• Prato della Valle, Padua, Italy
    Prato della Valle in Padua
  • Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
    Ravenna's Basilica di San Vitale
  • Assisi
  • Truffle hunting in rural Umbria, Italy
    Truffle Hunting in Umbria
  • Civita di Bagnoregio
  • Wine tasting session, Orvieto, Italy
    Wine Tasting Near Orvieto
  • Cooking class in Chianciano Terme, Italy
    Cooking Class in Tuscany
  • Lucca
  • Manarola in the Cinque Terre
  • Lake Orta, Italy
    Lake Orta

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Village Italy in 14 Days Tour

from $4,195 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $675

See Tour Dates

La dolce vita (the sweet life) describes the intimate magic of small town Italy. This tour — with a tasty focus on food, wine, and culture — helps you live it. Starting in elegant Padua, your Rick Steves guide will take you through Italy's seductive countryside: artistic Ravenna, St. Francis' Assisi, medieval Siena, Puccini's Lucca, cliff-hugging Cinque Terre harbors, and off-the-beaten-path hill towns and vistas. You'll be rubbing elbows with Italian culture, learning about crafting pottery, cutting marble, cooking pasta, making wine — even hunting truffles. Join us for Village Italy in 14 Days!

Dates & Prices

2020

    • Apr 18–May 1 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • Apr 20–May 3 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • Apr 27–May 10 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • May 4–May 17 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,395 + Air

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    • May 18–May 31 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,395 + Air

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    • May 23–Jun 5 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,395 + Air

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    • Sep 12–Sep 25 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,595 + Air

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    • Sep 19–Oct 2 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,595 + Air

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    • Oct 10–Oct 23 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,395 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 21 group sightseeing events • Padua walking tour • Scrovegni Chapel • Padua's Anatomy Theater (when available) • Mosaics of Ravenna's San Vitale and Galla Placidia • Assisi's Basilica of St. Francis • Truffle hunt • Deruta pottery demonstration • Wine tasting • Orvieto orientation walk • Orvieto Cathedral and Signorelli's frescoes • Civita di Bagnoregio • Etruscan Museum • Italian cooking class • Siena orientation walk • Tuscan hill town • Lucca walking tour • Olive oil tasting and lunch • Carrara marble quarry • Ligurian Coast cruise (weather permitting) • Orientation for "vacation" day on the Italian Riviera • Lake Orta cruise…and more
  • All group transportation from Padua to Lake Orta
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • 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 2020
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

Our tour begins in elegant Padua (Padova) — an easy bus ride from Venice's Marco Polo Airport. We'll gather at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a group meeting. Then we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk together and get acquainted with one another over dinner. Sleep in Padua (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: All Day to Discover Padua

We'll hit the ground walking this morning, with a tour of Padua and its colorful market squares and piazzas. Along the way, we'll gape at Giotto's glorious frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and Europe's first great anatomy theater (when available). You'll have the rest of the day to marvel at the Renaissance masterpieces in St. Anthony's Basilica, roam through the university's acclaimed Botanical Garden, or relax with a creamy espresso at a sidewalk café. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Ravenna and Hill Town of Montefalco

We'll drive to nearby Ravenna this morning for a tour of the brilliantly preserved mosaics in Ravenna's Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum. After lunch we'll climb up into the Umbria region to the untouristed little hill town of Montefalco. The rest of your evening is free for wandering through this rustic stone village. Sleep in Montefalco (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Assisi and Truffles

This morning we'll take a short drive to St. Francis' hometown of Assisi, where we'll tour the magnificent art-filled Basilica. Afterward, we'll take a walk through town and have free time for lunch. We'll spend the late afternoon with a local farmer and his specially trained dog, hunting for one of the area's specialties: the truffle. We'll end our day at a scenic country estate enjoying a delightful farm-to-table dinner together (including the truffles). Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Deruta and Orvieto

We'll drive through the peacefully green Umbrian landscape today. Our first stop will be in Deruta for a pottery-making demonstration at a family workshop. Then we'll drive off the beaten path to a rural, family-owned winery for a refreshing wine tasting and lunch. We'll finish our afternoon high atop the nearby hill town of Orvieto, where we'll marvel at the town's dramatic cathedral, including Signorelli's amazing frescoes in the San Brizio Chapel. Sleep in Orvieto (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Umbrian Hill Towns

It's market day in Orvieto! You'll have a free morning to dive into this busy, colorful farmer's market and discover more of Orvieto's friendly charms. In the afternoon, we'll drive down the road and then hike up to the ultimate back door hill town, Civita di Bagnoregio. You'll have free time to revel in the traffic-free alleyways, astounding views, and hidden treasures that make this village so special. Then it's back to Orvieto for a free evening. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Heart of Tuscany

We'll meander north into rural Tuscany today, stopping to visit the fascinating Etruscan Museum at Chianciano, where we'll learn about this mysterious pre-Roman civilization. Before we bite into today's lunch, we'll see how it's made, as our chef gives us a special hands-on Tuscan cooking lesson. Sufficiently fed, we'll end the day at our Tuscan country hotel, where we'll have a light dinner and sleep (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: light.

Day 8: Tranquil Tuscany

This morning we'll head out to Siena, arguably Tuscany's greatest hill town. After an orientation, you'll be free to explore Siena's treasures, including the Duomo and Campo, and linger over lunch. We'll enjoy the afternoon back at our country hotel, where you can hike along the farm paths, take pictures, or simply relax by the pool before dinner together. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Hill Towns and Lucca

Today your guide and driver will take us along the less-traveled scenic route through Tuscany, with stops to wander through timeless hill towns with pristine views. Our final destination today is the engaging and prosperous town of Lucca, where, after an orientation, you'll be free to explore and find a local trattoria for dinner. Sleep in Lucca (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Lovely Lucca and Olive Groves

This morning a local guide will introduce us to Lucca's elegant streets and historic churches, all surrounded by some of Italy's most impressive Renaissance walls. Then we'll head into the countryside to visit a traditional frantoio (olive oil mill), where we'll learn about and sample Italy's famous extra-virgin export and enjoy a farm lunch. The remainder of the day is free back in Lucca to explore more of its layered history, or perhaps take a walk or bike ride atop the walls. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Carrara's Marble and the Riviera

We'll continue north today, pausing to marvel at the marble with a local expert at Carrara's snow-white quarries, the favorite of Renaissance sculptors. Then we'll take to the sea (weather permitting) and enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Ligurian coast, past the wave-washed harbors and hill-hugging villages of the Cinque Terre. Our boat will dock in Monterosso, and then we'll take a short train ride to the beach town of Levanto, our home base for il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). Tonight we'll share a family-prepared seafood feast. Sleep in Levanto (2 nights). Boat: 2 hours. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light.

Day 12: All Day on the Italian Riviera

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. You may choose to hike the cliffside paths, taking in lots of fresh air and panoramic views between Cinque Terre villages. Or pick a village where you can spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 13: Lago d'Orta

We'll make a beeline to Orta San Giulio on the shores of Lake Orta, arriving with plenty of time to stroll its cobbled lanes and medieval square and take a scenic boat ride out to little Isola San Giulio. Tonight we'll enjoy an arrivederci dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! Sleep in Orta San Giulio (1 night). Boat: 1 hour. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Milan's closest airport, Malpensa, is 60–90 minutes away by taxi. Your guide will help coordinate transportation to Malpensa, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Village Italy in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

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

Reviews

Mary

Springfield, IL

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After traveling "with" Rick Steves several times, I have high expectations for the tour guides, the sights, the local guides, the small convenient hotels, the food and drink, and just the total travel experience. This trip was no exception. I saw and did things I would not have experienced if I had been on my own. Many times I did not feel like observing Italian culture but instead felt I was experiencing the Italian culture by being a part of everyday life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. The Mosaics at Ravina were so impressive."

James

Glenview, IL

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the experience of all of Italy - it's people, history, landscape, culture, art, language, cobblestone streets, and last but not least, the food and wine. Ann did an excellent job of connecting all the dots during our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See comments above."

Dennis

Burlington, WI

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Quite pleased with the agenda. We saw parts of Italy that we had not seen before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Etruscan museum tour guide."

Kirsten

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overall experience. My partner and I were somewhat hesitant to do an organized tour, but the reviews of the tours were overwhelmingly positive, and neither of us, both in new jobs, had the bandwidth to plan the logistics of a trip on our own. The tour description spoke to both of us, and we ended up loving the whole experience, from our wonderful, humorous guide to our fellow traveling companions. Our lodgings were unique and special, and we loved the planned activities and sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After truffle hunting, sitting down to dinner in a modern restaurant outside Assisi with a beautiful sunset in front of us, with the estate's 13th century chapel to our right. Just an amazing moment."

Jacquie

Galt, CA

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour and it was just as amazing as the first. Ann our tour guide, Kiersten her assistant and our bus driver Ezio were a dream team. We were given lots of hands on experiences, toured many unbelievable sites and told more information than I will ever retain. The food and wine on this tour was just delicious. I can understand why some call it the food and wine tour. I did find a few of the hotels we stayed in a little iffy but maybe just not my style.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment lasted a few hours actually. Climbing up to the ultimate back door hill town, Civita di Bagnoregio."

Alfred

Galt, CA

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour. It was a fabulous experience! Our tour guide, Ann, was exceptional. Our tour assistant, Kiersten\, was very friendly and helpful. Our bus driver, Ezio, was over the top professional and very friendly and a valued part of the team. Initially, prior to the tour, looking at the meals provided, I was somewhat concerned that we would have to fend for ourselves a good part of the time. This was not the case. We were always eating! ( and drinking )

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose. The boat ride to Levanto, because the weather was quite bad. The view (and then hike to and from) Civita di Bagnoregno."

Victoria

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's trip and my first time traveling to Europe. Every day on the tour was a fantastic journey filled with history, adventure, amazing food, interesting stories, beautiful buildings and scenery, friendly people, and the most incredible tour guide I could have ever imagined. The bus driver was also really nice, sometimes funny, and a great singer! My head was spinning from all of the wonderful places we visited and there was always something fun to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's so hard to pick just one "wow" moment especially since I have never seen such old historical buildings and relics that have survived so many years. I was overwhelmed. So here are some of my favorites because I cannot pick just one: Etruscan Museum - I could have spent hours there and Roberto the guide was so knowledgeable and humorous. He really made it interesting. Every meal we had on the tour was so very special. thank you"

Amelia

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 10/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thanks to Rick Steves and Ann, the Italian villages we visited found their way into my heart. I felt as if I had been introduced to the real Italy, and I was absolutely charmed. More below ...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Italy's cathedrals' exterior embellishments and interior mosaics, inlaid marble, and enormous frescoes – labor-intensive creations of a multitude of artists and artisans – are one wow after another. My personal wow, though, is the country itself, its character, and its culture: the narrow passageways they call streets, squares where people really do gather, little layered villages tucked into mountainsides, Italians' devoted preservation of ancient treasures, and an anti-squirrel-cage lifestyle."

Martha

Centennial, CO

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour and gave me the knowledge I was looking for regarding Italy's smaller towns and rural areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I was wowed by the Ravenna mosaics, for me the joy of this tour is getting to know the culture and people of Italy. I loved the passion and charm of the Italians. The old men who didn't speak English but who could train a dog to find truffles. The man who could throw a pot faster than I can get one out of my cupboard. Transplanted Anna in Siena who brought us into her neighborhood. There are so many more that I will remember."

Dale

Eugene, OR

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It lived up to my expectations. The entire trip was seamless with no hiccups. Sarah really brought home the culture and in a manner an American could relate to. I was pleased with the contrast that each region had also the up and up and up and downs of the hill towns really struck us with what early Italians had to do survive. My fellow travelers were all great and mostly repeaters. Everybody understood the need to make the most of the trip. A really great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city tour in Padova when Christina, our guide, related her family's experiences in WWII trying to save the frescoes in her local church. It really brought home war. Also for me, stopping at the American Cemetery brought back memories of Vietnam and the friends I lost, and seeing 1st hand the price we pay for freedom. So many crosses..."

David

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a delightful travel experience. I had feared a two week tour might be too long but every day was filled glorious views, amazing meals, fun conversations, surprises, and opportunities to learn about the Italian culture, people, and history. Every city and village we visited had something unique to offer and I treasured getting to see each of them! The tour group was delightful and we made many new friends from all over the US. Our guide, Sarah, made the whole experience go smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Civita di Bagnoregio. I know this is not one of Rick's favorite villages but we were lucky Sarah chose it for our group. It was a delightful experience to get a preview across the valley of the bridge to Civita, then to walk through Bagnoregio, and finally to traverse the bridge. The views were gorgeous and the people we met in Civita (all apparently residents of Bagnoregio who work in Civita) were delightful. Sarah treated us to our first taste of a ricotta gelato. So delicious!"

William

Chicago, IL

Tour: 10/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the 2d RSteves tour I'd been on (Spain your Way in Fall 2016 being the 1st). We also used the Italy 2015 book when we'd visited that country in Fall of 2015, but we were not on a tour. This was an extremely satisfying experience. The group of 22 (including my husband and myself) demonstrated "unit cohesion" early on, which has a huge impact on how the remainder of the tour logistics shake out. Everyone was on time (even Sarah, our guide, made note of this).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. I adore Assisi; Siena was awesome; and prepping lunch w/ Stefano at the artisinal farm was awesome."

Melissa

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our recent trip with Rick Steve's was our first and will not be our last. It's almost difficult to put it all in words. How do you express so much in 500 words. I'll summarize, the best parts food, friends and wine followed by art and history. The small Italian Village your was the perfect way for us to start off with Rick Steve's. My husband and I travel extensively on our own. My husband is an A+ prepped of our trips so we are used to the prep work needed to have a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was when our guide gave us the day off and we took a portion of our group on an early morning adventure to see the towns of Cinque Terre via train ( there was a train strike happening that day from 9 am to 9pm) and adverse weather had the boats cancelled. We took our group of 7 people early to the train station and had calculated all the routes to return to our home city by 9am. We watched the sunrise perched high above the ocean with our group of travelers!"

Carol

North Dighton, MA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Have never been on a tour before, so I have nothing to compare it to. But for my first visit to Italy, it was an extremely comfortable and easy way to go. I did not have to do the research or make any arrangements. It was great. The tour guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is just me, but the rural landscapes........."

Karen

Buhler, KS

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such a wonderful taste of, what I feel like, was the real Italy - the heart of Italy. Don't ever stop giving the people this opportunity. IT'S SO WONDERFUL!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well everything about TRINA was a wow moment! There were so many highlights - it's hard to recap them --- The Veterans' Cemetery, for sure! Discovering the Italian printer used for saving the Jewish people! (and the museum) - Assisi Olive tasting and processing Orvieto Pinocchio chocolates - THE BEST Lucca shopping & opera The wine cellar The cooking class C.T. Boat ride Lake Orta"

Kate

Arlington, VA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Always have a great time with Rick Steves tours. As usual, a terrific group of people and great guides as well as fun and di erse itineraries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! was sunrise in Corniglia in the Cinque Terre. In spite of high seas threatening to cancel our boat ride and a pending train strike our intrepid guide, Trina, told us how to beat the train strike by catching the first train of the day before the strike. Seven of us headed out before breakfast and climbed the 400+ steps to Corniglia to watch the sunrise from there. What an adventure! What a great group!"

BJ

Spokane Valley, WA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina was just the very best guide EVER! She gave us global, local, and hour by hour excellent information regarding our tour from Paduva to Milan. This trip was our best trip ever thanks to you and your team. Your team over delivered, on every step of the tour. We will be booking something in and around Portugal soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "WOW" moment! The first Wow was the United States Memorial Cemetary visit, still choking up a bit over the impact we had during WW-2! The second best was the Truffle hunt and the meal following the hunt!"

Bruce

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful, memorable time. The tour showcased beautiful (rural) Italy and immersed us into its rich history, culture, food & gracious people. Although we visited many hilltop towns, it never felt rushed. The folks in our tour group were terrific, and we very much enjoyed their company & conversations. Our tour guide Trina, and driver Pierre, were awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fabulous views of Levanto on the hiking trail to Monterosso, & Isola di San Giulio from our hotel balcony in Lake Orta. The food and wine were also simply amazing."

Paula

Oxford, OH

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina was so well informed, organized, and personable. She went out of her her way to make sure everyone was accomodated. I really enjoyed her hints about local foods and wine as well as points of interest in each of the places we visited. My husband and I appreciated the free time to explore on our own, but this particular tour benfited from a group of people who really meshed. I especially enjoyed wine tasting, the truffle hunt, the olive oil producing farm, the villa in Tuscany...everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not 1 bit many - the anatomy theater, preserved saints in tombs, going underground to see layers of history, the wine cellars at the winery, Donatello's John the Baptist statue (in Sienna?), Lake Orta....rolling cou tryside in Tuscany, hill towns, St. Patrick's Well in Orvieto."

Harriet

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour, with fun folks and the best guide! It was great seeing a part of Italy that was new to me. The local guides were all superb and so knowledgeable. Learning about the history and culture of these smaller towns made us appreciate them even more. It is wonderful to travel with people who truly love to travel, to learn new things, and to become travelers instead of just tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was overwhelmed by the beautiful churches in each small town. The architecture and history of each church set the tone for each city. I expect huge churches in the big cities; i never expected that in these small towns!"

Donna

Fleming Island, FL

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic experience from beginning to end, and our tour guide, David was exceptional. Being a first time Rick Steves tour member, yet having experienced Europe several times before, I can't imagine traveling any other way from this point on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tuscan countryside and Inn were definitely my wow moment! I think the private get together in Orvieto with David and his band was fantastic. This was the reason I wanted to travel the Rick Steves way, to feel a sense of immersion in the culture that no other travel has ever made me feel. I also loved the quiet and (almost) deserted streets at night in the small villages. My husband and I were able to wander the back alleys and imagine what it must have been like a thousand years ago."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, good pace and very interesting area. As usual there is sufficient free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Oevieto"

Tim

Aptos, CA

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A marvelous experience. All of the venues were interesting, the weather was ideal, and David our guide was knowledgeable and thoughtful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, hard to choose. David's knowledge of his hometown, Orvieto, made that very interesting, including the description of the Roman siege. The cathedrals in Siena and Lucca were beautiful. On a personal note, I enjoyed being invited onstage to accompany David at one of our group dinners. He provided the blues harp!"

Linda

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were exceeded.I assumed a small bus would take us and our guide would not be so personable. For me , the tour was expensive with the exchange rate but I feel that I had good value for the money.The itinerary was well chosen with interesting activities.These activities I could not likely be given on my own without doing a ton of research first.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed our trip to the olive farm. Tasting the fresh oil and having a lovely lunch. Pressing the oil was very interesting. Another was the marble quarries at Carrara.....a jaw dropping scene of white marble.The mosaics at Ravenna were beautiful."

Mary

Burnaby, BC

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Hill towns we visited in Italy, the information and interesting stories told to us by our Tour Guide, David.(about the region, history, food, wine) I loved the group experiences (cooking lesson,visit to a winery, olive oil mill, group dinners etc.) and our stay at the Belvedere Inn in Chianti because it was esthetically beautiful and there were areas to congregate before and after dinner as a group (outside on the patio and in the bar/lounge area.)There was nowhere else to go!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it would have to be getting a train pass in Cinque Terra and arriving in Riomaggiore (sp?) early in the morning before the Cruise Ships and hiking up the hill on a gorgeous sunny October day and seeing the beautiful vistas of the coastal landscape and turquoise water! And walking the trails while taking in the breathtaking views."

Anthony

Meredith, NH

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If I had been asked what my expectations were before my trip my answer would have paled in comparison to actual experience. The attention to detail, the local feel and experience of the variety of accommodations and stops along the way could not have been better. This trip surpassed my expectations in every aspect and set a new bar for any other organized trip in the future that I'm not certain anyone but a Rick Steve trip could come close to meeting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In a word "David". Our guide was not a guide but a caring host whose love for his country, its people and history not only of the country but each region infected the entire group. David was my "WOW"."

Pan-fey

Rolling Hills, CA

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David took excellent care of his tour members in terms of his supreme organizational and logistic skills, attentiveness, efficiency, historical and cultural knowledge, and inclusiveness. He was intuitive and tuned into the pulse and mood of the group to adjust the itinerary and pace as he saw fit to achieve the best tour experience for us. He threw in lots of extras (including a private musical performance by his band), which made this trip so much more fun and enjoyable compared to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Pambuffetti - sunset welcome drinks, quaint lodging Borgo Garibaldi Civita di Bagnoregio Orvieto - Duomo architecture and art work, St. Patrick's Well, visited vineyard Siena Duomo Liberia Vernazza Lake Orta San Giulio in rain Anytime when there were few or no tourists around! Wonderful included group meals with delish local cuisines and fine companies"

Cornelius

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 10/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both of us had a great time. We were first time Rick Steves Tours participants. I personally was somewhat pessimistic before the tour but I'm happy to report that my expectations were greatly exceeded. My fellow tour participants were very nice people and easy to get along with. The itinerary allowed us to see and do a lot, I'm personally convinced that there is no way I could have done half as much if I had been planning the trip on my own. It was great to let someone else do the driving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the mosaics in Ravenna, and especially the mausoleum of Galla Pacidia, were most breathtaking."

Timothy

Gaston, OR

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely great trip. Perfect balance of structured and free time. Pace was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a gelato and walking along the walking path in Levanto."

Anthony

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded expectations. We have been working towards an Italy trip for a few years, and Rick Steves did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming up the trail from Vernazza on the Cinque Terre and encountering the most beautiful morning view I have ever seen."

Anita

Springfield, OR

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was great. I enjoyed exploring the small cities of Europe. Our group got along well and with only 20 people on the tour the bus was spacious. Everyone was on time or even early for all the group events. Mario our bus driver was amazing always calm and collected even though some of the streets were very narrow. I had already been to the major tourists sights in Italy so it was fun to be off the beaten path.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to land on one special wow moment there were so many of them. I really enjoyed the cooking class and the wine tasting. The beauty of the small hill side cities was breath taking."

Virginia

Albany, NY

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Nina was an excellent guide and Mario was an excellent bus driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot single out any one thing"

Dennis

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steves and first as a walking tour, so I didn't know quite what to expect. What I discovered is that Italy is the most beautiful country I've ever seen and its people are the friendliest I've ever encountered. There were so many beautiful experiences in so many villages that I would never have known had it not been for this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunrise over the vineyards surrounding our hotel in the village of San Leonino. I'll remember that forever."

Gino

Springfield, OR

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Comfortable pace, informative and appreciated amount of independent time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking lesson"

Farida

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Within two weeks, we had a rich, varied tour of hill towns in Italy, led by the dynamic, thoughtful, knowledgeable Nina. We got to stay in small, family run hotels, experience local cuisine of different regions, explore the terrains of Umbria and Tuscany, and more. Highlights included the agriturismo lunch, the olive oil tasting, and the relaxing down time in San Leonino.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a dream of mine to hike Cinque Terre and gaze out over the expansive blue of the water meeting the sky."

Denise

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! My first time in Italy and I saw so much I had to go back to my travel journal to remember everything! Nina, the tour guide, was informative, fun, and approachable. The tour was busy, but well paced. I appreciated the availability of free time to explore. The accommodations and meals were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many experiences to choose just one. But the scenery was amazing - picture postcard views at every turn of the head!"

Bobbie

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was structured very well. Lots of churches in the first part of the tour but tapered off nicely. As I told my husband, "it is where the Pope lives for gosh sakes" :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. The mosaics were amazing!"

Pamela

New Boston, NH

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough positive things about this trip. It lived up to its description and more! This was the first "tour" of any kind I had ever taken and it exceeded all my expectations. Our guide was thoughtful, knowledgeable, and genuinely cared about the tour members. The bus rides were extremely comfortable and driven by a professional yet personable driver. The sights were saw were exceptional and never crowded with tourists. We actually felt like we were seeing Italy in a very personal way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is impossible to say. Everyday had a "wow" moment or two. If I was hard pressed I'd have to say our stay in the Tuscan region was my favorite as I felt like I was living in a painting. The countryside was beyond beautiful."

Arthur

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steve's and we were very pleased with the care diligence and skill the organization brought to every aspect of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The compatibility of the people on the tour. Everyone got along well and we all had a great time. We also learned a lot."

Drew

Southaven, MS

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our villages of Italy tour. We experienced things the ordinary tourist would not see. Our only complaint was the restaurant in Padua, Zories. The food was less than appealing and we were seated next to the kitchen and basically ignored. Debra was a first class guide and Timi was the best bus driver I have ever seen. The arrangements were impeccable. We never had to wait for our pickups at the various stops. Our in place guides were very informative and funny.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot decide on one wow moment. The 6 experiences, truffle hunting, the wine tasting, the cooking class, the marble quarry and the olive oil cooperative and the ceramic factory are things I will never forget. As a bonus in Padua, we walked into a Ferrari car show with an amazing array of beautiful sports cars. And the right mix of Duomos. You might mention also the Puccini concert which I thoroughly enjoyed."

John

Marshall, NC

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everybody, who had taken the village Italy tour, had raved about it. Our high expectations were definitely met. We had some initial concerns when we found out original tour guide was switched out and Deborah was filling in. Deborah was excellent, our fellow tour members were experienced and fun travelers,and all the towns and villages were delightful. Each village and town had it's own unique character and offered a variety of educational and cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many special moments. The nighttime views of Orvieto and Lake Orta. Swimming in the Ligurian Sea amongst the many Italian surfers at Levanto. A wonderful and simple group lunch at the Olive CoOp in Tuscany."

Terry

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our two weeks in Italy were exceptional and filled with sites we will never forget. Deborah our guide and Timmy our driver were outstanding in providing our whole group with excellent insights into the people, culture and sites, and in ensuring we kept to a timely yet relaxed schedule. Traveling, seeing and learning with all members of our group made it extra special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one moment, but a few notable ones were seeing and learning about St Francis and Assisi, hunting for truffles, seeing the marble quarry and many hill top villages."

Janna

Longmont, CO

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations and was thoroughly lovely from the beginning to end. Our guide Deborah was delightful, our Driver Timmi made us all feel safe at all times and the diversity of the days made for a combination of lovely sites to see, foods and wines to experience, experiencing the culture and sharing good laughter with newly made friends and travel mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I knew you would ask this and I have struggled to find just one... from the spectacular mosaics in Ravenna, to the hillsides and mountain villages throughout Umbria to the Tuscan landscape and Cinque Terre to the lovely Lake Orta...it all was really breathtaking and so much fun... I want to go back!"

Michael

Fitchburg, WI

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent! I enjoyed the tour from stem to stern. It was as much a gastronomical tour as one of hill towns of Italy. Wine. Food. And an outstanding guide, Deborah.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was realizing how advanced the Etruscan civilization had advanced, before disappearing, or being absorbed, into the Roman culture."

Maureen

Southaven, MS

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 8th tour with Rick Steve's tours. It lived up to my expectations of organization to maximize sites to explore. I enjoyed our guide Deborah's Orientation to each stop. The hotels were a nice combination of city and country locations. Group activities were delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I pick just one "wow" moment. The truffle hunt was a new experience for me. Loved watching the dogs on their hunt. The cooking class was fun, wine tasting !!!!! ,"

Linda

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and my husband and I were very pleasantly surprised at what a great experience it was. We were very well taken care of by Deborah, who clearly and engagingly told us everything we needed to know. There was never a moment of confusion or doubt about where to meet, when to meet, or what would come next. Deborah handled the details and arrangements so we'll that all we had to do was enjoy the experience. Our Gunetto bus driver Timi was superb. We felt very safe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the stay in Chianti at the vineyard. The truffle-hunting experience was great, as well as the delicious dinner that followed. I loved the chance to hike in the Cinque Terra area on our free day."

Jean

Traverse City, MI

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What a great 14 days! The people on our tour were friendly, curious, and easy to travel with. The pace of our tour was just about right...free time vs structured time. There was a lot of walking, but this kept the weight off from all the great food and wine, and gelato! The local field trips to the truffle farm, vineyard, ceramic "factory", marble quarry, and the olive oil family farm were excellent learning experiences! Breakfasts were okay, a bit disappointing. Groups dinners were fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, having two days at a beautiful hotel in the countryside of Tuscany was my favorite part. Visually, the area was stunning, quiet, and laid back. I loved that place and would love to go back there!"

Steve

Davis, CA

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On the last day I walked down to Lake Orta for one last melancholy moment with a pit in my stomach wishing that the tour was not over. This was one of the most incredible travel experiences of my life. We are completely hooked on Rick Steve's tours, have already signed up for another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I find it impossible to identify only one. One for me was visiting the winery in Tuscany (La Vellete) outside of Orvieto and seeing Cecilia, our guide from the Best of Rome tour from the previous year. Another was exploring Cinque Terre, especially the hike from Corniglia to Venazza. Civita di Bagnoregio was special too."

Diane

Bragg Creek, AB

Tour: 10/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour experience. The structure was very helpful in affording me the opportunity to see so much and learn about the area while at the same time aharing the journey with wonderful fellow travellers. Each day offered opportunities for enjoying the places that we visited as well as learning about some of the history of the particular place that we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So much content in the tour that it's very difficult to single one out. The wide range of experiences (chuches to ceramic making to a cooking class, to a marble quarry make it difficult to choose one."

Mary Ellen

Orchard Park, NY

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great tour guide, with knowledge, enthusiasm, and great energy. The spots selected for the tour were outstanding. The food was wonderful. And the accommodations were comfortable, in good locations, with helpful staff. This trip was all that I hoped for--and more! My husband agreed that this has been our most special vacation of all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult task! Let me point out a couple. I loved hearing about the very distant past and seeing ruins (Etruscan and Roman). This is a huge interest of mine. In general, I loved seeing the unbelievable beauty of Umbria and Tuscany. It was really something that I was craving!"

Don

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After four (4) RSE tours, we continue to expect and then realize the extra insight, added experiences, and personal touches that come with such a group experience. Each guide is well versed in the history, culture, and cuisine for the area, and eager to do all possible to ensure that each one has a positive and memorable holiday. We were a bit disappointed in the accommodations this time, with less space (more cramped) compared to previous outings. A shower down the hall can be a good answer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On each tour we have taken, we made 20-some new friends within a few days, but NEVER so fast as this time. On our third night together, we were singing and acting out tunes from Sound of Music in a downstairs area of the main "lodge" in Montefalco. It was not totally fueled by alcohol, but that did help. There was such a willingness to be silly together -- it was wonderful."

Barbara

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group of Village Italy travelers was most compatible enthusiastically welcoming each new day's experiences together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the second to the last evening of our tour while in Levanto, we sang, danced and laughed together. What great fun watching our tour guide, Anna and bus driver Stefano dance together. What a fabulous evening indeed!"

Mary Ann

Dresher, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our best trip ever! The people on our bus, the food, the places we visited and most importantly our guide, Anna! It was a delightful trip from day one. Anna took a picture of all of us on the trip. She went back to her room that night and all our wonderful faces and names were there. No excuse to forget names.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. I would have to say staying at the hotel Belvedere di San Leonino. The views were magnificent. The relaxing feeling and warm welcome from the owners made this place special. The breakfast was the best and I loved the charming woodwork, pictures, furniture and overall feeling of the place. One day I just wanted to stay and not go to the activities of the day! I truly wanted to live in Italy."

Michael

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was just the tour we were looking for at this time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my tenth Rick Steves' tour. I was impressed how quickly this group of travelers gelled into a family at our intro dinner."

Robert

Dresher, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves Tour and 4th RS Tour in Italy. I can only offer superlatives regarding our fabulous guide, Anna. From our very first meeting she captured the group and stoked our enthusiasm for Village Italy. She is quite an actress!!! Anna helped bring our group together quickly by publishing pictures and names of all our group members in an e-mail after the first dinner together. I found this tour to perhaps be our best yet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from Civita! It was hike but well worth the effort!"

Daniel

Gig Harbor Wa, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it far exceeded our expectations from start to finish. It was among the best vacations we have ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The accommodations, other than Padua, far exceeded what I was expecting. Padua was ok and would be something I would book on my own sight unseen."

James

Concord, NH

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. it was both educational and entertaining. lots of walking and learning.Lots of fantastic food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I had a WOW moment, it was kind of a WOW 14 day sprint"

Mark

Greenville, NC

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy 14 tour was fantastic! A perfect combination of structured tour time and time for individual exploration. Our guide Anna was extremely knowledgeable, well organized, and very patient. My wife and I loved nearly every aspect of the tour from the medieval masterpieces and beautiful countryside, to truffle hunting and wine tasting. Enjoyed traveling with and meeting many new friends. We highly recommend this tour!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to cover in 500 characters, but viewing the villages and landscape of the Cinque Terra from the Mediterranean Sea was definitely a "Wow" moment."

Beatrice

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy is a spectacular panorama of beautiful countryside, genuine hospitality, enthusiasm by our hosts sharing their Italy, amazing food, and personal experiences that made this my 10th RS tour at the top of my list! My rewarding experience of becoming a temporary local was in large part because of Anna, our guide, who went above and beyond for her band with such enthusiasm and energy that we all fell in love with her and her country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a gorgeous day in Levanto and exploring Cinque Terre, cumulating in a spectacular sunset over the beach, our inn's host put on a fabulous banquet of Italian food fresh from the sea with perfectly paired apertiffs. It was a day that I thought was 'wow' all day. Then our guide, Anna, put on music for our Italian bus driver to learn a little American culture. We danced through 60's music to today! An incredible celebration of Italians and Americans together as one!"

Lynn

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

3rd Rick Steves Tour, it didn't disappoint! Great group of travelers, incredible tour & locations. Our wonderful guide (Anna) was an encyclopedia of knowledge. Group dinners were delicious and all (but one I think) included an abundance of wine! The activities were excellent, pottery studio, truffle hunting, olive oil/wine making and an Italian cooking lesson. My only complaint is the quality of rooms solo travelers get. Our rooms are not equal and should be, especially paying a supplement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Cinque Terre towns, they are as beautiful as all the photo's I've seen!"

Dee

Cottage Grove, WI

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides were fantastic! At the last minute our main guide had to be replaced due to a medical issue - but the assistant (Asa and Cristina) filled in and we never missed a beat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Italian countryside from hill top views"

Jon

Wellesley, MA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I specifically wanted a non-big city tour and Village Italy was perfect!!! Each town we visited exuded the charm we were seeking while not compromising on culture, food or accommodations. In fact, the restaurants and the hotels were a perfect fit for a "village" tour. Most critically, our tour leader, Cristina, was a marvel and added significantly to our entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two favorites. We had a chance to visit Civita di Bagnoregio, a village with 12 full time inhabitants which is perched on a hilltop which is literally dissolving into the valley below. Breathtaking experience! The boat ride along the coast of Cinque Terra was also unique and provided fabulous views of the shoreline and each of the villages."

Steven

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liked the "cultural" experiences like preparing our own lunch on an agri-tourism, learning about wine pairings with appropriate food. The true small town/village experience of our stay in Montefalco was very refreshing! Padova, Lucca, Siena Orvieto may be small cities, but they are certainly NOT the "villages" referenced in tour's title "Village Italy"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scrovegni chapel frescoes by Giotto and mosaics in Ravenna"

Rebecca

Indiana, PA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. I enjoyed all the towns we visited and would have liked to stay longer in many of them. Our group was wonderful and nobody was ever late to meet at a scheduled time. Our bus driver Sergio was a wonderful, conscientious driver and I always felt safe riding with him. It was amazing how he could maneuver the bus in tight situations. Our tour guide and assistant tour guide were very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 2 "WOW" moments: One was the Etruscan underground tour and museum in Orvieto and also the Etruscan Museum in Chianciano. The second was the Carrara Mable quarry and learning about the mining methods that were used up until the 1950's."

Sharron

Penticton, BC

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita di Bagnoregio, Giotto's frescos, hiking between the Cinque Terre villages"

William

Indiana, PA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto underground caves and Etruscan Museum"

Douglas

East Aurora, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well thought out tour that was a joy for Carol and I. 1.) Did I think we spent too much time touring churches...yes, but I have to admit they were incredible buildings. 2.)Some of the towns / Cities were a bit too crowded for our taste, but we don't think you can avoid that - Siena...nice but so jammed with tourists ( like us ) could not wait to leave. 3.) The smaller villages were the best part of the tour....really enjoyed Lucca, Volterra, Orvietto etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say since everything was well planned and interesting, but I'll give you a few memories that stick with me. Cinque Terre - spectacular! Tuscany and the villa where we stayed....we could have stayed there for another 5 days and enjoyed it. Montefalco....my favorite village!"

Steven

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed the Village Italy Tour tremendously. It gave us exposure to many more sights, towns, and experiences than we could have had on a self-guided trip in a two week time frame. Our leader Tricia was personable and deeply knowledgeable about Italy, and she added compelling detail to all the experiences. Although I would have liked a bit more free time built in to the tour, it would be difficult to choose which sight or activity might have been left out to allow this.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few "wow" moments, and I can't choose one. Certainly the first view of the Duomo in Orvieto, with its marvelous exterior frescoes glowing in the sunlight. Also the view from the wall in the same town, where we had a picnic one afternoon. I also enjoyed skipping out on the day trip to Assisi, as my wife was feeling ill - instead, I wandered alone the streets of tiny and lovely Montefalco. I savored the serenity of this village in the early morning, not another tourist in sight."

Michael

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves' tour and by far the best. It had a great balance of art, history and culture. The food was outstanding and the scenery was awe-inspiring. The trip was stimulating, physical, yet relaxing. The group was great and the leader was superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many! The mosaics at San Viale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausaleum were astounding. The exposure to the Etruscan culture was new to us and so interesting. The other one would be the picnic on the wall at Orvieto."

Kevin

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour staying out of the big overcrowded cities! Cinque Terre was a bit crowded in my opinion but we were told that the big crowds had subsided by this late in the year (end of Sept.). Many beautiful areas were visited. Only one place could have been skipped... Civita Bagnorgio. It was a long hike up and down to and from a tiny village of nothing but hundreds of other tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the ceramic factory in Deruta. Seeing the artisans at work and what their final product looked like was a wow for me."

Ruth

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. It met all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Carrara Marble Quarry. It was very interesting to learn how marble is removed from a mountain."

Stephanie

Oakland, MI

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, it turns out we were the only ones that haven't been on a RS tour before. I was excited that we had Trish, as I had read reviews about her on the forums. I really enjoyed her and Mario was an amazing driver and fun to get to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was at the Hotel Belvedere. We had returned from an outing and I was in our room relaxing for a few minutes. I joined my husband outside for a cocktail. I found him sitting in the garden facetiming with our daughter Sarah. The iPad was propped up on the table and it almost appeared that she was joining us in Italy. The sun was just hitting that amazing golden hour. I was able to show her the sun setting over the tuscan hillside. It was literally a picture perfect moment."

Marigail

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Grazie, Tricia for being an such an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and caring tour leader (you are the best!); Mario for being a skilled driver on those winding and narrow roads and for sharing your family photos with us; and all of our fellow group travelers, who helped make everyday fun and interesting! As Tricia said at our first meeting, this was a tour for those who wanted to experience Italy and we certainly did!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a wow after wow! We experienced Italian culture, art and architecture, wonderful food and wine, and unique sights and villages. I especially enjoyed the truffle hunt, the Carrera marble tour, and all the group dinners. I was happy though there was some free time to explore more slowly on our own (or to nap)! The tour perfectly ended in Lake Orta. I wished we had scheduled more time there and advise others to do so."

Rollanda

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Patricia, and driver, Mario were perfect in every way. The small and midsize hill towns were as magical as described and our accommodations placed us right in the heart of the best experiences. We appreciated the extra guidance from the Tour book and our guide for explorations on our own. We had time with artisans working traditional materials in pottery, alabaster, and marble, as well as traditional products of wine and olive oil. Their pride of craftsmanship was inspiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gosh--these happened every day. We were moved by the histories of St. Francis and Clare, winding our way through the cobblestone streets on our own, imagining the horse racing around the piazza, and the shared meals (and those we discovered on our own). On our last day at Lake Orta, we took the boat back to the Island of Silence to hear 64 nuns sing Gregorian chants in the Romaneque Basilica. Yes. Wow!"

Valerie

Liberty Township, OH

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Informative, fun, educational, lots of exercise, great food, great guide, and the best weather ever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Byzantine mosaics!"

Carol

East Aurora, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were told to check out this tour, because it was so worthwhile. We are so glad we did. Where to start; our guide, Trish was wonderful and so knowledgeable! She taught us so much about the charming hill viillages we explored. This tour was so full of history, gorgeous vistas, beautiful churches, delicious meals. It really showed off so much that makes Northern Italy so lovely. Our fellow travelers were great! We enjoyed their company and that enhanced out trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride to the Cinque Terre was amazing! We also loved visiting the vineyards tour and wine tasting! So many amazing views of the countryside especially from the hill villages! Visiting the Carrera Marble Quarry was fascinating as well."

Grace

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! The itinerary interested me, but our wonderful guide Deborah, bus driver Luca and local guides made it exceptional! They were a real team. The group was so great, fun and friendly. All of this made the trip for me. There were so many places and experiences I would never have had if I tried to do this trip on my own. The Ravenna's Byzantine San Vitale Basilica, the cooking class in Tuscany, the walk up to Civita di Bagnoregio, enjoying dogs hunt truffles, to name a few.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there was a wow moment at least once every day. The family-prepared seafood feast we had in Levanto was definitely a wow! We were treated to so many delicious dishes. I couldn't get over the dinner this family prepared for us!"

Fred

Freeland, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Added to our earlier experiences in Italy from " Venice, Florence and Rome" a few years back! Loved the venues and experiences. Our guide Deborah was wonderful...experienced, knowledgeable, warm and entertaining. The group was great and came together quickly...made some friends. Starting with the awe inspiring frescoes by Giotto Lear through the beauty of Orta your eyes were opened anew every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giotto frescoes have to rank near the top...that such powerful imagery could be rendered by an illiterate shepherd makes you wonder..."

Linda

Langley, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, wonderful cities, lovely experiences!! Food was beyond belief. Enjoyed every moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the truffle dinner and the cooking school. The boat rides were fun too."

Patrick

Deerfield, IL

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic guide, and also fantastic local guides as well! Bus driver was phenomenal, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day when we saw cathedral in Orvieto, and then later the bridge to Civita."

Karen

Deerfield, IL

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy in 14 Days tour was just the right tour to introduce me to Italy for the first time. You get the sights, sounds, scents and flavors of Tuscany, Umbria and the Lakes in a well-planned adventure that has extensive touring as well as much private time. Our guide, Deborah, is a consummate professional and I would tour anywhere with her! She has every detail thought out ahead of time and was friendly, honest and charming. Brava, Deborah!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We are proudly able to brag to our friends that we had 6 interesting, rare private demonstrations on the Village Italy tour: lunch making at an agritourismo, tasting of 4 wines at a Tuscan winery, exploration of a Carrera marble quarry, demonstrations of alabaster carving and pottery decoration, and truffle hunting/eating. Those activities don't seem to make other people's lists!"

Skip

Richardson, TX

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Deborah, was/is very friendly, knowledgeable, and very capable. My wife and I appreciated her guidance and leadership very much. We found the group of folks super nice and we tremendously enjoyed their company and getting to know them. We saw and experienced some enjoyable things that we may not have had the pleasure of participating in had it not been for Deborah and the tour plans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) The beautiful land around Hotel Belvedere. Sitting and relaxing on the back slope gazing out at all things "Italy countryside" beautiful."

Stephen

Holland, MI

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We took a Heart of Italy tour a few years ago and were excited to see more of Italy. We enjoyed visiting Volterra, Lucca and Cinque Terre again. Most of the places we visited on this tour were new to us and we enjoyed all of them. We especially enjoyed staying in Levanto and could have stayed longer. The truffle hunt was our least favorite activity. Our guide and bus driver were great. We were happy to meet the tour guide from our Heart of Italy tour again when we visited her winery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite day was the free day we had in Levanto. We hiked the coastal trail in Cinque Terre on our first tour, so we walked to Bonassola in the morning of our free day and spent the rest of the day at the beach in Levanto. There were no crowds in Bonassola and the weather was perfect for a swim in Levanto."

Shirley

Port Moody B C, BC

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the extra room on the bus, only 25 of us on a regular sized bus. I like my husband, but we choose separate seats so that we both had a window seat, and he could stretch his legs. And, who doesn't need some "away" time? On this tour, 4 hours was the longest bus ride, just enough to rest and see the country side. Spending 2 nights at each stop is another bonus. My one suggestion might be to miss the visit to Pistoia, and go directly to Lucca as there is more to do and see in Lucca

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just when I thought it could not get any better, we arrived at Lake Orta. What a wonderful way to end this great tour. My suggestion to others taking this tour, is to spend another night on your own at lake Orta. It is a wonderful hotel with a view of the lake and near to town."

Patricia

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cristina is an amazing tour guide and a great person. Her genuine interest in people and commitment to providing a great experience are palpable. Ben was great (although his presence was limited to the front end of the trip) and provided a US influenced set of experiences to share. Ezio was an excellent driver, punctual and friendly; he provided local charm. The tour group was typical of the top notch caliber of travelers that you get on Rick Steves guided tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having taken the Best of Italy in 17 Days trip in the past, my favorite moments were the ones that I hadn't experienced before. I loved our approach and climb to Civit di Bagnoregio, the Srovegni Chapel in Padova, walking the ramparts of Lucca and staying in the smaller towns of San Leonino and Monte Falco. This trip allowed me to re-visit Orvieto at my leisure (not just a day trip) and without incessant bone chilling rain. I was also able to visit all five villages of Cinque Terre."

Vivienne

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We expected a lot before the tour but it exceeded all expections. Our tour guides Cristina and Ben, who was with us for a week, were just amazing. The bus was very comfortable with wifi, driven safely by a very obliging Ezio and the places we visited, activities that were organized for us and local guides for specific areas, were so enjoyable and gave us insight into the country that we would never have had had we visited on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to choose as there was one 'wow' moment after the next. I think probably my two favorites would be visiting the truffle farm and seeing the dogs coming back with the truffles and then the wine tasting and wonderful meal at the villa in Le Velette."

Joan

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful guide and group of travelers. Learned much about religious art and Italian history. Food was wonderful. I enjoyed the Etruscan museum. I remembered a walk to an Etruscan burial site and tufa carved roadways from a different trip. I wish that had been included as it was more meaningful than just the museum. I enjoyed the hands on cooking lesson and would have liked more participatory activities like wine tasting in Chianti (Brunello) and comparative olive oil tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one wow moment. I was wowed by the Giotto frescoes, the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the sun on the mosaic tiles of the cathedral in Orvietto, the walk on the walls of Lucca and the island of San Giulio's walk of silence at Lake Orta."

Gail

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd RS Italy tour, we've done South Italy & Sicily also. I have to say, they should reevaluate the activity level on this tour, because we felt it was as active as Sicily. After all, most of the villages are built on hills. Cristina was a wonderful tour leader we were lucky to have her! We had a great group of tour members, all fun, nice people. We know from experience what a difference that makes. This was my favorite tour for scenery/stunning churches/best food. Loved it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Pambuffetti! & Montefalco dinner on the square at night. Scenery sunrise/sunset at Belvedere Hotel/Tuscany. The evening dinner at the truffle farm/restaurant was unforgettable/dreamy. All of the amazing lovely little chapels we found in every town we went to. Orvieto's cathedral is stunning/fun town. Assisi! Civita di Bagnoregio Wow. Lucca & opera! Chiesa di San Giulio on Lake Orta. Suggest 2 days in Venice before tour, and an extra day in Lake Orta after, which was so beautiful!!"

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As our first tour I loved the fact that all transportation, accommodation and tips was taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 3- The wine sampling lunch, the cooking lesson lunch and the olive oil lunch. Great experiences. Of course the truffle experience cannot be left out!"

Julianne

Coloma, WI

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our children gave us a trip to Italy as a gift. We were told to find something that would be a "dream". It was our desire to find something off the beaten track away from crowded tourist laden cities. We wanted to be saturated with village culture, history, agriculture and art. The Village Italy in 14 Days Tour was the magic ticket. The experience was beyond my wildest dreams. Taking this tour was a great introduction to Europe and we felt very comfortable as first time European travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was a wow moment. Every village and activity was a surprise, each being unique. The history, as relayed in stories by our guide Kristina, was both humbling and inspiring. What an experience walking the ground of ancient times!"

Mary

Lake Tapps, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Village Italy tour was my 4th RS tour and by far the most outstanding tour in every way. Our group definitely fell in line with our energetic guide, bonded and had a new, unexpected experience every day. In Padua, our local guide, Kristina, shared personal stories about her family's experiences during WWII which engaged us. Roberto, at Etruscan Museum, shared so much knowledge about the people of that time which set me off on researching this time period and the people. Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "WOW" moment! Mine would be the group dinner at Albergo Primavera the night of our 51st wedding anniversary that no one, we thought, was aware of.The lights went out and a beautiful custard dessert was wheeled before us donned in "trick" candles. The wine flowed, tour friends singing a top chairs, dancing and much laughter. So special and it was a moment that you realize how much these tours offer to everyone. So many experiences and friendships!"

Terry

Lake Tapps, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply a splendid experience. Our guide Anna is second to none and we had an exceptional group of mostly experience travelers. Everything including the weather came together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This will be a bit different answer. I had a medical issue that required help for the Italian health care system. Fortunately I was able to stick with the tour. My conditioned worsened and Anna arranged for me to see a physician in Orvieto who made 2 visits to our hotel and got me on the road to recovery. I was impressed by the quality of care and the compassion of Anna for arranging this care."

Carl

Oberlin, OH

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th RS tour, and I think this tour is in the top 2 for achieving the RS philosophy and fun. Anna was an exceptional guide, and the group response built on her enthusiasm and knowledge. Our first RS tour was Best of Italy 9 years ago, and the country has changed, especially the skyrocketing number of foreign tourists. But Anna was able to help us avoid many of the crowded commercial situations. We'll keep on traveling!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many - Montefalco and truffles, Deruta and pottery, Civita, Sienna, just experiencing the Tuscan countryside, the Florence American Cemetery, Lucca, Carrrara, Lake Orta. We feel privileged to feel a little closer to that part of our world."

Barbara

Oberlin, OH

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First and foremost - Anna was wonderful! We learned history of each village; became semi-expert in art history; enjoyed local food and wine and had a great time. All thanks to Anna.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in Ravenna. Beautiful and quite unexpected. Also enjoyed Montefalco and the accommodations there."

Marsha

Aloha, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More entertaining and enlightening than I expected. Our needs were anticipated and met, curiosity prodded awake at every turn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anna arranged a side trip by taxi to Pisa. I climbed out of the van, expecting a hike, and there it Was! The tower I read about 50 some years ago, right there! It glowed in late afternoon sunlight. My husband and took an hour's worth of goofy photos, getting ideas from other travellers. She treated us to a toast to the adventure before the return journey to the hotel."

Donald

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour, our guide and other group members. Loved the food and wine in that region.

Tom

Windsor, CO

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goal was to experience Italy. Villages of Italy was the perfect tour to achieve that goal. However, what made this tour so enjoyable was our guide Anna. She brought a passion to introducing us to the many facets of life in Italy as well as her in-depth knowledge of the stories behind the historical religious leaders and cathedrals. Her residence in Siena and experience with this particular tour made it feel more like visiting her extended family. I enjoyed the people we met along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class, the wine-tasting experience, the truffle hunt/dinner."

Thomas

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been to Europe a number of times, but generally to larger cities. This was the perfect trip to experience the charm of the villages and balance out our overall Europe adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's kind of a tossup. Originally, I would have said staying in the countryside villas among the vineyards...quiet, peaceful featuring postcard views in every direction. But, our guide wove the story of Siena just right...wonderful stories of this hilly town, especially the Palio. Her contagious enthusiasm made this stop memorable, along with great food at CICI, Piazza Campo, throw in an antique road rally event and top it all off with fresh Ricciarelli. Time was too short."

Jacqueline

Rio Rancho, NM

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed our tour guide,and guru, Trina She did a fantastic job shepherding us from place to place. Sergio, our bus driver,added to our overall enjoyment of the trip. He was a fantastic bus driver, able to maneuver the giant bus into the tiniest parking spots...impressive. We saw some amazing sites in the "villages of northern Italy". Some of the favorites were the Orvieto trip, Scrovegni Chapel, Ravenna Mosaics, day trip to Siena.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at the Belvedere and looking out on the hills of Chianti! Like heaven! Also enjoyed the truffle hunt and truffle dinner. Levanto dinner was awesome but hotel was a bit spartan compared to other accommodations."

Stephen

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour and it was just wonderful. We definitely will go on as many more Rick Steves tours and we can.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's really hard to pick just one that stands our more than all the rest. Three of the most impressive were the mosaics in Ravenna, the amazing artwork at the Duomo and Duomo Museum in Siena, and hiking the coastline from Levanto to Monterosso and then on to Vernazza."

Barbara

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group of tour pals. Loved our guide. All the hotels (except one) were well situated to the town and sights. Meals were delicious. The bus was spacious, clean, modern, and the driver was very skilled. This may need to be my last RS tour as, upon turning 70, I find the pace to be too rigorous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the boat from Portovenere to Monterosso and seeing the Cinque Terre from the water, during a thunder and lightning storm. Excellent! Swimming in the Mediterranean at Levanto. Sitting in the piazza having dinner under the stars in the plain, untouristed, Montefalco."

Marjorie

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved all the places we went and stayed, and Trina was an excellent and patient guide. I particularly loved seeing the mosaics in Ravenna and only wish we could have spent more time there. Favorite hotels would be Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco and of course Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino, but all were great. The food was excellent; my only criticism is that there might have been too much of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the church of San Vitale. I had read about them, but actually looking at them was amazing. What artists those mosaicists of the 6th century were! Wow indeed!"

Jan

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was both a reunion and a tour. 9 of us were connected by prior friendships, 6 from a prior Rick Steves tour in 2002, the grand tour. We have subsequently traveled in various combinations on additional and independent tours. We were thrilled then and trilled this time. The few repeats we experienced were anticipated with delight. The pace is a bit slower on Village Italy and welcomed 17 years later. The towns were exquisite and some of the hotels quite posh.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop at the US cemetery was unexpected and powerful. The local guide was terrific. Question 2 continued .( For some reason I was unable to type more than a few characters after the second paragraph.) The food and wine provided was both delicious and abundant. Two evenings in a row of great food and amazing sunsets will always be remembered. And the group was great. Well prepared by the Rick Steve's literature and Trina's coaching there were no grumps!"

David

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very well-paced trip, beautitul towns, great hotels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the visit to the vinyard."

Mary

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. I loved the locations, almost all the hotels, the sights we visited, and our wonderful tour guide Trina.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments on this tour but two standouts would be the Scrovegni Chapel and its frescoes and sunsets in Tuscany. Also, our group dinners in Tuscany (Spectacular setting outside) and our final group dinner in Lake Orta (another wonderful meal outside.)"

Peter J

Truckee, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very great experience! We're thinking about and discussing next years' trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 3 to share: Padua Basilica of Saint Anthony, especially the Exhibition "Diorami della Vita di Gesu" or "Dioramas of the Life of Jesus" I spoke to the attendant Lucca The overall vibe of the town; the very old buildings mixed with modern technology + fashion wear offered The operatic concert was wonderful + recommend it Lago d'Orta The lake + Alps in the distance, the island, but especially the San Giulio Church interior Hard to imagine all the boat rides to build it Thanks!"

Tereasa A

Truckee, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and I found it to be well balanced with history (from our guide, local guides, churches and museums), local culture, interesting side activities, structured group time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Anthony is one of my favorite people, so of course his church in Padua. Civita was very interesting. Loved seeing the floors and pulpit in Siena's Duomo."

Dennis

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy Tour, Guide, and Group Members were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the wall In Lucca at night after listening to Opera Arias by Puccini in Santi Giovanni e Reparata."

Mona

Montrose, CA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hill towns were lovely. You get a closer look at Italian life that you don't when visiting big cities. You couldn't take a bad picture. The scenery was wonderful and the places we went varied and wonderful. Lots of artwork every where! I think my favorite meal was the one we helped prepare at the agriturismo La Pietriccia. I am cooking some of the recipes they gave us at home now!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 2 wow moments...The Mosaics of Galla Placidia in Ravena. The hill town of Civita di Bagnoregio which was an interesting walk and not as bad as I thought it would be. I had seen many pictures of it and glad I got to see it in person."

Joanne

Homeland, CA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was my first Rick Steves tour. I still can't decide if I brought too much clothing as I was happily tired each and every night and never would have been able to stay up a little longer to hand wash. Surprisingly we had laundromats at just the right times. I enjoyed the wide range of sites to visit and different types of hotels. I will definitely be booking another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"when you walk into any of the historic churches you are just struck with awe at the grandeur of the inside. Especially when you remember they were built in the 13th century and the population of the area was tiny. it will stay with me forever."

Tari

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was fun, informative, and exciting. I loved learning about all the different cities that we visited. The guides were knowledgable and engaging. The facilities were adequate to fabulous, depending upon our location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That depends upon your definition of "wow". There were many times when I felt that I wanted to move to Italy! I loved the people and the landscape. However if I had to pick one moment, it would be when we were in Cinque Terre/Levanto. The scenery was breathtaking and I loved the hiking paths. The bridge to the town that was falling off the cliff in Liguria was my other "wow" moment. I am terrified of heights but I made it across that bridge with the help of my husband :)"

Mark

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday I experienced at least 1 "wow" moment. These include truffle hunting & a tasty truffle-focused dinner; the Signorelli's frescos (with Deborah's explanations) and the brilliant ceilings in Orvieto; learning about the state of small farmers, the cooking lessons & feasting on the results in Tuscany; riding bikes on the wall & climbing a tower in Lucca; the boat trip with amazing views of Cinque Terre; seeing & learning about quarrying marble; & the picturesque & peaceful Lake Orta."

Robert

New Baltimore, MI

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a wonderful experience with each day bringing new adventures, laughs and amazing moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was amazing with new memories and wonderful historical information as we journeyed through beautiful country sides."

Kathy

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the variety of experiences and places. Deborah was a great guide. Loved the family-run hotels and other businesses we visited. Really liked the Padua Hotel run by the sisters and all the fun art.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Cinque Terre was a place I'd like to visit again. Also was fascinated with the hilltop medieval cities we visited."

Faith

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far exceeded expectations - well planned and punctuated by some time off!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tuscan country hotel Belvedere. Pool, verdant valley, dinner sunsets were a welcome respite."

Marlene

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every time we've taken a Rick Steves trip, we say it was the best yet. Trip #5--Village Italy in 14 days--was no exception. There were so many highlights: truffle hunting, pottery making, stained glass, wine tasting, cooking an organic Tuscan lunch, biking the ancient walls of Lucca, exploring the labryinth of caves beneath Orvietto, the Etruscan Museum, and magnificent art cathedrals and basilica. Our guide, Deborah, was fantastic as were the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle hunting and then sampling the truffles in a four or five course dinner. Who knew that truffle-hunting dogs would give up those precious morsels once found for meat-filled dried tortellini? Only in Italy!"

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Deborah, was excellent. She was knowledgeable, kind and thoughtful and entertaining. One can't ask for more. The hotels were all wonderful but the one in Padua was such fun. The sisters and their mother provided a warm welcome and a breakfast that was superior to the other hotels. Mario, our bus driver, was skillful and very professional. We were lucky to have him. The villages were such fun, much better than being in a huge city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics at Ravenna were the "WOW" moment. I loved seeing them. I will remember them clearly. Thanks for including them in the tour. Of course, the dogs at the truffle plantation were such fun. They provided such energy and joy in their hunt that one could not help from smiling."

Michael

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the cities, hotels and tours were very well done

Patricia

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been on ricks tours , Always enjoy them. Do feel 14 days is too long,tired and you start to lose your focus

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip.good food,scenery and side visits"

Michael

Homeland, CA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deborah made the tour her help and knowledge paved over any reservations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the first hotel: it was what have we got ourselves into. we had come from 3 days in Venice at the hotel Danieli, yes a bit of a shock."

Kimberly

Dublin, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! I have been to Italy several times on my own. I've never been drawn to organized tours. My friend invited me along & it was such a pleasure. I learned so much about the places we visit. I really enjoyed the small villages. Schlepping luggage was very difficult for many of the tour. There were a lot of older folks. I know Rick wants to keep this tour for travelers, not tourists, but it would be nice to not have to do that sometimes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the small villages. There were many wow moments. Ravenna & the mosaics, the excursions, Lake Orta! The sunrise in chianti & montefalco. The scenery. Civita! So many wows! Our Guide Trish was fantastic & it was lovely to have Lisa assisting. She was great! Both molto simpatico!"

Genevra

Missoula, MT

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel like I learned lots-from art history to truffles to olive oil to wine. We got so much new info in such a brief period.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing Assissi."

James

Bowmansville, NY

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The content of the tour, and our guide Patricia were terrific. It was a great approach to everyday life in normal Italy which we wanted to be exposed to. The accommodations were better than expected and the meals were very good. Patricia did a GREAT job. THANK you for a very memorable trip. Jim & Mary Ann Frank-Bowmansville N Y

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick."

Terry

Morro Bay, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour started with a meet and great at our hotel in Padova. Then off to a wonderful dinner. By nights end we were fast becoming 'friends'. Our tour guide, Trish, was very knowledgeable of the history, art, architecture and was able to communicate it well. She has a great skill of the Italian language, even with her Scottish accent ??. Lisa, Trish's apprentice was equally charming. Couldn't wait to tell my friends about Rick Steves

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the walled cities stunningly beautiful"

Catherine

Fishers, IN

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour guide was very knowledgeable & accommodating. The tour group dinners were disappointing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"REally did not have one"

Elizabeth

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There are no words to express how valuable this trip was. Christina, our guide is a travel goddess! From the moment she introduced herself and each of us together to the the teary eyed end, each moment was filled with knowledge, passion, and ease. This was my first Rick Steves tour and it definitely won't be the last. I am hooked. Village Italy in 14 Days flew by fast. To be in each and every location was a dream. Every moment was filled with travel pleasure and astounding beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Padua was an experience to never be missed. It was filled with beauty and intelligence. The Scrovegni Chapel left me in tears of joy and wonderment. Montefalco may be a "best kept secret" paradise. Orvieto was charming. San Casciano in Val di Pesa war memorial was a moving testimony to those that gave their lives. Great choice. Lucca....I want to live there!"

Anthony

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina was an absolutely EXCELLENT guide! She has a true passion for her country and for people!! We had a great group to travel with and every aspect of the trip was truly beyond my expectations! Christina went above and beyond on multiple occasions!! Each of our local guides were extremely knowledgeable, funny and they made it fun to learn. Many of the hotels were "quirky" but exactly what we've come to expect (clean, well located, etc.). We graduated from tourist to traveler!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Numerous WOW moments include: 1) St. Anthony's Padua 2) Tour of pottery making facility 3) Carrera marble quarry tour 4) Cooking class"

Richard

Poughquag, NY

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS tour and it was the best so far. In addition to the flawless execution of the tour over the 14 days, what makes a tour a wonderful experience to me is the guide, my fellow travelers and mother mature being nice ie, not too much to no rain. And not to be overlooked was our excellent bus driver (Domenico) who transported us from town to town on time, safely with no traffic incidents, and not once did he have to backup to navigate a very sharp switchback. Bravo Domenico.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many "wows" - each town and church is impressive, two events standout: Christina consoling the grieving mother at the church and the visit to the cemetery for fallen WWll American soldiers. The local guide explained the war campaign in that region of Italy. Then she shared letters written by a young soldier from the war front back home to his mother. Based on the particulars and outcome, it was a moving experience."

Carole

Swanton, MD

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Cristina, was so passionate about her country, its people, and all of the cathedral artworks. She took excellent care of us to include a "private" tour when we misunderstood her directions one evening. Our group of 24 jelled from the moment we first met and immediately felt like "old friends" traveling together. Although the forecast called for endless days of rain, we had perfect weather every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moments were the tour of the ceramic shop - watching all of the detailed hand work that went in to each piece, and the tour of the Carrara Marble Quarry - it's hard to imagine how difficult that job must be."

Angela

Poughquag, NY

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third tour with Rick Steves - it won't be the last! We ed this tour as our second time in Italy; our first was Heart of Italy in 9 Days which left us wanting to see more of village life. This tour hit that mark. We could not have had a better guide than Christina. The rapport she had from our first meeting was nothing short of remarkable. Anyone can have knowledge but not everyone can convey it in an engaging way. Spectacular sums it up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard question since there were wow moments daily. However, my wow moment was when visiting a cathedral. A woman was crying as if her heart would break. Christina went over and spent time comforting this woman (she has just lost her 5 year old grandson). This compassion for another stranger is what was so special for me - Rick certainly selects the right staff."

Linda

Evansville, IN

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter and I went on the village Italy tour and it was an outstanding experience for both of us. Experiencing the Italian countryside, the culture and history was what we were looking for and that is what we got from the tour and our exceptional guide, Christina. The local guides were knowledgeable and passionate about their area of expertise which enhanced our tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" experiences were the cultural experiences. The wine tasting and lunch, the truffle hunting experience and the dinner served with truffle foods, the pottery making demonstration and the cooking class and lunch. Each of these experiences were interactive and very enjoyable."

Barbara

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having traveled to the major cities in Italy on our own, we thought that travelling on the Rick Steves' Village Italy tour would be a great way to enjoy the smaller locations and enjoy a more immersive, slower "le dolce vita" pace of travel. This tour did not disappoint and we were able to experience the many sights, sounds, histories, cuisines and cultures of each of the villages we explored.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As always there are too many "wow" moments to list but let me share but a couple that really stand out in my mind ... Watching the energetic dogs dig for truffles and enjoying a delicious 5-course truffle meal afterwards; the very touching visit to the American Cemetery which left us feeling both humble and grateful for the many men and women who served so valiantly and paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Diane

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our third tour with Rick and thoroughly enjoyed. The group was especially terrific. Christina did many many things to assist me, especially regarding stairs and a convenience for a room with the least or no stairs. As always the travellers had lots of room on the bus. The location were wonderful. i had thought Siena was my favorite but with this trip, Lucca came a close to bumping siena off her pedestal. The stop in Pistoia was disappointing when Volterra could have been made a stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta and the hotel we stayed at."

Catherine

Richmond, BC

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a fabulous trip, it helped that the weather was great but the group of fellow travellers were wonderful, the guide was great and the places and experiences were top notch. I could not have dreamed having such a variety of experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't choose just one moment, I just did love the whole Tuscan experience. Everyday was a thrill."

Robert

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As we have come to expect with Rick Steves' tours, the tour experience was top notch. We had a great tour guide - Christina - and a friendly and engaged group with which to explore the hill towns of northern Italy. To say that we were delighted is an understatement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots of 'wow' moments, but the one we enjoyed the most was the cooking lesson with Stefano. What an excellent introduction to Italian cooking, and how to make things simpler - his demonstration of how to make a lighter-tasting pesto using arugula was excellent. And adding ice cubes instead of using more olive oil ... who knew??!"

Lee

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific! The hill towns were wonderful to visit. That is actually why we chose this tour...away from the bigger cities. And the tour far exceeded our expectations. The cooking class, truffle hunting, wine tasting, incredible views. All unforgettable experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two...the views from Hotel Belvedere (plus dinner at sunset...and Anna's tour of Sienna. The villa Panbuffetti rates highly also."

Ashley

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was truly the trip of a lifetime. The sites/sights seen, adventures experienced, and new friends met were simply magical. Our tour guide, Anna, was exceptional. Highly informed, extremely fun and social, and thoroughly thoughtful, she made the trip appear effortless (which I know CANNOT be the case on her end). In addition, our bus driver, Giovanni, was outgoing and kind, and quickly became another member of our new "family." I cannot recommend this trip highly enough!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many moments of thinking, "am I really here on this amazing adventure?," several instances stand out. One was our truffle hunting experience and following dinner near Montefalco. Bruno, the handler of the "truffle sniffing dogs," guided us as we followed the dogs on their hunt. What a novel experience! I would NEVER have thought to seek out this kind of itinerary item on my own. Following "the hunt," we were able to enjoy a fabulous dinner utilizing, you guessed it, truffles!"

Nancy

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just as advertised, a wonderful trip through small towns of Italy. However, the villas, food experiences and guide were better than anticipated!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was more than one. What I really enjoyed were the evenings spent in the village squares sharing meals with our new friends among the people of the towns."

Patrick

Webster, NY

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

From the beginning of the process to the end of the tour your organization is extremely well run. All of the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. Your small group size gives it a more personal experience. By he way, your bus driver Giovanni was great. He interacted with us throughout the tour and I would request him for your tours as often as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me that is hard to say. I enjoyed a number of the tour stops equally. I must say, the unscheduled visit to the american military memorial and cemetery was a moving experience. This should be a regular stop on your tour."

Karen

Howell, NJ

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Absolutely wonderful, knowledgeable guide Anna made the vacation!. I learned so much about Italian art. She is truly inspiring and so energetic... She gets 5 stars for sure!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I truly loved the villas, Belvedere and the villa owned by Mauro and his wife. They were both very charming and the owners were most hospitable. I actually had a couple of wow moments which were the wine tasting in Tuscany and visiting Ravenna."

Dee

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unforgettable! Loved the hill towns; the quaintness, the history, local color and jaw dropping vistas. The experiences such as the Truffle hunting and the following delicious truffle dinner; the wine tasting/pairing at the winery near Orvieto are priceless memories. The opportunity to have these rich experiences was the reason we chose this tour and they exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Anna Piperato, was amazing and she made every day an adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the pool at Hotel Belvedere and watching the sunset at dinner in the courtyard are two of my favorite memories and I celebrated my 70th birthday there! Anna's tour of Sienna provided us with a inside view into a beautiful city through the eyes of a resident who loves her new home. It was interesting to learn about the contrados and how they are a community. I bought the scarf of her contrado ( the Lupe) and wear it proudly."

Caroline

Liberty Lake, WA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to experience the culture, food and wine of Italy. I feel that this tour captured everything I expected and wished for. Anna was absolutely amazing and made the trip fun, informative and special in many ways. She is a wealth of knowledge and if I had traveled in another way, I would not have learned what I did. We also loved our driver, Giovanni. He was kind, courteous and extremely prompt. Overall, it was the time of my life and I made new friends and thank you for the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure that I can capture just one "wow" moment but the most touching was visiting the American Cemetery. Please keep this important piece of history in your tour as many of us did not even know it existed. I also loved the magic of the small towns and the beauty of Cinque Terre."

Clifford

Madison, NJ

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

see below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but equally enjoyed the tuscan cooking, wine experience and riding bicycle atop the walls of Lucca. The scenery and the bustling street activity."

Bruce

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantastic....well planned and organized, great activities (wine tasting, pasta preparation), good hotels/lodging overall, both Tuscan Villas were nice....Good mix of organized tour activities and free time, as well as the option to dine out on our own (we found many great restaurants in Orvietto, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Montefalco). A great selection of towns, villages and cities... way better than my modest expectations of the itinerary beforehand

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many...but the cathedral in Orvietto was amazing....knew nothing about the town or its history before the trip...was a very pleasant surprise...also the tour of the local Contrada was a highlight (being part of Anna's neighborhood in Siena)...getting a peek behind the curtain of the Palio, seeing the banners, the race helmets, drums etc was very interesting"

Susan

Conifer, CO

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was perfect! I wanted to see villages and hill towns and stay out of big cities and just loved it. I must admit I struggled physically with the heat (it was SO HOT) and the amount of hills and steps we had to take, but it was worth it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time we went somewhere new I would think "this is my favorite place yet", but in reality, I loved them all. Probably my most "wow" moment was the mosaics in Ravenna."

Joe

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful blend of planned activities and still allowing free time to explore. It is so well thought out with locations and hotels that most would never find. Places like: -mosaics of Ravenna -beauty of Tuscany and The Belvedere hotel -incredible Civita di Bagnoregio

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita di Bagnoregio was incredible. The sheer beauty and uniqueness made it seem out of this world. The view as you approach and what you see while in the village was just outstanding."

Wendy

St Petersburg, FL

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned and included everything as outlined on the website. Our guide, Nina, was outstanding. The towns we visited were small, quaint and perfect for spending the days wandering.

Dena

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! Everyone who wants to see Italy should take the Village Italy tour. So beautiful, so much interaction with the locals as we experienced a truffle hunt, olive oil tasting, preparing lunch at a farm, just to name a few. Very busy but always had our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments. Seeing the Carrara marble "mountain" and where Michelangelo picked the marble for some of his sculptures. Seeing the Cinque Terre from the Ligurian Sea as we took a beautiful boat ride to Monterosso. The rolling hills of Tuscany."

Pawel

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A good and well-designed, fast-paced, well-guided tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride in the Cinque Terre."

Mary

Lake Orion, MI

Tour: 08/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was a great experience. Every day was filled with art, beautiful views, and delicious food. We had a great group of people to travel with and enjoy different activities such as truffle hunting, wine and olive oil tasting, a cooking class, and walks in old rustic villages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was entering a mosaic filled basilica in Ravenna. The bright colors and artwork was amazing."

George

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have mixed feelings about group tours. Sometimes having 25, as was the case in Italy, feels like too many and at other times it's fine. I particularly like the balance between group touring and being on our own. In each tour we have taken the guide has done a good job of orienting us to the town we are in so it is comfortable wandering around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think in terms of wow moments. I enjoy the entire trip and the information the guides and in particular our lead guide, Ann, shared along the way."

Ken

Burlington, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we enjoyed it very much. We had been to Italy before (Rome, Florence and Venice), and wanted to experience the smaller towns of Italy. Having a Guide with us made it a wonderful experience, and their knowledge (and Rick's experience) allowed us to see a number of sites we wouldn't have seen or known about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The towns of Montefalco and Voltere. We had our most memorable dinner in Montefalco, and really enjoyed the alabaster studio we visited in Voltere."

Kateryna

Williamstown, MA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann was very organized and patient. She is very lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a blast in Vernazza, hiking Cinque Terre trails, swimming, people watching and listening to an opera concert in all that beauty."

Scott

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour overall! Loved that this itinerary focused on smaller towns, rich history, and contained an excellent sprinkling of interesting activities such as truffle hunt, cooking class, Etruscan museum, olive oil\wine tastings, and had local guides at times that brought amazing life to the sights we saw. We brought our sons with us, and it was a great way to spend 2 weeks together enjoying Italy; just the right amount of time on our own, and a great tour group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was absolutely amazed and stood in awe when we soaked in the sheer magnitude of the architecture, engineering marvel, and effort required hundreds and hundreds of years ago to create masterpieces such as the San Vitale Bisilica & Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna, St. Patrick's Well in Orvieto, and walled hill-top towns like Civita di Bagnoregio. Also, in Carrara when we stopped in the marble workshop and saw craftsmen and artists working on beautiful statues\pieces while we were there!"

Danielle

Stamford, CT

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely LOVED our tour. It was our first time in Italy (or anywhere in Europe) and our first group tour. Every day, we felt like it got better and better. I thought the 14 days was a perfect amount of time and we loved getting to experience off the beaten path villages and have unique experiences like the cooking classes, truffle hunt, marble quarry. These are things we never would have found on our own. Ann made our experience fun and pleasurable for everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one... but 1) Civita di Bagnoregio (the awe of the bridge and the quaint town on the other side... so worth the walk. The views were amazing!) 2) Stefano- his passion and knowledge were inspiring and the cooking class was one of the best experiences of our trip 3) Orvieto- the views, the quiet, "local" feel, seeing authentic Italians playing, dancing, etc... we even ran into other travelers we met in other cities along the way, making it feel like a small town 4) views!!"

Nancy

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Even with record heat, the tour was informative and fun. We experienced a good deal of walking, but also made use of trains, buses, and boats. It seemed like we so saw many awe inspiring buildings and art that the walking was always worthwhile. The villas we stayed. in were especially nice. I have been to Italy 4 other time, but saw different places and loved this itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was seeing St. Francis's small sanctuary surrounded by the cathedral. I was amazed by this holy place."

Susan

Burlington, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful. Most of that was due to our guide, Ann. She was outstanding. We enjoying traveling with a great group of positive people (almost all). We were a bit hesitant about group travel but almost everyone really agreed to be positive and enjoy Italy and the group. We loved the villages, the smaller the better. Sienna was fun but crazy due to the upcoming horse race the next day. We saw so many wonderful things and learned so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the mosaics in Ravenna and the beautiful, quiet town of Montefalco. In Montefalco we wandered off the main square to find a terrific restaurant. It was our favorite of the whole trip. We were the only customers for a while and the service and food were outstanding! Not to mention the view."

Cynthia

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I had a great time. This tour is about the Italy of food, wine and beautiful Churches. It was amazing to see all of the frescos and mosaics, which one doesn't see in Rome. This year's heatwave was brutal, so I definitely suggest a light wardrobe in June. I survived on skirts, sleeveless tops and a shawl to wear in churches, with a water-cooled scarf to help take the edge off when walking. And don't forget a wide-brimmed hat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Lucca, our local guide, Gabriele, was taking us around the city, and as we neared the end of his tour, we came to the former Franciscan convent built in the time of St. Francis. It now houses a technical school. With the term being out, the courtyard was deserted, and Gabriele decided to take us in to see a fresco painted within thirty-five years of the great saint's death. It was rediscovered in the 1990s, and a very early portrait, by someone who may have seen him! Awesome!"

Justin

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While the temperature was very hot, this tour is great for those who have done all of the big cities. It gives another view of this beautiful country: it's people, food, drink, architecture, history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to Padua before, but had not seen large parts of the city, particularly the Prato della Valle."

Amy

Durango, CO

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's Italy, obviously breath taking! The tour guides really made this such a special, personalized, educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre.....WOW!"

Catherine

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! The only complaint was the weather......very hot. I enjoyed every town and every experience. Our tour guides were amazing and Mario was so sweet. Every traveler with us was friendly and considerate. What a lovely group! My favorite town was Orvieto. The city underground and St. Patrick's well were so memorable. Southern Italy is next on my wish list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my wow moment was trying to use my "little" Italian I learned in my Italian for Travelers class. The Italian people were so sweet when I tried to communicate in Italian. They helped me and it was apparent that they appreciated my effort."

Roger

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Easily one of the best tours I've ever done. Our guides were knowledgable, informative, and really understood how to work with our group and the individual personalities. We truly were just one big happy family for two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Orvieto. What a quaint, yet vibrant town with so much history and things to see and do."

Mary

Dufur, OR

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For the most part, we had an absolutely wonderful time. The hot weather was the only factor that did not make this a perfect trip, but no one has control over that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The immense history in Italy. I learned so much!"

Melissa

Golden, CO

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guides and driver were phenomenal! Being immersed in the Italian culture with food, wine, local people, local hands-on experiences were life-changing. The small villages with hardly any tourists were my favorite parts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking to CIVITA DI BOGNOREGIO and seeing how the town is eroding but still functioning was outstanding. The views were amazing. Also, Cecil's wine tasting at her vineyard was incredibly fun!"

Karen

Everett, WA

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was fantastic. I would rate it between outstanding and very good but for the reasons outlined further on in these comments, I'm rating it "very good." This is my fourth RS tour and this one did not disappoint. Like the other tours, this adventure really provided an education about Italy and made me feel like I could travel there again on my own. I feel like I have a much better understanding of Italian history and culture than I did before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but I would say seeing the Inn at Montefalco for the first time."

Brooke

Village Of Lakewood, IL

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was extremely special since I was traveling for my parents 50th anniversary with them and my siblings. Rick Steve's and our guides did very special things for this celebration. I loved going to quiet villages that aren't so touristy. The towns they chose were a perfect mix of Tuscany, Mediterranean Sea, Lake, and even the American Cemetery. I loved all of the things we were able to do that we could never have done without Rick Steve's. Fabulous tour and guides. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two Wow moments for me. Lake Orta was such a stunning, beautiful town and a perfect way to end our trip. I fell in love with Orvieto. Felt like I could live there! I also couldn't believe how incredible Carrera was with the mountains of marble."

Kathleen

Rossville, TN

Tour: 06/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual, this RST (my fifth) was amazing and really deserves 4.5 stars as it was just short of outstanding overall. I especially enjoyed the smaller villages and the off-the-beaten path opportunities on the trip. The history (and the connection to today), the art, the food, the wine, the scenery and the chance to be a temporary local were all there - and are the reasons I keep coming back to RST!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always such a hard question to answer as I have at least one on every day of a tour. One for sure was staying at (and the views from) Castello di Gargonza. Montefalco was also a highlight! And the mosaics at Ravenna, and the Cinque Terra from the boat. And... :)"

Jeff

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous, clockwise sweep through Italy's villages and smaller cities. We added a 2-night bonus in Verona, before traveling to Padua via train to begin our tour. I loved meeting Italians; they seemed genuinely appreciative toward visitors. Art, history, food, wine, religion and stunning landscapes greeted us at every stop along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting Assisi and the story of St. Francis and St. Clare. I am a Protestant but it was still very inspiring, and I think Rick is right, the Catholic Church knew a good deal when they saw it, and co-opted his movement into the mainstream."

Ann

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. each time i take a tour with Rick Steves, i say the most recent tour was the best but this really was the best. I enjoyed the smaller towns and like the lack of crowds. The food was varied and fantastic. I especially enjoyed that we had a smaller group. The normal tour size of 28 is too big. i think we had 21 and that was perfect. our bus was too big for 21 and could have been a smaller bus. also, the bus is too big for those winding roads. it seems dangerous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle farm was one of my favorites. it was fascinating to get out into the Oak grove with the dogs and the truffle farmers to see them in action. Then the dinner afterwards with truffles on each dish in every course was amazing...delicious! Oh, but the tunnels under Orvietto were facinating. What an interesting underground system of tunnels and wells and dove shelves. Siena was wonderful with the stained glass window artisans. He was very clear in explaining the trade"

Ashley

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 06/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, Rick Steves' runs a tight ship. The tour was well planned, organized and executed. We stayed at a delightful mix of tiny boutique hotels, mid-size modern hotels, and old rustic family villas. The food was excellent, the venues superb, and the side trips (locally guided trips of highlights in each town or region) were fascinating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm a nut for ancient infrastructure and I was ecstatic seeing all the Etruscan gates, arches, walls, caves, tunnels, cisterns & wells, as well as ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and other artifacts in Orvieto and Chianciano, not to mention the magnificent Roman forum in Volterra. The Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna were mind-blowingly beautiful."

Brian

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Villages, Italy, was a fantastic trip. This was our 2nd Rick Steves trip in 2 years and we will plan more in future years. Rick's trips are so well organized and pack in many unique activities which would not be included or available with other tours. Our guide, Nina, had a great personality and was very well versed in the culture and history of Italy. Included meals were very tasty, filling and incorporated the best of Italian cuisine. Our bus driver, Domenico did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost too many great moments to mention. But the truffle hunt with the dogs was a first for us and we loved eating the tasty use of truffles in our after hunt luncheon."

Ernest

Rockford, IL

Tour: 06/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide, great group of people. Good mix of planned activities and free time. Overall good experience. Great Gelato.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta was a very picturesque and peaceful way to end the tour."

Margee

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour; and it will not be my last! I loved every minute. I learned about Italy and it sparked an interest in further study of it's history. I laughed a lot thanks to our stand-up comic tour guide. I ate way too much but it was all delicious. I walked many miles enjoying the sites and sounds of each place we visited. I got to know all the amazing people in our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our room at Villa Pambuffetti."

Joe

Dublin, L

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than I expected, and my expectations were high

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The artwork. I am now a fan of Giotto Concert in Orvieto square, in support of mayoral candidate. If we could have voted for him he might have won, but we couldn't and he didn't Impromptu music session outside Hotel Primavera in Levanto."

Mary Jane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you so much for offering this special tour of Italy. It was incredibly informative and delicious and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle hunt and meal, the visit to Deruta, the visit to Carrara and so much more made this a remarkable trip. I appreciate the thoughtful planning that brought us to Levanto to stay for example rather than the more crowded Cinque Terre., and the mind boggling seafood feast."

Kimberly

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were completely blown away by Italy. The knowledge of the local guides and our tour guide made Italy come alive for us. We are truly thankful to David for making this the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting an American WW2 cemetery that I knew nothing about. Made extra special by one tour member who was the first in his family to visit his grandfather's grave."

Carol

Stow, OH

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfetto! Expectations for each day were communicated clearly. Our tour guides were constantly attentive to the needs of everyone in our group and all the details of the tour were impeccably arranged. It was our guide's charisma that facillitated the very positive and fun dynamic that grew among all the participants. The selection of locations and experiences as well as the food & wine were all fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one to answer, but the most impressive experience for me was our stop at the American Cemetary in Florence. The grandfather of one of our tour members was buried there and my own father fought in that area during WWII. The local guide did a beautiful job with her presentation. While it was a somber experience, I beleive it was the most meaningful for everyone in our group."

Mary Beth

Kent, OH

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Villages of Italy far exceeded my high expectations. Every minute was fun. We learned and saw so much. Our tour guide, David, was incredible. He is a happy, engaging person, who gave more than 100 percent all day, every day. His enthusiasm and kindness were evident in each of his many interactions. David shared his own family's stories, his music, his love of history and his country with all of us. He is a true professional, who became a friend. The itinerary was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the surprise trip to the American Cemetery near Florence. Because one of our tour members told David that his grandfather was buried there, we were able to stop for a tour. What a breathtaking experience for everyone."

Robin

Falmouth, VA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great way to experience Italy without the crowds! Our group was such a fun bunch of people to travel with, and David and Savannah took such good care of us. The places we stayed were wonderful, and the staff so friendly and happy to host us. But staying in a medieval castle (Hotel Gargonza) was a special experience not to be missed. The group meals were incredible. The art and historical sites we visited were of the highest caliber, and most had no crowds to fight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting outside the Hotel Primavera in Levanto singing Imagine while David led us on his guitar and the owner's family and friends joined in, along with passers-by. You just can't plan a moment like that."

John

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! We fell in love with Italy - its countryside and villages, its people, food, wine, music, art, and culture. Our rollicking tour guide David kept us laughing with his stories and songs, answering questions and teaching us so much about Italy. Our tour group bonded quickly into friends, creating a Facebook group to share photos and videos. I never will forget the luminous sunset dinners at the truffle farm, the castle courtyard and the restaurant overlooking Lake Orta.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We celebrated our 47th anniversary during a sunset dinner at the Tuscan castle where we stayed. The whole group applauded a lovely toast for us by David, our tour leader. Equally great moments included walking the walls of beautiful Lucca, a deeply moving tour of 5th century Christian mosaics in Ravenna, and a side-splitting late night singalong including a rendition of "O Sole Mio" by David and our bus driver Mario, who unveiled an astonishing tenor voice."

Phil

Dublin, L

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than my expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sight on our arrival at our villa in Montefalco and the Castle Gargonza. The settings, the interiors and history of these properties."

Carol

Lebanon, OH

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the ease of the trip, our first trip we didn't plan every moment. We learned so much, didn't get lost, have to worry about parking, and made new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in Cinque Terre the views were spectacular. It was harder and longer than I thought, I was so hot when I got to the sea in Vernazza, I jumped in the water with my clothes on, it was great!"

Bill

Maineville, OH

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being with 12 other couples for 2 weeks was a bit of a wake up for me. Having that out of the way the experience was a lovely, educational, fun, and at times exceptional adventure for my wife and I. We would never have gotten the details and history traveling by ourselves. In many respects it was brainless with driving, hotels, sites all decided in advance it was truly relaxing with respect to the details while still having a trip full of new experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta was stunning as was most of Italy but the lake setting cool temperatures made for an picture perfect end to the trip."

Kerry

Tybee Island, GA

Tour: 06/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We made the decision to take the Village Italy touring 14 day tour based on the listed description and itinerary posted on the Rick Steve's Website. I can honestly say that the experience was everything we expected and more. This tour literally exceeded all of our expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are really too many to document, but perhaps one of the most memorable was staying at Castello di Gargonza. Staying in this Castle turned hotel was a truly unique experience from the enchanting room to the romantically charming restaurant. It was something almost right out of a fairy tale."

Thomas

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just a true traveling experience that exceeds the itinerary. The mix of staying in the center of walled cities, staying on hilltop villas in the countryside, making so many unexpected visits along the way, and guidance for free time will surpass expectations. A great way to enjoy , and learn about , the wonderful country the Italians have created.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the boat ride from Porto Venere to call at each village of Cinque Terre. What a beautiful afternoon outing. A close second was riding a bike on top of the city wall completely around the beautiful town of Lucca."

Virginia

Winnsboro, SC

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had expected the Village Italy tour to be exceptional but it far exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose from so many wonderful memories. Was it in Orvieto when we turned corner to be amazed by the Duomo gleaming in the late afternoon sun? Was it standing on the balcony at Villa Lechi gazing over the neat rows of olive trees and cultivated fields of the Tuscan hillsides before us? Maybe it was gazing at the incredible Byzantine mosaics of San Vitale in Ravenna. Or maybe it was in the dank wine cellar again at Villa Lechi hearing the story of locals hiding from Nazis."

Michele

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour that not only met but exceeded our expectations. Very well managed and scheduled, which gave all tour members wonderful experiences along with some down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had so many... Loved ALL the stops we made, there wasn't one that I would of wanted to miss..."

Dennis

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was simply fantastic! There were so many great moments it is hard to pinpoint just one as a favorite or best moment. My wife and I would highly recommend this tour (and in fact, a Rick Steves tour in general) to anyone who is looking at a tour or vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one "wow" moment but many "wow" moments! The tour had several highlights ranging from the incredible architecture and history, the beautiful countryside and scenic moments seemed to be around every corner, the great wine and food, our guide Sarah was fantastic and so much more. We would tour again on a Rick Steves tour without a second thought."

Lyn

Franklin Park, NJ

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not enough room on these forms! We had a fabulous experience with RS. All of this is just suggestions. One thing we noticed is that we were told we'd be staying two nights at each hotel and the last hotel (one of the most spectacular), we only stayed one night. Left us feeling a little jipped. I think that last hotel deserved another night, especially to just "be." Also, it might be nice if Villa Lecchi relaxed their policy about hanging clothes in the rooms to dry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a very hard question because I felt the entire tour was a WOW moment. I'd never been to Italy, never taken a RS tour, and was so excited to explore Italy and the culture and rich traditions. There was WOW everywhere I looked. There was WOW in the food, there was WOW in the people, there was WOW in the beautiful panoramic vistas, there was WOW in many of the places we stayed, our group and tour guide were WOWs and overall, it was a fantastic WOW experience."

Rosemary

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RST. It was outstanding and my favorite. Sarah was extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter of everything on the itenary and additional places that we inquired about. She was extremely delightful and was extremely assertive when she needed to be. The food and hotels were all outstanding. All of the people on the trip were delightful and everyone got along great with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the Villa Lecchi in Localita Lecchi. We had a great dinner outside on a long table. The villa overlooked a picturesque valley that was so peaceful and tranquil. Occasionally you could faintly hear and see a train moving through the valley. It was the perfect setting to reflect on the trip and life in general. Sometimes the best moments are the quiet ones."

Michele

Newnan, GA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I'd hoped for and more. It exceeded expectations. I loved the pace of the tour and the ambiance of the small villages. I highly recommend the itinerary!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at the American Cemetery outside Florence, an unexpected and moving experience."

Thomas

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta."

John

Newnan, GA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip due to wonderful Sarah and a really good group. As in past Rick Steves travels, the local guides were very knowledgeable and outstanding. The pace was very good and I really liked staying away from high density tourist locations. Food and wine was most excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First day of tour, June 1 my birthday, Sarah had arranged for the singing of Happy Birthday in Italian. The meal and everything about the evening was tremendous."

Alice

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best thing about the trip was the lead guide, Sarah; second were the local guides or leaders of experiences and third, the Italian food. All of the accomodations were excellent to superb!!!!! I loved having a tour without pre-planning for entry to museums, restaurants, etc. We did a My Way trip of RS last year and negotiating the museum entries, and the food, etc was a LOT!!! Plus the local guides make THE BIG difference on a guided tour. That makes RS tours the best!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scroveni chapel in Padua and the local guide Carla with us there. I had never seen a picture/painting/fresco of the Nativity with Hailey's comet. This was definitely a WOW moment."

Jill

Morgantown, WV

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Village Italy tour and Trina was an exceptional guide. The villages and people, the churches and the frescoes, and the food and wine exceeded my expectations. The only negative about the trip was the activity level of moderate stated for the Village Italy tour seems too low. This is my 8th Rick Steves tour, including a 2018 Best of Switzerland tour. I feel the Village Italy tour had a lot more uphill and downhill walking and steps to climb and descend than a moderate activity level.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, it is so hard to pick only one. At the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, our local guide suggested we stand inside of the entrance door that was used by church goers years ago to simulate their entrance to the Basilica. That sight was breathtaking. The golds and blues in the Bysantine mosaics from the sixth century glittered in the light. A close second was a gorgeous sunset viewed while eating a truffle dinner at La Cucina di San Pietro near Trevi with Montefalco in the distance."

Ellen

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy exceeded our expectations. The addition of a stay at the Castello di Gargonza with its gracious host Niro was a delight...a beautiful setting, large comfortable rooms, and delicious food. The welcome reception was particularly delicious with seasonal treats like fried squash blossoms. Villa Pambufetti, Hotel San Luca Palace, and Hotel La Bussola were all exceptionally beautiful and comfortable venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise addition of to Arezzo to our itinerary provided three WOW moments: First, the views of the Piazza Grande, with its beautiful 16th century heraldic shields, Second, seeing Pierro della Francesca's 15th century fresco masterpiece, Third, a spectacular lunch at La Lancia d'Oro, which proved to be our finest meal in Italy. Truly, Arezzo would be worthy of a full day on the Village Italy tour"

Brian

Leander, TX

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and, once again, the tour exceeded our expectations and then some! The locations and itinerary for the tour were absolutely perfect to give us a mix of experiences and education to truly understand and appreciate the history of and life in Italy. Each place had its own character and story to tell. Thanks to our amazing guide, Trina, we also had some special surprises and unique side trips along the way that further enriched the experience. Great group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour was one "wow" moment after another. Without spoiling anything, we were fortunate enough to stay in some truly memorable locations that absolutely knocked our socks off. Another big "wow" for me was our guide, Trina. She is an excellent teacher. With her leadership and instruction, the story of Italy unfolded throughout the days. By the end, we had a well rounded understanding of what made and continues to make Italy special."

Linda

Morgan, UT

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations beyond anything I could have hoped for. The art history, cultural experiences, hotel accommodations, food, wine, and fellow travellers, along with a wonderful guide and exceptional bus driver left nothing to be desired. This was my first trip with Ricks Steve's and it won't be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""My Wow moment" I loved the beauty of Gargonza. The castle was exceptional. I would have loved to stay another night. The truffle tour and beauty of Assisi was amazing. And of course hiking in Cinque Terre, was worth every step. The beauty of the Ligurian sea was incredible!"

Beverly

Granger, IN

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not recommend this tour high enough. I would take it all over again if I could. It was wonderful, stimulating and beautiful. I so enjoyed learning more about Italy's culture. The one suggestion I would have is to provide other books in the back of the bus so one could familiarize themselves with some of the history of Italy. Perhaps a book on the Medici's, the Ranaissance movement, etc would be helpful. I always enjoy reading them when we are on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the boat ride when we got to the Cinque Terre. It was fabulous to see all the towns from the water and it was a beautiful day full of sunshine. It was so colorful and picturesque from the water."

David

New York, NY

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned a great deal on this tour even though I had already been to Italy (at least 6 or 7 times) and I study archeology and Roman history. It was mostly off the tourist trail, although not entirely. Sienna and the Cinque Terra were crowded enough that I was not as bothered by the short amount of time we spent in each as I would have been otherwise. As always, the guide, the driver, and the other guests were a pleasure. The itinerary was intelligent, humane, varied, and unlike any other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" experiences, like the abundance of amazing frescoes or eating raw sausage on a farm. Overall, I might have to choose Lucca or Orvieto, not so much for their "wow" as for their balance of livability and quiet sophistication."

Samuel

Morgan, UT

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everyday was filled with great information, incredible sights and wonderful food and wine. I am not really a history buff, but our guide Trina's vast knowledge and comfortable presentation made the entire trip interesting and informative. All of the places we went were eye opening and awe inspiring and just enough free time mixed in to reflect on the previous days experiences. Kudos to our amazing guide and our bus driver Sergio !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick one "WOW" moment, but I so enjoyed the walk through Assisi and the fun truffle hunt and dinner. I also very much enjoyed the hospitality and beauty of our stay at the Castello di Gorganza. Such a beautiful setting and wonderful service and food! Wish we could have stayed longer. Cinque Terre was also incredible. Hiking and walking each village was a treasure and a treat!"

Rebecca

Zephyr Cove, NV

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group was so cohesive, open and magnanimous. If someone in group needed help many members were willing to jump in and provide a helping hand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to narrow it down to one "wow" moment as the variety of locations, terrain and atmosphere all make for several favorites. I will say seeing the Cinque Terra from the sea was memorable, soaking up Orvieto was wonderful and visiting Carrera and seeing how marble is cut from the mountain was mind-blowing. Finishing our tour at Lake Orta was perfect - charming, lovely location easy to relax in."

Richard

Zephyr Cove, NV

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The variety of the countryside and the age and distinctive nature of all the villages visited was what one hoped for when selecting this tour .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The age of many of buildings and the alleyways , narrow and wide , negotiated by foot or vehicle was always rewarding ,"

Jim

Granger, IN

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great with a fantastic site list and food galore. Orvieto was a food favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre villages were so unique and beautiful. We would love to go back!"

Carol

Westford, MA

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and certainly not our last since I've already started planning for next year. As always, a wonderful guide, Cristina from Padova, a great itinerary and wonderful tour mates who were lots of fun. Mid-May was a nice time - not hot yet and other than the Cinque Terre which we mostly skipped there weren't really crowds. A highlight was the free day we walked from our base in Levento along the sea to Bonassola and had scrumptious onion focaccia from the bakery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I remember saying "wow" after we had walked from the bus across the town of Bagnoregio and I saw Civita di Bagnoregio in the distance, but that was not my favorite place. My favorite day was Day 5 in Deruta and Orvieto which was my husband's 60th birthday. Our guide Cristina and the rest of the group made sure it was a very special day for him. Pottery, a winery lunch w/ a surprise birthday cake and winery apron gift, and then Orvietto and our favorite restaurant in Orvietto for dinner."

Vickie

Ponte Vedra, FL

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steve's tour. We added this tour onto the tour of Sicily. In my opinion our group visited too many churches. My husband and I opted out of a walking tour in Lucca because of another church tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Deruta pottery and the olive oil presentation/lunch were two of my favorites."

Charles

Ponte Vedra, FL

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After taking the 21 day Best of Europe tour last year, we decided to take this tour to get a more concentrated experience in smaller towns of Italy compared to the traditional large city bucket list tours. This tour did not disappoint in that regard. The hotels were clean, well appointed and ideally located in each town. The visit to the WWII cemetery was an add on and should be elevated to beincluded in the itinerary. The free time in each locale was great to find great food and drink spots.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the small towns without masses of tourists was accomplished multiple times on this tour. Dinners in Orvieto, Luca, and Montefalco were a treat because most tourists had left and it seemed we had the town to ourselves."

Rochelle

Quincy, IL

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I travelled with 2 other girlfriends. None of us had ever been on a tour before so we were new to this experience. We looked at various tour groups before deciding on Rick Steeves because we enjoyed the activity level, the small group size, and the itinerary. We were not disappointed. In fact, on the long flight back to the States we all agreed the tour exceeded our expectations. We especially enjoyed the unexpected destinations and food experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many including one amazing meal of homemade pappardelle in a very small village outside of the Florence American Cemetery. But I have to say I've always wanted to travel to Civita di Bagnoregio and it did not disappoint. it's just such an unusual place and one that may be gone in the near future-the views and history are amazing. Also, the Cinque Terre-loved and visited all five villages. If you are going find the time to explore all five."

Randall

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was great! Great itinerary with minor exceptions Would have liked more time in Assisi Very nice estate we stayed at outside Siena but would have preferred more time in Siena or to stay within walking distance to explore the city more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't limit to one but greatly enjoyed Ravenna, Assisi, American cemetery in Florence, Siena, Lucca and Cinque Terra."

Martis

Durango, CO

Tour: 05/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

More cathedrals than I would have liked to see...I personally skipped several. It seemed that we were always rushing.To get to another church! Housing, food, transportation all very good as usual. Cristina the best!

Steven

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having the opportunity to see the parts of Italy that are not Rome,Florence,Venice,Naples,and Milan was a treat. Patricia is an outstanding tour guide. Her Scottish/Italian heritage, Italian history knowledge, and vibrant personality made the trip priceless. We were very lucky to have her leadership as she slowly fades her tour guiding career into the sunset. (38 years) Each day was filled with new adventures that are difficult to describe, but need to be experienced to appreciate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very difficult, but, actually there are two. 1. The ceramic factory in Deruta. Each phase of production from the Tiber River clay to the hand painting was engrossing. Wanting to buy everything was almost uncontrollable. 2. The Puccini concert in Lucca was over the top! Held in an abandoned old church, with performances by three men; tenor, baritone, and pianoforte. It brought me to tears."

Janice

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour! From our guide (Tricia) to the itinerary, hotels, day tours, meals, accommodations and bus travel with the wonderful Mario. We had a lovely group with great camraderie. Can't say enough good things.....but I will, to anyone who will listen!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip didn't have the "wow" factor that last summer's my way alpine europe did, but that's not the point. Each day brought beautiful new natural and historical man made sights. Probably the water view of the Cinque Terre was a highlight. We were so happy the boat ride up the coast was possible. The villages were lovely from the water and this was a real treat. Also, sunset lighting on the duomo facade in Orvieto was spectacular. Tricia positioned us just right to see it!"

Vicki

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy Tour was awesome! It was filled with so many delightful adventures in beautiful villages. This was our ninth Rick Steves' tour and it reminded my husband and me of the many reasons we love RS tours. The towns visited, delicious group dinners, new friendships, amazing landscapes and views, bus rides filled with historical and cultural information, daily gelatos, and humorous and diligent guides made this tour one our favorites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moments were a group picnic lunch spread along a wall overlooking Orvieto....breathtaking and delicious! Earlier in the morning, all of the tour members went to the local farmers market and purchased a delicious array of foods and Italian specialties to share. Ahhhhhh..... Another "wow" moment was a picturesque boat ride from Porto Venere along the coast of the Cinque Terre, ending in Monterosso, on a picture-perfect day. We keep pinching ourselves."

Steven

Orlando, FL

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastic tour leader, an energetic and fun group of travelers and the beauty of Italy made for the perfect vacation. The pace was great, scenery and accommodations were superb. Learned so much from Patricia, the local guides and fellow travelers. This was our third Rick Steve's tour and as such are expectations were high. Once again your organization delivered above and beyond our expectations. Thank thank you so much

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick one. Seeing the Orvieto cathedral at sunset was stunning. We spent an extra night at Lago d'Orta and truly enjoyed the ambiance and people. The group feast in Levanto was tremendous. But if I had to chose 1, Our tour of the Basillica of Assisi, the beauty and the superb local guide Giuseppe, really was a wow for me."

Lydia

Orlando, FL

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous trip. We had so many new experiences and learned so much. Tricia was an excellent guide who brought her years of experience to this tour along with her wonderful sense of humor. Our travel companions quickly became friends. The towns we visited fit the bill of quaint, not crowded, historically interesting and beautiful. I would recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. I love all the churches. Walking inside them and having my jaw drop because of the beauty. Basilica of Saint Anthony did this to me Also the Scrovegni Chapel. Market days are always fun and interesting. Drinking Aperol Spritz every chance we got and people watching in the squares. The view from our balcony on Lake Orta gave me goosebumps."

Nancy

Sitka, AK

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' Tour and we weren't sure what to expect. Our concerns vanished once our tour guide, Patricia, greeted our group during the welcome reception. It was immediately evident that we were going to be in good hands and in excellent company for the next two weeks. Patricia's humor and knowledge made each day memorable and spectacular. Our meals, tours, accommodations and travel companions exceeded what we imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that the food and lodging were outstanding and the tours were so informative and fun, but the "wow" moment for me was sharing all of this with 25 awesome people who brought such warmth and friendliness to the group. This added to each and every experience, making the whole trip one big "WOW" moment."

Victoria

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View from the hotel room at Lake Orta."

Deborah

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed seeing and learning a lot about Italian history, art, religion and culture. Our guide and local guides were great. I wanted to spend more time in smaller towns, like Lucca and Orvieto. Sienna and Padova were nice but too big and especially in Sienna, we didn't have enough time there to really know it, so I would save it for a different tour. They weren't really what I would call villages, which is what I was looking for. I liked doing a local event like the Puccini night in Lucca

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cinque Terre from the boat, and then hiking the trail the next day. I also really liked seeing and hiking up to Civita. And we went kayaking on beautiful Lake Orta. Amazing settings!"

Ron

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Carrera marble quarry ."

Carol

Cardiff By The Sea, CA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was outstanding with the focus on small hill towns and the life and people within. We visited local artisans including owner of local winery, olive oil mill, pottery workshop, local farm with a truffle dog owner, chef/owner of agriturismo. They shared their daily life and knowledge with us as well as some delicious meals. Along with the interaction with local artisans we viewed fabulous mosaics and frescos within basilicas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never can pinpoint one "wow" moment. On this tour there were many different ones: the sight of the hill towns from afar and from below, the country villas that we stayed in, the opera in Lucca, the tremendous frescos and mosaics and their stories, the truffle dogs and Bruno their owner what a character, and the personal tour of Sienna by our lovely guide who lives there. Anna made life in Sienna come alive with a visit to her contrada and tales of the Palio."

Paula

Warthen, GA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose this trip because we were very interested in these villages in Italy. We love the country, its beauty, and the genuineness of the locals. Many of the sites we were to visit were on our "must see" list. Our experience far exceeded our high expectations. Anna was a delight. You have found a true jewel in this young lady. She represents the Rick Steves travel concept exceptionally well....while adding her own personal touches. Her people skills are amazing and such an asset.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many each day it is hard to choose, but seeing the sunset over a lovely vineyard on a hillside with the shadowy mountains in the distant...was perfectly amazing, wowing, refreshing and refreshing after a day of showers. I also must include the walk up to Civita! What an amazing location. I do hope it can become a World Heritage Site; even if that limits visitors. Experiencing the past, present and future in such an unusual and precarious moment in time will remain a WOW."

Molly

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Anna, was superb. Her knowledge of Italian art and history made each village come alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna--took my breath away. Loved the Drute pottery factory."

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and the locations got us away from the big crowds in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can not identify one particular event that was above another because they where all great."

John

Warthen, GA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour and tour guide. There was a lot packed into 14 days, but I did not feel rushed or overwhelmed. This was my ninth Rick Steves tour and they just keep getting better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always have one or two special places I want to see on an upcoming tour. This time it was Civita and the Scrovegni Chapel. Of course they wowed me, but so did the whole tour."

Beth

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was the first Rick Steves Tour I had done. Won't be the last! Loved everything about it. Anna was an incredible guide!! Loved meeting people on the tour and making new friends. Loved seeing so much of the beautiful villages. Enjoyed having several days in each village plus free time to explore. Wonderful memories will warm my heart for years to come!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many 'wow' moments! I think every place we went had its own unique wow moments. And, because I had only been to large Italian cities (Rome, Venice) I loved the village appeal. Absolutely loved Siena and Lucca. Loved the experiences - the truffle hunting dogs and delicious truffle dinner, the winery lunch, the cooking lesson and lunch in Tuscany, the pottery tour in Orvieto, the marble tour in Carrara, the "stroll" up to Civita di Bagnoregio, hiking in Cinque Terre, the amazing art!"

Fred

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour leader and information from local guides. Just what I needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Seina."

James

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip that was well organized and very interesting while also being great fun. Methods to encourage interaction with the group were very effective and we made some good friends along the way. Our tour guide Anna was fabulous! She was a wealth of knowledge, always upbeat, and lots of fun. She made the trip! Guides at each city were also terrific--- a great team effort!Food and drink were superb. Would have liked to have 2 days at Lake Orta instead of just one--- beautiful resort!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting all the cathedrals/basilicas/churches--- art was overwhelming. Enjoyed the free days in Orieveto and Levanto. Visiting the WWII cemetery outside Florence was special!!"

Jennene

Hopedale, MA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and first with Rick Steve's. I was traveling solo! I still am relishing in the wonderful moments and information I was exposed to and considering which tour to take next year. The tour exceeded my expectations! I was so grateful for how Anna streamlined all our time and ticketing, so that waiting was not part of the experience. In general this tour was well planned and well executed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am an Art History lover so the Scrovegni Chapel took my breath away! With that said I was awed by the narrow darkened walkway opening up to the piazza of the Orvieto Cathedral, in all of its sparkling mosaic splendor! Did I mention Giotto's marvelous work at Assisi! I could go on, each day brought wonder and joy to my life!"

Bill

Norfolk, VA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it! The tour group was the right size for the bus (26 vs. 52 seats), so plenty of elbow room. Logistics all went seamlessly, despite 9 straight days of rain. The balance of sightseeing vs. experiences was excellent. Some hotels were borderline subpar (Padua, in particular), but others were very comfortable (Lake Orto). But the very best thing of the trip was our superstar tour guide, Anna; she just exceeded every expectation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anna, having adopted Siena and the Lupa Contrade as her home, took us to her Contrade's church, where she explained the Palio to us and then narrated for us the video of Lupa's July 2016 Palio victory in a manner just as exciting as someone calling the Kentucky Derby, and then took us through the Church's 3 room museum to Lupa's centuries of Palio racing, with all the jockeys' gear and outfits, and the Palio banners that had been one. She really made the Palio come alive for us all."

George

Fitchburg, WI

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the trip was great. Anna, our guide was outstanding. She had the perfect background for guiding us around the villages of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were on a Rick Steve's tour in October 2011 in Cinque Terra and witnessed firsthand the flooding and devastation caused by the torrential rains. Our guide then, Karen, dealt fabulously with this traumatic event. One of our purposes for this trip was to go back and see the beautiful towns after the clean up and restoration. Our Wow Moment was meeting with Marco and Matteo, who, with their father and mother, had sheltered us and perhaps saved our lives. Seeing them was a real pleasure."

Linda

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first organized tour & I am a "frustrated travel agent",loving to plan our trips & having lived & traveled extensively in Europe, so take that into consideration in reading my review.Loved having the transportation,checkins to hotel & other logistics taken care of. Was a great group of people from all over the US. Our tour Guide Anna was amazing. Experiences were wonderful and something could not have planned myself. Would have preferred nicer hotels and less bus time the first day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the "experiences': The wine tasting - Cecilia was captivating and so passionate - she is a gem. The chef lunch - Stefano also was so passionate, friendly and can't be replaced. Cooking the meal together was such a great team experience and so much fun. The truffle hunting, olive oil education, and ceramics stops were unique experiences. Finally, visiting the Florence American Cemetary was a surprise, a must see, and a very emotional and meaningful experience."

Donna

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of the village cities was exactly what I wanted. I have been to Rome, Florence, and Venice, and while they were nice to see, I love and appreciate the smaller towns and staying in the old sections of the cities. Trina was a wonderful guide who shared indepth knowledge of the country, history, culture, and architecture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is very hard to choose only one. I had a wow experience in every city and venue we visited. I really enjoyed all of Lucca."

Troy

Port Neches, TX

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the exploring the small towns, villages and countryside of northern Italy and experiencing the history, culture, architecture, foods and wines of the region. Our tour guide was helpful, knowledgeable and fun to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening dinner following the truffle hunt near Montefalco with the sun setting over the beautiful Umbrian countryside while dining on delicious food and visiting with new friends was probably the top "wow" of several "wow" moments during our tour."

Janet

Port Neches, TX

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew before the tour started that it would be great...just because my previous tours have been great! My brother and his wife did this tour last summer and they loved it, so I had insight into what was coming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the truffle hunt and the dogs! It was fun! The place where the dinner was held was amazing!The colors at sunset was gorgeous! The food was wonderful, too! The other "wow" was riding on the bus and seeing the countryside. It was pretty, especially the fields of poppies!"

Crystal

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I seriously could not have imagined a better experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was visiting the little Etruscan museum and learning that there was such an advanced society in Italy so very long ago. It was really impressive to see the artifacts from that era."

Stephen

Eagle, ID

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our recent Village Italy tour exceeded our high expectations. Excellent guide, accommodations and overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trying to comprehend the magnitude of having nearly 2500 years of history exposed in six feet of excavation before our eyes at archeological dig in Orevieto. Mind boggling to say the least."

Nancy

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Magnificent experience traveling through Northern Italy and its charming villages. Trina is an exceptional guide with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The tour was well organized and really captured the essence of traveling to smaller villages within the culture and history of Italy. Our journey was well-paced and we traveled by bus, boat, and train throughout the tour which gave us different experiences/perspectives within Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita di Bagnoregio, ancient, hilltop, medieval village and walk! What a view!! I had many WOW moments throughout this trip - loved the boat tour at the Cinque Terra and of course, Tuscany and all its natural beauty. The family owned villas we stayed in at both Tuscany and Umbria were truly magnificent! The food, art, history, cultural experiences(i.e. cooking, wine, truffles, olive growing, Estrucan history, art, etc.) all created amazing memories and joy that will always be cherished!"

Mike

Simcoe, ON

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Villages of Italy is our favorite RS tour of the 5 tours we have taken. In fact this is the second time we have taken this tour, the first was ten years ago. Although there had been some changes over this period, the essence of this tour has not changed and it remains an all time favorite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The optional archeologist led tour of Sant Andrea Church in Orvieto. Was totally blown away the 3000 years of history contained in the basement of that church. My tourmates decided to forego this optional tour. That was big mistake. My other wow moment was completing the Cinque Terre trail from Vernazza to Monterossa al Mare. We had completed the first 3 "legs" of the trail 100 years ago so it was nice to finally complete the last leg."

Carol

Lake Arrowhead, CA

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We spent two weeks on the Village Italy Tour in May. Our tour guide was exceptional! I was amazed at how much history there was in places I had never even heard of. The only problem was the weather (it rained all but three days), but we just kept going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think when our tour guide explained to us that Italy was a young country only formed in 1861 and how we could see that with the differences in the different regions."

Karen

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There aren't enough adjectives in any language to describe how awesome this experience was for me. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, my favorite "wow" was BEFORE the tour, right as I got in country. A local man saved the day. He was so excited when he realized he could help me all the way to my tram stop for the hotel, (and pay my way with a ticket he already had on hand) that as we sprinted from the bus toward the tram he swept his arms into the air and with total joy shouted, "WELCOME TO ITALY!" After that, the Wow's just kept on coming."

Craig

Fuquay Varina, NC

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. It was also the first time we have been to Italy. It was without question, the most fun and educational vacation that we have ever had. We were fortunate to have David as our guide. He always made us feel comfortable with our surroundings while providing us with historical and political information for the region we were visiting. The local guides added a lot to the experience. The art and architecture were even more inspiring than we imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Standing inside buildings that were built centuries ago was an experience that I will never forget. The food and wine experiences were my favorite. They really provided an insight to the regional variances and the passion that these people share regarding their craft, traditions and local history."

Mary

Fuquay Varina, NC

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This has been the vacation of a lifetime. I had to pinch myself often because when in Italy it felt unreal, like I really wasn't there, like it was a dream. We saw and learned a lot more about Italy, the culture, history and people then we would have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments to count. The outstanding basilica in Orvieto and the city beneath the city in the smaller church in Orvieto."

Claudia

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mama Mia! We had a fantastic experience on the Village Italy Tour! My husband, David and I, were both visiting Italy for the first time - and we'll be back to explore more of this beautiful country. The joy of seeing the Italian villages certainly overshadowed any damper on the trip (and of course, weather is never a sure bet!) We both loved the culinary aspects of the trip-local foods and wines. Local guides were excellent, particularly our guide in the Carrara marble quarries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hands on Tuscan cooking experience was our WOW moment! We loved learning new techniques of making gnocchi, pesto, and pasta. It was a bonding experience to get to know other tour members while preparing our lunch together, listening to our Tuscan chef impart his knowledge, and finally relishing the meal!"

Christina

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was absolutely incredible, more than I dreamed it would be. From the minute we arrived in Padua until the moment we left Lake Orta every detail of our tour was amazing! David, our guide, is an absolute GEM! His charisma and knowledge are over the top. Every village that we visited, local tour guide that we had, and every group activity that was planned were spectacular. Every day was more phenomenal than the day before. Bravissimo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day of the trip had a "wow" moment for me, but I'd have to say my favorite had to be our stop at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia in Tuscany, where we received hands on experience preparing our lunch from locally sourced food. Stefano was very nice and very informative. It really made me think twice about my first visit back to the grocery store when I finally got home. I believe that was the real turning point where our group really came together as well."

Delbert

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome tour guide and bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the town of Montefalco, walking thru the gates to the small hill top site."

Millie

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not even the rain could dampen our overall enjoyment. I especially liked visiting towns that are not on the typical tourist route which allowed us to experience life in Italy being lived by Italians. Getting to see dogs hunt truffles and then eat a meal based on truffles was a favorite part of the trip for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through our guide's hometown, Orvieto, and observing how the local people greeted David, along with a somewhat impromptu lunch at a local restaurant where David and his band played for us."

Michael

Cooperstown, NY

Tour: 05/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. We previously did Best of Sicily in 2016. As in 2016 we finished this tour with a sense of true satisfaction with our overall experience. Our tour guide David Todi was a true professional and a pleasure to be with. Our fellow travelers were a nice blend of folks all considerate of others and the places we visited were all of great interest. Hotels were fine, clean, quiet and comfortable. Meals provided was very good, some better than others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am a runner. I tried to get up early every morning and do an "orientation run" in the town we were in. All runs were great but, while in Orvieto I had the opportunity to run down from the main part of town to a park which overlooked the valley below. I could see for miles. The sun was coming up, the valley was green and lush and I was at peace. I can still picture that view as I type this note."

Susan

Rock Hill, SC

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Starting with the spectacular Italian country side and the beautiful towns and villages, this tour more than met my expectations of quintessential Italy. The group was fun and engaging from day one and sharing this experience with these folks was a great deal of the joy. Our guide was thoughtful, knowledgeable, caring and on task at all times. Our bus driver was extremely capable, friendly, and fun, even when he handed me my exploding travel bag (a errant sound machine). Take this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While having dinner with the group on the beautiful and interesting truffle estate, I turned to the picture window behind me to find the sun setting over the unbelievably lovely Tuscan landscape. The light was perfect!!! I am not an artist or a accomplished photographer, but I now understand the element of light to both. Mountains, villages, vineyards, cypress trees, and poppies! And Light. Awesome!"

Susan

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What I love about RS tours is all the historical facts I learn and the hands on learning with our guide (yes, I do realize I could look in the book) but this is better. Great weather and I walked 122 miles and lost 4 pounds with everything I ate!!!! Christina our guide was the best guide I've had and Mario our bus driver was both fun and competent - making us feel safe on our journey while enjoying it, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In one of the Basilica's I finally realized - those frescoes are just a giant picture story book. Also at the end of the tour, we walked in silence on an island at San Orta Guilio and read the sayings - as a hospice nurse the one that got to me - 'at the end of the journey, we are aware'! Had to process that for a moment."

Hugh

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 4th RS tour, and it met our high expectations. We had a very good group of fellow travelers which added to the overall experience. Loved most of the "villages" we visited, particularly Padua and Lucca. Great meals, great wine, beautiful countryside, wonderful churches, cathedrals, and museums, very good local tours, great fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of my favorite moments included: walking around the towns of Padua, Lucca, and Orvieto; wine tasting and lunch at Tenuta Le Velette, led by the knowledgeable and very entertaining Cecelia; Etruscan museum tour, led by Roberto, boating along the Cinque Terre; our farewell dinner with bus driver Mario."

Weather

Italy / Milan


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Venice (VCE) and out of Milan's Malpensa airport (MXP) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Italy.

If you're leaving out of Malpensa airport on the last day of the tour, it's best to book your flight no earlier than 10 a.m. Taxis make the 45-minute trip from Orta to Malpensa for around €95 for up to four people. Bus or train options may be available, but there is no direct route from Orta to Malpensa. Please note: Orta is closer to Malpensa than Milan, so there is no need to go through Milan on your way to the airport.

Please note if you're considering using Milan's Linate airport, it will be closed from July 27 through October 27, 2019. 

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