• 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

2019

2020

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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... :)"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Thomas

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/01/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

Dennis

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RIck Steves tour and definitely not my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several " wow" moments, but given both the proximity of our tour to Memorial Day and the fact that my father was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Italy during WWII, the unexpected visit to the US Memorial Cemetery near Florence was my most emotionally significant moment. Rick Steves' philosophy of international tourism as a political act was absolutely validated by my experience. Italy, like the rest of the EU, appreciates our past sacrifices despite our current leadership."

Jerry

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very exciting, varied tour with a great tour guide Cristina and a wonderful driver Mario. Cristina was highly motivated to show us a wide variety of Italy. We always looked forward to each new day. The hotels were wonderful, the food special and the people on our tour were a cohesive group on an exciting adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be the scenery, whether on a rural hillside or an ancient town center, Italy is such a beautiful, picturesque Country. The spring flowers, the sunsets and the street scenes were all special."

Susanne

Bainbridge Islanf, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour and a very good overall experience. It was marred by my husband illness at the last minute and he couldn't come. I came without him and still had a good time. Cristina was very welcoming and the group very friendly so I lost my worries about traveling solo. The group melded quickly and the combination of group and solo time was perfect. I like most of the activities although the group meals still could be improved upon. The local guides are the best part.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the truffle hunt since I'm a big dog lover. It was very interesting to see how the dogs work with their trainer. The people running the truffle farm were great and that was the best group dinner too. Love love the Umbrian countryside. A close runner up was the cooking class at the agriturismo in Tuscany. Wonderful meal and we had fun cooking it. The owner was most welcoming and great to hear his opinions on slow food etc."

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!"

Dave

Manchester, MO

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was everything that I wanted: organized, educational, and very relaxing (I did not have to worry about driving, parking, etc.). The tour was a good balance of group sessions with a guide and free time for independent exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The frescos in various cathedrals."

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."

Stran

Quinton, VA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a chance to see around the world renowned sites of Italy to how the country developed, one town at a time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "WOW" moment that stands out most was at Tenuta Le Velette. The Winery has been in the same family for 6 or 7 generations, and has been producing wines since pre-Roman times. Across the valley is the hill Town of Orvieto?, a spectacular view from the terrace. But the WOW came when we were invited to go down the stairs from the estate's kitchen and enter the expansive wine cellar dug by the Etruscans over 2000 years ago."

Dianna

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

There was much to love about this tour. We went to great places, although they were mostly cities rather than what I would call villages. Our tour guide was very informative and we loved the group of fellow travelers. The food was, for the most part, excellent and the places we stayed were very nice. Almost all our stops along then way were memorable with good local tour guides. The weather put a damper on our trip as it was cold windy, and rainy many of the days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a earthquake wake us up in Siena. Stopping by the Florence American Cemetery was an experience we won't forget. Our final group dinner with our bus driver, Mario, was filled with great food, singing and a little dancing!"

John

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Personally if felt that there was an overall sameness to each day. One church after another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The military cemetery was very moving. The excursions to the winery, marble quarry, olive producing and others were very interesting. Montofalco was probably our favorite town and hotel. The country side was amazing and the few Italians that I was able to interact with were very pleasant. Siena and the story of the horse race was also very good."

Monica

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Villages tour was simply outstanding! Sarah is a fabulous guide and she made sure that everything went smoothly and that we all had the best experience possible. Each place we visited created a wow moment, so I'm not sure how I'm going to answer the next question. Our accommodations were excellent, with a few that were over the top, especially Villa Pambuffetti and Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino. As with our last tour, VFR, the local guides were fantastic & added so much to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick just one wow moment, every day had its own wow moment. But perhaps my favorite wow moment was lunch at the olive mill outside of Lucca. I'd long dreamt of a homemade lunch or dinner in a Tuscan farmer's kitchen, and this was even better than my dream. It was a combination of experience and food. Perfetto!! And I'd certainly put the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova on the list."

Ellen

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We very much enjoyed the tour. Loved the small group concept. Sara was amazing....bus driver was excellent. Itinerary was well thought out and beautiful. We have been to Italy at least three times in the past...and we managed to see new and different places than our other travels.

Walter

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've taken two tours in Italy with Rick Steves.... both were great, but "Villages"was completely off the charts! The food... The wine... The olive oil... The people, places, quiet beautiful rural Italy... Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very tough to say... it was all amazing! If I had to choose, I'd pick either our lunch at the olive press... wonderful authentic, food, wine and olive oil; or, the Hotel Belvedere in the Tuscan countryside..."

Jerri

Plano, TX

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were very pleased. The variety of places and excursions was wonderful and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name. Sarah Corfield "made" the trip. She's a pleasant person and always cheerful."

Laurel

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah was an outstanding tour guide. She is always considerate of the needs of her group. I was impressed by her fluency in Italian as well as her knowledge of Italy's cuisine, art, and history. She was generous, providing tasty little treats that she passed around for us to enjoy. My wife is hearing impaired, and Sarah did her best to make sure My wife could hear her and the local guides. That alone made the trip an exceptional one for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention. The stay at our villa in Montefalco was extra special."

Twila

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Village Italy tour. Especially enjoyable was the combination of smaller towns and little villages. The tour could have lasted a few days longer as there was so much to see and absorb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the frescoes, mosaics, truffle hunt, cooking class, hike to the hill town Civita di Bagnoregio, cathedrals, and the villages of Cinque Terre. I found the boat ride to little Isola San Giulio most memorable!"

Myranda

Hastings, MN

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our weather was unseasonably cool and rainy. This put a damper on some aspects of our trip. We enjoyed the additional evening outing to see Leaning Tower of Pisa that Sarah arranged for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Levanto feast was excellant. The food was fabulous and entertainment was outstanding. Samantha was especially good at getting the group to join in the festivities."

John

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour immensely. The towns and areas it covered were interesting and gave a broad view of the history of those parts of Italy, which was fascinating. The guides were good, the activities were interesting (truffles, olive oil, etc). The pace left us feeling that we had accomplished a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour stands out at a "wow" experience. Ravenna and Orvieto, with their Orthodox and Etruscan histories were especially interesting."

Martha

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While on the tour there was so much visual and verbal stimulation. Two weeks post tour and I am savoring the experiences now and for some time to come. It was a very positive getting me out of my culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Have to say it was meeting up with Anna Piperato in Siena. She was our former tour guide in 2017. Sarah arranged for the surprise meeting. Anna shared her love of her home and her experiences. Especially enjoyed visiting the Lupa Contrada and Anna sharing her experiences as a contrada member"

George

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was one of the most enjoyable travel experiences I have had. In great part that is due to Patricia's excellent managerial and communication skills, and personal warmth. She is a lovely person who enjoys others and gladly shares her knowledge with them. I learned so much about the history, architecture, art, food, people, and geography of northern Italy and enjoyed it all. Patricia is a wonderful teacher and companion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed visiting the Orvieto area. The town is beautiful, full of wonderful things to see and do. The cathedral is amazing with incredible frescoes. The town is walkable with many excellent restaurants and the people are very friendly and welcoming. Our visit to Tenuta Le Velette winery in the area was also excellent. The lunch and wine tasting was superior, and our hostess Cecilia was a wonderful guide through Italy's and the winery's history. She is knowledgeable and dynamic."

Richard

Lacey, WA

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall trip was amazing! The general mix of attractions was wonderful, but at a certain point you get the feeling that if you see one more church, you'll scream - but then it is Italy where it seems every family has it's own chapel.I loved the other experiences - the olive oil processing and tasting, the wine and food tasting, the cooking experience, and especially the marble quarrying. Who knew you could put alabaster on a lathe and machine it?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The quarry of marble at Carrara with an entire mountain of marble blew my mind"

Dianne

Lacey, WA

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized. Tricia did a great job, and it seemed she knew people everywhere we went! All of the tour group members were congenial. I was entranced by all the lovely old towns and the fantastic scenery, particularly in Tuscany and Umbria. What a great experience to see hills covered with rows of grapevines alongside olive orchards. The Villa at Montefalco was a special treat. I'd been looking forward to Cinque Terre, and it certainly didn't disappoint! The seacoast, wow!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the anatomy theater in Padua was a thrill, and really brought those early days of medicine into focus. The sun shining on the Duomo in Orvieto lit up the gold in the frescoes-stunning. The Etruscan Museum in Chianciano brought early history alive for us, and our wonderful guide there had a great sense of humor! Volterra was a unique find!"

Marlene

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of the villages in Italy was wonderful! Tricia was a great tour guide, with such a passion for the country! Really enjoyed all the activities included - from the wine tasting, to the Tuscan cooking class, to the pottery factory, to the olive oil mill, to the marble quarry, and so on! Wonderful sights - the beautiful frescoes by Giotti, the well-preserved mosaics in Ravenna,the amazing hilltop villages, and of course the villages of the Cirque Terre! I could go on and on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to just choose one!"

Marlene

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary, the great guide and bus driver, the warm, friendly group of fellow travelers all contributed to making this an outstanding tour. I loved the variety of hotels we stayed in, my favourite being Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose as there were many. However, it has to have been eating lunch outdoors in Rio Maggiore. As we sat high above the tiny harbor with a wonderful view of the colorful houses clinging to the hillside and the sparkling Mediterranean at our feet I knew this was a memory I will cherish forever. The most "fun" time was definitely the Italian cooking lesson."

Lesley

Davis, CA

Tour: 04/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy is the "Italian Experience" as our fantastic guide Tricia told us. Not only do we visit the usual churches & museums, we also saw Italians at work. We visited the Carrara marble quarry, an olive oil press co-op, a beautiful ceramic maker's shop, an alabaster workshop, vintners (of course), a truffle farm & an agriturismo where we had a cooking lesson. And the beauty of the countryside is just incredible. The group lunches & dinners were excellent too, and of course the wine...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! I loved the Scrovegni Chapel with Giotto's frescoes and the incredible mosaics in Ravenna. Other wow moments were the view of Assisi from our window at the Villa Pambufetti, the view of the Tuscan countryside from the Hotel Belvedere and the view of Lago d'Orta and the thunderstorm from our room. And most all of the dinners, especially the all-truffle dinner at the truffle farm, had their own "wow" moments."

Charles

Tracy, CA

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One can not explain the wonderful experience, one must find & feel it for themselves. The services you provide make the experience very easy to organize ones' plans & to have few, if any worries while traveling is great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have any one particular "wow" moment during the trip, but experienced several. Each village has its' own personality & discoveries that makes getting lost fun. The small towns I found more impressive because it allows you to met & get to know the people."

Michele

West Harrison, IN

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was everything I've come to expect...knowledgeable, thoughtful tour guides, impressive local guides and friendly and connected travel companions. Italy itself was a joy with the quality of the food, wines and friendly locals. Umbria, Tuscany and Lake Orta were highlights!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually had 2 "Wow" moments! The first was meeting Rick Steves when he walked into the restaurant where we were eating on our own and asked if we were from Trina's group. The other was Lake Orta...it is spectacularly beautiful."

Christine

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the tour group. Everyone is so friendly and happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terre. All five town."

Fonnie

Alameda, CA

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much about Italy in this tour.Its less crowded and people are friendly. Good food and good wine. I think everyone should go to Rome , Venice and Florence frist, then they would appreciate the villages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking up to CIvita di Bagnoregio. hi"

Michael

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The group was united and connected. The pace was appropriate and the activities varied and aligned to the tour agenda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible history and art of the regions."

Hank

West Harrison, IN

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Trina, and driver, Sergio were just the best. Flawless the entire trip. I especially enjoyed the Tuscany region with it's rolling hills and farm villas. All the Italians were friendly, helpful and considerate. All the places we visited were clean, no litter. One disappointment was the Cinque Terre, the day we boarded the boat there were four cruise ships docked. Just too many people for the small towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Orvieto from across the valley at the winery. The American cemetery at Florence. Not many get a chance to go there, it peaks your interest to study the Allied invasion through Italy."

Debbie

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 04/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the small Italian villages. Each city had its own beautiful cathedrals and Basilicas. I also found interesting the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. So glad Trina made this a stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My" wow" moment was when Rick Steves walked into the Osteria Via San Giorgio restaurant in Lucca. My other "wow" moment was Orvieto. Chinque Terre we had a misty rain off and on all day. Wish the sun would have been out."

Carolyn

Manchester, CT

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed this tour. The pace was more relaxed than other Rick Steves tours we have taken, allowing us plenty of time to just take in the essence of Italy. I enjoyed the smaller towns on this tour and the wide variety of experiences, from truffle hunting with dogs to visiting the Carrara marble quarry, an olive oil mill, strolling along the Renaissance walls of Lucca, the Etruscan museum, and taking a boat ride along the coast of Cinque Terre. We made wonderful new friends on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow"moment had to be Signorelli's amazing frescoes in the San Brizio Chapel. In fact, the moment I saw them I said, "WOW!" and our wonderful tour guide said, "I guess this is your "wow" moment. There were so many amazing things we saw on this tour and the experiences we had that it is really hard to not include many more wow moments."

Clarice

Los Osos, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint! From the helpful packing list, detailed travel book, and efficient call center to the first welcome in Padova, we knew we were in for a treat. Not only did we learn history about each town, we got to experience the local character and charm of each as well by spending two nights in each hotel.. And, oh my....the food and drink! There was so much packed into each day, while still leaving time for us to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's so hard to pick just one, but I would say the moment we walked into the Basilica of San Vitale to see the amazing, vibrant, intricate, and awe inspiring mosaics took my breath away."

Mike

Los Osos, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the company of the other travelers, the knowledge of our guide, and the organization of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pin point one "wow" moment. There were many and each village had its WOW."

Mark

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, I would like to thank Rick Steves for his ongoing research and generosity to share countless hours and decades of fact finding to inspire, inform and educate all of his participants before ever leaving home! As a first time Rick Steves traveler, or "Ricknick" as I was told, I was thoroughly impressed with the organization and execution of this tour. I'm hoping that this questionnaire will not be restricted by a numerical limit of "10 being best" to describe the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose only one, but certainly the little known museum dedicated to the ancient Etruscian civilization."

Deborah

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I rated the tour as "Very Good" and not "Outstanding" mainly because it would have been nice if we had been informed that a tour starting on Pasquetta would mean also being in Italy on Liberation Day and Labor Day. All of these holidays meant that a lot of Italians were off work and enjoying many of the wonderful sites that were part of our tour. Ironically, my husband and I felt more free of crowds during our two extra days in Milan than we did in many tour destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot come up with just one! I loved the mosaics in the church and tomb in Ravenna, the boat trip from Porto Venere to Monterosso and our stay in Levanto, including the bike ride to Bonassola, and everything about Orvieto, which is where I would live if I could move to Italy."

Donald

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We had the right mix of an excellent guide, congenial people and a well thought out itinerary. The balance of free time and organized activities was perfect. And, the blend of art, culture, wine, food and good conversation made every day special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the visit to the Etruscan museum in Chianciano. The museum collection was breathtaking and the narration by Roberto, our local guide, was sophisticated. His talk was like taking a graduate-level course in cultural anthropology."

Francis

Marietta, GA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On previously trips to Italy & using Rick Steves Guide Books, we had been to many of the places on the the Village Italy Tour. However, the trip was entirely different and enhanced, with our tour guide and local guides supplying information; the additional things we could not have done on our own wine & olive oil tasting, truffle hunting; itinerary, bus transportation & hotels all worked out for us; a really good group of people; the group meals; and surprises along the way all positive & fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fabulous seafood buffet, singing & dancing at hotel in Levanto---with the leadership of Ann, Mario our singing bus driver and the hotel staff person---what a fun evening & a total surprise! Also Ann's description of the chapel frescoes in Orvieto cathedral a wow!"

Virginia

Marietta, GA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. It was my second tour having done the Ireland tour last summer. We have traveled with Rick's books for 18 years, I realize with the tour we were offered many experiences that we would not have had if we were traveling on our own., such as the truffle farm and dinner, the seafood buffet, olive oil talk and meal, wine talk and meal. Ann, our guide, and our fellow travelers made a great group. The food was great, representative of the area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was the abundance of the seafood buffet in Levanto and seeing the pride the chef took in his work. It was such a fun night that included opera singing by our bus driver, Mario, a group sing of old time favorites and dancing. A really special time and really bonded our group together."

Marie

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The lovely Italian countryside was fun to experience in springtime and "village Italy" did not disappoint. From medieval towns, to mosaic-filled churches, to modern accommodations, to wineries, agrotourismo businesses and artisan workshops, I feel that I had a great all-encompassing two week experience. The two-prong structure of group activities and free time was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although it isn"t a "moment, I loved the wonderful art we saw. Seeing Giotto's frescos in the Scrovegne Chappel was truly memorable. Stumbling across a Donatello here or there was thrilling, as was the early Rennaissance art in the Pinocotecca in Volterra."

Julie

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since I am not one to recall facts or specific names of places but rather rely on my feelings - I can only say that my feelings were well fed by excitement, comfort, enthusiasm and an adventurous spirit thanks to the well planned and executed attention to details by all those that were a part of making this special trip a reality for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the truffle hunting - and pretty wowed by the dogs finding what looked like a piece of poop yet turned into these delectable delights that followed in our truffle filled meal. I was also wowed by the spread of seafood and other amazing culinary gems at our hotel stay in the Mediterranean area where the owner was the chef. We had fun singing and dancing there as well."

Robert

Manchester, CT

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations for this tour, based on the excellent reviews and the fact that the tour sells out quickly. As usual, I was not disappointed. There was a nice balance of small towns, large towns and country locations. The tour leader was great, and my fellow tour members were fun to be with. The amount of bus time was not excessive, and our tour leader judiciously filled some of the hours with interesting commentary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very impressed by the view from the boat from Porto Venere to Monterosso. To able to see the Cinque Terre villages clinging to the hillsides was awe inspiring. It was fortunate that the weather was good on the day of this trip, and that the sea was not too rough."

Sharon

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an excellent group of people, and I enjoyed being in smaller cities and villages. I loved going back to Siena again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ambience of Siena."

Patricia

Longwood, FL

Tour: 04/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a good blend of the vibrancy of Italy's smaller cities with the peacefulness of the Umbrian and Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the sea coast along the Cinque Terre. Along the way we were enriched with true Italian experiences of art, history, and culture. The food served to us was wonderful. The tour was active but well paced and allowed us ample time on our own. As was my experience on my previous Rick Steves tour, we traveled with a great group of people. Fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! The Giotto frescoes in Padova, the mosaics in Ravenna, the Puccini concert in Lucca, and walking through a soft rain in Tuscany and looking up to see a perfect rainbow over the vineyards. One thing that I particularly enjoyed was the uniqueness of each hotel where we stayed. Each had its own memorable quality from the fun art at the Hotel al Fagiano to the quiet peacefulness of the Hotel Belvedere in Tuscany, and a short walk to the sea in Levanto."

Dorothy

Middle Village, NY

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such an incredible time from the very start.

David

Atlantic Beach, FL

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than advertised. The examination of current Italian life + culture was a plus. Examples include: economic [winery, olive oil coop, slow food], approaches to climate change [High speed rail]. Smaller towns/cities as well as the 4 holidays included during our tour allowed closer contact to the people without the usual bustle of everyday life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW Moments: Tour: Scrovengi Chapel - Giotto's frescoes. Tour related: Visiting Mutigliano, 7KM north of Lucca where my grandmother was born in 1889. Visiting The Church of San Frediano in Lucca where she was Baptized. Food: The pasta dish with the sauce that included zucchini flowers and saffron. The tour group: My 23 fellow travelers, our wonderful guide Sarah, ass't guide Anna, and Heather from RS/US. The group seemed to be bonded by the close of the Opening meeting."

Elena

Atlantic Beach, FL

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of my most enjoyable RS trips. Felt we were among local Italians (several holidays during our stay)- especially at Levanto (so glad you had tour stay here). Enjoyed visits/sampling at olive oil coop; family-run winery and tasting; pottery making; Carrara Marble. Great guide! Great group of people on our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Quiet wows, but wows, nonetheless: St. Francis's simple place of prayer wrapped in a huge basilica; Galla Placidia; the Scrovegni Chapel; Signorelli's frescoes; our Civita hike; the beautiful countryside of Tuscany and Umbria"

Anthony

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, our Village Italy tour was outstanding. We enjoyed the entire trip including the friendships developed with all of our tour members, tour guide, tour assistants, and even the bus driver. We were a family on a road trip for two weeks. We talked and laughed with each other. It was a good fun trip. We would love to do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it is hard to choose just one. Some of them included truffle hunting, wine tasting and food pairing, agriturismo cooking classes, visiting the local constrada in Siena, walking up to the hilltown of Civita, visiting the leaning tower of Pisa, and boat ride along the Cinque Terre coastline."

Linda

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience. Nice pace, plenty of interesting and useful information provided all along the way. Our guide Sarah was lovely and caring. Her experience as a teacher shone through immediately. I appreciated her polished approach. We enjoyed the itinerary with all the stops at places that are hard to reach by train (the main reason I took this tour). The other participants in our group were all enjoyable to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow! moment was the bonus tour in Siena where Anna took us to her Contrada for a tour of their museum and chapel, and told us all about what it's like to belong to a Contrada. She was so enthusiastic and explained things in a way that an American could understand culturally. She knows the details that would be intriguing to an American. I knew about the contradas but only in relation to the Palio, which is such a tiny aspect, just the most obvious one to the outsider."

Kenneth

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 04/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional tour guide Sarah and Anna and Heather Educational, cultural experience and fun. Great accommodations at the afarmhouse and the Villa

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Private concert with Bartender in Orvieto"

Billie

Richardson, TX

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour included quality experiences that I value. Especially the olive harvesting, truffle hunt and dinner, and chef directed cooking school-dinner. All the tour lodging choices were good and some were breathtaking. I especially appreciated the bus not being crammed full of people. We have always avoided tour groups because of this. Our tour allowed us to decompress on the bus, spread out and relax. I felt safe and non rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was at the first Villa stay that was on the hill overlooking the vineyard. That took my breath away. We walked up to a wine reception and beautiful estate house. We could hardly stop for taking pictures."

Elisabeth

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steve's Tour and I would highly recommend them to anyone. The size of the group is great. The guides are knowledgable, interesting, and friendly. The driver is extremely skilled. No complaints at all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water taxi ride from south of Cinque Terre along the coast. SO beautiful!!!"

Ann

Victoria, BC

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well paced, full of interesting and unexpected sites, and not only was our guide brilliant the group was the friendliest most inclusive bunch I have ever travelled with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the truffle hunt, (the truffles not so much!), and the cooking class, but oh, Giotto!"

Cheryl

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and the villages visited offered a comprehensive look at the culture of the various regions we visited. I especially enjoyed rhe local guides. Roberto our guide at the Etruscan muesem was very informative as well as entertaining. Our guide Gabriele. In Lucca was also outstanding. There were really no poor guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Carrara mines was truly one of the highlights of our tour. I had seen these mountains from a distance but to be almost in the midst of the extraction and see and hear of the history was very moving. For me it the descriptions of the slaves maneuvering these large slabs down the mountain and then the distances they were carried are amazing. Ancient history always gives me a sobering perspective on how fleeting our time is and how we focus on things of little importance."

Yen

Forest Grove, OR

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first trip to mainland Europe. The trip was incredible and was the best vacation I have ever taken. Sarah, our tour guide, was thoughtful, knowledgeable and organized. She went beyond her duties to make sure each of us had the best experience. I really enjoyed the history lessons from the local tour guides. The other tour members also contributed to the overall positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have so many unforgettable moments on this trip. However, my favorite "wow" moment was looking out over the olive groves and grape vines, listening to Andrea Bocelli as our bus winding its way up the hills toward our villa in Montefalco."

Teresa

Bothell, WA

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it! Everything was wonderful. We enjoyed all of the planned events, all of the people in our group, Sarah, Ezio(our bus driver), the meals, our local guides, our hotels, the things we did on our own (with great suggestions by Sarah),just everything!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that every day of the tour was a wow for me!"

Robert

Bothell, WA

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We LOVED this tour, our guide, our driver, our local guides, our hotels, our meals and wine, everything about it. It was just great, and we think our entire tour group thinks so as well. We had a terrific group of friendly, very nice people, and enjoyed sharing tour events, meals, and conversations with all of them. We were very fortunate to have perfect weather every day except the last day. We certainly packed too much -- we need to take a remedial "packing light" class!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick just one -- too many!!"

Jo

Longview, TX

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful to have details (hotels, transportation, tickets) taken care of and have access to things we would not have discovered on our own (truffle hunting, olive oil press). Yet we did not feel "herded"...my concern about participating with a tour. We had enough time on our own to experience things of our own choosing. Everyone on the tour became like family...I miss them already. The tour was very informative, without being stuffy. It was both fun and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting "new harvest" olive oil...pressed within the week, which we got to do several times! My only regret is that without checked baggage we couldn't bring any home with us. Finding a way to order new harvest oil on line has not been successful."

Cathryn

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the itinerary - amazing views as we drive through Tuscany And Umbria.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wine tasting at Le Vellette winery near Orvieto. Also - the boat ride up the coast to the Cinque Terra. And financing s small Agriturismo on our own in Monterosso."

Susan

Concord, CA

Tour: 10/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful tour route. Lovely villas to stay at.. Sarah was a wonderful guide. Fun tours and learned a lot about the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the lunch we prepared and the olive oil factory."

Edward

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great trip overall. I loved visiting the small towns and able to have some interaction with tha local people. I enjoyed all of the side trip like the wine experience, the truffle searching and a great meal, the cooking demonstration, the olive press operation and meal. I would have eliminated the marble tour in order to have allowed more time at Cince Terra. Our guide Ann was a riot and very informative always willing to go the extra mile for you. I will highly recommend your trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our hotel in Tuscany near Sienna surrounded by vineyards. We had a good team mix we all jelled well. The photo sheet that Ann put together helped with remembering all the names."

Joan

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very well run. Loved the opportunity to be a part of Italian life. Particularly enjoyed the experiences: truffle-hunting, wine experience, olive-oil pressing, alabaster sculpting, marble mine tour, cooking class; and local guides. Hiking and biking in Cinque terre area was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Assisi and Etruscan local guides were the best. Communicated the history/culture of Italy - and human race- in touching fascinating fashion."

Roberta

Damariscotta, ME

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour along with a fantastic tour group and tour leader. This was the best time ever. Everyone was very friendly and enjoyed spending time together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What isn't a "Wow" moment in Italy? It was all Wow, from the small little towns to the larger cities; the cathedrals, the people, the food, etc."

Jeanne

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were returning to Italy after my husband had a heart attack on our 1st RS tour. It was our make up try. We chose the Village tour because our experience when John was in the hospital was with the Italian people. And we fell in love. We thought smaller towns would give us more contact with the people. We were correct. The tour was everything we thought it would be. We will have the memories forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a very difficult question.....The older lady tending her perfect, beautiful garden that sits on a sheer cliff in Civita would come close. Watching sun setting over the hills from the beautiful veranda of the Hotel Belvedere in San Leonino was amazing. Our very lucky day in Sienna watching all the Palio celebrations. I could go on but I cannot pick a favorite "wow" moment because there were too many."

Vicki

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first-timer I was quite nervous about the tour - unsure of the group dynamic and intimidated by the packing restrictions. The tour was packed with amazing experiences, knowledgeable local guides, a fabulous tour leader, and a wonderful group of fellow travelers. I feel that we got a taste of the true Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose one out of so many but Siena on the day of the Extraordinary Il Palio was a truly unique experience."

Janet

Washington, DC

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappella degli Scrovegni was magnificent, on a par with the Sistine Chapel."

Nora

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ed and I loved the trip! We were pleasantly surprised, we were keeping our expectations low. The group seemed to jell well and we loved our guide Ann. We thought the days were well thought out, a few things we would have changed, but not enough to alter the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A couple of things were the "truffle hunt" and dinner, the "wine experience" We LOVED the hotel Belvedere di San Leon"

Catherine

Excelsior, MN

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful tour. Ann was on point and absolutely charming and so open and well spoken. Our driver, Stefano was also a delight and an expert on the road. The city guides were so passionate and educated. The side trips (olive oil press, vineyard, truffle hunting, cooking class, ceramincs and etc) gave us great insight to life in Italy. I had hoped to understand Italian culture better and this trip filled me with great insights. I greatly appreciate Ann sharing her life in Italy with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita di Bagnoregio, First setting eyes on the Duomo in Orvieto - gorgeous, Assisi, St. Francis and St. Clara, Tuscany, Classico Chianti, Volterra, Siena, Cinque Terre, the trails and the train. The tour group was incredible, lovely people!"

John

Excelsior, MN

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From meeting our tour group in Padua, to our farewell dinner in Lago d'Orta I had an excellent trip. Our tour guide, Ann is very knowledgeable and entertained us with her wonderful stories while we rode the bus to our next destination. All of the local guides were equally excellent. They shared their knowledge and passion, while each guide made their talks interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After airline food, our first meal in Italy, dinner at Antica Trattoria dei Paccagenella in Padua, was magical. The Basilica in Assisi, Civita, frescoes, mosaics, descending St. Patrick's well in Oriveto, climbing Guinigi Tower, walking all the way around Lucca's wall, hiking Corniglia to Vernazza in Cinque Terre were all wow moments. Even just walking in the Tucsany countryside, wandering through towns, alleyways, streets, cloisters, buildings were all magical moments to experience."

Michael

Washington, DC

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is a very nice tour and I enjoyed getting to some of the more out of the way places in central Italy. I also very much liked the additional experiences that the RS tours provide, like the Etruscan museum and the visit to the Carrara marble quarry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Cappella Degli Scrovegni in Padua. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice Padua was. Certainly a town I would like to visit again."

Tim

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour - it was the perfect way to get acquainted with small town Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the Villa Pambufetti and the Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino were amazing places to spend the night. Seeing the Cinque Terre was also quite unique and special."

Sarah

Sausalito, CA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An unforgettable getaway filled with great food and wine, beauty at every turn, and charming new friends. I had visited Rome/Venice/Florence the year prior (which I absolutely loved), but Village Italy was a totally different experience, allowing exploration of lesser known spots that would be a bit more challenging to plan/see on one's own. It seemed the perfect mix of group activities/tours and free time to eat/explore according to individual preference. 20 out of 10 stars!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting purposely lost in Padova and stumbling onto unexpected treasures like Galileo's doorstep (Padova is a GEM, it felt like REAL/unspoiled Italy!), a Puccini concert in the composer's hometown of Lucca (sweet and surreal), and the time a fellow traveler drenched his salad in red wine instead of balsamic at the dreamy Hotel Belvedere (he called it an accident). Hey, no judgment here."

Maureen

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 17th Rick Steves tour and as usual a wonderful trip. The setting, food, wine and fellow travelers provided fabulous memories. Additionally, our luck with weather was exceptional: sun and warm temps for mid to late October!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two: the Etruscan museum where guide Roberto provided history layered with info about the Etruscans' equal treatment of women and their limited emphasis on militarism. My second "wow" moment was the unexpected special Palio in Siena. Our day visit coincided with the race so we experienced the crowds and all the excitement of the build-up. We purchased scarves of the various contrata and upon return to the hotel watched the race on tv! It was a rare treat!!"

Andrew

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 10/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The patron saints of travelers, Anthony of Padua and Rick of Edmonds, sent us perfect weather for our tour of northern Italian hill towns. Italy's fascination with food and wine provided us with excellent meals, nicely lubricated with ample amounts of wine and a touch of limoncello. The old towns provided an urban environment very different from ours. Tight spaces demonstrated the difficulty of expanding towns on hills. Our group was wonderful - everyone had a sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many will say the Palio in Siena, which was over the top "wow". But for me, the simple, quiet, Etruscan museum with commentary by the local guide made the biggest impression. Etruscan burial sites for men and women contained no weaponry, and suggest that men and women were equal. Human diversity ensures egalitarian societies will crop up periodically before being conquered by oligarchs or empires -- a comforting thought these days."

Douglas

Holly Springs, NC

Tour: 10/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour and a great alternative to visiting the popular/high visibility sites like Rome, Florence, Venice, etc. If you already been to those places this is good to see another slower place side of Italy and put you more in touch with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta. Very impressed and did not know anything about it. We hear about Lake Como or Maggiore all the time but this place was like a diamond in the rough. Wish we could have spent more time there."

Candice

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steves' tour and, like those previously taken, was excellent. I call myself a lazy tourist as I want to see and learn as much as I can without having to constantly open a tour guide and study. Trina was our guide and she did not disappoint. She is a very good teacher, full of historical knowledge and great tips to make the time on your own special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, my WOW moment was a moment that was not even included in the tour itinerary. We visited an American World War cemetery and monument. Of course, we always here of the cemeteries in France but why do we not know of other American cemeteries in other foreign countries. The moment was so very touching. We had the privilege of being met by the administrator of the moment who provided so much insight and history."

Ronald

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Italia small village tour with supreme leader Trina and vessel commander Mario was the most amazing and rewarding experience in my life since the 2015 Sicily tour. All places visited and all events were absolutely wonderful. The entire tour group was interesting and very comfortable to be around. The places, the scenery, the food and everything else just made for a perfect experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was WOW WOW WOW. Although I must admit that my 69th Birthday celebration was was special. Thanks to our host and the entire group for that very special moment."

Steve

Martinez, GA

Tour: 10/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent and exceeded our expectations in nearly every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many amazing moments that it's difficult to [INVALID] just one. Strolling through the pedestrian areas in the small villages, sitting on the terrace at the countryside hotel outside of Siena enjoying the view and a glass of wine, and seeing the cliff-top village of Orvieto from a distance are among the top memorable moments."

Polly

Lewisburg, PA

Tour: 10/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour and it exceeded all of my expectations. from the hotels to the transportation to the tour guide to the meals. I could not have asked for anything more from this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide surprised us with a stop at the Florence American cemetery. It was a beautiful tribute to our fallen troops and a wonderfully unexpected highlight of the trip."

Anthony

Herndon, VA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time Rick Steves' traveler, I could not have been more awe struck with every aspect of the planning, execution and experiences that embodied the Village Italy Tour. Frankly, David Tordi gets all the credit and my admiration for making my first trip to the country of my Ancestry so meaningful and personally gratifying. He made sure that all our senses - sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell - were used to the maximum on our cultural immersion in the various regions of Italy visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up each morning excited about the next wow moment we'd have and each day provided more than one. David's first rate conversational tone, about Italian history, culture, language, music and other subjects he discussed each day as we bused from one location to another. Walking into Siena and entering the Piazza del Campo; what a sight to behold! David's hospitality in his home town of Orvieto with a private concert by his band Bartender. The ferry ride down the rugged coast of Cinque Terre."

Regina

Vandalia, OH

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS tour and it exceeded our expectations. Our tour guide, David Tordi, made a wonderful itinerary even more enjoyable. This tour was leisurely paced and we visited places without many other tour buses. Sometimes I felt we had the village to ourselves with just the company of the locals. Everything about this tour was interesting and fun. It is one that I could repeat quite easily. The scenery we saw on the routes and the history we discovered makes this memorable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! I fell in love with Orvieto! The city wall, the Duomo, the market . . .all made more special by having a local, David, as our guide. His explanation of the Frescoes in the Duomo wowed me! His explanation of the layers of history in Orvieto wowed me! His invitation to have lunch at a local (fantastic) restaurant while he performed for us with his band WOWED me! This was a special treat and will always be one of my best memories of Italy. I felt like a local resident!"

June

Hot Springs, AR

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour directors don't get any better than David...He not only was a wealth of knowledge, but was fun, funny and always interested in making our trip the best it could be...I would love to see more of Italy if I could have David as our guide. Also Dominico was a great bus driver and I always felt safe with him...This trip couldn't have been better...we were blessed with great weather also and two weeks went by much too fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me there were lots of WOW moments...I loved Italy...the personal guides at each town were great explaining wine, olive oil, pottery...I Loved David and his music group playing for us...He always went above and beyond to make sure we had great food and wine and comfort. I had an eye problem and he called a pharmacy for me. Not only was he compassionate, he was able to handle every situation with ease and diplomacy."

Nancy

Herndon, VA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was phenomenal! The description of the tour is totally understated - each place we visited was full of delightful experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments on the tour - the concert and lunch our guide, David arranged with his band Bartender in Orvieto, the boat ride from Portovenere to Monterosso, the extra visit to Volterra, the truffle-hunting dogs and truffle dinner, seeing Ipolito Scalzi's Pieta, unexpectedly meeting a possible cousin at the olive oil mill in the town of our father's ancestors!"

Wayne

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been on six previous RS tours but our tour guide David was one of the best! He brought the whole tour to life with his knowledge of the regions we visited and he's a pretty good musician.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David's impromptu concert during our stay in Levanto was magical!"

Bob

Wheeling, IL

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and just great experiences with tour members throughout Italy

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments I can not choose just one."

Nancy

Ben Lomond, CA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. Our tour guide, David, was outstanding, as was our group. This was my first tour of any kind but experienced tour members told me that David set the bar very high for my future tours. His knowledge of history, culture, art and architecture, food and wine was so impressive. He was extremely well organized and patient with the group. I enjoyed all the different sites and experiences. I'm so please that you offer a villages tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two times that David performed his music along with an exceptional 6 course Italian dinner were my favorite moments. I loved all the places we visited, especially Cinque Terra and Lake Orta. I think staying in Levanto was an excellent choice."

Cynthia

Savage, MN

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fantastic. I am usually the follower on trips with my friends and I am above grateful for this tour to be suggested to us by another friend who had recently been on this very tour. This is only my 3rd overseas vacation and by far the best. The other 2 were on our own or a different tour company. I would recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone looking for a great trip. Visiting each village had it's own character and history - loved them all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While on the bus from village to village "wow" moments were discussed and each time so many of us thought that village would be our wow moment. Well, I tell you it isn't easy to pick one! My first wow moment is our tour guide David Tordi - without him the tour would be just a tour. He made it wonderful. Carrara and the visit of the white marble quarry was my wow moment. Just amazing! Deruta watching the ladies paint the ceramics was another wow moment."

Christine

Erie, PA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The food was amazing. The hotels were wonderful. The hill towns that were chosen for this tour truly represented a taste of the different regions of Italy. But the thing that made the trip really incredible was our tour guide, David Tordi. He was so knowledgeable about each town's local cuisines and local history as well as enlighting us about Italy's national history from the Etruscan times to the present. He educated and entertained us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited an olive oil production facility in pieve di Compito, where David connected us with a distant relative! It was an unexpected delight!"

Elizabeth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of my 8 RS tours! Very talented guide; varied, beautiful sites - some not the usual, such as Volterra; great breakfasts & other provided meals (David chose menus & places to highlight the regional food); comfortable, higher-end hotels with gracious staff. Weather in our favor. Perfect balance of structure & free time. Friendly co-travelers who mingled well; plenty of humor. Great driver who got to showcase his singing abilities. All local guides knowledgeable and amicable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do I have to pick one? Really? Here are several: boat cruise by Cinque Terre; The Bartenders' performance in Orvieto; moving story of Volterra residents saving their historic arch; the truffle-finding dogs!"

Mary

Scotts Valley, CA

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was packed with all kinds of activities. I felt our itinerary and guide were great. I cannot say enough about David's knowledge about Italy's regions, history, food and all things related to our toured area's! I was a little reluctant about doing a Bus based tour but the organization of the itinerary was put together so well that the Bus never seemed to be an issue. I am likely to take another tour through Rick Steve's!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many including the many Domo's we visited with there outstanding Fresca's and mosaic's, beautiful country side, food and the people we met in Italy."

Gregory

Vandalia, OH

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an absolutely wonderful tour. The cities were beautiful and the pace of the tour suited my need. I gave the tour an outstanding rating because David Tordi was an outstanding guide, I learned so much about the culture and history of Italy thru the centuries. David entertained us at lunch one day with his band, and again in Levanto after a fun day in the Cinque Terra. The beauty of the small villages mixed with Davids commentary made this a truly outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am always amazed at the beauty of the frescos in the churches I visit. The Giotto frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel and the beautiful St. Francis church were amazing. As wonderful as the scenery was, my favorite Wow moment was David entertaining us at the Hotel Primavera. The hotel staff and our driver Dominico sang and danced with the group well into the night. It was a special night."

Marty

Springbrook, WI

Tour: 10/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first trip to Europe. The tour was the best way for me to go. Most everything was laid out for us and I wanted to see as much as possible as I think this might be my only trip abroad.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the Civita did Bagnoregio before we walked there."

Kelly

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! The itinerary is superb and the unique stops (wine pairing, cooking class lunch and olive oil education) truly elevates this experience over another operator. Our guide Sarah offered so many personal touches along the way I couldn't have asked for a more fulfilling experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the day was visiting Civita di Bagnoregio or the town that is dying. Its charm is nearly indescribable. Pictures cannot describe this town on a hill. Reaching the town required a tremendous, hefty hike to get here but worth it! Balconies, clay pots, flowers, ornate gates, stunning views, winding alleyways and beautiful stone are everywhere. I could spend a lifetime here and continue to be awe struck by the surroundings. We were able to find a really good pale ale beer "

Marci

Reno, NV

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy was enchanting! Our tour was full of quaint villages, beautiful churches and art, breathtaking scenery, amazing history, memorable experiences, and, of course, wonderful friends, guides and tour companions! I am a fan of the Rick Steves tours. This was my second in two years and it definitely won't be my last. I feel that there's a good balance of tour time and your time. The guides, experiences and logistics are all top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was looking forward to seeing Assisi and wasn't disappointed. We happened to be there on the anniversary of the death of St. Francis so there was a festival underway and great energy all around. The day, festivities and surroundings were all beautiful and had deep meaning for me. I also loved Lake Orta - it was magical and breathtakingly beautiful. The same is true of Cinque Terre. If I were to return to Italy, these are the places I would want to visit the most."

Eugene

Bridgeville, DE

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a blast. From day 1 at Padova to the end at Lake Orta we had a great time, great teamates and a wonderful tour Guide. The food which was provided, whether at breakfast or our spectacular group dinners, was really good. The wine was great. The hotels were RS type hotels. From the funky art hotel in Padova to the countryside Villas. They were more than adequate. The bus and Guido the driver were the best. Sara Corfield was fantastic as our Guide. Did I mention the wine?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Assisi. It was our third visit and what a place. Thanks to Giuseppe for giving us a great tour and getting us past the many security checkpoints, both military and local police, in the vicinity of the basilica. We may have been the only tour group in the church. Some of us had a wonderful lunch at Locanda del Podestal. The wild boar dishes were noteworthy."

David

Tannersville, PA

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on several RS tours and I went on this tour with high expectations. This tour met and exceeded these expectations from: seeing great art "in situ", the beautiful scenery, the great hill towns, the planned activities, the food to our exceptional guide Sarah.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day seemed to have several "wow" moments. The day on the Cinque Terre, the hike up to Civita di Bagnoregio and the Scrovegni Chapel all of which have been on my "Bucket List" stand out."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very nice trip with good villages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre"

Stanley

Rio Vista, CA

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour. It was first-rate as were the others.

Melanie

Saginaw, MI

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great group, great guide. Lived up to my Rick Steve's expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Assisi! It happened to be the day commemorating St Francis death. I felt like I was Italian and Catholic for a day! The school children! The Prime Minister etc! Nuns taking selfies in front of the Basilica! Guissepe was our terrific local guide Sarah's timing was perfect.. managing our day so we experienced the most with the fewest crowds So much more. I loved this day !"

Judith

Hixson, TN

Tour: 10/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a very companionable group of people. Everyone was inclusive and we made 24 new friends! I especially enjoyed being in smaller towns and villages without the crushing crowds of the major cities. The weather couldn't have been better. It was warmer than we had planned for, so we could enjoy being outside most of the time. I loved Stefano's cooking lesson, the olive oil tasting lunch, and the wine tasting/pairing lunch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments for me were the frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel and the mosaics in Galla Placidia in Ravenna. The 3D look was riveting and as a quilter, I immediately started thinking how to translate these into a quilt! I found that almost all the basilicas and churches had amazing frescoes. With a knowledgeable guide to tell the story, we could see what the artist was teaching the people."

Dean

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized which allowed us to relax and have a good time. Pleased that it was not all about churches and museums. Good mix and free time was about right.

Susan

Alcoa, TN

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was everything I had hoped and more. We had been to most of the places on the tour before but without the expertise of our wonderful local guides. The experiences meant so much more with their vivid, colorful descriptions and the history they provided. And we made some, I hope, lifelong friends and future traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Levanto. We had been to Cinque Terre a couple of times and this time found the "Fab 5" towns have become very touristy (too heavy on gelato and souvenir shops) and extremely crowded. Levanto was a surprising treat: beautiful beach, wonderful hotel and lots of walking opportunities. We discovered the walking/biking trail through the coast too late to do the whole thing but will go back to bike it."

Daniel

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour an escape from the crowded big cities into a countryside rich in excellent and affordable food and wine, and, there are some very interesting places to visit along the way. The local tour guides were wonderful. Nina was fantastic. The seafood dinner in Levanto was OMG good! The boat ride along the Ligurian Coast was the best introduction to the Cinque Terre. Our fellow tour members were the greatest and had the right attitude. Hard to beat Umbria and Tuscany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the Byzantine mosaics at the San Vitale Basilica and the Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna was like opening a treasure chest. To fully appreciate the radiant mosaics, you must see them in person."

William

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized, sights and activities were interesting, amount of free time was adequate. I got a little "cathedraled out" after the first 3-4 days, but they were all beautiful and impressive. Enjoyed visits to the various artisans (stained glass, ceramics, olive oil, winery, alabaster, agriturismo, marble). Chianti, Umbria and the Italian Riviera were beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No "wow" moments, but some memorable ones: Dinner at Locanda del Teatro in Montefalco. Food was excellent and the maitre d'/owner was a great guy. Dinner at Zeppelin in Orvieto and spending time with Chef Lorenzo afterward. Returning to Vernazza after 6 years and seeing how well it recovered from the slides. Spending time in Lucca, my favorite city of the tour - friendly people, Puccini concert, Sunday passegiata atop the perimeter walls."

Susan

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the trip was all I expected, and more. And I expected a lot, given this was our 3rd Rick Steves tour, so we expected the best! Our tour guide was excellent, the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and personable, and the vast majority of our excursions were fabulous. There were just a few minor things I will mention below that I think would improve our terrific experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I think I just need 2 words: Cinque Terre! Although we had been there before (in April of 2011, just 6 months before the giant mudslide that devastated Vernazza), we were wowed again, even more so given their resiliency. We were fortunate the weather was beautiful, so the boat ride around the 5 towns, coupled with spending all day in 3 of the 5 towns (Vernazza, Monterosso, and Riomaggiore) was absolutely stunning!"

Katherine

Bethlehem, NH

Tour: 09/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are diehard RS tour fans. In our minds, there is no other way to travel. We had a ball. Loved every single minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of great sights and scenes. But I was wowed most by the comaraderie of our group. Within a day or two it felt like we were a bunch of old friends getting together for a reunion. Quite remarkable."

Sharon

Chelmsford, MA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. Our guide, Tricia, was a gem. We learned so much about the culture and history of each area we visited. The local guides also provided so much information and seemed to enjoy telling us about their town. The extras (truffle hunting, cooking lesson, wine tasting, olive oil making, market day) were truly unique. The tour was a perfect blend of group time and free time to explore on your own. It was as active a tour as you wanted to make it - but not strenuous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was hard to pick one "wow" moment. I would say I enjoyed the hill towns and walking around experiencing everyday things: shops, food, gelato, pasta and pizza, market day. Did I mentioned gelato? I especially enjoyed Assisi and learning more about the simple man who made such an impact. It was great."

Paula

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We knew we would love the itinerary but it was even beyond our expectations. Tricia, our fabulous guide, really great (for the most part) weather and a congenial group made this an outstanding tour!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many! Ouur cooking class with Stefano, completing the long hike to Civita, the view from our hotel balcony to Lake Orta??"

Ellen

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Most of the accommodations were great. The meals were outstanding. Mario, our bus driver was skillful and courteous to one and all. The bus was spotless. We loved all our stops on the tour and hopefully we can revisit some of them in the future. I don't know how you manage to arrange the weather but thanks for the perfect days, just 1/2 day of rain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the visit to Assisi. I am not a religious person but consider myself more on the spiritual side. i found myself overcome with emotion when our guide described how the local townspeople protected 300 of their neighbors from the Nazi in between the floors of the church. In this day and age with so much hatred and discord and intolerance learning how we can come together to help each other was uplifting to me. Thanks for the journey to refresh my soul."

Terrill

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary- good traveling companions - superb guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to chose one moment, but I'd probably say the cooking class with Stephano"

Roberta

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of Italy tour was fantastic. We had heard from others that it was one of the best, and it did not disappoint. We visited beautiful places, often not filled with tourist, and the guides did a wonderful job of relating the history and culture of the areas. The food, wine and fun were also very satisfying! We had a good group, and were able to see many historic sights as well as just wandering into shops and sights on our own time. We loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the truffle farm, and following the farmer and his dogs was quite remarkable. Seeing Scrovegni Chapel and the Giotto frescoes in Assisi were thrills on my bucket list."

Robert

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 09/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tricia made the trip with her humor, knowledge, helpfulness, and just a really great guide. The meals that were provided were excellent. The winery tour, olive oil tasting, and truffle hunting was so enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few wow moments, but I would have to put the hike to Civita as the best."

Gerald

Warkworth, ON

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my bucket list tour and it surpassed all my expectations. Not being a seasoned traveller and unwilling to drive in Italy I was sure I would not be able to visit those places I only dreamed of (Assisi, Civita di Bagnoregio, Scrovegni Chapel, etc.). Not only did I visit these places but with the able assistance of our guide, Trina, and Christina in Padua, I learned so much more about the history, culture and architecture of Italy which increased my admiration for these wonderful people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After visiting the tomb of St. Francis, Trina suggested Carol and I visit the basilica's rose garden and directed us along a corridor to find it. As we turned a corner we came upon a life size statue of St. Francis and just above his head flying from perch to perch were 3 white doves. A magical moment we'll never forget."

Robert

Venice, FL

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first organized tour, and obviously a Rick Steves tour. A could not be more pleased with my experience. It was a first trip to Italy, and was well worth the time and money.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My visit to the town of Volterra was my moment, with the historic arched entrance to the Roman theater ruins."

Beverlee

Venice, FL

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so much fun. I think the number of participants was perfect. Small enough so you could get know all, but large enough to break into small groups. The length of tour was good. We were able to see a variety of Italy's northern regions. Our bus was fantastic! The intro to the Italian spritz and snack was a fun surprise during the Padua stay. I believe this activity set the tone for the rest of the trip. In additions to all the village tours, the truffle hunt/dinner was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the scenery and accommodations at the Tuscan country villa. This was one of the reason I wanted to visit Italy. Collectively the outings ( pottery demo, olive oil club, wine pairing and cooking lesson) were the "icing" on the cake."

Kara

South Bend, IN

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The variety of the activities planned for us was very good. It was not all churches and frescoes, which are nice but could get tedious in a country where there are so many. Highlighting the Byzantine mosaics and Giotto frescoes was digestible and interesting. Group size was okay but I think 24 would be even more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roberto from the Estruscan Museum in Chianciano (S) was very knowledgeable and passionate. He provided a lot of information that could have been too academic but he delivered it in a very human way by using humor and stories. Our villa, Hotel Belevedere, was "wow" perfect image of Tuscany! Cooking lesson was also fun; learned some useful food facts and cooking tips.Chef was a good and entertaining host."

Wayne

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The planning for this tour was a year in the making. While we anticipated that the experience would be great, the actual tour far exceeded our expectations. This was the first tour where no major cities were involved. I very much enjoyed the quiet/intimate locations in Tuscanny. The tour was exactly what we needed to relax and get away from the every day life at home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a wow moment , however, I particularly enjoyed the hiking in the cinque terra. The views were amazing and despite the fact that it was a strenuous hike every moment was well worth it. We were in the cinque terra on our first Rick Steves tour in 1997 and the hiking here is still very magical."

Carol

Warkworth, ON

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was well beyond our expectations. We enjoyed every minute and found our Tour Guide Trinia outstanding! There were so many magical moments that I will savour forever. The care taken organizing where we stayed, where we went, the balance between guided tour time and free time hit the right balance. I would and am highly recommending the Village Italy tour. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a hard question, because there were so many, but here goes. In Assissi we went to see the Rose Garden and as we turned the corner, to see a statue to Francis of Assissi, there were 3 Doves resting on his shoulders. We just stood there in awe as they rested awhile, then flew off. How magical was that?"

Marylee

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience of the small towns was a very welcome escape from the crowds of people and cars in Rome and Venice where we went prior to the tour starting. Trina proved herself to be so knowledgeable in the history and culture of Italy that is was quite impressive. We had a tour of the Etruscan museum with a very good guide who was informative as well as entertaining. However I thought it was too long in that we were standing the whole time and that got tiring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to limit to just one. Loved all of the experiences such as the truffle hunt, pottery making, cooking class, etc. Sorry I can't narrow it down."

Susanna

Aeroeskoebing, 83

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved being a member of a super group We were treated to the most spectacularly beautiful and interesting places and food. Doors were opened for us that are inexcessible for single or couple travellers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Montefalco and Pambuffeti Truffel dogs and following truffel meal The highest possible quality of the art that we were able to see."

Hsiu-Hui

Taipei, TPE

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the most wonderful trip I have joined to tour Europe. I experienced so much in history, religion, art, nature and life styles of Italy and I am happy for being able to appreciate the beauty of the country even it may be only my glance of her deep culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art and architecture of the Cathedrals of the middle age towns is amazing."

Janice

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was over the top! This was our fifth Rick Steves Tour and it hit all the marks with significant historical and cultural sites, charming towns, culinary treats, and stellar accommodations. We could never have put together such a wonderful itinerary ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Levanto because when we arrived, it was "Wow, where are all the people"?! We have been to and stayed in the Cinque Terre before and it was a less than stellar experience. The decision to have our group stay in Levanto and use the boats and/or trains to visit the five towns was brilliant. Levanto was lovely, quiet, and very walkable. We especially enjoyed the beautiful sandy beach and the fabulous bike/pedestrian path to Bonassola and Framura."

Katy

Ridgecrest, CA

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour leader was outstanding. She was very knowledgeable and engaging. She has a delightful sense of humor which I thoroughly enjoyed. The group was very compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni chapel"

Carolyn

Lynden, WA

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The small villages were so awesome to visit. We had already taken the Best of Italy tour so we were excited to experience some of the quieter treasures of Italy. Our magnificent guide, Ann, made all that possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was the decor in the Hotel Ristorante. It was so fun to meet the artist herself and her wonderful family who help run the hotel. Our room there was fantastic!"

David

Ridgecrest, CA

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Again, well organized tour. This is my second tour(last year in Ireland).Learned so much about wine, truffles, olive oil, marble etc. Very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming into the square and seeing the Church of Siena. What a scene.What beauty, what history. I just was in awe of this church."

Rita

Peterborough, ON

Tour: 09/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing trip. This was our third Rick steves trip so our expectations were very high. The itinerary itself was great, a nice mix of scenery and experiences to go along with the regular tourist sites that we need to see. Our group just gelled so nicely and we felt like we were with old friends. Our guide had a wonderful sense of humor and made us feel so taken care of. There was the perfect balance of guided tours and free time to explore which was nice. The food of course was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments but the walk up to the Civita was breathtaking! The boat ride along the Cinque Terra was another highlight for me as was riding a bike up the coast of the Italian RIviera."

Allison Hope

Charlottetown, PE

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went into the trip not knowing if a 'tour group' would be right for me as I generally like to do my own thing. However I didn't have much time to research beforehand so I'm not sure that we would have had half the experiences that we had without the tour. Our guide, Sarah took all of the work out of planning a perfect travel experience, she gave us just enough background information and set us free to explore. As each day arrived a new experience unfolded and each day was a new adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a first time Italy visitor, the "wow" moments for me often occurred on the bus while driving across the landscape. From one town to the next there was never a moment when the view was not ever changing.... flat plains, hills, rivers, mountains, cliffs, towns, vineyards, lakes, towers, bridges, tunnels. Each of the towns were unique and I could describe a 'wow' story from each day but the overall 'wow' experience of the trip was to experience the overall sense of place."

Stephen

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our (my wife and my) first tour experience, Rick Steve's or otherwise, and it was fantastic! All aspects of the tour were wonderful, and just what I was looking for. Where to start in describing my satisfaction? I saw many places and got a taste of Italian culture. Also, I am interested in learning about the history of the Italian peninsula and I learned a lot on this trip. The guides were informative and interesting and I also enjoyed my group of fellow travelers. We will tour with Rick again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was a tour filled with "wow" moments. Seeing art "in situ" was thrilling, such as the mosaics in Ravenna, and the Pinturicchio frescoes in the Piccolomini Library in the Duomo in Siena. Also, being inside the chapel of the Lobo Contrado in Siena. And the experience of sitting outside enjoying the view of vineyard and hills and eating a light snack before the cooking demonstration at Stefano's agriturismo. Then there were the first views of the Cinque Terre."

Donna

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful 2week tour with the right amount of activities and down time. It gave me a real feel for Italy, outside of the major cities! The tour was really well laid out, with great Accomodation in the perfect locations and good local guides.The top highlight of this tour , was our guide, Sarah. She was fabulous ! I LOVED how she would surprise us with treats from the local areas . Regular use of the voice boxes was a HUGE improvement over past tours .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from Sarah , who wowed me as a guide, I loved Giuseppe who gave us the tour of the Basilica in Assis. He was inspirational and I loved his passion and knowledge. Civita was a real wow moment ! Cinque terrae had many wow moments , especially the foccacia and of course the scenery."

Daniel

Gresham, OR

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very interesting, very fun, very organized, very informative, very good group of (experienced) travelers. Being our first Rick Steves tour, we didn't really know what to expect. Other than the extreme (heat and) humidity it couldn't have gone better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to answer. Loved a couple of the restaurants that Sara (guide) suggested. Really liked the visit to the Carrara marble quarry and the ceramic factory in Dureta. A "wow" moment though.... Maybe the beautiful sunset in Tuscany."

Betty

Aurora, ON

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations relative to the overall experiences...the truffle hunt and dinner, winery, cooking class, Duomos, Lupa clubhouse tour in Sienna etc. I loved that we were not staying in busy towns (ie like Levanto when in the Italian Riviera). The tours guides were very knowledgable and Sarah was so nice to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention.... One of my favourite moments was when we took a side trip to Pisa with our tour guide, Sarah. She was helping us take very "touristy" pictures by the tower and was having as much fun as we were. We had lots of laughs. Another wow moment was going to Tuscany and staying at the beautiful Belevadere We went on a long walk as a group to enjoy the picturesque countryside at the end of our day. I loved the seafood dinner prepared by Our Chef, Carlos, in Levanto. Lake Orta!"

Laura

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was a perfect balance of history vs experience, tour time vs time on our own. Liked being at each place 2 days. Also liked the variety of places...little hotels and villas. My favorite places were the the Montefalco villa, and the Belvedere Hotel. Sarah was awesome. I loved how she shared everyday life experiences of living in Italy. Each Duomo was different and awesome in its own way. Even though I was tired of churches, each was worth seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita was a very neat stop. The introductory talk given by anna before we toured Siena gave me such a different perspective and appreciation of the city and made me see it from a totally different place than I would have without it. I appreciated even the lamps in the different sections of the city more and the scarves worn by everyone with a different understanding. Loved everything about Cirque Terre. Boat ride and then the train ride.The view from our hotel in Lake Orta was also very WOW."

Catherine

Gresham, OR

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We would not have seen or experienced what we did had we not gone on this tour. Definitely liked the variety of different excursions i.e. ceramic factory in Deruta, truffle hunting and dinner, marble quarry, wine/olive tasting etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments....maybe walking the trail between Vernazza and Monterosso in Cinque Terre. Challenging and beautiful!"

Malcolm

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful itinerary, great guide (Sarah is a delight), great group. I would definitely recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walls, gates, towers, history, art - WOW"

Kirk

Coos Bay, OR

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife Barb and I had a wonderful time in Italy. We really loved visiting the small hill towns and learning of their and Italy's history. Our guide Sarah was very knowledgeable of all the cathedrals, museums, towns and their histories, traditions and customs. We enjoyed the many activities that were set up, such as wine tasting, olive oil pressing, gourmet cooking, Sienna horse race club, among others. We also enjoy the periodic rest days or half days to do as we wished.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments its hard to choose a favorite. I was struck by the fact that these towns are so old and yet have been modernized so as to be used today. The narrow streets were postcard moments. The cathedrals were amazingly beautiful and awe inspiring. To walk in the steps of Galileo, Giotto and so much history was unforgettable."

Sandra

Aurora, ON

Tour: 09/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of the tour! Fellow travelers were fun and friendly and our guides were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The frescos and mosaics were awe inspiring!"

David

Salisbury, MD

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A beautiful sunny Adventure. Our guide, David's love of his country's treasures, culture and history was infectious. Our driver, Mario did a masterful job of transporting us. Our local guides added depth and color to their locations. The hotels were lovely, especially the elegant Villa Pambuffetti in Motefalco and the Belvedere di San Leonino in Siena. Our travel companions were a pleasure to meet, a lively and game group. All considered an outstanding two weeks to journey and grow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Basilica di Saint'Antonio in Padua, The wine tasting event at La Velette, The music of Orvieto, The transparent azure waters of Cinque Terre, The intimate and inspiring Basilica on Isola San Giuliano, Lake Orta."

Robert

Manchester, KY

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Blessed with a wonderful, engaged guide, David, this trip met or exceeded our expectations and deserves high marks. However with all that Italy has to offer I felt the never ending emphasis on and parade of old churches, old castles, cloisters, convents,etc grew tiresome. Without exception trips to vineyards, olive mills, cooking classes and group meals were outstanding.

Lisa

Auburn, IN

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing! I feel like we got to be immersed in real italian life in the smaller towns, tasting local wines and food. We spent free time exploring without being among hordes of tourists. This was my first tour and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was to share the tour with fun people from all over. This tour has me wanting to come back and spend more time at certain locations. Walking in the footsteps of saints, emperors and people from so long ago was surreal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This might sound silly but I had a wow moment every time we ate the fesh food at our group meals. Also, just driving through the country and seeing the hilltop fortresses and walking in such ancient streets and buildings, walking across the bridge to Civita ...., seeing the Duomo in Orvieto... The artwork and statuary in the churches..."

David

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each Rick Steve's tour gets better. It was as much about the tour members as the tour itself. There were no "party poopers" in this group; everyone supported, encouraged and joined in. David was an outstanding guide and went over and beyond to enrich the experience with his personal history knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several of course. Visiting, and hiking, to the Civita di Bagnoregio hill town was breathtaking, in many ways."

Marilyn

Brookfield, IL

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved learning so much about Italy - David gave us so much background history on Italy that made me want to come back in the future. I learned about the culture, learned some Italian (how to say our room number - in Italian), wine, food, etc. David was so willing to share his knowledge and make sure everyone had a wonderful time that when I was done with the trip I wanted to come back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When David suggested a Puccini concert in Lucca - it was so beautiful. We could feel the beautiful music in the church right up to our arms - gave me a chill. My sister and I are still talking about it."

Linda

Manchester, KY

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was overall a very interesting and informative tour. I enjoyed learning more about village life in Italy and getting away from the big cities that I had visited before. The group was a wonderful family-like unit and was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Camille

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the variety of things planned: the wine tastings, the truffle farm & dinner, the cooking class. The quality of our guide, David, was "off the charts" the BEST!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we got to celebrate David's birthday in his home town and he arranged for his band to perform for us while we enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Our other wow moment was the last group dinner when we ate outside under the stars in Lake Orta."

James

Auburn, IN

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time on the Village Italy tour. The schedule was very good and was at a relaxed pace. The Tour bus and driver(Mario) was a nice surprise. David Tordi was a A++++ tour guide. The history lessons and discussion on the bus were fun and made the traveling interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Small villages away from the "Mass Tourist" areas. The evening David pulled out a guitar and played at the evening meal in Levanto. The entire group had a great time at the dinner/concert!!"

Karen

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was OUTSTANDING. Lets just start with that. I cannot begin to say enough good things about the tour. I feel like it was very well organized with a great amount of free time built in. I loved the smaller towns, awaking to church bells each day. The excursions we went on were wonderful, informative and of course, delicious. I feel like David gave us so much information about the country, the history, the people, the culture, wine and food, that I will never look at Italy the same

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was incredible...the scenery, the history, the food, the wine, the excursions, and even the bus. But I have to say, alllllll that being said. My favorite wow moment was when we were in Orvieto and David arranged an amazing lunch at a friends restaurant and performed for us with his band. First of all, the food and wine were outstanding, but the music performance was so very special!"

Ruthann

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our third trip with your company and we were again very happy with the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat ride past the Cinque Terre. Lunch concert with David and his group on his birthday."

Hella

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 2nd Rick Steves tour and once again I was very pleased! In the past, I have traveled to Europe making my own arrangements,at least 25 times!! However, getting older I now appreciate to let somebody else take care of the details.Our guide, Trina, did a very nice job and was very attentive to some of my co- travelers needs,she was always well prepared! It was a very well arranged trip, our bus driver, Sergio, did a great job driving . I have only one problem: Where to go next

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the beauty of Lake Orta. Assisi and Orvieto along with Civita di Bagnoregio!"

Kathleen

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the chance to experience by doing! And to do that--cooking, truffle hunting, wine tasting, olive-oil tasting, watching artisans at work--in the smaller cities and villages of Italy, most of which were off the "crowd" grid. The exception to that was Cinque Terre, which has been sadly overrun by tourists, taking away its charm, something our guide warned us about so that we could steer clear of it if we wanted to. Also--super fun tour mates!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful, quiet inn (Belvedere Hotel) where we stayed in the Chianti area, with vineyards and countryside all around us. Stunning. Also cooking together at La Pietriceia farm and finding out, as we took the first bites of our meal in this wonderful setting, that our own cooking (with more than a little help from chef Stefano!) could be so delicious!"

Robin

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've done this tour before and was blessed to have the same tour guide, Trina. I was a little worried before I left that it wouldn't be as amazing as the first time but I was mistaken! I saw new things that maybe I missed the first time, made new friends and enjoyed new foods.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful villa we stayed in in Montfalco."

Cathy

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina was an excellent guide and host. She gave intelligent, interesting commentary during each city visit but did not overwhelm you with too much information. Trina had a good sense of humor and encouraged and promoted group interaction. We enjoyed all the hotels and cities on the tour. Cinque Terre was a disappointment however Lake Orta was a wonderful finish to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting, truffle dinner, olive oil tasting and cooking class were all fabulous. Sienna was my favorite city but enjoyed all of them. Our trip to the war memorial was very moving and gave a reminder to treasure and appreciate our freedom. Great, great tour!!"

Randy

West Chester, PA

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Village Italy tour. The variety of content from religious art, Italian history, food/cooking, truffle hunting, marble quarrying to serious relaxation was a great mash-up. Our leader Trina was super detail oriented on logistics, kept us well informed and prepared us for each new adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from the hill-towns Montefalco, Assisi, Siena, Orvieto were all fabulous"

Linda

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. I enjoyed seeing smaller Italian cities, most of which I knew little about. Trina was a great tour guide, informing and educating us about both modern and ancient Italy. The food was delicious; I'm not sure it's possible to get a bad meal in Italy. And the scenery was spectacular. I really enjoyed seeing the countryside, but I also liked seeing all the beautiful churches and the artworks contained in the churches and chapels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many; seeing Sienna from one of the towers near the Duomo, seeing beautiful sunsets over the beach in Levanto and from the hilltown of Montefalco, as well as one from our hotel in the Tuscan countryside. I also found the view of the Cinque Terre cities from the boat when we rode from Levanto to Monterosso to be lovely. I often thought how lucky I was to see these beautiful sights."

Sue

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, very well orchestrated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were seeing the mosaics in situ. Totally awesome!"

Diana

Red Deer, AB

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was superb! This is the second time we took this particular trip, mainly because of family and friend travelling with my husband and I. It was even better this time with different places to stay and visit. Four Canadians travelling with a great group of Americans and we gelled quickly as a group! Totally fun, exciting and overall outstanding vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, there were so many! But shopping at the local market in Orvieto with expert guidance from our guide, Trish, we bought food -partly in Italian and partly in English - for a picnic - overlooking a beautiful valley - that was so much fun to try out our minimal Italian! Wow, what a fabulous market and great experience. Other Wow! - just being in Italy seeing beautiful art, architecture, loving the food, culture and people."

Steve

Washington, UT

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of Italy tour was both fun and educational. We loved our tour guide Trisha who helped prepare us for what we were going to see each day. We had a wide variety of experiences from art, scenery, history and culinary delights. We learned about the hill towns in Umbria and Tuscany as well as the coastal cities and how their history formed their current state. We had some relaxing times along with some active days so it was a nice blend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle hunting and then having a meal with fresh truffles was pretty cool."

Vicki

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cathedral in Orvieto."

Laura

Columbia Heights, MN

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being 27, I didn't know what to expect from a tour with mostly ages 50+. I went with my mom, and we had an amazing time. Our guide, Tricia, was incredible and managed us all brilliantly. The best part was being able to see SO much and do so many unique things in such an efficient amount of time. It was so different than traveling on your own, being stressed about train connections and check in times. Everything was done for you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cruising in to the Cinque Terre on the boat was incredible. Also was astounded by the Duomo in Orvieto."

Marjorie

Lino Lakes, MN

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything my friends had said it would be. Our guide is amazing...so knowledgeable, spirited and passionate about art,architecture,and culture. The tour is well-organized and the cooking class , the alabaster factory, the truffle hunt,the wine tasting, the Deruta ceramics tour allowed us access that my daughter and I could never have had on our own. A nice balance of group time and "on your own" time. It was SO hot but the Montefalco and Belvedere stays were refreshing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ravenna,the Scrovegni Chapel, Duomos at Orvieto and Sienna. The inside "tours" and hands-on cooking class."

Susan

Westminster, CO

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since we are so late in filling out the survey Scott (my husband) and I have decided to do our survey together. We felt every aspect was very well organized. Our guide was exceptional. Every planned group excursion and event came off flawlessly. We loved the variety of experiences and being only in small cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed the entire trip and there isn't one particular "wow" moment."

Diane

Reddeer, AB

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour was amazing Patricia was fun and knowable never as dull moment accommodations we wonderful we has the right amount of free time to explore on our own

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the picnic on the wall the stay at the vineyard the free day half way through the tour a great day to recharge"

Carol

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Absolutely loved the cultural immersion. The pace was just right. The food was fantastic and most of the places we stayed were wonderful. I especially liked the Cooking class, truffle hunting and dinner as well as the wine tasting with food paring. Tricia was a wonderful, excellent guide. Her passion for Italy's history, culture and art was amazing. I appreciated her language classes and numbers for our room in Italian, as it helps reinforce the language as we are learning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going into the ancient caves at the winery was my wow moment. Besides the wonderful wine tasting with food pairings that was well done, the grounds and views were wonderful as well. Also loved the Deruta Pottery. Had to add more pieces to my colletion."

James

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour!! We have been to many of the larger cities of Italy so the Village Italy Tour fit the bill perfectly. What I did not realize was, although the small towns of Italy are beautiful, that they included such amazing sites (many were UNESCO sites)! That took me by surprise! Of course, none of that would have mattered to the degree it did without such a fantastic guide as Tricia. I can see why this is such a popular tour. We had travelers taking the tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With all the wonderful places we visited I actually was shocked by how much I enjoyed the visit to the Carrara marble quarry. I thought we might view them from a distance but we went right up into an active marble quarry! Then to realize these quarries have been producing marble for so many centuries - for the Romans, for Michelangelo, and into today. Also how much the mining methods have changed. As an engineer I really loved this tour! Wish we could have spent longer."

Connie

Woodland Hills, CA

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was great! Tricia was an excellent guide. The group was very cohesive without any issues. It was fast paced as are all of Rick Steves Tours, but that was expected. The itinerary was perfect and provided great learning experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmm. Thats a tough question because there were so many. I loved the cooking experience and the hotel at Lake Orta. The Carrara quarries were also interesting."

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.