• Colosseum
  • couple-strolling-in roman-forum
    Roman Forum
  • italy-volterra-hillside-buildings
    Volterra
  • Wine Tasting in Tuscany
  • Rural hillside, Tuscany, Italy
    Tuscan Hillside
  • Cinque Terre
  • Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
    Ponte Vecchio in Florence
  • Florence's Piazza della Signoria

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Email [email protected]

Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour

from $2,795 per person + air

Single Supplement $525

See Dates & Prices

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

Dates & Prices

2024

2025

What's Included

You'll get at least 14 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our 2024 Heart of Italy tour:

  • Evening walk through Rome including Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Roman Forum and Colosseum (exterior*)
  • Ancient Rome walking tour
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Volterra walking tour
  • Guarnacci Etruscan Museum
  • Alabaster workshop
  • Wine tasting
  • Countryside visit and lunch
  • Orientation for "vacation" day in the Cinque Terre
  • Renaissance Florence walking tour
  • Florence's Accademia (Michelangelo's David)
  • Uffizi Gallery

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Rome to Florence
  • 8 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and 4 other meals
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

*This tour does not include visits to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, or the interior of the Colosseum. See details on how to visit during your free time.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

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

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

Day 2: St. Peter's Basilica

This morning a local expert will introduce us to Vatican City, the world’s smallest country, and the greatest church in Christendom: the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. The remainder of your day is free to explore more of the Eternal City on your own, including the nearby Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel or to soak up more of Rome’s artistic, historic, and cultural heritage (don’t forget to taste some refreshing gelato along the way).

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Rome.

Day 3: Ancient Rome and the Heart of Tuscany

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

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

Day 4: All Day in the Hill Town of Volterra

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

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

Day 5: The Italian Riviera

Today we say goodbye to our rustic Tuscan hill town and head to a mountainous and seductive stretch of the Ligurian coast. On the way, we'll stop in the countryside at a local family-run olive farm and sample some of the region's tastiest products. Then we'll wind our way to our seaside getaway, nestled along the harbor-hugging villages of the Italian Riviera. You'll have plenty of free time to explore the area's unique mix of Italian culture and nature before we gather this evening for dinner at a local family restaurant.

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

Day 6: Exploring the Cinque Terre

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

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

Day 7: Renaissance Florence and David

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

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

Day 8: The Uffizi Gallery

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

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

Day 9: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Greg

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Italy was fantastic. We were not given a "glazed over" tour from afar, but rather were immersed in the culture and history that you can only get from being in the middle of things with guides that know the people, land and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was absolutely amazing. You see advertisements showing rustic hilltop towns in Italy that seem too good to be true, but the really do exist!"

Lucy

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it will not be our last!! What a fantastic experience! It was a perfect combination of planned activities and free time. We weren't sure what it would be like being on vacation with a group of strangers, but our tour group soon evolved into a little family! There was not a single thing I would have changed about our trip. Our tour guide, Karen, was exceptional, giving us both info about the area and the tools we needed to explore on our own! Perfetto!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its really hard to pin down a favorite "wow" moment on our Heart of Italy tour since there were so many, but I would have to say the Tuscan town of Volterra was my favorite. There were times I felt like I was on a movie set! As we were walking to our hotel after first arriving, I looked at my husband and said, "Okay, I'm ready to move here!" It's absolutely beautiful. The people were kind and our group dinner the first night was amazing! "

Stacey

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect amount of scheduled and free time. The minimizing of waiting in lines was awesome. Our tour guide Karen was really great. Patient, organized, fun and very knowledgeable. I really liked that she was originally American and had assimilated into the Italian Culture. She understood Americans and let us see the Italian Culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow was that there wasn’t just one. Every scene or moment was just as awe inspiring as the last. The Coliseum, Vatican, Volterra….Each was so much better in person (than in a book or video)."

Steve

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy tour, led by Karen, provided the perfect balance of core Italian sites, culture and food complimented with a great group of fellow tourist with common interests in getting to see and learn about the best of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rick was right about the crowds in Rome, it is real. Our tour though worked around the crowds with the help of local guides and experts to deliver an overall experience that exceeded my expectations. "

Michael Cory

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an exceptional experience throughout the tour. I will definitely be doing another trip with Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each place we stopped on the itinerary was fascinating to me. The local guides were informative and provided the deeper dive that I really enjoy about the tours. If I had to pick one it would be the Cinque Terre. "

Carrie

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a marvelous time on our Heart of Italy tour. Our tour guide, Karen, was patient, helpful, knowledgeable, and resourceful. All of the sites on the tour offered different perspectives of central Italy, giving us a good assortment of fantastic experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally seeing Michelangelo's David in person!"

Jennifer

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a superb tour experience! I loved it all. The people on our tour with us and our guide were amazing people. Loved getting to know them. And of course, ITALY was amazing and exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOWs to even begin to list but will try. The fact there are Roman ruins still standing. The amazing artists from Renaissance period. "

Sheryll

Tour: 05/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun! Great guides. We built confidence touring on our own after the tour ended with all the Knowledge learned on the trip. Most importantly, we always felt safe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history we learned from the tour guides. "

Brian

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good itinerary - fun events for the group

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The piazza in Florence with the replica of David all the other sculptures. "

Jacalyn

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 9-day Italy tour was excellent visiting a variety of scenic places in Italy. We loved that we started in the busy city of Rome, then had a change of scenery going to the Tuscany area and quiet town of Volterra, then to Cinque Terre, a beautiful beach town on the Mediterranean, then to Florence. All of the local guides were very knowledgeable and interesting. The location and quality of the hotels was great! The pace was very active and strenuous, but the bus rides helped you get some rest

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre was definitely our "wow" moment because it was so different from the rest of the places and so beautiful. Another "wow" moment was the flambe' beef we had in Florence for our final group dinner. What a presentation and the dinner was so delicious!"

Denise

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time in every city we visited. Our tour guide, Susanna was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from the top of the Dome in Vatican City"

Miriam

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best way to travel Italy - wonderful hotels, group meals were amazing, plenty of free time to explore on our own, tour guide provided so much good info we could easily explore, buses comfortable and so thankful not to be driving. We will definitely take advantage of another tour in the future. So not the typical herd the tour group off and on a bus!! Wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Group meal in Volterra. They allowed for sampling of a variety of foods. All very delicious and things I might have never tried. "

Melissa

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Each lodging choice was unique, charming, and perfectly located. Group meals absolutely fantastic. The meals showcased the regional cuisine and included delicacies that I really wanted to experience. Artichoke in Rome, wild boar in Volture, pesto in Cinque Terrea and steak in Florence. The regional guides in Volterra and Florence AMAZING. The one in Rome just shared every thought that came to her in a none linear fashion. Could not wait for that to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The olive oil tasting. The property is an example of beautiful renovation. The care and passion could be felt throughout. "

Melanie

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very happy with our tour experience. It was the right mix of group and alone time. The tour was accurately described in all of the materials. Susanna, our guide was FANTASTIC! She was knowledgeable, funny, experienced, caring, and extremely competent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved hiking between the towns of the Cinque Terre, and the surprise of what a lovely experience the Tuscan town of Volterra turned out to be."

Renee

Tour: 05/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic experience on our heart of Italy tour. Our tour guide Suzanna was very informative and fun and we enjoyed getting to know her. All of the other Rick Steves guides at the attractions we went to really made whatever we were touring come to life. The free time and group activities was very well thought out and a great balance for us. We are already trying to plan our next trip with Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the olive oil, wine tour, and lunch at the old castle! Such a quick little activity but one of our favorite parts on the way to Florence!"

Jacquelyn

Tour: 05/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a dream! Very well organized, wonderful food, gorgeous scenery, so much history, architecture and art! Our guide, Rebecca was wonderful. She was thoughtful, kind, funny, informative and kept us all on schedule!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many “wow” moments every single day! St. Peter’s Square and Basilica was very moving, the 50 shades of the green hills of Tuscany, the unique landscape, hiking and coziness of Cinque Terre. "

Elsy

Tour: 05/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was excellent, starting with our tour guide, Rebecca. Rebecca was an outstanding guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's tough to pick because everything was beautiful. Rebecca took us to the American Cemetery, which was not in our schedule, but it was terrific to pay respect to those who gave their life for our freedom. "

Ted

Tour: 05/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Europe was terrific because we had Rick Steves experience and wonderful tour guide Rebecca to make our experience even more than we had anticipated. The money we spent on our trip was very well spent. There’s not much that you can buy worth the money these days but our tour was worth the money. Thanks for the attention to detail and years of experience it required to offer such a tour🤗🤗

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the sculpture of David and Mary with Jesus on her lap after the crucifixion brought me to tears"

Barbara

Tour: 05/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, great tour guides, with lots of tips and tricks. SHH don't tell... this is so GOOD!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing near the Oculus in the Pantheon and watching rain lightly fall into the center of the 2000 year old building. Magical.......Hillsides of Tuscany!"

William

Tour: 05/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day started with a great breakfast and our tours were led by energetic and knowledgeable tour guides. The concept of a comfortable but structured tour for part of the day followed by free time in the afternoons was such a great way to ease into feeling more relaxed in a new environment. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of locations in the "Heart of Italy in 9 Days" tour. The bus ride between locations was every bit as comfortable as Rick had mentioned and so were the hotels

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I enjoyed the historical and cultural aspects of Rome, Volterra and Florence, it was the beauty and charm of Monterosso in the Cinque Terre area that still wows me and my wife. We'll never forget how beautiful and clean the town was along with hiking between Monterosso and Vernazza on a primo kind of day. The pictures we took on that day will be a lasting memory until we get to do it again! After the tour ended in Florence, we then traveled for 8 more days ending with a day in Annecy Fr"

Kathy

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful. from the pace of the tour to our hotel accommodations, to the food to our tour guide Jamie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overwhelming beauty of the artwork. It was everywhere!"

Susanne

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

All I hoped for to see different parts of Italy, experience the history the food , the city and country and the people in a short time. The guides in Rome and Volterra were absolutely fantastic. They had passion for the history the culture and brought it all alive. The dinners with the group were definitely a high point with the locals who wined and dined us with fabulous food and care.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was definitely what I pictured the country and old towns of Italy to be. The history the beauty and the amazing views and food.! "

Robert Jude

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed our first Rick Steves tour 10 years ago, but this was notably better by nearly every measure, beginning with the improvement in lodgings. The overriding reason for the special memorability of this tour has to have been our guide, Jamie - knowledgeable, humorous, charismatic and conscientious. The fine quality of the restaurants was equal to those of ten years ago (the one aberration having been a nightmare of an owner in Rome back then). All in all, a 5 star experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Florence is always special because of my family's place in its history. We'd already had the thrill of visiting the Sassetti Chapel in the Church of Santa Trinita. Discovering the Via Sasseti, Canto Dei Sassetti, and the Palazzo Sassetti was gratifying in the extreme, but the pinnacle wow moment came with the discovery of the bust of Francesco Sassetti by Verrochio in the Borgello. That one we didn't see coming! A close 2nd would be the view of Florence from the top of our Torre Guelfa."

Darl

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, small group (24 people), a correct amount of free time, fantastic experience with excellent guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pantheon in Roma!"

Steve

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and well led. All of the local guides were excellent.

Susan

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very organized good information, sometimes a little too much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Cinque Terre, inside the coliseum The basilica "

Corina

Tour: 05/17/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed all the cities we visited and all the experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Cinque Terre was a WOW moment! A dream come true. Enjoyed the hike between Monterosso and Vernazza."

Sandi

Tour: 05/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre "

Gloria

Tour: 05/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Amazing tour guide. Overall experience was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum - I was in awe."

Bryan

Tour: 05/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Heart of Italy tour was excellent and Sara was the quintessential tour guide; organized, knowledgeable, and funny ... with a ting of sass. The tour was a great value for our entire family of 5 and the perfect blend of structured activities and "on your own time." I will definitely take another of Rick Steve's tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the Accademia Gallery of Florence ... walking down the aisle studying Michelangelo's prisoners with David standing in the background."

Jane

Tour: 05/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful; a great mix of City and Countryside. Beautiful Art, Wonderful Food, and around every corner, more history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the trains in Cinque Terre. We did it! "

Kevin

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is said "“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Everyday day of our Heart of Italy trip was an exceptional page of new sights to explore-excellent tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The spectacular view of the seaside coast and villages on our hike between the villages in Cinque Terre. "

Lois

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful. It would be helpful to know about other sites in the cities that need reservations and how far in advance to make them. Loved having free time to explore on our own. Our first time in Europe so it was great having all the travel details taken care of and guided tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Volterra was my favorite. "

Glen

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. From the hotels, the accommodations, the locations, the tours, and of course the most wonderful tour guide, Dimitry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fully experiencing Cinque Terre, one of my "bucket list" places to go. But, surprisingly, I loved Volterra."

Jeff

Tour: 05/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were highly impressed with the quantity and quality of the experinces at each stop on our 9-day Italy tour. The pace of the tour was just right, the locations were all beautiful and helped showcase the diversity of the country, and the history/geography/cultural stories in each of the guided tours were very helpful, informative, and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A single Wow moment is difficult to pick from so many great places. From the magnificence of the ancient ruins in Rome, to the splendor of St Peter's Basilica, to the beauty of Volterra and charm of Cinque Terre, to the outstanding art works in the Uffizi Gallery, I am at a loss to pick one. OK, since I am not only interested in the Artistic and Cultural aspects, but the Engineering capabilities when they were built, the Pantheon is my pick for now. What a place!"

Derrick

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nice having a coordinated tour with someone who knows there way around to all the attractions. The group was a good collection of traveler's to have the experience with. We went to several museums and the art is something that is nice to see but too much of it at times I would rather keep moving and seeing the outdoors not as much time inside. Everybody has different taste in food , wine & art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size of the churches & Cinque Terra area was amazing "

Nancy

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 5th RS tour with two more already scheduled! I think that says it all! Lisa was a fantastic guide - knowledged, flexible, personable with all participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was an unexpected pleasure, wandering the streets, taking in the countryside, learning the history. "

Eric

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner with group at Cinq terre "

Kathleen

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. Lisa our guide was outstanding. She was very knowledgeable and fun. The tour was a great balance of organized tours and freetime. The local guides we had to Rome, Volterra and Florence were excellent with a vast knowledge base. I enjoyed the tours, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, and galleries. I enjoyed an opportunity to meet fellow travel lovers form across the country, We have already signed up for another

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terra landscape was definitely my wow moment. I have never seen anything so quaint and beautiful. Seafood there was amazing!!!"

James

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa was a fantastic guide and host for all of us. The entire trip was wonderful, great food, Sights, guides and first class service! I appreciate all the flexibility that Lisa demonstrated in dealing with changes and some of the transportation challenges getting into Cinca Terra. We have had the privilege of going on a few Rick Steve’s tours and my wife brought her brother and adult children and the unanimous comment was two of the best weeks of their live’s! Thank the entire team!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Voltere was so cool to see and learn about the history of the architecture and enjoy the small hilltop village tour, food and shopping."

Carol

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was very positive! For the price, the quality of the food, hotels, transportation and above all, the leaders, was unbelievably excellent.The balance of group and individual activities was brilliant and allowed us to learn about each location and also explore according to our own interests. And it was fun to share our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to choose! Probably eating gelato in the park in Volterra at sunset looking out over the Tuscan countryside."

Linda

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

1. Very positive with just a couple blemishes 2. Expertise of guides, both Lisa and local guides, was very good to outstanding 3. Quality of the hotels 4. Our group was fun to be with 5. Rick Steve's provided meals were very good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We don't have a favorite "wow" moment, the overall tour and sights of Italy provided our wow experience, although the churches were outstanding"

Kit

Tour: 05/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the streets of Volterra. It's like being in a Ghibli movie!"

Joni

Tour: 05/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was my favorite. A hidden gem!"

Mark

Tour: 05/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 2nd Rick Steves tour. It was active. We learned much from our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michaelangelo’s lifelong pursuit of sculpture "

Tracy

Tour: 05/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy and I was unsure what to expect. Honestly, I was skeptical about being in a tour group. I was concerned it would take away from the whole experience by being with people I did not know and possibly not having anything in common. Boy was I wrong! Our group was full of kind, energetic people from all over the states who I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the adventure with and feel they actually enhanced the experience rather than taking away from it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment for me but I really enjoyed the beauty of Volterra and the kindness of the people. Also, I loved Rome with all its history. "

Lisa

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, Karen. Hotels were good- location, food, staff, amenities. Food at local restaurants were also outstanding . Crowds were turnoff but Karen, drivers and local guides were knowledgeable about how to work around them. Site selected to tour were amazing and well vetted

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra and the alabaster shop- amazing. The wine taste- educational and fun. Florence museums. The olive oil taste visit. The Etruscan museum."

Robin

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The olive farm tour in Tuscany."

Judy

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra Group dinners @ local restaurants Choice of hotels Local guides Balance of guided tours vs free time"

Arlene

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steeves tour. I have used his books for many different trips to Europe and have found them exceptional as guides. I lost my confidence for independent travel since the pandemic and so tried a group. Very impressive!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip was a Michelangelo trip for me. I reread Stone's book about his life, "The Agony and The Ecstasy" and wanted to see as much of his work as possible. Seeing David, the pieta, and many other of his famous works again had a much larger "WOW" factor after reading about Michelangelo's intentions and efforts."

Elizabeth

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well-organized and met my high expectations. Karen, our guide, did an excellent job managing the logistics, planning the group activities and dinners, and keeping the group well-informed about the schedule. . Our local guides were superb, sharing their knowledgeable expertise while sprinkling in humorous anecdotes. Italy is a beautiful country worth visiting, with incredible art and history. The only detraction to the trip was the huge crowds almost everywhere we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Volterra, which was not overcrowded, and offered a more relaxing opportunity to absorb the medieval surroundings. The Pantheon, the Forum and the Colosseum were impressive. The art, and history, and architecture in the various galleries were amazing. I really enjoyed learning about making olive oil at the local farm. As with previous tours, meeting new people on the tour enhanced the whole experience. "

Barb

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Since this was our first tour, I have nothing to compare it to, so I’m saying it was very good! It was all very well planned, we stayed well informed about departure times, all of the group meals were excellent, local tour guides were wonderful, the hotels were excellent, and it was fun getting to know the other travelers. Karen did an amazing job guiding us to trains, giving out information daily and filling us in on the ins and outs of Italian life and our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery was breathtaking- but I guess especially in Cinque Terre. Hiking the trails was so much fun! The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum were also very “wowing” but the crowds definitely put a damper on the enjoyment of the museum and chapel. I loved Volterra- a quieter little Italian town- so quaint and easy to maneuver. Gelato every day was amazing and their cocoa was quite an experience!! Wow!"

Jared

Tour: 05/05/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was third Rick Steves tour and my first time in Italy. Italy did not disappoint, the food and history were as great as everyone says. Would love to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing Cinque Terre. The towns were so gorgeous and no matter how many pictures I took they don't do the place justice. Seeing David, the Pantheon and Colosseum were also WOW moments. "

Maura

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well curated tour with a focus on the "must see" attractions while also providing time for our own exploration. Hotels & groups meals were unique and outstanding! The special extra experiences were especially appreciated. Felt like a customized experience but know that your team does week after week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one "Wow" experience but the tour of the olive farm run my the two sisters and fantastic lunch felt very special. I must also add, our tour guide Cecilia having her family wine delivered to Florence and paired with our final & amazing meal was very memorable as well. "

Penny

Tour: 04/28/24

It was honestly all I could have wished for! For a compact tour, we did so much and even though I was a bit hesitant knowing the extent of the activity, but turned out to fine and very doable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to the Colosseum before and a little of the Forum, but this time we came in walking from the Pantheon, and the views there were outstanding. The scope of history really hit me this time. Also, the views from the hotel patios in Monterrosso were a surprise "wow" moment. Gorgeous!"

Linda

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour thoroughly

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Cinq Terre"

John

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was well managed and full of interesting sites and lots of information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought Tuscany and Volterra were my favorite places to visit. I loved the ambience and the wine tasting."

Kathleen

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Lots of information, good choices for cities visited, great guide, congenial group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terra was beautiful!"

Samuel

Tour: 04/28/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved that everything was taken care of and we just needed to follow the guide's instructions. Our guides were exceptional, especially Cici, our principal leader. Met great people and befriended many. Would recommend and do another RS tour in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra Alabaster shop demo"

Zachary

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hills of Tuscany"

Allan

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well taken care of!! Well planned. Enjoyed the boutique hotels, food, sights and especially our guide Lisa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vernazza "

Hayley

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was incredible from start to finish! Everything was planned and organized perfectly. There was no stress involved in getting to the next sight. We hit all of the highlights in each spot and there was ample free time included to explore more or find your own restaurants. The group dinners were a highlight- I enjoyed getting to know the other travelers and discussing our favorite parts of the trip. The accommodations and breakfasts were also great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The olive oil farm in Chianti region "

Alice Kay

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa, our tour guide, was incredible! She was knowledgeable about where we were going and what we would be doing; she went out of her way to help us. (For example, she helped me with directions on how to get from the train station to my hotel in Venice [not part of the tour].) The local guides were amazing. (Claudia in Volterra was fabulous!) Each place was unique and full of interesting information, though a little overwhelming at times. There was a good balance of planned and "free" times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a unique experience in Volterra... after Roberto Chiti demonstrated making an alabaster bowl, I commented that I would like to have that bowl, to which he said, "yes." Not only did he let me buy the bowl, but also he had me come up and stand beside him so I could have my picture taken with him. Oh! he "autographed" the bowl as well. It's definitely a special memory from the trip!"

Grace

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour ran smoothly, hotels & food were great. Fellow travelers enhanced the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite is hard to pick but I would say the Cinque Terra town of Montorosso "

Christian

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well run, the hotels were good and the group meals were outstanding. The guides were very good with particular standouts being the local expert guides in the locations that we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two come to mind. The walking tour of the Pantheon and Roman Forum with our expert guide was outstanding, and I'm not particularly interested in ancient Roman history! The second, the story of the birth of the renaissance through art in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence with our expert guide for that city."

Jessie

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy in 9 days was a tour filled with amazing sites, people, and food! All of our tour guides were very knowledgeable about their own cities and museums within them. The group dinners were so fun and a great way to try local food specialties and get to know your fellow tour members as well. We had an incredible time being able to see so much of Italy in such a short time. I would definitely go back with another Rick Steve's tour soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the many "wow" moments that I experienced was eating dinner at La Carabaccia in Volterra. Our travel group of about 27 people had the entire restaurant to ourselves. We were able to sit with new people while trying different courses that highlighted what the town/area was most known for. It was really special to have a private dinner with the Mom & Daughter chef team working behind the scenes. They even came out for a little applause at the end and we could celebrate their talent. "

Sherri

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a marvelous time both seeing and learning the “heart of Italy.” Our group became cohesive quickly, and our tour group leader — Lisa — was simply wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and learning about the Parthenon — an incredible marvel in construction."

Thomas

Tour: 04/26/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip exceeded our expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Roman Forum and Cinque Terre "

Wanda

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first Europe trip and I was very afraid of how I would navigate in a strange country.. Rick Steves tour took all my fear away because they walked me through the basics of transportation, area restaurants, and answered all my questions along the way. Our guide Sarah was so patient and simply amazing!!! All the hotels were above my expectations because they were not cookie cutter hotels. And the meals were also just outstanding!! Just the right amount of guided time to free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"They were the small moments, like teaching us language and history lessons while riding in the bus to the next destination.Every location was a wow moment for me, but Florence was extra special!!!"

Dan

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was good and Sarah, our tour guide, was very good. The weather could have been better but RS doesn't control that. This tour was scheduled in conjunction with a 4 day holiday weekend in Italy and the crowds were insane. I am disappointed that RS did not let us know of the holiday which made normally busy locations packed, shoulder to shoulder. I would like to have had the chance to book a different weekend but did not know of the holiday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The forum and ancient Rome."

Susan

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with like-minded individuals. Tour guide (Sarah) was top-notch as were the local guides. Good mix of group and individual time allowed. The bus, which we thought might be an issue, turned out to be most comfortable and a welcome respite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring through the Tuscan hills."

Diane

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Been to Europe on our own several times and were unsure if joining a planned tour would be worth the extra expense. We were pleasantly surprised! Our trip was greatly enhanced by a wonderful tour guide and city guides and all the history, information, and language they taught us. It was more relaxing knowing the majority of the logistics were handled for us. Unforgettable experiences that we would have never planned on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stunning scenery in Tuscany that led us to the quaint village of Volterra and the most delicious meal at La Carabaccia."

Greer

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. It was a perfect balance of spending organized time with the group enjoying tour sites and spending time alone with my husband to explore on our own. From our hotel check-ins, to bus transfers, to accessing the most popular tourist sites, everything ran like clockwork. The group was full of friendly, interesting people, we really gelled. It was like an art lover's summer camp for grown-ups. So much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wows, so hard to choose just one. I'd say it was my very first 360 degree view of glittering Florence at night from the rooftop terrace of our beautiful hotel. Stunning! We made a point of ending every day in Florence up there."

Patricia

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour. My husband and I had a wonderful time on all the tours. The "Heart of Italy" tour was very informative. We learned a lot about the ancient Romans and the Etruscans and the way they lived. We tried new delicious foods octopus, homemade kale soup and many pasta dishes. Made many new friends and found the local guides to be knowledgeable and passionate about their work. We saw many of the highlights of Rome and Florence. We loved it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved hearing about the construction of the Pantheon and the Forum. The guide Antonella gave us a wonderful history lesson as we walked around the ancient ruins. The guide Claudia explained about the lovely art and paintings in the Etruscan Museum in Volterra."

Carla

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, I so enjoyed the Rick Steves Tour of Italy. The tour guide was wonderful, very kind, had us where we needed to be at the right time, and gave us free exploring time on our own. It was great! Enjoyed the specialized guides that joined our group for special times in Rome , Voltera, and Florence. The overnight accommodations were wonderful; very unique and comfortable stays. The meals were fantastic. I have shared with my friends how great this Rick Steves' Tour was!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite "Wow" moments was the beautiful Mediterranean Sea at the Cinque Terre region. We stayed at Monteroso, which was amazing I would like to go back and see more of Italy someday. "

James

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a way to see the Heart of Italy. This tour provided a right-sized balance of targeted site/museum visits and enough free time to do what you please. Along with a very knowledgeable tour host, local guides were brought in to give in depth expertise to make each city come to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was an excellent guided tour of the Uffizi gallery in Firenze. The art work came to life with just the right amount of back story and art history. So much "I never knew" moments happened on this visit."

Karen

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, a wonderful experience. The cities we visited during the "Heart of Italy" tour were just the right combination of sites, experiences, food and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiked the blue trail from Monterossa to Vernazza. Coming down the trail into Vernazza, the view of the colorful town and the Ligurian Sea was amazing!"

Lawana

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although my husband and I have traveled to Europe two other times, once on our own, and once with another tour company, this was our first Rick Steves tour. It was great--it exceeded my expectations! I enjoyed everything about the tour, especially the people...the other members of our tour group, our guide, and the local guides. My sister and brother-in-law were also on the tour, and we added two days pre-tour in Rome and spent two days in Venice post-tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can pinpoint just one, but among the top three: views of the Tuscany countryside from Volterra; seeing the Duomo in Florence for the first time; and the magnificent art (painting and sculptures) we saw in the Galleria Borghese (Rome).the Accademia Gallery (Florence), and the Uffizi (Florence)."

Govert

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful way to explore Italy planned for us by the travel experts of Europe! Our vacation was delivered in style by the meticulous planning and the arrangement of our lodging, group dinners, excursions, guided tours and comfortable transportation between the great cities, towns and villages we visited. We could not have planned this any better ourselves. As a first time Rick Steves excursionist, I highly recommend this format of travelling. Amazing time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Volterra! What a beautiful place to visit. Tucked away in the mountains of Tuscany, it was like being in a fairytale. "

Steven

Tour: 04/21/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Italy Tour exceeded our expectations, we were impressed with our guide, the itinerary, the food and having so many great fellow travelers made the trip very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two that immediately come to mind, walking around Rome and visiting sites that go back a couple of thousand years ago. And the second would be going to Volterra to soak in the beauty of the Tuscany hillside communities. "

Patti

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra and Voterre"

Kathleen

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The itinerary was a nice mix of city sights, village and nature. We had a good group and an outstanding guide in Nina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I came to see art and architecture, it was thrilling seeing the Cinque Terre villages from the water. "

Gregory

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, well organized, very knowledgeable guides and pleasant and friendly experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy in general was a wow moment for me, beautiful country, friendly people and amazing history "

Charmaine

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Italy with Nina was fabulous. She was professional, hotels were good, and food was excellent. Saw some very special places and I was exhausted by the time I got home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Piazza Navona on our first night. It made it all very real and I went with my friend who had never been to Italy before and she was truly in awe. There were wow moments every day and it is impossible to name one. At each stop there was something new and exciting. I love learning something every day and that is why I keep booking RS tours. "

Marilyn

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Going to Italy had been a dream of mine for a long time. Being on your tour made that dream come to life! Our tour guide Nina took us under her wing on a magical journey through her homeland. I came home with a great understanding of Italian culture. Looking forward to another trip in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence was amazing!"

Stefan

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour! Nina was a wonderful guide, the local guides added such great perspective, and we hit all the important places. Once we had the tools to be successful on our own, the tour also provided a nice balance of structured time and free time at each location. In addition, the experiences in each location were unique, giving us perspective on the patchwork quilt that makes up the country of Italy. We would highly recommend this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to narrow down the WOW moments because there were so many (and each location offered so many different sites and experiences). We weren't originally excited about visiting Rome but after experiencing it with guides, it was an experience beyond words to stand in the exact footsteps of history and in places where civilization began. The passion and knowledge of our guides weaved it all together perfectly. We loved the walled city of Volterra, sites of Rome, and soo much more!"

Snehal

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour very much. It covered all of the highlights of Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and the Cinque Terre.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the free day in the Cinque Terre to explore the region."

Debora

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful from start to finish! I loved all the different hotels, they each had their own unique personality. The restaurants we ate at were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the ruins in Rome"

Mary

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was fantastic. Being first timers we were not sure if being part of a group tour was for us. It turned out that our group was terrific, the pace was perfect and our guide was exceptional. Now we’re trying to decide which Rick Steve’s Tour to book next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many incredible moments. I loved Volterra for the scenery but walking into the Pantheon was breath taking. "

Stefani

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous!! Outstanding!! Exceptional!! From the fantastic local guides who provided an in-depth, passionate story of their city to the boutique hotels that made you feel part of the fabric of the history, I felt wholly entrenched in the Italian culture for all nine days of our tour. With Nina's knowledge and passion for all things Italy, I was inspired to dive deep into the ever-present opportunities to learn and explore all that Italy has to offer - I can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I had been to most of the areas we explored on our tour, my WOW monument came near the end when I realized that Nina and her local guides had written the most beautiful love letter to Italy. Listening to the passionate stories of the rich Italian history, I felt their undeniable love for Italy, as it oozed out with every word. I don't know if every Rick Steve's tour has this roster of amazing people, but I'm inspired to find my next WOW moment to find out!"

Carrie

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An outstanding, energizing introduction to Italy. Nina was the absolute perfect group leader!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from, but I will go with the Roman Forum, hearing Francesca describe the people and history behind this miraculous ancient ruin."

Carol

Tour: 04/19/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RST and it was above and beyond what I expected. Our tour guide Nina was exceptional and had interesting stories to go along with the history and culture of each location along the way. Well organized with plenty of free time to explore on your own. I like how she threw in new Italian words each day for us to learn and practice. The tour bus rides were very comfortable and scenic. Nine days through the heart of Italy was a great introduction to this beautiful country! Grazie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments on the tour. I was fascinated by Rome and the Vatican City. The beauty of the coastline of the Cinque Terre and walking through the medieval village of Volterra. I was really wowed by the group dinner and feasts we shared together in family run restaurants. These were 5 star quality cuisines! "

Patricia

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My tour experience was amazing. We had so much fun and so many wonderful memories to take home with us, plus new friends as well. It doesn't get better than that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra hands down. So beautiful and unspoiled, plus our guide Annie was so knowledgable and funny. "

Frederick

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the information and education received, and highly appreciated the direct and easy access to many of the tour sites. The group dynamic evolved nicely and all the hotel accommodations were wonderful. Transportation was similarly well organized and efficient. Our guide Colleen had a huge experience base to enlighten and entertain us with, along with a wonderful personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved walking through the forum in Rome and learning more about the Etruscans in Volterra"

Lynn

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time on this tour. The locations were great--loved the mixture of big city vs. small towns. The accommodations were great as well. We really enjoyed the people on the tour and our tour guide, Colleen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many....it's hard to pick just one.....it was really cool to watch the man make an alabaster bowl in Volterra."

Norbert

Tour: 04/14/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Colleen was a wonderful, knowledgeable, organized, warm & friendly tour guide who took excellent care of our group. The local guides (Paolo in Rome, Annie in Volterra, and Cindy & Ricardo in Rome) were excellent. The special experiences were great - olive oil farm & tasting in Tuscany, alabaster carving in Volterra. We really enjoyed the other people on our tour. Poor or no wi-fi in our hotels in Volterra and Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many moments - The Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel, ancient Rome walking tour, The Accademia and Michelangelo's David and prisoners, boat ride from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, and Uffizi Gallery."

David

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We liked the flexibility and margin provided by our tour guide. We were given suggestions on things to do during our free time. Each day had a great balance of group tours and private choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking between Moterosso and Vernazza."

Lisa

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, guide (Andrea) and fun group. Nice variety of regions and a perfect balance of time with the group and time to explore on our own. And of course, the FOOD!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting off the train and seeing the beautiful Cinque Terre. The Colosseum, The Roman Forum and the amazing local guide, Francesca. Seeing David in person."

Lesley

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour leader Andrea was amazing. The program was a good length and we enjoyed the in real life guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vatican city early in the morning was awe inspiring. our guide Francesca gave us a good overview and mindset for the whole day - taking time to reflect on what we saw was good advice "

Mark

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall a perfect balance in terms of guided activities, memorable meals, and time on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Roman forum - I was in awe of the site and its significance to Western civilization."

Jason

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Theresa

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire tour, start to finish. Our tour guide Andrea Wolfe had a wealth of knowledge and was committed to ensuring the tour was an enjoyable experience. The local guides were fantastic and the tour pace was perfect, allowing for free time to explore more or relax if needed. The hotels were centrally located, clean, and had friendly staff. Our group meals were excellent and provided the unique food of each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite Wow people - RS tour group I now call friends and all the new friends I met along the way Favorite Wow place - Volterra Favorite Wow thing - fantastic food and wine"

Julie

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Bill

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Italy Andrea and the guides were great and they all seem to enjoy working for you. Two opposite comment. Could use an extra day in Volterra and an extra day in Florence. Volterra was great especially after the crowds in Rome Of course we could only do the tri cause it was 09 days and that was what my wife could get off. Also an extra day in cinque terra would also be good. We didn’t do the hike and all the docks were closed so the boat didn’t work and the train was an hour late so we

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Sistine Chapel. Even though you know what it looks like it’s still overwhelming when you enter"

Chetachi

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve tour, and I was able take both my adult daughters. It was an amazing experience. Love Andrea Wolfe our tour guide, she was super engaging and very knowledgeable, you can tell she loves her job. The entire tour was curated for our absolute enjoyment and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Also enjoyed our guided tour with Francesca in Rome, she was our absolute favorite local guide. Rome came to live through her stories and descriptions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had lots of Wow moments. Saint Peters Basilica was breathtaking. Also loved Volterra and Cinque Terra and the visit to the beautiful winery housed in an ancient medieval castle. The food was out of this world. Enjoyed the 3 course dinners of local cuisines, and wine tasting. The hotels were clean, beautiful and staff very professional. The whole experience was a big "WOW". I am already planing my next Rick Steves Tour"

Paul

Tour: 04/12/24

In general, I had a wonderful time. Andrea, our tour guide was friendly, informative and seemed to be genuinely concerned with providing an enjoyable experience for all. Each of our tour partners were courteous, supported each other when needed, and formed a cohesive group from the time of our initial meeting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were several "wow" moments, my favorite was our Accademia Gallery visit to view David. Our local tour guide, Paul, presented information that I had never heard before. His knowledge, excitement, and presentation style made me yearn for more. "

Lora

Tour: 04/12/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guide Paul Costa bringing art to life in a relatable way"

Cithara

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was a great trip overall. Patricia was a great guide, very helpful and informative. Enjoyed going through many different areas and experiencing all kinds of things. A little exhausting from all the walking, but definitely worth it. They even accommodated my dietary needs. Would definitely come back again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely loved seeing Volterra and the Cinque Terra. Also seeing Michelangelo's David in person is truly something spectacular. "

Denise

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia, our guide was exceptional. I have a celiac diet and she made sure that I was taken care of at every meal. She was very thoughtful kind and was there for our every need couldn’t have had a better tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Vatican was my wow moment."

David

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Our first Rick Steves tour and everything was laid out beautifully. Our tour guide Patricia was very informative and helpful during our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Vatican City "

Heather

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Patricia was an amazing guide--very helpful, knowledgeable, and fun! We appreciated how welcoming she was and had a great time touring Italy with her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the wine tasting in Volterra and olive oil tour were incredible. We loved the stories we heard at the wine tasting and the little snacks were delightful. "

Martha

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and had a perfect balance of activities and sightseeing with the group and on-your-own. The guide who was with us all 9 days, Patricia, was kind, friendly, knowledgeable, engaging, and always available. The local guides in the various towns and cities were also absolutely amazing. I would not have gotten as much out of my travel to Rome, Volterra, Cinque Terre, and Florence if I had not gone on this tour. Each hotel was unique and definitely more than adequate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had more than 1 "wow" moment. While I enjoyed all, my favorite things were Volterra, the visit to the olive oil farm, and the group dinners which were delicious and offered a wide sampling of local delicacies."

Paul

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable tour with nice balance of city and rural areas, great introduction to Italy. This was my first guided tour and noticed that the excellent local guides added a lot of depth and interesting perspectives to the museums and areas we toured. Good balance of scheduled activities and free time. Our tour manager Patricia was organized, great people skills and handled a variety of situations gracefully. I appreciated having most of the travel logistics handled for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the coastal trail from Corniglia to Monterosso, ending the day with a long scenic ferry ride along the Cinque Terre coast. Experiencing the culture of Italy."

John

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide was great. Patricia is the best! Knowledgeable, extremely helpful, and a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them, but probably the views in the Cinque Terre."

Mary

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Our lead guide, Patricia, was amazing as were all the other local guides. Each hotel was unique, welcoming and comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was walking through the town of Volterra with our guides and learning about the history of this amazing place."

Colleen

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Patricia was priceless. She was the best guide we've ever had. She was funny, helpful, and personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome "

Shawn

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour guide and really great local guides as well. Smoothly run and great educational experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Group dinners!"

Patricia

Tour: 04/07/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience was good. The highlight was the tour guide Patricia Fannon and the excellent tour leaders - Paolo, Annie in Volterra and the two guides in Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etruscan Arch in Volterra and the Tuscany countryside. Also loved the Two Sisters Olive Oil farm tour."

Melanie

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. I have been on 3 other tours and would rank this tour 3rd out of 4 in terms of enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"American WWII missing GI cemetery. "

Nicole

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a perfect mixture of education, culture, food, as well as group and individual activities. The slightest details were predicted and attended to. The hotels, hotel staff, and the hotel breakfasts and planned dining events were an experience too! The buses were first class. We appreciated how we were educated on how to be a world traveler with confidence! If we had been on our own we would have not had the confidence to do what we did. We experienced way more than the basic sites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were pleasantly surprised to have additional tour guides that were experts in their field, at various sites. We learned so much and they were so passionate! This was in addition to our Lead tour guide Deborah! We also were blessed to be there at the Duomo on EASTER! Our favorite memories were the climbing the basilica, the colosseum & forum, and people watching strolls, as we ate our way through Italy. "

Marie

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My “Heart Of Italy” Tour included several days in Rome, Volterra, Cinque Terra, and Florence Every day included tips on navigating through each city’s culture, language, and transportation from two dedicated tour leaders and additional local tour leaders with occasional group meals and socials. We had a group of about 24 people, ages 15-80 years old, and although I was a single traveler, by the end of the trip, we had built up, with the help of our tour leaders, a fine social network.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Vatican with our tour leader during Easter week "

Amanda

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deb was a fabulous guide with a wealth of information! We saw some beautiful things, ate some fabulous food, and met many nice people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful drive to Tuscany!"

Elizabeth

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deborah and Donato are excellent tour leaders. Great to see the incredible sights of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the smaller town atmospere of Volterra, and excellent food there"

Blayne

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was phenomenal. Our guide Deborah was so friendly, incredibly helpful, and it was abundantly clear the entire trip that for the amount we spent on it, we simply could not have replicated the experience on our own. I can’t stress that enough, I truly felt like I was having a world class experience and for the same amount I could not have possibly been able to replicate the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our “vacation from the vacation” day in Cinque Terre. Climbing through the cities and seeing the views was outstanding."

Nancy

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

See note above.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"none... I thoroughly enjoyed each site for different reason. It has been 20 years since I had been to Rome and Florence. The revisit was good. Volterra and Cinque Terra fine experience."

Bruce

Tour: 03/24/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, food and wine, and wonderful traveling companions!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cinque Terra"

Daniel

Tour: 03/17/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good, albeit with a few exceptions. Website portal was very helpful to keep us on task for pre-tour items. Once in Italy - the sights & tour outstanding, the food & drink wonderful, the people of Italy - kind and patient, the RSE guide and apprentice- always helpful, insightful comments, relaxed and extremely knowledgeable . Local experts were terrific. Point to point travel was well done. Most accommodations - very good, with one being inadequate to the overall tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As we walked into St. Peter’s basilica, its Pious magnificence really is breathtaking. "

Louis

Tour: 03/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned, true to our itinerary and paced well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was filled with “wow” moments, but I was especially thrilled with Volterra ."

Robert

Tour: 03/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip. Everyone in our group was super friendly. We enjoyed the food, wine and the company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter’s Basilica "

George

Tour: 03/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well planned and very rewarding. excellent staff and guides. would tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing David in Florence and the Vatican in Rome"

Alan

Tour: 03/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth tour in 20 years, so expectations were high and overall, I was pleased! This was a good tour with a lot packed in and Stephania did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be the Cinque Terra and the beauty of the small towns, history, food and abundant seafood."

Greg

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour/itinerary was well thought out and had a wonderful pace. Time away to explore on our own was welcomed but the group activities were excellent as well. The quality/knowledge of the 3 local guides - Hilaria, Annie, & Marcello was second to none.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were lucky with a great day of weather in the Cinque Terre - for me personally hiking those local trails was my favourite day."

Delia

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. It was my first tour with Rick Steves and so far the best. From the energetic and friendly tour guides to the sites, lodgings and the food! Not to mention the wonderful group of people in the group. I loved the guided tours because of their knowledge of the history but at the same time I liked the free times we were on our own time to explore and be pleasantly lost!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There’s no word to describe the feeling of being in the midst of a vast world of magnificent arts. The people who made these were incredible geniuses. Reviewing my photos at home puts me back there and realizing nothing ever compares to seeing these works of art in person! I would not mind another look at them in the future."

Rachel

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour hit all the major must-sees that I wanted to see, and I had ample time on my own to experience things outside of the tours. Our Rick Steves guide was communicative and knowledgable. The local guides were great story tellers and made it fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the medieval tour of the Hotel Torre Guelfa and seeing all of Florence and the Tuscan hills as a storm dramatically rolled in."

Daniel

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Small towns of Levanto and Volterra"

Charles

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I had been informed of the excellence of Rick Steves tours, I must confess, I was pleasantly taken aback by the meticulous organization and thoughtfulness evident in its planning and tour guides selected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal "Wow Moment" occurred when I realized the depth of expertise possessed by all of our tour guides in their respective fields, such as Roman History, Tuscany History, and so forth."

Julie

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Andrea was a terrific guide. Not only was she very experienced and knowledgeable about the history of the areas we visited, she was flexible and prepared for any contingencies such as the Rome Marathon that shut traffic down in the city. The local guides were great, too, especially the guide in Rome. Our group meals consisted of luscious banquets of local food and lasted for hours! The tour members were a friendly group with a wide range of ages. It was fun !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I had visited it before a lifetime ago, I would have to say that the inside of St. Peter's Basilica and the ceiling in the long hall to the Sistine Chapel were my biggest WOW moments."

Marlene

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I totally enjoyed the tour as it was a very good balance between large cities and smaller towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Florence! The tours led by local guide, Marcello, were outstanding thanks to his knowledge, experience and great sense of humour. Add in great accommodation, yummy Florentine beefsteak dinners and, last but not least, my wonderful travel companions. It all contributed to an amazing experience."

Jenny

Tour: 03/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we hoped for, and more. We were blessed with great weather, a lively and fun tour group with a variety of ages and backgrounds, and our guide Andrea was informative and helpful. Local guides were wonderful as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible beauty of Cinque Terre. "

Jan

Tour: 10/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All of the museums, churches cities towns we saw were fantastic. First Bus was comfortable. Tour guides delightful and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Pieta and the David. "

Eric

Tour: 10/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guides, guests, restaurants, sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a great surprise. "

Michelle

Tour: 10/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a nice balance of city (Rome, Florence) and rural/rustic (Volterra, Cinque Terre). The guides were excellent, and our fellow tour group members were friendly and congenial.

Carol

Tour: 10/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was fabulous!! The organization was perfect, hotels were awesome, guides were exceptional!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel accommodations were a huge and wonderful surprise"

Kristen

Tour: 10/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Likely the best vacation I've ever experienced. Not only did I not need to worry about the logistics of travel other than my flights, I did not have to wait in lines, sorry about tipping, arranging hotels, transportation, etc. I loved that about 1/3 of my time was free to explore on my own or with other tour members. I learned some Italian ahead of time, which eased the way for taxis, waiters at restaurants, etc. This trip was an truly one where I could unwind and experience la vita dolce!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose between the art, history, food, culture, landscape, language, etc. I think one of my favore days as a whole was our free day in Cinque Terre where the tumultuous sea battered against the waterfront in 50+ ft waves while we explored the 5 towns or simply relaxed with an aperitivo on the hotel's roof (one of the best views of Monterosso al Mare). The colorful building on cliffsides are striking as is eating pesto where it was created. A photographer's delight!"

Patrick

Tour: 10/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Voltterra"

Linda

Tour: 10/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great to experience the iconic sites of Rome and having our guide with tickets and directions. Volterra was beautiful and historic. Cinque Terra breath taking, while looking out to the Sea or inland to the colorful villages. Florence packed with Art. I came to see Art and eat amazing food, drink wine and meet the people of Italy. So good to see famous paintings and sculptures in person, the Pieta, David, The Birth of Venus. Great timing going end of October, weather good and sites not crowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Rome from St. Peter's Dome was worth the climb. Everything in Volterra a photo op. Cinque Terra, with its beautiful Mediterranean coastline. In Florence I saw the Art masterpieces. Every meal was a Wow!"

Alan

Tour: 10/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All-around excellent experience with great guides, hotels, restaurants, locations, and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the small hilltop town of Volterra. It’s obvious the citizens there really care about their community. Beautiful place with amazing scenery surrounding. Amazing pre-Roman history and very impressed by the alabaster work going on there."

Emily

Tour: 10/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really loved the tour, and feel like we experienced the “real” Italy, at the same time we saw all the top spots! I do so much planning and logistics at work, that I hate dealing with that on vacation! Our tour guide Rebecca did a fabulous job planning everything and highlighting key dos and don’ts, picking great places for group meals and selecting new foods to try and expanded our cultural experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was a hidden gem on the tour, loved the small town charm and historic significance shared by the local guide!"

Sandy

Tour: 10/15/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The local guides were very knowledgeable and the love of their town/country really made them so interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Volterra."

Erin

Tour: 10/15/23

Lawrence

Tour: 10/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time visiting Europe and Italy; was enthralled with all the history and beauty experienced with our tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica were "religious" experiences and breath taking in concept and reality."

Kylie

Tour: 10/15/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

really good fun. the tour provided a way to see things we probably wouldnt have seen on our own

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing the pantheon. i will never forget when ferdy walked us around the corner and there it was. wow."

Susan

Tour: 10/15/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was fun. We enjoyed all people in our group. We missed having a good experience at the Vatican because our tour time was moved to late afternoon and the Sistine Chapel was so crowded there wasn’t even a spot to sit. Our opening meal was not very good. I hardly ate any of it! Our tour guide was a nice person but he was limited in his knowledge of culture, art, and interesting information about Italy. He could answer questions but wasn’t Intersted in elaborating .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring an Olive Mill was an excellent way to learn about one of Italys biggest exports I was disappointed it poured rain at Cinque Terra I was disappointed we didn’t get the tour the Duomo, Baptistry and Tour."

Carol

Tour: 10/15/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is the first time I've toured with a group and I had no idea how I would like it, despite the recommendations of prior Rick Steve's participants. I was happy with the selection of areas and sights, the tour guide, the hotels for the most part, and the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed Florence. "

Betsy

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all my expectations. The mix of city and rural experiences was perfect. Our guide provided an incredible amount of local connections that made the trip unique and so memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is almost impossible to pick only one. But for sure the Volterra visit and learning about the Etruscans, seeing the Duomo for the first time and Botticelli’s works make my list."

Deborah

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide, Dimitri was outstanding in his knowledge of the regions we visited. His instructions were succinct , timely and accommodating to everyone on the tour. The choices of local guides were excellent, the meals were delicious, abundant and again, accommodating to any special needs of the guests. Accommodations were charming and as anticipated (and we even had in-room bathrooms and elevators in each hotel)!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire stay in Volterra was like stepping back centuries yet with 21st century comforts. The Cinque Terre was breathtaking and as charming as anticipated."

Javier

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about it. Everything was well planned and on schedule. I liked the fact that we had free time to explore on our own. Excellent job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That moment when I turned around and saw the tower by the Duomo. Jaw dropping! "

Charles

Tour: 10/13/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We will never forget the great time we had on this tour. Tour guide Dimitri Rigas was great and we had a great group as tour companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food was outstanding. Old section of Rome with Dimitri. Tour of Colosseum, and Volterra. Being let loose in Chique Tere. "

Rhonda

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the food, and the places we stayed, Our tour guide was terrific!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite was the time we spent in Volterra, The local tour guide was awesome; the alabaster workshop; the restaurant the last night was fantastic; the history of the town, and the gelato."

Eric

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was very engaging, informative and fun filled with memorable experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The power and beauty of the basilica and the colosseum in Rome."

Michael

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guide Rhianne Taylor was excellent, she was personable, well organized, clear in her instructions and available to answer any questions and offer help. She went above and beyond. The itinerary was very good, Rome was very crowded specifically Vatican Museum very hard to enjoy. My big concern was the inability of 3 members of the group (walking with canes/poles) could not keep up, despite the tour advertised as strenuous. We waited constantly for them. Hotels well located, bus rides good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Resturant selections, wine tasting, tour of Voltera with Claudia - she was great. "

Lisa

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was fantastic! The hotels were all charming, clean, and comfortable, and located in great areas. Our trip guide, Rhiane Taylor, was amazing. She was obviously delighted at our responses to the wonderful things she had arranged as well as our gasps of delight at vistas, history, and art. Not to mention delicious food! We can't say enough about the trip, and highly recommend your service for others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the town of Volterra- an amazing walled town full of history and charm. "

Sherri

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience. This was our families first time to Europe and it could not have been any better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pesto demonstration and tasting in Monterosso."

Linda

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hotels food were great. Only one hotel had very hard beds. Breakfast was always good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Volterra. Perfect small Italian town. "

Mary

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was a nice balance of organized events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My highlight was visiting the olive oil farm. Meeting the two young women running it was not only inspirational, but I was so happy to see their commitment to organic farming and their respect for the environment."

Rosalie

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative, a full and fun experience all throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The basilica and the colosseum."

Rosemary

Tour: 10/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent as always. I have been on quite a few Rick Steves tours and had done this one before. My daughter was with me for her first RS tour and it was so much fun sharing it with her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra and the excellent Italian food and wine. "

Kristian

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided experiences that we would not have thought about by trying to book ourselves (olive oil farm, alabaster workshop, etc.). We also didn't have to battle the lines of thousands of tourists as our guide had everything lined up!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Volterra! This small little town stole our hearts."

Luise

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was wonderful - the guides were fantastic, the accommodations were lovely, the sights were breathtaking. The amount of time between planned activities and free time to explore on our own was perfectly balanced. The group of people we toured with were amazing. We really appreciated the concept of a guided tour for our first time experiencing Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to choose from. The fact that it was our first time traveling abroad made the entire trip a “wow” moment - but, the Colosseum was awe aweinspiring, the views from the trails along the Cinque Terre were breathtaking, and the David was memorizing."

Julie

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was well organized and accommodated all participants well I thought. Did not have to worry about transportation or directions or reservations or anything else while with the tour. All the guides were spectacular! Well educated in their area and kept the conversation interesting and informative at all times. Meals provided were excellent and well thought out for each region. Activities were well selected and enjoyable also. It was just too crowded in Rome and missed a lot there was to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Cinque Terre! The overlooks were awesome! Enjoyed the towns and the food also. Secondly enjoyed Volterra as a location. Beautiful, charming town. Small and quiet. Less crowded with other tourists. Thirdly, all the art everywhere especially David at Accademia and all of Florence & the Borghese. It's too hard to choose one thing over another! It will all stand out for me forever."

Boyd

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was a delightful, with something special at every turn. Rebecca was great and was always available to help and was very informative. Our entire tour group was friendly and we formed a friendship that will guide us through our lives. Loved the entire experience and would highly recommend Rick Steves tours to a first time traveler, as well as, an experience travelers. Arrived home and started thinking about our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments, but my best moments was the feeling of calm and peace that can over me upon arrival in Volterra. "

Michael

Tour: 10/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an outstanding time on our tour. Bridget was a great guide, most informative and had the patience of Job. We would definitely look forward to another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was our favorite, but in fairness, it's very difficult to pick one favorite moment."

Jane

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the tour! The expectations set the bar so that we had a great group of people. There was no one on the tour that was annoying or showed up late or couldn’t keep up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking, The, Cinque, Terre. Our tour guide in Volterra with Ani. She was an amazingly gifted tour guide."

David

Tour: 09/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped for. Our guy Dimitri was excellent. We hit the highlights of each town we were in. The restaurants for group meals were very good. Hotels were centrally located and nice. The hotel in Monterosso Al Mare was fine but lacked the charm and appeal of the other hotels. The pace of the tour was good and provided time to do things on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Volterra - we can’t wait to go back and when we do we plan on staying a full week. "

Pam

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was start to finish fabulous! Thanks for planning the spectacular weather as well. This was my 3rd RS tour and Bea, our guide was the best I've had, and I've had great tour guides. This group seemed to gel the best, and I think that was due to the tone that Bea set.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ok, it's hard not to mention David, because that was why we picked this tour. But the most unexpected Wow moment was from Volterra. The dinner outside and the wine tasting were just beyond what I could have dreamed of on the tour. Although the sisters discussing the Olive Oil process was a stand out moment as well."

Brenda

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best time in Italy. Our group and tour leaders were wonderful. The trip was a perfect mix of planned activities and free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but seeing the sunset over the Roman theater ruins in Volterra was breathtaking."

Staci

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a busy on the move tour which truly fit being able to see all of the sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Volterrra and all of the guides both our tour guide and the local guides were fantastic! "

Valerie

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour felt a bit rushed, and the tour guide expertise was not specifically relevant to Italy. The tour guides that supplemented were very good but disappointed that our tour guide did not speak Italian, nor was able to share experiences that were relevant while walking/touring (not much interaction on our headsets). I did like the tour spots and the group we traveled with were very warm and friendly. We also never had Florentine Steak for our final dinner which seemed to be a big miss.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Voltare the most. Very pretty and the atmosphere was lovely."

Leena

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Heart of Italy tour filled my heart with joy, our stomachs with great food, and completely engaged all our senses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Donald's favorite 'wow' moment was locating the drain holes at the Pantheon. I had many favorite moments the beauty of the Country, passion and pride of the people, the richness of its history and traditions. "

Marji

Tour: 09/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We visited towns in different parts of Italy. Our tour guides and local guides were excellent. All of the food was wonderful. We experienced many things that I would not have thought of on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from! Seeing the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower (the Duomo) in Florence took my breath away. Unbelievable the work of artisans over 200 years!"

Elizabeth

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have never traveled outside the U.S. and thought this trip would be a perfect chance to learn and enjoy the experience at the same time. Our guide, Christina is simply awesome. She is incredibly patient and managed to keep all 24 adults in our group on schedule, focused, and did it seamlessly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two-types of "wow" for us, the historic structures such as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the very detailed and rich descriptions of the history, art, and culture shared with us by the site-specific guides in the Vatican Museum, the Colosseum and the surrounding area, Volterra, Firenze, and the Uffizi Gallery. Their stories and descriptions enriched the experience far beyond our expectations."

Alicia

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was such a wonderful experience. Cristina was amazing in every way and our group really worked together well. I love it all

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments for me to pick. Sorry."

Kathy

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never been on a group tour, this tour exceeded my expectations in every way! From the knowledgeable guide to the breathtaking sights, it was an unforgettable experience. Our tour guides were not only informative but also passionate about what they do. It made the whole experience more engaging and enjoyable. From the first day to the last, this tour was a delight. I left with new friends, unforgettable memories, and a longing to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among all the incredible moments on this tour, one that truly left me in awe was seeing David of Michelangelo. The sheer beauty of this masterpiece will stay with me forever. It's a memory I'll cherish and share with everyone I know. "

Deborah

Tour: 09/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good group, good guide. Saw a lot during a short tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre with its stunning views."

Laura

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than I could have imagined! It was magical being in Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing St. Peter’s Basilica & the Coliseum & the Sistine Chapel."

Mark

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I normally plan our own trips and this was our first organized tour. It more than exceeded my expectations. The locations, restaurant choices, hotels, tours, transportation, our Rick Steve guide (Lisa) and local guides were all excellent. I have zero complaints.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is really challenging for 2 reasons: one, everything was amazing, and two, I've been to Rome and Florence before. So setting those 2 cities and sites aside, I would choose the whole of Volterra. After the crowds and long walks in Rome, it was a dramatic change. It's an ancient city will all cobblestone streets, old stone buildings, numerous restaurants/cafes and not crowded. It's very casual with a spectacular view of the Tuscan countryside. Overall, Volterra was my favorite stop."

Sandi

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I absolutely loved seeing the history and beauty. Our tour guide was the best!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum and Rome, along with Volterra. Also, the food was amazing!"

Janet

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides were friendly and engaging, great food at the meals that were provided, quaint hotels, priority entrance to all site tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican tour of the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica."

Sue

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was fabulous. Our tour guide, the hotels, the meals. Enjoyed every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s so hard to choose. The first group dinner at the beginning of our tour was amazing and it got everyone excited for the days ahead ."

William

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and fun. The tour plan helped us to maximize how much we could see as a group and left us with enough free time to choose our own explorations. Our tour guides were fantastic. I appreciated the inclusion of the guide book and the money belt -- both were invaluable. Everyone representing Rick Steves (guides, bus drivers, hotels) was helpful and demonstrated a commitment to excellent customer service.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were captivated by the Cinque Terre. The views of the water, cliffs, and colorful village homes were beautiful and breathtaking."

Richard

Tour: 09/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sharon

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour, and we were unsure how we would like traveling with an unknown group of people. However, our fears and hesitancies were all erased after going on this tour! We had such a great group of people. Our lead tour guide, Rebecca, was fantastic! She was so well organized, kept us all on time for every event, and provided a wealth of knowledge regarding Italy and each of our stops. As well, each special venue tour guide was enthusiastic and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many...standing outside the Colosseum in Rome; hearing about the WWII Etruscan Gate story in Volterra, hiking along the Cinque Terre, walking thru Florence and coming upon the Duomo and Baptistery are just a few."

Janie

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed all of the amazing locations we explored, our wonderful tour guides, and the cherished friendships we made with our tour group members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was our visit to the towns of Cinque Terre. What was especially magical was the ferry ride along the coast of the towns followed by a visit to each with train rides between. "

Janine

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a great time, met really great people. Our tour was very fast paced, but if we had gone on our own, we would have missed a lot of information. Rebecca kept us on our toes and moving. The guides at our stops were very passionate about their subjects and we learned much more if we had just gone to the sites on our own. The group dinners really let us experience the different flavors of Italy.

Daniel

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned and Rebecca was a wonderful tour guide! Group with were lucky to be with on tour were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Voltera, Levato, and the museums in Florence"

Dennis

Tour: 09/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized. Punctual and on time. Experienced and knowledgeable guide. Pace suited everyone in group. Met all expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Emerging from the bus after ascending up the Hill Town of Volterra."

Stuart

Tour: 09/17/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was what I expected. I knew that scheduling would be tight with having to roll with whatever time we could gain entry into certain attractions. The local guides are what set the tour apart; such knowledgeable, passionate people. I think you struck a nice balance with our free time and group activities. Enjoyed the people in our group. We tried to sit with different people each day to get a good overall viewpoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to single one thing out. I think some of the things we learned from our guides really blew away any previous thoughts I had about certain things. The Duomo was so much more impressive than I expected."

Scott

Tour: 09/17/23

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Tour was good, but not as great as previous tours. Europe has become a crowded place during post Covid! Italy is especially crowded which made it difficult to enjoy. The guides information was excellent and they did their best to mitigate lines and the crowding, but the crowding really took the "shine" off the trip. I would not recommend traveling to Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica was truly awe inspiring."

Arthur

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's Europe experience, overall 10+, scale. When you reserve something of this magnitude, you're not really sure what to expect. However, the overall experience was best, we did overcome some obstacles, out of our control, Vatican, St. Peters Basilica, crowds. The local guides at each stop very knowledgeable and great personalities. Our bus drivers, professional and courtesy and excellent drivers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So So many WOW's. Having read in my guide book ITALY about every stop what to expect and where to go, my WOW would have to be the Volterra and Cinque Terra stops, those two places really made me enjoy this tour, don't get me wrong, Florence and Rome have so much history, I was happy with both. Enjoying the serene quietness of Volterra, and the great hiking in Cinque Terra, and ohh the food. My palate has yet to recover. "

Debra

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was great. We had an amazing guide, and the local guides were really great as well. The hotels were lovely with all the amenities, the breakfast spreads were generous and delicious, and the 4 dinners of local fare with all the other tour guests were fun, and the food a real treat! We were given enough free time to let down and have autonomy, and suggestions on filling that time was helpful as well. The buses were comfortable and the drivers professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and Forum in Rome are beyond wow, but it is hard to choose. (Tied for second are the David in Florence, the Etruscans of Volterra,, and the gorgeous Cinque Terre towns. "

Tim

Tour: 09/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more than I could have hoped for, all the accommodations were wonderful. Colleen, our guide, kept us informed and entertained throughout the tour, making all the transitions easy and seamless. The ratio of tour to free time was just right, allowing us to be educated about the region enough to be comfortable to roam on our own like we knew what we were doing. And the planned activities were a perfect match to add to our understanding of the culture and traditions of the regions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had so many "wow" moments, but if I had to pick one: Sunset with my wife and a Spritz at the top of the tower in our hotel in Florence on our anniversary! Bonus to be joined by our new tour friends and a view that took your breath away. Truly spectacular!"

Robert

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic first trip to Europe! Everything was well curated and organized. Our "main" guide, as well as our local guides, did a great job of sharing and presenting information. This tour was a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local guide in Volterra, Annie, did a great job telling the story and history in Volterra. She made history come alive."

Tim

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Designed and performed perfectly!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inside St Peter's basilica."

Darylene

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was incredible -- with us never being on "tour" everything from our Guide - Cristina, to the hotels, schedule of activities etc... exceeded our expectations - very little time waiting in line to gain entry into places, which allowed us to see a number of things! Seems like every detail very well thought out, like if you were planning for your family! Highly recommend!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many things in for wow moments -- how beautiful yet simple the Sistine Chapel is, to stand in the same room where the Pope was elected was amazing; learning about the Jewish getto stumbling stones from our guide, the activities like the wine tasting, dinners, walking tours brought us closer to the locals which we loved. Lastly the olive farm, learning about the process in making it and tasting it was wonderful - glad we had some shipped home!"

Shelley

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all I had hoped and more

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one.. But, about 10:00 pm, taking an after dinner stroll through Monterroso in Cinque Terre, came upon an unexpected commemoration of a church - about 100 towns people marching through town with the Bishop (?) reciting through a loud speaker - a HUGE cross passed off 2-3 times to a different individual, took 3 people to do the hand off since it was so heavy. Only happens once a year and happened to be that night!"

Harrold

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gina

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We took this tour in 2018. Although we had read tourism had picked up significantly, we weren't quite prepared for the crowds, especially in such warm weather. Our group couldn't begin to get near Trevi Fountain which was quite a shame since we were bringing friends on this tour who had never been overseas or on a RS tour. We felt bad for them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The olive oil tasting was a great experience. It was educational and a lot of fun--the type of activities I enjoy most."

Jamie

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! Very well curated tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick between Paolo leading up on a guided tour of the forum and Colosseum; and Annie guiding us through the town of Volterra and her personal connection to the townspeople who saved the Etruscan Gate during World War II."

Liz

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! Like a Whitman’s sampler of Italy, varied and rich.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the places we visited were amazing, each one unique. It’s difficult to pick one. Learning about the Etruscan civilization while we were in Volterra was a high point for me. "

Stephen

Tour: 09/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From one who lives most of his life through art books, seeing the actual art and architecture of Italy was too marvelous for words. It's still sinking in after nearly a week of being home. And I am so happy my wife talked me into doing this tour! We couldn't have done nearly as much on our own, and we met folks who I suspect will become lifelong friends. We also had an amazing tour guide Cristina, who filled us with amazing stories and history. This was an adventure I will never forget!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. This is a tough one as there seemed to be a wow moment at every turn of an Italian street corner. Our entire time in Volterra seemed to be one long wow moment, but what will last forever is walking through the Basilica and seeing the Pietà on 9/11. Seeing such beauty on a day remembered for such evil was extremely emotional. Another powerful moment was arriving at the U.S. Cemetery of WWII."

Allison

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was amazing! It was a wonderful way to experience Europe for the first time, and I felt it was a life changing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a really difficult guestion to answer. I know my husband loved The Forum the most. I loved everything. The biggest wow moment for me was seeing the Duomo for the first time."

Steve

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found it very eye opening. Physically and mentally draining but in the best possible way. It was very exciting to see the historical sites and renaissance art. A once in a lifetime trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First laying my eyes on the Duomo in Florence. The vast beauty and immense size and intricacies of it. "

Cathy

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Can’t say enough how wonderful this tour was. It was everything we wanted it to be and more. Our guides were so knowledgeable, friendly and helpful and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Duomo in Florence!"

Rebecca

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour. We enjoyed being immersed in the local culture at each stop. The curated tours with local knowledgeable guides were amazing. We loved that this tour was very active especially in cinque terre. We were disappointed in not being able to keep the same overall guide for the entire tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to select just one! The night walk in Rome and seeing the fountains and monuments lit up.... also walking through the narrow alleys of Florence and suddenly coming upon the massive, beautiful Duomo. Awe inspiring!"

Brenda

Tour: 09/08/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I believe something unique about our tour is that we went through three different tour guides. While it was upsetting after our first change, our second guide, Patricia, was so outstanding that it made up for having to adapt. I do believe because of the upheaval the 28 of us bonded together as family. We also had our tour bus break down on a narrow steep slope on our way into Volterra. Thankfully Patricia convinced locals to take one or two of us at a time up the remainder of the way into town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlights for me were the amazing hilltop village of Volterra and the magical Cinque Terre. It was an absolutely amazing trip where we were able to meet and make friends with people from all over the US while making memories that will last a lifetime. "

Peg

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was well-organized, very informative, and lots of fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Trevi Fountain - astonishing!"

Sherry

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My dream was always to go to Italy. I kept putting the trip off because the thought of planning it was overwhelming. Whenever I thought of going on a tour I pictured endless hours on a bus, eating in cafeterias, huge groups of people, no time to explore on our on. We live In Seattle so we started researching Rick Steve’s tour, the heart of Italy was exactly what we were looking for. It was perfect! All the hard work done for us, after the tour we went to Venice on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Is it possible to have one wow moment? The whole tour was a wow moment!"

Russell

Tour: 09/06/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Alicia

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre (got up 5:30 on our free day to start hiking early) and climbed the Duomo in Florence (that was an extra thing we did on our own)."

Brad

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good experience. Lisa was amazing as a guide and did a wonderful job to enhance the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our guide in Volterra told us which units of US troops liberated the city in WW II, I realized my grandfather was part of that. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, to be where he was during the war. I"

Bryan

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa was a wonderful guide!! Her knowledge really brought to life our experience in enjoying and understanding the locations we visited. It was truly an amazing time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra! This cute Tuscany town was picturesque Italy at its best! I absolutely loved our time here."

Mona

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. Lisa was a great tour guide along with Anna her assistant. Rome was wonderful but hot! It is a big place but we hit a lot of just right sites. Same for the other cities. The hotels were good and had aircon. Volterra was our fav city. Loved the hotel that had Etruscan connections. Florence hotel, built on a castle from 1341 was stunning. Only compliant, the local guide in Rome made us stand for hours in heat. Could've condensed what was said or moved more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the old small stairs in Florence's Hotel Torre Guelfa and the awesome 360 view of the entire city lit up at night. Also the Ombra della sera Etruscan statue in Volterra. The American Cemetery in Florence was a touching surprise. Of course there were too many moments that were wow including the food!"

Craig

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! We enjoyed the interactions with the local communities, learning the cultural aspects of Italy's regions, having dinners together as a group. Visiting the museums, learning the local histories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first day! We all meet for our orientation meeting and then went for an orientation walk around Rome. That was when we knew we chose the right tour! The second WOW was visiting the Florence American WW II Cemetery and Memorial; it was exceptionally moving experience for this retired service member!"

Dennis

Tour: 09/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Italy and my second stick Steve’s tour. It was all very good and the guides made everything go smoothly and provided a wealth of insight and background information that I would not have had without them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terre was awesome! I wish we could have had one extra day there. "

Rachel

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Alfio was an excellent guide! I enjoyed the variety of places we toured. Personally thought the Cinque Terre was too overcrowded. Absolutely beautiful, but too many tourists! Most of the food was just okay. I was really expecting to be "wow'd" with simple, delicious local meals. Volterra's dinner was probably the best. Kuddos to Mom and her daughters!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Local guide Alania in Rome. Full of knowledge, humor, and passion for Rome. 2. Pantheon was absolutely amazing! Visually one of the most beautiful pieces or architecture I have ever seen. I can't believe it's still standing after all these years! 3. Local guide Annie in Volterra. Probably the most passionate and well spoken guide I've ever met! Volterra was like walking into a story book. Beautiful, full of history, clean, wonderful locals. Stunning!"

Suzanne

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was great, we saw amazing places and the scheduled dinners were wonderful!

Kim

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first tour to ever take and the experience exceeded our expectations. The overall tour guide and the local guides were exceptional. In addition, there was a good mix of group and on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment in the tour for me was when we had the opportunity to tour an olive mill that included olive oil tasting and lunch. The owners (two sisters) had a wonderful story on how they automated the process and influenced the local growers to shift to organic farmer. Very inspirational and learned the importance of quality cold pressed extra virgin olive oil."

Steve

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. It included all of the major historical sites and museums we wanted to visit. It also included some excellent “off the path” visits such as wine tasting and olive oil tasting. The tour guides were informative and very personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was visiting Volterra. The group dinner and the group wine tasting were both excellent and the town was delightful."

Nanette

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Loved every minute of it. Tour guides were all very interesting and made the tour wonderful! Also, Thanks to your prep work and guidance of how the tour was going to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all the country scenes and special tours. I have not been to Europe before and was in awe with all the history being live right in front of me. Beautiful Tour of Italy!"

Neil

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly amazing and utterly enjoyable experience. The beauty and historical significance of my Italian experience was only enriched and enhanced by the knowledge and expertise shared by our local guides. I very much appreciated the selected accommodations and restaurants for their hospitable and inviting family atmospheres. Our guide, Alfio, was a wealth of knowledge and accommodating in every way. This tour exceeded my expectations in every aspect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre's Blue Trail at dawn delivered jaw dropping views while instilling a true sense of oneness and serenity with the surrounding natural beauty. "

Ronald

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It would be hard to have a great trip without a great guide. Ours, Alfio, was outstanding. The choice of local guides was also exceptionally good and made the trip enjoyable. Group size is nice. We saw a lot of other tour buses packed into every seat. We had room to move and relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The group dinners were all WOW moments especially in Cinque Terre, Volterra and Florence."

John

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved our guide, Alfio. Great dry sense of humor, knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pantheon "

Nancy

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first "Group Tour" of any kind and we loved it. RS Tour was a perfect size group of 26 people, our tour manager was fantastic and so helpful. A good mix of group tours and activities with some free time to explore on our own. The bust time was pretty minimal - 4-5 hours total on just 3 of the 9 days of the tour. The local guides were excellent. All in all, we really enjoyed it and will do other RS tours in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 2 days in Vulterra were our favorites. Such an interesting history there, and just a beautiful vista wherever you looked in any direction."

Andrew

Tour: 08/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was excellent. Unfortunately, I tested positive for Covid-19 on Day 7 of the tour, so my wife and I could not continue to the end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tuscan city of Volterra was amazingly beautiful and charming."

Michael

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, I had been to Rome, Cinque Terre, and Florence before. It was great to see those places from a different lense. Volterra was a nice addition. I had been to other Tuscan cities before and I think Volterra is a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments. The guide at the Roman Forum was outstanding in giving her interpretation of the historical events of that time and showing us how it applys to today's world. The guide at Volterra, her knowledge of the Etruscan history was outstanding combined with her ability to communicate that to us was a big "wow" moment."

Krista

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and Marianna was outstanding in her knowledge and professionalism along with pure kindness!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the olive oil farm and tasting was my WOW! "

David

Tour: 08/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It went beyond our expectations and dreams…. The nine days we spent with the tour, we saw, ate and experienced things we might not have if we had gone out on our own.. our tour leader was awesome in her knowledge of italy and in providing us with such great experiences..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the interior of the coliseum….originally we were going to just walk around the exterior, but the interior tour was dramatic and jaw dropping…"

Deborah

Tour: 08/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish every moment was amazing. Some members of the group were sick with coughing and I was not convinced they followed the agreement they all signed. That was disappointing but thankfully I remained well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pieta, David, and Duomo. Feeling a step away from thousands of years of incredible history. "

Gerard

Tour: 08/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Statue of David/ picturesque views in cinque terra"

Paul

Tour: 08/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was the perfect ratio of structured time a free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides were outstanding. I could have listened to them all day."

Hannah

Tour: 07/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible experience. We went on our honeymoon and had an absolutely wonderful time. Rebecca and Ezster were the most wonderful guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum and Volterra"

Bridget

Tour: 07/14/23

We saw and experienced numerous beautiful things, from the statue of David to the Cinque Terre to delicious food and company and more. Plenty to do and enjoy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David"

Elena

Tour: 07/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just got back from the Heart of Italy tour. It was fantastic in every respect. Great museums, cathedrals, art and historical sites. Excellent choice of local restaurants and lodging right in the heart of each city. Great local tour guides and a wonderful group to travel with but the best part was having two fantastic professional guides Rebecca & Esther with us every day to make everything come to life and help us to connect with the historic renaissance and the culture of ancient Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was amazed with the art and architecture and a special feeling of peace of St. Peter’s Basilica."

Evan

Tour: 07/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time with Nina and the rest of our group. The tour was very informative and everyone was friendly and welcoming. The itinerary was also well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra was the highlight of the tour for us. The historical tuscan town had some much charm and seeing alabaster carving first-hand was marvelous."

Sherrie

Tour: 07/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful way to “sample Italy “ on The Heart of Italy tour. Our guide Nina lead the way at making each individual feel welcomed and guided us through each stop with professionalism and fun! We learned far beyond what we could have imagined at each stop along the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Far too many favorites! Rome/ Sistine Chapel and the beautiful works of Michelangelo . Our guides brought history alive for us as we toured the Vatican and the Colliseum. We loved them the diversity in going to a Volterra a small hillside town and experiencing the art and culture there. Levanto wowed us as we relaxed by the water and caught the ferry to the neighboring Cinque Terre towns with their breathtaking colors . Every day was something new and exciting with lots of downtime too. "

Pamela

Tour: 07/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all my expectations. It was a good balance between guided tours and free time. I appreciated all the dinners provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow factor was our tour guide Nina. She went above and beyond accommodating us and tolerating all of our questions. "

William Christopher

Tour: 07/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Heart of Italy" was my first Rick Steve's tour and my first time in Italy. What an adventure! The Rick Steve's organization does a great job of setting expectations about the tour, providing details on how best to prepare for the tour, and while on the tour, ensuring that everyone is informed everyday about the agenda. Nina, the RS tour guide, was excellent. She was friendly, well prepared, knowledgable, and ensured that everyone was having fun, while also providing assistance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most asked question from family and friends was," What was your favorite "wow" moment?" The whole trip was a "wow" moment. The food was amazing, the wines were delicious, the tours from Rome, to Volterra, to the Cinque Terre and Florence were outstanding. The local history guides in each of those destinations provided much background, history and interesting characteristics for each of those areas. While the schedule was packed full of activities, there was time to explore on your own,"

Mark

Tour: 07/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very busy Very well done 2 points 1- had a great guide at Sistine Chapel - then got dropped off at St Peters Basilica - would have been great tl have a guide in there for even 30 min( many tours were in there) 2- group dinners great - but maybe have some options for younger eaters who may not like octupus or fish or wild boar) 3- bathroom stop for a 2.5 hr bus ride not necessary I read up on mandatory bus stops- makes sense for 4 hr rides- but is a waste when just 50 min away

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum tour ( Francesca was A+ as a guide) Cinque Terra beach Florence museums ( Cindy excellente!!)"

Karla

Tour: 07/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

N/A

Favorite "WOW" moment

"N/A"

Susan

Tour: 07/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Andrea, our Guide, plus our Local Guides, gave us an enthusiastic view of the Heart of Italy. I had been to Florence and Rome twenty years ago, yet I saw those great cities through new eyes. Volterra was a charming surprise and Cinque Terre exceeded my expectations. Great idea to have Cinque Terre on our own. Everyone did something different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing Vernazza from the trail between Corniglia and Vernazza. Not only did it mean that I was almost done (I’m 71 and this trail was steep and HOT) but the beach and town were so colorful and beautiful. "

When To Go & Weather

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

Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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