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  • Rome's Trastevere Neighborhood
  • Tivoli
  • Vieste
  • Fresh Pasta
  • Alberobello's Trulli Houses
  • Matera's Cave Dwellings
  • Temples of Paestum
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Sorrento
  • Capri
  • Naples

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Best of South Italy in 13 Days Tour

from $3,695 per person + air

Single Supplement $775

See Dates & Prices

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

2022

What's Included

You'll get at least 19 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Southern Italy tour:

  • Trastevere walking tour
  • Jewish Ghetto walking tour
  • Capitoline Museum
  • Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli
  • Gargano boat cruise (weather permitting)
  • Pasta-making demonstration
  • Alberobello
  • Puglia wine tasting
  • Matera Sassi walking tour
  • Mozzarella farm
  • Paestum
  • Pompeii
  • Gelato-making demonstration
  • Orientation for Capri excursion
  • Sorrento home-hosted dinner
  • Capodimonte Museum
  • Naples neighborhood walk
  • Sansevero Chapel
  • Naples' National Archaeological Museum

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of southern Italy come alive for you
  • 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
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Rome.

Day 2: Layers of Rome

This morning we'll tour the world's first museums, 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. Then 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. The rest of the day is yours to wander through the Roman Colosseum and Forum, 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.

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

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, Hadrian's 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. We'll share dinner tonight at our cliffside hotel.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Vieste.

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. We'll take a boat cruise along the craggy Gargano Coast, marveling at the picture-perfect 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.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Boat: 1½ hours. No bus. Sleep in Vieste.

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, known for its unique Sassi neighborhoods made up of ancient cave dwellings, where we'll enjoy a delightful dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Matera.

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 Sasso 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.

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

Day 7: Paestum and the Amalfi Coast

Early this morning we'll drive into the Campania region and tour an organic water buffalo farm that 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 featuring (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'll follow the cliff-clinging seaside road to Salerno, where we'll take a scenic boat ride to our final destination: the Amalfi Coast.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 5 hours. Boat: 1 hour. Sleep on the Amalfi Coast.

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 cliffside villages, or take advantage of the sea and take a public boat to the neighboring towns. Check out the sweeping views from Ravello, the candy-striped church in Amalfi town, and 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.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep on the Amalfi Coast.

Day 9: Pompeii and Sorrento

This morning we'll make a short drive to serene Sorrento, stopping for a thoughtful visit to unlucky Pompeii, where, with an ace local guide, we'll get a look at everyday life frozen in time two milennia ago. After free time to explore more of Pompeii on your own and enjoy lunch, we'll continue on to Sorrento, our cliff-hugging home set amongst the lemon groves. This afternoon, we'll take an orientation walk through town on our way to watch the creation of an Italian culinary masterpiece — gelato. The rest of your evening is free to explore more of this spectacular cliffside setting.

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

Day 10: Serene Sorrento and Capri

Today is all yours. Take a boat ride to Capri, where you can then board 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'll meet for a home-hosted dinner with a local Sorrento family.

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

Day 11: Classy, Gritty Naples

After a morning drive, we'll have an easy introduction to Naples at the 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.

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

Day 12: Exploring More of Naples

We'll begin our morning with a visit to the serene Cappella Sansevero, home to amazingly lifelike sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. We'll continue touring the greatest treasures of Pompeii, brought to Naples' National Archeological Museum for safekeeping. 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. Then, armed with the confidence and Neapolitan street smarts you've learned 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!

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

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.

Physical Demands

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 (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Sleep in a cave-like hotel room in historic Matera.
  6. Navigate steep and/or uneven surfaces like cobblestone, slick stone, and marble as well as unmarked obstacles at ancient ruin sites.

Reviews

Mary

Wooster, OH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of South Italy exceeded my expectations! Caterina is an exceptional guide with a great depth of knowledge (history, art, architecture, culture, food) which she presented in a good storytelling format. She is charming with a great sense of humor and upbeat personality. Plus...she is always very nicely dressed :) Rest time on the bus was very appreciated, and was the days off since this really was a strenuous trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many highlights, including Francesca's tour of the Capitoline museum (I shall never look at art again in the same way after learning her four Cs), the tour of the Adriatic coast in Viesta, MATERA and staying in a cave, the sunlit beauty of Positano, the spectacular history of Paestum, the Veiled Christ in Naples...just so much to absorb and learn and see! A visual and sensory overload! However, my favorite WOW moment was Pompeii. My pictures do not do it justice."

Deirdre

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience was very good. I learned much, visited unexpected places like Matera and Alberabello. It was an exhausting trip however and could have use some more down time or a late morning now and then. It was clear you could opt out of an experience and that was good thing. a number of us skipped the boat ride in Vieste for example.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Veiled Christ sculpture. All the caves in Matera were amazing!."

Muriel

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you for such a great tour of southern Italy! Our guide Caterina Moore has topnotch organizational skills, excellent historical and cultural commentary, as well as excellent restaurant, shopping, etc. recommendations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite "wow" moment was the Greek temples at Paestum. When we visited Paestum, it was a beautifully sunny day with a brilliant blue sky, and I was so astounded by the temples' beauty."

Robert

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour although seemed rushed at times. Visited the buffalo farm and could have spent a little more time with the animals. Rush hour traffic out of Rome and Sorrento required early rising which was tough after being up late for dinners, etc. We were disappointed when we visited Amalfi town and were elbow to elbow with many large busloads of tourists (cruise ships possibly.) That made the experience less than enjoyable and were glad to get back to Positano, a gorgeous little town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Vieste and seeing the sea from our hotel balcony. Tied with the boat tour of the caves along the cliffs."

Kevin

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This small town tour in southern Italy has to rate in the top three of my 11 RS tours to date.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Water Buffalo getting a scrub from the car wash brushes. What a life! But wait there is more... Eating dinner with Luigi's family and how friendly they were to us."

Ruth

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. It was well organized and carefully carried out. I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting Pompeii and then seeing the artifacts in the museum in Naples."

David

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Second Rick Steves tour. Exceeded expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat tour out of Vieste along limestone cliffs and grottos. There were many others but that was amazing."

Judy

Akron, OH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My fourth RS tour was the most intense cultural and historical tour yet. Everyday offered a "wow" moment, even the free days. Our tour guide began a thirteen day Italian history lesson putting every sight, museum, meal and geographical location in context. By the last day I had an understanding of the importance of Italian (Roman, Etruscan, Modern) culture to civilization.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but I have to say seeing the sculpture of the Veiled Christ in Sansevero Chapel in Naples was a lasting memory and spiritual experience. I did not know of this sculpture so it was the perfect climax to our tour. One can barely describe the impact of seeing this beautiful, sacred piece of art."

Christina

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time seeing and experiencing people and places we had never seen or even heard of before...This is one of the great things about an extremely knowledgeable tour company such as Rick Steves. We loved that it took us off the (mostly) beaten tourist track. We also liked the fact that it is a much smaller group than other tours, which gives one the chance to really get to know most of your tour mates. We don't think anything rivals the art, history and beauty of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several wow moments but one of my favorites was the city of Matera...the family dinner we had in Sorrento..the opera house in Naples...seeing the Amalfi coast...the boat ride in Vieste...Oops, that was 5! :)"

Karmen

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good introduction to parts of Italy that many visitors overlook. When considering the tour, we had several sites (Pompeii, Paestum, etc.) we wanted to see. We explored planning our own trip, but felt that this tour would capture the sites we wanted to see, provide great local expert guides, and be a good value. All this provided true.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching fireworks over Positano. A local couple got married in Positano and celebrated their wedding with a fireworks display over the water. We visitors got to share in the festivities! Magical!"

John

Everett, WA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well, paced and engrossing. Something of interest morning, noon and night.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The automatic milking machine for the water buffalo!"

Nancy

Allentown, PA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I'd been wanting to see southern Italy for years and was delighted to find this Rick Steves tour--my first. It was perfect! It covered all the places I wanted to see--Matera, trulli houses, Amalfi coast, Pompeii, Naples--and some I didn't know I wanted to see--Apennines, Hadrian's Villa, Paestum, Vieste! Lisa was an excellent guide and fellow travelers were friendly and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Matera was so striking with a poignant history. The optional visit to and boat ride around Capri gorgeous! Pompeii amazing! Positano lovely and romantic. Home-cooked meal in Sorrento delicious and plentiful! National Archeological Museum in Naples fabulous! Had no idea mozzarella di bufala came from water buffaloes from India! Was so fun to visit them!"

John

Canby, OR

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a rich look at culture and life in Southern Italy. The tour stops were well chosen for history, beauty and a chance to interact with locals. We had opportunities to enjoy experiences not common for most travelers. We enjoyed the other members of the tour group a great deal. The tour was well designed with a great mix of planned events and an opportunity to explore on our own. Having a brief tour of each town when we arrived helped us navigate on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose just one. Here's a few - touring the Capitoline Museum with our guide Francesca; viewing the Veiled Christ sculpture in Naples; the concert in Naples and sleeping in a cave in Matera"

Dawn

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Lisa is amazing! The tour would have ranked lower without her. This was my first RS tour. My first tour actually. I imagined that it would not be relaxing, I was not prepared for how exhausting it was. While we checked off the boxes on what needed to be seen, the experience could have benefitted from allowing time to enjoy the culture. My boyfriend and I had spent two weeks prior to the tour in Greece and two weeks after in Florence. Candidly, we enjoyed our pace so much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antonio, our driver, performing his musical talent."

Gary

Redcrest, CA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii was the most interesting. Enjoyed the music in Naples."

Eric

Tahuya, WA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great travel experience that allowed me to "time travel" from the Neolithic Era in Matera to the present day, crazy life style in Naples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how the residents of Naples lived in an underground "city" to escape the horrors of World War II on the surface."

Charles

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delightful! We liked the "free day" we had in each location. Tour was a great balance of group versus individual time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on a bench made from ruins in Rome, watching the sun go down and the ruins light up."

Peggy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience - great tour leader, fun people, exceptional sites, delicious food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had no expectations for Matera and our time there was fantastic. Our day in Positano also was the feast day for St. Mary of the Rosary - the church was very near our hotel. I had never seen a procession when the saint's statue was carried by parishioners. There was fireworks and music! It was very special."

Holly

Cohasset, MA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a Rick Steve's first-timer. I'm sure my husband and I will be back for more. Logistics were seamless. Lodgings were excellent. Meals were outstanding. Structured activities were first rate. There was a good balance between scheduled activities and free time. Hidden gems and unexpected treats abounded. I greatly appreciated the opportunities to truly engage with everyday people, and I cannot imagine having a better or more personable tour director or more expert local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In all honesty, there were so many it's impossible to choose just one. If pressed, I'd rank *the home-hosted dinner in Sorrento, *Francesca's museum tour and ghetto walk, *the visits to Pompeii and the National Archeological Museum, and *Pina's tour of the Capodimonte Museum at the top of my list, in that order. I would also note that the tour made "a believer" out of me: I am now a fan of mozzarella cheese but only if it's true buffalo mozzarella from Italy!"

Shannon

Shelby, NC

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great trip and Ann was a wonderful guide! She was very knowledgeable and helpful with everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As always, the scenery was spectacular and I enjoyed seeing a part of Italy I had never seen. The food and wine were plentiful and wonderful. My favorite "wow" moment was visiting Pompeii and then the Naples Archeological Museum where all Pompeii's artifacts are displayed. I had been to Pompeii before, but to see all the fabulous things excavated from there really completed the picture so I could imagine what an amazing place it must have been."

Deborah

Myrtle Beach, SC

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! The destinations were incredible, especially the rugged beauty of the Adriatic Coast towns and the scenic Amalfi Coast! Ann, our tour guide, was wonderful. Loved having two days in each location and so much free time. All of the hotels were great, especially in Positano, where the views from our balcony were to-die-for! All meals and wine were plentiful and fabulous. Pace was very strenuous, but we knew that at the start.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments - Matera and its caves - unbelievable! The Gargano Peninsula towns were gorgeous. The boat ride through the grottoes in Vieste was stunning! The home-hosted dinner in Sorrento was fabulous. Loved the towns of Amalfi and Capri!"

Mary

Casper, WY

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an exceptional experience highlighting southern Italy. So different from the northern regions. The hotels were all good as well as the food. I appreciated most the time for personal exploration, and eating experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many, but one of my favorites was my view of the ocean from the hotel sitting on the cliff edge overlooking the ocean. The cliff side hotels and eateries lit up at night was magical."

Stephen

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All was terrific, save for one day of heavy rain in Vieste.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera. Never heard of it. One of the trip highlights for sure. Really unique."

Ben

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fascinating sight and/or experience each day of our tour. It was well-paced, with just enough free time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera, for its rugged and surprising beauty, but also for its painful history. Also, Positano. I disliked the Rodeo Drive aspect of it, but it's physical beauty was breath-taking. We were lucky enough to encounter a Catholic "feast day" celebration at the local parish, replete with parade, band music, and a spectacular fireworks show in town and on the waterfront."

Alfred

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again we were completely "WOW'D" with our tour and experience. We are so happy we learned about Rick Steves' Tours. We had not traveled to Europe in over 30 years and shared this with neighbors. They told us about their travels using Rick Steves' books and apps. At the time we decided to try a tour of Rome, Florence and Venice with Rick Steves'. We were so impressed that we signed up for Best of South Italy and intend to sign up for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Once again it was the history of the people and the country. Hadrian's Palace, Paestrum, Pompeii and Matera. To see it, touch it, feel it and know that it really existed was amazing. We loved the museums and churches and of course the scenery/views were unbelievable. I must add that having dinner with a family was a wonderful experience."

Carrie

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great tour. A slow start because it assumed that people had already seen Rome (true). And then we had long bus rides. But this is really OK because we wanted to spend extra time in Rome at the beginning and had our own agenda there. Some were jet-lagged and needed a slow start. I loved Vieste, Alberobero, and Matera. Naples was also a highlight. The hotel in Trastevere was super. All the hotels were great except the one in Positano should do something about their internet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several -- Alberobello, Matera, St Elmo in Naples. The best, I guess was the meal with the family in Sorrento."

Aline

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and only my second tour ever. Have been using Rick Steve's Guidebooks for over 15 years for trips to Italy and France. I am used to independent travel and wasn't sure I wanted to be on a tour but...I wanted to go to Matera, Italy and couldn't seem to find a way other than a tour. I loved the tour. It embodied all the things I liked about the guide book-->small in city local hotels,independent time, local restaurants, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MATERA-->Everything about it. The other event was our dinner in Sorrento with a local family-->wonderful."

Charles

Sullivans Island, SC

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Matera Francesca was one of the best guides I've ever had (Capitoline) Gaetano (Pompeii) and Michaele (substitute guide in Naples) were also excellent. That art museum was a real slog after an early rising and bus ride."

Roy

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, although we have been using his guide books since 2003. I was extremely impressed with how the tour was organized and how efficient it was run. We had done only one other tour(not your company) in 2004 of Northern Italy that left such a bad taste in our mouth we swore never to do another tour again. So glad we changed our minds and will definitely consider another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in a hotel cave in Matera was so cool. If I'm allowed a second "wow" it would be the "family dinner" we experienced in Sorrento."

Casandra

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always enjoy a Rick Steves tour and this tour was no different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera had to be my favorite site. However, I received great pleasure meeting the locals. I made an effort to engage the people I met in conversation. Everyone from the store clerk, craftsmen, artisans, a local farmer, hotel luggage/van driver and Antonio our bus driver. Few spoke English but I used my best Italian to engage them in conversation. This effort has given me wonderful memories of my days in Southern Italy."

Molly

Evansville, IN

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves tours are wonderful because of the guides the education and the small groups

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii and Matera"

Michael

Evansville, IN

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough good things about the overall experience, truly an outstanding trip. This was my fourth RS tour, and I rate it as the best, in part due to the fascinating itinerary, and in greater part due to the exceptional skill and knowledge of Sarah. She is a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to say, but if pressed, I'll vote for Pompeii and the accompanying museum In Naples."

Don

Longwood, FL

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed our trip as we do with all Rick Steves' tours. We have never been disappointed in any of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be Pompeii. This was an amazing place to visit and see first-hand after studying all through our education what had happened here."

Michael

Sisters, OR

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

A lot was packed into this tour, and each location was a must see, yet the tour left me wishing for more time at each locale. Maybe eliminating one stop might allow for more time at the others. For me the stop least important was Positano. All in all the tour was full of great sights, a great group and a wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera, as it allowed a glimpse of history, while sad, that brings to life the struggles of people left behind in their own land. It spoke to the courage and will to survive in extremely difficult conditions, and survive with dignityl"

Charles

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We did two tours back to back, first Venice, Florence and Rome then the best of South Italy. After 10 days of wonderful museums and cathedrals it was great to get out to the countryside. Thoroughly enjoyed the small towns on the Amalfi coast. Sarah our guide was wonderful and our bus driver was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had dinner with a family in Sorrento. The food was wonderful and the family was very warm and inviting. I was lucky enough to be sitting by our host and his son and grandson. Had a truly wonderful conversation with all 3."

Irmgard

River Forest, IL

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Southern Italy was completely new to me. Even though we started in Rome (where we were on our first Rick Steves tour ten years ago), we still saw places and things we hadn't seen then. Our guide and the local guides were all excellent at every place we went on the trip. After Rome, every place we visited was unknown to me before. I gained an understanding and an appreciation for the culture and history of the cities and places we visited. I love getting the education I received.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" times on the trip. Francesca, our local guide in Rome, was outstanding. The time she spent with us was eye-opening about the statuary in the Capitaline Museum. Then the boat trip in Vieste , with its beautiful white cliffs and amazing grottos, was inspiring. So gorgeous, and we had perfect weather, too. The city of Matera with its cave homes, churches and stores was fascinating to see and walk around in. Our huge, rock-hewn hotel was another "wow"."

Beverley

Pittsburg, TX

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy is just a wonderful country. I loved the itinerary. We stated in some amazing places. The food and wine was great. Very memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can practically pick a Wow from each stay: The Capitoline Hill museum in Rome with a fantastic local guide. Matera with the cave dwellings and the Salavador Dali museum. Vieste and the incredible views from our hotel (Hotel Seggio). Positano, the chairlift to top of Capri was breathtaking. probably the biggest WOW was the authentic homemade dinner we had at the home of Teresa and Luigi's in Sorrento I mean WOW! Food galore and bottomless homemade delicious wine and Limoncello after meal."

Lesley

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as advertised -very full and highly active. I felt I learned a great deal about Italy that I would never have done otherwise. It was very eyeopening to realize that its geology, climate and geography have been so much of its destiny, but also to realize that the chaotic politics really now hold it back. Southern Italy is a much more vibrant place than I had imagined. Nina was an exceptional tour guide, as were the other specialist guides, most of all Francesca in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two very memorable moments for me were (a) seeing the Dying Celt statue in the Capitoline Museum in Rome (I have been following the Dan Carlin podcast in the Celtic Holocaust), and (b) seeing the artifacts from Pompeii in the Archeological Museum in Naples. It was astonishing to see how advanced the Romans really were."

James

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS Tour and we were not disappointed. The tour was very well balanced and expanded our interests of what we would over what we might have discovered on our own. We liked having two nights in each city and the hotels were very unique and in great locations. We also made some new great friends over the excellent breakfasts and group dinners. Trip organization was very well done and the local guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first day in Vieste starting with a beautiful sunrise looking over the ocean followed by a beautiful boat trip along the coast with a great swim. Going back for a group lunch/ pasta making demonstration was terrific"

James

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "organized tour" of any kind as always have planned & organized my own travel (individual, with my wife or with family) over my years (am 72). Prior to this RS's Tour, I could not imagine being on a bus with a group of folks I did not know etc & have to meet an "assigned" schedule. I do enjoy people & new experiences, but previously thought I'd have some "control" anxieties, ha! Needless to say almost every aspect of this RS's Tour was almost perfect & enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Italian "Family Meal" offered to us all in the family's own kitchen/dining area with their 3 generations of family with us. I could never have experienced such a wonderfully informal & thoroughly enjoyable evening without the inside knowledge & such organization to make this happen. Quite unique & hopefully Rick will be able to enjoy this family meal someday himself."

Maria

Thornwood, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip, I enjoyed the cultural and history knowledge before each outing. Loved the unique hotels and our tour guide, Nina was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments the boat ride in Vieste, the cave hotel in Matera, the dinner at a private home. The Buffalo farm and lunch. Our visit of Capri on the 12 person boat ride that you recommended in your guide. The music from a few friends in Napoli, touched my heart. The food, the food, so delicious. So proud to be Italian."

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent. The tour covered a broad range of city sights and small town expereiences and gave me a flavor for everything southern Italy has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tulli homes in Alberrobella were a total surprise. I would never have expected them in a country with the architectural history that Italy has. They were really interesting structures."

Laura

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized, our guide Nina was exceptional and our group really "clicked" right from the initial orientation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "Wow" would have to be our visit to Matera. This was an area I know nothing about and now feel it is a must see for anyone visiting Italy."

John

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations... - well organized tour guide (Nina), - excellent hotel accommodations, - knowledgeable and passionate site visit guides (Franscesca- Rome; Dora- Matera; Guitano- Pompei; Pina- Naples), - wonderful camaraderie among our group, - conscientious and safe bus driver (Salvatore), - special event / treats arranged by Nina (eg. Naples musical concert, pastry treats).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The story of Matera."

Nancy

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and a good combination of guided tours, activities and free time. Local guides were great. Our transportation was excellent, and , as advertised, we did a lot of walking. Accommodations were comfortable and clean and well located. Group meals were at interesting spots and generally very good. Having previously been on four other Rick Steves' tours, this tour was what I had expected: stimulating, fun and full of friendly, nice follow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow"was at a small music venue in Naples listening to talented musicians sing, play the piano, accordion and drum. For the previous hour, we had been drenched by rain and hail, taking refuge in a tiny cafe and then a church. A few of us were a bit lost under our new umbrellas bought from a street vendor. I was ready to get a cab back to the hotel but pressed on, ending up singing ,dancing and drinking wine. In an ancient city, the wonderful "wow"moment was that vibrant present."

Calvin

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mind blowing! Too much to confine to 500 characters. More coming under separate cover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A cool, off of the itinerary happening. We ate at Rick's recommendation in Amalfi where I heard a wonderful song being played. Upon request our server got us the song and artist which I had never heard of. Later, when I bought the music I discovered it was a 70 year old favorite also recored by Dean Martin and Nat King Cole. The song is Non Dimenticar and I can't get it out of my mind."

Edward

Thornwood, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The organization of the travel experience was key. There was a seamless transition as we arrived at each destination. Nina provided us with a prelude of the history and unique culture of each area making excellent use of our travel time. Armed with this backdrop afforded me a full emersion and appreciation of each area visited. The local guides were informed and transformed what might have been merely educational to warm and memorable experiences with their wit and personalized commentary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a second generation Italian/American there were numerous "wow" moments. But what truly impressed me was the like minded attitude of the Rick Steve's travelers that we met."

Richard

Cottage Grove, MN

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour. We chose this tour because of the itinerary. We wanted to see the landscape and people of Italy as well as the museums and archaeological sites. This tour delivered on those goals. The RS tour descriptions are spot on. This tour was exactly as described. There was a lot of walking and stair climbing and at the end of every day we were exhausted. It was wonderful. Planning ahead will make your free time much more memorable/enriching. Believe what RS says in the guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was at least one WOW moment everyday. The Vieste boat cruise, wine tasting in Alberobello, trulli houses, sleep in a Sassi cave hotel in Matera, water buffalos, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Capri chairlift and on and on. If there was one super WOW it was the family dinner at Luigi and Theresa's house. It was really special and if you aren't on a RS tour you won't get it. Every day left us in awe."

Jane

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is one of the best I have taken. The variety of mixing culture, food and museums was a perfect balance. The trulli in Alberobello were unique and we had so much fun at the wine tasting. Staying in Matera in a cave hotel was other-worldly. Visiting the water buffalo farm in Vannulo was fascinating followed by a delicious lunch. Southern Italy is filled with wonderful food and wine! Our group bonded well and we had a great time together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride past the caves at Vieste was incredible[INVALID]one beautiful view after another! And of course the food and wine everywhere!"

Sherry

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour off the beaten path and away from some of the tourist areas. We had great educational opportunities to learn about olive oil, wine, pasta, and pizza. The cities we spent time in were so lovely and interesting, each with it's own unique character. There was plenty of unscheduled time to do what interested each tour member like kayaking in Positano, renting a private boat to travel around Capri, and hiking in Vieste.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat tour along the coast off of Vieste along the Gargano Peninsula. The coast line was beautiful with crystal clear blue water and the boat captain went into many beautiful caves."

Jim

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great tour. Liked all the places we visited and the accommodations and food were wonderful. Best of all the people were all great, the fellow travelers, the local guides, but especially our tour guide Caterina. I think the organization of the tour was outstanding and felt like we got special service everywhere due to our Rick Steves affiliation and especially everyone's love of Caterina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to say as this was our first time in Rome and I love ancient Roman history. Matera was great and the Amalfi coast was beautiful."

Richard

Henrico, VA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful in every way: the guide, the tour members, the hotels, the food, and the venues. Italy at it's beat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through Pompeii with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide who made the ancient ruins come to life. And the next day visiting the spectacular museum in Naples where the original Pompeii artifacts reside. Unforgettable!"

Fred

Boulder, CO

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was so much insouthern Italy that was new and different. I greatly enjoyed Vieste and Matera -- places I would never get to on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the organice mozzarella farm -- wow, the Italians care enough about the quality of their cheese to give the water buffaloes a massage every day."

Gordon

Los Alamitos, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

R. S. tours always attract fun and interesting people. This was our 7th R. S. tour and we had the most fun with this tour group than any other tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Private boat ride around Capri. Talked with an Italian couple in a restaurant in Matera for over 2 hours. They talked about life in Italy today: their grown and educated children leaving Italy for jobs, the economy, high cost of living, nuclear power vs. wind/solar vs. petroleum, politics, the mafia embedded in Italian life...... It was fascinating. Pompeii."

Thomas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was, as usual for the Rick Steves tours, an excellent experience. One of the positive features was that the areas covered were not the usual ones on the tourist track, so for those of us who have done quite a bit of traveling, a lot of new things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one thing. St. Peter's. The Pantheon. The Naples opera house. Museums in Naples. Sorrento and Positano."

Joanne

Estero, FL

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Starting in Rome Caterina wove a great historical piece of Italy throughout our trip through Southern Italy ending in Naples. We went to some great out-of-the-way places on the Gargano peninsula, the Trulli in Albertobello, the Sassi in Matera, Tenuta Vannulo, the Paestum ruins, Pompeii and of course the awesome Amalfi coast. We were part of a great group that bonded well and enjoyed each other's company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one "wow" moment. We enjoyed the whole experience and seeing some of the "out-of-the -way" places that many Americans or other tours don't think to include in their itinerary."

Gary

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our eighth and counting RS Tour. Excellent itinerary ,nimble guide , and a good mix of structured and free time. The insight of the local guides added to the experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pompeii."

Rae

Merrick, NY

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and I loved it. We saw so much during our 2-week trip while learning about Italy's history and culture. We had a good balance of time with the group and time on our own. We enjoyed sharing these experiences with our fellow travelers, an interesting and fun group of people from all over the U.S.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day of the tour brought enjoyable experiences. Favorite parts for me were the Pompeii site and the Pompeii exhibits at the archaeological museum in Naples, and the old city of Matera."

Susan

Kensington, MD

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the variety of sights and experiences on this tour! Great mix of interesting historical spots, natural beauty and good fun. Well organized and excellent leader. Weather could have been more cooperative at both coasts[INVALID]Vieste and Amalfi. Great group camaraderie too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Matera, the town that time forgot."

Frieda

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Over all the tour was very good. We saw things that we never would have seen had we planned it ourselves. I was dissapointed at Hadrian's compound. The site was filled with interesting info, the Map was confusing. It would have been helpful if Anne had walked at least some of the compound with us.. Arberobello and the Moazarella farm were tourist traps. The stone houses could have been seen and explained at a stop on the road. Most people at Mozarella farm lunch barely ate the cheese.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the Amalfi Coast form the boat going from Salerno to Positano."

Nicholas

Kensington, MD

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than we expected. We saw Rome, two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and finished on the Amalfi coast and Naples.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure there was one "wow" moment. Seeing and learning about Matera was exceptional. Seeing Naples also was fascinating."

Joe

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Lots of good people, a great tour guide in Ann. She stayed focused on helping us get the most out of the tour and also had to be nimble when weather didn't cooperate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positano"

Susan

Little Hocking, OH

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Having never been on a Rick Steves tour before, we weren't sure what to expect. The tour guide was the best. The places we saw were fabulous and the food was delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Matera and staying in a cave room. It was so cool. Finding out how old the city was and how people lived...just amazing."

Bruce

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"They just kept coming"

Kurt

Bedford, NH

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour widened our understanding of Roman History and the current Italian culture. The trip was never one that we would remember for a long bus drive, every day was broken up. Sometimes we wished we had more time, as in Paestum and could have skipped a stop like the art gallery in Naples. The guides were excellent, especially in Pompeii on that hot sultry afternoon. We had some exceptional meals, "and the Wine"....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The discovery of Pompeii and the realization that the Romans had incredible advancements ie plumbing, glassware, architecture and artwork that was far more that was realized. Know I know what the Dark Ages erased. Certainly the "shame of Italy" Matera came in as a close second. Finding those back street cafes and having a wonderful lunch with great food, something we do not get in our area."

Nancy

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fun, interesting and well executed tour. We chose it for the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We saw some amazing sights, some historical and some so beautiful. We expected great food and wine and it was delivered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Positano. It was not incredibly crowded. And so beautiful. Our hotel was so amazing."

Ralph

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time with our group. The itinerary was just about right, the places we stayed at were very nice, and most of the food was good. The gelato and pizza were fabulous. Sarah gave us just the right amount of information and made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus ride along the coast was exciting. I am so glad I did not have to drive the route. The cab ride from the hotel to the airport was also interesting. I could not believe the traffic and how vehicles maneuvered within inches of each other. I really enjoyed our tour of Matera and the hotel room we had there."

Ruth

Lititz, PA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a good time on the Southern Italy tour. I enjoyed all of the towns we visited and I felt my guide, Sarah did a good job both on the bus and in the various towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moment was relaxing on the beach in Positano. My group of 5 decided to spring for the front row beach chairs. We brought wine and a picnic and spent the day relaxing in and out of the water surrounded by breath-taking Positano"

Linda

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the smaller towns! Going to the. Buffalo farm was great! Going to Matera was nice and staying in the cave hotel was unique. The boat ride on the Almaty coast was nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Vieste on the Adriatic Sea was nice. Great views and going into grottos."

Milly

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The places we visited were wonderful and especially interesting. The group gelled quickly and mostly avoided smaller groups.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one but my biggest surprise and delight were the water buffalo and the description of their day/life. Also the delicious lunch and gelato."

Sandra

Grand Blanc, MI

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The South Italy tour is full of unique places and experiences. The flow of the tour seemed a bit off for me. There was a nice build of excitement going from Rome thru Matera, then a lull in the VERY touristy Posetano. Things picked back up in Sorrento, but for me ending the tour in Naples was a huge disappointment. I think because of it being at the end of the tour when you tend to be a little travel weary it's hard to overcome it's all out filth. Could the tour be done in reverse?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had a few! Alberobello, Matera and the Veiled Christ!!"

Susan

Cortez, CO

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third RS tour - all in Italy. The Southern Italy tour was a nice balance of group vs. individual time. We favor locations and schedules that allow us to walk. This tour was great for that. Vieste stood out; a tourist town, certainly, but with a calm beauty in it's narrow lanes and sea views. Walking old Matera was like stepping into a drawing by Escher with it's maze of streets and steps. And our free day on the Amalfi Coast allowed us to walk the "Path of the Gods." Spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Rome and Pompeii our local guides emphasized the technologies that enabled the people of the Empire to live what we might consider "advanced" lives: aqueducts brought piped water, fountains and sewer systems; their extensive road systems still exist; spectacular baths, public art and entertainments on a grand scale were the norm. Recognizing how completely the knowledge and skills to provide those things were lost after the fall of the Empire was my "wow" moment."

Edward Lewis

Cortez, CO

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our South Italy tour was exciting with many, diverse cities, sights and activities. Our Rick Steves' guide, though relatively new to this tour, was fully prepared and amazingly knowledgeable about all aspects of the region and the tour. This was our 4th trip to Italy and 3rd Rick Steves' tour. We love the country, its history and its people. The tour was the perfect way to discover the less-traveled South.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to [INVALID] one moment. I'll offer 2: (1) The boat ride along the Adriatic Coast from Vieste was amazing as we floated in and out of caves along the way plus having the opportunity to swim at a remote beach. (2) With a free day in Positano, we chose to hike Il Sentiero degli Dei (The Path of the Gods) from Amalfi to Positano, high above the coast with incredible views. Won't forget that trek nor the bus ride to the trailhead!"

Leonard

Barnegat, NJ

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dear Mr. Steves, It is about time i send in my survey. I apologize for the delay. When I returned home, my occupation's demands were a bit overwhelming. I had to postpone leisure activities , such as this. My wife and I had a MAGNIFICIENT/OUTSTANDING TOUR/EXPERIENCE. Yes we ventured to all destinations listed and then some. We met wonderful individuals both from the USA and ITALY. We couldn't have felt more welcome. I personally loved Matera, for obvious reasons starting with the

Favorite "WOW" moment

"construction.. Contrasting the old from new Matera was mind-blowing to say the least. And, how could we not say wonderful things about our organic water buffalo farm[INVALID]-what a great experience.. What else can be said about Pompeii that you already have not heard from the experienced travelers. It was an eye opener when contemplating the evolution of MAN KIND. The Amalfi coast was an incredible experience and extra special since we used the boat as transportation . We ended the tour"

George

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great selection of smaller towns especially Vieste in the Gargano Peninsula. Very enjoyable bus rides and hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views from Anacapri Villa San Michele. Outstanding place."

Mark

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susanna really helped set the stage for what to expect from the tour and how to accomplish seeing all the best sites. I've been all over Italy, but with the exception of Rome, and I'd never been to southern Italy. Matera is my top pick for favorite cities. I really enjoyed the modern hotel built into the ancient city caves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the edge of the "new city" of Matera and suddenly viewing ancient Matera. That was an unexpected surprise. That they were filming the new 007 James Bond movie was an unexpected bonus. From a distance, I got to see the James Bond car."

Sonya

Frisco, TX

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour experience was fantastic. As with our previous Rick Steves tour, we visited places I'd never heard of and/or would not have known to visit without this wonderful tour. The local experts were knowledgeable, friendly and were obviously passionate about their subject.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several WOW moments including: -Pompeii and Herculaneum (on our own) -Matera -Hadrian Villas tour (I had no idea it was so large) -Ferry ride along the Almalfi coast (there was blocked traffic so we took the ferry. It was such a wonderful experience that I think you should consider changing the tour to this versus a bus ride.) -boat ride into the grottos"

Rhonda

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great group of travelers and they meshed very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera was a magical city for me. The lighting there in the evening was truly magnificent."

Margaret

Mentor, OH

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As always, Rick Steves provides a well-planned, interesting tour. This is my second tour and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera was an amazing place to visit and understand that people lived in this area in the 1950's. Also, I was absolutely fascinated with the depth and scope of Francesca (our tour guide in Rome) knowledge. She made the visit to Rome much more authentic."

Marilyn

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful immersion in Southern Italy. Loved staying and learning the history of Matera. Great group of tour members and fabulous Susanna as our guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Terrace of Infinity at the Villa Cimbrone gardens in Ravello."

Mary

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved visiting places that I'd never heard of before the tour (Vieste, Matera), staying in the historic centers of the towns, and doing more than an art history tour: gelato-making lesson, pasta-making demonstration, visit to bufalo di mozzarella farm, and wine tasting in Alberobello. There was a good mix of group activities and time on our own. Our guide, Susanna Perrucchini, was very good at finding alternative transportation (a ferry from Salerno to Positano!) when road conditions were bad

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our hotel room window in Vieste, which I'd never heard of. It epitomized the experience of the South of Italy tour."

Arthur

Redmond, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good variety. Suzanna was a great tour leader, resourceful and well informed. We had enough time off from the tour to pursue our own interests (such as tracking family roots in Atrani). The dinner with the family (in Sorrento, perhaps?) was a real treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Our tour guides in Rome (context, color, communication and copy)and Naples were tremendous, and the other(s) were also quite good. Hotel Seggio in Vieste had stunning views of the Adriatic. Our room at Locanda di San Martino in Matera was a Stassi, so it probably had been inhabited for centuries before becoming a hotsl. The family dinner in Sorrento was a real treat."

David

Port Sanilac, MI

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip, our first ever tour trip, must say outstanding, never could have done it ourselves or been given as much information on places visited, places we stayed were 3- stars up and very nice, beds were very comfortable and breakfast at all places was better than expected. Our tour operator was excellent, Caterina was very knowledgeable and very warm and personable. She made it for us very enjoyable and did help us for my wife had a knee problem after booking tour. She was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in awe of Rome and the knowledge and engineering the Romans had done with building an empire. Could not take in all the information given about ruins."

Charlene

Port Sanilac, MI

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such an amazing time! Our tour guide Caterina was so very informative and helpful in so many ways. We have never done a group tour before and this experience could not have happened if we didn't take this tour with a group. So much information came to us through Catriana and our other tour guides through the journey. Having an expert on the histories of all the places we went to was something that everyone should have on their first and even second journeys to places with deep histories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Metatera was such an amazing place to be seen and to be a part of! We never knew a place like this could even exist!!"

Jody

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and it was very impressive. Very well organized with activities to give us a very good flavor for the area we were in, food, museum visits, walking tours, local guides. The hotels were very nice and you could feel the love that the local people have for RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but seeing the veiled Christ was very moving. In Positano, the underground museum,seeing the remains of a monastery that was built on top of remains of a villa that was destroyed by Mt Vesuvius was amazing."

Joan

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Itinerary was awesome. Loved each place we visited and appreciated the variety. Visited Italy before, but never the south, which was different, incredibly interesting and charming. We covered some distance, but bus rides were not unbearable, broken up with stops along the way. I liked the two of days of free time to enjoy some special locations. Sometimes though, I felt there were a bit too many scheduled activities packed into a day and a few too many "shopping opportunities".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Absolutely loved the boat trip in Vieste! Beautiful coast, popping into grottos and a beach stop. Another WOW was seeing the Greek temples at Paestum. And I had always longed to see Pompeii. It was fantastic, however, comparing notes with friends who had visited, I don't think we got the full experience. As ghoulish as it may seem, I think most of us wanted to see the casts of people, but we did not get to that area. If someone has not been to Rome, spend a couple of days before or after."

Maria

Fair Lawn, NJ

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my 1st trip to Italy and I thought it was well worth the trip. I feel now more comfortable planning a future trip with family. I admit I have never been of vacation where I had to carry my luggage especially through city streets and as much as we moved around. If we were in one or two hotels, I probably would not have minded but I thought the frequency of the moves and the amount of walking, I really did not want to carry the bags, it felt like punishment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy itself was a wow moment, but I have to say Pompeii was one that memorable. Disappointed the it was not well done ie walking through Pompeii was an incomplete because we did not see the actual people in the museum as I had imagined we would. The museum the day after had nothing to do with Pompeii and that left me cheated. We were fortunate to see The Opera House at Naples, The oldest in the world. That for sure was a WOW."

Alan

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Caterina was fabulous. She is a perfectionist and has some anxiety BUT these traits blended together to make our tour terrific. She exhausts herself to cover everything!! We have been on 6 tours now and this one is the toughest. Days that go until 6 or 7 pm are too much. It needs to be a little less rigorous. I speak not for me but all tour members. Everyone was dragging on

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Grotto for sure."

Sue

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was well organized, chock full of information both about the basic history of each town and background on life in Italy in general. Caterina prides herself on a tour well done and her outgoing nature has helped her to forge connections with the local guides and some of the shop/restaurant owners in each town. We were able to choose our shopping and restaurant experiences with ease and satisfaction as a result of her laying the groundwork for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the grottos in Vieste. I'm so glad we weren't told about these in advance as it made the impact of the "wow" that much greater."

Al

Loveland, OH

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As always the tour was well planned with a solid itinerary and a very capable guide to ensure everything went well. The itinerary ensured we saw many of the best sites in the region and many things that most of us would not see if we were planning the trip on our own. The hotels were comfortable (in some cases with awesome views) and the included meals were very good. It was a very good trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought about this a long time. There were 4 "wow" moments for me on this tour. One of these was provided by RS Tours and 3 were things we paid for ourselves on days off. The RS provided water tour in Vieste was awesome - a key highlight. Privately funded wows included 1) an Italian cooking class in Rome (90 euro each), a private driver on the Amalfi Coast incl visit to Ravello - (140 Euro each), and a semi-private boat trip to Capri (95 euro each for 6 people). See RS book for these recos"

Diane

Silverdale, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed this tour filled with so many wonderful activities. Nina did a wonderful job navigating twists and turns. Fell in love with Vieste and Matera - I hope they stay off the radar and don't get over-touristed! Loved that this tour didn't jam us into the Colosseum or Vatican Museums - I do think that substituting Herculaneum for Pompeii might be a good idea because, well, selfie-sticks and huge groups have really taken over Pompeii.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - how to chose a favorite "wow" moment??? From the flash mob choir in the baroque church in Matera, witnessing the James Bond motorcycle stunts, the grottos of the Adriatic, the Veiled Christ marble sculpture in Naples, the stunning and dramatic Amalfi coast, Capri, Palatine Museum with Francesca, sfogliatelle pastries, gelato, and so much more - I can't decide."

Pat

Auburn Hills, MI

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very good tour and Nina was a real professional considering the detours we had to take. She was delightful, funny, and very informed. I was impressed with the conversion from Italian to English in a second. The staying in a hotel 2 nights in each town was great. The people we met were all very nice and like-minded. I liked the smaller towns the best. Everything seemed to be more personalized. The wine tasting in Alberbello & the houses were awesome. Italian wines are the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Cassi area of Matera. Amazing what they could do. 2. The Buffalo Mozzarela Farm 3. The landscape on way to Positano. 4. The caves on boat out of Vieste. 5. Pompei 6. Dinner in the home in Sorrento. All these were my favorites and not particularly in that order."

Jean

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steve Tour, and it did not disappoint us. Visiting both big cities and small villages/towns was a great combination. Our group was very congenial - we met so many energetic and fun people. The combination of free time and scheduled activities was perfect. Our guide made sure we had lots of bathroom breaks (which was appreciated).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will limit it to three. Visiting Matera was amazing. Seeing the Sassi homes/caves humbled me. The boat cruise along the Gargano Coast was beautiful. Being guests for dinner at the home of Luigi and Therese was definitely a highlight of the trip, also. So much wonderful food and homemade wine!"

Lynn

Naples, FL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour. Overall experience: Outstanding! Guide Nina was the best! Local guides and driver - fabulous. The schedule, balance between group/travel/free time was just right. Perfect itinerary! Tour participants all got along great! Bus was comfortable, clean, made occasional stops, saw beautiful countryside. RS sets expectations for tour participants, my favorite being "No grumps"! I had set very high expectations for this trip. My expectations were not only met, but surpassed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At least one "wow" moment every day! Some highlights: MATERA - 5 stars! History, sassi, cave hotel. VIESTE - cruise along the coast was lovely. Gorgeous free afternoon to enjoy the town & hotel beach. SORRENTO - free day I took a RS recommended private boat to/around Capri. An absolutely fantastic day! Dinner with Luigi and family at their home was a special treat. My all encompassing "wow" moment came at the end of the trip. WOW! This RS tour not only met, but far exceeded my high expectations!"

Michelle

Marietta, OH

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I have come to expect from a Rick tour. Excellent guide, education, meals, and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments. I enjoyed our time in Rome with the guided Capitoline museum was great as was the Jewish Ghetto tour. I loved Vieste. The boat ride along the coast and into the caves was amazing. I enjoyed being able to swim at the hotel. The wine tasting in Alberobello was quite good. Matera was very unique and with a bonus of the new James Bond movie being filmed there at the time. The Water Buffalo farm was really a wonderful experience with an equally wonderful meal."

Marilyn

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. It covered the items that I thought it was going to cover quite well. Salvatore was our bus driver and he deserves every accolade. Not only did he have to navigate unknown roads after the World War II bomb Was discovered but then had to deal with a detour due to the rock fall on the Amalfi coast road. He never once lost his cool. Suspect that he wished he retired a year earlier

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Salvatore driving. The water buffalo farm, Pompeii and the Roman Villa at Positano"

Paul

Englewood, CO

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We simply love Italy! We have now been on 3 RS tours in Italy and we find ourselves still wanting more. Nina and the local guides added so much to our understanding of the people and culture of South Italy. Francesca was our local guide in Rome in 2007 and again on this trip. She was wonderful both then and now. The emotion we felt touring the Capitoline Museums with her explanation was quite moving. Every day of the tour was filled with so much more than we could ever imagine doing on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The travel day from Matera to Positano so represented why we love Rick Steves tours. We had a very long, challenging, but great day. From the coastal landslide, a WWII unexploded bomb highway closure, Salvatore negotiating numerous hairpin turns and finally Nina's intro to Positano in the dark, we had an exciting, rewarding day that included Matera, buffalo mozzarella, temple ruins in Paestum, and chilling bus rides down to Positano. The resilience of our guide Nina and our group was incredible."

David

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was fantastic. Good people, amazing sights, great guides and terrific food. Nina Bernardo is the best_in every way_ knowledgeable great in adversity, fun to be with and excellent in overall quality. This tour was strenuous. Not for the lounge lizard type.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sights of Forum, Amalfi coast and ancient ruins."

Carolyn

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fabulous tour guide (Nina), friendly group, fascinating places to visit, interesting hotels, great food and gorgeous scenery made it an amazing trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to choose the best, but Matera, the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii top the list."

Susan

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our 5th RS tour and I believe the best experience yet. My husband's ancestors emigrated from South Italy and so the cities and villages , the food the culture and especially the warmth of the people made this a very personal experience for him and me. Rome is magical with its hustle and bustle of everyday modern life set on a classical stage of Splendor and Art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"John loves food and talking to people so his WOW moment was in Sorrento at Luigi and Theresa's backyard at the wonderful dinner they prepared for us. Mine is the other worldly stay in Matera. It was literally a movie set while we were there . Reading about it and the reality of living in a village composed of caves...extraordinary."

Jerry

Auburn Hills, MI

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw alot

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nina was fantastic. Love Sassi. Wine tasting and Architectural Museum were special. The boat ride from Serrano to Amalfi (on our own) was great."

Kenneth

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very good tour. My wife and I have been to many of these places before, some several times. Ann Long and her specialty guides added a dimension and depth to our previous trips. And the best food of any trip to Italy was at the table of Luigi and Theresa in Sorrento.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"May I have at least two? 1. The Rome guide, Francisca, is excellent. I learned from her and enjoyed learning from her. She loves what she is doing. I could understand her speech clearly. Midway through the tour I was kicking myself for not recording it. I was probably annoying for peppering her with so many questions. 2. My second Wow moment was our dinner with Luigi and Theresa in Sorrento. This was the best meal of our trip. We had fun. The family was lovely."

Elaine

Anthem, AZ

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My travel expectations were far exceeded with RIck Steves Tour and the qualified team of guides and tour directors we had. The bus was beautiful and comfortable and not crowded as we had two seats each. I came away with incredible knowledge and appreciation for Italy and the many wonders we saw. I am a believer in not checking in luggage and packing light. Thank you for a life changing vacation shared with lively and fun travelers who became friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly cannot say one wow moment occurred. I felt like I experienced special and amazing moments in every city we toured. I think of Pompei and the spa time swimming in a cave in Matera. The Amalfi Coast did not disappoint with its views and colors. I appreciate staying off the beaten path so new venues were seen and crowds were not an issue. I believe that wow moments occur when great connections with people happen. Our group was like a new family!"

Brian

Lynden, WA

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Over all very good, but this particular tour involved too much time on the bus. Traffic and narrow, windy mountainous roads were partly to blame, especially from Vieste on. Our bus was too big for some of these narrow, windy roads, which impacted time spent on the bus and other vehicles attempting to navigate these roads. At times, I felt sorry for our bus driver, who patiently dealt with these nerve-racking conditions. You might take a look at reconfiguring this Southern Italy tour...(cf. # 16)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dinner with Luigi and Teresa in Sorrento was a memorable highlight. Matera is a must given its history and uniqueness; Paestum, Salerno, Positano, Sorrento, Capri, Pompei and Naples were all very worthy visits. The museums we visited in Naples were so enriching, and once we got used to the grafitti and chaotic traffic there, we enjoyed its unique Italian character. Also, swimming on the quiet side of Capri near the scenic rocks towers on our own separate excursion was very memorable."

Lucia

Shelburne, VT

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Italy several times with friends but experiencing this tour was absolutely wonderful.The buddy system is brilliant.I very much enjoyed sharing meals with the others on the tour,we happened to have a great group of people who became like family by the end of the tour. I also very much appreciated the free time given to us to explore or rest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow was an expression I used throughout this trip but my main reason why I chose this particular one was I definitely wanted to see Matera.I had read Carlos Levi's book and the fact that my family is from Basilicata I had to experience the region.Matera exceeded all my expectations,it was magical! The Gargano Peninsula was breathtaking and the boat ride taking us along the coast and into the grottos brought tears to my eyes."

Larry

Tenino, WA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour had some good and some not so good. Overall we had a nice group. The bus driver was awesome as usual, even though we had a fender bender the first day. Not his fault. The meals that were chosen for us were just okay. We have just one other RS tour to compare with and those meals were superb. We didn't care for any of them as the food was kind of blah. Our guide did a good job and was a very fast walker.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matera was my wow moment. Just absolutely amazing! Everyone should visit Matera."

Joseph

Frederick, MD

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In brief, we didn't enjoy it as much as our first RS tour (Greece 2017). Too many places and some less than spectacular, for example Hadrians Villa. As most of treasures weren't there it was hard to imagine and appreciate. In particular, we could have skipped Naples. Instead, we would rather have spent more time on the Amalfi coast. Especially at the end of the trip when we were worn out. The two nights each at Positano and Sorrento weren't enough with day trips to Capri and Amalfi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balcony of our hotel in Manarola (Casa Capellini) which was before the tour. The chair lift in Capri. Pompeii, our hotel in Matera. Boat ride in Vieste. Our local guide Francesca in Rome who brought members of our group to tears."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to visit southern Italy. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with the most pleasant weather.

Italy / Rome

Rome Weather


Italy / Naples

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Rome (FCO) and out of Naples (NAP) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy. Please note: The train from Naples to Rome takes anywhere from 70 minutes to two hours, so avoid early-morning flights out of Rome.

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