• rome-trastevere-piazza-santa-maria
    Rome's Trastevere Neighborhood
  • Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli
  • Vieste
  • Alberobello's Trulli Houses
  • Temples of Paestum
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Sorrento
  • Island of Capri
  • Naples

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of South Italy in 13 Days Tour

from $3,395 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $625

See Tour Dates

This tour treats you to the slice of Italy that's richest in contrasts, from cities to beaches, and from rugged to glamorous. After touring the wonders of Rome, your Rick Steves guide will take you across Italy's boot to the wild beauty of the Gargano Peninsula and Adriatic Coast. You'll meander through the untouristed Puglia and Basilicata regions, followed by the must-see historic sites at Paestum and Pompeii, the jaw-dropping vistas of the Amalfi Coast, and the untamed energy of Naples. Join us for the Best of South Italy in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2016

    • Apr 25–May 7 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 30–May 12 (Sa-Th)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 9–May 21 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 16–May 28 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 5–Sep 17 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Sep 19–Oct 1 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,595 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 26–Oct 8 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Oct 3–Oct 15 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Oct 10–Oct 22 (Mo-Sa)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 2428 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of South Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 19 group sightseeing events • Trastevere walking tour • Jewish Ghetto walking tour • Capitoline Museum tour • Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli • Gargano boat cruise (weather permitting) • Pasta-making demonstration • Alberobello visit • Puglia wine tasting • Matera Sassi walking tour • Mozzarella farm visit • Paestum visit • Pompeii tour • Gelato-making demonstration • Orientation for Capri excursion • Sorrento home-hosted dinner • Capodimonte Museum tour • Naples neighborhood walk • Sansevero Chapel • Naples Archaeology Museum tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Rome to Naples
  • 12 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • $100 store credit for your household to use toward guidebooks and other gear for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2016
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

We'll gather at our Rome hotel at 4 p.m. for a "Welcome to Italy" group meeting. Afterward, we'll take an evening stroll through the meandering streets of "village" Rome on our way to tonight's trattoria, where we'll get acquainted over dinner together. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Layers of Rome

This morning we'll take an eye-opening walk along the east bank of the Tiber, where we'll learn about the rich, yet often-overlooked, history of Rome's Jewish Ghetto. Then we'll tour the world's oldest museum, the Capitoline. Here we'll learn about Rome's golden age through its most treasured sculptures, including the sublime Dying Gaul, the imposing Marcus Aurelius on horseback, and the emblematic She-Wolf suckling Rome's tiny founding brothers: Romulus and Remus. The rest of the day is yours to wander through the Roman Colosseum and Forum next door, enjoy the panoramic city view from atop the nearby Victor Emmanuel Monument, or make a modern-day pilgrimage to St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Tivoli and the Gargano Peninsula

We'll leave Rome early, stopping in the nearby hills to learn about the Roman Emperor Hadrian, at the ruins of his monumental villa at Tivoli. An enthusiastic traveler and builder, his lasting legacy includes his great wall across Britain, the domed Pantheon, and his stylish beard. Then we'll drive up and over the Apennine spine of Italy, and on to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Our destination this evening is the tip of the rugged Gargano Peninsula, one of the most beautiful areas of Southern Italy — and still unknown to American travelers. At our cliff-side hotel we'll share dinner tonight, and sleep in Vieste (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Vieste and the Adriatic Coast

Vieste's beaches are packed with Italians in mid-summer. But when we arrive we'll find a peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle of Rome. Today we'll take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the craggy Gargano Coast, marveling at the pretty coves, hidden grottos and unusual rock formations that make this coastline unforgettable. We'll return to Vieste for a pasta-making demonstration and lunch, followed by plenty of time to wander through the town or simply luxuriate on the beach. Boat: 1½ hrs. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 5: Alberobello and Matera

Today we'll head off the tourist path, continuing through Puglia and into the Basilicata region, with a stop to learn about and sample some local wines, meats, and cheeses. In Alberobello, we'll explore cone-shaped, stone trulli houses that are still lived in today. Then we'll drive on to the town of Matera, which includes one of the world's most unique neighborhoods — the Sassi — completely made up of ancient stone and cave dwellings. Sleep in Matera (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: The Wonders of Matera

With the help of a locally grown expert, we'll learn the stories of old and new Matera. We'll begin our day discovering the wonders of the 9,000-year-old Sassi. We'll go inside a Sassi home to gain an appreciation for the cave-dwelling conditions endured by the residents until they were relocated 60 years ago. We'll continue our education with a visit to a rock hewn church, and a look at the new town. You'll have the rest of your day free to wander through the different layers of Matera. This evening, watch — or better yet join — the ritual passeggiata of strolling locals in this authentic, untouristed part of Italy. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Greek Paestum and Positano

Early this morning we'll drive into the Campania region and tour an organic water buffalo farm which produces the prized local specialty, mozzarella di bufala. We'll go into the barns and learn how this tasty delicacy is made and enjoy a gourmet lunch together including (you guessed it) fresh buffalo mozzarella. After lunch, we'll continue on to Paestum, to marvel at this site's awe-inspiring lineup of three Ancient Greek temples — the best-preserved collection in Europe. Then we are off to the dramatic Amalfi Coast. We'll follow the cliff-clinging road that winds above the sea to Positano, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Free Day on the Amalfi Coast

The day is all yours to enjoy the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Take a local bus along the twisting roads and wild beauty of the Amalfi highway, hopping off to explore cliff-side villages along the way or take advantage of the sea and take a water taxi to the neighboring towns. Check out the sweeping views from Ravello, the candy-striped church in Amalfi town, the narrow streets and posh shops of Positano, or let gravity pull you down to a beach to relax upon. Tonight will be a great night to find a trattoria with a glorious sunset view. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 9: Pompeii and Sorrento

This morning we'll make a short drive to serene Sorrento. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we'll have an orientation walk through the town on our way to watch the creation of an Italian culinary masterpiece — gelato; then you'll be free for lunch. We'll re-group for a thoughtful visit of unlucky Pompeii, where, with an ace local guide, we'll get a look at everyday life, frozen in time two millennia ago. After free time to explore more of Pompeii on your own, we'll hop aboard the Circumvesuviana commuter train back to our cliff-hugging home set amongst the lemon groves. Sleep in Sorrento (2 nights). Train: 1 hr. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Serene Sorrento and Capri

Today is all yours. Your guide will arrange for an optional boat ride to Capri, where you can then take a much smaller boat to the deservedly famous Blue Grotto. Or, spend all or part of the day enjoying Capri's remarkable views, winding lanes, fancy summer homes, and lovely gardens. Or, stay in Sorrento and wander through the shop-lined back streets, stopping to savor il dolce far niente — the sweetness of doing nothing. This evening we will meet for a home-hosted dinner with a local Sorrento family. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 11: Classy, Gritty Naples

After a short morning drive, we'll have an easy introduction to Naples at the beautiful hilltop Museo Capodimonte, home to southern Italy's best collection of Renaissance paintings, including masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, and El Greco. After lunch in the city that invented pizza, we'll be introduced to Naples' grittier side on a Vespa-dodging, laundry-flapping, slice-of-Neapolitan-life walking tour through the heart of this chaotic, memorable city. Sleep in Naples (2 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 12: Exploring More of Naples

This morning we're in world-class-art mode again, touring the greatest treasures of Pompeii, brought to Naples' National Archeological Museum for safe-keeping. We'll also be dazzled by the Farnese collection including the largest single sculpture ever recovered from antiquity: The Farnese Bull. This larger-than-life riot of animal, human, and divine struggle was adored and painstakingly restored by Michelangelo. From here we'll head for the serene Cappella Sansevero, home to amazingly lifelike sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. Then, armed with the confidence and the Neapolitan street-smarts you've gotten from your guide, your afternoon is free for making your own discoveries. Tonight we'll get together for a special dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Naples' airport by taxi, easily arranged through our hotel. 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.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of South Italy in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) 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 three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. Sleep in a cave-like hotel room in historic Matera.
  5. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

John

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a very good time on the tour. The food choices were exceptional and I liked that the local foods of the various regions were highlighted. The tour guides were largely successful in their attempt to get the tour members to talk and interact; at the end I felt a real attachment with everyone on the tour. The hotel rooms were good; some of the showers were a bit small, but the central location of the hotels more that made up for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tour of Pompeii."

John

Newnan, GA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was as advertised, lots of walking (good thing) and many off the regular path places. The places visited were very interesting and for the most part the food was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat excursion in Vieste with all the lagoons."

Steven

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have been better

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano"

Susan

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Out tour Leader Heidi was top rate! Tour areas chosen in S. Italy were out of the ordinary, some stunningly beautiful, some very historic. Pacing made good sense, and flexibility of choices gave appropriate options for participation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring by boat along the caves by Vieste--unexpectedly beautiful!"

Scott

Fayetteville, GA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was my third time to Italy and my first Rick Steves tour of mainland Italy. It was educational in many ways. Matera was especially interesting and far more than I got on my own previously. The boat cruise while in Vieste was a tour highlight for me. The grottos were fantastic to see. Pompeii was more than I ever expected. Guide was excellent. Heidi's knowledge of Italy is vast and she made the time on the tour bus seem short with her presentations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat cruise in Vieste. I do a lot of photography and they landscapes and grottos provided far too many images to count. Simply fantastic!"

Robin

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heidi was an incredible leader . . . so energetic and knowledgable!! We loved the places on the itinerary . . . completely new for us and very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure there was just ONE. We loved the leader (and assistant) as well as the group of people. The RS groups tend to have people that we really enjoy since we have similar interests and a similar approach to travel."

Robin

El Sobrante, CA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! We loved the small towns, the historical and cultural education we got, the lovely people in our group, our very organized, respectful and caring guides, and the fun of the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going into the many grottos on the Vieste boat ride! And everything about Positano[INVALID]the beautiful views, the cuteness of the town and the food."

Carol

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We spent 5 days in Rome before the tour near the Cavour Metro stop. We used the RS videos and tour book to plan our days. My personal WOW moment of the entire three weeks was descending from the top floor of the Borghese Gallery to the main floor. It was jaw dropping. Good thing we had the on line tickets. It was sold out for a week. By the time the tour started, I was ready to let someone else be in charge. It is a pleasure to be told where to go, what to do, "Here's your ticket.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the two open boat tours. We were all thrilled when our guide took us into grottos on the Adriatic and the trip from Positano to Amalfi was lovely. Those trips made it easy to skip the Blue Grotto and go directly to Anacapri in our fabulous taxi. I loved the ski lift to the top even though the top was shrouded in fog."

Joseph

Ashland, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Most parts of the tour were outstanding but there were a few instances were we felt very rushed and it distracted from the events of that day. The most notable one was the morning demonstrations in Sorrento. The limoncello demo in the morning coupled with the gelato demo gave very little time for lunch before leaving for Pompeii. I would recommend dropping the limoncello demo or moving it to the afternoon we arrive in Sorrento which would be a more appropriate time for it anyway.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Matera was probably the biggest wow moment of the tour for me. Though Alberobelle and Paestum were close. Capri was also outstanding."

Arline

Fayetteville, GA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Informative,delicious, exciting, fun, and fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat ride out of Vieste going into grottos; unbelievably beautiful. The light playing off the stone walls seemed surreal. Antonio our captain took us into 5 grottos each one more beautiful than the one(s) before."

Mary

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first venture into an organized group tour and it exceeded our expectations. We have used Ricks books for independent travel for many years, and enjoy his TV programs, so when choosing to visit this part of Italy we decided to jump on the bandwagon. We came home with such a broader knowledge and appreciation for Italy due to the truly unique and "backdoor" experience.Everyone was very easy going, despite the busy schedule, and there was plenty of time to venture out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Matera, it's history, and the story of Carlo Levi. We arrived amidst a light rain on a hilltop overlooking Matera and it was jaw dropping. We had never heard of Matera, and it was a great example of the off the path character of the tour. Make sure to visit the museum. The visit to the Buffalo Mozzarella farm and accompanying lunch was really unique as well."

Lawlee

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour had both large and smaller cities, some historic and some very scenic and interesting. The talks and guided tours were exceptionally good and educational. Guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. Some hotels were nicer than others especially in Matera and Positano, but you cannot beat all the convenient locations. It was our first tour and we were quite happy with it. It was a bit spendy though, we probably won't be able to join it too often.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera and the cave hotel. Pompeii with its amazing ruins, so advanced and well preserved."

Doug

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

I rated this tour a 6 out of ten. Too many duds to rate higher (Hadrian's villa, Vieste, Paestum, etc.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amalfi coast. Could use another day there. Also, Pompeii really shown, mostly due to our guide, Gaetano."

John

Alameda, CA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was sort of continuation for us of our recently completed Best of Italy Tour. We were moving from North to South. I loved it. There was a great balance between the great and the small. Each of the places were so different from each other. We had so much fun exploring it all with great guides in Rome, Matera, Vieste, Naples, Pompei and waiting out a wicked storm in a wine shop in Alberobello. Donato gave us great insights to the Italian past and present.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was the second day in Naples when I realized how much a really enjoyed this city that I was a bit leary about. After the walking tour with our great guide and good practical advice from Donato we were navigating the city, it's streets, it's traffic, it's sites and it's food and enjoying and appreciating the special treats it had to offer. The view from the Spanish Castle above Naples is not to be missed."

Mike

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third Rick Steves tour and they just seem to get better. Donato, our guide, took very good care of us,our cohesive and congenial group was a pleasure to be with, and the exposure to the art, history and culture of Southern Italy gave me just what I came for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Pompei. It was interesting the see the sophisticated lifestyle of the people of Pompei and then learn that much of what they had was lost to the world during the dark ages."

Douglas

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was planned and implemented extremely well! There were no surprises except pleasant ones, the sites visited were excellent, and the flow of high-quality information never slowed down! I never felt more alive than on this tour. I greatly appreciated the forthright and honest information dealing with some potentially difficult subjects that are an undeniable part of history. No fantasy or whitewash! Real stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to pick a favorite; could be Paestum, could be Pompeii, could be Matera. But I think for me it has to be the Capitoline Museum in Rome, with our wonderful guide, Francesca! I was blown away with her approach, engaging our imagination to try to "see" the works in front of us in their original physical and historical contexts; this brought an entirely new level to my appreciation of Roman antiquities. Amazing!"

Larry

Saxapahaw, NC

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Memorable experiences with a good group and an excellent tour guide, Donato.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Caves in Matera and Truelli houses in Alberobello and home-hosted dinner. Adriatic boat ride with travel into grottos...Gino's wine tasting was a great treat..wine and food pairings_ delicious!! Too many memories... Thanks."

Wendy

Red Deer, AB

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the perfect balance of learning, seeing, walking, getting know other people and a fabulous tour guide complimented by the local guides. A bit of everything. Other than the weather, I wouldn't change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera, even though I read about it ahead of time, photos and stories are just not the same thing."

Jim

Friday Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed historical aspects of our tour very much. Our group was a very good group- all friendly and up for adventure. Donato was an excellent guide. I give gold stars to the Italians themselves. My watchband broke and I found a watchmaker who repaired it no charge. My glass frames broke and a very friendly owner of a glass store put the lenses in new frames in 15 min. We had some travel issues with plane tickets returning home, the travel agent in Napoli arranged train ticket to FCO.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most of the hotels had WiFI. This was HUGE! After taking walking tours with the local guides, this allowed me to look up in-depth details on specific stories they shared which may not have interested my other traveling companions. Some folks wanted to shop. It also allowed me to check the weather to see what jacket to keep out each day before our travels."

Herman

Monroe, WA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got to see a lot of unusual places. Like sleeping in a cave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Artchaeological Museum of Naples."

Diane

Red Deer, AB

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was very well planned with the right amount of organized tours and free time to explore on our own.

Judy

Monroe, WA

Tour: 10/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was "WOW"! Can't pick just one."

Alice

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and exceptionally informative. Donald was very good at keeping us informed about what was about to happen, and providing any help we might need to maximize our time while in Europe. The places we visited were varied and showcased the beauty and culture of South Italy. The sea coast of Vieste, the unexpected beauty of the Sassi in Matera, the modern upscale ambiance of Positano, and the gritty but exciting city of Naples all provided an eyeopening experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was a combination of three experiences. A tour of Pompei with Gaetano prepared us with the basis to visit Herculaneum on our own. Then we visited the Archeological Museum in Naples with Pina where we saw the artifacts take from the sites. The combination of all three put things into a perspective that made this time period alive and relevant to me."

Keri

Fairview, OR

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to Pompei before but never to the Naples Museum where all of the artifacts were stored. I think that was the biggest WOW moment. Amazing what was found."

Ellen

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Third trip to Italy but first south of Rome. The sights were very interesting, fellow RS travelers the best, and our guide, Donald White, great - knowledgable, organized, fun, and honest. Every city guide was very good and the Naples' PhD who guided in two museums was truly exceptional. While we greatly enjoyed this tour, it is not for the faint-hearted. The terrain can be hilly, rocky; the temperture can soar; and a traveler's vigilance is mandated by crazy traffic and petty crime.

Sharon

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed seeing the variety of places in southern Italy. The opportunity to meet locals (pasta-making, locally-hosted dinner, etc.) increased my appreciation of the Italian culture and heritage.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one - loved Rome, Pompeii was a favorite. Part of what is interesting is that where your hotel is in a city heavily influences the opportunities you are aware of in your free time. For instance our hotel in Naples was near the opera house, and several of us went to a ballet there on our free night - a delightful experience we wouldn't have been aware of if or done if we weren't close by."

Roger

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth Rick Steves tour. As a whole, the group of people on this tour was the best of all (and the other three groups were great)! The drive to get to the Gargano coast was a bit long, but worth it to stay in Vieste. Early departure from Sorrento was very unpopular with the whole group. I strongly wish we would have had "local" tour guides for Hadrian's Villa and Paestum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera. I didn't know what to expect. Sleeping in caves? Very interesting history in Matera and a very unique town to stay in."

Paul

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding is definitely the word I would use for the overall experience of touring southern Italy with our guide Alfio. Alfio really made the experience come alive for us with his intimate knowledge of Italy and the USA. His ability to compare and contrast life in both countries was extremely interesting and thought provoking. And all the museums, food, Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast . . . they were great too. But Alfio really made it for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two things blew me away. First, because of the outstanding and enthusiastic museum guides the history of Italy really came alive for me. They were able to put all the artifacts in an historical context and helped me understand why what I was seeing was important. I sometimes get bored in museums, but not in Italy. The second thing was traffic in Rome and Naples. Now that is definitely a different way to drive and be a pedestrian!"

Joan

Levittown, NY

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Alfio DiMauro, was excellent at communicating and organizing the group. I was glad that we spent 2 nights at each city visited. There was a lot of "time on your own" but I like that. It gave me a chance to do what I wanted for the free afternoons or whole free days during the tour. The hotels were all excellent and the group meals were really great also. The group got along well, and everyone was on time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the boat trip in Vieste. The coastline was beautiful and we got up really close and the boat even into a cavern along the coast."

Marcia

Fayetteville, NC

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our third RS tour, we were very familiar with how it is designed to be active, allowing for lots of free time to enjoy whatever we wanted to do, whether more sites, a long lunch, shopping or even a nap back at the hotel. Our tour guide, Alfio, was exceptional at knowing his history of the various areas of southern Italy, as well as the culture and heritage of the entire country. In the various cities that we toured, our local guides were very good, especially Francesca in Rome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Matera and learning about the history of the area was like nothing I had ever seen or heard of. Staying in an area that had been inhabited for 9000 years and sleeping in a cave hotel, enjoying a cave spa area and even dining in a cave restaurant were quite amazing."

Earl

Fayetteville, NC

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour introduced me to places and things I did not know. Vieste and Matera were very interesting as was Napoli. Always thought Napoli was dirty and trashy. Saw Napoli in a completely different light.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seein Matera from the overlook outside of town. Francesca's guided tour in Rome."

Beverly

Anaheim, CA

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 4th tour and the one with the most surprises. Who knew about the tulli houses? the sassi? We had experienced the Best of Italy which was wonderful, but this tour of the south was exceptional in that it greatly expanded our understanding of the diversity of the country. Our tour guide, Alfio, has an obviously deep love and appreciation for this part of Italy and it was infectious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into our hotel room in the Sassi - we were sleeping in a cave! A lovely, quiet and beautifully appointed room IN A CAVE! Where people had lived (albeit not upgraded from their primitive lifestyle) 9,000 years ago. We had a room with a private balcony overlooking the entire area. What a unique and wonderful experience."

Samuel

Fayetteville, NC

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time and appreciated all the preparation that went into getting great local guides and centrally located hotels throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was touring Pompeii and realizing all the art and technology that was lost during the dark ages."

Clorinda

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my fourth trip to Italy but have never been south of Rome. It was fascinating to compare the differences between the north and south. The food is certainly different and just as good as the food in the north. The boat ride in Vieste was wonderful and the Sassi caves in Matera were amazing. Alfio, our tour guide and the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. Francesca made the Capitoline museum and the Jewish Ghetto come alive as did Gaetano in Pompeii.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of the many "wow" moments I would say the boat ride in Vieste, the tour of of the Sassi area, the visit to the water buffalo farm and the family dinner in Soranto stand out. I did not expect to like Naples but would like to return someday."

Deborah

Hancock, NH

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour to southern Italy did not disappoint! Alfio was a fantastic tour guide and always gave us great advice along with lots of laughs! Everything was well planned! The right amount of group activities and free time so that we could experience it all. My husband and I met quite a few wonderful people whom we hope to remain friends with into the future. Every place we visited had special moments that we will never forget. The hotels were all located in great areas for easy exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments are quite numerous! I loved Positano and our boat rides one in Vieste and one to Amalfi! I also loved our time in Matera. That ancient land is absolutely amazing! The delicious food we had throughout are trip was great!!!! The mixture of history, museums, new friends, and natural beauty of the country fulfilled my every hope for this fantastic trip."

Kernan

Hancock, NH

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Alfio was the conductor of our 28-piece orchestra. With insight, humor, and love for his country, he made this trip to Southern Italy sing like a symphony. Each local guide was outstanding as well. We saw many wonderful geographical areas as we visited and learned about historical/cultural sites and works of art. The friends we made on the trip became an integral part of a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Though the whole trip was wonderful, perhaps Matera and the Amalfi coast were the highlights."

Jill

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Southern Italy tour was better than I expected. The tour guide, Alfio, was outstanding. I was delighted by his knowledge of ancient as well as current Italian history and culture. A bonus was that he had a great grasp of American culture to share insights and [INVALID] context for us. All the tours and guides included in this trip were top notch, well coordinated and [INVALID]d unforgettable experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Naples Museum and the Sansevero Chapelle."

Leslie

Lakeway, TX

Tour: 09/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour, except for Naples. I loved the history and the pizza, but it is NOT a pleasant city to make your way around in. I learned more history in those 13 days than in all of my 67 years! The folks in our group were great fun and easy to get along with! City and town choices and sights were exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii and Positano!"

Debbie

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had the most amazing time of my life. Amanda was outstanding - the most valuable part of the tour! Rosie and Amanda made the trip seem flawless. I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see southern Italy. All the hotels were great and ideally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the boat cruise along the Gargano coast in Vieste. I am glad it rained that day because we also got to go to go an olive oil factory in addition to the boat ride. I would have gone on the boat ride if it had rained the entire time. The grottos were so amazing. So glad we got to do this because the Blue Grotto was closed in Capri. I also loved going to dinner at the home of Teresa and Luigi in Sorrento. What a lovely family to entertain strangers!"

Kim

Weatherford, TX

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A really rich and rewarding tour experience. The food was unbelievably good - all local, simple and so much flavor. I loved all the opportunities to learn about bread, pasta, wine, buffalo mozzarella cheese, gelato. Our tour guide, Amanda, was wonderful - so knowledgeable about every aspect of our experience - history, food, art, where to get a great pizza! The trip was so well organized and well run. Local guides, museum tickets, bus transfers - all seamless and without a hiccup!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I saw things I never even knew I wanted to see! We kept pinching ourselves in Matera - the hotel, Locando di San Martino, was a treasure. To stay in a Sassi cave - everyone's eyes popped out! I loved Positano - to be on the Amalfi Coast and looking out from the balcony of our charming room. So many favorites but I so loved the Villa St. Michele in Anacapri - the views and the garden were amazing. The "Veiled Christ" at Capella Sansevero was breathtaking - so beautiful."

Edmond

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent but hectic, well organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Capitoline museum in Rome"

Joy

Weatherford, TX

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the "style" of the tour. Got me where I wanted to be and then gave me enough time off to see any additional things i wanted to. Fast paced, but we couldn't have done what we did without a fast pace. Amanda and Rosie were delights. Knowledgeable, helpful, friendly. Brought Italy to life for me. Tour group was made up of like-minded, interesting folks. All told, a "homerun" all the way around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a collector of Neapolitan Nativity Scenes. I have to say Christmas Alley blew me away.I purchased several things to fill the holes in my collection and then added a couple of pieces that will remind me of the trip every time I see them."

Barbara

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

great tour, fun accommodations, varietal forms of transport, efficient use of time. Good group of people, good variety of stops, visits, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii ruins were amazing. but I wish we'd had more time. should have seen it in the morning and allowed us to have extra time there. Instead was only allowed to see it in the late afternoon, after we watched Gellato being made? That should have been an optional activity. Big disappointment."

Timothy

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was exactly as advertised, small group, very active, small quirky hotels, great food, excellent guides, and like minded travelers. Everything was well organized, but we had time on our own to explore. When the weather caused us to delay a planned boat trip, our Guide, Amanda, put together a visit to an olive oil production facility on short notice. It was interesting, we kept out of the rain, and we were able to take the boat trip after the rain stopped.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several places that I felt were wow moments, the Trulli houses in Alberobello, the caves in Matera, everything about Positano, but the view from the top of Capri was my Wow moment."

Mark

Spencer, MA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful coordination. You have a great system and attention to detail. Very happy with the Hotels and our Guide Amanda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Posit about views, the Sassey at Matera."

Anne

Decatur, IL

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned (we realized how well done it was when we went on an excursion from the navy base in Naples -- it was fun, but seemed without direction) and the guides were excellent in their knowledge, ability to lead, and ability to make it fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the villages of Vieste and Metara were real "wow" moments. Especially Vieste after the bustle of Rome just seemed so serene and peaceful, just like one would imagine an Italian village to be. And Metera is a unique town -- it was wonderful to get to see it. The "wow" moment I talked about in our farewell meeting was smelling a rosemary hedge. It made me realize how close to nature Italy still is."

Michele

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide. Amanda shared her love for Italy with all of us. Rosie was delightful and was very prepared to answer questions and really embraced the experience and the individuals in the group. Loved the itenerary, accommodations were all, but one, charming, clean and comfortable. The hotel in Naples was ok. Didn't offer the same level of service. They were efficient for the most part but missing the friendliness and personality offered by the others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera. Fabulous to experience. The group itself. What a great group of people to travel with."

Susan

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an outstanding time! The tour was a very good balance of group and personal time. This was the first time we've taken an organized tour, and I liked being able to share the trip experiences with others. The tour also allowed us opportunites such as the home dinner that we likely wouldn't get when traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question as there were lots of awesome moments."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Amanda and Rosie were both terrific. The sites we visited were well-chosen and the local guides were all very good. I was particularly looking forward to Pompeii and the site itself (and our very good guide) did not disappoint. It is too bad the site has been allowed to deteriorate. On the other hand, the Pompeii exhibits in the Archaeological Museum in Naples were well done and amazing. Overall the tour was a good overview of southern Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Positano I managed to order a bottle of good, inexpensive wine in bad but understandable Italian, much to the amusement of the proprietor. Leaving my triumphs and humiliations with the language aside, the Greek temples at Paestum stand out for me."

Nancy

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of southern Italy was fantastic. We [INVALID]ed this tour for the combination of art, history, just the right amount of walking/hiking and the locations we would visit. The other factor for our decision to take this tour was not having to worry about researching hotels and transportation between cities. The trip was very enjoyable, because of the organization of activities and group size. Also all the guides really enriched our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii and the artifacts at the museum in Naples. It was amazing to see how advanced the Romans were. A second wow moment was Matera. It is unbelievable how all those caves are stacked upon each other. What a view!"

Gary

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, a good mix of planned activities with time on our own. Amanda was knowledgable and did a great job of keeping us organized. Great food and very interesting sites, some of which I had never heard of before, such as the Trulli houses and Matera. The Amalfi Coast was fantastic, enjoyed Positano and Amalfi. Lots of great food! Almost too much! Good thing we walked a lot each day! Rosie was great as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii and the Archaeology Museum in Naples"

Peg

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rome, the "heel," Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Napoli. Been there, done that as solo traveler, RS back-door style, no local tour guides; thus enjoyed this encore itinerary with FRESH eyes, ears. Francesca's & Pina's outstanding commentaries & Heidi's input on Italian history & cultural lore afforded deeper a-ha appreciation of my ancestors' legacy. Negative:IMO & from past RS tours, 28 was cumbersome in big cities, certain museums, some crowded narrow walkways. See #16.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose just 1.Visualizing Francesca's story of the Jewish ghetto experience. Bufala Farm fascinating, efficiency, superb cheeses. Sassi cave houses: jaw[INVALID]ping somber, memorable in their dark, colorless reality. Capitoline's imposing Marcus Aurelius on horseback. Hotel Seggio's beautiful dawn sea view. View of Bay of Naples at top of Volmo."

Candace

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific guides (Heidi included) added SO much to the experience! Great pacing, interesting comfortable hotels, excellent food. Loved the people in our group--you could walk or sit with anyone and enjoy his or her company. Bus was comfy. Heidi planned everything just right--music, lectures, rest stops. Loved Naples and Rome the best but also all of the unique small towns. Amalfi Coast not as beautiful as I expected--but I am used to the Oregon Coast... Well-thought-out tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to see the Carrvaggios and Berninis up close. You could put your nose on them. You could walk close around the and sink into the marble like the sculptor did. Borghese Gallery, a random church in Rome... I walked around the Farnese Bull up close as in a dream while Piña talked. Wonderful Francesca--I'll never see art the same again. Our Pompeii guide made that place seem alive again."

Cynthia

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a good mixture of activities, hotel accommodations, and sites. We enjoyed the water buffalo farm and lunch eaten there. We got our feet wet in the Adriatic Sea at Vieste and liked the boat cruise more than we thought we would. Great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii, with our energetic and engaging guide, Gaetano, was a great learning experience. From a hilltop in Naples our "wow" was in exclamation of the enormity of the monastery and cloister we had visited the previous day."

Andrea

Oak Ridge, NC

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations and was so enjoyable! Our hotel location and activities in Rome completely changed my opinion of that city (for the better!). I knew I would love the Amalfi coast, and Vieste and Matera were a surprising treat - - both so unique and rich with history! Our trip was packed full of beautiful sights and experiences, including many food/wine demonstrations and amazing sculptures and mosaics. The Italians were friendly and kind everywhere we went. What's not to love?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking from Positano to Bomerano and back on The Path of the Gods. Everything that day was special - - including the wrong turn that led us to a friendly farmer and his pig. Our lunch choices in Bomerano were limited but we lucked out with a delicious, organic meal served by the gracious and generous host/owner of Crazy Burger (Don't let the name fool you!) The views, of course, were amazing, and the donkeys, lizards and friendly hikers made the climb fun. Lemonade stand hit the spot too!"

Brian

Oak Ridge, NC

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heidi was a lovely and warm guide. The itinerary through southern Italy was wonderful. I can't say enough nice things about the Italians.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi coast was without a doubt the true highlight of the trip."

Linda

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided a good balance of group activities and free time to explore. We haven't been on a tour before and were concerned it would be too confining, but it wasn't. The tour was well organized and covered interesting sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many including the grottoes of Vieste, the Adriatic in general, staying in a cave in Matera, the excellent tour of Pompeii, and getting to know Naples to name a few. What was the most surprising to me was how much I enjoyed Naples. We stayed two extra nights and went to the catacombs, which were amazing."

Rod

Mcdonough, GA

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely fantastic from beginning to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Italy "wow" moments occur several times a day. Of course the first sight of the Amalfi coast does stand out."

Ann

Upper Montclair, NJ

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good guide. Good tour group who were 'with the program'. Good tour pattern with some free time every other day. It wasn't just museums and churches. The less known stops were spectacular and interesting. The included lunches offered unique food experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't do just one. First, Francesca, our Rome local guide was superb. Second, Matera was one of the most moving experiences I've had traveling. Third, Gitano made Pompeii come alive. Fourth, the dinner at the family home was unique."

Michael

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Educational experience was all we hoped it would be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capitoline Museum in Rome. Francesca was wonderful in helping us SEE what we were viewing."

Cynthia

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Don made the entire trip an outstanding experience. I had previously done seven tours with Wilderness Travel where no group was larger than twelve and we always had two, sometimes three guides through the entire trip. Don had to take care of 27 people by himself and he did an exceptional job even when we had to alter plans and he had to rearrange things. He was always pleasant, calm, friendly and charmed us all with his expert knowledge and friendly manner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into our room at the hotel in Matera, an actual cave with a Jacuzzi tub in an alcove of the bedroom. Learning about the history of Matera. Knowing I've seen places in Italy that Rick Steves has yet to see."

Caroline

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our fourth RS tour. Rome is amazing and delighted that Francesca took us through the Capitoline museum; Matera and "Italy's Shame" was a complete surprise and it was interesting to sleep in a "cave" hotel; Pompeii was everything we expected with a great local tour guide; the wine and cheese experience in Alberobello and the family dinner in Sorrento with Luigi and his family were exceptional. The group was the best and friendliest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe Naples, as it has a bad reputation regarding pickpockets and crime. We thoroughly enjoyed Naples, felt safe and would liked to have stayed longer."

Rosemarie

Staten Island, NY

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Toured interesting and beautiful areas, all places I had never been to before except for Rome. Excellent tour leader, Donato. The bus rides were longer than expected and the airconditioning on the bus wasn't the greatest. However, except for the fire which shut down the highway on our way to Positano, (which caused us to arrive a lot later) we got to all our destinations and saw incredible sites. Thanks to Donato and the bus drivers. The people we met on the tour were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera Sassi cave dwelling experience and Alberobello visit to winery and stone trulli homes. Learning the unusual and unforgettable history of these ruggedly beautiful regions, Puglia and Basilicata, will resonate with me for a long time. The food and wine at the winery in Alberobello was amazing."

Debra

Brenham, TX

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the trip with my husband, daughter, and mother. We had a three generation trip full of memories and laughs. I saw parts of Italy that I know I never would have traveled to. ( The central section)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the Rome taxi driver when he dropped us off at our hotel. His exact words were 'Thank you, get out'. We still laugh and use his line. My favorite spot of beauty was the Amalfi Coast. I love to swim so every place that water was available I experienced."

Kathleen

O'Fallon, IL

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Disappointing.No comparison to our 4 prior trips with RS.Long bus rides to and from Vieste were interrupted by unsatisfing visits to 2 ruins with no guide and pressure to "move along." At Vieste, 80 of us were crammed onto benches on a touristy boat with squeaky narration in 3 languages for 3 hours in the sun to view caves, dash to a toilet, and dip in the sea.So much time spent to get somewhere, without enough payback.It was a "down" start to many other enjoyable experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The high points of this trip focused on food and wine, and the family dinner was the ultimate food and wine experience. Multiple members of a local family, from 4 years to 70, cooked, served,and shared a meal with us. What was the best, the homegrown veggies, or the BBQ Pringle chip handed to me by the darling little 4 year old?!"

Jill

Corindi Beach Nsw,

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed seeing different part of Italy than before. Tour was well-organised and more than fulfilled my expectations. Only small disappointment was that we did not have a group photograph taken anywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the water buffalo mozzarella farm. It was such a surprise to see such an automated operation that was able to be run by so few people ... Plus the buffalo cows seemed so contented and well-trained."

Jocelyne

New Westminster, BC

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all good...no wow moment"

Ray

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taking this trip as a tour rather than on our own exposed us to sites that we otherwise would not have thought of (e.g. a water buffalo farm and the time in Matera, and some of the museums). Overall, a great trip, with a good mix of effort (walking) and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess just noticing how beautiful the Italian women are."

Debra

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour and found its level of activity just about right. I like having some free time to explore that which interests me most or revisit that which went too fast. And sometimes, at almost 65 years, I just "needs to sit". Having local guides in addition to my tour guide helps make visiting huge art galleries truly educational as we could focus on the highlights and really learn the big picture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera is a must to keep on your tour. I loved learning about pasta and how important it is to the Italian "psyche." And, please include the Buffalo Farm Tour. I love those big beasts! And it is the best mozarella!"

Thomas

Salem, NY

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

As noted my overall experience was good. However I am used to outstanding and for that reason I was a bit disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that driving along the mountainside in the bus along with the cave expedition by boat were my WOW moments."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our small group (17) was a perfect size to enjoy southern Italy intimately, on a big bus, with wonderful guides, incredible sights to see, delicious food, dreamy views of two seas, quiet time when we needed to come down from intense spots like Rome and Naples, and memories that fill my days now, and will for a long time. I learned new history, saw new local cultures, learned some new Italian, marveled at new artisans' skills and artists' talents daily, and felt full at the end of the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at water's edge, and seeing islands and caves, of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean was a big thrill for me, as we mostly travel inland. And I would have to say that touring the Pompeii site with a terrific guide, and then seeing the treasures from there in the Naples museum was truly wonderful. And the Greek temples at Paestum were exciting for the same reason--I love antiquities ! Finding ONE WOW moment is hard !!"

Carol

Palm Desert, CA

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour of Southern Italy was great. We visited so many places off the beaten path, what a delight. I was happy to stay in each location for two nights. We had a good balance of guided walks and free time. Rick, your write up of Naples scares people. A few were really reluctant to explore the city. There are plenty of police on patrol. The skilled bus driver should be acknowledged. Italian roads are busy, narrow and windy, not to mention the cliff hanger curve

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several WOW days. The drive to the Gargano Peninsula and the community of Vieste. I really enjoyed the community of Matera. Two days is not enough time to experience 9,000 years of history. The Greek temples and Roman ruins of Paestum were impressive both in size and their completeness. The community of Pompeii was as advertised. The local guides knowledge and enthusiasm brought the place alive."

Margie

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful adventure! We traveled with a wonderful group of people. Our guide, Donald and our tour assistant, Stephanie, lead us all with confidence, generously shared knowledge, respect, grace and humor, even in the face of having to adjust schedules and transportation routes/modes due to access issues on the roads. Our accommodations may not have been 6* hotels, but they were all clean, comfortable, located in areas that allowed us to explore the highlights of each destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" experiences that it would be difficult to name just one but visiting the Sassi in Matera was probably the biggest unexpected surprise for us. We also fell madly in love with Positano. Having a balcony outside our room, overlooking the town, was simply magical. Visiting Capri and taking the chairlift to the to the vistas of Monte Solaro, was breathtaking."

Bob

Canfield, OH

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The organization, the guides and the execution of the tour were excellent. In the past we have used the Rick Steve's guidebooks to independently tour in Europe. We had been advised not to try to drive southern Italy. It was a wise choice to tour with this tour. Donald and Stephanie were knowledgeable, able to provide insight and information about the locations, and teach basic language skills. They further introduced additional guides who in general were very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive from Paestum to Positano and the town of Positano, and the visit to Hadrian's Villa (city)"

Mary Rose

Canfield, OH

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the size of the group -- 17. The Rick Steve's tour guides were very friendly, engaging and definitely knew the material. I was not happy with one of the Italian tour guides -- the lady we had twice at the museums in Naples. She was far too political and intense for me. The other Italian tour guides were wonderful! I met people on the tour which I believe will be life-long friends. The hotels were very nice and the food was awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments for me. I loved it all!"

Morrie

Glenview, IL

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Take this with a grain of salt. This was my first tour. I found that it was to hectic, with a lot of rushing from town to town and a lot of packing and unpacking. I did pack light.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending the day a the beach in Matera. Visiting the opera house in Napoli and having a live dress rehersal in progress."

Kenneth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th trip with Rick, so we had high expectations which were met on every level. I thought the length of the trip adequate although when we got home, I wished it was longer and we were still in S. Italy. I think the places chosen to see were spectacular, but I always wish we could stay longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my "wow' moment was in Matera. That was so unusual and different than anything I'd ever experienced before. Our guide that day was excellent and provided first hand knowledge since his father and grandfather had lived in the caves. Also being able to go down into one of the caves was fascinating and most informative. Seeing how the people lived brought it closer to understanding their way of life."

Gene

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could see that a lot of time and thought went into the planning of this tour.there is a lot to see in southern Italy and I feel that you have caught the essence of what southern Italy is. This is our second Rick Steves tour. I would have to rank both tours as a tie.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say it was Matera. It was something I never expected. The fact that it was a scorching hot day added to the intensity of the place."

Randall

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS tour experience was very very good. Everything went like clock work till a auto wreck between Posotono and Sorento closed the road. But our tour guide Donald, just made alternative arrangements and we did not miss anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The main street and fountain area in Matera."

Richard

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was another fantastic tour! Our guide, Alfio, was excellent and his insights were very interesting and informative. We had a great group of people which made the tour fun. Our local guides were very good, especially Francesca in Rome. She was so passionate and knowledgeable. The tour was the right blend of structured activities and free time to explore. I knew little of southern Italy and was very pleased with our destinations, especially Matera.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was our dinner at the family home in Sorento. They were so friendly and hospitable. The food was great, conversation very interesting and I felt like we had made new friends."

Tricia

Tinley Park, IL

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was worth every penny. I loved all the places we visited. I loved how we would do sight seeing as a group and then had time for ourselves to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment is Matera. Pulling up on the bus and taking in that view of Matera was breathtaking."

Philip

Helotes, TX

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 6th trip to Italy, but the difference was this tour included a part of Italy we had not been (except Rome). We had excellent weather (though it was hotter than expected on some days) and I thought was very well balanced between "serious" stuff (museums, Pompeii, etc.) and "fun" stuff (boat excursion in Vieste). And as usual there was very good balance between structured group activities and free time. Some hotels were a bit of a bummer (see below). I was not impressed with Naples

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amalfi Coast?"

Thomas

York, SC

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Alfio was excellent. The provided meals in Sorrento and Alberobello were outstanding. Most of the others were just ok. The hotels were conveniently located but just ok. Local guides were knowledgeable and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The provided meal in Sorrento"

Michelle

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The south of Italy tour was amazing. I totally enjoyed exploring areas not usually on the tourist path, Matera, Alberobello especially. Historic sites like Tivoli, Pompeii and Paestum also were amazing. I love ancient history so seeing places that had historic and cultural significance were awesome, putting the reading and history in perspective. I was surprised how much I enjoyed Naples (Napoli) and the Amalfi coast. It was a well designed trip filled with great food, amazing experiences

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nightscape views of Matera, like a Nativity scene at Christmas, with dazzling lights. The meal we had with locally sourced food, homemade pasta and wines from the region, and locally sourced cured meals and cheeses was one of the best meals on the tour, in my opinion. The meal with Theresa and Luigi in Sorrento, having them welcome us into their home and share their family was a personal touch and one unexpected. They are warm and generous in their time and care towards their guests. very memora"

Bruce

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After being told by many friends about how much fun and well run the Rick Steves Tours are, I was not disappointed. The quality of our guide, the choices of where to go, quality of hotels, all excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Naples Archaeological Museum. I had always wanted to see it and could have spent the whole day there. We had an excellent guide for both museums in Naples, a PhD Archaeologist."

Mary

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect! Such a great value and ideal balance of activities! From not-to-be-missed museum and archealogical treasures to homemade dinners in the home of an Italian family! Loved our visit to the organic water buffalo farm and loved their products even more! Absolutely the best ricotta, mozzarella,yogurt and gelato made from this raw, organic buffalo milk! My only regret is that I could not take it all home with me! Our first Rick Steves' tour...but it won't be our last! Grazie millie!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the ancient city of Sassi,Matera, Italy and our hotel there! Truly a most unique travel experience! Thank you Rick Steves! Also, the Chapel of Sansevero Museum in Naples! I've been to many great world museums but I have never seen anything quite like the sculpted, veiled figures found here. Notably, the Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ), the Chastity monument and The Disenchantment! It's inconceivable to me as to how these artists created these masterpieces!"

Beth

State College, PA

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

You can't be held responsible for the weather and the other tourists - but we remember this trip as being hot, humid and crowded. It has been over 10 years since our first RS tour - and we couldn't get over how crowded things were in Rome compared to the first trip. There were crowds on most of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our balcony at Positano. I wished we had another day to simple enjoy the balcony. I've been telling all of my foodie friends about the group meal outside of Sorrento. Having a traditional, home cooked meal served on a simple, loving manner is a life time memory. I loved everything about that evening."

Timothy

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed this trip very much. It was a good mix of large and small towns, many great sites to see. This is just me, but I would have enjoyed more group dinners, but I know that impacts the tour cost. As my wife and I have taken Rick Steve's Tours, much of our enjoyment has come from time with the other travelers. Our guide was very good and the city guides were for the most part excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Paestum and Pompeii were my high points. Our group dinner with an Italian family was also a high point. Rome and Naples are overwhelming with the number of significant places, so it's difficult to pick a wow there, but both cities were wonderful."

Kathleen

Bedford, NH

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour. It was a great experience. We will definitely be doing more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Matera from the top of the tableau was my wow moment. I had no idea such a place existed. The history and the beauty of the cave city blew me away."

Douglas

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very good tour. The Rick Steves system appeals to me, as witness this was my 10th trip in 20 years. I was very pleased with the experience. Unfortunately, I caught the flu bug early in the tour, and thus missed some events and did not feel that spiffy at others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hadrian's villa and of course Pompeii were the most memorable."

Patricia

St Paul, MN

Tour: 09/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Unfortunately we plucked up a virus over there and are still recouperating

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sassi"

Judy

Hampton, VA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amalfi Coast"

Lynda

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We saw so many sights that we knew little about (Vieste, Alberobella, Matera) as well as those we knew about (Amalfi Coast) but hadn't seen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Amalfi Coast. The view from the road and from Positano was amazing. Our guide made arrangements for a private boat to take us from Positano to Amalfi. This boat ride was a "wow". Also wowed by both Matera and Pompeii."

Deborah

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour once again surpassed expectations. Ann was very knowledgeable, friendly and by the end of the tour we really felt like she was a good friend. We have been to Italy many times and we had some very unique experiences on this tour. This was a good tour and I would recommend it to people who want to experience this part of Italy. If I had it to do over I might have chosen a little later in the year because it was plenty hot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With all the amazing history and art and food it is hard to pick one special moment, but I find myself telling and retelling the experience we had at the water buffalo farm. The spa land of the water buffalo world. Mozart in the morning, massages, misters, and self milking machines. Followed by the real mozzarella crepes,buffalo milk yogurt, ice cream,cappuccinos with buffalo milk and more cheese than one could possibly eat. Amazing. But,there were the amazing veiled marble statues in Naples."

Tim

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Naples Archeological museum."

Martha

Sparks, NV

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On my own time I wrecked my leg. Ann was very compassionate and made sure I was ok for the three days I had to stay home from fun. I love Ann! A lot of laughs and she is loved by the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching Ann handle 28 people that doddle. She has a talent!! We own a business and we would hire her in a minute if she moved to Nevada!!! On another note Matera was pretty fabulous."

Charlene

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We love Italy and have been lucky enough to visit the country a few times. However, this tour took us to places we had never seen (other than Rome), and some we hadn't even heard of before (Vieste and Matera)! Nothing disappointed us, with every day offering something new and interesting. We think the tour had a nice mix of free time and scheduled sightseeing excursions and our fellow travelers were fantastic! Other than the high temperatures the first week, we couldn't have asked for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but if I had to choose the best, it would be a toss up between the scenic boat ride (arranged by our guide, Ann) from Positano to Amalfi, with its gorgeous views of the homes and hotels clinging to the cliffs....or...seeing Pompeii through the eyes of our incredible local guide."

Dale

Sparks, NV

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All was great! Highly recommend this tour. Fun Fun Fun

Margaret

Mt Pleasant, SC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We LOVED it!! This was our first time on a tour and we were nervous about traveling with a group of strangers. Everyone was delightful! Having all the transportation and guides arranged for you is fabulous - removes so much of the stress of traveling. But, it was exhausting! My husband and I both work out for 1+hours every day and we had two 17 year old boys with us - we were all worn out! Can't imagine backing two tours into each other as some people do!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat trip in Vieste to see the grottos... didn't really believe he was going to fit that boat into the opening of the grotto!! And it was magical inside! Oh, and my husband and I discovered a gallery two doors down from the hotel in Sorrento. The artist (Marcello Aversa) does nativity scene sculptures. We were able to talk with him (via his assistant who spoke English) and his work was absolutely amazing! We ended up buying a small piece and will treasure it!"

Joan

St Albert, AB

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was ok but It turned out that my body doesn't like being on a tour bus for five hrs ( ended up with sciatica issues that impacted my walking and missed out on a few subsequent walks) that we did for two days and that we took this tour two days after finishing the village tour which we loved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii was amazing and out local,tour guide, Gaetano Manfredi was worth his weight in gold. He was so entertaining and instead of dry facts really explained how the people lived, he brought Pompeii to life for me. Even when he splashed water on the ground of the rich mans home when the tile came to glisten in vibrant colour, wow! It was excellent that it was timed to see the archeology museum in Naples the next day to see Pompeii artifacts made so much more sense"

Sandra

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour. The guides were great and hotels good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompei, it was awesome."

Diane

Langley, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every part of the experience. Every day we saw something new and exciting. Looked so forward to every day. WOW!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Matera was a WOW moment for me. the lodging was unbelievable and the tour was so interesting"

Evelyn

Bethlehem, PA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour included spots we would never have traveled to on our own. (In the past, we have rented a car and used Rick Steves tour books to plan our itinerary and hotels in Italy & France [INVALID] and been so pleased.) I was not sure why Naples was included on the tour (a place I did not enjoy), but I thought it was because of the display of pieces from Pompeii in the Archeological Museum which were very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There's more than 1. First, Matera! What a gem of a place that is unknown to so many. It was so interesting to learn how people lived many centuries ago until fairly recently. 2nd, Pompeii! It was a combination of the place, the history, and Gaetano that made this place a highlight for me. 3rd, Puglia was great: Vieste to enjoy the Adriatic & grottos and the trulli & wine/food experience."

Heather

Aldergrove, BC

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was incredibly awesome. I felt like I was in an amazing dream seeing and doing so many wonderful things. This was my very first Rick Steve's trip and I have to say I would go on another tour in a heart beat. I had 26 fellow members and I couldn't have asked for a better group. It was great to have a trip totally planned out for me by the experts. I can not imagine having to do all the lag work,plus I would never achieve such an excellent outcome on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several wow moments! Stepping down into the Sassi Barisano section in Matera blew me away-it felt like I had gone back in time. Swimming in Vieste, visiting the Greek temples in Paestum, Pompeii, Positano, the Capitoling museum in Rome. The food was so delicious-the tomatoes were the best I have ever tasted."

Keith

Bethlehem, PA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A lot of historical material and miles to cover in 12 days. This was our first official tour of any kind, though we have been to Europe many many times using RS' guides. Our tour guide leader was all business, which was surprising to some in our group who have been on numerous RS tours in the past. The local guides, particularly Pompeii, where excellent. Regarding group dinners, only the one in Matera was very good. The others were barely acceptable. The hotels ranged in quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough. There were a number. I guess I would say Pompeii due to the local guide."

Judith

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the guides, drivers, hotels and all the staff outstanding and very helpful in making us comfortable and well taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Adriatic Sea for the first time and spending time in Vieste as my favorite moment on the trip. Meeting 28 great new friends."

Chris

River Falls, WI

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fabulous. Caterina was an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable. The food was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow travelers. What a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a WOW moment everyday of the tour. Walking tour and tour of Capitoline with Francesca, boat ride along the Adriatic and Amalfi Coast, Matera, tour of Pompeii (local guide was excellent), and dinner with family in Sorrento were just some of the highlights."

Tom

Santee, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves' Europe tour and was every bit as terrific as the other two. All the tour members meshed well; we all became good friends. Caterina is a very accomplished guide and made the entire tour trouble-free and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Pompeii was one of my "wow" moments. Seeing it with an incredible tour guide made it even better. I'd learned about Pompeii in high school and saw touring exhibits in the U.S. over the years, but seeing it in person was awesome. Our guide made the history come alive. A late afternoon thunderstorm as we were leaving made the entire visit even more memorable."

Gary

Yorba Linda, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour and this was our favorite so far. Caterina was an outstanding tour guide and seamlessly handled all aspects of the tour and made us feel comfortable throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera and Pompei"

Pamela

Yorba Linda, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The South of Italy tour was absolutely wonderful! We really loved our tour guide, Caterina, who was so informative and interesting. She was also completely unflappable, always very prepared for each day and kept the group excited and eager to explore. Our group of 20 people was such a pleasure to travel with. Everyone was respectful, pleasant and easy to get along with. The South of Italy exceeded my expectations with beautiful, historical and fascinating destinations! Loved every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had read about Matera and seen a few photos, but it was absolutely stunning to first see Matera by viewing it from the cliff across from the town. What an unbelievable story about that place! To explore it with a guide was fabulous."

Elizabeth

Shelbyville, IN

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous experience! Our Southern Italy tour exceeded our expectations which were very high before we even began the adventure. Caterina was an excellent tour guide. She handled all the logistics seamlessly, was very professional and informative yet very fun and engaging, and she made sure we experienced the local culture and cuisine. We appreciated the local guides and the local expertise they provided. Our group was small at 20 and it was a perfect size for this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Amalfi Coast. We have admired pictures of the Amalfi Coast for years and it was amazing to see it with our own eyes!"

Houston

Summerfield, NC

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

AMAZING trip ! Of our five previous RS tours this one ranks at the top with Spain and Morocco. The group was small but very compatible, and our guide , Caterina, was the best we have ever had. Although we had been to some of the places before, we saw and did completely new things.(i.e. Rome and Naples and Amalfi coast) We also experienced a part of Italy that few American tourists get to see. A wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to pick from, it would be impossible to pick one or two. Some highlights include the following: the Capitoline and Rome walking tour with Francesca, the Pompeii walking tour with Gitano, seeing the coastline of Amalfi and Gargano by boat , the Sassi in Matera, the wonderful group meals planned by Caterina especially with the wonderful local family in Sorentino, and last, but certainly not least, the incredible pizza in Naples."

Carole

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fantastic time. Tour couldn't have been more fun. Every day had at least one "wow" moment. We'll be doing a tour again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment. Caterina, our tour leader, was wonderful and always focused one ensuring everyone was having a good time. She also did a absolutely great job helping us find a doctor and translating for us. It actually turned out to be a very interesting experience."

Joanne

Westlake Village, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have not been on a group tour in 28 years. I was somewhat concerned that we would miss our freedom to venture out and "make" an adventure. I was thrilled that we had plenty of opportunity to do things on our own or with new found friends with our tour group. I was amazed at all the things I learned from our tour guide and the local guides. They set the stage and made the sights come alive for me and more interesting than I could have imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera was magical - the blend of the ancient with the modern. I could not stop taking pictures because I found both the old and the new so interesting."

Richard

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations in every way. Size of group was perfect - 20 very compatible people - we very much enjoyed their company and made some new friends. Tour was paced very well for us - 2 nights in each location, about 2/3 structured and about 1/3 free time which worked perfectly for us. Tour guide, Caterina, was FABULOUS! She was very knowledgable, upbeat, engaged with the group and taught us some Italian language and culture which helped us a lot during our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had a "wow" moment thanks to Caterina. For us, Pompeii was probably the highlight - learning about how advanced civilization was and how much of that was lost for centuries and then rediscovered."

John

Shelbyville, IN

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great pre-tour instructions and interactions. Caterina (Cat-arena) was very punctual and demanded group punctuality. Our tour guide was also very dynamic, knowledgeable and made sure that everyone was included. The tour stops were incredible, rich with history and geographically diverse. We would have missed 90% had we attempted this on our own. This was probably our best trip ever! Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Adriatic Sea boat ride including the grottos. You wanted to find a local realtor and move right on in. The Amalfi coast has been on our list for 20 years and it did not let us down. Incredible. The boat ride revealed the entire coastal area at a leisure pace. Once again I think that we would have missed it by staying in the wrong place."

Steve

Westlake Village, CA

Tour: 06/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew this was going to be good based on the many years of watching Rick Steves' TV shows and recent reviews of his tours by the participants. However, everything about it far exceeded my expectations- especially our guide Caterina Moore who made everything so easy, interesting and enjoyable. I am enthusiastically recommending Rick Steves Tours to everyone who wants to hear about our experience. Thank you so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. Caterina hired a boat for us to see the Amalfi coast from Positano to the town of Amalfi. To be able to view and learn about this magnificent coastline in comfort without being surrounded by hoards of cruise ship tourists made a huge difference. Many years ago I rafted through Grand Canyon for a week and it was incredible. A coastline is certainly different...but wow!"

Rebecca

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Southern Italy was a real eye-opener. Most of what we know about Italy refers to Northern and Central Italy. It was great discovering new landscapes and a different history. My previous trips to Italy focused on art and cathedrals, this trip focused on people and recent history (plus of course Pompei). The enriching thing I took away from the tour was an understanding and respect for the resiliency and spirit of southern Italians.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was in Pompei. I have been looking forward to Pompei my whole life. We had a wonderful local guide, Gaetano (sp?) who brought it all to life."

John

Coarsegold, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was the first guided tour for myself and my wife. We have toured Europe a number of time by ourselves. Having driven in Italy before we decided that this time we will be driven around and avoid that stress. We enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to our friends. I particularly liked the prep material provided by Rick Steves' tours as it was very helpful, i.e. packing, credit cards, transportation, guide books, etc. Other tour companys don't bother.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Sorrento we really enjoyed having dinner at a private residence. The family was charming, the location was perfect, the food was absolutely incredible. It really was a nice touch to the trip. The next "Wow" was the water buffalo farm. It was fascinating with the automated milking machines, the massage devices, and overall care of the animals. The gourmet lunch was the best...."

Nikolai

Falls Church, VA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great guide, great group. Southern Italy was a bit disorganized for my taste, but I enjoyed the trip. I injured my hip on the first day in Rome, so that affected me a lot. I tried to be upbeat and hope that I didn't detract from the enjoyment of others. Of course, it was hard on my wife. Lisa was wonderful in helping me in so many ways, and so were my fellow tour members. My wife enjoyed everything and also appreciated Lisa's special help.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments were Capitoline Museum in Rome, Positano boat ride along the coast, Museo Archeologico in Naples. I missed Pompei etc. because of my injury."

Amber

York, PA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My husband and I really enjoyed the "South Italy in 13 Days" tour. We learned so much about Italy's every day life today and in the past. We appreciated the bus driver, Julio's conscientous driving, since there are switchbacks all the way from Rome to the Almalfi Coast. I appreciate that the bus driver's responsibility is driving only, not doing tour guide things as well. We will be taking another tour using Rick Steves' company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments, but the one that sticks in my head is the wonderful meal that we enjoyed with an Italian family in Sorrento. It was so interesting to see how they actually live behind those high stucco walls that we walked by so many times throughout the 2 weeks we were in Italy. The meal was fresh and plantiful and Luigi and Theresa were friendly, open hosts."

John

Venice, FL

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a group tour ever after self-directing around Europe for years. The experience was better than I expected. Saw parts of southern Italy that I would never have considered on my own. The itinerary was varied and universally interesting. Transportation was well coordinated, stays at points of interest were long enough to appreciate what was there to see. Accommodations were good to excellent, included meals were awesome. Weather was perfect throughout, how did you arrange that?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too numerous to pick just one. Seeing the Adriatic coast for the first time, the Amalfi coast, Pompei, Rome for the first time, sleeping in a cave in Matera, Sorrento & Capri. Naples, crazy and chaotic, but truly exciting."

Jane

Venice, FL

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well run. Lisa Anderson was an outstanding guide, personable , thoughtful, highly competent and fun. We saw and had more experiences that you would imagine in the time frame allowed. In addition, the bus time was often used to further educate about Italian culture. The food was excellent and for the most part accommodations were comfortable . We were surprised how many of the expenses were included in the price of the tour. I found overall that It was an excellent value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat tour along the coast in Positano !"

Laura

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The south of Italy is still off the beaten track and this tour made me so glad to have experienced the region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many of them: of course, Pompeii, but also swimming in the Adriatic in Vieste and the incredible Matera - not to mention the food!"

Nancy

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth tour with RIck Steves', second to Italy. As always the tour was well organized, educational and physically active, if not exhausting on some days. I would suggest this tour only if you have seen northern Italy first and thirst for more! The Amalfi Coast was beautiful and the sprinkles of special experiences along the way added to the delight of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when we descended the stairs from 2015 Matera to the prehistoric Sassi and it's caves. Staying the night in a cave was a once in a lifetime "wow" experience for me."

Anthony

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed it. The guide Sussana was very nice and very knowledgeable about Italy. The trip was well planned with lots of interesting cities to see. A highlight was the dinner with the Italian family

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera And the family dinner"

Jenny

Milford, OH

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall,our Southern Italy tour was great. We visited several smaller towns that most people have never heard of and then some larger cities that are more well known. I enjoyed the variety and found something to like in each one. We [INVALID]ed this tour because it allowed for a lot of time on our own to explore. This provided a great balance between group activities and free time. Great food, great wine, great group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments: Seeing the ruins at Paestum - fantastic! Seeing the "Veiled Christ" in Naples - truly remarkable! This was not originally part of the tour, but an unscheduled closure of the Archeological Museum in Naples one day caused our tour guide (Pina) to "pinch hit" with a walking tour instead. Taking the chair lift to Anna Capri for the water views - wow!"

Doug

Milford, OH

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good experience with a good balance of structure and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vieste and Positano with the ocean views."

Barbara

Albany, CA

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Susanna Perrucchini assured a great experience. She was knowledgeable in culture, history, politics, & art All details of the trip were smoothly and professionally managed. She was consistently charming, gracious and helpful. A very interesting person and energetic. I loved the range of experiences from Rome & Naples to the coastal towns with boat rides between the scenic towns. The city of Matera was amazing. Of course the museums,churches and famous works of art werea delight

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our tour guide in Rome pointed out how within our view there were 4 periods of history as we walked to the Capitoline Museum & around the Coluseum to the Jewish quarter. She gave us a great feel for all the art periods that surrounded us. She made alive how "you see what you know". She made you realize the length and depth of time present everywhere in Rome."

Edmon

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "Rick Steves" tour and it was even better than we imagined! There were many things that we did and saw that we never would have experienced on our own. We also enjoyed the social aspects that travelling with a group of twenty provided. We had a great, fun group! I will also add, as the only gay couple in the group, we felt completely welcomed in the group and comfortable everywhere we went. Definitely glad we arrived 2 days early to Rome. So much to see/do there!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it is difficult to pick one. However, that first view of Matera from across the gorge was amazing! That is such an interesting city. However, my favorite stop on the trip was Sorrento. I had the perfect day - lounging on the beach, swimming in the Mediterranean, great conversation with our guide Susanna, a little shopping later, and the most amazing dinner prepared by a local family at their beautiful home!"

David

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

There was a good mix of smaller towns and city experiences. I also feel that we had a good mix of organized activities and time on our own. The people on the tour were great and everyone seemed to really bond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The caves of Matera were amazing."

Kimberly

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and recommended by our friends who also went. We very much enjoyed the educational aspect of the tour but it was overly so. The meals were delicious with plenty of food. The hotels were mostly very good. The pace was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say the city of Matera was our "wow" moment. From the overlook across the gorge, to checking into the most unusual hotel, to the Sassi tour."

Jan

Stockton, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding destination cities. I enjoyed all of them. It was wonderful being by the water most of the time. I found this tour to have more steps and uneven ground than previous ones, so it was a little more tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Sorrento, we went to a private home for dinner. The home was on a street with many homes and it had a wall around it. From the outside it looked like a major city street. Then they opened the gate to into the yard, and it was amazing! It looked like we were in the country with fruit trees and vegetables and green everywhere. And then we went into their special family room and the long table was covered with food! And excellent food it was!"

Doug

Skiatook, OK

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour a lot. Spent more time on the bus than I would have liked. That meant some of the activities on the way seemed rushed. I should have studied the itinerary more. Was surprised we were on our own for more than half the lunches and dinners. Variety of experiences was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride from Vieste to explore the coast line and grottos was great. Really enjoyed the tasting at Tholos Trullo del Gusto. Family meal at Luigi and Teresa's was extremely enjoyable and memorable."

Kennette

La Grange, IL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I do love the structure of your tours. We get to see the places that draw us in, but then you continually surprise us with locations and experiences that make the tour memorable. This tour was no exception. I met some very interesting people and viewed Italian lives that are not at all different from our own. I appreciate the care with which the hotels, restaurants, and guides are selected. And I love the time on our own to do as we please. Such a nice balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the town of Matera. I had no idea what to expect beyond some Goggle pictures and a little history. I have never seen anything like it. I am happy for the people from Matera as they prepare to be the European Cultural Capitol, and I can appreciate the challenges they face in preparing for that event. Our hotel was so very different and lovely, and the underground spa and Roman baths such an experience."

John

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The chemistry of the group was outstanding. No one was ever late for the bus or meeting to begin our group walking tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night we had dinner at Luigi and Theresa's home, one of our group, Lauren, sang "The Prayer." There were a number of moist eyes in the room."

Marcia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most action-packed tour we've been on. From the beginning we ate amazing gourmet Italian food, saw some of the most scenic, historic, and unique sites in the world, and were entertained by a positive, energetic, and knowledgeable tour guide who made it her goal to show us the best that Italy could offer. Catarina used our "option" days to organize boat cruises that we might have otherwise missed. She got to know everyone on the tour so at the end we felt like one big family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It sounds trite, but every day was a WOW moment on this tour. There were so many fascinating sites and experiences that surprised and amazed me. I signed up for the tour to see Pompeii, Amalfi coast, and Blue Grotto. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Blue Grotto due to unfavorable conditions, but the Trulli houses, Matera caves, moonlit beach at Positano, the veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel, the home cooked dinner at an Italian family's home were truly unforgettable."

Linda

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have enjoyed all four of the Rick Steve's tours in which we have participated. However, the South Italy tour was the best. On each tour participants are asked to describe their "Wow" moment. I found it surprising to hear several spontaneous "wows" as we were walking or driving. The scenery was amazing, the food excellent, the activities varied and fun, and the tour guide was exemplary. Caterina's organization skills, clarity of communication, and care for tour participants are extraordina

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As described above, there were several "Wow" moments on this tour. These include a marvelous rainbow, the drive along the Adriatic and Amalfi coasts, the tour we elected to take to the Isle of Capris, the dinner at the family home, the tour of the water buffalo farm as well as the dinner there. Amazing tour."

Loretta

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very good experience with an excellent guide and we enjoyed our fellow travelers. Also the local guides were excellent. Some favorites were Matera, Sorrento and dinner with local family and the water buffalo farm. We had previously spent a number of days in Rome but seeing the Pantheon was amazing for the second time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera stands out for me. I loved everything about it and am now reading "Christ Stopped at Eboli.""

Bonnie

Evanston, IL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well run and particularly interesting. I had been to Italy three times before but never to the south. The hotels were very comfortable and well-staffed. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable and congenial. I would have preferred to stay in some cities longer rather than go to so many places but I knew the structure when I chose the tour. I just didn't know that I would be so intrigued by some of the towns, Vieste and Matera specifically.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Matera from the overlook outside the city before we entered it. Another 'wow' there was opening the door of our hotel room onto the city of Matera. Stunning."

Janet

Anaheim Hills, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our (my husband and I) first Rick Steves' tour. However, we have watched the television show and read the books. We used the books when we visited Europe while traveling. Everything was completely wonderful. I liked everyone in our group, loved our tour guide, loved all the places we visited, liked the pace of the tour, all the hotels and restaurants.....well, everything. The whole tour was fun, interesting, inspiring, enjoyable, beautiful and fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments in is really hard to select one. The sea grottos in Vieste were so beautiful, something I have never seen. The town of Matera was mysterious and interesting, and super cool. The beauty of the Almafi coast was breathtaking. It was always a travel dream of mine to visit the Amalfi Coast and I loved it."

Bob

Stockton, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual this Rick Steve's tour exceeded our expectations. A great group of travelers who bonded under the leadership of a knowledgable and friendly guide with a variety of cultural, historical, and natural beauty experiences and great food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 4-5 hours with Francesca our local guide at the Capitoline Museum and Jewish quarter in Rome."

Almon

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we've traveled fairly extensively (including 3 previous trips to Italy) this was our first guided tour of any kind and our first Rick Steves tour. Since I dislike 'herding', I was a bit unsure of this trip. However, I must say that the mix of guided experiences, orientation walks, and free time was a perfect mix for me. I thoroughly enjoyed our guide Caterina and the several local guides as well. They made the experience much more enjoyable and I came away with a much better insight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many it's hard to choose! The dinner with our Italian family was great. The camaraderie within the group was outstanding! The insights into ancient art offered by our local Rome Francesca really helped the museum come alive - who knew that the statues used to be alive with colors!"

Marie

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we definitely plan to be repeat customers! It was a fabulous experience and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The itinerary was excellent; our tour guide was outstanding; and our group of fellow travelers was a delight...congenial, cohesive and really lots of fun. I think the structure of the tour (shared activities, the buddy system, buddy introduction)worked well to foster relationships. By the end of the trip, I felt that we had become a family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many "wow" moments (really every day), seeing Matera for the first time...descending those steps to the old city...seeing the vista of the sassi stretching endlessly before me...wow...I felt transported back to Biblical times. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing."

Keith

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much better than expected. About the right amount of free time vs. "planned" which resulted in more "chill" time overall. Nice!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vieste and Positano were "breathtankingly" beautiful!"

Theresa

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great trip, tour and time. From the beautifully diverse 2-nt stays in each city or town, I experienced a breathtaking view of the southern Italian peninsula and lived, if ever so briefly, the fiercely complicated existence in Italia. Because of the expertise, great humor and spot-on added or suggested things to do provided by our consummate pro guide Ann, I felt a connection to the country and enjoyed a wonderfully personal glimpse of its citizens/culture/sights/flora/fauna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All are favorites. Rome Storico Centro location. Lovely Vieste[INVALID]heaven to look out on my rooms' Adriatic view. Impressive organic water buffalo farm; who knew happy Mozart-listening cows give sweeter milk? Inspirational, evocative Matera; its people's adaptiveness amazing. Amalfi Coast stunning, gorgeous. Sorrento charms sweetly, powerfully like its limoncello. Gaetano, superb Pompeii guide; brought all to the present, from so long ago. All the treasures of wild, beautiful Naples."

Tammy

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time and learned a great deal, which is why I like Rick Steves' tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Matera, and the grottos along the Amalfi coast."

Mary Jo

Burns, OR

Tour: 05/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th RS tour, and I am constantly amazed at how expertly you combine art, architecture, culture, food, wine, history and archaeology into one tour! Even the long bus days have interesting stops along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had at least one "wow" moment! If I had to choose I'd say Matera was a big "wow". Even though I had read about it a month earlier in The New Yorker, I was unprepared for how large it was, its history and the sociological implications of the move to new dwellings. Our cave hotel was truly luxurious, another surprise! I also really loved Positano, despite it being so touristy...and Paestum, Pompeii, and the water buffalo/mozzarella farm!"

Priscilla

Greenback, TN

Tour: 05/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first RS tour and we're hooked! Just the right mix of organized tours and free time, great food, amazing sights, history and art, and a wonderful group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The boat ride along the Vieste coast, Matera caves, water buffaloes, olive groves. My favorite was the Amalfi coast, Positano seen from the water and the view of the Bay of Naples from Sorrento. Breathtaking!"

Thomas

Conway, SC

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was unforgettable because of the extraordinary guide , Alfio ,and the super fun group we were fortunate to be a part of! The variety of experiences we were exposed to were well planned and provided an overview of the Italian culture, architecture, people, and food of southern Italy. For the most part the selection of hotels met my expectations and were clean, comfortable and provided a variety of experiences related to size and amenities. The included dinners together were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to come up with the favorite wow moment as I'm torn between the whole Amalfi coast experience and Pompeii. If I am forced to choose one I would say the Amalfi coast had the most incredible sites. Starting with the mountain coast line and the winding, treacherous ride up and down, to the unique cities of Sorrento and Positano. The architecture of the homes built on the side of the mountains, restaurants, shopping opportunities and views were incredible !"

JoAnn

Vernon, BC

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour overall. Great to visit sites less travelled such as Vieste and Matera. Nice mix of time on tour and free time to explore on your own. We really enjoyed the "special experiences" included in the South Italy Tour i.e. the boat cruise on the Adriatic, wine tasting in Alberobello, lunch at the water buffalo farm etc. There were excellent local guides: Francesca in Rome, Gaytano in Pompeii and Pina in Naples. Alfio kept us energized, enthusiastic and entertained everyday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't just pick one wow moment. Matera is definitely in first place. It felt surreal to be in this truly special, one-of-a kind city surrounded with thousands of years of history. I didn't want to leave and two nights wasn't enough time. I felt like I'd gone back in time. Alberobello was another wow as was the top of Anacapri on our free day."

Carol

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of Southern Italy had a great combination of big cities, smaller villages, famous museums, amazing archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Then add to the mix fun cooking demonstrations, a farm visit, incredibly scenic boat rides, knowledgable local guides, and great food. To tie it all together was our warm and knowlegable Rick Steves' guide Alfio who brought his open and often wonderfully humorous personal perspective on Italian life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I was fully expecting to be "wowed" by the Roman ruins of Pompeii or the beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast (which I was), it was in Naples I had my most moving and unexpected experience. In the small Baroque private chapel, Cappella Sansevero, lies the most moving statue of Christ I have ever seen, Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino, equally movingly described by our Rick Steves' guide Alfio . Photos do not do it justice."

George

Downingtown, PA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 13 days we spent on the South Italy Tour with Alfio as our guide were wonderful. Alfio was excellent. His patience, knowledge, cheerfulness, and professionalism were outstanding. We couldn't have asked for more for a tour leader. We really enjoyed the pace of the tour. We really enjoyed Alfio's great knowledge of Italian history and customs which he constantly shared with us. The local guides we had were also outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano and the Amalfi Coast were stunningly beautiful."

Sue

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been on quite a few Rick Steves tours. They've all been exceptional including this tour. Our group was fantastic, tour guide Alfio was amazing. He was very organized and comfortable to be around. Really enjoyed his humor and style.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each place we traveled to had its own offering. Vieste was so much fun. Loved the hotel there. Especially enjoyed the boat tour into the grottos! Matera and Alberobello were places I never knew existed. You just have to see them to believe it. The list doesn't end..Seeing gelato made in Sorrento, the water buffalo farm and enjoying a lovely lunch there, the beauty of Capri, wandering the cliff streets of Positano and enjoying the spectacular view!"

Stephen

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the second Rick Steves tour we have been on and it was just as good at the last one, Outstanding. The tours are well planned with excellent guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the temples at Paestum. They were awe inspiring. Sorrento is one of my favourite places in Italy to relax and enjoy the moment. I could spend a lot more time there."

Doug

Hillsborough, NC

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano and the Amalfe Coast."

Ian

Sutter Creek, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned and accurate in its description. For us it was a great opportunity to see new areas of Italy, as well as to revisit Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. Our tour guide Susanna was exceptional! Our tour companions were fun, well-educated, and happy travelers. The tour length seemed about right for us. Some days seemed pretty busy, but there were many opportunities to make our own discoveries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments! Such as, meeting Susanna and feeling her energy and enthusiasm! Vieste's happy and colorful Feast Day celebration, the Trulli homes in Alberobello and the Sassi cave homes in Matera. Hotels in Vieste and Matera were wonderful! The cistern tour on our own in Matera was unexpectedly great, as was watching the water buffalos using their automated massage machines! The home-hosted dinner in Sorrento was delicious and appreciated."

Martha

Shaker Hts, OH

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed everything about the tour: the mixture of small villages, archaeological sites and big cities; our personable and well informed tour guide and the knowledgeable local guides; the camaraderie among our fellow travelers and last but not least, the heavenly food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot pick just one. I think my wow moments were the unexpected discoveries: Matera was a gem and the Archaeological Museum had more treasures that one could possibly expect. The Veiled Christ at the San Severo Chapel was beautiful and moving. The mozzzarella de buffala demo and lunch were a treat."

Debra

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the diversity of the many sites on his trip. It had little of everything from large cities to small towns, boat trips to organic water buffalo farms and sites I never expected to see in Alberobello and Matera. It was a eating extravaganza. Thank heavens for lots of walking. Pompeii was beyond my expectations, Loved the time on the Amalfi coast as well. Each day held a pleasant surprise or two.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon in Matera in the baths in the basement of out hotel. It was a pleasant way to pass a rainy afternoon."

Jacklyn

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We did the 17 day No Italy trip prior to the South trip. The south trip was a little more relaxing, That was nice after traveling so much prior to the trip. Very much enjoyed the jaunt over to Vieste. Beautiful beach, cave grottos & we were there during the celebration of the patron saint. Loved it We were so enthralled with Matera, Our favorite hotel was there. Pompeii was a dream come true. The Buffalo Farm was so fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the cliff looking at the stone age caves at Matera. The cave grottos at Vieste Going through the main gate and into Pompeii."

Karen

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour, so wasn't sure if it would live up to the hype- but it did! Feel like this was the best way to see Italy and get the most for my time and money. Loved having the expertise of the tour guide and ease of getting from place to place. The accommodations and food were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really hard to pick just one- really loved the little town of Vieste with the beautiful grottos that we went in on a boat and the cleanliness of the city. a bonus was that they were having a town festival during our visit and the town was decorated with beautiful lights and a marching band was strolling the city. Also loved Matera and steadying in our cave hotel."

Irene

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In spite of all the health issues popping up with half of the group, Ann and Katerina were so cool and calm in handling the full tour of 28. We were thankful that Katerina was along, otherwise, we think the tour would have sugared. We had learned a lot from the very knowledge local guides such as Francesca and Gaetano. With Ann's insight as a resident American in Italy provided glimpses of Italian lives that would have been missed by casual travelers to Italy esp. knowledge of the Amalfi coast

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The grottos along the coast of Vieste. They were so special and being able to go in with our boat were wow moments."

Lorena

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Packed with interesting events. Very busy. Good mix of interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hotel in Vieste was lovely, nice small city, nice break after crazy Rome, Positano also lovely."

Marie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw more and learned more than we could have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera: Never had heard of it. We were astounded at how magical and other-worldly it was."

John

Edmond, OK

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellant tour, I knew that the Amalfi Coast which was wonderful as I expected but Vieste, Alberobello and of course Matera were a very pleasant surprise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera in the early morning."

Laura

Lexington, KY

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I hoped it would be. I have wanted to see Italy for years and the tour did not disappoint in any way! We had fantastic experiences and saw places I'd never heard of as well as favorites that I was very taken with. I could have skipped Naples - that is one big, dirty, noisy city - but everywhere else was exceptional. I had never heard of either Matera or Alberobello but I was so glad to see them. What fascinating pieces of Italian history they both were!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have wanted to see Pompeii since I was in my twenties, and that's getting to be a long time ago now! It was fantastic and our guide was so wonderful. And finishing up with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum really brought home how advanced their civilization was. I will never forget it."

LeAnn

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was excellent [INVALID] we enjoyed not having to "think and plan" - we just did what our wonderful tour guide told us to do and go. We know we saw things that we wouldn't have found on our own and loved learning. We would definately take another Rick Steves tour. This was our first tour experience, having gone to Europe 3 times before "on our own'. We weren't sure what to expect but loved being part of a tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How great it was to be part of a group [INVALID]- a good mix of being with the group and time on our own."

Jim

Roswell, GA

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first tour with you. With a few exceptions, I'd rank the tour as outstanding. Ann and Caterina were top notch, as were the guides in Rome and Pompeii. Both Ann and Caterina went above and beyond to help a member of our tour who need hospitalization. The area I'd try to work on would be upgrading the hotel room in Rome. This is the "first impression" we had of your company and we were nervous due to the hotel. Room was dirty and the neighborhood very noisy. Trip improved from there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amalfi coast was unreal, as was Pompeii."

Vicki

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour and we both would absolutely join another. We had an amazing guide, Anne Long from Serrento, who was knowledgeable and fun. She led with humor, patience, explanations of what was to come and expectations based on culture. Staying in the smaller hotels, centrally located exposed us to the culture of the area and the real feel of being in Italy. Each town, each historical site, each event had a charm all of it's own. We would love to tour with Anne again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I loved staying in the cave hotel in Matera and walking out onto the balcony where we could see the town lights at night. The history of the cave homes, especially time frame as recent as 1954 was fascinating."

Joseph

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. We were advised about everything to keep trip comfortable, fun, educational, and beautiful. There was not a time I was nervous about being in this country. We enjoyed all the towns, the Amalfie Coast, the ancient ruins, the museums, the bus and boat rides, the guides,the other tour patrons and the hosts along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano and the Amalfie Coast boat ride. Both were beautiful and unique."

Paul

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good and fun experience. And amazingly educational on a variety of dimensions, from history to culture to food.

Lauren

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have never done a group tour like this, so we had our reservations about it. Bottom line: We saw more than we ever could have on our own. Having all the transportation and hotels arranged for us made the trip so less stressful than travel can sometimes be.

James

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour experience was very good. This was our second tour with your company. Tour was a nice blend of big cities and small towns mixed with historical sites and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii. Our guide brought the place to life. Paestum ruins; although a guide would have enhanced the visit."

Eduardo

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was a very good one because I learned a lot before during and after the tour. I enjoyed the Rick Steves tour because it homed in efficiently on places and experiences that on my own would have been more difficult and in some cases impossible. Among these is the guided tours at museums and archaeological sites, the visit to the Buffalo farm, the visit with the Family in Sorrento, and Vieste.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most impressive and pleasant visit was to the Buffalo farm. To learn about the 21st century technology used for a craft that goes back in time. The sampling lunch was absolutely delightful. I also enjoyed very much the visits to Alberobello and Matera with accompanying wine tasting and local food sampling. The local historical museums were very informative, as were the local guides."

Weather

Italy / Rome

Rome Weather


Italy / Naples

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

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

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Rome and out of Naples ("multi-city" on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy. Important: the train from Naples to Rome takes from 70 minutes to two hours, so you'll want to avoid early morning flights out of Rome.

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

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass. If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Rome that we do not do as a group: Colosseum; Roman Forum; Palatine Hill; St. Peter's Basilica; Vatican Museum.

Thinking of spending more time in Italy after the tour? From Naples you may want to make the trip up to the top of Mount Vesuvius; visit the impressive, ash-covered ruins of Herculaneum; you may even consider heading back south to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast; or train back up to Rome for more time exploring the Eternal City.

This tour does not include a visit to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. However it is often a highlight for any traveler and one we highly recommend. Avoid the lines by booking tickets several weeks in advance. For more details, visit our Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s information page.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there is one item you may wish to include when packing for this tour. This tour has several opportunities for swimming. You may want to pack a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

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