, we weren't too thrilled with Florence, it was much too rushed and crowded and somewhat difficult to navigate. I know that you couldn't help it, but it really was too much to schedule the Uffizi Gallery and the other tour of the city in the same day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about the Cinque Terre was a "wow" moment - the sites and views, the hike through the path to Vernazza, the dinner with the group. It was by far the best time for us. We really felt like we were on vacation in Monterosso al Mare."

Kathleen

Rossville, KS

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe. We were a little apprehensive about it. We definitely chose the right way to go. The tour was well organized, and it was nice to not have to worry about transportation and getting tickets to places. It is also a great way to make sure you don't miss the best places to see. The itinerary allows for a good balance between group activities and free time. It was the trip of a lifetime. Only a week after we returned home, we were already scoping out our next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest "wow" moment was when we first stepped into St. Peter's Basilica. I was blown away by how huge and beautiful it was!"

Lisa

Katy, TX

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughters and I had a great first trip to Italy. The tour was perfect for us! We enjoyed not having to plan out every detail of a trip and, with the tour, we had a good balance of planned activities and free time. We loved our tour group and our guide, Molly, did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments for me, but two stand out. Walking into St. Peter's Basilica was breathtaking - the enormity, the art, the history, the religion just overwhelmed my emotions. The second moment was in Florence - we had checked into the hotel and were taking a short walk to the outdoor market when we turned a corner and caught our first glimpse of the Duomo - all I could think to say was "Welcome to Florence!" I also truly loved the views from the hiking trail of Cinque Terra!"

Scott

Orrs Island, ME

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time with Molly (our guide) in Italy!! The hotels were all in really great locations relative to walking to the sites we were guided to, and ALL of our local guides were interesting, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and in love with their villages, tonws, museums, etc. The food was my favorite part of Italy, with the Italians a close second, and the mix of dinners on our own and the group dinners was just about right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Piazza San Michele from and adjacent alley in Lucca to face the Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, brought tears to my eyes. It was both completely unexpected and breathtakingly beautiful. I was immediately immersed in that sense Medievil sense of wonder at the massive beauty of the Chiesa and the sorrounding piazza!"

Patricia

Rye Brook, NY

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Heart of Italy hit the ground running (arrive early). Crowds at the must-see Roman sights were overwhelming in the heat, making Volterra the perfect antidote. Our guide made great recommendations. I would encourage more solo traveler participation. We had more sub-groups compared to the RS veteran couple composition of my first tour. Mixing cities with countryside, 2 night stays, and a small group (maybe shrink it to 20-24) make for a well-designed introductory tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scale of the Roman ruins, Tuscan countryside, local guides (especially in Volterra and Lucca), well orchestrated thunderstorm during our talk on the Etruscan afterlife, boat ride from Monterosso to Porto Venere, the anchovy mixed-plate appetizer, and the first glimpse of the Duomo in Florence. Gelato opportunities everywhere."

Walter

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a very nice mix of attractions, both in the cities of Rome and Florence as well as smaller villages and the country side. All companions were very nice and the guides were all very good. It all went by too fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments to choose. It was the Michelangelo's statue of David in the Academia. I know it was impressive but it still surprised me when I first saw it."

Laura

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Deborah made sure every detail was taken care of for our trip. She was VERY knowledgeable and professional, and made everyone on the trip feel comfortable and excited about all of the different experiences. The itinerary was packed with memorable sites yet our family felt like we had some time to explore and learn on our own. Most of the trip events were planned in the morning when the crowds were smaller and the weather was cooler and then we had afternoons to go out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many memories to pick from! I enjoyed the Vatican tour and event dinner venues. My husband really liked Volterra and our 21-year old son loved the Cinque Terre hike."

Richard

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This the first vacation trip to Europe and Italy for my wife and I. We had watched several of Rick Steves' television documentaries about Italy on our local PBS station (KERA) in Dallas, but our actual tour was so much more of an education. All the details of our tour worked out perfectly, thanks to our guide, Deborah. Had we have traveled on our own, I don't see how we could have managed to see all that we saw during nine days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that the Vatican tour in Rome was the highlight for me, with the beauty of Tuscany a very close second. Deborah and the local guides made things come alive."

Jacqueline

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy was AMAZING! The overall trip was made so great because of our wonderful guide, Deborah Heyburn! She was always one step ahead of our group as far as preparation. She was thoughtful, friendly and kind. An example, in Monterosso, she offered free boat ride tickets across the harbor to those wanting to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment was in St. Peter's Basilica. It was very moving to actually be there, even emotional. It's hard to pick just one favorite. There were so many along the way."

Lenore

Lisle, IL

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a first ever guided tour. We were wary of being with a group, but were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed it. It took the stress out of planning, the group was fun, friendly, and inclusive, and we had plenty of on our own time at each stop. Our tour guide Deborah was outstanding! She gave us background on history, current events, and was a great resource for what to do on our own. We would definitely do another Rick Steve's Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride in Cinque Terra from Monterosso to Manarola was a fun surprise because depending on the weather, the boats run or not. Beautiful way to see the villages clinging to the cliffs!"

Maura

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized, designed for minimum hassle and maximum enjoyment. Our tour guide went above and beyond, taking on some unexpected challenges with professionalism and aplomb. We couldn't have had a better person to lead the way. Traveling alone I am just another tourist, but with Rick Steves, I felt like a VIP.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel was breathtaking. I appreciated the information we got beforehand and the time to enjoy it without feeling rushed."

Mary

Arden Hills, MN

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciated that the tour group was a manageable size.This meant more time to experience the sights and less time organizing the group. I also liked that there was ample free time to explore on your own. Deborah gave great suggestions for things to do/places to eat in our free time. Great communication on a daily basis when there were changes/potential for issues. A personable, friendly group of people who were flexible, liked making every experience count and practiced the "no grumps" policy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Academia Gallery in Florence and seeing Michelangelo's "David"."

Timothy

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great having an excellent tour guide who was able to point out all the important things to see and not have to do all the planning ourselves. We just had to show up. The tour guides at every city were fantastic and very knowledgeable. We really enjoyed the dinners with the tour group which included great food, great wine and enjoyable conversation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the "wow" moment was entering the Colosseum from the gladiator entrance. We could have never done that on our own."

Weather

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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, or additional overnight stay in Italy.

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