• Florence, Italy
    Florence
  • Tuscan hills
  • Val d'Orcia
  • italy-pienza-pedestrian-street
    Pienza
  • Pitigliano
  • italy-volterra-hillside-buildings
    Volterra
  • Lucca

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Best of Tuscany in 11 Days Tour

from $3,895 per person + air

Single Supplement $775

See Dates & Prices

Starting in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, you'll discover the incredible Renaissance art treasures of the Bargello and Accademia, followed by a deep dive into the Tuscan countryside. Roll your way through the Chianti hills sipping wine and strolling through Siena. Breathe in the fresh air of the Val d'Orcia, where vineyards and cypress trees go on forever. Meet local family farmers and taste their fresh products. Learn how to make homemade pasta and savor every meal. Soak up the Tuscan sun — and fall in love with everything about this beautiful region. Join us for the Best of Tuscany in 11 Days! 

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Dates & Prices

2024

What's Included

You'll get at least 20 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Tuscany tour:

  • Florence orientation walk
  • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David)
  • Florence neighborhood walking tour
  • Local market tasting
  • Bargello Museum
  • Mosaic workshop
  • Siena Duomo tour
  • Chianti wine tasting
  • Brunello winery lunch
  • Family farm visit and olive oil tasting
  • Pienza Hermitage walking tour
  • Italian cooking class
  • Scenic hill town drive
  • Pitigliano walking tour
  • Via Cava walk
  • Butteri (Tuscan cowboy) ranch
  • Volterra walking tour
  • Lucca walking tour
  • Puccini Museum
  • Opera demonstration

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 Tuscany come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Florence to Lucca
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and 5 other meals
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Tuscany

Our adventure begins in Florence, the capital of Tuscany. At 4 p.m., we'll gather at our centrally located hotel for a brief welcome meeting, followed by an orientation walk through our favorite Renaissance city. Along the way, we'll be introduced to the divinely domed Duomo and its storytelling Baptistery doors. Then we'll get to know each other over an aperitivo of Tuscan drinks and appetizers before setting you free to enjoy the city's evening ambiance and a light meal on your own.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Florence.

Day 2: Renaissance and Everyday Florence

A local scholar will join us this morning as we tour the Accademia Gallery and study Michelangelo's majestic David. Afterward, we'll enjoy a neighborhood walking tour that connects us with the daily lives of Florentines — and their love for food and local markets. It's the perfect introduction to the rest of your day, which is free to explore more of Florence (including the Uffizi Gallery if you've booked ahead) and enjoy dinner on your own.

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

Day 3: Florentine Treasures and Chianti

We'll begin our day at Florence's famed National Museum of Bargello. Housed in a 13th-century palace (and 18th-century prison!), the Bargello welcomes us with intimate looks at Renaissance masterpieces by Donatello, Michelangelo, della Robbia, and more. We'll end our morning with a visit to an impressive mosaic workshop, where we'll learn how local artisans keep this Renaissance art form alive. After a break for lunch, we'll meet our coach and driver and embark on a scenic journey over the hills of Chianti, ending at our family-owned countryside hotel. We'll be welcomed with an aperitivo, followed by a traditional Tuscan dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 1½ hours. Sleep in the Chianti countryside.

Day 4: Savoring Siena

Today we'll head out to one of our favorite Tuscan hill towns: spirited Siena. With a local guide, we'll introduce you to the city's treasure-filled Duomo and learn the story of Siena's medieval city-state rivalry with Florence. We'll also gain insight into the city's beloved Palio horse races and learn why this tradition means so much to residents of every Sienese neighborhood. You'll have some free time to wander around Siena's charming streets — or relax with a drink and a view along the famous Campo. We'll return to our countryside hotel for some down time before enjoying a tasting of the world-famous Chianti wines.

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

Day 5: Tuscany's Val d'Orcia

This morning we'll head to Tuscany's picturesque Val d'Orcia region and visit the town of Pienza. After a short scenic walk along the town wall, we'll venture underground to find a unique piece of Etruscan history. Following some free time, it's onto a family-run Brunello winery for lunch, tasting their delicious homemade prosciutto, and sipping their fine wine. After checking into our hill-top hotel, we'll finish our day enjoying a traditional Italian apericena together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3½ hours. Sleep near Pitigliano.

Day 6: Vie Cave and Tuscan Flavors

We'll begin our day with a walk on one of Tuscany's Cave Roads, "Le Vie Cave," pondering the mystery of these ancient passageways. This afternoon we'll gather for a fun and informative cooking class, where we'll learn time-tested pasta-making techniques and the secret to sauces. We'll enjoy the labors of our culinary creations over a lovely Tuscan meal together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep near Pitigliano.

Day 7: Hill Towns

Today we'll explore scenic Tuscany — wandering through timeless hill towns with pristine views. At the "Little Jerusalem" village of Pitigliano, a local will treat us to a history lesson that reveals how its nickname came to be. After free time for lunch, we'll head to a working family farm — and our hotel for the night. We'll learn how Tuscany's proud agricultural traditions are kept alive and sample the family's wine and olive oil. There will be plenty of time to kick back and relax before a leisurely dinner.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 1½ hours. Sleep in Maremma.

Day 8: Maremma's Old West

This morning your guide will treat you to their favorite "locals-only" part of Tuscany. In the afternoon we'll mosey back to our hotel and working cattle ranch to see how modern-day cowboys and their horses keep Maremma's "Old West" traditions alive. Then we'll sit down and enjoy dinner together.

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

Day 9: Charming Volterra

Today we'll make our way to lovely Lucca, but first we'll stop at the charming hill town of Volterra. After free time for lunch, we'll meet a local guide for a walking tour including a visit to an alabaster workshop. Then we'll head on to the final stop of our Tuscan adventure: the impressive walled city of Lucca. After an orientation to the city, you'll be free to discover a tasty trattoria for dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3½ hours. Sleep in Lucca.

Day 10: Puccini's Lucca

This morning we'll take a tour of charming Lucca, hometown of the great opera composer Giacomo Puccini. We'll stroll the elegant, pedestrian-friendly streets while learning about the history, music, and artistry that still thrive within this Renaissance walled city. After a tasty gelato break, we'll provide admission to the Puccini museum and you can visit on your own, or spend the afternoon wandering through Lucca, walking atop its scenic wall, or taking a short train ride to nearby Pisa. This evening we'll enjoy an opera demonstration before our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our new friends. Salute!

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

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach the Florence or Pisa airports by train. 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 Tuscany in 11 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.

Reviews

Jeri

Tour: 11/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely incredible and was beyond my expectations. Our tour guide, Alfio, was exceptional and kept us informed as well as surprised with each days new adventure. Everything was so organized and well thought out throughout the entire tour. While traveling on the bus with Alfio, we learned Italian phrases, history of the city or village we were traveling to, and were entertained with Italian music or opera.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day of the tour had a "wow" moment which I did not expect. Each day kept getting better and better. Never a dull moment. My favorite wow moment was the last night when we were surprised to have a pianist and a tenor surprise with a private performance of 5 Arias of Puccini's music. The performance was fantastic and took my breath away. It was totally unexpected and was the icing on the cake of a wonderful 12 day tour of Tuscany."

Karen

Tour: 11/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip itinerary included the many treasures of Florence, the Florence American Cemetery, the Chianti area halmlet (Castello Di Gargonza), Siena, the incredibly beautiful area of Val d'Orcia, Pienza, Pitigliano, Portoferraio and the island of Elba (including the iron mines), Volterra, and Lucca.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved driving through the very scenic Val d'Orcia!!! One magnificent view after another."

Heather

Tour: 11/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was a real treat. History, art, architecture, culture, food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The unexpected pre-dinner musical treat on our last night managed to outshine even the numerous previous wow moments on the tour! The tenor was outstanding. The pianist equally so. It felt so authentically Italian. "

Deborah

Tour: 11/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thomas

Tour: 11/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and it was a magical experience. From the people on the tour with us to the incredible places we saw and stayed at, it was just incredible. x

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick out a single moment, but I would have to say the views in and around Pitigliano were breathtaking. "

Beth

Tour: 10/30/23

Annette

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "Best of Tuscany" tour was one of my favorite Rick Steves' tours because of the incredible food, wine, countryside and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the view across the Tuscan landscape from Pienza. It's not surprising that is where the iconic scene from the movie "Gladiator" was shot. "

Robert

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Some of the hotels were out dated with very little room and the breakfast was just adequate. There was really no need to travel to Elba because most of shops were closed for the season.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise visit to the American Cemetery outside of Florence. It was breathtaking and a privilege to see the thousands of American heros buried there. "

Janet

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never taken an organized tour vacation before and was concerned that I would not like it, but it was the best trip I have ever taken. Wonderful locations, excellent guides, delicious food, and great travel companions

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to choose two moments (out of many).... walking into our hotel "apartment" in Gargonza, and visiting the archeological site on Nico's family farm. Oh wait.... I have to mention the amazing views of the hills in Val d'Orcia"

Dan

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized land tour and we went into it with some apprehension but those feelings quickly disappeared. This was the best vacation we have ever taken. Good weather, great guides, spectacular locations awesome travel buddies and outstanding food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't choose just one because there were so many. The first glimpse of the rolling Tuscan hills and the accommodations at castle Gargonza with its tower view of the Tuscan countryside are my most memorable. "

Cynthia

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the variety of experiences and destinations we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several - seeing David in Florence, staying at Gargonza and La Moscadella, walking the wall around Lucca."

Matthew

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our high expectations. Our guide, Eleanora, was the best we'd ever had and was superlative in every way. The bus rides from location to location were very enjoyable as the views through the windows were consistently stunning and the bus itself was very comfy. Our group was very congenial too--intelligent, curious, considerate, and fun-loving. We went to many sites we would never have seen on our own, such as the charming hilltown of Montecchielo and the Santa Guilia winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing the tower at Castello di Gargonza. This hamlet was special and a perfect first stop after leaving Florence. The views from the top of the tower were magnificent.; this experience was indeed a sublime moment. The medieval origins of the place really sunk in. Another "wow" moment equally exciting was the recital of Puccini arias that we enjoyed at our hotel in Lucca, home of the composer. It made for a rapturous conclusion to the tour."

Susie

Tour: 10/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a great mix of experiences. starting with the art in Florence, continuing with beautiful Tuscan villages and towns, and concluding in quaint Lucca. Throughout the food and wine was amazing. Ella, our guide, went above and beyond looking after us, giving up her free day to organize an extra outing for us on Elba.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay at Gargonza, an old village that has been restored and converted into accommodations. It was a unique experience. "

Karen

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, our 30th Anniversary and it exceeded my expectations! The geography was stunning, the towns amazing, the artwork truly inspiring, the food delicious, the wines without fault, the guides fantastic, our driver, Danielle, was a magician, the Cathedrals and Sacred spaces filled my heart and soul and the people were so welcoming, friendly, down to earth, genuinely good people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THe Castle in Gorganza"

Joseph

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations were good to excellent. Breakfast was Excellent-Every day! Tours and daily tour guides were superb and many were passionate and committed to their culture, history, art and food. Our tour guide was Karin Kibby. I can't add enough superlatives. She was incredibly knowledgeable in ALL things Italy! Smart, witty, extremely personable and helped the whole group bond and have a total WOW experience. Karin was just awesome. The tour itself, especially the Val D'Orcia was superb!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to narrow down....Mostly the Val D'Orcia! Second, seeing Castello di Gargonz, the first time, in a mist and almost dreamlike fog. La Moscadella, Volterra( our guide Annie !!) Pitigliano, Pienza, Santa Giulia Winery, San Gregorio Agriturismo, Montichiello, Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Lucca(despite the rain we encountered, AND our guide Gabrielle.) Siena was excellent, but I feel we needed more time there? Via Cava was a great history lesson- keep focus on the Etruscans!!"

Sara

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, and of course the art, architecture, culture!

Andi

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed this tour. My favorite memories will be my fellow tour members and the towns and specific sitesI have never visited. I particularly enjoyed Elba and the iron mine tour! That was sort of a last minute addition due to the rainy weather we were experiencing during our "free day" on the island. Please add this in somewhere. It was a fascinating experience and the guide was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed our hilltop stay in Gargonza.That was truly a unique and wonderful experience!"

William

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic guide; wonderful, friendly group of like-minded travelers. Great itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gargonza Castle hamlet. So captivating and unique. Unlike any previous experience I’ve had. I skipped the day trip to Sienna (we had been there previously on our own travels) just to explore Gargonza and its surroundings more thoroughly. Felt like I went back into history. I wanted to soak it all up. My 2nd “wow” moment was touring the mosaic workshop in Florence. I am not an artist but the unbelievable care and skill needed to create one of the pieces of art filled me with awe. Amazing!"

Rod

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Top notch; Rick Steve tour guide, local expert guides, and bus driver. Lodging was varied and all unique. Meals were representative of local cuisine and fine. Tour destinations were all of great interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How well the Rick Steve tour guide managed the clients well being and enjoyment and every aspect of the tour. "

Debbie

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary was excellent and exceeded my expectations. It included a nice mix of art, history, culture, food and wine! The other tour members were awesome, which made the tour even more special. Our tour guide, Karen, was fabulous! Being on tour with her was like going to Italy and hanging out with family! She was so knowledgeable, explained things well, told many fun stories of her family and went out of her way to set up tours on our free day in Elba when it was raining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to choose from so here are some top picks: the Mosaic workshop, the local guides making the art/history/culture come to life, Volterra, Lucca and the white pebble beaches at Elba."

Marianne

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well-organized and executed. There was a very good balance between appealing scenery, historical/archaeological, and practical hands-on experiences. Size of tour group seemed ideal, as there were plenty of people to share experiences with, while not feeling overwhelmed by a crowd. (This is important to me as I am a confirmed introvert and worried about having too much of personal interactions.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Simply being in Tuscany I think qualified as a "Wow" moment for me, the spectacular food and wine definitely would be on my list, but I think that overall the one single "Wow" that stood out was staying in the medieval castle/village of Gargonza. Living right in the midst of the history of this place was awe-inspiring, and the chance to be only the second group to ascend to the top of their recently renovated Tower was an unforgettable experience."

Pauline

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Visiting Tuscany was a 20-year goal of mine. I loved every stop on our tour. We were able to experience so much. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe and included. One stressor during the trip was my inadequate amount of Euros. Based on material I had read in the tour materials (or in an article on the website), I understood that I could exchange cash at banks in Italy. That was not true. I don’t use an ATM. Better communication is needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

" Visiting the Etruscan Museum during our free time in Volterra was extraordinary. The opportunity to see the collection of artifacts from this pre-Roman civilization was truly a gift and one I wouldn’t have known about but for this trip. Sadly time was limited so the group of us ran out of time to see everything. We should have moved through the exhibit faster, but had taken our time with it all, soaking in every remarkable display. "

Susan

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was much more than I expected it to be. Some of the accommodations were truly outstanding. Our guide David was amazing. All the impromptu music on the tour was really special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty and diversity of the Tuscany region."

Nancy

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Tuscany was wonderful. I loved visiting the little hill towns. We ate delicious food on the tour. I have been on 9 Rick Steves tours and have had excellent tour guides, but David was the best of the best. A++. Having him for our tour guide really made the tour special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual, there were many. I especially enjoyed our pasta cooking class at La Moscadella and the surprise concert by David's band there. Also, local tour guides Nico in Pienza and Annie in Volterra were really excellent."

Anne

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent guide. We went to places we never would have had access to. We met lots of friendly and interesting fellow tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! If I have to choose, it was tasting bread that was drizzled with the first pressing of olive oil that was one hour old? We relished it as we ate outdoors at a farm, among their olive trees."

Julie

Tour: 10/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent time on our tour of Tuscany! David was an incredible guide who was informative, caring and fun. He went out of his way to make our trip memorable. I was so impressed with how professional yet personable he was. Thank you David and Rick Steves for an outstanding experience exploring Tuscany!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved staying at Gorgonza and Moscedella! Rich in history and wonderful to actually meet the families who lived there and worked the land. I loved spending the day on Elba. Swimming in the sea and soaking up the sun in October was magical. "

Karen

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Francesco and our driver were awesome as were the local guides. The one thing that I would have preferred was different was the tour of the Accademia. We spent a lot of time in one room and then about 30 minutes at the statue of David and then were given 10 minutes to see the rest of the gallery, use the bathroom and meet outside. I would have preferred less time at each of the two area and more time to look around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the pasta making experience. "

Heidi

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at La Moscadella and the Medieval Hamlet"

Monica

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt I knew what to expect from the tour itinerary but this trip definitely exceeded my expectations in all ways...experiences, lodging, education, beauty, food and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many where I was amazed by the beauty and the age of everything but my total wow moment was experiencing our lodging at La Moscadella."

Jean

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To say that our Tuscany tour was a trip of a lifetime is an understatement. The 12 days spent with our absolutely fantastic tour guide, David, exceeded our expectations. David brought Italy alive with his knowledge of its history as well as the everyday workings of its government and citizens. David filled our bus rides with such interesting facts and observations we were able to feel his love and loyalty to his country which broadened our appreciation of Tuscany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! We visited the Florence American Cemetery where over 4,000 American soldiers who died in Italy during World War II were buried. A very sobering experience that I wouldn't have wanted to miss. Also the Isle of Elba!! Breathtaking!! Then there was the night David's band played a gig for us after dinner!! WOW!!"

Jorge

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful selection of towns and villages. Food, hotels, guides and transportation were impeccable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views in Tuscany are a masterpiece "

Gregory

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great Tours, lodging, food, David.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David and his band surprising us after dinner with a concert."

Susan

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What's not to love about Tuscany?!? The art, architecture, countryside, and of course the food, were all outstanding. Local guides were very good, but our tour guide David was truly extraordinary! We had a great group of people on this tour. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and mingled well. Its a good mix of larger and smaller towns with an appropriate mix of group and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the hill towns, learning their history from the guides, and popping into churches or museums. Always something to see and later discuss over some tasty food and wine!"

Claudia

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so far beyond what I could have imagined. Every moment was special and every day a new adventure! I had never been but always dreamed of visiting Tuscany. I would highly recommend a Rick Steve’s tour and am planning my next one. All of the people in our group were so great, we had so much fun together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can’t choose just one: Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea! Our final meal together, and the amazing entertainment from our fabulous tour guide, David Torde. "

Karen

Tour: 09/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful in-depth tour of Tuscany. The food was fantastic; the hotels were lovely, the city guides were amazing; our guide David was incredible. The itnerary was well thought out. Could not have asked for a more thoughtful itinerary. Our travel group was so fun to be with , It all was an off the charts 11 on a scale of 1-10 (my reference to the Spinal Tap movie)

Favorite "WOW" moment

" Many WOW's on this tip -The afternoon at the Maremma farm visit- seeing first hand working with the cattle- Giddy-up ,indeed! Also the visit to the seeing the excavations in Pienza was something out of an Indiana Jones movie- fascinating to see history coming alive. "

Daniel

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

This was our seventh tour. The first six were outstanding, inspirational, and thoroughly fun. The tour guide arrived late working on another tour she said and in doing she told us we weren’t important. At the end of the tour, she left early in the breakfast because she had something else to do. She lacked any warmth whatsoever, literally belittled tour members who answered her questions wrongly. In summary, if she had been the guide on our 1st tour, we wouldn’t have made a second tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides Ana was particularly good and gave us a great tour of Volterra "

Teresa

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour covered areas of Tuscany I had not seen before. We were blessed with beautiful weather and scenery. We had wonderful guides and amazing accommodations. The food was outstanding and plentiful. Overall a great tour and I would highly recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed our three night stay at La Moscadella, The Isabella Experience. Beautiful setting, great accommodations and food as well as a fun cooking class. "

Bret

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were able to experience and learn much more than we would have without our tour guides. Local insight was invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing that the Etruscan works that we were looking at are 2800-2900 years old. Unreal!"

Bev

Tour: 09/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Tuscany in 12 Days Tour was outstanding! Our guide, Francesco, was so organized and did a great job educating us about countless things. We loved Tuscany, especially Volterra, Siena, Lucca and the Island of Elba. Our tour group was the best and made the trip even more amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Volterra and staying at La Moscadella!"

Steven

Tour: 09/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, and it exceeded my expectations. The guides were great; I really wouldn't have gotten half as much out of most of the places we went without them. The accommodations were better than I expected. We had a nice mix of filled and open time. Most of all, our group of travelers was really fun and we thoroughly enjoyed one another, which made the whole trip more special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots to choose from, but I'll go with the emotional stop at the Florence-American cemetery and recalling the sacrifices made in the much-less-publicized campaign to liberate Italy. "

Steve

Tour: 09/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very fun great people. Amazing guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last group dinner. It was great."

Lydia

Tour: 09/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized, the itinerary was excellent, and the pacing was good. Francesco is an outstanding guide, so knowledgeable. The other guides were excellent as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the incredible view from the tiny village of Monticchiello. I also loved our stay at La Moscadella--the beautiful grounds and fresh air, hotel design, the view, fabulous food, and the pici-making class with the owner, Isabella, where she shared her touching story of how she learned to make pasta."

Judi

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was a very well planned tour with plenty of planned activities but also free time to go on your own explorations at your own pace

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 13th century private town we stayed at, could have spent the entire trip there but there were also multiple other memorable places we saw and stayed at."

Sandra

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so well balanced with tour time and free time. Cici was great! She was patient and available to us for questions and concerns. The group dinners were amazing and the hotels were a treat, especially the Garganza hamlet, so fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments, but did especially enjoy the pasta making class, then enjoying our efforts. "

William

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tuscany is an incredible region of Italy. The countryside was magnificent, green, rolling hills. Our guide was amazing with deep knowledge of the area and the differences between living in the USA and Italy. It was fascinating. She also completely managed all of the unknowns of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Hermitage that had been found recently on a farmer's property was incredible. Seeing the caves dug out of the hillside and the images that had been carved into the walls, some early Christian, like the six-fingered Madonna, and others pre-Christian, like the mermaid. Getting to the caves was breathtaking, walking through the verdant forest down the cliff. Absolutely made the trip for us! "

Susan

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to see parts of Italy I had not seen before, though I've been many times (3 other RS tours). It did not disappoint. The countryside was stunning, food and wine outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first glimpse of the Val d'Orcia as we walked to the Hermitage in Pienza. It literally took my breath away."

Eileen

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a tour with a fantastic guide, very skilled bus driver, and a very nice group of fellow tour members. Lisa's personal stories brought Italian culture and society to life. She was also super helpful with a medical issue. I enjoyed the in-depth focus on Tuscany, an enchanting area of a beautiful country. Be aware that this is a strenuous tour, especially if you've lost stamina in the last few years. Train now to be ready for this great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at La Moscadella, visiting the Hermitage near Pienza, and the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. (Okay, that's three.)"

Meredith

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the first guided tour we have ever been on and it was so fun. Getting to know all the people on your tour and all the little "surprises" was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having our tour guide play my favorite opera song riding through Tuscany brought tears to my eyes. It was the fulfillment of one of my bucket list items! I could hardly believe it was true. "

Richard

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was rigorous, but evenly paced and informative. The Tao of Rick was evident in every way, from what was included, to what was not. Need to do the tourist shuffle? There’s free time for that! But check out this quirky museum, and try this unusual street food. Some folks in our group had done multiple Rick Steves tours; one couple was on their 16th. It’s easy to see why. No following of sing-song tour guides here, it’s about the lives of our fellow earthlings and the beauty of their world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from Volterra, and every expansive panorama from the higher points of Tuscany. Yogi Berra said you can observe a lot by looking, and sometimes looking without analysis is what your soul needs."

Annemarie

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We covered a lot of interesting places and the pacing of the tour was good to cover as much sites in a reasonable time. Our tour guide Lisa was also fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Siena and learning more about its history and traditions"

Mary Anne

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyable. I saw things I never would have found on my own. The trip was well-organized and Lisa, our tour guide, was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opera concert at our hotel in Lucca."

John

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well guided with lots of down time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stay at the Villa - facilities and staff were amazing"

Emilie

Tour: 06/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. It was a great mix of guided and free time. It was our first time touring with a group (we are in our 50’s) so we weren’t sure what to expect. I possibly would have liked a few more activities added in the days, but if you came to relax, see gorgeous sights, spend time with happy vacationers, eat delicious food and sip the best wine I’ve ever had, then this is your trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first glimpse of the Tuscan town of Pitigliano, a walled city built on toufa rock. Amazing! Also seeing the David in person, it was huge and just emanated the work of a genius."

Michael

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The only reason I didn't put outstanding was because I had a strained achilles tendon and walking was very difficult. Otherwise, it was a wonderful trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Castello di Gargonza and Santa Guilia family winery were absolutely wonderful. Definitely my favorites."

Kristine

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about this tour. Beautiful scenery, wonderful accommodations, great guides, and a very nice group of fellow travelers. Becoming acquainted with several local families and visiting their homes and getting to know how they live was something that we would not have experienced if we had been traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose, but seeing "David" for the first time was awe-inspiring. And the beautiful views from the bus of the Tuscan countryside never failed to impress."

Bob

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, the tour was decent but not our favorite. Tuscany is beautiful, but there's just not enough there for us to recommend this tour to other people. The provided meals on this tour weren't memorable either, with a couple of exceptions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David"

Kathryn

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed walking the varied (but similar) small hill villages. We like the Rick Steve's combination of group activities/meals and time to explore personal interests/meals on our own. Rewarding to learn history and culture of each village.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bargello museum"

Jennifer

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We followed Ireland with a Tuscany tour. Turns out, the two guides are good friends, so we knew we were going to have a great time! Vanessa is a party with trainers. She's a whirlwind of energy, cheerful and informative, lively and always up for anything! Tuscany is physically challenging with many stairs, rocky and cobbled roads, and some long inclines. This was harder for my husband (had open heart surgery in Oct) than we expected. Vanessa went above and beyond to help tourers who had issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be Gargonza. WOW. Not an activity per se, but an ancient Etruscan village we were thrilled to stay in. We got to know whose house we occupied, how the village operated, and how the current owners are stone-by-stone returning it back to a working village. The wine tasting and the views were equally thrilling. WOW!"

Roger

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific guide for the overall tour and fantastic local guides at our various stops. I really appreciate the attention to cultural experiences and meeting the local residents.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Sienna"

Dale

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my first tour of any kind. The guide was excellent, Vanessa (Princess Peachy). The walking over Tuscany was a little difficult for me, and I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in. Several of our tourists missed parts of the tour because they couldn't do the walking/hiking. I noticed as a single guy, most of the activities were for couples. I felt a bit left out. The hotels were the worst part of the tour for me. The crowds in Rome and Florence were hard to get through.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Academie in Florence, the David."

Jim

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Tuscany in 12 Days tour was a fantastic experience and a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Lucca is always a "wow" moment for me. I just love the city and each visit reminds me why!"

Wendy

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our tour guides were wonderful and the sights we saw we enjoyed. Unfortunately, we caught Covid three days in and that ended our tour. Not a great feeling to be left behind with no Rick Steve's personnel contacting you, other than our tour guide who checked on us a few times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "Wow" moment was during our "on your own" time when we caught a bus to Fiesole. The view was breathtaking, the old monastery hauntingly beautiful and our dinner overlooking Florence was relaxing and delicious."

Debra

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

it was a wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"walking through the Tuscany villages"

Ann

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just an amazing tour with the best guides, itinerary, food/wine, accommodations, unforgettable scenery, and fun/interesting cultural experiences, and the best “tour family”! Especially loved the smaller towns with fewer tourists and more opportunities to engage with the locals. Special trip with breathtaking scenery I’ll always remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from! (The workshop of mosaic artisans, the Brunello winery, cappuccinos on the terrace of La Moscadella overlooking Tuscan hillsides, etc.) But two stand out: First the breathtaking Tuscan scenery surrounding Pienza and buying a painting of it from a delightful artist. Also having a lovely meal with a dear friend in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro—sipping wine, eating excellent pasta, and listening to the nearby musicians. A fun Italian memory!"

Kevin

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very Enriching!! This by far was the best experience ever. I had never been on a group tour before but soon realized this was a very good decision. We started in Florence and went to many walled hill towns in Tuscany. I would have never driven to all these places on my own. Our tour Guide Cecilia made the trip unforgettable. Her knowledge about history and explaining life in Italy was very humbling. Eleonora her apprentice was just as warm and Knowledgeable. Our group of 18 was great. Do it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many great moments. I enjoyed the countryside stays, exploration of medieval villages, wine tastings and amazing food provided. My stay at the La Moscadella was phenomenal! I thoroughly visiting Santa Giulia for our wine tasting and lunch as well as Isabella’s family farm and winery and learning about the process of making olive oil. I even met Grandpa! Equally as impressive was my stay at Castillo di Gargonza. My visit to The American Cemetery in Florence was very moving."

Janis

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was exceptional in every way! The scheduled itinerary stops were interesting, beautiful and oftentimes, places we would have never discovered had we traveled independently. Our tour guide, Cecilia and her apprentice, Eleonora were phenomenal! They were knowledgeable and helpful which allowed us the opportunity to enlarge our minds as we listened to their stories and insight about life in Italy. I felt as though I were temporarily immersed in the Tuscan culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several “wow” moments from our trip! Staying at the agriturismo, La Moscadella and traveling through the Val d’Orca countryside top my list. Pienza, Volterra and Siena were my favorite hilltop towns. Walking through the charming medieval villages was like a step back in time. Our stay on a hilltop at Castello di Gargonza was so enchanting. Wine tasting, eating delicious food, pasta making and the community built with fellow tour members also positively impacted my experience."

Ian

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time out of the country felt like a good overall experience and will probably do another in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art was very impressive. Seeing the David in person was great and the landscape was picturesque."

Martin

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. There was a good balance of tour activity and free time. Meals were very good. Cecelia was an excellent tour guide, and she went the extra mile to help anyone's special requirements. Good accommodations, especially Castell di Garganza and La Moscadella.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Every day, something was exceptional. I guess my "wow" moments were discovering the small Tuscan hill towns. Breakfast outdoors at Moscadella was memorable. The Museo di Borghello was really nice."

Linda

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide, good balance of activities, good accommodations, comfortable transportation with a very competent driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s so hard to pick just one! I had at least one a day! Visiting the mosaic workshop, the alabaster workshop, the Accademia and the Bargello for starters. The Etruscan archeological site and Etruscan Museum were unexpected and fascinating. I really enjoyed every minute of this trip."

Connie

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fun knowledgeable guides. Well planned and executed Itinerary. We had a great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time at Moscadella Working farm and pasta making "

Hayley

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect from the time we arrived until the time we left. We saw, and learned so much about the culture and history and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the wow moments was the cooking class then eating what we made after. Pretty cool and fun! "

Steffenie

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was incredible - knowledgeable, fun, kind, organized and went above and beyond in all aspects. The towns we visited were all excellent and many we had never heard of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Moscadella - wow! and their family's farm tour, olive oil and wine tasting. "

Carol

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and I’m glad I did it! I saw, ate, and drank things I never would have on my own. Francesco was fantastic as were all the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have many WOW moments but one that stands out was being at Ponte Vecchio during sunset. It was beautiful!"

Glenda

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a wonderful time on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial blew me away. What an unexpected emotional moment."

Lee

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Tuscany. Excellent guides, nice fellow travelers, and what a place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Volterra. What a gem. "

Debra

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Francesco Gronchi, made the tour exceptional. I learned a lot more about wine and wine tasting and enjoyed the various experiences along the way. I had been to most of the towns on previous tours of Italy, but they are different each time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting the working family farm, a sensory experience - seeing, smelling goats, pigs, sheep - and the olive oil."

Sally

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fun, educational, beautiful, friendly group, great tour guide and local guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from "

Teresa

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The cadence of this tour was perfectly suited to my sensibilities, notably the 3 day stay at La Moscadella was perfection. There was less time on the bus on this tour than on previous tours which was by design and why I chose this tour. Francesco, our tour guide, was a multi-faceted and well-rounded individual, and uniquely suited to offer an exceptional experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the American Cemetery, while sobering, was the unexpected "wow" experience. The beauty of the grounds was remarkable and a testament to the strong respect the Italians have for the service men and women who risked their lives to save others. "

Gordon

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco was absolutely fantastic. Knowledgeable, professional, and super enthusiastic. The tour was a perfect mix of activities, "experiences", and downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Any number of the hill towns we were able to visit. "

Vincent

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into it with no tour experience or expectations. It blew me away. The amount of activities and the guide experience just left me in awe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My tour guide, Francesco was my wow moment. He made the entire trip worth every penny. "

Judith

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The first week was terrific—educational, food, drink, hotels, castles, outstanding guide, great fellow travelers. The 2nd week I tested positive for COVID. Florence was a great place to recuperate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around the Costello di Gargonza—the natural beauty was stunning. Neri was such an interesting, charming person. Our room was magnificent! The food, the drink. Wow!"

James

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

Flights cancelled at last minute, missed first two days of the tour, eventually caught COVID and missed last two days of the tour. The tour itself was boring with a great deal of up, down and up again walking to view repetitious, mediocre sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One guide talked about secular humanism with insight and passion. Also, a visit to one winery was both interesting and appealing. "

Anne

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We got a really taste of the real Tuscany. Enjoyed our guide, the group and all the wine tastings and the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the breakfast area at La Moscadella and viewing the hills of Tuscany - it was beautiful. "

Susan

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 7th RS tour and, as always, a well organized trip with an excellent guide, enjoyable tour members, and interesting itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beautiful Tuscan scenery and stays at the hilltop village and La Moscadella"

Dennis

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being Toscano on both sides, this tour had special meaning and it did not disappoint. We had been to the major cities before so I was really looking forward to experiencing the interior. It was springtime and just beautiful in the valleys and rolling hills. The agriturismos and wine tasting were much enjoyed. I found the monastery experience lacking; too much time on frescos and not enough on the life of monks. There was COVID on our tour and I think guides should push people more to test.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them, but the biggest surprise was entering the ancient hill town of Gorgonza and finding we were the only ones in that cool little place. I enjoy wine and the visits to the family owned wineries were a highlight. The extended stay at the Moscadella villa was incredible. I will always remember our visit to the American cemetery and the story behind the beautiful gardens of La Foce. Lucca was as charming as always. Our guide, Francesco, was excellent. Last but not least...the FOOD!"

Ralph

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. This was our 9th Rick Steves tour, so I guess we count as groupies. We visited places and met people we could not have visited and met on our own. Francesco is a wonderful guide, providing valuable insights about the places we visited, Tuscany, and Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Gargonza and Castelmuzio and visiting Pienza and Volterra all count as "wow" moments. I can't choose one above the others."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tuscany was full of pleasant surprises. I loved seeing the green hills. The countryside with all the spring wildflowers was beautiful and unusual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number. "

Jill

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

included some cool off-the-beaten path accommodations and experiences, some wonderful food and wine, our guide was fantastic, we had a really nice group of people on the tour. Nice pace and a perfect mix - Florence and then beautiful historic towns in the Tuscan countryside and the island of Elba.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing my covid test turn positive, haha. Seriously, there were so many it's hard to come up with just one. The drive up to Castello di Gargonza was a wow - realizing we were going to be staying so off the beaten path in such a unique and historic place, surrounded by such beauty, a place we'd never find on our own. And every time we wandered down to the incredible aperitivos and dinners in La Moscadella dining room with that beautiful view, it was like wow, we are really getting spoiled. "

Susan

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience gave us something unique, surprising, informative & special each day. The variety of experiences was amazing; from staying in a renovated castle to visiting a cattle ranch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In retrospect, Nikko's tour of the medieval/Etruscan ruins discovered on his family property in Pienza literally blew us away. His stories of discovery, cleaning/excavation, challenges with bureaucracy, etc. with regard to this site were enlightening & more often funny. It became very clear how important this was to his family. "

Susan

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations on every level! Each site we visited was unique and the local guides were outstanding. Our own tour guide was excellent - well informed, enthusiastic and with a broad level of interests and expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Hermitage archaeological site in Pienza that was owned and cared for by a local family, then visiting their family farm where the young guide and his grandfather showed us their animals, and how they produce wine and olive oil. "

Alvin

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour and the wonderful itinerary. Our guide, Alfio, was well organized, very funny, kind and added so much to our trip with language lessons, history filled discussions and cultural insights. Ray and Cathy promise to never kill the pasta again. The local guides were fabulous and of course the food and wine was outstanding. Our fellow tour members added so much to the experience with their wonderful questions and helpful suggestions. The hotels were mostly outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was seeing Michelangelo’s David, the beautiful Tuscan country side and seeing Voltaire and Lucca. Our private concert of Puccini’s operas, in the town he called home, will be a lifelong memory. "

Jeffrey

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time traveling to Europe and participating on a travel tour. Everything about this trip exceeded my expectation. Guide, hotels, daily itinerary, free time, meals, selected towns to visit and stay in and our 20 person group was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I’d say walking from our hotel on day 1 in Florence and seeing the Duomo, baptistery and piazza. It was an amazing sight in person. That set the stage for so many more “wows”. "

Ralph

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative, first hand view of the local community and an outstanding guide and facilitator.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to describe. The incredible history of the area spans from Before Christ through WWII. The people are genuine and with the Rick Steve's connections are very accessible. The environment of the trip and the leader's approach foster a communal learning experience. "

Douglas

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

My wife and I both got covid because a person on the tour refused to test and was sure her sniffles were just a cold. We appreciate that you have refunded a generous share of the tour price. In my opinion testing should be mandatory for any person on the tour who shows symptoms of covid.

Patricia

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This long awaited and dreamed of tour was everything we had hoped it would be and so much more. The thrill of seeing renaissance masterpieces in Florence was equaled by the amazing countryside and beautiful hill towns of Tuscany. We saw many amazing things and learned much. It was a total delight we will always remember and cherish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just realizing we were where we were and getting to experience Florence and Tuscany."

Theresa

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful Tour! Francesco made our time together so special. his knowledge of the region and the wines gave us an even greater depth of understanding about the culture of Tuscany. we enjoyed being in Volterra and meeting his wife and the local people. The tour was well paced, the meals and entertainment (especially the opera singer ) were excellent. Loved all the wine tastings

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hotel room in ValD' Orcia was phenomenal. We loved the alabaster carving and the Opera singer. I think seeing each of the hilltop fortresses was amazing and the fact they are all still standing and people live in the cities with all the antiquity that that brings is so amazing. We loved the stop at the WWII memorial site"

Susan

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth Steves tour and it met all expectation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning that Christians had been forbidden from banking in early history. That fact explaining why the bankers were Jewish and also were able to concentrate wealth. Mind blown!"

Martha

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tuscany tour was a great combination of history, culture, beautiful rural scenery, and cuisine and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting multiple medival towns and the gorgeous spring fields and hills they were situated in."

Mark

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip overseas and the first tour we've taken. We had a great time and found Francesco and his partnerTrina to be wonderful tour guides. The local guides were also fantastic. We learned so much about Tuscany and really enjoyed every minute of our educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it would be difficult to pick one. The Duomo in Florence and the main Piazza in Sienna were amazing to see in person. Then there were the mountain villages of Pitigliano and Voltare, and the tour of a family owned vineyard and winery, no to mention the food. The entire trip was wonderful."

John

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were impressed by the knowledge and friendliness of the guides, and were impressed by the variety of daily fine expereince on the tour. Bravo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The artwork within the Piccolomini Library of the Siena Catherdal was unexpectedly beatiful."

Dan

Tour: 04/03/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour I’ve ever taken

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gargonza and Casa Moriccciani the best food, the best hospitality of any place we stayed, I felt like they treated us like we were family, the views were fantastic both places were my WOW moments "

Laura

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was amazing ,she took us to many places we would not have been able to see on our own. She also gave us opportunities to experience the lives of people living in the area, there jobs and lives and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing David !"

John

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting sites, fabulous guides especially at the Academia and Bargello, and Volterra. Good food, hotels (La Moscadella was spectacular). Tour Guide Karin was excellent !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Elba and the ferry ride were unexpectedly enjoyable. David never disappoints. We separately booked the Uffizi and was greatly impressed with the Michelangelo Holy Family painting and it's brilliance from restoration."

Greg

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded our expectations..which were high.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The places we wentt, the things we did and the experiences we had, the accommodations, tour guide, fellow tour members...where do I stop?"

Mary

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was flawless. Everything flowed with no wasted time. We visited fascinating places that were back door experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose because there are so many, but the Isabella Experience at La Moscadella was a big beautiful wow. "

Elsa

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a lovely tour. We went from big city Florence to wonderful Val d'Orcia where the views of the hill towns was amazing. We even got to go to an island and we ended the tour in a walled city!!!!!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that our 3 day stay in La Moscadella was superb. Volterra was also great and wish we could have stayed here longer."

Steven

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tuscany is a unique place filled with important history, great food, friendly people and beautiful scenery. Francesco and the local guides did a wonderful job showing it all to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Moscadella."

Dennis

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thought the Best of Tuscany tour was well organized and our primary tour guide, Francesco, superlative with his infectious enthusiasm and good humor. Our local guides were also quite good ( e.g. Cora in Florence and Annie in Volterra; also Roberto in Sienna). Food was always the best and the hotel Moscadella was fantastic, as was Gargonza on the hilltop. Elba island was pretty but hotel rooms cramped, although hotel close to beach. We traveled with a very amiable group on the bus; very nice folk

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the cathedral ( Duomo) and bell tower in Florence, and of course, “The David.”The Arno river and open air markets of Florence were quite impressive."

Martha

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, great guides, well placed hotels, countless treasures for the eye. This tour, and Italy enriches mind, body, and spirit with amazing art, artisans, scenery, delicious food, wine, coffee, and a centering found in the amazing Tuscan lifestyle both ancient and modern. The pillows were wanting in several hotels, especially Florence. While Elba was relaxing and the rest welcome, the hotel staff was surly, and unfriendly. Perhaps staying an extra day or two in Volterra or Lucca to explore

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the scenery: the tower, castello, fortress, villa or walled town on seemingly every hilltop, with the lines of cypress,vines, olive trees, the scattered umbrella pines. The warm stone colors at every turn. The delight of figs, lemons, rosemary, wild fennel, capers growing in and on stone walls. "

Tammy

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide was really knowledgeable and helped to make it a fantastic trip! Each stop also had local guides that really enhanced the experience as well! Felt we got to really see things not seen by most tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I would have to say staying in Gorgonza! What a treat to stay in such and old city converted to a vacation spot! Truly unique place and so good to unwind there with the solitude and views after a busy day of tours."

Scott

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Tuscany tour was fantastic, arduous at times but we knew that going in. Our guide, Francesco was top notch - knowledgeable and accommodating. He made the tour a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the village of Volterra was the best part of the tour. It was not over run by tourists and it had a charm that is reminiscent of how we imagine Italy used to be, before all of the undiscovered, back doors were found. Volterra could easily replace Elbe Island as an overnight (2 nights) stop. "

Wendy

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was nice. We visited many different places, saw lots of art and architecture, and experienced Italy's tuscany region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Duomo in Florence. Absolutely beautiful. "

Lillian

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour, but overall things felt a bit rushed. David was fantastic! Elba was extremely disappointing. You may want to consider skipping it for late season tours and adding stays at Orvieto or Pitigliano or another hill town. Elba considers the season over October 1 and many things were shut down and service at the hotel was lacking. At the Elba hotel, everyone should be guaranteed a sea view room on an upper floor. Lower floor, back side rooms were stifling and oppressive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The food was my "wow" this trip. I really enjoyed the Florence local guide walk to Mercato di Sant 'Ambrogio, the brucellosis wine tasting lunch, and the local farm lunch in Pienza."

Lewis

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and well guided by our tour guide, David Tordi. Overall the tour was very interesting and informative. A little too much art and churches for me. But that is me. When signing up for RS tour I understand that is what you are signing up for. The Tuscan countryside is beautiful and visiting the hill towns was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Elba Island is beautiful, and it was a great change of pace from the rest of the tour."

Anna

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was excellent, but a little fast-paced at times. I loved seeing more of the "less travelled" areas of Tuscany that can't be easily reached by public transportation. Would have loved more time to explore places like Siena, Pienza, and Pitigliano, but as our tour guide said we got a taste & have to come back for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many, but I loved making pici with Isabella! (And getting to eat the efforts of our labors afterwards. Wow, it was delicious!) It was a great local experience and I can't wait to make more at home with her recipe. Seeing Michelangelo's David is always stunning and our local guide Lucia was incredible at bringing out all the details in the exquisite sculpture. Incredible!"

Cyndy

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour (all have been in Italy) and like the others, we had an amazing experience. Being guided through Tuscany with David was a top-notch tour. The blend of history, culture, music, art, food, wine and humor was magnified by his passion for each aspect of the trip. He taught each of us how and what being part of an Italian family meant centuries ago and what it means today. Making new friends with our travel group and creating new memories equals a successful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having arias by Puccini sung to us by a local opera singer, accompanied by a pianist in Lucca was definitely a WOW moment. And then to have David's group, Bartender, play for us at La Moscadella raised our party momentum to new heights. It was a WOW night"

Troy

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, wonderful Tour Guide.

Christine

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tuscany tour was a great mix of history, culture, architecture and fabulous food! Our tour guide, David was perfect - witty, informative and a great coach to help us navigate Italy. It was our first time in Italy and the tour provided a great foundation for future exploration!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Just when I thought I had seen it all, more gorgeous sites to behold. However, in Florence, the changing light on the Baptistery of St. John as the sun was setting was an unforgettable site. "

Robert

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As first-time Rick Steve’s’ tourers, we had few expectations. We got our first hint that we were in for something special during the intro session. One couple, who had toured with our guide, David Tordi, celebrated upon learning that David would be our guide for this tour. Several other couples were repeat RS tourers, one having completed 8 previous RS tours. We immediately knew we were going to have a blast. AND WE DID! The tour far exceeded all our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn’t have one wow moment, but rather an ongoing series of moments that led to continuous and escalating WOWs throughout the tour. From the organization of the tour to the outstanding communication to the variety of experiences, WOW! By far my favorite thing about the tour was THE PEOPLE! This includes fellow tourers, our guide David, all local guides, the people at hotels and restaurants included in the tour, and mostly the everyday people we met everyday. What a treat!"

Yvonne

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tuscany was beautiful…much beyond my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the hilltop towns! I loved the history and preservation of them. "

Linda

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Organization was spot on. Francesco made everyone feel welcome and was always there to answer questions or solve problems. Most of the hotels were wonderful (more on that later). Nice mix of activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the Etruscans"

Pam

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pam's and my Tuscan tour was one of the best we've been on (4 RS tours to date)! Our tour guide David Tordi is one the best. He is very informative and knows his history, add to that a great sense of humor and patience. The overall tour was fantastic. So much to see and do at a comfortable pace. Food and lodgings were excellent. We look forward and plan on taking another RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm unable to come up with a specific "wow" moment. Let me say that the whole Tuscan experience was great with a few unexpected extras thrown in."

Bonnie

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour of Tuscany! We especially loved the selection of cities and events. We felt immersed in Italian culture, history and life by having an extraordinary guide and incredible local guides. We loved the very active pace and felt overall the opportunity presented a great value. Our weather was amazing which made the trip absolutely fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had so many wow moments, it is difficult to chose one. One “wow” moment came when we had an amazing pasta making class by Isabella at La Moscadella. Everyone had so much fun and then we enjoyed a lovely meal together. That place was magical in every way! We also had a “wow” moment when after a sensational meal at La Moscadella, our guide David performed beautiful music for us along with his band mate. We all sang along and had the best time! "

Deborah

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the various towns we visited, even those that we had seen on previous tours. One thought is that we might have benefited more from visiting an Etruscan museum rather than the empty burial grounds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Duomo in Siena, particularly seeing the mosaics on the floor, the pulpit and the Piccolomini Library."

Rita

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Tuscany tour was absolutely wonderful and amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Moscadella in Val D’Orcia."

Christine

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There are no words because it was so amazing and life changing! First Rick Steve’s tour and won’t be the last for sure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many because every day was but Lucca was definitely a highlight."

Kathleen

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day, and every moment was more spectacular than the next thanks to the outstanding people at RS. The locations we visited, the accommodations in which we stayed, and the food & special events we attended, not to mention the people we met along the way, proved to be an incredibly beautiful experience. Most importantly, our wonderful tour guide, David Tordi provided a life-time of unforgettable memories by sharing his expertise, warmth, & good humor every day. Thanks to driver Rudolfo, too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One is impossible. Here's a few: Visiting Maremma region & watching legendary butteri horsemen work. Discovering the fizzy joy of Prosecco. Being immersed in the elegant beauty of the Isabella Experience. Making new friends (Colleen, Chris, Bonnie, Mary, Tony, Sarah, Mario, Mara & more). Attempting to make Pici Pasta and enjoying the hilarity that ensued. My early morning walk around Castello di Gargonza. Sampling my first taste of Florentine steak. Listening to The Bartenders. Much much more."

Mary Ann

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Words fail! From start to finish, this tour was exceptional. Each of our local guides was passionate about their town and all of the history, art, culture and oh yes, the food and wine. All of these wonderful things would not have happened without our leader David, and our bus driver, Rudolfo. The whole experience was one wow after another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two stand out in my mind. The first was when at Moscadello, David and his bandmate, Antonio gave us an impromptu concert. We were all overjoyed and overwhelmed. In Lucca, we enjoyed Silvana and Manuele perform a selection of arias by the composer, Puccini."

Suzanne

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific. Our trip was greatly anticipated after covid delay. David, our tour guide, was a superb leader ensuring everyone's needs and concerns were met. He arranged unforgettable experiences that fed all the senses; seeing, hearing, tasting, touching. We were tired at the end of each day but always looked forward to the next day's activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel Della Moscadella!!! Opera performance in Lucca. Our stay in Gargonza, a true Tuscan hilltop castle. Everyday presented a wow moment."

Julie

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Tuscany, our guide, the local guides, the hotels, the food, the wine...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring lovely Tuscany with my family. Our Villa at La Moscadella Hotel was 5 star. The beach day on Elba Island was relaxing and needed."

Mary

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great balance between structured tour time and leisurely sightseeing, loved the less "touristy" feel of places visited

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visiting the farm in PIenza was like reliving my childhood, brought back lots of fond memories"

Patricia

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th tour, and we have come to have high expectations. It did not disappoint and added a few special surprises. It was a perfect combination of the beautiful Tuscan countryside, art, history, food and wine. Francesco was an outstanding guide. Being a native Tuscan, his passion and love of his homeland was evident throughout. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and caring. We learned so much about the Italian culture and especially appreciated his knowledge about wine as a sommelier.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking views of Tuscany from atop the medieval hamlet of Gorgonza, of the Val d'Orcia from the town wall of Pienza, and of the Mediterranean from the Island of Elba. Our stay at La Moscadella with beautiful luxurious accommodations, excellent food, and a fun cooking class. The private Puccini concert by a local opera singer."

Jane

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and first time to Tuscany my experience exceeded my expectations; the itinerary, all the guides, people and places we went, the food! Good balance of your own time and tour time. I did not feel like a tourist more of a friend visiting. I was and am so thrilled with the tour I signed up for Ireland in 2023. I see many more RD tours in my future! Yes I will keep on Traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many..... the emersion in tradition and culture to pick one.. The American WWII Cemetery "

Cynthia

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delightful.well organizes,excellent guides and very knowledgeable and passionate about their country. I learned alot about their rich history and culture. Accommodations were outstanding. My thanks and gratitude to all those that put this trip together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling through Tuscan region snd seeing all the olive trees and grape vines. Tasting the food and walking in the small walled towns dating back centuries."

Cristina

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day brought a new and interesting mix of experiences for the curious minded. The diversity of amazing Renaissance art, picturesque towns and countryside, and of course the lovely Tuscan wines, made for a wonderful feast for the soul, eyes, and palate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Tuscan countryside was breathtaking, so definitely a series of “wow” moments, but as an avid Puccini opera fan, I have to say the private concert of Puccini opera selections by Silvana Froli in Luca was a personal highlight."

Stephen

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour was great do in large part to our guide, Francesco

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not so much a wow moment but enjoyed Elba and was surprised by the American WW2 cemetery"

Janet

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The group I traveled with was so much fun. I truly enjoyed all of the extra tours and activities that we got to do and all the local guides were amazing. Our guide Francesco was so knowledgeable about the Tuscany area and I loved sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was just so many to choose just one."

Dan

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delightful. Very well organized. As I'd never been on a Rick Steves tour before, the immediate 'first' impression was positive with great optimism. This feeling remained throughout the entire tour. Outstanding primary guide (Francesco), and excellent 'local' guides. The travel agenda, accommodations, wine and food choices left very little to be desired.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An interesting question and one I've asked myself a number of times since returning home. For me, there was no one favorite 'wow' moment. Numerous 'wow' moments come to mind, but none at a level that pointedly exceeded others. I really had a great time on this trip. "

Paulette

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I always wanted to take a "deep dive" into Tuscany and this tour satisfied this desire. We could not have wished for a better tour guide than Francesco.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments come to mind: firstly, the Santa Giulia winery experience, with its beautiful landscape, wine and lunch; secondly, the La Moscadella experience, where the dinner (and all the food) was as good as anywhere we've been, and the grounds were so beautiful it took my breath away."

Gary

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For some people, a tour like this eliminates an item on a bucket list. For us, our list of things has gotten longer--we have many more places to visit on our next foray into Tuscany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay on the island of Elba. "

Curtis

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels were wonderful. We loved our guides especially Francesco and Roberto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Puccini Aria performance on the last night."

Alice

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, our guide, Francesco, was wonderful. He was very friendly, knowledgeable, patient, & fun to be with. It helped that he was also a sommelier! Next, our bus driver, Mario, was “super!” He was personable & very responsible - not drinking wine at meal stops and sometimes not eating lunch for fear of becoming sleepy at the wheel. I felt like we were in safe hands w Mario & Francesco at the helm. Our other guides throughout were great, & we very much liked all other 18 people on tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Gorgonza was my “wow” moment. I felt like I got off the bus and stepped into a fairytale!"

Salvatore

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative and fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Statue of David"

Grace

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Imelda

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been to Italy four times and this trip surpasses them all by far. I felt truly immersed in the culture, history and people of Tuscany. I learned and experienced so many new things. I've come away enriched and so much more appreciative of the gifts shared by Italy with the rest of the Western world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment happened the evening we were treated to a mini- Puccini concert in Lucca with the lovely soprano, Silvana. Listening to her hit those high notes in the restaurant made my soul shiver. What a delight! "

Angel

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS Tour and we were a little concerned about being with a large group, BUT we had a wonderful time! It was fun to get to know the other travelers and we had plenty of time on our own. It was so convenient to have all hotels, guided tours, transportation, and special meals pre-arranged for us. We had opportunities to meet locals and be welcomed into their homes. We learned SO much! Our guide was knowledgeable, kind, and caring. Will definitely sign up for another RS Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived and stood at the balcony terrace of VILLA LECCHI and witnessed the splendor of the Tuscan countryside laid out before us, I audibly gasped! It was magical! Our host, Laura, welcomed us with prosecco and appetizers as she shared her family's story. Her son treated us to a wine tasting experience in the underground cellar of the villa. It was a real treat! "

Gary

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour of any sort. It was my first time in Italy. It was my honeymoon. I cannot imagine having has a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single "Wow" moment --there were several. "Wowed" by the landscapes we travelled through. "Wowed" by the knowledge, professionalism, & friendliness of our guides. "Wowed" by what I learned of the culture and history of Tuscany. "Wowed" by the people our tour guides introduced us to, famers, vineyard owners/workers, etc. "Wowed by the pristine water on the beaches of Elba. "Wowed" by how congenial our tour mates were. "

Matt

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco was a perfect fit for this Itinerary and our group of people. The small group tour worked very well for the sites we visited. The included dinners were outstanding and every dish was explained. The local guides added specific knowledge to those visits. La Moscadella was very disappointing and several people had terrible nights trying to sleep. They would not turn the AC lower than 80 degrees. Every other part of the tour was perfect. We covered a lot of great towns and history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 3 WOW moments. The Opera singer entertaining just our small group with Puccini was an amazing WOW moment. Siena, Volterra, Pienza, Lucca and Pitigliano are all WOW Tuscany towns to explore. The family run Santa Giulia Brunello winery visit, wine tasting, lunch and product purchases was a WOW afternoon."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco did a great job! We saw some terrific things, but some areas were more difficult to navigate than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at the hill town. (Hard to pick just one)"

Kurt

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Considering the state of "high anxiety" most of us have lived through over the past 2+ years, it was great to be back out in the world. Much credit goes to the operator, guide, transportation, hotels, restaurants - everyone working on our behalf to keep us informed, safe and well-cared for. Thank you very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "hills of Tuscany," photos, videos, written descriptions didn't prepare me for the striking visual impact of the land. What a setting for the history, the drama, and circumstances that has affected world history."

Ronald

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Francesco is a saint. Through the various health issues he had to deal with, especially the Covid concerns, he never wavered. He was always positive and enthusiastic. Francesco worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure we made all of our meeting times, even when some members of our group lagged behind. And he constantly reminded people of the importance of mask wearing. The ranch experience in Maremma was disappointing. The tour was too long and the buttero show was staged and touristy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Moscadella Hotel in Castelmuzio. The rooms blew us away. Loved the pool, the food, and all the extras. The cooking class was lots of fun. A first class hotel. And the opera singer in Lucca was amazing. I just closed my eyes and listened, taking in the Puccini music with joy. Sorry, two "wow" moments. "

Michael

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco was amazing, I loved the variety of accommodations, I loved the content learned and the food and wine were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Gorgonza"

Larry

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Positive with a good balance between planned activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etruscan tombs"

Ellen

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would have given it an outstanding review had it not been for all the Covid stress and a bit of overscheduling. Our guide said this was a fairly new tour and they were tweaking things as they go, so understandable. Overall, a fantastic experience and the RS company seems to be doing about as good as could be done to deal with Covid and helping us to travel as safely as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour was a series of WOW moments! We fell in love with Volterra! Loved that we had plenty of time to explore and Francesco's wife, Annie, was such an interesting perspective. "

Maureen

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Each town, village and every accommodation was outstanding but if you had any issues with stairs or hills you were in trouble

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Moscadella and walking to Castelmuzio that had a local fair while were there"

Faye

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La moscatella, beauty of Elba island, too many to name"

Nicole

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So much more than I ever expected. Perfect amount of group activity and time alone. So much food! Arriving at a hotel and they already knowing your room number and having them hand you the key is so nice. Relaxing on a cool bus after a busy morning is Heaven. The guide was perfect, funny, smart, and all around wonderful. We rarely opened our wallets, just for an occasion cold drink. The other members of the group were seasoned travelers and it went so smoothly. I will do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

" Two of the hotels in Tuscany were off the charts. The first castle and then the Isabella experience. Swimming in a pool at a castle in Tuscany is a wow moment. "

Kelsey

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Loved the variety of accommodations and destinations. Perfect about of scheduled activities and on your own time. Loved all the wine and food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rolling hills of Tuscany!"

Jacqueline M

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The accommodations, destinations, and our tour director, David, were all outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire experience was excellent. David’s knowledge, interaction, professionalism, and his willingness to share his talents and personal experiences regarding his family history, (wwII) , brought much unanticipated meaning and value to my trip."

Barbara

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic with gorgeous places to visit, amazing sights to see, perfect pacing, tranquil (and mostly spectacular) hotel rooms, authentic and delicious meals and wine, genial and fun- loving fellow travelers, and the very talented, personable, and well organized tour guide, David. Despite having been to Tuscany before, every day on this tour was a new adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on this tour, and David our guide made it a most memorable occasion by arranging for flowers, a prosecco toast, and a live band (with him on guitar) and even a little dancing. Aside from that personal "wow," we thought the hotel rooms and setting of Gargonza and Moscadella in the Italian countryside were the finest we have experienced on any tour."

Sean

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cindy

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tuscany is stunningly beautiful. Tour offered a great balance between planned activities and free time! Fellow travelers, local guides, accommodations, variety of sights and guide, David were exceptional. Amazing opportunity!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment! Several wow's included David, the sculpture and David, our guide! Other wow's included Gargonza and La Moscadella! Pitigliano, group dinners (one with a band), cave roads and free day on Elba with a climb to the top of the fort, followed by a swim in the Mediterranean! Oh, can't forget opera in Lucca. Was a joyous trip!"

Thomas

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was very inclusive taking us to places that showed the true Italy. The small towns and families behind the businesses was very informative and inspiring. However without our tour guide David Tordi’s insight knowledge and Italian and French language skills of all the areas we visited, it would not have been the quality tour that it was. His overviews of each area given to us on the bus rides and while we were at each venue gave us a more in-depth look at the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"His local knowledge of these areas and his fluency in Italian brought out the local peoples views and insights. Individually the places where we ate and stayed were first rate with all of the qualities one could ask for. In particular Gargonza and Moscatello as our hotels was nothing short of fabulous. Also having a private session in Lucca with an opera singer and pianist was extremely special for me. Again the performance brought me even deeper to the Tuscany Italian experience."

Sheri Ray

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David is an excellent tour guide! Lido, our bus driver, is the BEST! The whole group bonded, in part due to David, but we watched out for each other and had alot of fun. David's cultural and historical knowledge gave such depth to our Tour of Tuscany and his sense of humor it priceless. We enjoyed our tours in each city and the hotels we stayed in. Going on the Rick Steve's Tour is just so easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do I have to choose just one? No, I didn't think so...that was just a misprint. David David David at the Accademia; Pienza and the tour of the private underground caves; deciding which town had the best cherry gelato; gardens at Val d'Orcia; the beautiful fresco's; tombs; Elba...you get the message. So many "wow" moments! "

Terrie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, David, really made the trip. His love of Italy and its food, music, art, history was so contagious. I felt safe, excited, happy and in awe throughout our 12 days together. From the David in Florence, to the castles, the green rolling hills, the wine, the olive oil, the gardens, the food, this trip could not be improved upon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments. How about a private opera performance on our last night together in Lucca."

Jeffrey

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was fantastic - everything from the guide, the tour members, the activities and the hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The rolling green hills of the Tuscan countryside. It was picture perfect. Also, the unexpected Roman ruins in Volterra."

Marc

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great venues, great group, fabulous tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Moscadella venue. Unbelievably beautiful. Great hosts and delicious food. "

Howard

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves Tour and it was the best!! Tuscany was beautiful and tasty with many good meals, amazing art and architecture. The group got along well and everyone cooperated. We stayed at a couple of wonderful hotels including a 1000 year old castle. But what really took this tour over the top was our tour guide, David. He was very knowledgeable, looked after our welfare, shared his story with us, and serenaded us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very hard to decide: It could have been staying at the castle; or visiting the hermits grotto, or David teaching us about how Italians communicate with hand gestures."

Susan

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David, our RS guide, made this a fantastic experience that we will always treasure and we hope to travel with him on another RS tour in the near future. This was our first RS tour and we were thrilled with the quality of the itinerary and the way David unfurled it for us in his skillfull, informative and unfailingly personable way. The broad variety of tour experiences made every day rich and engaging, with just the right mix of structured activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling with David was the big wow factor - his seamless and enjoyable leadership helped our group develop a warm bond and embrace both the planned itinerary and surprise "Wow" bonuses like the private operatic performance of Puccini arias David arranged for our group in our Lucca hotel, a sumptuous group dinner in tiny Castel Muzio, complete with tolling bells. Other Wow moments were our two remarkable agriturismo experiences at La Moscadella and La Gargonza and visiting Etruscan caves."

Dennis

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was tremendous! He was detailed and in so many ways made the experience unique for all of us. Being from Tuscany he made each location and city visited special. He made each individual on the tour feel like he was personally there just for you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 2 wow moments on the tour for me the Castello Di Gargonza and Lucca. The Castel experience was unique, gave us all a real Tuscany view and appreciation of the beauty and uniqueness of this ancient area of Italy. The castle was almost exclusively our playground to explore and relax. It was a great way to begin the tour. Lucca is the city of my family. Giannini's have lived there for centuries and I was amazed at the beauty of the wall and surrounding area. "

Maury

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time in Europe, my first formal tour of any kind; it was FANTASTIC.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pitigliano was such a wonderful mix of all that makes Tuscany great."

Mona

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary is outstanding and our guide (David) was truly exceptional. On a scale of 0-100, he was a 125!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The private Etruscan/Medieval cave in Val d'Orcia reflected an awe inspiring cross-section of pre-history and history. The vertical connection between the church on top the cave with Etruscan and medieval art work, and the spring and older church at the bottom of the cliff gave me chills. the young tour guide did an outstanding job weaving the history with personal stories from his own family."

Bonnie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on multiple Rick Steves tours and as usual another excellent experience. Liked the smaller group of 20 as made group activities more pleasant and intimate. Guide David Tordi excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An opera singer singing happy birthday to my husband on his 84th birthday"

Deborah

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The 12 Days in Tuscany tour was very educational and entertaining. Interacting with Italian local families and experiencing their lifestyle was an authentic way to learn the regional culture. Staying at family owned hotels brought a warmth to the entire experience. The tour guide David Tordi was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the beauty of the Val d’Orcia and staying at La Moscadella. "

Patricia

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Francesco was a wonderful tour guide. He was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient. I also really liked Lucia in Florence, Roberto in Siena and Annie in Voltera.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn’t have a “wow” moment but I did have a lot of memorable moments"

Maurice

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I enjoyed the tour. Francesco was a great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Silvana Froli perform for the group on the last night in Lucca. Just amazing. This should be included in every tour."

Diana

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we had been to Tuscany a few times before, this tour gave us the opportunity to see areas that were new to us (Pitigliano, Elba, Gargonza, and Castelmuzio) as well as to re-connect with special places like Siena, Volterra and Lucca. It was so refreshing to spend time in some of the loveliest countryside in Italy. Francesco, our guide, provided a view of Tuscany as only a native son could. His leadership was competent, helpful, informative, and cheerful throughout our journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etruscan sites at Pitigliano and Pienza were so interesting and unexpected as was the farm visit and lunch with the charming family in Pienza. "

Christina

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! I loved the smaller group of seasoned travelers. Francesco is an outstanding guide who makes his job look easy and fun. It was like touring with a knowledgeable and helpful friend. Every day’s itinerary was varied and interesting and we met many local people. The group meals throughout the tour were fantastic and the hotels in the Tuscan countryside at Gargonza and La Moscadella were wonderful and relaxing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of my favorites are: Immersing myself in the art of Florence; Learning about the frescos at the Abbey of Monte Oliveto with the entertaining Roberto Bechi; Visiting the ancient Etruscan and hermitage site near Pienza, and the ruins and cave roads at Pitigliano; Relaxing on the beautiful beach, and climbing to enjoy the views at Fort Falcone, in Portoferraio. "

Martin

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were excellent. The hotels were charming. The bus and driver were great. The meals; traveling companions; and tour sites were wonderful. Even the weather was cooperative. It’s hard to find fault with anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at Isabella’s and seeing the Tuscan countryside."

Art

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For a first-ever tour, the itinerary was pretty flawless. Lisa was a great guide. The lodging choices were anywhere from good to exceptional. The weather was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow" moment was visiting the Val D'Orcia, the activities on the itinerary and staring out of the bus window at the landscape. Elba should recieve a mention, as well. The second (Castell Di Gorgonza) and the third (La Moscadella) hotels were phenomenal and unlike anywhere I've stayed on my previous RS tours."

Lori

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best RS Tours I've taken so far. Our guide was phenomenal, the hotels were incredible, the group was a great mix of personalities and the places we visited all had their own special ambiance and feel. There were too many "wow" moments to include them all in the next answer as I ran out of space!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After 9 RS tours I can honestly say that none of them had just 1 "wow" moment. This tour was no different. Arriving at Gargonza Wednesday afternoon was my first "wow". It was such a joy having the entire "village" to ourselves and the rooms were wonderful. The Abbey of Mon Oliveto Maggiore is my next "wow" with its amazing frescos! The hermitize (discovered by Isabella's father-in-law) in Pienza would be next - awe inspiring. Lastly it would be the Etruscan burial area outside Pitigliano."

Sharon

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th RS tour and it ranks at the top of the list!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many...the beautiful Tuscan countryside, great food, great group, great guide, great wine and our stay at La Moscadella!"

Kathryn

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were extremely lucky to have booked spots on the very first Rick Steves Best of Tuscany tour! Tuscany is magical place that we hope to return to. The guides, the scenery, the food and the cities we visited were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing up to the Medici fortress on the island of Elba and gazing at the gorgeous view of the city and the water beyond."

Frances

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stay at Castello di Gargonza was fascinating. I loved the little village experience The Isabella experience and the cave walk was also great "

When To Go & Weather

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

Italy / Florence

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 available in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to your tour's departure, you'll find directions on how to get from the airport 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 Florence (FLR) and out of Florence or Pisa (PSA) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites if departing from Pisa. From Florence's airport there are shuttle buses and taxis to the city center. If traveling from Lucca to Pisa upon departure, Pisa's airport has a train that offers an easy connection to and from the Pisa Centrale train station.

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 Florence & Tuscany guidebook.