• Rialto Bridge in Venice
  • Venetian Carnival Masks
  • Florence's Ponte Vecchio
  • Michelangelo's David in Florence
  • Wine Tasting in Umbria
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Rome's Piazza Navona
  • Colosseum in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days Tour

from $2,395 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

The Rick Steves Best of Venice, Florence & Rome tour begins with Venice's timeless St. Mark's Square and Basilica, then on to Michelangelo's stunning David and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and ends with Rome's Ancient Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. You'll also enjoy guided neighborhood walks, memorable meals, and full-bodied Italian wines. Italy's three greatest cities are like fine gelato — why settle for just one flavor if you can get three scoops at once? Join us for the Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days!

Dates & Prices

2016

    • Feb 15–Feb 24 (Mo-We)
    • $2,395 + Air

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    • Feb 26–Mar 6 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,395 + Air

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    • Mar 25–Apr 3 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Celebrate Easter in Italy!

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    • Mar 28–Apr 6 (Mo-We)
    • $2,595 + Air

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    • Apr 1–Apr 10 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Apr 4–Apr 13 (Mo-We)
    • $2,495 + Air

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    • Apr 8–Apr 17 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 11–Apr 20 (Mo-We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 15–Apr 24 (Fr-Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 18–Apr 27 (Mo-We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 25–May 4 (Mo-We)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Apr 29–May 8 (Fr-Su)
    • $3,095 + Air

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    • May 2–May 11 (Mo-We)
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    • May 6–May 15 (Fr-Su)
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    • May 9–May 18 (Mo-We)
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    • May 16–May 25 (Mo-We)
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    • Jun 6–Jun 15 (Mo-We)
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    • Jun 10–Jun 19 (Fr-Su)
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    • Jun 20–Jun 29 (Mo-We)
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    • Jun 27–Jul 6 (Mo-We)
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    • Jul 18–Jul 27 (Mo-We)
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    • Sep 5–Sep 14 (Mo-We)
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    • Oct 3–Oct 12 (Mo-We)
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    • Oct 10–Oct 19 (Mo-We)
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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 2428 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Venice, Florence, and Rome come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Venice backstreets walking tour • St. Mark's Square and Basilica tour (when available) • Venice lagoon excursion • Accademia Art Museum tour • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence backstreets walking tour • Cooking class and lunch • Palazzo Davanzati tour • Umbrian wine tasting lunch • Rome orientation tour • Roman Forum tour • Colosseum tour • Church of San Clemente tour • Pantheon • Vatican Museums tour • Sistine Chapel visit • St. Peter's Basilica (when available) • Evening walk through Rome including Trevi Fountain...and more
  • All group transportation between Venice, Florence, and Rome
  • 9 nights accommodations (3 nights at each hotel) in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • $100 store credit for your household to use toward guidebooks and other gear for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2016
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Venice

We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our Venice hotel, deeply nestled amidst the canals, bridges, and alleyways of this magical, preserved-in-amber city. After introductions, we'll set off on an orientation walk, and then enjoy getting acquainted over a traditional Venetian dinner together. Sleep in Venice (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Historic Venice

Our local guide will join us this morning for a historical walking tour, with a modern Venetian's-eye view, through the backstreets of Venice, ending with the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark's Basilica. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's remarkable past and its challenging future. The afternoon and evening is free to explore the imposing Doge's Palace, maybe take in a church concert, waltz on St. Mark's Square, or pub-crawl your way through this unique city. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: The Art of Wandering in Venice

This morning we'll have our first real brush with the Renaissance — Venetian-style — with a tour of the Accademia's treasure trove of great Venetian art, starring Titian, Veronese, Bellini, Tintoretto...and every shade of color imaginable. Then it's all aboard for a cruise into Venice's lagoon on our private boat. We'll visit a picturesque island or two, where you'll have free time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own. After returning, the evening is yours to discover Venice's other famous sights, or to become happily lost in the tangled maze of alleys and shops. Tonight your guide will help organize a classic, romantic gondola ride for those who are interested. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Wonders of Renaissance Florence and David

We'll drive straight to Florence this morning, and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at the power of Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Tonight we'll share a hearty Tuscan dinner together. Sleep in Florence (3 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: The Backstreets of Florence

A local scholar will join us this morning as we take a walking tour of the backstreets of Florence, with some fascinating peeks into Roman, medieval, and 19th-century Florentine life along the way. After exploring the Palazzo Davanzati, we'll continue our tour across the river, where we'll create today's tasty lunch during a fun and informative cooking class. Your afternoon will be free to see more of the city's museums. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: The Uffizi

This morning we'll devote our time to the breathtaking Renaissance art of the Uffizi — home to the finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more. The rest of your day is free for making your own Florentine discoveries. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Wine Tasting, Rome at Night

This morning we'll drive into the rolling hills of Umbria, stopping for a wine tasting lunch at a family-run winery. We'll then make a bee-line for Rome, where we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk on our way to tonight's dinner together. We'll end our day as any good Roman would — with a stroll through the historic heart of the city, lacing together the classy Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon. Sleep in Rome (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: St. Peter's and the Vatican Museums

Today we'll focus on Renaissance Rome. We'll meet our local guide on the other side of the Tiber river and introduce you to the greatest church in Christendom, the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. Then we'll take you to the sprawling Vatican Museums, where you'll see an endless collection of treasures as you make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Your afternoon is free to explore more of the interesting market streets in this neighborhood. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Monuments of Ancient Rome

We'll spend our morning uncovering Ancient Rome, starting with a tour of multi-layered San Clemente — a 12th-century church sitting atop a 4th-century basilica and a previous Roman temple. Then we'll tour and hear vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum and the birthplace of Ancient Rome: the Forum. You'll be free this afternoon to wander through the nearby Palatine ruins, St. Peter-in-Chains Church (home to Michelangelo's Moses), or climb to the top of the Victor Emmanuel Monument to enjoy a panoramic city view. Tonight we'll feast together at our farewell dinner, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. This morning we'll say our final goodbyes and head for home…or you may want to stick around for a few more days of la dolce vita (the sweet life). Arrivederci!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

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

Reviews

Josefina

Bonney Lake, WA

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutly FANTASTIC, Looking forward to our next Rick Steves Tour!!! our tour guide was absolutly wonderful and the local tour guides really made the cities / art / culture come to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to see first hand what I have learned from History in High School, Anthropology & Art in college. This was a Once in a Life time trip that should have happened earlier, Can't wail for my next "once in a Life Time" Trip"

Andrew

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour! We had a great group and Marijan was the best possible tour leader. The Rick Steves' tour has a special style. That style matched with what we were looking for. The value of this tour was very much greater than its cost. We are planning a taking another Rick Steves' tour in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How well everything was planned. We did not waste anytime. Every day's events worked very smoothly. That was very nice."

Eric

Tigard, OR

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour! Excellent guides, great planning to hit some highlights in each city without overwhelming us with too much. A nice spacing for each of the three cities, leaving me feeling like I had really experienced each city, although I know there is much more to do in each place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can one choose between David, the cisteen chapel, the collesium."

Mark

Mobile, AL

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guides were outstanding and very knowledgeable, the accommodations were top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum with Francesca."

David

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have not been on many tours, but regardless this was the most enjoyable vacations I have been on. Starting with Marijan as our Head Guide and including all the other daily guides we had I have never been so impressed with a group of people. They are totally professional and know so much. I truly felt like and learned how to be a "traveler" and not a "tourist." I learned so many interesting things about the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The leaving of the airport in Venice and taking the water taxi to our hotel started it off. But, I would have to say the two extras we participated in 1)The cooking class and 2) The winery visit were for sure "A Ha" moments."

Paul

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 11/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guides, both the tour leader and even more so the local guides. All did an outstanding job of making the tour come alive with the history of Italy and its place in Europe and the world. While we definitely saw the standard highlights of a trip to these cities, we also saw places off the beaten path: markets, side streets, and even the Auto Grill on our ride between the cities and the Metro in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides in each city who brought the cities they love to life. And the Pantheon, a 2000 year old structure that is an absolute WOW!"

Richard

Juneau, AK

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. The guides in the museums increased my enjoyment and appreciation immesurably. There was a nice balance of art, culture, and contemporary and historic insights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Cathedral of San Clemente in Rome."

Tom

Decatur, GA

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a good tour.We had actually been to all of the cities on this tour some years back. This tour gave us completely new experiences, which made it that much better. We had a great group of people on this tour as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ok, quite a few. The crazy fog in Venice. We'd seen a sunny Venice, so this made everything mystical. The cooking class in Florence, where we made our own pasta. The Trevi Fountain in Rome re-opened just in time for us to see it at night. The Vatican museum without crowds. The San Clemente church in Rome where we learned about the layers of Rome across history. It's always hard to pick one favorite "wow" on a Rick Steves tour!"

Xiaomin

Decatur, GA

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music gondola, Cooking class and the visit to the winary"

Juan

Hanover, MD

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cooking Class in Florence"

Ann

Cleveland, TN

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful. A great group of people and a wonderful tour guide. I was nervous about going alone but there were other single travelers and everyone was friendly and welcoming. Italy was everything I dreamed it would be AND more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peter's left me speechless."

Judy

Newnan, GA

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first but hopefully definitely not my last tour. It was truly amazing. I have made numerous trips to Europe but having the local guides made it so much more understandable. Our group was very amicable with quite a few lasting friendships made. The whole experience was remarkable - the food, tours etc. The tour dinners were great and provided such a good time to make the new frienships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That was in each of the three cities. Just realizing where we were and who had been there before. The local tour guides were fantastic!"

Hilary

Fresno, CA

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall my tour was very enjoyable and I made a lot of good memories. Saw SO many historical sites - was so overwhelming (in a good way!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we went to the San Clemente Basilica. At first some of us were confused why we went in here because the coliseum was right down the street and we were anxious to get there. After we sat down in the pews, our local guide shared the expansive history of this basilica, and how there are 4 levels that have been excavated - spanning 2000 years! Then when she told us that we were going to go down, I was so excited and will remember descending into this amazing history."

Mary

Juneau, AK

Tour: 11/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time, learned a lot and plan to do more Rick Steve's tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to pick one. I think I would have to say the San Clementi church in Rome was my favorite."

Jesus

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican"

Valeria

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had wanted to see Italy for many years. I chose Rick Steve's tours because I wanted travel alone and had a limited amount of time. I was impressed with the amount of territory the tour covered and the expertise of Cecilia and the local guides. Also Cecilia was very sensitive to my personal issues as I had in injured ankle and responded to my request for a separate room when we arrived in Rome as I found I could not sleep due to my roommate's snoring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing next to Michelangelo's David and feeling the artist's presence in the room. I had been looking forward to that moment for a long time."

Lucinda

Newmarket, NH

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great mix of planned tour activities and independent activities. Loved the expert guides that were brought in for certain parts of the tour. Good mix of art, architecture, wine, food, daily life. Hotels were just right, not just for American taste. Guides' knowledge and communication skills were outstanding. Weather was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick. The cooking school inspired me to buy a pasta machine and cookbooks."

Sheryl

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with a Rick Steve's tour. It surpassed any expectation I had and left me with a "I wish I had started taking these tours years ago". On our own, we would never have had this level of an experience of Italy. It truly has changed the way I perceive many things - all for the better. The November weather was magnificent for the entire adventure. Florence was my personal favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking school in Florence was the highlight for me. Lots and lots of camaraderie, laughing, cooking, eating and wine. Perfecto!"

Susan

Havertown, PA

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was fantastic. The tour was great. One thing that I would have liked was to have the next day's itinery printed out, so we could have an individual copy. I, myself, would have liked printed out instructions for close by attractions from our ending point of the day's tours. Cecilia gave us directions, but I like visuals. Probably my own fault, but I never asked for preferred shops for buying souvenirs. I would have liked some suggestions for Murano glass and leather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking class in Florence and the winery experience with Cecilia's family's winery. Also, was most impressed with the Sistine Chapel. The dinners that were included were terrific!! The farewell dinner was also a lot of fun."

Roger

Lansing, NY

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to be introduced to Italy (We spent another two weeks afterwards on our own.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"-Seeing the earliest Renaissance art at the Acadameia in Venice (with explanation) -Turning a corner and seeing Il Duomo in Florence"

Elizabeth

Lansing, NY

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A friend of mine had taken a RS tour a few years ago and told me how much she loved it. Now I know why! What a wonderful experience! Everything was well thought out and the schedule allowed for enough free time to further explore the cities. Cecilia was a font of information and always offered many great suggestions for extra places to visit and things to do. I only wish that I had downloaded more of the walking tours so that I had them in our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Due to the Pope's visit to Florence, our tour had to be flexible in our itinerary for the city. This meant that our visit to see 'David' had to be re-scheduled. I am so happy that it was because, while our visit was short, we got to see 'David' and the 'Prisoners' with virtually no one else in the gallery."

Perla

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved that we experienced things in each city that we would not have seen if we hadn't been on the tour. Thank you, very well researched.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola Ride in Venice Pope Blessing on last day of trip"

Luis

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome!"

Joyce

Chicago, IL

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized and the guide was well informed about the areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the ruins, Venice."

Eric

Newmarket, NH

Tour: 11/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent..excellent..the sites, the history, the wine and food, incredible experience. Tour guide was exemplary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine chapel!"

Michael

Tinley Park, IL

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped it would be. It had the right mix of guided tours and on our own exploring. Rainer & Christina provided interesting and valuable historical background on the cities and the sites. Their suggestions on where to eat and what else to see in the cities were perfect. I really enjoyed the "cicheti" tour in Venice with Christina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment(s) were the wine tasting and tour of "Tenuta Le Velette" in Orvieto and cooking and eating our own lunch at "in Tavola". These were both the perfect combination of great food, great atmosphere, and great scenery."

Kathleen O'Connor

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great organization...loved the tour guides.... just the right balance between guided tour and free time. Loved not planning!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour guide in Florence. He really made you feel the emotion of the art and culture.I think his name was Angelo."

Shyrle

Peru, NY

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip. The size of the group worked very well. Before booking the trip I was worried that I would not be able to hear the guides. The radios and earphones were excellent tools and my fears were put to rest. I was worried that the bus rides would be uncomfortable but they were each of short enough duration and the activities that were planned to break up the ride were perfect in length and variety. My husband and I learned so much from all of the guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment (so hard to choose because there were so many) was seeing Michelangelo's Pieta in L'Accademia in Florence. The David was amazing but the Pieta close by made me cry. Who would think a hunk of stone could elicit such a reaction? Donatello's Mary Magdelen in the Duomo Museum was a close second. It made me stop short. It is hard to believe it was carved five hundred years ago."

Lillian

Morristown, NJ

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour after 50 years of independent travel and it was wonderful. The tour guides were remarkable effective in communicating both important information and their passions. The local guides were also outstanding. But the best part were the other tour members and how friendly everyone was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca, our guide to Ancient Rome, was like a rockstar of tour guides. She made us see Rome through her eyes with all its simultaneous histories under our feet, the complexities of living within so much culture, the difference between being a traveler and a tourist. She made us see that the easy path of judging Ancient Rome through our 21st Century eyes was a disservice and understanding took more work but was so worth it. I feel forever changed from listening to her."

Renee

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! we were blessed with great weather and TWO tour guides. Cristina will be a great guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David in Florence, the Forum in Rome and all of Venice"

Elissa

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first group tour experience. I couldn't have asked for a better one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of David in an almost empty museum"

Michael

Loveland, OH

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joyce and I decided to take the 10 day Italy tour as our honeymoon and it was fabulous. Our tour guides Rainer and Christina were extremely knowledgeable about the sites we toured and went out of their way to make us feel special during the trip. Local guides in Venice, Florence and Rome added their own unique and fascinating perspectives. The tour plan allowed us the perfect mix of planned tour time and "on our own" time in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the Colosseum. Not only is the structure impressive but during the tour I got to appreciate the Colosseum as a means for the Roman Empire to disseminate recent and past achievements and remind everyone of the power of Rome."

Sara

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 11/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was incredible. It was such a relaxing time to not have to plan out everything. To be able to know that everything was taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was in Rome and having Francesca talking to us about the Roman Forum and Julius Cesar and then walking in the exact steps he took as he was walking to his death."

Terri

Orangeville, UT

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Ferdi was a wonderful tour manager, as he put it. The local guides were incredible, very knowledgeable and helped enhance the entire experience. The restaurants we utilized for the tour dinners were outstanding and always wanted to please us. They actually cooked too much food. We couldn't eat all they prepared. The transportation between cities was very comfortable. My over all experience was great, I would recommend Rick Steves tour to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the wine tasting and the Vatican."

Sandra

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. The tour was well organized with the schedule well articulated and posted each day. The level of activity was well communicated in the tour description and was just the appropriate level for us. We love to walk but ended the tour day tired and ready to sleep. I thought the amount of tour time vs. free time was optimal. The expert tour guides were the highlight for us which showed the value of the tour vs. doing this on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Italy has treasures every time you turn around. Even though I probably loved the beauty of Venice the most, my mind keeps coming back to the view of Orvieto from the winery tour. It was truly a "wow" moment that I am glad we captured with photos. A second moment would be turning the corner and seeing the Trevi Fountain at night. The Pantheon was a third."

Donald

Landisville, PA

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was listed as strenuous, and it was! However, it was a wonderful way to see these cities on the ground. Both my wife and I lost 5 pounds each, even after eating some wonderful pasta dishes throughout the tour. The guide, Ferdi, was knowledgeable and funny. He kept us moving and organized on the tour stops, but, with the free time allotted on the tour, we were able to roam about and sample the culture. His tips and directions were truly helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The nighttime gondola ride in Venice complete with musician and singer was delightful. As a group, we filled five gondolas and all of us truly enjoyed the ride, the music and the companionship of the group."

Suzanne

Harrington Park, NJ

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most wonderful experience! The tour guide, Ferdi, was superior! He had a great knowledge of the area..and he was responsible for making the group become one! I loved the balance of tour and free time! We were given the knowledge of the city and then were able to have our own experience too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many: Venice is breathtaking..All of Florence..the winery..plus Rome..The fact that there was a city underneath us!"

Robert

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great combination of in-depth learning and new understanding about how the art, religion, politics, economies, and power structures intersection along with a very good tour guide and 26 other like-minded, fun people on the tour. We met some very personable, diverse, and interesting people, all with their stories to tell. Our tour guide and local guides were fantastic to learn from.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite, in fact, surprise "wow" moment was coming to understand how Rome and Italy are these deep, evolving cultures that have been around for thousands of years. This came when we visited the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome and then descended down and back hundreds of years to the church it was built on, and then down again into an ancient Roman building and alleyway upon which the old church had been built. Our local tour guide really revealed the depth of the history of this locale."

Richard

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish I was very impressed with the organization of the tour and the professionalism of Ferdi. The local guides, especially, Elizabeta in Venice and Francesca in Rome, are what separates Rick Steves from all others. The passion that comes through from them of the love of their cities, their culture and history, brings alive the past, giving me an image and context, to see these cities as a local sees and experiences them. I learned history but More importantly I felt emotions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the winery, Fenuto Le Velette. It was a beautiful setting. With Orvieto in the distance, the wonderful grounds, the tour and tasting was such a delight. Before leaving and looking at the itinerary, this sounded nice but the experience was so much more than what I thought it would be. I learned a lot about wine but everything I experienced fed my soul. These are things that separate Rick Steves from others."

Susan

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was great! This was our 1st tour so we weren't sure what to expect. We had so much fun and were able to learn so many things that we would not have done had we traveled on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment was actually many moments. It was our tour guide and the individual tour guides from each city. They were all very knowledgeable and made our experience very special."

Elizabeth

Wildwood, MO

Tour: 10/30/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed all of the organized activities on the tour. There's nothing we wouldn't have wanted to do. There was a nice balance of museums, sites, monuments, and activities, Ferdi was awesome! The hotels were nice and had all the amenities we needed.however the mattresses were very hard and everything you and we didn't sleep much the entire trip consequently. Also, at the hotel in Venice we were eaten alive by mosquitoes with the shutters open, and we're very very hot with the shutters closed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If you make me pick just one I'll have to pick San Clemente. Going back in time three different times and one venue is amazing."

Carolyn

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! I loved the brisk pace, places visited--both well known and one's I'd have missed on my own, and especially the expertise and high quality information!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm, hard to select just one, but the new Duomo Museum in Florence! we visited the 2nd day it was open and walked right in-- we missed the opening day crowds and day 3 was scheduled to be free-- so it wasn't crowded, the staff were eager and friendly and the space and exhibits stupendous!!! Add it to the Florence tours..."

Stephanie

Centerville, MA

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1.Exceeded all expectations with no glitches the entire time. 2.Our guide, Patricia was superb, with a seasoned guide's depth of knowledge about all three cities. And she displayed a great sense of humor no matter the situation (which means that we lost no one or wound up in the wrong place). 3. The Vatican City was an inspiring experience which was a true highlight and climax of the 3 city tour. Venice and Florence also had highlights of the Academy and the Academia Perfecto

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice: sunset gondola serenade, Murano and Burano and St. Marc square flooded and the grand canal and Rialto district Florence:The David, preparing luncheon, Ponta Vecchio and the gorgeous city itself Rome: Vatican City, Forum and Colleseum, Pantheon the wine tasting outside of Orvietto Final wow was walking between 6 and 10 miles day and living to tell about it!"

Kristy

Pembroke Pines, FL

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such a well organized & fun tour! Seeing as this was our very first tour with a Rick Steves group, we are afraid the bar has now been set too high. From the first group meeting to our farewell group dinner, we shared great food, amazing sights, and lots of laughs with our fellow travelers / new friends!!!! The 3 nights in each city is a wonderful format to give you a delightful taste of Venice, Florence, and Rome, without feeling too rushed. Loved this tour of Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were way too many to count, but top of the list would have to be the cooking class in Florence! Followed by seeing the Sistine Chapel and Statue of David in person. The scenery in Florence is breathtaking! And, Venice is it's own unique world. Basically, the whole trip was a WOW moment."

Nicole

Katy, TX

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went as smooth as could be. Everything was so well planned and prepared. Each of the guides were very knowledgeable and kept me engaged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night, walking into the Piazza San Marco at night was a great moment. It was a great way to kickoff the tour."

Bonnie

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent. Anything less than outstanding wasn't negative enough to change the overall outcome thanks to our guide Patricia. We had thoroughly read all of the advance materials including Rick's books and were well versed on everything including the level of exertion, etc. I would say that the organization does an excellent job of setting expectations and giving folks the information needed to choose the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Obviously, Venice, Florence and Rome are all so different that it is difficult to choose one moment or event as the wow. Arriving in Venice and riding up the Grand Canal is pretty wonderful. And when we arrived in Florence, seeing the glint of sun on the Brunelleschi's dome was impressive. For us, the Vatican was the jewel in the crown of the tour. Lucky for us, Pope Francis was in St. Peter's for a service when we were on tour so that was a delightful surprise too."

Lisa

Windsor, CT

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was phenomenal! Our tour guide, Patricia, was knowledgeable, fun and made the whole experience exciting! We got along very well with the other 24 people in our group. I found that the tour was the right mix of scheduled activities and free time. And, while this tour was listed as strenuous and we walked around 6-8 miles a day, it was very manageable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it's hard to choose. But, I think my favorite was going to the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. Our tour guide was outstanding. She was knowledgeable and her descriptions of that era helped me to truly imagine how these ruins really looked in their heyday."

Jill

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not only a enjoyable tour, but an enlightening one as well. A great group of very friendly people, excellent and knowledgable local guides, and a truly warm-hearted, expert tour guide with a wonderful sense of humor in Patricia. A good combination of activities in each city and a good balance between these activities and our "free" time. This was one of the best travel experiences I've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly, among many highlights of the tour, I had the most FUN in the cooking class in Florence. However, the most MOVING experience was (despite the crowds) going into the Botticelli room in the Uffizi and seeing the originals of many extraordinary paintings that I have admired and loved for years."

Michael

Windsor, CT

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and Patricia did her homework. She had things mapped out and planned so the group was constantly on the go. So when Patricia said "Andiamo !!", you knew it was take your time but hurry up. The venues were as I read in books but to see it up close left you marveling at the wonder of it all. The meals included were fantastic. The experience was made special by Patricia and Benjamin. Without all the guides, the trip would not have been as fulfilling

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few moments that made this worthwhile: Le Velette for lunch and the wine tasting the cooking class in Florence hearing the Pope say Mass at St. Peter's Basilica Francesca's passion at Saint Clement, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum"

Nugget

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Absolutely fabulous guide, Patricia, made the trip for me. I was traveling alone and there was only one other person traveling alone. I became friends with her the first day of the trip. I loved all of the museums and local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel and the cooking class! I greatly enjoyed the "team work" of the cooking class and getting to know other travelers."

Frank

Concord, CA

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic trip start to finish. Patricia was a great guide and took care of all our questions and any issues that popped while keeping a friendly easy going personality. her choices and preparation for each day made everything flow smoothly and the intro restaurants in each city were well chosen, particularly the one in Florence. The individual guides at each location, and winery, were also stellar and their personalities added to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and forum were the most impressive. to stand in a place which dates to (40?) BC at the transition from the Roman gods to Christianity and at the location where Cesar walked impressive. Our guides description added to the sense of how events really could have been. Also the San Clemente church with three levels from different eras, and the Basilica, all amazing"

Stephen

Dumfries, VA

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour content was just right and the guides were all excellent & insightful! Patricia was fabulous and went above & beyond to ensure that we all experienced a great visit to Italy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was a wonder of the world that we had the opportunity to explore and experience!"

Christine

Dumfries, VA

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was better than my husband or I could ever have imagined. It was seamless- there were none of the worries of finding hotels, figuring out how to get from point A to point B as well as avoiding lines at popular tourist attractions. Traveling and touring was made so easy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments throughout the tour but probably seeing Michelangelo's David and the Pieta were special experiences. The Colosseum and the surrounding Roman ruins were very interesting. We also witnessed the Pope performing a church service at the Vatican which was quite unexpected and special as well."

Mahala

Akron, OH

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The sights and experiences of Venice, Florence, and Rome were thrilling. Our guide was wonderful as were the individual guides for the cities and museums.I learned more on this tour than any other. I appreciated the variety of experiences. I never expected to learn some fabulous Italian recipes. I have already made the chicken dish at home. Overall our trip was very good. I dd not, however, like some of the hotels. As a Rick Steves tour veteran, they're some of the worst.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one "wow" moment. There were many. Each church and museum had its own special surprise. For me, the Basilica San Clemente was a high point."

David

Akron, OH

Tour: 10/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would have rated the tour outstanding if the hotels had been better. No question, they were well located, safe and clean, but the hotel in Venice has some of the most uncomfortable beds/pillows I have experienced. This includes camping in a boy scout camp site. Patricia was fantastic, she kept everyone on and really enhanced the tour greatly, I can't say enough good about how she handled our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, the gondola ride with live music, the winery in Orvieto tasting 3 day old olive oil and of course entering St. Peter's when the Pope was giving the mass."

Thomas

Daytona Beach, FL

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all aspects of the trip and would do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome and all it had to offer."

Tom

Coeur D'alene, ID

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. (The only bad time we had in Italy was prior to the tour starting when we lost a debit card in a bank machine and after a half hour of drama and getting the bank manager involved, we finally got it back, but that is a different story). I thought the trip was the right balance of stimulating group activities, free time, seeing incredible sights, etc. We liked our accommodations particularly in Florence and Rome. I have nothing negative to say about the tour. It was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing Michelangelo's David. I was completely enthralled by that masterpiece. We saw a Vivaldi concert in Venice that was tremendous. We also saw the Pope in our last day in Rome. The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's that I always wanted to see were also "wow" moments for this old Catholic."

Mark

San Jose, CA

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. I wasn't prepared for the jet lag or the fast pace. I had a heel injuring back in 2000 that kept bothering me. I saw more art that I could retain. Thank you very much!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The site of Venice for the first time!!! I would recommend the tour to anyone."

Catherine

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I discovered I don't really like Renaissance and Baroque art and churches--there were just too many of them for me. The Peggy Guggenheim Museum was my favorite--I love modern art. I very much enjoyed the cooking lesson and the winery visit. When I go back to Italy, I'll focus more on small towns and nature and getting to know ordinary Italians.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Venice from the canal boat on the way from the train station. I'm totally in love with Venice--its light and colors. Next, I loved Michelangelo's David."

Michael

Hadley, MA

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting lost in Venice."

Susan

Daytona Beach, FL

Tour: 10/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour was outstanding from Venice to Rome. Loved stopping at the winery in Umbria. Our guides gave me an understanding of art. Explaining the different forms of art from one century to another. I liked the free time we had to explore with our buddies. Ranier was a great guide, really enjoyed his humor and knowledge. Amanda was also, very knowledgeable and I think she will made a good tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my wow moment was the forum. I didn't realize it was so vast. Also, the Sistine chapel. But, this was my first time in Italy so, I had a lot of wow moments Including, the food and wine."

Ron

Magnolia, DE

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best tour that we have done. The experience was wonderful because of our tour guide and the members of the group. We were able to experience Italy while learning about its history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is impossible to do . We found that we enjoyed everything about the experience."

Lucille

Leominster, MA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fabulous!! We were fortunate to have wonderful weather. Not one day of rain. We loved seeing all of the landmarks and art but it was the little things and surprises that Cecilia did that made our tour so wonderful. We just can't rave enough about how much we enjoyed our tour and especially the people on our tour. We all blended so well together. It was special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many "wow" moments that it is hard to mention them all but I will try. Here are the following WOW moments: The gondola ride in Venice where Cecilia arranged for an opera singer, the cooking class in Florence, the wine tasting,the lunch and cellars at the winery in Orvieto, coliseum in Rome, St.Clement'sChurch in Rome where we saw the lasagne effect, the farewell dinner with the wonderful singer and guitarist, the Vivaldi concert in Venice,mask store in Venice."

Diana

Irvine, CA

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sights in Italy were spectacular. Our tour guide, Cecilia, did everything in her power to make our group feel welcome. She was an excellent teacher, a few people in our group even referred to her as our "mother." We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary while on the tour, Cecilia had the restaurant decorate the chocolate pear cake with the #20 inside of a heart. She also gave our group champagne and had my husband make a toast. We have many happy memories of Italy and our tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Rome - The Colisseum, The Forum, walking through the streets. Rome was everything I hoped it would be."

Mary Jo

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves' tour was exactly what we were looking for. The small size of the group let us get to know all of our fellow travelers. There was just the right amount of guided/info time and free time. During the free time we were provided with six to seven options that we could consider pursuing, or if we wanted to pursue something completely different the guide was helpful with steering us in the right direction for whatever we wanted to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, maybe it was when our guide (Cecilia) arranged to have an opera singer entertain our group as we glided in gondolas down a canal in Venice. When she began to sing and the notes of the aria bounced off the walls of the buildings it was magical. Eventually we all joined in singing "Volare" and pedestrians on bridges stopped to film our group singing and laughing. Now that's a moment that could only happen on a Rick Steves tour."

Peggy

Fletcher, NC

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing,Cecilla is amazing. The cities,the county side, the museums,the churches,the history,the food,the tour was more than expected. Cecilla is very knowledgeable and also so kind. She took great care of each and everyone us ,making sure we had a great experience in her country. The visit to Tenuta LE VELETTE was great,learning about the estate and her family was so very special. Something I could not have experienced on my own. Words cannot describe how much I loved this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, I had a thousand wow moments.Venice.. St .Mark's Basilica Florence...Michelagelo's "David " and the Uffizi was unbelievable with all the collection of Renaissance paintings Rome..San Clemente But how can one choose over the Colsseum,Botticelli 's " the Birth of Venus" , the Gallerie dell' Accademia or in Florence and seeing the Duomo.The Vatican !"

Shelley

Clinton Township, MI

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Epic, aweing, filling, a delite for the senses! Had the most educational & enjoyable time on a European vacation ever! I have traveled to Europe several times before & have never done a tour so I had some reservations about getting up to early and doing too many things but this tour was so wonderful! I was able to see all the main highlights that I came for and so much more! The David, the grand canal, the sisteen chapel, the works of so many great masters & beautiful churches etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cecelia's winery! It was a beautiful fall day filled with color. Her speech that day gave me goose bumps! She talked about how we are all connected. Listening to her family history and the history of the winery before her family owned it it was such an aweing experience! Going into the cellar and having her explain that it had been excavated by archaeologists and determined that it was more than 500 years old was so fascinating! The wine and lunch were the icing on the cake!"

Jeff

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 10/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour. My high expectations were exceeded ten-fold! Rick's PBS shows, content-rich website, detail oriented tour books, and communications from the tour department prepared us well. The centrally located hotels allowed us to feel a part of the culture and see the sights at night. Our Italian born guide, Cecilia, was amazing in every respect. Our love and appreciation for her grew by the day. My fellow tour members were so friendly and helpful. Rating: A++++++++++

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Venezia we savored a group gondola ride with 6 or 7 gondolas in a row. In the middle gondola there was an accomplished accordionist along with an outstanding and beautiful opera singer. His music and her amazing voice echoed thru the cavern of buildings towering above the canals. One couple in our group were celebrating their 20th anniversary and another were celebrating their 40th. Our gondola ride was a very heartfelt experience for all of us."

Patricia

Westerville, OH

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned with just enough 'whatever happens we'll go with' attitude to make it Fun. I came back feeling more enlightened about a culture and history that I knew but really didn't understand. I am still rolling the whole experience over in my brain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That standing on the streets of Rome today is actually 30 ft above ancient Rome. That still blows me away."

Joann

Denver, CO

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is difficult to adequately describe how much fun and how much I learned on this trip to three cities in Italy. From Ben and Miles, to the hotels, to the food (and more food and more food!), to the wine, to the history, to the shopping (and browsing) to each day's adventures, well it was just fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" moment occurred every day, and nearly every day there were too many "wow" moments to remember. Every church, from the plain facades and the quiet interiors, to the crowded, magnificent basilicas, well I went "wow" many times. There were "wow" moments at the winery with the food, wine, the husband and wife owners that were full of grace and joy, and the peace, oh the peace there was a "wow" for sure; the grittiness of Rome, the flooding in Venice, and the art, architecture of Florence."

Sarah

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved being on this tour. Everything about it was wonderful. Ben and Miles were very capable and presented us with an informative and fun time. I returned home filled with a real sense of the sights, history and art of each city we visited. Having local guides was an additional plus; each woman had such expertise and passion about the area she presented. I liked the variety of experiences - seeing spectacular art, eating fabulous food, getting a feel for the cities. It all was great!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one favorite. Here are a few - walking the streets of Venice, seeing the statue of David, the cooking class, the visit to the winery in Umbria, looking up at the Sistine Chapel, the emotional power of the Colosseum tour."

John

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all we had hoped for and more. The tour sites, events and logistics were all first class. Our guide, Ben was outstanding. The apprentice guide Miles as well as local guides were all great additions. Italy has wonderful art, architecture and food. Add to that their history and it becomes a truly amazing memory. Rome taxi drivers do add a roller coaster feeling to the end of the tour, the airport ride estimated to be 45 minutes was done in 25. Scary speeds

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments and some unexpected surprises. Many sites were expected to be superb and were (Sistine Chapel, Dodg's Palace, Pantheon, Ancient Rome) but some really surprised by things like Art (Venice Frari Church)(Florence- David, must see in real life) (We added the Borghese Gallery and glad we did) Architecture, (Facade of the Florence Duomo and Baptistry - not just very big but exceedingly beautiful)(San Clemente church showing how sites were built on sites)"

Thomas

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Our activities were well organized so that our time was very well used. We spent very little time waiting in lines. The guides made exploring a new country and new cities a fun adventure. They pointed out unusual and interesting aspects of the communities. With their instruction, I felt comfortable getting around the sights in our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was watching the sunset in Florence from the Michael Angelo Piazza, high over the city. There were hundreds of young people there too but I hardly noticed. Seeing the evening fall on the Duomo and city was so beautiful. Later, we capped this amazing evening listening to monks sing plain chant at the nearby church. It was an awesome ending to our busy day."

Linda

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Ben and Miles took great care of us. We saw so much that we would not have seen on our own. The local guides were excellent. The location of all the hotels were just as advertised-right in the center of things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The churches were all mouth dropping, especially San Clemente, with the guide explaining the 4 levels of the church. As this was the first tour I have taken, I was so pleased with all the history and guidance we were given. Been singing your praises."

Robert

Denver, CO

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben and Miles were great. Very informitive, organized, and fun to be be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too mant to limit to just one moment."

Roseanne

Lyndhurst, OH

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Loved the places we visited, the variety of experiences, the insights from our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one... I think it would have to be our visit to the winery in Umbria & the luncheon. Just what we needed after many rigorous days of touring. beautiful amazing & relaxing!"

Wanda

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were celebrating our 25 th wedding anniversary. This was the trip of a lifetime!! I work in a very busy cancer practice and I needed this trip. I was able to shut down and turn off everything related to work. I didn't bring my iPad and I only used my phone as an alarm clock. No emails, messaging, etc. This was the perfect trip at the right time for us!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel!!!!"

Terri

Louisburg, NC

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. We saw so much during that short span of time. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and so much fun to spend time with. The local tour guides were excellent. We had such a congenial group of people on the tour. We had dinner at exceptional restaurants, and enjoyed meeting the local owners. We had adequate time on our own to be with each other. We all enjoyed our time together on the terraces at night after dinner. Hotel accommodations were perfectly located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved going to the top of the mountain and visiting the winery. What a breathtaking view of those vineyards and olive trees! Just to touch walls built by the Etruscans was unreal. The Uffizi Museum was also a highlight. Venice was beautiful in spite of the rain."

Lynda

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. I have never been on an organized tour before and the tour exceeded my expectations. We had a very nice group of people led by a tour guide who was so knowledgeable about the area and all the wonderful sights we visited. The tour was well paced with lots of free time to continue exploring on our own. The group meals were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few wow moments experienced with all the art and history that we experienced. My favorite "wow" moment was the group cooking lesson and lunch in Florence. It was so much fun making pasta from scratch and creating an excellent lunch with top quality ingredients. It was a very nice break from museums and galleries."

Garry

Ramsey, NJ

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a fantastic, great experience. Marijan and Dave were awesome guides and made every part of the trip a pleasurable trip. The group dinners were fun and such great food, many times I felt like we were eating at the owner's house , that's how welcome I felt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were many , the gondola ride in Venice that Marijan arranged was one of my favorites , gliding through the dark canals with the music (the singer was fantastic) was a "wow" moment that everyone should get to experience. There are no words to describe St. Peter's Basilica and our local tour guide there made it even more special. The wine tasting at Tenuta le Velette was fabulous and our host Cecelia, was great and a lot of fun, very entertaining."

Teresa

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour and already saving for the next one! Can't say enough great things about it. My husband and I had such a great experience - sometimes I have to pinch myself to think that we went to Italy. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing Rome in real life, not just in the movies! That it was real and not just a set."

Catherine

Ramsey, NJ

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough about this tour! Our guide Marijan was wonderful as were all of the local guides in each city. What I liked most were what I considered "personal touches". The group dinners and the wine tasting. the group happy hour in Florence, I felt like our guides were more like good friends sharing their knowledge to make our experience that much better. I really can't say enough!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MY favorite "wow" moment was the vineyard when we did the wine tasting. I could not believe the setting we were in, the scenery was fantastic and the history of the land was unbelievable!"

Kathryn

Kingston, OH

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were introduced to so much art and architecture that it was a bit like being fed a steak and told to swallow then eat a loaf of bread. Just so much to see and impossible to absorb. I am thankful for the experience. If I never return to Italy, I feel that I have seen and experienced more than five trips would have produced.

Sharon

Little Chute, WI

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first Rick Steves tour. I was very impressed with the knowledge of the tour guides. Every day things went smoothly. I like the idea of the tours always taking place in the morning, so there is plenty of time to explore on your own. I liked the idea of the buddy! Even when the tour came to an end the guides had our transportation set up to the airport for us. Basically all you have to do is show up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"People may find me strange, but in Venice we had high tide every day. I really enjoyed that and seeing how Venice functions. I am from Wisconsin, we do not have high tide. I also enjoyed the countryside on our way to Florence and Roma."

Michael

Tucker, GA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! The Venice experience was our favorite. The magic of the canals and back alleys unforgettable. The group dinner was our least favorite of the tour. They seemed "put out" that we were there and such a big group in a small place. We had many "on our own" experiences in Florence thanks to Dave our co-guide. I think our group dinner here was our favorite. Our cooking class and meal was excellent. Rome was busy. History was fascinating and our local guide, fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Le Velette winery and wine tasting tour will be a lasting memory."

Judith

Blaine, WA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A leap of faith for us as we dislike crowds and tours, in general. Inspired by your PBS presence and tour guidelines - family owned, small hotels, restaurants and excellent local guides. The tour exceeded our expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Byzantine mosaics in Torcello and the horses of St. Marco."

Noreen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments. The first was the dinner in Venice at the restaurant Giglio. Another was the impact of the high tide, heavy rain and southerly wind on the city of Venice. Though the weather was bad, we were able to experience the real life of dealing with 8" of water in St. Mark's Square and how the people of the city manage to carry on regardless of the conditions. Another was experiencing all of the beautiful art, churches and the historical buildings in all 3 cities."

Stephen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides (overall and locals). Guides were very knowledgeable, fun, and entertaining. We also had a good group of folks who were friendly, accommodating, and fun to spend time with. Tour was very well planned and [INVALID]d! Just the right amount of tour group time vs. time to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the flooding in Venice would be one. The cooking class and the wine tasting were two more!"

Dale

Little Chute, WI

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. We knew the general schedule and what to expect. Any questions were resolved at the first meeting. Our group was large at 28, and the "buddy system" worked flawlessly. The tours and dinners were good, and the external guides at museums were fountains of knowledge. Both Marijan and Dave provided plenty of background on the culture and history; I certainly have come away with a new perspective and many new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I was most impressed with the Roman Colliseum. To be inside such a historic structure is profound. This does not detract from all the other fabulous museums and structures we saw and toured. Then there is the scenery; stunning in a word."

Robert

Blaine, WA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour in Europe. We have been dozens of times on our own. We already signed up for Eastern France next May. Suggestion: We liked getting lost in Venice but others were exhausted and frustrated because they couldn't find the hotel. More orientation and how to find your way from a landmark, e.g. St Marks to the hotel would be useful on the first day orientation, incorporated into the evening stroll.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tossup between wading though a foot of water in St Marks-Definitely unforgettable- or the cooking class in Florence. Suggestion: When flooding is expected it would be useful to provide a boot option at the hotel by having the hotel sell them or a vendor show up and sell them at a non rip off price.( We expected an inch or 2 not a foot so hiking boots were useless.)"

Audrey

Barnesville, GA

Tour: 10/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each destination was well planned and organized to make every minute count. Also a few surprises along the way. The trip was very generous with meal allowances and treats. An added bonus was getting back into great shape.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just being in Italy for the second time was the biggest WOW moment. From being in the colosseum to being in a cooking class making my own pasta was a WOW moment."

Oran

Riverside, CA

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Better than we expected, first time on a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Vatican for the first time was a "wow" moment. The guide made it very special."

Guinn

Zionsville, IN

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we'd seen many of his programs on our local public TV station so we had some of what to expect. Based on our experience we would take another. Enjoyed the cooking class and the winery tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three "wow' moments in order of their occurance: First, the cooking class in Florence. Second, the visit to the military cemetary outside of Florence. Third, the tour of St. Clement Church in Rome."

Laura

Riverside, CA

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic, Stacey was incredible............Great group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting all of the churches in each City......WOW"

Jane

Colts Neck, NJ

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We so enjoyed seeing all the art work and architecture . Our tour guide Stacy was awesome. She was very out going and knowledgable about all the places she brought us to. Some of the speciality guides that we had were also very passionate about their area- Elizabetta, Luca and Franchesca. The accommodations were more than adequate except we would have liked a heads up about the mosquitos in Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colloseum was magnificent ! We totally could imagine living in that time and how life was."

Gail

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was well planned and included just about everything I wanted to see in these 3 cities. A bonus were things I would not have scheduled for myself like a cooking class as well as the absolutely outstanding guides we had in each city. I felt the hotels were well chosen for quality and location. Nice group of fellow travelers, 26 seemed the perfect number. Good balance planned/free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it amazes me that every day people here live and work surrounded by the most incredible art and architecture the world ever produced"

Shanna

Frisco, TX

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour went very smoothly. We had exceptional guides in every city. The other tour members were fun and we all had a terrific time together. There was so much to explore in each city and we certainly covered the highlights and Stacy gave us great tips on additional places to go on our own. I really enjoyed this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's always impossible to only list one "wow" moment! I loved the Tenuta Le Velette experience - the education, the beautiful location, and Cecilia was a fabulous hostess. I was star struck when I met Francesca in Rome and thoroughly enjoyed her passionate tour of San Clemente church, the Colosseum, and the Forum."

Tim

Frisco, TX

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of three outstanding cities. Much to see and appreciate. Venice was different with no cars, short small streets, the canals and bridges and much to see. Florence was probably the favorite as it was packed with things to see and the best museums. Rome was interesting from a history perspective, very busy and we stayed two extra days to enjoy. Francesca, our local guide in Rome, was FANTASTIC!!! Our second RS tour and more are in our future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the Le Velette winery in Umbria was breathtaking. The wine experience was wonderful for us non-wine drinkers. We even brought two bottles home."

Ava

North Venice, FL

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

since our group was older people we should have had more time to get to our destination instead of rushing. meeting early wasn't great either. meeting very early or a later would have been the same crowds experience. everything was rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the colosseum in rome. the cooking class was fun. venice was beautiful."

Joel

North Venice, FL

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful tour overall. Stacy was a very organized guide. The locations we visited were for the most part interesting, although there were a bit too many churches for my taste. There was a little too much timne on our own, but that was a close call. The wine tasting and cooking classes were nice surprises and we both very enjoyable, especially the cooking classes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the Roman forum and being able to imagine the historis events that took place there."

Diane

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The knowledge of our guides in every city was exceptional. The balance of guided touring and free time was well balanced. We enjoyed our group dinners and felt cared for throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome Ancient tour! Our guide Francesca put us right in the time with her own reflective style and knowledge."

Lynne

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour that more than met my expectations. The group, the guides, the pace and variety of activites were exceptional. The accommodation and food were excellent, and the bus clean and comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me there were many WOW moments but the tour of the San Clemente church in Rome stands out as does the winery tour. The cooking class stood out as so much FUN."

Michael

Millbrae, CA

Tour: 10/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In general, had a wonderful time. The group was excellent, and we made many friends. However, a number of us felt that the tour might have been run in the opposite direction, starting in Rome, then Florence, and ending in Venice. All of the cities had wonderful aspects, but Rome was a bit overwhelming as the final stop, whereas Venice would have been quiet and soothing as the end of the tour. Rome was stunning, but hardly soothing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Pantheon in Rome. Magnificent."

Philip

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We traveled quite of bit of Europe during my expat assignment. We left Italy for a later tour-guided trip, as one learns more about what is seen. We chose Rick Steves because of friends' recommendations and he offered exactly what we wanted. We had high expectations, and this trip exceeded them in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really liked the voluntary unscheduled events: the gondola maker in Venice and the artist in Florence. We expected to see the "regular" highlights, and really enjoyed them as well."

Tom

La Canada Flintridge, CA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thought that the entire experience was wonderful! It was our first tour ever and it opened our eyes to so much in all three cities--history, architecture, art and personalities of the town itself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention--everything was WOW!"

Ginny

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was was extremely satisfying because I was able to visit so many places I had dreamed about since young adulthood. The guides on this trip were especially wonderful. They were so knowledgeable and they informed us about so much history and gave us insight about visits to museums, etc. which were not covered on the tour. The tour was the perfect length and covered the 3 cities that have been so influential in western development, etc. Could't have been a better tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment occurred when I stepped into the Roman Forum. Seeing the arches, the columns still standing, the Via Sacra, finding the location of the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and imagining the placement of the Forums of Augustus, Julius Caesar, and others made all the history I learned in high school Latin class come to life. I am so glad I was able to finally experience this area. Your guides brought all this to life."

Janice

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Just what we wanted in terms of seeing some things not normally expected on a tour. We will definitely do this again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing the "David" and the "Crucifix" in Florence. Seeing numerous works by Michelangelo was breath-taking and my response was unexpected."

James

Hampton, NH

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time and through RS Tours we were able to see and do things that we could not have found anywhere else. We got to meet and tour a gondola maker in Venice and attend a cooking school in Florence, and visit a olive oil and wine farm outside of Rome, for example. I doubt you could find these on your own. I would recommend this tour and RS Tours to anyone considering a trip overseas. RS Tours took the hassle out of touring Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the local tour guides that we picked up in Venice, Florence and Rome. I learned much about Italy and these cities that I had not learned in my previous tour of Italy."

Harold

Livonia, MI

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Venice/Florence/Rome Rick Steves tour exceeded my expectations in many ways, particularly due to our tour guides Anna and Eszter. I anticipated that the tour would be well managed and busy, but I did not expect that our guides would be as knowledgeable as they are on every site, every historical detail, and every aspect of the cities we visited. I fed off of their energy and enthusiasm to take in more of the art, history, and local flavors than I ever thought I could.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's sculpture of David in Florence was my wow moment. Anna and our local tour guide had done a good job of building up the moment, and then when we saw David, I felt like Michelangelo was there with me explaining his creation."

Michael

Medford, NJ

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide (Anna) was outstanding. Her knowledge, enthusiasm, dedication to the group and energy were outstanding. Assistant (Eszter), very helpful. Local tour guides were very good also, especially Angelo in Florence. Good hotels; clean, comfortable smaller rooms. Centrally located within walking distance of major attractions. Good restaurant selections. Food was outstanding. Pre-trip documentation was very informative and helpful in scheduling our 'free time' activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anticipated many of the historical and religious sites; they didn't disappoint. Two 'wow' moments were the farmhouse lunch visit (with newly pressed olive oil) and the visit to the Santo Spirito church to view a Michelangelo carving made when he was an unknown 17-year old."

Sheri

Coon Valley, WI

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time on the tour. Our tour guide was outstanding and she empowered us to really explore and feel comfortable with each of the three cities. She was a wealth of knowledge on the history, current events and how to navigate the Metro, bus line and trains. She was a joy to be with. We met so many wonderful people on our trip. It was the best vacation we have ever taken and we look forward to the next Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on our trip. Seeing Michelangelo's Crucifix was a very moving experience. The cooking class in Florence was very fun and informative."

Sam

Pleasureville, KY

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded all our expectations starting with the tour guides. I can't say enough about Anna. She made our tour so much more interesting with her knowledge and the extra stops we made along the way. Eszter was a delight as well. We also had great local guides at every town. They added so much to our adventure. Our lodging was great and perfectly situated for us to experience fully each stop along the way. Your people and plan are as good as it gets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had "wow" moments at every stop. We knew we would be carried away with the sites and scenes of each stop along the way, but the extra stops we made at each place made the trip very special. In Venice we toured a gondola makers shop which I am sure is not something every tour does. The cooking class and artists studio in Florence were great fun. The wine tasting in Umbrea was divine and a great pause from the city adventures. Rome was simply breathtaking."

Margaret

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first experience with a tour and I must say I would do this again and again on a Rick Steves tour. Our guides, Anna and Eszter were excellent and amazing in their knowledge of every site we took in. This was also my first trip to Italy and the tours covered just about everything on my bucket list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Church of San Clemente in Rome. It truly gave you the wow of how Rome is built, over centuries and centuries of other civilizations and cultures. My other "wow" moment was the view from the top of Victoria Emanuel, taking in the whole city of Rome. Florence it was the Uffizi Gallery and Venice experiencing a gondola ride, visiting one of the few workshops that actually make gondolas and the beautiful St.Mark's cathedral. The whole tour was a wow moment."

Bryan

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves' tour. Based on previous experiences my expectations were high and this tour lived up to and exceeded them. Pre-tour instructions were accurate in directing us from the airport to our hotel. A new and different experience in Venice. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable about the towns, the churches, the history, and the art. And they made me feel like I was the most important tourist they had ever worked for. The local guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When a tour begins the tourists all gather for an introduction to the tour. The guides introduce themselves and tell a brief history about themselves. As I listened to our lead guide talk about what we were going to do and see, she was so full of enthusiasm and energy that I said "Wow this is going to be the best"."

Christine

Livonia, MI

Tour: 10/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience! Trip of a lifetime! The tour was very well organized and was just as described in the trip brochures. I very much appreciated the centrally located hotels and "backdoor" adventures that allowed us to experience Italy the way the Italians do. the local guides were outstanding, very knowledgeable and entertaining. there was just the right mix of group activities and free time. Anna and Eszter were wonderful beyond words.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being inside St. Peter's took my breath away. I was able to stand before the Pieta, the tomb of St. John Paul II and over the tomb of St. Peter. For a lifelong Catholic this was the big time. It could only have been topped by a Pope Francis sighting."

Kathryn

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I hoped it would be. I felt it had the right amount of tour time and free time. It was strenuous at times, but never more than we could handle. Our guide Nina was wonderful, giving us just the info we needed to feel comfortable on our own. The local guides were also professional, friendly, and informed. We were very happy with all aspects of the tour. For me it hit all the points I wanted to experience. Loved cooking our own lunch. We would definitely consider another RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Four "wow" moments for me. Viewing the Sistine Chapel (made more inspiring because of Nina's description before we viewed it), the way our Ancient Rome guide, Francesca, brought the ruins to life, Venice (all of it, except the one bad restaurant and waiter we encountered on our own) and seeing the Duomo for the first time. All absolutely beautiful and awesome."

Dannette

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour, with a delightful, gregarious group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Coliseum in Rome in torrential rain, with a guide who poured herself into the story of Rome's decline, politics, and culture. She brought us to tears as she described the unspeakable cruelty that occurred there. She developed the context for understanding the stresses that fed the cruelty from all sides. The parallels with current social trends and with the not so distant horrors of the holocaust were unsettling. A stark "aha" moment that highlighted the value of history."

Avrum

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Last Judgement"

Robert

Avila Beach, CA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Nina was outstanding, set a good tone for the trip, was able to talk off-the-cuff about just anything Italian. I would travel with her anytime. The range of activities was well chosen, given the incredible range of possibilities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably walking into Sta Croce in Florence and Finding Michaelangelo's tomb and then Galileo's across from it! Also the ancient Rome day with a most incredible local guide Francesca. The rain was torrential that day and she still made it magic."

Judy

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was excellent. Group activities were very enjoyable - we saw many "must see" sites and being in a group was a big advantage to getting into busy places. Local guides were excellent. The extra free time to see additional sites or just relax in a cafe was a great balance. The history behind the art and the cities was very educational; the local insights from our guide into Italy's economics, politics, current events was also very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my wow moments was sitting on the steps of the terrace at Piazzale Michelangelo (Florence) enjoying the view of the city and the countryside around it. Other wow moments - Michelangelo's works, especially the David and the Sistine Chapel and also being among the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire envisioning life in the world during those times."

Jamie

Hammond, LA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of our tour exceeded expectations. It was a history lesson & art tour all in one; not to mention the best sights & fun, knowledgeable guides. The hotels were in the perfect locations and the rooms were larger than expected. Our group moved together nicely; led by our awesome guide, Nina. Truly a magical experience! Also, a nice balance of group & independent time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't think I can pick just one!"

Karen

Monroeville, PA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was much more than we expected. The itinerary venues were wonderful. The addition of the cooking lesson, wine luncheon, the gondola maker's workshop and gondola ride were beautiful learning experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I anticipated being thrilled by the art and architecture having studied art history in college. The organization and time allowed for the visual experience was beyond my expectations."

Janet

South Easton, MA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect from the beginning. Nina was a fabulous tour guide who made everything fun even in the middle of some crowded places. We enjoyed our fellow travelers and felt well taken care of at every moment. We saw all the expected places, and had some unexpected experiences too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many wow moments to pick just one. The cooking class in Florence was hugely fun as was the impromptu party on the deck of the hotel in Rome in the rain. Loved that we were alone with the David statue in Florence as we were scheduled late in the afternoon."

Bob

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 10/02/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall a very memorable and fun tour thanks to our outstanding tour director and guide, Nina, and a well designed sightseeing/on our own schedule. A physically demanding tour, much more so than any other tour I've been on in the past.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments, my favorites being 1. Burano Island, a photographer's paradise. 2. The gondola group ride in Venice - a magic moment for my daughter and me. 3. The cooking class in Florence - what fun, and the food we made was outstanding. 4. The wine tasting tour in Umbria - what a setting and the owner/guide was outstanding. 5. The tour in pouring rain of the Roman Colosseum and Forum - The guide on that tour was in a class by herself, she brought the tour to life despite the rain."

Clarice

Richfield, MN

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had some concerns when I received the list of the size of our tour group, but I found I had no reason to worry. It turned out to be a wonderful collection of characters, each adding their own special 'flavor' to the experience! Everything was well planned, from the walking tours, the transportation to and from locations, the meals, etc. There was just so much to see and do, one could hardly take it all in and if anything, I wish we'd had even another day in each place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What could be more 'WOW' then Cecilia's family winery in Umbria! The surrounding scenery was breathtaking, the atmosphere peaceful and serene, the buildings on the property enchanting. Hearing Cecilia share the history of her family and the winery, enjoying the amazing wine tasting and buffet and having this special, relaxing time together as a group as a break from the hectic, tourist packed streets of the cities I think rejuvenated all of us!"

Jo-Ann

Williston, VT

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cecilia was fabulous and knowledgeable. I loved the circle we made at her request in the square near our hotel in Venice and how we then proceeded to say aloud individually the first name of each person to our right. It was a great ice breaker and helped the group to start to come together. I found the "buddy check" to be helpful, another ice breaker on a more individual level, and having the group accept responsibility for each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'll never tire of seeing Michelangelo's masterpieces, David, or the Uffizi Museum. The local guides for these museums gave me the art history perspective I wanted. The winery visit was over the top, thanks to Cecilia who became Maria the twin sister for this event. The wine tasting and food nibbles were presented with such hospitality. The cooking class in Florence was a nice break from the museums and churches. Thanks for giving us the recipes to bring home."

Anita

Richmond, BC

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have not done a guided tour in a long time, preferring to travel alone, at my own speed, and do (or not do) whatever I wish. I was unsure if travelling with a group would suit me, and if the pace was going to allow me to take the photos I like to take. It turned out to be a great experience because of the group of people on our tour, and because of the great guidance of our tour guide. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun! I managed 2800 photos!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one, but two highlights for me were walking down the long hall towards the statue of David, and spending a good long time staring up at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Our last group dinner will be hard to top, also. Thanks Cecilia!"

Frank

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met and in some cases exceeded our expectations. Cecilia, our tour guide was excellent. She was very professional and was clear about her expectations of us. The tour participants were friendly, congenial and lots of fun as travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Cecilia's family winery was a big highlight. The visit consisted of a tour of the family home, wine tasting and lunch. She was also gracious and opened her family's chapel for us to view. She also shared that this was where she was married."

Bambi

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled to Israel, Germany, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico and Hawaii. I had never been to Italy. Italy is my favorite! Cecilia was a patient, lovely and energetic host. She even had surprises for us along the way! Italy is amazing. The people, the history, the art and of course the food made it the best travel experience of my life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I only get one? It was Italy for cry in' out loud! The view from Cecilia's winery, Michaelangelo's David, St. Mark's Square, the Sistine Chapel and the last dinner party with music! We had a wonderful group of people in our group (something that can't be planned). I was so lucky!"

Dennis

Napa, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were ecstatic about the tour. The places visited, the staff of Rick Steves (RS), the travel arrangements were all spectacular. The efficient, organized, and enthusiastic effort of our tour coordinator was beyond expectation. We felt informed and well taken care of at all times. Our group really bonded together as friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had one wow moment after another, some with the tour, some made possible by the tour. A few that come to mind were walking into the museum and seeing the statue of David at the other end of the hall, the Sistene Chapel, and visiting the winery owned by our own tour guide (that dated back probably some 500-1000 years). Another one that was made possible by our being in Italy on this tour was our extension of the trip to the idealic Positano."

Patricia

Orinda, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was truly the most outstanding adventure I've ever experienced. Viewing each exquisite piece of art with a clear explanation of the content and history attached was an experience of a lifetime. "Andiamo" was the method of travel and greatly appreciated as it allowed our group to enjoy more each day. The accommodations were comfortable and the hotel staff was friendly and accommodating. An A+ grading from me..far more than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing Bernini's Columns at the altar with his Sunburst in the altar behind at St. Peter's. I've seen pictures and certainly Mass being said on TV but being in the presence of this beauty took my breath away."

Ann

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were pleased with our tour, the first one we had ever signed up for. Very grateful for the fact that a lot was packed into 9 days and that it was so well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cecilia's decision to add the San Clemente church in Rome was an excellent choice. She was right: it demonstrates how the city was built over the centuries, layer over layer."

Craig

Burbank, CA

Tour: 09/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goal by taking this particular Rick Steves tour was to familiarize myself with the major Italian cities under the comforting wing of a guide so that I could return again and again armed with the necessary "survival" skills to venture out on my own. Without Cecilia, our wonderful guide, I would never have experienced many of the things I did simply because I never would have known about them! Every part of this trip, quirky little hotels and all, made for lifelong memories and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our group took a cooking class in Florence. We broke up into small groups and learned how to make an authentic Italian meal from scratch. We had loads of fun getting messy and getting to know each other better. The "Wow" moment was when, after preparing the meal, we were lead outside and down into a basement. Unfolding in front of our blissfully unsuspecting eyes was the most beautiful, 1900 year old, brick-lined dining room where we were served the memorable meals we'd just prepared."

Jeannie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

superbly organized and the the local guides were a wealth of knowledge, that includes Julian. The variety of what we did and saw was just right. I never got bored and looked forward to learning sooooo much. I have been raving about the tour experience to everyone I speak with. I want to go again...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one, but I think it would have to be seeing Michaelangelo's David. It was stunning, absolutely breathtaking...almost beyond description at sitting in the same room with 'him'"

Darlene

Gresham, OR

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So much history & culture to absorb. Loved being amidst it, rather than simply reading about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The never ending grandeur of the architecture, the frescoes, the art."

Ervin

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had very high expectations for this tour and they were exceeded. By the end of the trip I was convinced that I had been uniquely privileged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the beautiful agriturismo farm in Umbria, Poggio della Volara. Marco and his wife put on an excellent lunch for us, and gave us an entertaining lecture on olive oil and viticulture."

Janice

Coon Rapids, MN

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip far surpassed any dream that I had about what the trip would be. It was perfectly planned out with nice options to explore places on my own, yet, well guided so I had amazing opportunities to see so many important things and experience such great things. I was amazed at how our tour group was able to bypass the long lines to get into St. Mark's Basilica, the Accademia in Venice, the Accademia Gallery in Florence, and the St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved how our local tour guide in Rome took us to the muit-layered San Clemente and spoke with such passion about what that place meant to her. It put such a human touch to it. She opened my imagination to how the Romans may have utilized their talents and resources at that time to live in that area. Our local tour guide in Venice did the same thing leading up to our visualization of David. It was very emotional and personal."

Rosalia

St Paul, MN

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Life changing. One group member summed it up Julian was able to make up bunch of strangers become lifelong friends. He did this by staging beautiful moments. I learned so much about art, history, food and the people. Not to mention we were always able to beat the crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a "wow" moment. Venice it was the sweet little church in Burano. In Florence it was the David and the amazing Michaelangelo's carved wooden crucifix-- perfection (San Santos Church). Umbria the spectacular site and Rome's wonderful forum and of course walking the roman streets located underground in San Clemente Basilica."

Christine

Belmont, CA

Tour: 09/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent in every way! This was our first trip to Italy and the tour gave us a complete introduction full of meaningful and beautiful experiences. The pace of our adventures, the sights, the sounds, the new fun friends, and all we learned from our guides---all added up to an over-the-top experience we will treasure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice! Our tour guide had it all arranged, and we ended up in the gondola with the guitarist and singer. With the full moon behind us, and the sound and lights of the Grand canal ahead of us....every time we recall this experience, we get a thrill!"

Carrie

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Things went very smoothly & timely. Very good variety of tour time together, free time, & types of things shown & done. Best way for me to summarize our trip to Italy is Walked about 5 miles each day on uneven stone walkways Experienced getting lost everyday, learning to be OK with that & even enjoying doing so Culture shock in how dining is handled, how they drive, & charging for water & bathrooms Loved all the new experiences & places - LOVELY

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to limit to just one. Venice was our favorite down to experience with all the canals & walkways. Enjoyed learning to cook in Florence. Blessed to be able to pray in St Peters Basilica, revel at the beauty in Sistine Chapel & then catch a service in english. Wonderful to be able to get out in the country side to a Vineyard & share a meal & wine there."

Linda

Meadville, PA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with our tour. The guides were amazing and really brought to life the history of Italy. I really enjoyed the variety if experiences we had such as the cooking lesson and the wine tasting as it broke up the art and churches so we were not completely overwhelmed.Although I did not mind the walking I thought that the pace was somewhat difficult for some of the folks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have so many that I cannot choose one. It was amazing how ancient the structures were and how immense they were. The art the sculptures the history - awesome! !"

Robert

Franklin, TN

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise religious procession during the night walk in Rome. The beauty of the Agriturismo in Umbria and the charming hosts, Marco and Gaiva."

Cameron

El Cerrito, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful time on the tour. It was my wife's first time out of the country and only my second time so we were a little nervous, but the hotels were all nice and our tour guide was very good at keeping us moving and on time. I especially liked the local tour guides who were very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Coliseum was amazing. The structure itself is incredible and our local guide Francesa really made the place come alive. She got us to understand both about what a complex and difficult achievement the construction and operation of the Coliseum was, as well as making us think about what kind of people would want to watch such horrible and bloody displays of violence."

William

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

super guide! Nina was passionate about the history and stories she told us about. the hotels were perfect in location to things to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"first time in seeing Venice!"

Richard

Meadville, PA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome"

Karen

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were all very good. Knowledgeable and interesting. Some of the travelers were not able to keep up. This was a bit disturbing to the other travelers, even though the guide was just doing her job and keeping us on time. I wish there was a more certain way to weed out people who are not physically able to manage the walking pace. Or maybe schedule separate tours for people who are slightly disabled??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class and winery visit were wonderful additions. I loved Venice, AFTER the cruise ships left. Wow, they REALLY impact the crowds! The selected, included restaurants were pretty amazing. Loved David!"

Andrew

La Jolla, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe, and we knew that we would need a guided tour, but didn't want to spend too much time on a bus. We are fairly active, and wanted to be out and amongst the locals as much as possible. Having watched Rick's shows on PBS for many years we had an idea of what to expect, and this tour did not disappoint! Yes, we were exhausted at the end, but it was a happy exhausted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments: wandering by ourselves and getting lost in the streets of Venice was amazing. The Vivaldi performance in an old church in Venice was very spiritual. The Vatican blew my mind completely."

Tom

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first guided tour and we were not disappointed! Each day had just the right amount of activity which was well planned. Nina made us feel like she had everything under control and all we had to do was follow.

Leslyn

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! The pace was good and it felt like we got to do a LOT in the time we had. It wasn't too rushed and we had the right amount of down time and free time on our own. We loved our guide, Nina. She was very knowledgable and kept us on schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all of the sites we saw so it's hard to pick a "wow" moment. However, I did love the Vatican as well as the Colosseum."

Joyce

Franklin, TN

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very well organized and the group of fellow travelers was very congenial and enthusiastic. No grumps. No whiners. Everybody was on time and considerate. The weather was fantastic throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise religious procession during the night walk in Rome. The visit to the Agriturismo in Umbria. The unexpected traveling street fair (French of all things) in the plaza in front of our hotel in Florence and how it was enthusiastically embraced by the local population."

Celia

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 09/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to visit Europe and I enjoyed the tour experience very much. This was also my first time to take your guided tour which helped tremendously since all the reservations/tickets were already planned for us! We saw beautiful sights & enjoyed good food. It was alot more strenuous than I imagined! Based on your website, I knew the activity level would be strenuous however I had no idea how much, lots of stairs! But, I was able to keep up. I learned alot about Italy on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My #1 fav wow moments were the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel. I was overwhelmed with their beauty and historic presence. I also enjoyed the winery in Umbria! The scenery there was awesome and the food/wine were delicious. Marco & his wife were the perfect host. The Statue of David was breathtaking. The gondola ride was a dream come true. St Peter's Basilica was absolutely beautiful. The Basilica of San Clemente was also a Wow moment. The Forum in Rome was a treasure to see! Loved all of it."

John

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben and Graeme were terrific. I was repeatedly impressed with their breadth of knowledge about history and art. They both had an easygoing attitude, making the Italian experience pleasant for everyone. But despite this, they were able to keep the group on track so that we were able to see a plethora of art masterpieces. We also did more than just view art. We made our own delicious pasta in a cooking class, and it came out as good as any pasta I have ever eaten. We also went wine tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" was cumulative. If we spent the whole two weeks just to see Michelangelo's David it would have been "Wow". But instead that was just one of 100's of masterpieces that we viewed. The history was not to be outdone by the art. They had a 200 BC pillar taken from Egypt, and 200 AD bronze horses taken from the Byzantines. You saw where the Ides of March occurred. You viewed the Roman Empire, the renaissance, and the rise of Christianity. It is all too impressive for words to convey."

Megan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben and Graeme were wonderful tour guides and the local guides were excellent. I saw all of the wonderful places I wanted and some extra. I love the balance of free time and time together as a group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The David!"

Susan

Ottawa, ON

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first tour, we were not sure what to expect. We decided to take a city walking tour because that is how we travel on our own ( with a Rick Steves' travel guide). The 10 day tour exceeded our expectations with the variety of experiences offered and the quality of information provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was looking forward to seeing the David and the Pantheon, both of which did not disappoint, however, my "wow" moment came the last day in Rome at the Colosseum when our local guide, Francesca, brought it to life."

Jaleigh

Monticello, IL

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! I was worried at first that I wouldn't like traveling with a group and doing an organized tour, with every minute of every day planned out, but it wasn't like that at all. There were enough group activities and sightseeing with guides that I was engaged and educated, and I enjoyed getting to meet various members of our group. And there was also a great deal of free time (more than I was expecting) to let us stretch ourselves and do our own thing as independent travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about Venice was WOW. The city was all I hoped it would be and much more. Exploring the back streets, walking along the canals and watching the light change in the city as the day stretched along. I thought to myself several times in Venice, that I was in a place like no other on earth."

Blaine

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience was easy, well organized, fun, beautiful, and illuminating. Like a Zen experience of becoming one with the place, the past, and the present.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Pantheon, a dome that has stood for 1900 years, about which few people who have entered have understood the level of engineering. Engineering that inspired Brunelleschi and Michelangelo...and me."

Kathleen

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As a veteran traveler in Europe using Rick's guide books, my first tour experience was overall great, with some minor drawbacks compared to independent travel (set schedule and the need for daily socialization). Overall, I feel I learned more about the history, culture, art, and architecture of the sites and cities than I would have traveling and reading on my own. For a museum-heavy tour in three very different cities, the tour was the way to go! The guides were all fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was entering the Pantheon in Rome, walking into such a beautifully engineered and designed space, and knowing my experience has been shared since 126 AD by so many people of varied cultural and religious backgrounds. The experience gave me hope for humanity - that, upon entering a pantheonic space, we can peacefully share an appreciation for and respect for each other's beliefs. It was profound!"

John

Ottawa, ON

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first tour and we really appreciated the combination of organized tours and free time. Our guides, besides providing expert knowledge of the sites that we visited also did an excellent job of describing the culture and cuisines of the three parts of Italy that we visited. In museums and galleries, I appreciated their efforts not to overwhelm with facts and data, but, rather to interpret a few important paintings or sites and to provide excellent context for those items.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" was the Coliseum and the Forum in Rome with Francesca's passionate description of early Rome. She brought ancient Rome to life for us.....the best was saved for the last on our tour."

Rupert

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and the experience far exceeded my expectations. The format, agenda, and schedule were perfect for us and I learned more than I could have ever expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Michelangelo's David. Walking into that building and seeing the real deal was unexpected. This was my third time to Florence and I'd missed him on the previous two trips alway thinking that the replica was just fine. How wrong I was."

Roy

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Venice, Florence % Rome. All was outstanding and above expectation. The group was fantastic and made many new friends. Our guide was fantastic and had a well planned itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it was "wow" and overwhelming."

Frank

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with good chemistry from everyone in the group and I think that was because Karin Kibby was so pleasant, professional and easy to work with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest "wow" was seeing "the David" and St Peter's Basilica. My favorite city was Florence. It is very difficult to separate these out because the totality of the art, structures and geographic beauty was a sensual overload."

Sandra

Morrisville, NC

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Friendly and professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides were exceptional. They each had their own delightful personalities and shared a love for their cities and topics."

John

Pasco, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was a once in a lifetime adventure. It was so exciting meeting new people and learning about a new culture. It was exciting learning about and seeing the fabulous art that Italy has. It was so much fun having time to tour the country by train before our tour actually began and observing the people and landscape. I fulfilled my goals with seeing tons of great artwork and having a good conversation with an Italian. Even the Roman taxi cab drivers were an great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy had the most amazing art ever. My biggest wow moment was at the Vatican as I stood in awe of the Sistine Chapel for almost 50 minutes with my mouth wide open. It was a sacred moment for me."

John

Yakima, WA

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never been on a group tour before and didn't know what to expect, but after this experience we would gladly try another Rick Steves tour. Our guide Karin was first-rate, as were all the local guides who took us through museums and educated us about the cities and art we were seeing. There was plenty of time for individuals to follow their own interests and Karin always had good suggestions of places to visit, eat, etc. And the group itself was happy, friendly and engaged. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two: Seeing the David statue and spending time at the Colosseum and ancient ruins in Rome."

James

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good balance of guided time and free time Excellent guide!! She was precise, helpful, responsive to questions, clearly cared about the experience we were having, and took care of details efficiently Good accommodations This was our first organized tour of any kind: experienced more camaraderie among the group than expected as well as appreciating the travel and entrances being organized Very much liked the winery stop/lunch experience and the cooking school time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Colosseum and Roman Forum The cooking school experience was fun--and delicious!"

Louise

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have never taken a group tour before. This one exceeded our expectations - excellent hotels, excellent guides and a very agreeable group of travellers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide for the Colesium and the forum (Franchesca) was amazing - she was so passionate about the topic and wanted us to really understand the what and why of ancient Rome and the role of the Colesium - not to just think of it as a Russell Crowe movie of violence and gore."

Jami

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Since this was my first time visiting Europe I did not know what to expect. What I did experience was a jaw-dropping art and history class of Italy in 10 days. Amazing! I very much enjoyed the presentations by our local guides and especially by Cecilia, our tour guide. Each of our local guide's introduction to each city brought Venice, Florence and Rome to life in a way that was engaging and relevant to our present day lives. Cecilia went above and beyond to make our tour most enjoyable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we landed in Venice we decided to splurge and take a water taxi from the airport to our hotel. Best money we ever spent as we had the most spectacular introduction to Venice! Our "taxi driver" treated us to a quick tour of the canals of Venice."

Marjorie

Brooklyn, NY

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime ! Each city was beautiful but unique. The art and architecture I had only seen in books was suddenly in front of me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to name just one " wow" moment. Coming into the beautiful city of Venice by boat and stepping back into the past has to qualify as the first " wow " moment."

Toni

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the greatest introduction to Italy that anyone could ask for. We touched so many of the high points that we had only read about, dreamed about or studied back in our college days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite experience was the winery in Umbria. We had been dashing around Venice and Florence for six days and it was nice to relax in a gorgeous setting with delicious wine and new-found friends. We had been on winery tours in California, but this was completely different."

John

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. The weather was beautiful. The other tour members were interesting and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first wow moment came when I saw St Marks, with its stunning interior."

Susan

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide did a terrific job keeping the group together. We had a wonderful group of folks. Weather cooperated. We were satisfied with all the hotels and breakfast options. Really appreciated having free time and the recommendations the guide gave for sites to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our local guide in Rome was amazing in how she could paint pictures of what life was like when we visited the Colosseum and San Clemente church, putting everything in perspective."

Patricia

Ship Bottom, NJ

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cecilia was our guide and she did everything to make our tour memorable. We were fortunate to be in a very calm low key group. Everyone was friendly-no complainers. All of the local guides were friendly and knowledgeable. I gained an excellent understanding of the history of Venice Florence & Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's really hard to pick just one. However, I loved San Clemente church."

James

Vestal, NY

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and our first organized tour and it was outstanding! It exceeded our lofty expectations. Our Tour Guide, Cecilia was excellent...she was well organized, friendly, in control and extremely intelligent. A great sense of humor too! The tour was very well planned for sites of interest and historical significance. I would highly recommend this tour. We're already planning our next Rick Steves' Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "Wow" moments it's hard to single one out. Venice was our favorite city and the sites in Rome were so iconic and interesting and historically significant. The winery, the cooking school, all the museums...so many wow moments! The Basilica of San Clemente was a special site, brought to life by the excellent local tour guide (her name escapes me). Her intensity, emotion and insight made us see the world as it was when this Basilica was built upon structures dating back to 64 AD."

Susan

Palm Springs, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was fantastic overall. I would not have wanted to visit the museums & Basilica's any other way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Marks Basilica!! WOW! Cecilia's talk at the winery is a close second.... Telling us about the United States of Italy and that her ancestors are our ancestors..It was very profound & beautiful."

Cleone

Palm Springs, CA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your excellent planning and helpers made my first extended stay in Italy an easy one that I will repeat thank you

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a foodie so a lot of different taste treats were wow moments for me"

William

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Large crowds in Florence and Rome detracted from experience. At Uffizi and Vatican museum it was like a cattle stockyard being moved through both places. Rest of tour was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First experience of seeing the Colosseum."

Steven

Kingston, MA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I have any single wow moment as our trip was one continuous wow experience. But if I had to pick one experience it probably was the Coliseum, Forum and Pantheon. Or the wine tasting lunch in Umbria! Hard to chose."

James

San Leandro, CA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

our overall tour experience was very good,Reid is a great tour guide as well as a very nice person.you are lucky to have him.but you were right to rate the daily tours as strenuous,we found ourselves tired each evening,but a good tired as we did enjoy the days.I guess we just didnt think it would be quite so tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"our" wow " moment was actually when we first stepped off the boat in Venice ,we both looked at each other and said we coudnt believe we were there."

Robert

Parker, CO

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great. Daily activities were well organized thus allowing for free time to see things the tour didn't cover. The guide was "Excellent". He was very knowledgeable and informative; if he didn't know something he would follow up and typically have an answer the next day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amount if history in all three cities - Venice, Florence and Rome. I knew there was a lot but until we toured the city I realized how much I missed in preparing for the trip. If I had to pick one moment it would be the Roman Coliseum. I was amazed at what the Romans built knowing the technology at that time."

Rod

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I lived in Italy for three years 30 years ago, so the tour basically covered things I'd already seen/experienced. However, I wanted to see them again, and I got to do it with traveling companions. Given all this, the tour was still outstanding. Whereas I thought that this might be the last time I'd do Europe I am confident enough in the quality of my Rick Steves tour to go with him again. A number of those on the tour have done mutliple tours with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Mark's Square at night. Exploring during free time."

Brenda

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour experience in Venice, Florence and Rome, September 2015, and the tour exceeded our expectations. Our group was very compatible, our guide was both practical and knowledgeable, and we saw everything on our 'punch list' for each of the cities. We loved the mix of group time and free time, high culture and more informal outings like the cooking class in Florence, the gondola ride, and the lunch at the winery outside of Florence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many and too hard to choose just one: the gondola ride in the still of the evening after the babble of the crowds subsided, that first gaze of David, stepping inside the amazement of the Pantheon, walking through the Roman remains of the Colosseum and the Palatine ruins. There were art masterpieces in each city that were stunning from the Sistine Chapel to modern day wonders of the Peggy Guggenheim museum."

Nicole

Worthington, OH

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a life's dream for me to tour Italy and a life-changing experience to do it on this Rick Steves tour. I tell friends not to go to Europe any other way. The local guides were great, expanding the quality of the experience. I loved the "off the beaten track" experiences, especially the visit to Marco's olive oil farm and vineyard. Burano, Murano, the cooking school in Florence, even the auto grill made our tour more complete and our understanding of Italy fuller.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing David! Also Reid's discussion of David. So many others. The Uffizi, the Bottiellis. All the other tours I had considered excluded the Uffizi. I got to "help" the glass craftsman on Murano create a sculpture, which turned out to be exactly the right thing for my daughter's Christmas present. I am a lace-maker and I loved the time I spent talking (across our two languages) with the proprietor of a lace shop (Burano). For my husband, it was seeing the places and things he had taught about."

William

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a very good eye opening experience. I especially enjoyed the diverse and impressive architecture. Had no idea that it was so expansive and historic throughout. All three cities (Venice, Florence, and Rome) were uniquely different thus offering their own awesome style.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stopping in the mountainous region of Italy for the wine tasting event. It turned out to be much more than the wine. The views, the host, and manner of pallet gratification all added to a wonderful experience."

Kris

Kingston, MA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had access to all the highlights everyone wants to see without waiting in long lines. Our guides were excellent, and truly enriched our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wows! The Colosseum and Roman Forum probably impressed me the most. The scale of the buildings and advancement of the society they represent just are mind-boggling."

Paul

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was all I'd hoped. This trip was our first time in Italy and our first Rick Steves tour. On our own (with the use of Rick's books), we could have had a good time and seen a lot in these three cities, but we would never have hit the high points as productively. Staying within walking or easy transit distance from the major sites was a great plus. The time on the bus was used to provide history, general orientation and answering questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Your choices of included stops provided what I'd expected from the big name locations, but the choices of the other activities and meals added a lot to the understanding of the area, people and culture."

Richard

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Tour: 09/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Well organized. Reid was very good. Especially liked the balance of tours and free time. Local guides were excellent. well Done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Statue of David."

Jacqueline

Berlin, PA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was a trip of a lifetime. We enjoyed all the sights and appreciated that the tickets were purchased and the scheduling was completed for us. The hotels were very unique and the group dinners were fantastic. Jamie was an excellent guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and helped us plan a lot of events very economically. Graeme was a great addition and will be an excellent Italian guide. We had a great group of fellow tour members too! We are already thinking about which tour to do next!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything but the city of Venice was so wonderfully unique I have to say spending time there."

John

Basking Ridge, NJ

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves experience completely exceeded my expectations. I kept waiting for the letdown, the disappointment. DID NOT HAPPEN. The physical activity, the advice to pack light, authentic local hotels and locations, regional cuisine, social attitude of the group, comfy bus size. And a knowledgeable patient talented skilled enthusiastic foodie group guide. Thanks, Jamie !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca is a Rock Star ! Such a passionate, inspiring presentation on the Forum and Coliseum. She made the scenes come alive. The standout experience of the entire trip. The male city guide in Florence ( do not remember his name - So Sorry) was so authentic, local, full of facts and fun with great espresso stops."

Tom

Tukwila, WA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rather enjoyed the tour over all. The places we went to eat were just great. The guide had some great stories to tell. The headphones used were really helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing David in Florence."

Frederick

Lakeland, FL

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing experience. This was our 2nd tour with RS and it was every bit as wonderful as our Paris experience. Jamie Gould is a treasure - very knowledgeable, humorous and engaging. An Englishman whom likes food, who would have thunk... the length of the tour was perfect, every day filled, but not overloaded, Jamie sense of timing, and his encouragement to discover were perfect. Graeme was a very nice addition, and someone whom would also lead a good tour. Congratulations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was structured to make a huge impact on a first time Italy traveler. And it did. It gave me a good cross section look at different cultures and life styles. I was not prepared for the grandeur of St. Peters Basilica. Being a cradle Catholic, it was amazing to see."

Melissa

Mexico, NY

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Italy, it did not disappoint. Jamie and Graeme provided expertise, and the tour activities were fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"seeing Venice for the first time. I look at my photos and I can hardly believe they're mine."

Deborah

Centreville, VA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow, I have been dying to go to Italy for years and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. I can't wait for my next one. :). We saw so much and the tour completely lived up to my expectations. We arrived a day early, which I highly recommend. This is a tour for active people, our room at the Pensione Guerrato in Venice was on the fourth level. It was a hard walk up those stairs, but this is a lovely hotel and I would stay there again. The guides were all great. What a beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views in Venice from the tower across the lagoon, the Doges palace, the friendliness of the Italian people, Michelangelo's David, the views in Florence, beautiful churches, heaven on earth in Umbria, the Spanish Steps, understanding how much of Rome is still unearthed and of course, the wine."

Deatria

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience can be summed up in one word AWESOME! This was my first trip to Europe and wasn't sure what all to expect. Collecting our bags, trying to secure transportation to our hotel was a little scary. No one spoke English and it was a little unnerving to try to communicate our needs. But in the end we found our way to the hotel. The tour was great. It was really fascinating. There was so much to see and do. Can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had multiple WOW moments. The first one was in the beautiful city on Venice. The ride on the water taxi down the Grand Canal and seeing all those beautiful buildings seemed unreal. I started pinching myself to make sure I wasn't somehow dreaming! Another WOW moment was being in St Mark's Square and looking at such intricate architectural buildings. They were amazing. I can't begin to imagine what it must have taken to build such magnificent works of art. It was overwhelming."

Eleanor

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide, Jamie was very knowledgeable and made the trip fun and educational. I felt like I had always known him. His Apprentice Guide, Graeme was helpful and patient as we bombarded him with questions. The local guides were excellent and made me feel like I was back in time. When I review my pictures I remember some of the moving historical events the guides were explaining. I definitely want to return to all three cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two of my favorite "wow" moments were: (1) The cooking class and (2) The way Jamie had us enter Ancient Rome. Too see all of those huge historical buildings had me at a loss for words. I better add St. Peter's Basilica and the tour of San Clemente was also a "wow" moment."

Vance

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Venice, Florence and Rome in less than 10 days. It was a whirlwind hitting many sites of interest in each city - churches, villas, canals, bridges, and Roman artifacts, etc.. Excellent tour guides along the way, but Jamie was awesome keeping everything moving and fun. He is a knowledgeable bundle of energy and fun. He also gave excellent recommendations for meals and free time fun. One of the great parts was being able to have reservations for some of the more popular, crowded sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum. The young lady who presented that was excellent in putting the period in perspective. The view of these closely located sites was spectacular."

Phyllis

Rochester, NY

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went beyond my expectations. It was our first visit overseas and we were a bit anxious. The 10 day tour feels like a dream - everything was wonderful - the unique hotels, the walking tours, museums, history and art lessons, and of course, the food! Our group really gelled and Karin was a great guide. I really appreciated the advice we were given for what to do on our own time. It was just a super experience. My supervisor just signed up for a tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into St. Mark's square in Venice for the first time. Opening the shutters in our hotel in Florence to hear the opera student practicing next door, his voice filling the courtyard. Seeing the expression on the face of the statue of David. I can't pick just one moment, there are too many."

Gary

Rochester, NY

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to say I now believe in magic, our tour was all that. Very well organized just the right amount of group activity. I thought Karin was wonderful and I fell in love with our group. Mr. Steves you have truly created something that is wonderful. In a world that sells us so much BS and nonsense you really deliver and I do believe that you love doing what you do. It's evident in your product.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While in Florence I opened my Hotel window only to hear a piano and an male opera singer rehearsing this went on for quite a while, It was like being in a movie. It's really hard to pick just that one with so many wonderful moments."

Mary

Arvada, CO

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I had a great time, learned a lot from the tour guides and really saw a great deal of things from grand to subtle in the places we went. We had a busy schedule with the tour but still had time on our own which we sometimes used just to relax. It was great not to have to wait in long lines to attend famous places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really was "wowed" by the high cliff in Orvieto with the buildings atop and the sun hitting it on our way to our wine tasting lunch at the winery. It was nice to get away from the cities for a while. Other wow moments were a gondola ride in Venice, which last time visiting there did not do, and a lift ride to the top of Anacapri on the island of Capri. I was a bit frightened at first, but did fine & saw 360 views! (Our Capri visit was on one of the days after the tour was over on our own.)"

Max

Kirkwood, MO

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overall trip. Our tour guide, karin, really made the trip that much better. Nice balance of seeing the culture, the sights, the history and still allowing relax time The hotels were great, and even better where their locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing to the top of the dome of the duomo in florence. It wasnt being at the top, it was the actual climb, seeing the interior structure of how it was made, the smell of the inside of the dome as you embrace the wall walking around the circle of the dome, seeing the cracks on the underside of the dome, and first hand seeing the matierals change as you reach higher and higher."

Felton

Brookhaven, GA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The mix of scheduled events and free time was perfect for us. We opted to rest some of the time and explore on our own most of the time. Really enjoyed the fact that each hotel was IN TOWN making all the sites easily accessible. Very happy we let your team secure museum passes and reservations. Our guide (Karin) shared her time with each tour guest and was full of information and FUN to be around. We were impressed by the local guides. Loved not moving every day. Wish you did Holy Land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Uffizi Gallery Seeing the Sistine Chapel POST restoration St. John Latern's and St Peter's The real DAVID The PIETA the wine tasting in Umbria The cooking class and all the great food and drink (wine and limoncello!)"

Linda

Freeland, WA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent! Karin was a wonderful guide and worked overtime to provide each of us with information about extra excursions or sights beyond what was covered by the tour. She arranged a group gondola ride at night in Venice which was wonderful! I would suggest, however, that a few more places of general interest such as public market areas, or public parks with museums (something which reflects neighborhoods, not churches and museums - although I know that is where the art is found).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first evening, when we were in San Marco Plaza, enjoying a Spritz, and cooler air, while the coming sunset in Venice displayed a wonderful pastel light across the face of the Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Not even my camera was able to fully capture the quality of that light!"

Steve

Kannapolis, NC

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being my first tour, the trip was a new experience for me. We had a great group of tour members and it was a pleasure for me to travel with them. I learned(or heard) more about art history that I could ever hope to know. Lucky for us, we had great weather. Having appointments for entry into the popular attractions was a bonus. The food was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say seeing Michelangelo's David. That probably sounds like a routine answer, but even after hearing of for many years, to be seeing it in person was more impressive that I could have imagined. San Marco Square. The Forum."

Lucy

Kirkwood, MO

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceded my expectations. It was so interesting and gorgeous that I didn't feel the heat and exhaustion that I would have if it was less entertaing. It was a much richer experience being part of a group. Our guide Karin and co-travelers were delightful. I wouldn't change a thing--really. I could take the same trip over again! Italy has history and art I could see over and over again and see something I missed the last time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think one of the great many "wows" was the experience of walking around in a new exciting location without a guide. I like how Karin "forced us" to learn to use local transportation-within safe limits-she was always available if we needed help. I also love being in these new amazing settings and seeing darling people I knew from our tour group."

Ron

Kirkwood, MO

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steve's tour company experience was stellar... from planning through end. Several pre-planning messages with your office were warmly received and promptly returned. Our tour guide (Karin) was excellent. She went out of her way to help accommidate our needs, and politely reprimanding those who were late without notifying her in advance. Every hotel was nice, locally owned, and centrally located. We definitely saw Italy "through the back door," and will be doing a RS tour again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "gonzo" moment in Italy was walking back from our group dinner in Rome with some of the tour group, and seeing the Victor Emmanuel monument at night. Seeing this magnificent building at night, in bright lights, was stunning. I followed Rick's advice and took many early morning (especially in Venice) and late evening (especially in Rome) walks, which provided a very intimate experience that was not possible during the day."

Dawn

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Phenomenal! This was my second Rick Steves tour and once again my expectations were exceeded! Great group of people on the tour. We formed a Facebook group to stay in touch. This was a fast paced, active, walking tour. (Glad I kept my gym membership.) I love Italian art,history,and culture. Italian architecture and food to die for. The Venice, Florence, and Rome in 10 Days Tour covers it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice: 1.Cruising the Grand Canal is indescribable! You have to experience it for yourself. 2.Teatro La Fenice to see and hear La Travata with two members of the tour. 3.Piazza San Marco - Venice's huge living room. 4.Colorful Burano and its slower pace. Florence: 1.Accademia - David. 2.Piazzale Michelangelo - For breath taking views of Florence, Foliage, and Mountains. 3.Uffizi Gallery. Rome: 1.Wine Experience on the way to Rome. 2.Ancient Rome - The Forum and Paletine Hill."

Elaine

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour included a great group of people and fabulous tour guides. The best part was that we did not have to wait in any long lines. It was such a time saver. The Rick Steve's Tour Book along with our guide made finding things so easy when we were on our own. We were really happy that we booked the guided tour because we got such great information and insight that it just made the art and history come alive. We especially enjoyed fun cooking class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking out the exit from the train station in Venice and realizing that the grand canal was right there! There isn't a book or television program that can compare to actually being there."

Adam

Marlborough, MA

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was the experience of a lifetime! The itinerary was carefully planned and flawlessly executed by our Rick Steves guides. The "Europe through the back door" philosophy of strenuous exercise and taking public transportation actually added to the value of our experience. The agreement you sign when you book the tour actually filters the people you are traveling with so that your tour is shared with fun, enthusiastic, and active peers that quickly become friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a few: 1. Admiring the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel 2. When I first stepped foot in the Coliseum 3. Michaelangelo's David"

Kathleen

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides Virginia and Anja were wonderful. All of our guides in each city were great. We really enjoyed Francesca in Rome. Can't believe how much we learned about art history. We really liked absorbing the Italian culture as well as speaking a little bit of Italian along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was a wow moment. We loved all of the palaces, museums and churches."

Mary

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taking a Rick Steve's Tour was the best decision we made for our first trip to Italy. We had peace of mind knowing that our accommodations, transportation between cities, entry tickets to prime sights, and several lunches and dinners were planned/booked by the Tour. We could then spend our pre-tour time delving in to the Guidebook and planning what to do with our free time. The Tour was a perfect balance of time with the group touring or having a meal, and free time for ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are no words to describe the wonder that is the statue of David! To listen to the colorful preparation given by our Tour Guide, then to walk down the corridor, turn the corner and be "wowed" by the enormity and how strikingly beautiful a marble statue there was dominating the room, perfectly lit by the overhead glass dome...spectacular!"

Eric

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Virginia, was outstanding, along with the second in command, Anja. They were extremely knowledgeable and spoke clear English. They cheerfully answered our questions. Virginia identified the gelato place in Florence that Rick Steves liked. The gelato was excellent (I preferred the banana split gelato). Virginia also recommended a little shop in Venice where we purchased some authentic Murano glass jewelry at a great price. In Rome, we had an outstanding group dinner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca's tour of the Coliseum was way beyond outstanding."

Kathleen

Hightstown, NJ

Tour: 08/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing experience. More than I could have anticipated. Our guide and assistant were excellent and all was very well organized. Trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Local tour guide in Rome at Forum almost brought me to tears with passionate explanation about history and our place. Churches and museums with religious art brought me closer to my faith. Connecting with a new group that seemed to get along beautifully was the icing on the cake. Perfectly planned activity time and then time on our own."

Robert

Maitland, FL

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best thing I can say is that I still am affected by the tour, and not just the jet lag. I have been watching Roman history videos, practicing Italian on the way to work, reading books on Roman history, finally getting down to reading the "classics" as I had promised myself time after time. The tour gave me access, direction, and traction to studies that had been randomly rattling around in my life for some time. I owe you, and especially our guides a great deal for this. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The winery outside Orvieto. The air was fragrant and cool. The view of the grape arbors and the city were a fantasy come true. The host and his presentation of wines, cheeses, and cured meats and how they come together were eye-opening. The small chapel was enticing to prayer, unlike the huge cathedrals we had seen. I could have stayed there for days and cried when I left."

Patsy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredibly well organized in large part, I'm certain, because of Nina's experience. There was a good balance between free time and organized events. In addition to the group parts of the tour, both Nina and Anna were happy to provide us with information and assistance on things to see and do outside of the tour itself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking inside the Pantheon took my breath away."

Alice

Flemington, NJ

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply put: I would plan another trip to Europe or any country just to do another Rick Steves tour!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a very difficult question!The whole tour was a "WOW". Forced to pick one, I would have to say my first sight of Venice!!!!"

Harold

Flemington, NJ

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything that I had hoped for and more. I wouldn't change a thing. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the history, art, architecture, food, scenery, and people of Italy. I loved the choice of hotels in each city. The structures and location were wonderful. I loved staying in a hotel originally built in 1288! Most of all, our guides Nina, Anna and the local guides were outstanding. Nina was especially outstanding and anticipated all needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments ranging from first seeing Venice's Grand Canal and wonderful maze of streets, to unbelievable sculptures and vistas in Florence, to that wonderful winery experience near Orvieto, to the much anticipated visits to the Pantheon and Roman Forum. If I had to pick one it might be finding extraordinary food and drink along with interesting people in small, quaint places in each city that I will never forget."

Shashi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am zealous convert to the Rick Steves way. The tour was a homage to efficiency, organization and staffing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many I cannot pick one. When asked to do this at our last dinner I said it was the knowledge and passion of our guides."

Reba

Bristol, VA

Tour: 08/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip all around! Nina and Anna were outstanding. They were very knowledgeable about everything. Great personalities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Parthenon! It was beyond belief in person. I took Latin in high school and we studied about all the wonderful architecture of Rome. It was wonderful to see it all in person."

Jerry

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved all that we were able to see and experience in Italy. Great itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Ancient Rome with local Tour Guide, Francesca!! Also Piazza Michelangelo in Florence at night and Gondola ride at night."

Heather

Bala Cynwyd, PA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed our tour guides tremendously. Very organized and stayed on top of the group in a good way as they were cognizant of everyone's valuable and limited time. This was my first tour in Europe and I felt safe in that I was in good hands. I did not have to worry about arrangements. Everything was taken care of..especially the hectic touristy spots like collieseum and Vatican. Great balance of free time and tours, although would have loved to better planned out my free time if I knew in advanc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all of the local tour guides and the history and little facts that they provided to us that I would not have picked up elsewhere or through a book. For me, the Vatican was my wow moment, my favorite city however was Venice...just was truly fascinating to me. I also loved the islands of burano and murano for Venice. What a great idea."

Chante

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the tour was well balanced with free time and planned activities. I'm someone that does not like to plan things, so I would have appreciated more guidance with free time or possible "extra" or optional tours or events. I found out that some people (found out from hotel staff) randomly went on a wine tasting tour and wish our tour guide would have informed us that it was an option. I enjoyed all the local tour guides and their vast knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the visiting the winery and spending the day there. It was educational, fun and simply breath taking."

Carmen

Carmel, IN

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a great experience. We took two tours back to back, exhausting but we truly enjoyed both of them. As promised this is not just a tour but is planned as a cultural experience. The tour guides were fantastic, our sojourners were fun and in both groups we felt welcomed and appreciated. As promised the tours have great balanced of planned and free for other activities. The information provided by the books is fantastic as well as the audio tours are great complement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, it is very hard to choose, Rome the eternal city was fantastic and the guide for this particular day had the ability to present the experience with passion and a love for the city and it's history that made it very enjoyable. I also loved the fact that the hotel in Paris was within a walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and we could walk there any time which allowed us to be there to celebrate Bastille Day with half a millions Parisian, unexpected but a bonus to this great experience."

Theresa

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would do another Rick Steves tour. Everything was organized and all the people and hotels involved were very helpful and friendly. I wanted a tour that wasn't just sit on a bus and be driven around. I liked the walking tours and the free time to explore on my own. I have planned tours for myself in the past and have found it to be quite challenging sometimes to make sure that everything is scheduled properly or that the hotel is in a good part of town. There were no worries on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "scale" of everything in Rome was more than I could have ever imagined. And "discovering" all the magnificent buildings and artwork all throughout Rome that just are part of the city was fun."

Julie

Johns Creek, GA

Tour: 07/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been searching for a blend of a 'planned' and 'open' way to tour Italy, and this was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting experience was fantastic. The winery and surrounding area looked like something from a movie set. It was a fun, informative couple of hours in an idyllic setting. Our hostess was friendly, personable, and taught us a bit about how to be unintimidated by new wines, and how they enhance -- and are enhanced by -- different food flavors. A beautiful break in a great itinerary."

Sarah

Draper, UT

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved our guide.His attention to detail and consideration of each of the tour members was excellent.As a simple suggestion on the 10 day Venice, Florence, Rome tour, a possible alternative to the wine tasting in Umbria for those tour members of the LDS faith (therefore non- alcohol drinkers)would be to taxi ahead to the Via do Settebagni exit which is on route with the tour bus to see/ attend the LDS rome temple.Then coordinate to be back to the exit for the tour bus to pick you up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the last Bernini statue he made in his 80s. It's located at the San Sebastián Catacombs inside the basilica. It was just exquisite and such a treasure to find as it was only discovered in 2006."

Raymond

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a well organized and fun tour. Every aspect of the schedule was carefully thought out. For example, the first day in each city was an overall orientation of both the physical layout and tour agenda. In Rome, we went first to the top of the Vittorio Emmanuele II Memorial. Great way to see from high-up the layout of Rome. There was a good combination of organized sightseeing and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments it is difficult to identify just one. There were more than one in each city."

Monica

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour from beginning to end. My husband and I have never gone on a tour because we've heard about the break-neck pace that they usually run at. But after researching the Rick Steve's tours, it sounded like a great balance of sightseeing and free time to explore. It was a fantastic experience, from our great tour guide, Alfio, to the quality of the hotels, to the unique outings like the cooking class in Florence. And with only 26 people in our group, we all became family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in St. Peter's Basilica was awe-inspiring."

Lois

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a FANTASTIC time on Rick Steves' 10 Day Tour in Italy. The overall experience exceeded our expecations. We not only saw the sites, but were ushered into each place with ease. Our experience was varied with the visit to the oldest family-run wine maker on 600 acres, we made our own delicious Italian lunch at a cooking school, etc. Our group dinner meals were amazingly yummy. Our main guide and local guides were excellent, informative and invaluable. Wow! Wow! Loved the Rick Steves' Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was in Venice - walking into the St. Mark's Square & seeing the enormity of the place, with St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Correr Museum book-ending the area filled with shops, restaurants and hundreds of people. Going into gorgeous St. Mark's Basilica was amazing and seeing the beautifully made altar piece was a very special way to start the tour off. (A must see during free time is the Doge's Palace, which was not on the tour.) Love Venice!"

Laura

Webster, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved traveling through Venice, Florence, and Rome while making new friends with other people on the tour. I enjoyed getting to know everyone and it made the whole trip even more fun than it already was. I also find it helps to have some free time while traveling so when the guide is talking you can connect what she is saying to the experience you might of had earlier that day. Overall, the trip was wonderful and I know I will remember it for life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I personally was amazed that there was public water fountains all over Italy with safe drinking water and still is use since a hundreds of years ago. It was also overwhelming imagining the Colosseum any more humongous than it already is!"

Sarah

Webster, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music room with the first piano."

Thomas

Coram, NY

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was terrific from beginning to end. Our guide, Nina, was very informative and worked consistently to ensure all went well. Each hotel was enjoyable and comfortable, and added to the Italian experience. The local guides were extremely informative and professional. It seemed to have the right balance of tours and free time. The major group meals were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is almost a trick question, in that, how can one distinguish among many outstanding trips and excursions. I cannot really answer this question, as each day seemed to get incrementally better. On the final day, I had to wonder - how did ten days pass so quickly?"

Carmen

Erial, NJ

Tour: 07/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized tour. Activities were scheduled so that there was sufficient down time, even for my 10 year old son.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Basilica San Clemente and the Sistine Chapel"

Marshall

Piedmont, CA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well thought out and we generally had a good experience. But I really did not like the last night's dinner in Rome. Through most of the dinner there was this very very loud guitar with singer with amplifier's speakers blaring in this small dinning room. I almost walked out in the middle of dinner.

Sarah

Piedmont, CA

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hot and exhausting, but a lot of fun. Would not travel to Italy again during the summer, but did it this summer because many of our group are on school year schedules.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the church near the museum with its three layers of civilization and the guide's excellent explanation."

Tristan

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"bolzono near venice"

Todd

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Well organized and efficient. Great guudes and loved skipping the lines. Hotels were wonderful and good transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Coleusseum in Rome. Or Michelangelos David. Sistine Chapel was pretty awesome as well"

Rosalie

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS EVALUATION IS A JOINT EVAL SUBMITTED BY BOTH JIM BOLDIN AND ROSALIE BOLDIN. We are your best sales representatives among our family and friends. We are so pleased with our tour from the initial exploration of your website to our return home that we are compelled to talk about how you structured and accomplished our tour with everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single place or time. Both scheduled and "on our own" delighted us."

Tori

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great except for the unusually hot temps which your organization is not responsible for at all! We knew it would be hot since it is mid-summer, but 105F was uncomfortable to say the least. 2-3 showers a day helped a lot and we all did fine as a group. Ann, our guide, was great and prepared us for our daily schedules. She took excellent and extra care by scheduling as much as possible in the mornings, and also extra help with transportation to hotels after some evening meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After visiting the Pantheon, we were mingling outside in the square and a live band started playing and singing Pink Floyd music. That's when I knew I was on vacation! Perfect!"

Lara

New Holland, IL

Tour: 07/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great, informative and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot narrow it down to one, but maybe one from each city: Venice: Nighttime Gondola ride with beautiful music that Ann arranged. Florence: Cooking class and eating together our work! I also really loved Antonia and the Palazzo Davanzati--please continue to visit and support the understated elegance of this museum! Rome: Sistene Chapel ceiling and the Judgement Day."

Carma

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! Our tour was the perfect combination of guided together time and free alone time. Our tour guide Lisa was so helpful and knowledgeable. We loved her! Each of our local guides was well-prepared, informative, and intelligent. Staying in comfortable hotels right in the downtown historic areas of Venice, Florence and Rome, was the best feature of this tour. We walked or took the metro (in Rome) to everywhere we wanted to go! I've never been able to do that before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was discovering how much I love Michelangelo. I've learned about him all my life, but to see so many of his greatest works over the course of a few days was deeply moving. I came to wonder at his genius. His David and his Pieta gave me chills and made me want to cry. How could anyone create something so beautiful, from stone? And the Sistine Chapel -- truly WOW! That was moving! I could feel the dedication and masterful hard work of his entire heart and soul."

Steven

Plymouth Meeting, PA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great experience. I think the highlight was the quality of the guides everywhere, including our everyday guide Lisa. I also enjoyed the efficiency of the smaller group and having all of the tickets ahead of time. I was a bit disappointed in the hotels. They were clean and friendly generally but I think I am used to and enjoy American style hotels and their amenities. For example, If I'm traveling light I appreciate a complimentary bar of soap larger than a poker chip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many but favorite was Venice and seeing grand canal and the gondola rides our tour guide organized for us."

Christine

North Bellmore, NY

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. It superseded all expectations. The hotels were lovely and had plenty of air conditioning. It was extremely hot but the hotels were more than accommodating. I highly recommend this tour. On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 20! The people on the tour were a lovely, diverse bunch. We became fast friends and supporters. Our tour guide became part of us as she was a gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the back streets of Venice, the vineyard, the cooking class and ALL the museums."

Leslie

Andover, MA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. As first time tour goers, we were not entirely sure how we would react to the group travel, but we ended up loving it. Everything about the tour was well planned and executed, with knowledgeable, patient guides and fun activities. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We found Venice to be magical. After seeing pictures for my whole life, I couldn't believe I was there, and we found wandering the streets to be interesting and relaxing."

Robyn

Montville, NJ

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first experience with being on a tour for vacation. It was the best decision I made. The tour took care of everything. I had the opportunity to enjoy Italy from so many different perspectives. I learned about the history and culture, enjoyed the cuisine, and got to see so many famous sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow' moments. My favorite was when we visited the Church of San Clemente. I walked in thinking it was just another old church. The local guide did a great job of explaining the history and taking us on a tour underground. If I would have walked in to that church on my own I would never have known that the whole underground even existed. I got to experience it and understand it."

Caroline

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything we did was really fun, and I'm glad we went and saw everything we saw. All the restaurants were really good. All the tour guides were really good. And I liked how all the hotels were located right in the center of town. It was the perfect amount of time with the tour group and time alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the cooking lesson. Alessandro was very funny and fun to work with. Our end product was one of the best things I ate on the tour."

Kateryna

Williamstown, MA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best trip for me- best organized and the program covered most of what I would be able to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David, visit to Cecilia's estate/vineyard"

Eva

Brunswick, GA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely the only way to see Venice, Florence, Rome and efficiently/wisely use the time you have in just ten days!Every single one of the tour guides were personable and knowledgeable. They neither talked down to us nor over our heads. I now feel like Lisa is my younger sister, she was so open about her own life. Right down to taking one of our tour members to the hair salon with her and giving me directions to the clothes store in Florence where she shopped!Do it again, YES!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not just one! No cars in Venice to mar the beauty of the water ways.The sunset from Michelangelo's park overlooking Florence.Walking out of our Florence hotel to turn the corner and see the Duomo.By far the most exquisite painting of the baby Jesus seen at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.Sitting in a 2,000 year old home in Rome under San Clemente Church.The Roman cat sanctuary among the ruins in Rome.And more...."

Kristina

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband was awarded a grant to take a 3-month Sabbatical in Europe with the family (myself and our two teenage children). Never having travelled abroad before as a family we booked a Rick Steves tour of Venice, Florence and Rome to start our adventure. My thinking was that Rick Steves Tour would not only give us a great experience, but more importantly, that we would be taught how to travel well (and not be garden-variety tourists) for the duration of our journey. Expectation exceeded!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to pick? We are now home and we repeatedly talk about our Roman Ancient City experience with Francesca. She was incredible and we learned so much about not only what we were seeing, but how to make sense of it in an intelligent, global way. But there were so many other special moments - the winery in Orvieto & pairing class, the cooking class & meal in Florence, being almost alone with Michelangelo's David at the end of the day . . . even the time on the bus with Rainer learning!"

Peggy

Dublin, OH

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first, but not last, tour experience with Rick Steves. I can't say enough about how wonderful it was, from so many perspectives[INVALID]experienced and knowledgeable guides, great balance between group and free time activities, fabulous recommendations on restaurants and free time activities, money saving tips, a great blend of fellow travelers, wonderful accommodations, and helpful advice on how to really get into the local culture. We are already planning our next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. There were so many. Venice was one wow after another (we arrived a couple of days early to get over jet lag, so got to do some extras)--the mix of art, architecture, music, the experience of making our way entirely by boat or foot and feeling surrounded by ancient cultures was just amazing. I would also say our "special" activities were highlights--the winery tour and lunch outside Orvieto, our cooking class in Florence, our gondola ride in Venice, with singer!"

Steve

Dublin, OH

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I were absolutely thrilled with the tour of Italy in 10 days. We would do a Rick Steves' tour again - especially to Italy, which we loved - and highly recommend them. The food was fabulous; the art and architecture amazing; the tour guide and local guides terrific; and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our tour group. Our dream vacation turned out far, far better than we imagined!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to [INVALID] a single "wow" moment. We loved Venice more than any other city we visited. And when we saw Renaissance art in places like Scuolo San Rocco (aka Tintoretto's Sistine Chapel) and the Frari Church; when we ate the most wonderful lasagna in a restaurant on Campo San Polo and watched an Italian grandfather pour olive oil on his pizza - and pour, and pour and pour... Do you see the difficulty separating a favorite moment from the totality of the experience?"

Christina

Bridgewater, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! It was exactly what we were looking for - the right mix of guided tours, fun activities, and free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was amazing when we were in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice listening to our guide's whispered info about the art in the church and the choir started singing from somewhere in the church. It was beautiful! We were all quiet for a moment and just listened to the beautiful music that seemed to put a special exclamation point onto our experience in Venice."

Arlene

Flemington, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was very positive. Guides were great; local guides were fantastic, knowledgeable, colorful. The prep for the cities was excellent. Hotels were well located. Breakfasts great although I wish they would open earlier, so that you could go back to the room before you headed out for the day. But now that I see the rooms/ I will be more adaptable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Landing into Venice and the grand canal. Winding our way through the Venice "streets and alley""

Stephanie

Medford, NJ

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderfully, absolutely brilliant, as we Brits say! From the beginning with the directions from the airport to the Vesparo to the stop where we would alight, to the directions to walk to the hotel, all very clear and concise. Then to the meeting of the group every morning, after wonderful breakfasts, in the courtyard of each hotel to set off on a tour or an activity. To the advise on what do and where to go with free time. It was all so well organized and seemlessly executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Just being in Venice then Florence and then Rome were all "wow" moments. Seeing Michelangelo's David just before the museum closed with only a handful of people there, the Vavaldi concert in Venice both "wow" moments. Standing on the terrace at the winery overlooking the valley and town of Orvieto, so quiet and beautiful. Wow!"

Peter

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went exactly as described in the itinerary even when it didn't. There were labor troubles in Florence and a Monday holiday in Rome which required some changes in plans and our guide rearranged events and transportation flawlessly. We visited everything on the itinerary and if Donald hadn't told us about changes in plans, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Vatican, St. Peter's, and the Sistine Chapel. Navigating the immense crowds and different lines would have been overwhelming without experienced guides."

Lauren

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was the perfect blend of guide expertise and encouragement to truly explore on your own. I was concerned that as a single parent traveling with a teenager, we would both be able to extract what we needed from this tour - and I can confidently say - with the combo punch of Rick Steves' international philosophy blended with the best guide of all time - Donald - we both had an exceptional experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - for different reasons - call outs include our fantastic guided tour of the ruins of Rome, from a guide (born in Rome) who brought me to tears with her insights, but I think a magic moment was our last group dinner, where we all enjoyed our experiences and new friends in a fantastic theater relic in Rome of times gone by."

Dan

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent and exceeded our expectations. We loved going into restaurants that were more "local" and not touristy. The guides were excellent and really helped us understand what we were seeing. The guided tours were sometimes a bit strenuous, especially in Rome, but having a lot of free time gave us the chance to explore on our own at a more leisurely pace. Overall, a great experience! We are already thinking about our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Our first Italian gelato. 2. Our lunch stop in Umbria. The day was sunny but not hot. The view over the Tiber valley was spectacular, and the food and wine were incredible. I imagine this could be what heaven is like. 3. The Roman Forum. At first glance the ruins don't seem like much, but our guide did a great job helping us to imagine it as it was in the past. We could see in our imagination how spectacular the Forum looked and how awed anyone visiting Rome must have been."

Michele

San Leandro, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful! OUr friends are alumnus and have been trying to get us to take a tour for a while now, and we realized we should have listened much sooner. Very well done. Every detail was just perfect. Thank you so much, we will be taking more tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably seeing Michelangelo's David. Also Francesca's tour of the Forum and Coliseum. I could really visualize lions in the Coliseum and Julius Cesar at the Forum. The cooking class in Florence was a lot of fun too."

Robert

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was a wonderful mix of exploration with expert guides, time on our own, and lots of helpful assistance. Itinerary was well thought out. Accommodations and tour meals were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lunch stop in Umbria became the nicest, most relaxing part of the tour."

Alexander

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and timeframe. Donald was a great tour guide 100% of the time and I would easily go on another tour with him! I wish I had chosen the 17 day tour because the 3 nights in each place was not enough. I would recommend a 4 night stay in each location - the travel days limit people to about 2 days per location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment must have been ancient Rome. Actually seeing the monuments was amazing after just seen images in books and online."

Susan

Elkins Park, PA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good. The group was okay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived at Poggia Della Volara. Dino opened the bus doors; two dogs ran in & up & down the aisle greeting us. Thus began a few idyllic hours of relaxation, delicious food and wine. The location was sublime,with vistas of Umbria,replete with olive trees,& grapevines. There were chairs in the shade, a swimming pool; time to walk around absorbing the beauty. Serving the wine as part of lunch did not make it feel like a pitch to taste and buy. Instead we were guests sharing a delicious lunch."

Anne

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was tiring but good! Lots of walking

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Coloseum"

John

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica, David with the prisoners, being in the Colosseum, touring the Forum with guide Francesca – hard to pick one."

Mike

Arlington, VA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour experience was just fine. We (Cathy and I) were accompanied by 3 grandchildren ages 14, 16, and 18, and it turned out as well as we'd hoped. The tour (and Don especially) provided the structure and discipline we needed to keep them busy and exposed to the cultural things we'd hope they'd see. We would suggest two major changes. 1. Begin in Rome and then go to Florence and Venice. 2. Skip the Vatican Museum during the summer. Go to the Vatican but avoid stress of the Museum crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many cultural "wow" moments for all but for grandparents with three active teens, the wow moments were: 1. The cooking class in Florence. No lectures...busy, busy, busy! 2. The agritourismo en route to Rome. Cathy and I had been to all three cities at least once in the past and the guides made the tour wonderful."

Arlene

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the group on our tour and RS tour guide was wonderful too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the cooking class in florence. Such a fun opportunity to cook with my husband in a fun environment. Also loved the trip to umbria. The wine tasting lunch was great. The landscape was breathtaking and they were so hospitable. Their olive oil was delicious too."

Evangeline

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Umbria, the few hours we spent there were wonderful, a nice respite from the hustle and bustle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Burano and Murano, not having been there before."

Terri

Louisville, KY

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour and I was a little skeptical of whether we would like having a schedule to follow. Right away, we knew we had made a good decision to book this tour. It was 10 days of "wow" and zero "worry." We will definitely book another Rick Steves tour for our next trip to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but my first "wow" was when we entered St. Mark's Square in Venice. It was beautiful, massive and majestic. It was the first of many breath-taking sights we would see over the next few days."

Martin

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was excellent with special thanks to our guide, Virginia. We ate well and saw enough art and antiquities to fill us up. Mostly, the tour group participants made the tour great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the back streets of Venice."

Robert

El Segundo, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We toured Apulia on an AHI tour immediately before this Rick Steves tour. The biggest contrast was how much better Rick Steves local guides are than the ones provided by AHI. The next biggest contrast was how much more AHI must spend on food and wine than Rick Steves does. The last contrast was finding the Rick Steves tour members more simpatico in general than the AHI tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow (but not surprising) touring with my wife and one son is so much easier and than touring alone 35 years ago! Every place feels so different I can hardly believe I've been right here before. Joining a tour makes touring with my wife and son easier than touring with them on our own."

Cindy

Moss Point, MS

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime for me! I had never been to Italy or any European country. It was a graduation celebration for my daughter who finished college. When I attempted to plan the trip myself, it was so overwhelming. It was a relief to discover Rick Steves tours! The best things about the tour were the details were taken care of so the travelers can fully enjoy the trip, meeting awesome new friends who have a love for travel, seeing all the famous sights, and not waiting in line!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was actually a little wow. The drive to and the whole experience at the wine tasting lunch in Umbria was my favorite. We had already seen so many beautiful sights, places, museums, churches it was refreshing and so relaxing to have those few hours of peace, beauty & tranquility to rejuvenate us for Rome. Bravo for planning that at just the right time."

Joyce

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Virginia, our tour guide was top notch, the best ever! The City guides were also impressive and enhanced our ability to sense life centuries ago. Wish I read the recommended books before instead afte the tour. Would have enhanced appreciation of the artwork. Learned how to be a better traveler and be more respectful of other cultures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting off the bus at the winery. The tranquility was immediate and ntoxicating."

Wade

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled abroad in the past, but never before in a group, I was a little apprehensive about how it would all work out and my expectations were tempered. However, I could not be more pleased with the entire experience and am looking forward to our next Rick Steves' adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the entire tour was memorable, my "wow" moment came on our last full day when our Rome guide, Francesca, closed our time together standing in the Forum overlooking where Julius Caesar walked on his way to his execution, and the memorial where he was cremated, as she recounted the Ides of March tale. It brought the story we'd all heard so many times to life and was a perfect ending to our trip."

Bonnie

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. The group tour guide, the meals planned, the group members, the itinerary, all lived up to my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments: the gondola ride, sharing meals with group, visiting the vineyard."

Marc

Lafayette Hill, PA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My goals in making this trip had less to do with seeing the individual sites than in traveling in Europe for the first time in 42 years. My wife and I believed it important to try traveling abroad while still in good enough health to get around easily. So for me it was not the case that I had always longed to see the art and churches of Italy so much as to have the experience of being in a foreign land. I was very impressed with the tour in almost every way,especially our guide, Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know about "wow", but I most enjoyed our cooking class, both in working together to prepare the meal and then enjoying what was perhaps the best meal of the trip. I also loved the stop at Le Velette Vineyard, wonderful in both its setting and the "wine experience". And being part of a great group of people was a most memorable part of the trip as well."

Weining

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was great. The whole itinerary from Venice to Rome seemed getting better and better.I would highly recommend the tour to my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable moment would be the day when our Guide Virginia made us played the name game - that is everyone stated their own name and repeated all the names before them. Though everyone made mistakes and we all laughed, somehow, it did helped to bring the whole group together, more closer, like a big happy family."

Joyce

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was entirely wonderful. Our guide was friendly, professional and kind to everyone. Our accommodations were centrally centrally located and the hotel in Florence was beyond breathtaking. The guides at each destination were fluent English speakers, intelligent and knowledgeable, if not out and out poetic. I think the Rick Steves Tours must bring out the best people because everyone in our group was friendly and game for anything. What a fun bunch of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the favorite place was Venice, how beautiful and historic. The favorite while place to stay was our hotel in Florence. The favorite thing to see was the Sistine chapel. Actually I think the whole tour was a WOW."

Melissa

Herndon, VA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved it. Virginia was our guide and she was exceptional. Really the very best. She made it fun, easy, entertaining, and educational. I loved how we started in the morning with tours and left the afternoons for self exploration. Sometimes that meant taking a nap and then exploring. She gave us great tips on how to navigate around the city, what to be aware of (what pick pocketers look like), or what what special events were going on at the time that we might find interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was sharing a glass of fantastic Chianti (not the same in the states) on top of the tower at our hotel in Florence at sunset overlooking the Duomo with the Tuscan hillside in the background. My thoughts were "Is this a dream?""

Anne

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful, but tiring trip.The first night walk and dinner, at each city, was enjoyable, but made for an exhausting next day. Afternoon nap were taken vs seeing additional site or 2.I enjoyed the various local guides with their breadth of knowledge. Passionate about their city,however by the time we visited the Vatican Museum, I was over saturated with art history. Perhaps that's why the last guide was my least favorite. Sarah was a calm presence, determined to show us why Italy is her country

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lunch and wine tasting in Umbria. Marco and his wife were lovely and made us feel very special and the views were spectacular."

Lisa

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was VERY good! I would definitely take another Rick Steves Tour. We got so much more out of our trip with experts who could be sure we enjoyed everything Italy had to offer. We were afforded opportunities that would not be possible on our own. We were assisted in the intricasies of public transportation & helped with what to do & where to eat on our free time. We definitely hit all of the highlights in each city. We had a wonderful & memorable time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was SO much to love about our trip to Italy but the special moments were the cooking class we took & then enjoying the meal we prepared in their wine cellar. We also enjoyed the lovely lunch at a winery in Umbria on our way to Rome. Great way to break up the travel time & a beautiful, scenic property with wonderful hosts. Special experiences!"

Fred

Janesville, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour abroad. The experience was great. The hotels were all in great locations and met all expectations. Transportation from place to place was excellent and gave me a chance to see the country. The local guides were outstanding with wit and humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I ever go Italy again I would not want to miss the farm. This was my "wow" part of the trip. I felt it was a rich experience and far more interesting than I could have imagined."

Caroline

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed it. Learned so much about the history and art. The food was great. People were friendly. Enjoyed each of the different personalities of the city guides. Would not have learned as much or visited as many places had I not been a part of this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art on the ceiling in Doges Palace in Venice."

Peter

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed the tour. This was my first organized tour in Europe and all in all I believe my expectations were exceeded. The logistics were exceptional. Entry at busy museums and other sites happened without delay! The intercity buses were at the ready and very comfortable. The hotels were also comfortable, with friendly staff and nice breakfasts (Pensione Guerrero, Hotel Silla, Hotel Aberdeen). Having the 3-day Rome transport pass made getting around Rome easy and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments were the insights provided by each local guide. The passion each guide had for her city and her desire for us to learn more about the art and culture of the city taught me so much! Of course, one "wow" moment was the view from Piazza Michelangelo at sunset in Florence."

Joseph

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was conducted in a very professional manner and met virtually all of my expectations. The group we toured with was a very cohesive group that meshed well and quickly became friends. I think that factor certainly was a key factor to the success of the trip. I was also impressed by the tour guides employed in all 3 locations. They were extremely knowledgable and informative and made the visits to important sites much more enjoyable. The group dinners were quite enjoyable too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one. -The majesty of St. Mark's in Venice was special -The Venice Accademia -The added visit to Torcello was very nice and the mosaics in Santa Maria Assunta were magnificent -The Davanzati Palace in Florence was really interesting -Statue of David in the Accademia in Florence -The Uffizi Gallery -The winery visit on the way to Rome from Florence -The magnificence of Rome with its history and heritage -The Colliseum and Forum were unreal"

James

Livonia, MI

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized without any sense of pressure as it moved on. The choice of Venice as the first stop and then the move to Florence and finally to Rome provided a gradual readiness for greater urban complexity which felt good. The group proved to be an extraordinarily harmonious blend of people. We got along well but there was a respect for one another in the form of a readiness each day to meet the time scheduled to begin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the ancient Roman Forum. The guide was excellent but more important, she communicated her passionate love for the history of the eternal city. Her closing comments were very moving and brought tears to the eyes."

Kathleen

Janesville, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we signed up with your tour, we thought it would be the easiest way to maximize what we were able to see. I am so happy that we did, as we not only saw the highlights, but we learned the history and background of everything. It gave the trip much more meaning, and gave us an appreciation and an "eye" for the art and architecture that we saw. We also learned more about the culture, which enriched all of our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lunch and tasting wine at a farm while overlooking the Italian countryside has to be one of the best experiences of the trip! The farmer and his wife were warm and welcoming. The food was delicious, the wine was outstanding, and the view was amazing. He shared a wealth of knowledge about his farming operation. Very impressive!"

Barry

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Greatly exceeded expectations. The local guides were particularly good,and Sarah did a good job keeping everything organized and running smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excavations under San Clemente in Rome. Standing in a 100AD Roman house was pretty special."

Jacquie

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and had an excellent balance of group activity and free time. The transportation arrangements went very smoothly. The group meals were excellent and overall we felt we received an excellent value for our money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The church of St. Clemente in Rome was fantastic. To see the layers of civilization built on top of each other was astounding. Our local guide for the tour of the Colesium, Forum, and St. Clemente was exceptional. (As was Laura in Venice)."

Irene

Altamont, NY

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing trip! I've travelled (abroad and at home) quite a bit but was never part of a "tour" group before and I was a bit apprehensive when I booked the trip. My concerns were unwarranted, the experience was delightful. Cecilia was fabulous, the local guides exceptional, the accommodations exactly as you described them in your materials and the location of the hotels...perfection. An absolute delight and I would recommend this tour to anyone as long as they could request Cecilia:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOW moments to mention but for me personally it happened at dinner on our last night together as a group in Rome. Cecilia had arranged for a musician at the restaurant and he encouraged my daughter sing Shubert's Ave Maria for the group...she did and it was my special Rome WOW moment."

Ashley

Wichita, KS

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent group of people and our guide was outstanding. She was personable and informative.

Donald

Tavares, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 10 Day Tour was better than imagined. Cecilia was our guide; she was amazing! We can't wait to do our next Rick Steve's Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was having the surreal realization that we were in St. Marks Square, looking at the beautiful backdrop of Venice, the Basilica, and Dodge's Palace."

Anne

Holbrook, MA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, I really enjoyed this tour. The booking process was simple and straightforward. The hotels were comfortable and clean, in great locations. I saw and enjoyed people, places, and things in ways I never imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My very favorite was sitting down after cooking class to eat a meal we had prepared with new friends, in a cellar dating to the 1st century. It really brought home all of the layers of history we had seen and experienced."

Carl

Mount Dora, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was wonderful! Cecilia made sure every detail was addressed and made us move to the schedule. This is very important as she schedules meal locations to house large groups and gets us to the front of the lines to visit all the planned activities for the day. If you want more ideas and things to see Cecilia had 3 or 4 things to do on your free time. She has an answer for your questions and is well prepared. We were very lucky to have her as our guide. A FRIEND FOR LIFE

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sooooo much history - The visit to the Coliseum and seeing the Statue of David. In the U.S. television has glamorized being a GLADIATOR however after seeing the sleeping area and what really happened in the 6 weeks of the games it was a death sentence no matter how you looked at it. David's statue is just amazing and breathtaking when you are close up to the base he stands on. The detail is too much to understand how this was able to be done back then."

Sharon

Mount Dora, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized to see the most,in the amount of time we were in Italy.We wasted very little time waiting in lines to tour events.We also had plenty of free time to add to our experience. The hotels we stayed in were very nice, and kept us in the heart of the area we were visiting. The guidebook was also very helpful, but the actual guide, Cecilia was excellent. She was full of information, while keeping the tour fascinating. I feel I walked through a history lesson everyday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments, but the winery was probably the top of the list. It was a beautiful area, and having the guide whose family owned it, made it more special and personal. I don't think I would have known to tour this area had I not been on this tour."

David

Wichita, KS

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was fun and informative. The guides were all knowledgeable and easy to be around. The tour members all got along well. Our guide had little "surprises" during the tour which made it even more fun. We never had any major problems during the tour and we saw all of the sights that were promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David. I was expecting it to just be another statue but it really was magnificent and deserving of its fame. It was much bigger than I expected and the detail in the statue was amazing. It was in amazing shape for being 500 years old."

Mark

Eustis, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would absolutely book with Rick Steves tours again. We had a great time and loved every minute of it. One of the biggest highlights was our tour guide, Cecilia. She was knowledgeable and fun and we loved having her with us. She clearly knew all of the cities and was joined by local guides occasionally. The most difficult part was getting to our hotel in Venice, but once we did that, everything else took care of itself. We checked in a day early and had no problems.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most unexpected "wow" moment was the winery that Cecilia's family owned. The view was spectacular and the wine was delicious. I would love to go back. Other unexpected moments included San Clemente church. But the best "wow" moment was when Cecilia went the extra mile and presented a couple who was celebrating their 10th anniversary with a gift and a story behind the gift. It was a personal touch that went above and beyond."

Denise

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an wonderful time and I would highly recommend the Rick Steves tours to my friends and family. Our tour guide Cecilia was a gem. Cecilia went out of her way to make sure we were well cared for and felt at home in all our cities. Cecilia was always at the ready to make recommendations for additional sites, restaurants and excursions. It was a wonderful mix of activity, education and fun. The local guides were absolutely fabulous and added immensely to the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments. In Venice, Cecilia organized for tickets for a Vivaldi concert that was absolutely the perfect starting note for our tour. The trip to the winery and wine tasting was wonderful and the beautiful surroundings the most memorable. I teased Cecilia that my best souvenir was a pinecone I took from the winery. A simple item to remember a magnificent day. The planned last evening at the restaurant was so fun and an absolute delight Thank you!"

Susan

Acworth, GA

Tour: 06/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience combining group activities with time to explore on your own. There were optional activities and our guide was very helpful if we had questions. She also posted lists of sites to see if we needed suggestions on what to do. Cecilia and the local guides were excellent in providing information that really enriched what we saw. I loved the cooking and wine tasting experience. A great way to be apart of the local culture and a nice break from the pace of site seeing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but the one that sticks out the most is the gondola ride that Cecilia arranged for the group - that moment where our gondolas went out into the grand canal."

Teresa

Grand Forks, ND

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of our tour was wonderful! Every detail was taken care of so we could enjoy our vacation without having to spend time taking care of the the day to day events,etc. Our tour guide was fabulous! Virginia went out of her way to make every minute meaningful and worthwhile. I can't say enough good things about the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Italy totally- the sights, sounds, food, culture and language every day! The time spent at the family owned vineyard and the cooking class were definite highlights!"

Ara

Solon, OH

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was excellent! The information you provided in advance was helpful in preparing for the trip. We loved the tours that were planned for us and the free time you alotted each day. We got a lot out of each of the cities due to our Tour Guide Virginia (native Italian who understood the culture but also could relate and contrast to US). Combining Virginia with seasoned local guides made it special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had some WOW moments from each segment: Venice: the whole experience including the architecture, unique (no motor vehicle) Historic atmosphere, the gold mosaic of St. Mark Florence: The view of the city from the Fort across the river and of course the "David"sculpture One of my absolute favorite was seeing Country side between Florence and Rome and the visit to the Farm/Home/Winery of "Marco" in Umbria Rome: The "underground" story of Rome with many layers"

Caroline Primm

Louisville, CO

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Italy and had a wonderful experience there on my RS tour. Because I was with a guided tour I was able to see and do things that I wouldn't have thought to do otherwise. The tour provided a nice mix of activities with museums, meals, a cooking class, and interesting stops along the drive from place to place. Since this was my first real international trip I thought that my experience with this tour was a nice introduction to Europe and travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were visiting Burano island and the the agritourismo in Umbria. I especially loved Venice on our tour and I thought that Burano island exemplified the things I loved about Venice such as the culture, food, scenery, and craft (glass and lace) but it was quieter. My other wow moment was the agritourismo in Umbria. It was a great experience especially because of how authentic it was. We got to spend time with an Italian family and eat food that they had prepared themselves."

Gretchen

Pella, IA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Travel with a group of 28 ranging in age from 15 to 80 made seeing Italy through new eyes a pleasure. Our guide, Virginia, kept us happy learning pertinent Italian words and phrases as well as each other's names. The local guides were all good, but Francesca in Rome deserves a special shout out as her passion for her subjects - St. Clemente and the Colosseum - made life in early Rome come alive. All of the hotels had air conditioning which was a real blessing in the high heat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a relief from the heat and bustle of the cities to stop at Poggia Della Volera for a relaxed couple of hours in the Umbrian countryside and enjoy the products of their vineyards and olive trees over lunch. What a delightful place operated by a delightful couple. Is it because I enjoy Italian food or did making it with 26 of my new best friends enhance the flavors? The cooking class at In Tavola was a highlight and my granddaughter and I enjoyed recreating the menu for the family."

Steven

Yorktown, VA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and my wife's first time overseas. We planned to be in Rome on our 30th anniversary, which we were. We hit all of our desired high points as a group, but still had plenty of time each day for just us. The tour was exceptional, including our travel mates and our tour guide. Everyone meshed well, from 16-yr-olds to grandparents. We became friends with them and spent some of our own time with many of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our flotilla of gondolas traveling through the canals of Venice. Our wonderful tour guide, Virginia, arranged for an accordion player and a singer to accompany the group and sing some of the classic Italian love songs. I felt many glances of envy during our evening cruise into the Grand Canal."

Nicholas

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all my expectations. It had the perfect blend of planned and free time. All of the tour/museum guides were enthusiastic and well-informed. The cooking class and the wine tasting/lunch added to the enjoyment as well as a nice size group of 28 fellow travelers. My wife and I will definitely consider Rick Steve tours in the future. I would like to make some recommendation to improve the overall trip but I can't think of a single thing I would change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, and all of its ancient magnificence, just blew me away. But, it was the Italian people, and their love of life, that surprised me the most."

Kathleen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well planned with a good balance between guided time and time on our own. This was our first trip to Italy, and we chose the tour because we wanted to avoid wasting a lot of time trying to find our way around. Certainly that paid off in venues such as the Vatican which would probably have been overwhelming to negotiate on our own. We appreciated the restaurant recommendations from the Rick Steves guide book; there were no disappointments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's statue of David."

Laura

West Fargo, ND

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My mom and I agree that if traveling to a new country for the first time - especially if you haven't done much traveling - going with a Rick Steves tour is the best bet. Not only would we have been way more stressed out planning and trying to get around on our own, we would have missed so much background and cultural insight. I feel that by going with the tour we were able to truly BE in Italy and enjoy the moment instead of having to think about details.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history - Rome blew me away. It's one thing to learn about and know the history of civilization but getting to see it makes everything so real. Also the people - I felt so welcomed by the people in Italy and truly enjoyed being part of the culture for a short time. Everything there is just so beautiful and so rich in history and character."

Bonnie

College Station, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour with our 17 & 15 year old granddaughters. Our tour group was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking school in Florence and the wine tasting lunch on the way to Rome."

Nicholas

Royse City, TX

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great life experience, didn't expect to have it run so smoothly with what though was a large group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Umbria, not sure how it's spelled, but it was a beautiful vineyard. Great host and delicious wine."

Tom

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our leader Anne, took us to the sites that were the most important ones to see without wasting time on lesser things. The tour was fast paced but with just the right amount of downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first entrance to the Grand Canal of Venice. Venice just seemed to explode before our eyes. It came alive."

Gail

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great trip our guide Ann was fantastic. Loved her and she was very much part of the travel family She gave us all the information and set up the local guides and great places to eat We had the PERFECT group of people how lucky were we.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every thing was great fun But he cooking class was so much fun"

Carol

Placerville, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Due to the leadership of Ann Long, tour guide, and the cohesiviness that developed within our group as we traveled together, contributed to a very pleasurable and knowledgeable tour in Venice, Florence and Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments happened along the way -"

Terry

East Setauket, NY

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THIS WAS OUR FIRST TOUR EXPERIENCE AND WE REALLY LOVED OUR VACATION IN ITALY. EVERYTHING WAS WELL PLANNED, ORGANIZED AND ENJOYABLE. THE GUIDES WERE SO INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE PROVIDING US WITH HISTORY ART AND EVERYTHING THAT MAKES ITALY SPECIAL. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN WE ARE ALREADY THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER ONE! ANN WAS A TREASURE!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"VENICE THE GRAND CANAL, ST. MARK'S SQUARE, THE SISTINE CHAPEL, ALL OF FLORENCE ......."

Colleen

Culver City, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best Vacation--Great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Marks Square, Venice..."

Kristina

Fort Mill, SC

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was more than I could have hoped for. Having a local guide who knew the area and what most first timers wo u ld enjoy was so helpful. Being a first timer traveling out of the US, first timer traveling to Italy and an amazing tour group this was the best trip anyone could have wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the experiences were equally "wow" but the tour group that was put together made it all the more special."

Pat

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best things ever about this tour was how well everyone got along together. People were inclusive and friendly!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of our favorite activities were: The cooking class in Florence and the lunch that followed afterwards. Of course, seeing David again. We enjoyed the vineyard tour along with the wine tasting."

Jill

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect blend of group touring and free time. The group size was perfect, that is one of the reasons we chose Rick Steves , we did not want to feel like cattle being herded around. All of the hotels were centrally located and very comfortable. Our tour guide Ann, took care of every detail, which allowed us to really relax and enjoy all the sights. She was very caring and set a great tone for the group. I would recommend this tour and hope to do more Rick Steves tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, hard to chose, it could be arriving in Venice, it was magical seeing all the unique canels and buildings. One of the best group events was the cooking class, lots of laughter , bonding and the food was awesome."

Gary

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciate the preparation that went into producing the itineraries and referred to the pre-trip documents on several occasions to see where I needed to be and how to get from point A to B. This was my first trip abroad and the detail provided made arriving at the initial hotel very easy and allowed me to enjoy that part of the journey. On meeting the group initially Ann made the experience very comfortable and the setting just made it feel like a reunion of old friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personalities and the quality of the local guides and how they interacted with the host. If done on my own I would not have gotten half the experience or enjoyment out of the trip. The intensity was a treat. There was so much to cover in a limited amount of time and I really felt like I got the cream of the experience simply because I was in the hands of experts who knew their material and how to share the information in a delightful manner."

Carmen

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed it very much with very informational tour guides. I would have enjoyed a more [INVALID]d/modern hotel for at least one of the three cities, with more electrical outlets. Having dinner with tour group at least once per city was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking school event was outstanding and I make the recipe for Mediterranean sauce frequently!!"

Chin-Hsiu

Salisbury, MD

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most educational and authentic traveling experience that I ever had. I was reluctant to join a travel tour but after watching Rick Steves for years I decided to join the tour. The trip was more than I expected from the tour company. The two guides (Stephanie and Jessey) and the local guides were amazing in providing the background information, cultural and artistic context, and backdoor experience in all three cities: Venice, Florence and Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Saint Clementine church in Rome was the most amazing and unexpected experience. The island of Torcello after Burano was another great experience with the church."

David

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I had enjoyed the TV series on travel for a number of years, I was not sure about doing a "tour" of Italy, fearing too much time on a bus, with too many people. From the first meeting in Venice to our last breakfast together in Rome, I found the the experience to be much beyond what I could ever have expected. I enjoyed the combination of time together, especially with our guide and local guides who were great in orienting us, and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to this question - so many great moments. Then in Rome we explored the area around the Basilica San Clemente, the Colosseum and the Forum with Francesca, an amazing local guide. She managed to bring the ancient ruins alive, helping me understand how the whole came together, celebrating the layers of the over 2500 year history of the city."

Judith

Normal, IL

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time. The group messed well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. I did love interacting with the local tour guides. Each did a great job and made my visit to Italy much more enjoyable."

Raymond

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe we saw as much as a diversified group like this could see in 10 days. It was a fast paced, well coordinated, very informative tour. The walking was very extensive as that seemed the best way to cover the territory but it was somewhat stressful for some. I offer a suggestion that in some locations local transportation could be arranged. Metro and bus passes were provided in Rome but the hotel was not close to the stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride for the group on the Grand Canal, under a full moon, with a singer - priceless. A look at ancient Rome under San Clemente church. All the basilicas. Everlasting construction by Roman engineers, including the Pantheon. Historical accounts as told by the local guides."

Roseanne

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned with activities and time to explore on our own. Given good suggestions on what would be good to do & how to go about it. Felt completely comfortable navigating on own. Sara & Uso were fabulous & we knew we were spoiled having extra guide. Local guides very good & helped us get a better understanding of what we were exploring. Little extras were fun such as cookies on the bus. Afternoon at winery was welcome relaxing break. Didn't want to leave.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. Seeing the actual knights armor and weapons at Dugas Palace. Galileo museum was awewome to see how the very early science began, I love science. Riding in taxi in Rome was like an amusement park ride only real and unexpected (bus didn't come so sara rounded up taxis and off we went). Being in the Forum & hearing, seeing & feeling the Italian military jets practicing for republica day flying low over street just short distance away."

Jacqueline

Smithville, TN

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful time with great guides and group.all the sites were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome at the Colosseum"

Edmund

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip, one of our best vacations ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride in Venice"

Robert

Manlius, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible trip. Sarah and Awsa were tremendous guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel"

Susan

North Bend, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Info on trip planning, walking inst to hotel in Venice...so helpful...all hotels were outstanding re food, room accomodations (air conditioning, cleanliness,)..hospitable & warm hosts with the exception of Florence..tour guides, Sarah & Asa were well informed,lively,& personable..local tour guides were fantastic as well..the timing of museum tours & short wait times for entry was appreciated..van driver was courteous, van was clean & comfortable..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondala ride in Venice was outstanding, also the cooking class in Florence was as well.The Uffici Gallery/Museum is one I will never forget ..the Tuscany wine-tasting & lunch..meeting with the local family really made the trip to Italy a "person to person" experience."

Mary

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the sights in each of the 3 cities. Leaving early each morning right after breakfast afforded us the "first entry" into sights before they became so crowded so we often went to bed early. The bus rides were comfortable but the Highway rest stops were crazy busy to try to get a cappucino and a bathroom break in 20 minutes although there's no way to predict that I'm sure. Overall, the hotels were well chosen, especially being 3 blocks from the Colosseum in Rome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the gondola ride in Venice just as it was getting dark in the evening. Listening to the musicians playing accordion and singing from one of the boats in our group was enchanting...especially cruising the Grand Canal. I never imagined being able to experience that feeling from what I considered was a typical "tourist" option like a gondola ride...shows you how wrong preconceived notions can be!"

Terrance

Hood River, OR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience of Italy on this tour was exactly what I was hoping for. Our itinerary perfectly balanced cultural and eductional experiences as well as group vs alone time. Without much knowledge of the highlights of Italy, I left the plans in the hands of Rick Steves and company. They have worked out the kinks of foreign travel. Hotels were great, group dinners were fun, guided museum tours were awesome, tour leaders and cotravelers were very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The statue of David by Michelangelo left me with a feeling of awe regarding the renaissance era and Italian history as a whole. To me, the statue represents the excellence that human beings can achieve, which was unusually fostered in the environment of Italy."

Sharon

Langley, BC

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing experience! I have dreamed of going to Italy for many years, so this trip was a dream come true. Everything was so well organized, and I loved how much free time there was so that we could explore things on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Roman Forum. I think our local guide, Francesca, really contributed to how amazing that was. I've been studying and reading about Roman history for many years, and it was so moving and incredible to see these places in person. Francesca made this place come alive in such a meaningful way. It was awe-inspiring!"

Heidi

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour fanatastic, it exceeded all my expectations! The tour guides were both excellent. I felt they showed concern not only when we were part of the tour but when we had free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being serenaded in the Gondola in Venice!"

Lauren

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In rome we were lucky enough to have Francesca as our local tour guide she was amazing and really brought the history of Rome to life!"

Ellen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour. Virginia was wonderful. She was incredibly knowledgeable and a wonderful person overall. The accommodations were very good, city tours excellent and time table well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of the David was the high point of the tour for me."

Wendy

Welches, OR

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour and the guides and folks on it! The pace of the tour was perfect with "tour time" and free time. We absolutely had the "dream team" of guides (everyone probably says that), led by our effervescent, darling, knowledgeable Virginia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments were the musicians on the Gondola, the cooking class and the "chefs" serving us in the wine cellar, the Winery tour and tunnels, San Clemente Church, of course the famous sites of Venice, Florence, Rome...oh wait...everything!"

Joann

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Above and beyond any expectations! So incredible - mostly appreciated the expertise offered by our main guide and the individual tour guides at each location. Their knowledge and compassion for sharing the history and culture were truly amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "The David". I was absolutely awestruck walking into the room where he stood. Even got goose bumps!"

Jackie

Columbia, SC

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed Venice the most, but I also enjoyed Florence and Rome. I liked having a local guide in each city to give us a taste of what it was to be in these ancient cities long ago. All of the local guides were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed cooking class in Florence. That was a lot of fun."

Brandon

Rogers, AR

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect mix of planned time and free time. When we were on the tour, we had some of the most knowledgeable and passionate tour guides anyone could ask for. It was clear we didn't just have professional guides, we had guides who loved their cities and loved their subject matter. I wouldn't change a thing except the weather on the day it rained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I realized how much of Ancient Rome was recycled in "modern" buildings today. It gave me a whole new perspective on both how advanced the Ancient Romans were and on the beautiful buildings today that were built from reused materials."

Victor

Manhasset, NY

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Quite satisfied, although tired at the end. The people that made the difference: Virginia, Florence guide, Francesca. We would not have appreciated the places as much without them. Best bus ever to get between cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size of the paintings at the Uffizzi and the sculptures at the Vatican. No art book can convey the magnitude unless one stands next to them."

Mary

North Arlington, NJ

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour guides, but way too much to see in a few days. I would limit it to two cities next time. With so much to see in these particular cities, we were running every second and ended up exhausted. It wasn't all walking, it was standing and listening to our guides quite often.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Clemente's in Rome, and the 2 layers of history beneath it. Also, the old town was fabulous. We had a great tour guide there, too."

Pete

Longview, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was everything we had hoped for.

Mary

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was blown away by the quality of this tour. In many ways it was exactly what I expected, as I've been watching Rick Steve's Europe for years. But, TV cannot compare with the real experience. The combination of guided tours and free time was perfect. The hotels were wonderfully located and provided great service. I was impressed to discover during our orientation meeting how many return customers were in our tour group and I hope to join the repeat club soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Remember the last time you connected with a movie that made you cry? My wow moment was like that, on our last day of the tour during the closing remarks of our local guide at the Roman Forum. Her ability to bring the culture and the people of ancient Rome alive was amazing. I looked over at my husband and noticed his mouth was tight, looked up to his eyes and saw his tears. The last day of the tour was my husband's birthday, the guide bringing him to tears was the best present!"

Donna

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a vacation of a LIFETIME! I will never forget this Italian vacation for as long as I live. I loved the special touches, like visiting Burano, the cooking class in Florence, and the light lunch and wine tasting at the villa overlooking Orvieto. The bus was very clean and the huge windows made the view while driving a wonderful part of the 3 city tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Venice was my most enjoyable city of the 3 cities. We arrived 3 days before the tour started and took your advice on what to see that was not included in the tour. We went to Doge palace, and went up to the bell tower and visited a nearby island."

Teresa

Mobile, AL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply amazing !!! Trip of a lifetime!!! Would do it again in an instant!!Stephanie and Sarah were Awesome guides!!! This was our first trip out of the States and the Rick Steves' tour guides, info books and DVDs, business affiliations, instruction info and suggestions, literally everything Rick Steves made this trip Awesome!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment was view of Venice from San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower!! Amazing view in a very peaceful calm atmosphere away from all the crowds. You could just stand and adsorb it all without the rushing crowds."

John

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A trip I will never forget. Just a few days back from our trip and I ready to return to some NEW place to explore in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many to narrow down to 1. I would say Venice is my favorite city out of the 3. loved the history and food. Amazing!!!!"

Jaimie

Turlock, CA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such an amazing trip! Italy is a gorgeous country! It was so great to live in the culture and experience this country in such a short amount of time. I loved all the history and art in this trip. Everyone in the group was great and our tour guides were amazing. I would love to do another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments but the one that sticks out the most was seeing the David. Michael Angelo was such a talented artist and it is really hard to even grasp how amazing he was in that time. It was just so magnificent! Just to stand there and admire his work for some time was amazing. You felt so small standing next to it. It was incredible."

James

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was great. this was my third visit to all three VFR cities (once alone and once on Best of Europe in 21 days - 2006). The content was as expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I'd done the three VFR cities already, my WOW moment was probably the family run vineyard/winery/cellar in Orvieto. That stop was an amazing and unexpected treat!"

Mindy

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I did this tour right after doing the Best of Turkey Tour, so the difference in how the tour operated was obvious to me. I was surprised by the increased free time and that I was getting less history and context than I was used to from the previous tour. That being said, I loved the experience in Italy and I feel like a more well rounded traveler for having been able to have guides there to tell me the significance of what I saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would have to have been seeing Michelangelo's David in real life. I've seen pictures, but it really is a very powerful piece in real life. I was grateful also to be able to take pictures of it to take home and to relive that moment."

Linda

Ft Mitchell, KY

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our family's first experience with an organized tour and we were extremely pleased with every aspect of the tour. It was a nice balance between structured, guided time and free time. Both the guides and the Rick Steves book provided plenty of suggestions for exploration on our own. All of the local guides were knowledgeable and interesting. All of our accommodations were outstanding. Both leaders were very attentive to individual and group needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were MANY highlights so it's hard to choose one. The cooking class in Florence was a fun, tasty experience and I also really enjoyed the winery visit - seeing the tunnels in the ancient wine cellar, the beautiful, serene property and lovely view of Orvieto."

Tom

Ft Mitchell, KY

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Off the charts fantastic. Italy was terrific. The history, culture, food/wine, streets without cars (thank you Venice) - all a once in a lifetime experience for me. Logistics (except getting to our hotel in Venice from the airport - not smooth...), food, booked v free time, accommodations - all very nice with lodging conveniently located for exploring on our own. And for me, our group was just the best. Everyone ready to go. Always up for the next fun thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie. Outside Orvieto, walking through the Etruscan wine cellar from 2,000 yrs. ago. Wine bottled in 1880. The view of Orvieto. Seeing the David. Going to the Roma/Lazio soccer match with my family (if you consider that "from the tour"). Off the charts cool for a soccer fan. And using my Rick Steves book to find a relatively inexpensive, yet nicest room of the trip in Florence at the end of the trip before our cycling trip started in Tuscany."

Patricia

Hockessin, DE

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the opportunity to immerse in each area we visited but with terrific structure/support from your excellent tour directors. Your philosophy of "teach them to fish" versus taking us to fish was perfect. Your tour director insured we were comfortable with our surroundings/travel on metros/getting around town so we could enjoy our group tours and maximize our private times exploring. Great stuff. Hotels were unique and specific to each place we visited. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to select one. Great food, people, architecture, tour guides, art, shopping, new friends."

Linda

Evansville, IN

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very organized and enjoyable. Well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" experience for me was that I did not have to plan the family vacation. I have utilized Rick Steve's books for travel in Europe which have been outstanding but it was wonderful to have the travel and itinerary provided so that I could relax and enjoy it."

Norm

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall is good; the only disappointment was there were no hot water in the hotel in Rome and the hotel was not quite as clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was our favorite place."

Christopher

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing overall. Well organized, loved the local guides, appreciated the free time. Buddy system was very clever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! I loved walking into the Pantheon; being among the last at the Accademia admiring David as the crowds cleared out; the Sistine Chapel"

Diane

Lindenhurst, IL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour from start to finish! Stephanie was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The local guides were entertaining and knowledgeable. We had a good balance of guided tours and free time, and the orientation walks in each city gave us the confidence to explore on our own. The tour really hits the highlights in each city, and we skipped right past the tourists waiting in long lines. Two thumbs up for Rick Steves' tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, there were a lot...first view of the Grand Canal and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Michelangelo's David in Florence, the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel in Rome. The winery visit was a nice break from museums, as was the cooking class in Florence."

Russell

Escondido, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great group,great guides and a overall great tour. My wife,cheryl, had never been to europe so i tried to find a tour that did not look like a cruise ship on land. Rick steves tour was the perfect fit. Sarah was fabulous and all of the local guides made the cities come to life. Even angelo, who had a different but informative view of renaissance life,was good. Good mix of structure and free time. Sarah made time for side trips that were not on the itinerary but made tour feel special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a wow moment and a aaaaah moment. Sometimes the unseen has a more profound effect than those you can easily see. My wow moment was seeing San Clemente.Sarah and our local guide told us how this church would bring Roman history together.It was amazing to see how the city was built upon ruins after ruins. My aaaaaaah moment was visiting a family run olive orchard and vineyard in the Umbria countryside. If the tour had ended there i would still have been disappointed."

Jean Ann

Edgewood, KY

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first totally organized tour experience. I appreciated the mix of planned vs. free time which gave you the chance to tailor the trip to your desires. One of the things that I liked the most was the mix of big sights with different experiences: cooking school, gondola ride, wine tasting. Those brought balance and needed down-time to the tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly enough, while we signed up for the big city tour, it was the stop in Umbria at Marco's agritourismo farm for wine and food that was the big surprise. What a lovely stop in a quiet, beautiful setting to help us reset before taking on all that is Rome. It really helped to bring the beauty of Italy to light separate from the "stress" that can be the big cities."

Sterling

Anniston, AL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Everything about it was exceptional. Sarah was everything I could have hoped for in a tour guide. She gave an insightful review of all major points of interest; she connected well with our entire group and was extremely personable. I truly felt we were being shown around Italy by a friend. She knew the area and the locals well so I feel we were taken care of extra well. Our entire group connected and has stayed in touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. The first was the cooking class in Florence, it was surreal. The chef instructors were great. They had the best since of humor and connected with everyone. The other "wow" moment was visiting the winery in Umbria on route to Rome. The views were breathtaking and the owners were fantastic hosts. The food and wine were top notch. It was truly an experience of a lifetime."

Daniel

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip to Italy... 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence and 3 days in Rome. We had the best guide you could imagine, Sarah, who made our trip fun and educational... just great. The individual guides for sites in Venice, Florence and Rome were also great. Can't say enough about this trip and the guides we had. It made traveling to Italy a great learning experience... without the tour we would never have known about the history and experiences of the places and people we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite site was the San Clemente Church in Rome where there are three levels of architecture... the current church on street level, the church underneath, and then the Roman buildings on the third level down. It literally showed you the history of Rome and how it was built and rebuilt, layer upon layer... But there were so many other great experiences on the trip, it is hard to pick just this one. Seeing the beautiful countryside in Umbria was breathtaking."

Isaac

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely fantastic. Every detail was attended to an more. The tour guides were exceptional. Their knowledge of the history of the areas, architecture, people and art made every thing come alive right before your eyes. An unexpected side trip to a farm in Umbria was my favorite. The groups developed a real sense of camaraderie and I miss the greatly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The side trip to the farm in Umbria was amazing. I wanted to spend a month there in solitude. It was beautiful and the hosts so gracious."

James

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Sarah was great. Our group was great. Experiences in the three cities were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the wine tasting/lunch stop at the Tuscany farm on the drive to Rome. It was a totally wonderful experience and refreshing bit of change from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Marco and his wife were wonderful hosts. Another "moment" I might mention was while viewing the Arch of Constantine in the Roman Forum. A couple was having their wedding pictures done. We noted that and moved out of the way. They said "no, no" and wanted us back in the picture. We joined the wedding party."

Kathleen

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour and we were not disappointed! A few surprises along the way, but always the good kind. We knew basically what to expect and just chilled while we were shown everything we could possibly want to see and experience. We tell everyone about how wonderful the tours are, you don't have to think about or worry about seeing and doing the absolute necessary things while you're there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really have two... The first was cooking class at In Tovolo. Absolutely had a blast while preparing our lunch and as it turns out, all of us were pretty good cooks, lunch was very tasty! Our teacher/chefs were a lot of funs. My second was lunch at Poggio della Varona on the way to Rome. Marco and his lovely wife were perfect hosts, the food and wine was outstanding, the grounds were gorgeous and the vistas breathtaking! What a lovely beak from the hustle and bustle of the city."

Edward

Tallmadge, OH

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were very high, but the actual experience far exceeded what I had hoped for. I'm still trying to remember the last time that happened. First, we had a terrific group of people in our tour. But, more importantly, our guide Sarah was truly amazing. Her knowledge, insight and energy were an inspiration to squeeze out everything we could possibly get from the tour. The itinerary was great and the free time allowed was just enough to allow everyone the chance to explore on their own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two actually. I rolled my eyes when I saw there was a cooking class scheduled in Florence. I couldn't have been more wrong, what a blast! The other was stopping for lunch at the farm/B&B in Umbria. What a beautiful and delightful afternoon. I came for Venezia, Firenze and Roma, but I would have glady stayed for Umbria. A wonderful respite from the very busy cities, everyone should do this."

Keith

Dawsonville, GA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first was concerned about touring with a group. Did not want to travel with complainers or people who did not show up on time. At the first meeting Sara laid out no complaining or being late and everyone did very well. This was our first tour and we found that we met people and had experiences that would have never happened on our own. Well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman forum, seeing what was built 2,000 years ago how it looked then and now is amazing."

Mary-Ellen

Winston Salem, NC

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like the tour was the perfect blend of group time and alone time. The group time was incredibly well spent (the local guides as well as Sarah, our Rick Steves guide) All of the knowledge that they shared with the group gave me such a greater appreciation of what we were seeing. Sarah also imparted enough help so that my husband and I could feel comfortable when walking around on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a cradle Catholic, my "wow" moment was when we entered St. Peter's Basilica. Sarah had suggested we go early, before tours were allowed in and just experience the Church. We entered the line to get in around 7:30 and had an hour to wander around before our Vatican Museum tour. I was in awe - and incredibly moving spiritual experience I would have never had had we gone after our museum tour when all the crowds were there. In all honestly, the rest of the tour was a "wow" too!"

Cynthia

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. Sarah M. was the best tour guide you could have asked for. The local tour guides which worked with Rick Steve's tour group were also very knowledgeable and provided an abundance of information. The historical, architectural, and art history information explained a lot about the present culture in Florence, Venice & Rome. On another note, the local restaurants that the group ate at were all locally run and provided an abundance of tasty food. Independent time was adequate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was a stop at a small Tuscan farm on the way to Rome. The amount and taste of all the food and wine provided just blew me away! The views from the farm, of the Tuscan hills made for some beautiful picture taking opportunities. After spending time in the busy cities of Venice and Florence is was great to see the Tuscan countryside!"

Peggy

Parker, CO

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived a day early in Venice so that we would be ready to hit the trail running the next day. Our guide was Sarah Murdoch and she was knowledgeable and outstanding. It was wonderful to see the sites of Venice, Florence and Rome with guides that have thorough knowledge of the history of what you are looking at. Without that, it would have just been a famous building/painting/statue, etc. We formed a strong bond with the other 26 people who were in our group and it was hard to leave them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Tuscany countryside was a "wow" for me. Also, Venice was so unique and spending three days in that culture was very special."

David

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Venice, Florence & Rome was amazing. Our guide, Karen, did a fantastic job helping us make the most of our time and provided impressive insight into local customs and history. She was great at facilitating group events that made us feel like family from the very beginning. Before we went, I couldn't help wondering if being on a tour would made that much difference, but after seeing how the tour was conducted there is no question in my mind that our travel dollars were well spent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As cheesy as this my sound, the gondola ride Karen arranged for us was one (of many) of my WOW moments. Here we are, me and my bride, gliding silently through a Venice canal at night with guitar and singer in the boat, the buildings around us centuries old. It was like being in a real life fairy tale. The cooking class and Tuscany wine tasting lunch were also amazing, as were the buildings and treasures of the Vatican. The whole tour was so eye-popping it's really hard to single out one."

Maria

Pigeon Forge, TN

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Dear Rick Steve's, I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about traveling with strangers and this being my first tour. Everyone was wonderful! To blend comfortably with all our traveling companions was a great experience. And Karin is such a wonderful person, great personality. She provided excellent information and helped us feel Italy in a fantastic way. She helped with everything big and small and added a personal touch. I truly loved this tour, thank you! Maria Canales

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Number one wow! The grandness of the Sistine Chapel. Number two, the wine tasting stop, our hosts were terrific Number three...everything!"

Dina

Morton Grove, IL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the whole thing. Rooms were excellent, comfortable and clean. Service too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The serenity of the landscape at the wine tasting and the hospitality of the owners"

Catherine

Somerville, TN

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-organized and comprehensive. I really enjoyed the order of the cities we visited with Venice first and Rome last. Our guide was organized, knowledgable and friendly. Each city is unique and RS planned the trip to take full advantage of our time in each city. A great mix of art, adventures, museums, sites and free time with advice from our guide on the best use of our time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's in Rome. Huge, beautiful and inspiring. So much of Western Civilization can be traced to that spot. The entire Vatican experience was beautiful. My second favorite was the Basilica in Florence. The exterior was unlike anything I had ever seen."

Maisha

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked our local tour guides. They were very knowledgeable and made art and history come alive. I appreciated all the prior arrangements made for us to get into places early or easier then the crowds who just showed up at the door. This made the "Disneyland effect" of the big 3 Italian cities easier. It was all worth it. There is a reason so many people go to these sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class, the David, the Sistene chapel, Venice at night, the Parthenon, well I could go on and on. The dinner in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice was great. The dinner in Rome was great. The museums were amazing-the extent of the collections were overwhelming. Just walking the streets of Florence was a treat."

L Reyna

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Karin kept us organized and in the loop about each day's events and schedule. Each day was full and interesting. There was enough unplanned time to rest or reflect or visit other areas of interest. The distances walked each day matched their descriptions, mostly strenuous. Sometimes, the pace was too fast, but it was always worth where we were going!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente church, the lasagne layers of Rome."

Sharon

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So hard to explain how delightful the time on the tour was. Karin was incredible. She was great at unifying the group and making us feel safe and included. She was so informative, and had "surprises" up her sleeve ever so often for us- special stops & dinners at places we wouldn't have found on our own. Her informative talks while we were travelling on the bus helped us understand so much more about the history & culture of Italy, and made the time go quickly. Wouldn't change a thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The lovely gondola ride that Karin helped organize one evening for those who wanted to go. Musicians, our 4 gondolas floating together, single file, then coming together side by side in Venice's Grand Canal before filing off in a line again - such a wonderful memory."

Rob

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond my expectations. I don't know what else to say.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During our bus ride from Florence to Rome we stopped at a wine and olive farm near Montecchio. More than all of the other sites on the tour, the visit to Poggio della Volara was magnificent. Our hosts Marco and Gaia and their dogs were so welcoming in this beautiful farm setting. The wine tasting and food were outstanding. Views of Umbria and beyond made me feel like spring time in the Italian wine country must be a bit of heaven on earth. I did not want to leave."

Michael

East Windsor, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great. Nice balance between being guided and having free time to explore on our own. The Wine tasting & coking class was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michelangelo's David."

Karen

East Windsor, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment the tour started I thanked God that I signed up. The advice, guidance and information provided by Karen was essential, practical and useful, making our trip experience safe, comfortable and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Umbria was such a nice change from the city pace. The scenery, food, wine and company were wonderful. The other fun event was the cooking class. Of course, seeing "David" was another "wow" moment."

Thomas

Stanhope, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Definitely for the active person who wants to see the sites. All activities were punctual and of high quality. We especially loved the wine tasting in Umbria and the cooking class in Florence. Our tour guide Karin was always upbeat and very helpful especially for those who needed extra guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Roman forum."

Susan

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunity to see so much of the art I'd only read about. Still can't wrap my mind around 2,000 years though."

Rosalind

Stanhope, NJ

Tour: 05/11/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. There was a good balance of structured touring and time on our own. The recommendations were appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It goes without saying that the art was fabulous. However, my two favorite activities were the cooking class in Florence and the wine tasting lunch in Umbria. The family owned vineyard was beautiful and very peaceful. It was just the thing I needed after several days of touring."

Marc

Canaan, NH

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all that I saw and experienced!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall Venice was such a wonderful place......but Florence had better gelato!!! Also the group of people we were with was great......had loads of fun with all members. I was a bit concerned before hand about how we would all get along."

Sundi

Canaan, NH

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time learning about all of the history and trying to fit in as much as we could during our stay. I am most impressed with the balance between guided tours and free time. Everyone we met were engaging and friendly. You don't know before you go to a place what to expect or really how to plan.My only regret is that by the time we reached Rome we were becomming a bit overloaded and there is way too see and do in the final three days!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the incredible views and history at the winery we stopped at in Umbria. It was a much needed "slow down" from the fast paced city tours. We enjoyed the food parings and knowlede of our host. It is almost too much to take in the age of the cellars and history of the place."

Margaret

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We greatly enjoyed the trip. It was a truly memorable experience. The local guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The tour had a good mix of guided sightseeing tours and free time. The pre-tour planner materials was extremely helpful. Our guide arranged some awesome dinners with several fantastic restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride in Venice. Jamie arranged a serenaded gondola ride for our group. The musicians were fantastic and the whole experience was magical."

David

Lafayette, IN

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well planned, and seamless adjustments were noticed due to metro strick in Rome. Jamie did an outstanding joj arrnging our gondala ride in Venice, and the special singer at out last supper in Roma.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the food and wine experience, AND the well managed :wine Kitty" a very good value."

Kathleen

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour surpassed all my expectations. I had booked it for the art in Florence and Rome but was entranced by beautiful Venice, the food, the architecture, the lifestyle, and all the other features that I had thought would just be nice extras. Jamie kept everything on schedule without our feeling rushed (including during a bus strike), and my fellow tour members were a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two for me--seeing David in Florence and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. These experiences were literally lifelong dreams of mine, and our schedule was such that I spent almost an hour with each. Couldn't have asked for better."

Donald

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was my first time to Europe and I was very impressed with your pre-tour protocols. The tour guide (Nina) and her assistant(Sarah)were fabulous and the local guides appeared vey knowledgeable, courteous, and professional. The group chemistry throughout the entire tour could have not been more pleasant and enjoyable. The "Outstanding" rating I have identified for my overall experience is certainly justified and deserved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I simply can't single out any one "WOW" moment. I was blown away by so many experiences including topography, beautiful weather, history and cultures, food and wine, and of course the Gelato. The opportunity to spend a most wonderful vacation in Italy with my lovely wife Jeni (Jennifer) of 38 years is priceless. By the way Jeni will be submitting a separate tour evaluation."

Jennifer

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being an independent traveler, I had some reservation about taking a tour. It by far exceeded expectations. This was our first trip to Europe and having the main activities planned for you took a lot of anxiety out of travel. We could go and experience the beautiful cities without the worry of transportation and logistics. Each city has its own beauty and experience - all exceptional. The people on our tour also made the trip enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment, but I especially enjoyed romantic Venice and the gondola ride. The cooking class and wine tasting was another highlight, as well as the Sistine Chapel. Being able to share this experience with my husband, Don, was on my "bucket list". The experience could not have been any better."

Elaine

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour though we have used Rick Steves guide books before. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip; start to finish. What I really appreciated was the mix of structured group experiences and free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments, but seeing the delicate painted wood carving in Florence at the Santo Spirito church of the Crucifix done by Michelangelo when he was 17 was a delightful surprise."

Virginia

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been to these cities before,but wanted to share the experience with my husband's 85 year old mother and his sister. We had previously traveled with Rick Steves' books and thought we had gotten a good feeling for each city. However, we soon learned that traveling with our guides, Nina and Sarah, really enhanced our understanding of these cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I had not visited San Clements Church in Rome before, it was fun to experience this hidden jewel. The local guide did a great job of making the many layers of Rome come alive. The best "wow" moment was watching my mother-in-law pray at a side chapel in St. Peter's, a life-long dream fulfilled."

Robert

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good , everything as advertised. Actually, the hotels were nicer than expected. Tours and activities were right amount of time and left enough free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was Italy, all was wow."

Mary Lee

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Italy 5 days early and stayed 2 days after the tour ended. Prior to May 4, we used the RS Italy Guidebook to plan and make reservations for the venues not on the tour. The Apps were important and easy in preparation and when we were on our own. In each location, we had an orientation session followed by tours to highlights of the 3 cities and also time on our own. This was an excellent plan. The headsets for listening were a good idea. What a great adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments. Among these were Venice's Doge's Palace, San Marco Basilica, and gondola ride, Florence's Academia and Uffizi, and the Vatican's St. Peter's and Sistine Chapel. Of these, Michelangelo's David and Sistine Chapel tie for first place."

Edwin

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. Great food and wine. Helpful, friendly knowledgeable guides. Loved the cooking class and winery visit. Saw all the critical highlights of key museums. Liked the schedule of some time with tour group and then free time in each city. Hotels were clean and well located with helpful staff. Nina, our primary guide, shared all her great insights and knowledge of Italy and it regions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting at a neighborhood café in Florence, having a simple but tasty dinner for 3 hours as all the local residents stolled by."

Carol

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible, well organized, inspiring experience. We did and saw so much in the 10 days. I loved how well the leaders communicated with us and had the mornings planned with free time to choose in the afternoons. We had such a fun group and I learned so much. At times I wished I was in better shape as the walking was fast paced and lots of stairs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many favorites, I cannot limit it to just one. I loved the special uniqueness of each city. Our leader showed a true passion for the history and culture to help us feel comfortable. Some of my favorites were- boat ride to Burano, gondola ride, David, cooking class, wine tasting and lunch in Umbria, Pantheon, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel, San Clemente Church, and Colosseum. I loved all the food and suggestions for things to do on our free time."

Ivan

Bothell, WA

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour is extremely well organized. Our guide (Nina) was very knowledgeable, very helpful. The tour has very good balance between guided tours and personal time. It was really cool to step away off the beaten path and see Italy a little bit more close and personal yet we've got to see all the "required" attractions. I was a bit skeptical before, but now I am your biggest fan - we had amazing time and we really enjoyed our tour. Local guides added a lot to the experience as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely St. Peter's Basilica in Rome."

Mary Ann

Okc, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was great. It was a perfect blend of group time and personal time. Having the tour guides do an orientation walking tour of each area when we arrived really made the difference. Once you get your bearings, it is easy(relative term) to find your way around. Even getting "lost" was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm... that's a difficult question. I think the whole tour was a "wow" moment. I guess I'd have to pick St. Peter's Basilica. I was totally unprepared for the vastness of it. It was a visual overload. I also REALLY enjoyed our stop in the Umbrian region at the winery. We ALL wanted to stay!"

Stephen

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Walked my legs off, but worth it.Nina is a wealth of information. We got to see much more than If I had tried this on my own.Great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Florence, Rhome, St. Peter's"

Gregory

Katy, TX

Tour: 05/04/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

More than I expected. Historic, educational, fun, got to meet some really nice and fun people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peters Basilica. It is absolutely unbelievably beautiful."

Mary

Fair Haven, NJ

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Italy and needed guidance with the whole experience. Cecilia along with Ben provided an enriching and enjoyable tour. It went far beyond my expectations. The local tour guides in all three cities added to the experience. The hotels in all three cities were comfortable and convenient to the sights for our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice provided the most unusual opportunity with the pedestrian streets and canals used for tranportation. St. Mark Square gave me that wow moment in Venice."

Gerald

Fair Haven, NJ

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The 10-day trip was better than expected with great hotels, restaurants, orientations and site visits. We met a great bunch of folks on the tour, and also enjoyed the opportunity to tour the cities using the tips provided by the pre-tour guidebook and the support of our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had wow moments in each city: Venice-St Marks Sq Florence - Medici Rome - Coliseum"

Virginia

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Italy a number of times, but still learned some new things. We also planned to experience Italy on our own. We continued on, our own, to Umbria for a week in Panicale. We rented an apartment, traveling by car to go out on our own to experience local Italian life and the Umbrian "hill towns". I felt the materials and history covered for each city, and the places we went, were well handled. My partner, who had never been to Italy, thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"La Tenuta winery visit, and the underneath view and tour of ancient Roman history and buildings found below the church near the Coliseum were new, to me and my big "wows"."

Vicki

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very busy nine days, but this was our first Rick Steeves trip and I don't think we could have done justice to Italy without diving head first into the culture, as we did with first Ben and then Cecilia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, was our feeling throughout our last day with Francesca in Rome. From the start with the church and the buildings beneath, to the Colisseum and then the walk through the Forum, Francesa taught us to see with knowledge and understanding. She sent shivers up my spine many times that day. Wow was also how we felt when we saw David, there are no pictures that can describe the size and magnitude of this statue."

Kim

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was informative, fun, we liked everyone on the tour, the bus was very comfortable, the mix of free time and structured time was just right. I appreciated the local knowledge the guide had and the help they gave us with free time suggestions and where to find good food. The gondola ride was wonderful. The winery visit was unique and pleasant. I will definitely do another Rick Steves' tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last nights dinner/party. The guitarist, the dancing, the joviality. The guitarist even let me play his guitar briefly!"

Eugene

Bridgeville, DE

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time. Venice was great. Rome is Rome. I could visit a zillion times and still enjoy it. Especially the restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally getting to visit Venice was the Wow moment. Fantastic. Second wow moment was our visit to Cecilia's Tenuta La Valette estate / winery. What a magical place."

Catherine

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with the overall experience. The Edmunds staff were helpful and courteous before the trip even started (e.g., answering questions about travel between the hotel and Rome airport, how to schedule flight connection times, etc.) Our guide was not available the first few days due to back trouble but the assistant, Ben, made sure that our experience was every bit as good as it would have been if Cecilia were there. So we had the benefit of interacting with two great guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A wine-and-food-pairing experience on the bus trip from Florence to Rome. The scenery, the buildings, the lecture, the food[INVALID] it was all wonderful! Our group raved about it for days afterwards."

Jewel

Frisco, TX

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steve and other than my husband's luggage being stolen on the train from Florence to Venice, it was a very enjoyable experience. All tour guides were friendly, helpful and informative. The museums and sites were breathtaking. My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon on this trip and we truly felt the kind wishes from the tour guides and the tourists. One hotel gave us a bottle of champagne.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments for me. I loved overlooking the beautiful city of Orvieto from the Wine Vineyard. I felt like I was a part of history as I stood inside of the coliseum in Rome. The boat ride from Venice to the small island of Burano was romantic. Burano was such a cute island."

Susan

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/01/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour. It was our first RS tour and we kept saying to each other, let's go on another RS tour next year. I loved the comraderie of the group. It was thrilling to see the amazing churches and art work. The guides were so good at providing context and information that I enjoyed and appreciated what I was seeing even more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In addition to the fabulous art work some experiences that stand out were; the gondola ride, the tour of the winery and the cooking school."

David

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our first trip to Europe and I was very pleased with the entire experience. We arrived 1 day early to acclimate ourselves and our guide, Patricia, was incredibly accommodating giving instructions on how the local transportation operated. There is indeed a lot of walking, but we were able to see and experience so much as a group, with ample time to also explore on our own. Patricia was very knowledgeable, as were the individual guides in each city...top notch!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "Wow" moment was seeing the Grand Canal in Venice for the first time."

John

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative, excellent guides, fast moving, fun, more than I expected

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprise visit by Rick Steves at Cooking class in Florence. An opportunity to get to know Rick, 'close up'."

Sheryle

Redmond, WA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first time in Italy! Felt bathed in a wonderful culture: Sights, Sounds, Aromas and Tastes. -Sights: Rich Architecture and Art. Cypress Trees in the Tuscan Countryside. -Sounds: Melodic Italian accents. Vivaldi String Concert. Water lapping in Venetian Canals. -Aromas: Basil, Rosemary and the Sea. -Tastes: Really good Coffee, Pastas and Gelatos. Far more informative than we expected. Amazing guides. Learned a ton. Fast paced but do-able. Nice balance of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"-Torcello Island: The beginning of Venice. Oldest Church (Quiet Wow) -Gondola glide: Doorways at water level (Serene Wow) -Rick Steves joining us for an Italian Cooking Class. (A Big Wow!) Exceptional teaching chefs. Making authentic Bruschetta, Pasta and Tiramisu. Way to feel immersed in the culture -Wine Tasting & Culinary Treats in Tuscany Casa with an amazing couple who love what they do, full of life (Wow) -The Sistine Chapel: Contemplating ~ 'God gave life to man' (Humble Wow)"

Lynda

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's Tour. We liked the philosophy behind the tours; small groups, intimate locations in the heart of each city, and local experience. We were not disappointed! The tour was busy, as promised, with many opportunities to make our own discoveries. We recommend his tours to anyone interested in a well-constructed tour plan that maximizes your travel experience in a new place. The local guides had expertise in their area, adding to the depth of our visit. Grazie Mille!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments for each city was : Venice: Gondola ride, accompanied by live music...a bucket list moment for us. Florence: the cooking class, with a surprise visit by Rick Steves. Umbria, en route to Rome, the IL Pozzia winery visit in the Umbrian Countryside. Rome: The Coloseum and St Peter's Basilica."

Patrick

Dublin, OH

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very positive. good mix of tour time and alone time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the three different levels each representing a different time frame in St Auguestine in Rome. Also Francesca'a opening speech about Rome is everyone's City. Everyone has a preconception of what Rome is. The comment is very appropriate and insightful, it makes you take a different perspective on everything you see. in my opinion, a very powerful (and insightful) opening."

John

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wife and i had toured with R.S. 13 times. This tour of Venice, Florence and Rome was among the best. Excellent locations of hotels, outstanding tour guide and local guides and a wide variety of experiences[INVALID] art, history, beautiful places, and a pleasant group to travel with. We agree with the characterization of days of strenuous walking. We did have time to explore things on our own and attend a concert (by those without period costumes) in Venice. It was a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three especially memorable times: 1. Having lunch at a farm villa in the Umbrian hills, great food, wine and hospitality with spectacular views of the Umbrian hills and valleys. 2. Walking across the Piazza Della Republica in Florence after sunset, looking up to see the deepest luminous blue sky we'd ever seen and a full moon just rising over the square. 3) Going to cooking school in Florence with Rick Steves, himself, attending. 'Twas and we made (and ate) an outstanding Tuscan dinner."

Sally

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found the pace a bit strenuous and tiring but I was fighting a throat infection that hit me the first day of the tour, so I wasn't at my best. I know Venice, Florence and Rome are filled with wonderful things to see and do but starting at 8 a.m. every day was hard. I felt the local guides wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything! Overall, I enjoyed the tour. Our fellow tour mates were wonderful, friendly interesting people and I wish I had had more time to get to know all of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the cooking class-so much fun! and the great relaxing time at the family winery, with a wonderful meal and two adorable dogs! I could have stayed there for a week! I also like the Davanzati medieval fortress home, a very interesting trip back in time."

Gail

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Honestly what made my tour such a good experience was our leader, Patricia Fannon Avolio. I hope you are lucky to get someone so kind and caring and totally devoted to the well being of a group. She freely gave of her own free time to show us sites to see, places to eat and set the tone with her good nature. This was a very intense tour, with 7 out of the 10 days being strenuous, and they were. If you like busy cities and lots of religious art, this is the tour for you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually there were two, visiting an Umbrian farmhouse for wine tasting and lunch and the cooking class where we made our own lunch. Both were a welcome break and great fun."

Richard

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredibly well organized. Our guides made everything easy. Patricia was so easy to get to know and she really got to know us. We eased right into the flow of Italy. She had helpful advice on customs from ordering stand up caffe at the local establishments vs sit down. How to navigate the streets of Venice to the Metro in Roma.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had to come to grips if you wanted to see great art in Italy you wouldneed to go to the churches as that is where the art is. The perfusion of art in the churches was over whelming. The sheer scope, grandeur and abundance. In a more secular moment Patricia felt we needed to see the American military cemetery outside of Firenze. It was an emotional moment. In Firenze seeing "the David" was great, but then being prepared by Trish to see Donatello's David brought tears to my eyes."

Judith

Clemson, SC

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was much more than I expected and I feel I could not have found this experience, for the price, anywhere else; or the guides. I truly enjoyed all our fellow travelers. You were right about carrying luggage and traveling light and it worked for me. But I am glad you warned us :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" was anytime I walked into history and touched it with my feet or eyes, ears, hands. A great memory was during free time when Diane and I stopped at a café for a tiramisu and the waiter took time to tell us about the impact of going to the euro. These are lovely loving generous people and it made us feel happy to help out by spending a little $. But it also was a sweet personal touch that is a true memory."

Diane

Weyauwega, WI

Tour: 04/27/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than I ever could have imagined.This was a "first" tour for me. The tour leaders were exceptional in making each event special. They were interested in us and everything we did. This included helping us tour doing free time. I liked all the different experiences. Museums,churches, cooking class, winery tour, eating, and visiting the American Veterans' Cemetery were just a few of the great things we did. I also enjoyed meeting all the the wonderful travelers on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many moments for me."

Janice

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a "buckler list" as I had down the Rome South tour in 2008. I invited my daughter and we had a great time together and with the congenial companions. Our tour guides were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Loved the ancient Rome part, winery, gondola ride,palaces in Florence. Cooking school was lots of fun."

Patricia

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Venice, Florence, Rome Tour in 10 Days was a wonderful trip! Each of the three cities were unique in their own way. Our tour guide, Marijan, was friendly, knowledgeable and full of great travel tips and guidance. The local city guides were OUTSTANDING-and made the trip a great learning experience as well as fun time. I learned way more about Italian culture, food and art thru the planned tour experiences than I ever expected. It was great fun getting to know all the other travelers too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one favorite moment, but I have to say the cooking class in Florence was a memory maker AND I learned how to make pasta from scratch!"

Lawrence

Statesboro, GA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had great guides, I liked all the hotels and the locations. The art history was just enough and spot on about getting what was / is important to take from each museum. Lastly, the people in our tour were all willing to be on time and be of good spirit, no one needed extra "care". Greatful for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Did not expect to like the cooking school so much, May have been our best dinner!"

Catherine

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a perfect mix of highly structured opportunities to learn with our group and time to explore on our own. The local guides were extremely informative with a good sense of humor and they helped deepen our knowledge base and also our understanding of the local culture. The hotels were quite comfortable and it was nice to be so close to the "action". Marijan was knowledgeable and flexible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the people and the places helped make our tour very special. Our group bonded quickly, and we had so many exciting places to explore. It's difficult to choose a favorite, but if pushed, I would have to choose that first glimpse of David. I've seen pictures so many times, but walking in and seeing the sculpture gave me goose bumps."

Jane

Fishers, IN

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband surprised me with the Best of Italy tour for our 25th anniversary, and it was by far the most amazing and romantic gift he could have given me. We spent 3 wonderful nights in Venice, Florence and Rome and saw sights that we could never have found on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose from so many wonderful experiences, but I'd have to say the group's gondola ride at sunset with the musicians playing and singing as we glided along the Grand Canal was my all-time best memory. Our group was very cohesive and already fast becoming friends by that point. My husband's best time was likely the Italian cooking class where we made then ate our own pasta and tiramisu!"

MaryLou

Swanville, ME

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime! I enjoyed every minute of it, from meeting our wonderful tour guide and other travelers in our group to the very last meal shared together and the intentions to keep in touch through email and pictures. Our group consisted of 28 people from age 22 to 77. All were friendly and welcoming. We walked approximately 65 or more miles during the trip with no issues. When Rick Steves tells you there will be lots of walking and to pack light, he MEANS it! The food was always fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride complete with musicians and serenade on the canals of Venice. The breathtaking views of Florence from the rooftop terrace of our hotel. The beautiful rolling hills of wine country, the Le Velette winery and the wine "experience" with its ancient cellars in Orvieto (a side trip on the tour). The cooking class, sharing that delicious meal in a lovely arched ceiling brick room. In Rome the coliseum, the Vatican, and of course The David, all 17 feet of him!"

Deborah

Parma, ID

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a little worried about leaving the country and all the tips in Rick Steve's guide books and videos were very helpful. The tour was so much fun we met some great people, shared lots of laughter and memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking class and being served in the wine cellar Our chef Ricardo made the class a lot of fun!"

Chelette

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was truly amazing.I enjoyed all of the tour guides that made our trip more personal.I recognized our Venice guide Laura from a history channel documentary I had viewed prior to my trip,she was wonderful,could have spent hours with her.Everything was great,wouldn't change anything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment took place in Santo Spirito Church while viewing Michelangelo's carved wooden crucifix.The emotions I experienced took me by surprise.Wonderful moment."

Marie

Belfast, ME

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Full of wonder and beauty. Venice is fun. Florence is art. Rome is religion. All are educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David"

Victoria

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 04/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. So many wonderful experiences. Our guide was amazing. Enjoyed the group. Nice to see "family" when we went out on our own free time.I felt that we had all the tools to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice - amazing walking tour of the city. Very special."

Dawn

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I simply do not need 500 words. Amazing. Cecilia and Sarah were outstanding. Never bored, never hungry, never worried, never, never. Always wonderful. Love both Cecila and Sarah!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were just prepped to be blown away at each turn. And the tour did not disappoint..."

Damarys

Galoway, NJ

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cecilia, was excellent (i.e., professional and outgoing)! Sarah was very sociable and nice. I really enjoyed our cooking class in Florence. The food was delicious! I appreciated visiting the Winery at Cecilia's family estate. My only negative remark is that I had a very displeasing experience with the gondola ride because the gondola man smoked while I was on. I asked him to please stop due to my health condition (asthma) and he refused. It was my worst experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the experience of cooking authentic Italian food. It was delicious! When my husband and I returned back home, the next day we went to the supermarket and found almost all the ingredients. We cooked for our children and they loved it!"

Mary Ann

Omaha, NE

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour all around. Pre-planning and organization were obvious. Tour guides were terrific, knowledgeable, personable, great interaction. Loved the combination of cities, activities, cultural experiences. "Radios" were wonderful for better hearing, keeping us together, etc. Buddy check was also a great idea.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing "David" blew me away and brought me to tears. However, loved the cooking school, and wine tasting/tour as well. Nice compliment to expected landmarks. Wonderful group of people was an additional bonus."

Lee

Mt Prospect, IL

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour that met all my expectations. The accomodations and food were very good. Our tour director Cecilia was experienced, and very knowledgeable. She had an excellent depth of knowledge and made her lectures both informative and interesting. The tour covered all the of high points of each city visited, with plenty of free-time to see and explore more. Also very fun were the cooking class and tour of the winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Venice was a "wow" moment. Loved everything about that city. Another "wow" moment was Rome's Coliseum."

Esther

Downey, CA

Tour: 04/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I first joined Rick Steves tour, I had my reservations. I took a tour before with another company and they provided a horrible guide! Well, from day 1, my tour guide Cecilia was AMAZING! Cecelia was full of knowledge, warmth, and generally amazing person! It is because of Cecelia amazing personality and knowledge of Italy that I will definitely take Rick Steves tour again! Also, Sarah was just the sweetest person!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think every moments was great.....however what stick out the most is when our last night, my sister and I almost got robbed by gypsies and Cecilia just showed concern and made sure we where okay!"

Bethany

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour allowed us to see so many things in our 10 days in Italy! It was worth every penny! Without the tour and our guide, we would have been wandering around, trying to figure things out on our own and surely missing many great esperiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide had us do a backwards "bus" walk to see Michelangelo's David at the Accademia in Florence. He lined us up and directed us backwards (so we couldn't see until we were almost at the end of the hall). Then he had us turn around and "WOW" there was David- looming in front of us! It was amazing! :) (And really funny too!)"

Candice

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour hit all of the sights we wanted to see in Venice, Florance and Rome with plenty of free time to explore on our own. While it was an intense schedule with plenty of walking, it kept us motivated to see things even when we were tired. In addition, we were able to skip long lines and have professional local guides for the sights. Our tour guide, Alfio, was so helpful whether it came to explaining the local customs or helping answer our questions about the history of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the visit to the winery in the Tuscan hills between Florence and Rome. It was gorgeous, warm, and relaxing. The food and wine was excellent and it was lovely to converse with our tour mates in such a relaxing setting."

Patrick

Reno, NV

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to get introduced to Italy. All of the "must sees" were covered and many of some lesser-known gems that I thoroughly enjoyed. The guides were fabulous and our group was really nice and fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. In Venice, it was probably St. Mark's Square & Basilica; in Florence, the Uffizi; in Rome, the Colosseum/Forum. Probably my favorite, though, was our wine tasting/lunch in Umbria. That was the Italy I was really looking forward to seeing."

Pat

Escondido, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour, and after going thru all the photos, can't believe how much we were able to experience! Will definitely recommend to friends. Having ahead of the line status, and our tickets ready , was so helpful. Also liked the non-structured time, and Alfio's recommendations regarding this. The cooking school was great fun! Still not sold on the carry-on bag only- I may never return, and it was so limiting in bringing back gifts; women need more personal care products than men!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting REALLY good gelato- after Alfio's tutorial. Seriously, it's a tie between first seeing the canals of Venice and the Entire wine tasting experience- the views, the relaxation, and the food and drink! Really need to return to Venice, and the wine tasting lunch awakened the need to see small towns Italy. The ' last supper' was a perfect conclusion to the tour!"

Stephen

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an outstanding overview of the three major Italian cities. We had not been to Italy before, and this was a convenient introduction to the country, its art, and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the back streets of Venice, St. Peter's in the Vatican, and the Roman Forum."

Ann

Windsor Heights, IA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group this time was not anything like our first group experience where we were with similar aged and educated people. This bulk of the group was younger than us and a bit rowdier. Overall I loved the three cities. Alfio was fantastic as were the other city guides. Also loved the whisperers so we didn't have to hang on the guide to hear. The meals were fantastic!!!! Really enjoyed the cooking school experience which I didn't think I would.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wows - the Sistine Chapel blew my mind. Long time Catholic so it was much anticipated. Also the lunch at the vineyard was very special. Scenery was idyllic."

Howard

Short Hills, NJ

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Greatly enjoyed the tours to various sites, museums and churches. I was very impressed with the high caliber of each guide you provided. Hotels were not fantastic but were clean and well located. Alfio was a terrific guy, a very congenial shepherd as well as knowledgeable guide himself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say - many high points. Perhaps the Basilica di San Clemente in Ancient Rome. The excavation and presentation was amazing."

Gary

Escondido, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great time, very busy days. We could have used a day in the middle or just before Rome to relax. Maybe a night over at the Winery would have been in order!! It was so very peaceful and relaxing there both the wife and I would have liked to spend more time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cooking Class in Florence and the Winery visit on the way to Rome!!!"

Tamara

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steve's Tour and again I am very satisfied with the experience.

Joe

Columbus, OH

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided an excellent introduction to the three cities and renaissance Italy. Tour structure and guide promoted independent travel with the benefits of a tour group. Local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't limit it to one moment. The moments I'm still savoring are: 1. The Colosseum and the Forum. To be in the center of ancient Rome was a powerful experience. Our local guide did a wonderful job setting the scene for us. 2. Sitting in the Campo di Ghetto Nuovo on a quiet Sunday afternoon watching children play in the square 3. Upper hall of Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Amazing,even when jet lagged. 4. The bright colors of Michaelangelo's Tondo Doni in the Uffizi. 5. Pistachio Gelato"

Karen

Oxnard, CA

Tour: 04/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall tour was well organized with phenomenal tour guides. Big disappointment was the food and hotels provided on tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best moments were art tour (unfitting and Sistine chapel), historical tour of Rome and lunch at wine makers house."

Glenda

Oakland, TN

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela was so positive, so enthusiast about the tour, the sight-seeing. As I listened to her it was like being transformed back in time. The way she described the churches, the paintings, and then to actually see them. It was so different, you see pictures but to see the real thing it was overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the colosseum - two thousand years old and still standing, listening to the guide describe the battles held there you could almost see it. To visit places that you only studied about, to hear about people you studied about to see where they died, again overwhelming."

Shelly

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was OUTSTANDING! For my very first trip to Europe, the tour was great. RSE fit our lifestyle perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been dreaming of going to Venice since I was 11. My "WOW" moment is when I got off the train in Venice and came around the corner and saw the Grand Canal and Venice for the first time. It took my breath away, and brought tears to my eyes. Even thinking about it now, a month later, I still get that feeling."

Sara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience. Our guide did a wonderful job explaining cultural differences to be aware of on our orientation night to really help us get the best experience in Italy. This was my first tour with Rick Steves and I'm so happy we booked it. I'm looking forward to our next adventure with you. Also, I'm happily sharing my wonderful experience with friends and co-workers. I simply cannot say enough wonderful things about this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite moments were the wine pairing and lunch in Umbria and the cooking class. Such non-touristy experiences were great. We all expected to see the big ticket items, but I really enjoyed the winery and the cooking class!"

George

Worland, WY

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Got lots of history, art appreciation and food wrapped up in a good time. Met some new people whose acquaintance I will treasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking up at the David. Much like seeing the Grand Teton for the first time. Impressive and awesome. Perhaps even more, the De Medici tomb, Moses and the Pieta were warmer and more humanistic for me."

Margaret

Worland, WY

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My main interest was the art of Michelangelo and this was definitely the tour to take and I was not disappointed. Second was the art and architecture of which Italy abounds. Third was the people and culture which Daniela made very accessible and understandable. The Tenuta Le Velette winery and In Tavola cooking class were both highly enjoyed and perfect breaks from museums and churches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each and every day had a wow moment. Walking into St Marks Square on our first evening in Venice took our breath away. Every time I saw a Michelangelo work, I was in awe. Getting to the top of St. Peter's in Rome was worth every step. Each city was so unique and fun to explore on its own terms."

David

Keizer, OR

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great balance of guided tours and leisure time. Very informative guide, not only about sights but also the cultural context of the local environment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Grand Canal for the first time was an absolute wow moment."

James

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. On tour, Time is your most valuable resource. This tour allowed you to see, do, and experience everything you hope for in a most efficient and enjoyable manner. The invaluable past experience and knowledge of Rick and his people paves the way for an experience you couldn't begin to put together on your own. Excellent value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pulling into the winery in Umbria. So beautiful. It was out of a dream."

Eric

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an absolutely amazing time. This was my first time in Europe. I traveled with my wife, her first time as well. So everything was a first experience. Someone said if it is not to your liking change your liking. That was my goal from the beginning and I accomplished it. I wanted to keep an open mind and take it all in. But there wasn't anything I could think of that I didn't like. After our tour we went to Germany for 8 days. The tour gave us the confidence to do everything we planned on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several years ago I went to art school studying graphic design. One course they made us take was at history, which by the way I'm glad I did now. One project was, pick one artist in history that changed the future, and research that artist. I chose Michelangelo. So my wow moment and I mean sent shivers down my spine kind of moment, was seeing David in real life. One thing about the tour was not only we saw the biggies, from Michelangelo but we also saw some hidden gems. That we didn't even know."

Michelle

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I enjoyed a delightful tour and cultural experience. I really had no expectations or preconceived notions about the tour, although I had read the book that Rick provided. Truly, Daniela made the tour great and made it all exciting and come to life. She was personable, professional, passionate and had a great sense of humour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised how unique each city was: Venice, Florence, and Rome. I loved the cooking class and was wowed when we were taken down to the wine cellar to eat the meal we cooked. That experience seemed to make an emotional impression on me."

Robert

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, saw all the highlights plus so much more with a great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stop at winery for lunch."

Helen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent combination of historical and cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking down the hall approaching Michelangelo's David was thrilling."

Eydie

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 03/23/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved Rick Steves' tour! Our guide, Daniela was amazing! We had so much fun learning about the history, the culture, the art, the food & our fellow travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Venice, walking into St. Marks square for the first time. I was so over-whelmed I almost cried. I felt as if I was walking a path back in time. (I had goosebumps.) What an incredibly beautiful place!"

Karena

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah was a SUPERB tour guide. Her excellent knowledge of art history and the fabulous personal connections made our time in Italy, OVER the TOP, FANTASTIC!!! I am very much looking forward to recommending this tour to my family and friends when we return home. The cost had very great value and I simply cannot say enough about how GREAT it was!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Such a difficult decision as there were so Many!! I Loved the tour with Francesca in Rome, our cooking class in Florence, visiting the winery in Tuscany, to name only a few of the many!!!"

Graham

San Pedro, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, and we went with Rick Steve based on positive reviews, that were right on, and included great places to stay right in the heart of the best locations in each city. superb tour guides, and local experts who made the cities and art come alive. great organization, with no waiting in line and fast travel led by Sarah down back streets and "compresso" onto the subway in rush hour. Dining experiences and wine tasting that really helped us experience the local scene.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca and the tour of San Clemente, then the Colosseum and Forum, was the wow moment that I had read about in the reviews, that made me decide to take this tour. She was superb, fantastic, and told me she has not read the reviews that celebrate her passion and love of Rome."

Thomas

St Paul, MN

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A whirlwind of activity that engaged us in the country -- it gave us a good sense of the food, people and history in a brief amount of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the ruins of old Rome, particularly the guided tour through Basilica di San Clemente"

Maureen

Anaheim Hills, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Felt like I was in a Medieval Fairland. Sarah was delightful as was each local tour guide. Learned so much and was amazed at the knowledge of each of your guides. Would go on another tour in a minute (when funds are available). Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moment can't be defined. Found those moments in Venice, Florence and Rome. Cannot pull down a defining moment."

Alan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/20/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah did a wonderful job. A third of the tour members were a day late because of the airline strikes and she set up another welcome dinner once we were all there. I like the format where she would get us to see the major sites in the morning and then turn us loose for the rest of the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the amazing art and architecture."

Larry

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour. If all were like this will not be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour was fantastic. Sharing with my wife and our tour family WOW."

Karen

Lakeville, MN

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and first time to travel to Europe. We picked the best possible way to experience it. Thanks! Martin was a superb tour guide! We are grateful for the free time allowed in the afternoons to choose what we would like to venture further into. Also, the hotel locations within the city allowed us more time to experience sites. Our city guides were expertly knowledgeable about their town and shared their information with passion as it should be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being located in the heart of each city gave us the local feel a traveler should have. I believe the "wow" moment to be how the tour was orchestrated with the city guides, eating experiences and highlighted visits and suggestions Martin gave for our free time."

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall total experience was better than outstanding! It was so great that we plan on doing a Sicily trip in two years. Martin has such a vast knowledge of the history of the church and art that I was always interested in the lesson. He made navigating the cities quite easy when he had to do it on our own. He let us know getting lost was not a mistake and gave us hints on how to get lost so we could learn more about the city,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two "wow" moments. The first one was when we were on the vapretto in Venice finding our hotel (BTW the instructions given in our email were perfect) and we looked at the canal and looked at each other and couldn't believe that we were there! Such a picturesque post-card view. It was an overwhelming emotional experience that I still can't explain to our friends. The second "wow" moment was when we went into St. Peter's in Rome."

Diana

Seattle, WA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lavish, spectacular, awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vatican and the Grand Canal!"

Nancy

Rohnert Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Martin was wonderful; entertaining and very knowledgeable. Local tour guide in Florence, Angelo, was also great; I loved his anthropological approach. It was, as advertised, strenuous; we fell into bed at 8:30 p.m. exhausted, onle to get up again at 6:30 a.m. to begin again. The mix of guided orientations and tours with free time each day was very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the cooking class in Florence. Teachers were very easy going and reinforcing, and the food we all made was wonderful."

Gregory

San Diego, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Sreves's was highly recommended to me by my brother Doug Lawrence who did the 21 day tour back in the early 90's. We were not disappointed! We loved our accommodations in the heart if each city. Well, the bed were a bit uncomfortable in Florence, but no big deal. The tour was fabulous, all my wife Pam and I had hoped for, and more!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gee, There were so many... I am a professional violinist, so I found two brilliant concerts to attend in Venice... The instrument gallery in the Florence museum was a BIG draw to me. Strads and Amatis WOW I also got to visit Vettori and Family Violin shop in Florence, and played 3 of his instruments... PINCH ME!!! My wife and I LOVED the cooking class! The eating part was good too LOL :) The visit to the Vineyard was AWESOME as I am a total wino... LOL"

Art

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, guide and members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many but the Colosseum and Vatican."

Richard

Monterey Park, CA

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour! martin PARAMOUNT man!! hotel in venice was average--no amenties--no tv. wish it had elevator. side trip to pisa would have been nice instead of downtime

Favorite "WOW" moment

"this is hard--all WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!"

Elizabeth

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible tour with an incredible guide and incredible people. Experienced Venice, Florence, and Rome in a way that would not have been possible traveling on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coolest part of the tour was experiencing the Vatican. Not only is every building beautiful, but the history behind it all is outstanding. The facts would not have been possible without or knowledgable tour guide, Martin."

Colleen

Belmont, MI

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fun tour, very well organized and suited to 3 generations of women in my family. Martin was an outstanding guide - knowledgeable, funny, helpful. I really loved the focus and description on a limited number of paintings/statues to get the background, symbolism and detail. No too much (even so, I had to write notes when I got back to the hotel). The variety was fantastic - not too much of any type of activity and I liked having the headsets so we could hear clearly all the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was cooking lunch in Florence with Francisco. I also liked the panoramic view of the Colosseum."

Howard

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was intense, but we enjoyed it immensely. It was a great way to tour Venice, Florence and Rome and get as much out of our visit as possible in the limited time we were in each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The presentation by the tour guide in Florence was outstanding. He provided information that we would not have been able to gather ourselves. There is so much to see in Florence that we would have been overwhelmed if we attempted to tour each building on our own. He made best use of the time we had available by focusing on the most important artwork."

Carolyne

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. The guides were all excellent and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first view of the Grand Canal in Venice from the Rialto Bridge."

Clifton

Glendale, AZ

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was outstanding, exhausting, but outstanding. We were there for a total of 15 days, 3 before the tour and 2 after, and we walked 121.65 miles. It was incredible to walk back into history by visiting Venice, Florence, and Rome. Now to review the 4,453 photos we took.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it would have to be the Grand Canal in Venice with "David" if Florence a very close second. Venice was lack luster to me until listening to Rick Steves' Audio Europe iPhone app and the Venice - Grand Canal Cruise! That audio brought Venice alive for me and I enjoyed the city so much more after. In Florence, "David" was awesome. I had no idea that statue was so huge and magnificent."

Norma

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really enjoyed it although would have chosen to go a little slower--so much to absorb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice"

John

Lehigh Acres, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the art history that the guides provided at each of the venues. Daniela was great, very charming and gave us enough information at the right time without overwhelming us. The hotel in Florence was terrific. The wine experience and cooking class was a nice break from the historical information we were getting. Even tho I was expecting a lot of walking, I was tired from it all. I was told we averaged 7 miles per day. Will definitely take another tour with your company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment of the tour was seeing the David. But before that the Wow moment was when we went into our Florence hotel room. When I saw the canopied bed, I was sure they had made a mistake and gave us the wrong room; but I was;t telling anyone."

Donald

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Daniela was informative, accessable (did not seem irritated when interrupted), and very personable. Her thoughtful treats made me feel appreciated. The local guides were all easy to understand and follow; they brought some much elightenment to our trip, both on orientation walks and museum/gallery talks. Two critical limitations: At the Aberdeen Hotel in Rome the beds were so firm they made my bones ache. At breakfast the lone server struggled to meet minimal needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the approach to Michaelangelo's David, the hallway of unfinished pieces (especially the Pieta) just overwhelmed me. They made evident the process in manual labor necessary to liberate his desired creations in stone."

Dan

Boularderie, NS

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought that the guides were very knowledgeable in their fields, which was art. A lot of people on the tour seemed to be into the art aspect of Italy, however there is a lot of history in Italy that they didn't really cover, (with the exception of the Flavian Ampetheatre). While the art is good, you need the history to really complete the story of what Italy was and what it has become. But it was a good tour overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably on the Piazza di Michelle Angelo- even though it wasn't on the guided part, seeing the whole of Florence from that view was really fun"

Nancy

Chanhassen, MN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative and easy to follow. The tour guides were very informative and knowledgeable .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the regions, church tours, and the visit to historical sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, and castles."

Eve

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. The hotels were centrally located and easy to find; accommodations were very good and the staff at each hotel were kind and welcoming. Daniela is a great tour guide and she provided a lot of useful and interesting information as we traveled from one Italian city to the next. Cecilia, Ludavica, and Elisabetta are outstanding local guides that enhanced the experience. I will definitely go on a Rick Steves' tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing The David in Florence. Daniela was leading us through the museum and was very discreet about what we would see as we turned the corner. The statue is truly magnificent and I think many in our group literally uttered "wow" when we saw it."

Virginia

Middleburg Hts, OH

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great memories..we really experienced alot. So much info about the art we were seeing.We also benefited from real life experiences like stopping at an Auto grill,having a cooking class & learning about wine at a Winery;these were a respite from the intense touring. Also moving from city to city by bus gave us an opportunity to rest & transition from one area to another, with information about each region given by our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One for each city:Venice = St. Marc's Square; Florence= the Duomo;Rome=St. Peter's Basilica;"

Marvin

Gilby, ND

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I had a very good time. There was a mix of activities one would never have experienced with out this program. ie, cooking school, the winery experience. Daniela gets very high marks. She combined a great knowledge of subject matter as well as a very pleasant personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"statue of David, the Pantheon, the Colosseum."

Gina

Venice, CA

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever. I've always dispelled the idea of going on a group tour but because of Rick Steves and his ethic (and the emails I receive) we decided we would take the chance. It was absolutely mind-changing! The amount of tour time and independent time was perfect. The restaurants we visited, the tour and local guides added so much more then we ever could have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my! So hard to pick just one. But I think it was seeing the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore for the first time. It was such an emotional experience; having read about it in art history classes."

Deborah

Nashville, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my sixth "guided tour," not all of which were group tours. It was my fourth group tour in Europe. It was by far the best for guides, sites to see, information provided, hotel location and pre-tour communication. And there were surprises! We all love surprises!

Melanie

Mt Juliet, TN

Tour: 03/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot imagine a better tour than this one! Our over-all tour guide was Daniela and she was superb, as were the guides in the local cities. The small size of the group allowed for a lot more fun and togetherness. There were a number of nice surprise visits, and Daniela treated us several times to special unexpected sweets. Hotels were clean and safe - but not fancy - and hotel staff was always great. I would recommend this to anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, my favorite wow moment was seeing Michelangelo's David, followed by the Pieta. These were the reasons I wanted to make the trip and they did not disappoint."

Elizabeth

Nancy, KY

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredible; an excellent balance of cultural locations, history, and having a little taste of Italian life in each city. Each hotel was in a great location, something I doubt I would be able to arrange without the tour. The guides were excellent and informative. And the wine tasting and cooking class were great additions I would have never thought to do on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very hard to pick as the entire tour was pretty "wow". In Venice I would have to say seeing the island of Burano and its beautifully colored houses was pretty great. In Florence it was the inside of the Baptistery. And in Rome seeing the cremation spot of Julius Caesar laid with flowers (in honor of his death as we were there during the Ides of March) was pretty wow."

Joe

Elmhurst, IL

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience was terrific, we were given a very nice orientation in each city which allowed us to explore on our own during those periods when we did not have scheduled tour events. The actual scheduled tour events were great, highlighting the best parts of each city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Literally too many to mention. The gondola rides in Venice, the art in Florence, and the Vatican in Rome. Very difficult to choose any one over another."

Joan

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous experience! The group was great - interesting and fun people - and our guide (Cecilia) could not have been better! This was our first Rick Steves' tour and it exceeded all expectations. Being part of this group maximized our learning and cultural experience. It was so nice to not have to think about getting tickets to museums/sites nor wait in lines. The amount of free time was adequate and we appreciated Cecilia's suggestions and help with additional activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments for me! Venice was charming and so different than anyplace I have ever been - loved the trip to Burano and the gondola ride. Florence was beautiful - seeing Michelangelo's David and the view of the city from the top of the Duomo was amazing! The cooking class was lots of fun and loved going to the winery. San Clemente, Colosseum, Pantheon and Basilica in Rome were all "wows"!"

Susan

Arcata, CA

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a single women I made a last minute booking that took some juggling. After several calls back and forth I felt that the agent and I were good friends and she was going to do everything to make it work for my time schedule. From this start to our grand Finale dinner Cecilia guided us through the magic of Italy and made my first trip to Italy very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touching the stones of ancient history that I had read about but never seen. Seeing the new fashions alongside the old."

Bonnie

Victoria, BC

Tour: 03/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a fantastic experience. I took this tour to bolster my background knowledge in History of Art. I had studied sand taught some of the art of this area and was anxious to see it. Cecelia made this tour great. I also bonded with Stacey who was accompanying Cecelia. She will make a great guide as well. My roommate was a perfect fit. We had a great group of people from all over. I was surprised to be the only Canadian. It became a USA trip. The mix of people became a unit quite quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment was "David" in Florence. I almost fell down in seeing it. I had studied Michaelangelo and his work for a good part of my life and to actually see this was overwhelming. The Uffizi was great as well. The Sistine Chapel and St Peters were great but too crowded to fully appreciate!"

Hollis

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible experience and Martin was a superb tour leader. The organization of the tour, the [INVALID]ion of the events, the individual tour guides for sites, the group of tour participants were all great. It was a marvelous experience. Couldn't have wished for anything better. We had tagged on three days in Paris on our own before the Rick Steves trip and so Paris combined with Venice, Florence and Rome made an extraordinary two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente in Rome opened up our eyes to seeing Rome and the guided tour was moving and illuminating. (Hard to pick one "wow" moment.)"

Will

Hickory, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've used your guidebooks previously to plan trips, but never taken anyone's tours. But these cities in Italy seemed a little daunting for us on our own. This completely surpassed our expectations for a tour experience. Well organized and guided by Martin, we were well cared for without being rushed or herded about. The local guides were wonderful. Hotels were great. The group gelled nicely. Maybe 4 days in each city would be better, but perhaps better to leave wanting more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"San Clemente Church in Rome. Descending with Francesca to a Roman street of of 65AD or so, was amazing. Our entire time with her was enlightening, to say the least."

Julie

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband I had never been to Italy before this trip, so I was a little overwhelmed trying to plan it on my own. I heard about Rick Steves' tours, and liked everything I read about them. My expectations could not have been better met. We truly had "no grumps" on our trip. Very nice people on the tour. No smokers. Martin was FANTASTIC! The local tour guides were very knowledgeable. The whole thing was amazing. There was a great mix of "tour time" and alone time. Very well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel for me was definitely a "wow" for me. I walked in, and I was overwhelmed by all the beauty surrounding me. I would not call myself particularly religious, but when one of the priests said the "Our Father" prayer while I was gazing up and around at all the masterpieces and the genius to create them, I was blown away. I just started crying because it was so amazing to be there. I could feel the millions of souls of everyone who had prayed there before me."

Maura

South Wales, NY

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed it. I liked the 3 cities, a nice variation to experience the Italian culture. Our tour guide, Martin, was very good. He had a good knowledge base of each area, and very easy and fun to work with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was in Rome, the tour of the colliseum was amazing, my daughter's "wow" moment was in Venice, the gondola ride. However, there really was many wow moments on this trip, it was a very enjoyable vacation!"

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience for us. Of course, Venice, Florence, and Rome are wonderful places...but between our guide, Martin, and the local guides we met, the trip was even beyond our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Funny you should ask...Many times during our tour I said, "no, this was the best thing," only to make the same statement a day or two later over yet another experience. The word experience is key...we did not simply stand and view these amazing sights, we were led to experience them. Loved the gondola ride, cooking class, wine tasting, meals, people"

Jacqueline

Edgewater, MD

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never taken a tour before and were a bit skeptical about such a structured experience. We needn't have worried, this tour was so well designed, with plenty of time to go our own way and participate in the group portions. Martin was a terrific guide, and the local guides in each of the cities were exceptional. They provided a way to view the museums and other sites with so much more understanding. Our tour group was great, an interesting and congenial group with no complainers. Bravo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to choose one moment. Each of the cities had its own. My "moment" lasted 10 days...it was the whole experience of getting acquainted with three very different cities, all they contain and exploring them with such a congenial group and wonderful guides!"

Christine

Calgary, AB

Tour: 03/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Met some lovely people. Friendly guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the experiences, e.g. wine tasting lunch / cooking class. Also enjoyed the quality of the tour guides."

Gary

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just a wonderful experience. Lisa was so personable, prepared, organized, enthusiastic, caring, and flexible[INVALID]she would have made any tour great. The other guides were equally impressive. The depth and breadth of information imparted was well beyond expectations. All of our group meals were truly delicious, festive occasions. Servers were efficient, yet congenial and most pleasant. The "active" nature of the tour was most appropriate for my personal approach to things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than just one moment. . . Im completely in awe of what and how the Romans did what they did. That they could design, engineer, and construct such grand things so long ago is truly amazing. The details, artistic beauty, and sheer grandeur . . ."

Lynda

Rocklin, CA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Attn. Lisa Anderson A Fantastic trip. Lisa"s expertice as a guide was amazing. When she had to make quick changes due to unexpected happenings... she did so... effectively and efficiently. She "worked" our group like a pro. She was extremely knowledgeable, organized, and humorously dealt with whatever obstacles arrived. Showed sensitivity while still ruling with an"iron" hand. In short.... SHE WAS GREAT.... Would do another tour with her in a heart beat.... and strongly recommend her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow".... That's kinda hard...Florence is my favorite, but that said.... I learned so much in Rome from both of our guides that amazed me and really got me excited about all the structural knowledge, and history of local lore,etc."

Stephen

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride on the Grand canal accompanied by the singing and guitar. Nicely done. Also, the David, Basilica, the Carnevale costumes, the Doge, Pitti Palace."

Melanie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second 10 Day Best of Italy tour in the past 3 years and it was just as fantastic the second time around. Our tour guide Lisa was professional, personable, knowledgeable and quite frankly...FUN! I love how you get to do all the "must do's" and have plenty of unscheduled time to enjoy your personal tastes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice for sure. I know its touristy but WOW. It's simply a must."

Debra

Tupelo, MS

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first overseas trip and we (my husband and I) thought the Rick Steves' experience would be a good option for us as it would alleviate the stress of making all of the arrangements on our own. As fans of the TV program, we felt we would greatly benefit from the expertise planning/knowledge provided by the Rick Steve's Company. We were not disappointed! Visited three large cities and saw some major art and architecture! Our guide did a great job keeping us on task to meet this goal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had two favorite "wow" moments: The square at St.Mark's Basilica and Michelangelo's "David". Amazing! I was overwhelmed with wonder and a sense of serenity by these treasure and the history they represent."

Ron

Seattle, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it was quite different from our normal travel. We are independent travelers and have been taking trips every year. When we went to Europe on those trips, we used Rick Steves books and think the advice was right on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably a moment when we got off on our own in Florence. We saw a bill outside a church for a daily organ concert. The time was confusing on the bill and the event itself was quirky with an out of tune organ and a less than brilliant organist. It also included what looked like a Gypsy who came into the church acted the part of a priest at the alter, blessed us all and left. He was on something I'm sure. But it just made it more memorable."

Cynthia

Salem, OR

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was #7 of our tours and per usual we were not disappointed at all! It was another perfect "Rick Steves" experience. From the moment we met our terrific guide Lisa Anderson until when we left, we believe we were well taken care of, well fed and entertained to the max. We had plenty of time to do things on our own as well as a more than adequate number of things to do with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride at night on the Grand Canal with the music accompaniment. Very sweet and poetic."

Mario

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time for my wife Gladys and myself visiting Italy. First time going on vacation using a guided Tour. What can we said about our experience...many many good things for sure. Well organized and very informative tour, excellent planning, outstanding tour guides, great hotel locations and the list goes on and on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very difficult to name one or two WOW moments,...where do I start, this is hard,....for us the entire trip was a BIG WOW. We love the balance and variety of city vs. the cultural experience. We arrived to Venice one day before our tour, and we have some time to wander around. Went for a walk, and took one of the many narrow streets/passages between buildings and ended up in front of the St. Mark Square,.....that moment was our first BIG WOW."

Brent

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Lisa, and the other tour guides, did a great job melding the classical, Renaissance, and modern Italy. It all flowed together into a consistent pattern that helped me better appreciate each era. The amount of group time and alone time was well balanced. I needed the alone time after group experiences, and Lisa provided good suggestions for individual sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable time was standing in the Pantheon, marveling at the pagan structure, the Baroque patina, and then looking up to see sky through the Ocular. It was an epiphany, a stop-still moment to see the movement of the white clouds and brilliant blue projected through and transcending the classical dome. It epitomized our reach for the ideal. We will always fall short, but it's the desire and attempts to transcend ourselves that give me hope."

Denise

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have previously used the RS services (telephone consult, guidebooks) to plan a couple of great trips to Europe. We found the tour experience to be of excellent value. It relieved us of so much of the planning work which was wonderful; not needing to arrange museum passes, transportation, etc on our own was nice. But even more rewarding were the (backdoor) experiences we had, as well as the knowledge (from guides) we gained, which we would not have been able to attain on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose a favorite. My friends have asked which was my favorite city -- my reply --each one while I was there. I guess the the architecture -- (i.e., St Mark's in Venice, the Colosseum, Pantheon, Sistine chapel, St Peter's, San Clemente in Rome, Santa Maria Novella in Florence) --was the most moving for me. In each I had a "thin place" experience."

Molly

La Center, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michaelanglo's David."

Walter

Washington, DC

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' Tour and, like the first, it totally exceeded my expectations. The tour, of course, hit the highlights of Venice, Florence, and Rome but also went to less traveled places which are what makes a Rick Steves' Tour very special. One of my favorite such places was the winery in Orvieto. It was small, family run and the wine tasting and lunch that was provided exclusively for our group was a true delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, but I think my two favorites were the sight of the Grand Canal in Venice and St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. No matter how many times you see images of Venice in photographs and film when actually seen in person it takes your breath away. At the Vatican, the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica is almost unbelievable."

Rachel

Yakima, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an absolutely wonderful time! Great group, good balance of activities and free time. Traveled with my father and we both had an unforgettable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my surprise, I loved Venice! Bright sunny day, grand canal sparkling, and Carnivale! Amazing!"

Michael

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 02/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was awesome. visiting all of the churches, museums and seeing first hand the art work that I have read about for years was great. The different cusines that we tried both in the resturants and in the hotels were delicious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"DAVID"

Kathryn

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be very informative and enjoyable. Our guide and the guest guides were knowledgeable and helpful. We could not have had a better group of people to tour with. There was just the right amount of scheduled tours and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the visit to the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome."

Kathleen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the Officia Visit (during free time) to Borghese Gallery"

Patricia

Erlanger, KY

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a lifetime! Venice, Florence and Rome were excellent cities to visit in Italy. Each city was unique and I loved them all. I am thinking about the next "Rick Steve's Tour" that I want to book. We had 18 people in our group and I think we had the best group! The ages ranged from 20 to 75 and each person had something special to add to the trip. I would go back to Italy tomorrow if I could.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All 3 cities were excellent and the organized cities tours were perfect. I really enjoyed the "cooking class" in Florence and the "winery tour" on the way to Rome. Each experience was unique and a VERY fun group activity."

Scott

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Venice, Florence, and Rome was everything we expected from RS Tours. The local guides in each of the cities were top-notch professionals who cared deeply and personally about the culture of their towns. The group meals were excellent, I was "forced" to try cuisine I would not have chosen on my own. Our RS organizer/leader/facilitator was very comfortable to be with. Donald was much valued by our group for his expertise, guidance, and suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW! moment was when I sat on top of our palace's tower roof and had a remarkable panoramic view of Florence!! Being able to see the domes of the churches we visited, the towers around the city, and then a beautiful sunset, was awesome."

William

Madison, AL

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed our tour as I like walking through cities and getting to experience some of the local lifestyle. Our guide Donald and the other guests were fun to be around for the 10 days as everyone embraced the "No grumps" mantra. It also helped that the weather cooperated throughout the trip with only 2 days with rain (and one was during the bus trip from Venice to Florence). Based on this experience, my wife and I plan to take other Rick Steves tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water tour during the Venice stay to the island of Burano with its multicolor houses and the lace-making museum. The small town with every house a different color was spectacular on the day we visited, and listening an 80+ year old woman (through our guide as translator) as she told her story was fascinating."

Donna

Qualicum Beach, BC

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My first time travelling solo in Italy was memorable. Our guide was very knowlegable,approachable and easy going. The tour covered all the sites I wanted to see, and the rest I saw in my free time. I would go on another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The big "wow" was David..but there were many others...It was great to be in Venice during the Carnival, and was glad to see both Murano and Burano."

Lorene

Wyomissing, PA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really appreciated the knowledge of our tour guide, Donald. Enjoyed the time spent together as a group, quick entrance to museums, etc, and the free time to explore on our own. Having an "extra" tour guide from the area was a good experience. Having the fun activities of cooking lesson, winery tour and tasting and 1st night in the city evening meals together were great. I will recommend to anyone/everyone that a Rick Steve's tour is the way to go!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Colosseum was amazing. The hotel in Florence, the Hotel Torre Guelfa, was an amazing overall experience, from the room to the views on the rooftop terrace. Also a piano recital from the owner's fiancé was an added treat."

Julie

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 02/13/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the hotels were clean and exceptionally well located. I thought the buses that took us from Venice to Florence and Florence to Rome were luxurious and spacious. I was very impressed with the dinners hosted by our guide. It was obvious that he had gone to some trouble to select just the right place and the right menu. I also liked the selection of places and things we visited.But what I liked the best was the balance of free-time and guided touring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the back streets of Florence and visiting the Uffizi Gallery with our wonderful guide Antonio. Also eating in the restaurant where Julius Caesar was murdered."

Weather

Italy / Venice


Italy / Florence


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

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

Trip Resources

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

Transportation

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

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

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Venice and out of Rome ("multi-city" on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy. Both Venice and Rome are major transportation hubs, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

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

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Venice that we do not do as a group: Campanile di San Marco (bell tower); Dalmatian School chapel; Jewish Ghetto and Museum; Santa Maria della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore churches; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the island of Murano.

Packing

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