• 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

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 walking tour • 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 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 2019
  • 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, as well as 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

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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!!!"

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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 "

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."

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 !"

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"

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."

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.

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

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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??"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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?"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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..."

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.

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!!"

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!"

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!"

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Laurie

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My third tour with Rick Steves and such a great one! Ann was an excellent guide, activities were such fun, such as truffle hunt, cooking class, olive oil & wine tasting. Swimming in the clear warm water of the Cinque Terre! Listening to a Puccini concert in Lucca! Celebrating my 69th birthday in Levanto with wonderful fellow travelers, and eating, drinking, and laughing with abandon! Information on history and religion, colorful villages, incredible food, beautiful villas and vistas! Awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Anthony's and aperol aperitifs in Padova, seeing the pieta in Orvieto, St Francis's small church in Assisi, women vs men photo shoot in Montefalco, St Martine labyrinth & Puccini concert in Lucca, floor mosaics in Siena's Duomo, truffle hunt and kicking back at the villa in Tuscany with fellow travelers,walking to Civita di Bagnoregio,swimming in the clear water of the Cinque Terre, S Guilio island and our last group dinner in Lake Orta. All favorites!"

Cathy

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome as always! I love that the hotels are in the heart of the cities/villages and most are run by the owners who are locals. Ann, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and a great leader. The local tour guides were amazing, so passionate about their cities. The extra activities were great - learning about olive oil, truffle hunting, learning how pottery is made in Deruta, and so much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the boat ride along the Cinque Terre Coast was amazing, beautiful day and wonderful experience."

Michael

Clarksville, MD

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! Each town had something special to offer. The accommodations were at times better than we expected. Our guide Ann was knowledgeable and organized and had a great sense of humor. The local guides were informative and charming. The activities were great and the amount of free time was perfect. The only change I would suggest is doing away with the Carrera marble quarry tour and allow for more time in Monterrosa on the way to Levanto as the day was way too long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many of them! Since this was our 30th wedding anniversary trip, the best moment was dinner on the Anfiteatro Romano in Lucca the evening of our anniversary. Other "wow" moments were the boat ride along Cinque Terre, the views of the countryside from The Hotel Belvedere in Tuscany, the truffle hunt and dinner at San Pietro a Pettine, and the charm of Ovieto."

John

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have done this trip before and I enjoyed both of them. What made this trip so special was the group on this tour. My wife and I have done 11 Rick Steve tours and this was the best group ever. We have enjoyed all of the tours but for whatever reason, this group seemed to really enjoy each other. Everyone participated and no one was left out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hotel Belvedere was my wow moment. We did not go on the tour from the hotel,but stayed relaxed and enjoyed the Italian country side and all of the ambiance that the hotel provided."

Lani

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Enjoyed visiting the smaller towns, seeing their churches and art, learning their history. The variety of activities was nice like the truffle hunt, wine tasting and olive tasting. The delicious meals following these events were memorable. Enjoyed seeing the countryside of various areas and the scenery/settings of Assisi, Volterra, Montefalco, Orvieto, Hotel Belvedere, and Levanto were lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ravenna mosaics were probably the biggest "wow," but there were many. Had visited Orvieto Cathedral before but the front was still an absolute "wow." The Basilica of St Francis of Assisi was a "wow" because of our local guide. We had visited the Basilica years earlier on a RS tour, but had no local guide. The guide this time - Giuseppe - turned the Basilica into a real "wow" experience."

Rosemary

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 11th Rick Steves tour and as always it was excellent. We were doing this tour for the 2nd time. It had always been one of our favorites so decided to try it again. We were not disappointed. We had a wonderful group, a wonderful guide and, of course, how can you miss on the location. My husband injured his knee on the 2nd day of the tour and was slowed down quite a bit but everyone was so helpful that we made it through. Thanks to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow day was the day we actually decided not to do the group trip into Siena. We were staying at the wonderful Hotel Belvedere San Leonino in the lovely Tuscan countryside and decided to stay there for the day and just relax. We walked through the vineyards, olive groves, had a great lunch on the patio, took lots of pictures and just enjoyed the beauty of the area. Another wow was hiking to Civita again. It is such a great little hilltown that it was well worth the very hot hike."

Mary

West Linn, OR

Tour: 09/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann was an excellent tour leader, she provided the leadership we needed, able to keep the schedule on track and yet be personable about it. Although I had already visited about half of the sites over the last 15 years, I was surprised to learn so much more due to the excellent guidance of Ann and the local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the mosaics at Ravenna was a wow moment. So was the Scrovegni Chapel. The tour of the Etruscan Museum at Chainciano was a surprise wow moment for me. Our local guide was knowledgeable while also just being fun. This might not really rate a typical wow moment - but when I learned about the Etruscan society, the equality of women and how all of that changed with the advent of the Roman armies that favored warriors and males in charge, I was wowed at this bit of history."

Rayburn

Scottsboro, AL

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. The guide was excellent. The tour was well planned and executed. The pacing was just right. I would recommend this tour to anybody wanting to see some real culture of life in Italy today and from long ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The villa in Tuscany."

Michael

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded once again every hope and expectation I had prior to embarking. The locations were perfect. The food, wine, and beer were superb. The hotels were outstanding. Our group fully embraced the "no grump" style of travel. We had a friendly bus driver, great local guides, and a tour guide we would gladly travel with again. Even the weather cooperated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour featured daily "wow" moments as we were in some of the most relaxing but vibrant locales on the planet. The two that stand out was enjoying wine on the grounds of a converted farm house in Tuscany surrounded by vineyards as far as you could see, and relaxing on the beach Italian style in Levanto. A bonus "wow" was being able to connect with Cecilia who guided our first Rick Steve's Italy tour."

Marcia

Duluth, MN

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved my Village Italy trip! Each day was special because of the great organization of the tour and our tour guide Sarah . I highly recommend this trip to see the real Italy. The accommodations were so special, not like any name brand hotel. Each place had their own style and personality. All were clean and safe too! The truffle hunting, cooking class and swimming near the Italian Rivera in the salty sea were the highlights for me along with all of the breathtaking scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was staying in the wonderful Tuscany hotel and enjoying the truly Italian view from our pool on a perfect summer blue sky day. As you gazed onto the hillside you saw rows and rows of grapes awaiting harvest along with olive trees on the hillside. Just breathtaking."

Lawrence

Suamico, WI

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the tour, had a great time and highly recommend it to everyone. Will book with Rick Steves for our next tour. When looking to originally book a tour I searched other Tour websites and found comments such as: Not a Rick Steves type tour, should have gone with Rick Steves, learned a lesson that should only go with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Generally, the whole tour was interesting, informative and totally enjoyable."

Julie

Suamico, WI

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time in Europe & first RS tour. Excellent experience! The selection of cities, outings was amazing. I cannot express enough how impressed I was with every detail. Our guide, Sarah, made it a trip of a lifetime. She was so personable, knowledgeable, and professional! Places we stayed at were first class, clean & had all the amenities .Sarah's suggestions for food, places to visit in spare time were very much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments! The incredible artwork in churches!"

Rick

Clackamas, OR

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience was excellent. We were lucky with our traveling companions--they were all enjoyable and savvy companions. Sarah is a wonderful, calm and thoughtful travel guide. She is knowledgable and has a great sense of humor and true rapport with her 'charges'. Mauro, our driver, was a delight. One thing we really appreciate about Rick Steves tours is the fact that we stay two nights in each place. This allows free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many, it is hard to choose one! I have to say that our time in the Cinque Terre was special."

Lark

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third tour and the best guide we have had. The group was also one of the best, everyone seemed to be able to connect on some level. 2 days in each place was the minimum and side trips were a good idea rather than trying to spend a night everywhere. I can also tell you that we all loved our bus driver Maoro, who instilled confidence in all of us as we watched him maneuver tight spots. One traveler said he knew about driving big rigs and Maoro knew at all times where his wheels were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved watching the truffle dogs especially how they interacted with their owner. The cooking class was lots of fun as well. My biggest WOW moment was a side trip to Pisa. I was stunned to see the leaning tower in person and couldn't get over how really BIG it is. I actually said WOW more than once. (this was a side trip that we all participated in). Another WOW was our tour under the ramparts of Lucca!! Amazing under the wall and ramparts tour of Lucca. a WOW moment."

Thomas

Chatham Twp, NJ

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy trip represented a trip of a lifetime for me. Our guide, Sarah, was not only excellent, but the best tour guide I have ever encountered. I would take a trip with her anytime. Additionally, we learned that our Mauro, from Turin, was working for Rick Steves for the first time. He was exceptional and it seemed as if he had been doing Rick Steves tours for many years. Sarah's knowledge of Italy, clear instructions to the group, and overall leadership made the trip fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the local guide, Anna, in Siena. She was a member of the Lupo contrada and gave us a private tour of their church and headquarters. Having been to the Palio a few years ago, this insight into the workings of a contrada made the trip incredibly special. I would recommend that Anna and her contrada visit be a regular part of any trip to Siena."

Denise

Scottsboro, AL

Tour: 08/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was Great! Sarah gave us a lot of additional info. Our group got along Great!! We had to leave the tour Sept. 3rd. Our son was in a bad ATV accident. Sarah and Travel Guard was wonderful helping us get home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't cook, but I really enjoyed the cooking lesson! The Wine tasting was great too!"

Mona

Hooksett, NH

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steves Tour, three were My Way, and it was fantastic! The places we visited, the fellow travelers and the guide, Nina, could not have been better. Even the weather cooperated, just a couple of showers, but most of the time blue sky everywhere. We, the group had so much fun together. Nina went out of her way to be helpful and she gave us an education about every place we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of the Umbrian and Tuscan landscapes from Assisi and Orvieto to me were WOW! And also the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Ravenna's Basilica and Mausoleum But there were so many more WOWs, too many to mention them all."

Luann

Metairie, LA

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire experience! Nina, our tour guide made it all the more special. She is spectacular and "brilliant". I would go another tour in a heartbeat if I knew when she was the guide! Go Nina!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved staying at the villa in Montefalco-I felt like I was staying at the grounds featured in the Sound of Music-the hosts were lovely, accommodating and interesting. I appreciated the history of the estate. I also enjoyed the visit to the ceramic factory, the olive oil experience, and the wine making visit. Sitting on the grounds, viewing the lovely scenery while we learned about wine making was unforgettable and will remain a picture in my mind. I felt fortunate to be able to experience it"

Dave

Osprey, FL

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our sixth Rick Steves' tour. You come to value and appreciate the impact that the tour guide and the local guides make on your experience level of learning and level of satisfaction. The guides we had were exceptionally good. Knowledge of history, social, and cultural, along with language imparted with touches of humor always work. Nina and her "crew" worked the magic that caused us to want more, which, I guess, is a lot of what travel is all about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I have had "wow" moments on other tours (implying an exceptional sight or event) this tour just seemed to have many good overall experiences, not anything that leaps out. Our Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino was especially enjoyable from the room to the breakfast area to the outdoor dinner under canvas to the beautiful vistas of Tuscany."

Valerie

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than I expected. would recommend to anyone. our guide was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the whole trip. to many to list"

John

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great experience. It gave us a much fuller sense of what Italy is really like than the typical "bucket list" tours. Our guide Nina was incredible, extremely knowledgeable, well organized, and most importantly helped us all have fun on the tour. Who knew there was a YMCA in Levanto?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. The Villa Pambuffetti was gorgeous. Giuseppe enlightened us in Assisi with history we simple didn't know. At the Etruscan museum, Roberto was knowledgeable and humeous at the same time. The cooking class with Roberto was fun and interesting. I think though,my favorite WOW moment was Nina's expert translation of the graffiti on some of the frescos. Even hundreds of years ago, the topics were the same."

Steve

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the people, Nina the food and every experience"

Dana

Osprey, FL

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour of Italy with the input of our expert guide, Nina, was both more enjoyable and informative than the many other visits we have made to Italy. Previously, we have experienced Italy, My Way and two separate visits to the Sienna and Tuscany area. There were so many memorable moments each day. Unfortunately, age had brought some physical aspects to travel that limited my enjoyment. A bad knee made the numerous steps on the tour increasingly painful as the days passed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at the Hotel Belvedere near Sienna was my favorite wow moment. Rather than the rural farmstead we expected, this hotel was both comfortable and lovely whatever direction we looked."

Francea

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was an amazing tour guide. She was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, honest and had great connections to see additional things in cities we visited. Fabulous itinerary focusing on village and towns staying away from tourist traps. Had a great group on the tour which makes everything even more enjoyable. Really appreciated getting information on many Jewish ghettos. The tour guide in Assisi was amazing from an informative perspective and very open about answering questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having access to Jewish Gehttos and information about Jews in Italy. The underground tunnels in Orvieto was a wow moment."

Jill

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 08/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall we liked the tour very much. Loved Nina (our guide), Mario (bus driver), our tour group members were a lot of fun, and enjoyed much of the tour. We especially enjoyed the wine tasting, the olive press lunch, truffle farm hunt and dinner, the Tuscan cooking class and lunch and the seafood feast in Levanto. Did not enjoy the church and museum visits and had hoped to avoid those on a village tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No special wow moment but as indicated above loved those activities that involved walking around the towns and dinners/lunches with local residents. We were surprised at the number of people in the Cinque Terre villages - many from cruise ships and other tours. RS may want to consider skipping these villages and finding another less populated place for the vacation from the vacation."

Jodee

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about the Village Italy Tour. Each village held something different and amazing. We couldn't pick "a favorite".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many wow moments but a few where our view out of our hotel room in Montefalco, seeing the mosaics for real in Ravenna's Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum and hiking in Cinque Terre."

Sally

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS Italian tour and I have rated them all as outstanding. The Village Italy tour offered me a well chosen mix of small hill towns, cultural and historical sites, gorgeous North Italy countryside and mid-size towns. I appreciated the introduction to the Cinque Terre and Lakes Region. Being expertly guided through these places gives me confidence to return on my own to the places where I'd like spend more time. Loved the rich mix of experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The heart of this tour is in the Tuscan and Umbrian regions. The tranquil, seductive beauty of Tuscany and Umbria is where I want to return to the most. The truffle hunting, cooking lesson, wine tasting, pottery making demo, eating, drinking and beautiful landscapes of those regions all blend together for my favorite moment. Oh, and the 2 villas where we stayed were fantastic! Cathedrals, frescoes, stunning sunsets......what's not to love?"

Sharon

Garden Grove, CA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a fantastic experience.The combination of planned activities and free time was perfect for us. The included experiences with all our local guides were so lovely and I feel those experiences definitely helped give us an idea of the lifestyle in those areas of Italy. Our guide, Ann was genuine and informative and helped make our group feel like a little family. The accommodations were more than we expected and the food was amazing. Thank you, Sharon More

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are 3 "Wow" moments that come up in my mind. The moment I saw the glass mosaics in Ravenna, the view of Civita as we arrived at the path to cross over, and the view of Vernazza the morning of our hike in the Cinque Terra."

Elizabeth

Damascus, OR

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. I loved getting out of the big cities to experience small town Italian life. The cultural experiences-pottery making, the truffle hunt, the olive oil co-op-were all fantastic and provided a great way to connect to the local people. Beautiful scenery, delicious food and, especially, an amazing tour group made this a trip to remember!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many to choose from! The mosaics in Ravenna, the wonderful town of Assisi, enjoying the view at our fantastic Tuscan villa, experiencing Siena on the day of the Palio and beautiful Lake Orta were just a few."

Barbara

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely wonderful! I really enjoyed getting out into the countryside of Italy and away from the typical tourist experiences. The variety of experiences from olive oil co-op to the Scrovegni Chapeler were impressive. I really feel that I experienced a broad swath of Italian culture, just what I was hoping! Our tour guide and bus driver, were organized, efficient and professional, willing to help with any request.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have thought long and hard about the answer to this question. This was my first trip to Europe. I did not realize until the tour ended, and I was traveling on my own to other Italian cities and on to London, how lucky I was to have chosen this tour company. With my tour experience, I was able to look back and really appreciate all I learned, giving me confidence to continue on, appreciating the rest of my trip in a way I probably would have not previously.Biggest wow moment-don't be afraid!"

Carol

Salem, OR

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of the Villages of Italy was truly a wonderful experience. The hotels were well located, some right in the heart of things and others in the countryside for quiet tranquil evenings. The itinerary was so diverse and interesting. Our guide made the history understandable and come alive for us. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As wonderful as everything was on the trip I think I have to say that the artwork in the Scrovegni Chapel was a sight to behold. I could have stood there taking it in for much longer than was allowed. Also the exquisite mosaic work in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia was breathtaking."

Nancy

Nolensville, TN

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and the best vacation we've been on. Can't imagine a better tour guide than Patricia Brady. She made the tour! The tour was chock full of delights -- loved each of the village towns we visited, but it was the Italian experience moments that were the best-- the picnic along the wall in Orvietto; outdoor dinner in Reggello; hiking to Civita, riding the ferry past all the Cinque Terre towns and finally finishing up with a perfect dinner overlooking Lake Orta.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't narrow it down to one. But here are the biggest wow moments. Hiking up to Civita Picnic along the wall in Orvietto Seeing basilica in Orvietto at 6 pm when the sun hit the church and the gold gleamed. Outdoor dinners at Villa il Crocicchio in Reggello Seeing the Cinque Terre from the ferry And I would have to add that our guide Patricia Brady was the icing on the cake (or the whipped cream on the gelato!)"

Jennifer

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken 3 Rick Steves tours and this tour was our favorite. Experiencing the small villages and getting a feel for what life for the local people is was so enriching. Tricia made the tour great from our first meeting. Her enthusiasm and love for the country, each village and the history was infectious. The fact that she lives in Italy and had real life experiences only added to the the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many things that were "wow" moments. Assisi was wonderful. Our tour guide was great! The basilica was fascinating with the two levels and the art was beautiful. We loved the picnic in Orvieto. From the tour group shopping in the local market for the picnic, delicious food. Then the location at the wall with the most amazing view of the valley where we had our lovely picnic! All the mosaics in the museums particularly the Galla Mausoleum. Civita gorgeous and fascinating!"

Jay

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply the best vacation we've ever taken. It exceeded our expectations. The experiences allowed us to see things we may never have seen and the free time allowed us the opportunity to explore, shop and meet the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. We had a WOW moment every single day. The sunset at Trevi after the truffle hunt was glorious. Meeting a local artisan in Assisi that was 3rd generation artisan was fantastic. Exploring Cevita was a highlight. And of course the boat ride to Cinque Terre...beautiful."

Katherine

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As first timers, we were very excited about our trip. We booked it based on someone's recommendation who had said it was one of the best trips he'd ever taken. He was absolutely right! I really wanted to take a Viking River Cruise but I knew my husband wanted to do Italy. I'm really glad we decided to take this trip--it was the best vacation I've ever had!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I literally had a "wow" moment every day of the trip. I felt incredibly lucky and privileged to be seeing the art, experiencing the culture, and meeting the incredible people on our trip and of Italy."

Deborah

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 06/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Might be my favorite of the 7 RS tours I have done! The towns chosen were wonderful with different experiences in each. Learned about the Etruscans and now want to learn more. Also have a new favorite wine-Brunello! Tricia is outstanding as a tour guide and a lovely person. Ezio handled that bus like a VW bug. Turning and reversing like a pro. And fun to have along! Great group of people with which to travel. No grumps at all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cathedral at Orvieto as the sun was hitting the mosaics. Breathtaking!"

Judi

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were the only ones in our group that had not been on a RS tour before...so many repeat customers. That speaks highly of his tours, the locales and the guides he chooses! We have been to the big 3 in Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) so wanted to do the villages and get a feel for less crowded places in Italy. We saw so much history, art and culture outside the big cities!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but maybe Ravenna's mosaics! Stunning! A close runner up hiking Cinque Terre and the spectacular views from above and the boat below! And there was hunting truffles with the dogs and our olive oil tasting, the old fashioned stone-ground way. And of course our group cooking lesson and eating what we prepared...delicioso!"

Dianne

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than I ever expected. It included so many Wonderful meals and great wine along with all the great people on the tour. We saw so many amazing sights off the beaten path also. The hotels were from funky to amazing like the villa we stayed in for 2 nights. Trina our tour director was so knowledgeable about each town and sight we visited. She added much to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick one place but I guess it would be Cinque Terre as it was along the sea and it was possible to walk along the beautiful coast and then sit and enjoy the fantastic views. Also liked the beach and the sunset."

Mary

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves tour and 4th trip to Italy and it was wonderful! The relaxed itinerary introduced us to some new sights (Padova, Montefalco, Lucca, Levanto, Lake Orto) while providing us the opportunity to explore some old favorites (Assisi, Orvieto, Siena, Civita)in more detail. Our excellent guide, Trina, helped us fill in the gaps in our knowledge of Italian history, art and culture. The tour group was friendly, inquisitive, good natured and fun-loving. A great time for all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since we avoided the hot and crowded "must-see" cities, this trip was filled with more "Ahhh" moments than WOW moments. Highlights included driving through the peaceful Umbrian countryside, our stays at the villas, seeing the Orvieto Duomo in all it's glorious splendor (it was scaffolded over on our previous visit), listening to Puccini opera in Lucca, visiting the American cemetery, sampling lemon marinated sardines, and boating on the Ligurian Sea with the Cinque Terre in the distance."

Peter

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our 7th RS Tour, and I think that this was the nicest group we've ever traveled with. No grumps, nothing but positive, energetic people. As a "village tour", this was notably less stressful than other tours. Loved Padua, Orvieto and Lucca! We never had a bad meal, and the accommodations were top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though we had been there before, seeing Civita again was a delight. The sun was beaming bright, the walk was breathtaking, and the gelato was perfect. Close behind in WOW was the Orvieto Cathedral - gorgeous! We had dinner right outside and basked in the play of evening light on the white and green stones. The pasta comes in third - al dente and perfect."

Michael

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 19th RS tour. It was one of the most jam packed RS tours we've been on in terms of food, culture and activities while travelling as well as optional activities. Wine tasting, truffle hunting, cooking class, olive pressing and pottery making stops provided a lot of fun experiences. Some were incorporated with gourmet meals which made them even more enjoyable. All the wine at dinners was an added bonus. The only thing missing on this tour would have been a trip to a thermal spa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the WOW moment was when certain pieces of history seemed to fall together like pieces in a puzzle which I hadn't understood before, and that was due to Trina's coherent explanation of events and their interconnection."

Theresa

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

There was a nice mix of small/larger towns, hill/seaside/interior locations, though my favorite were the seaside/lakeside places. Padua is an important stop to include but we were there right before St. Anthony's feast day and the city was mobbed with pilgrims. It was hard to appreciate the cathedral cheek to jowl with hundreds of other people. The heat was a real issue on this trip. Heat and humidity were miserable in every city we visited, to the extent that I got heatsick.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scrovegni Chapel was definitely a WOW. The guide talked fast, trying to get in as much info as she could in the 15 minutes allowed. I could have been in there an hour or more. The mosaics in Ravenna and the frescoes in Assisi, both of which I had seen before, were breathtaking! Having local guides explain them and their importance was a tremendous help in appreciating them. Orta was a very pleasant surprise - a delightful town!"

Beth

Elgin, SC

Tour: 06/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful and engaged fun fellow travelers, excellent tour guide, eye-popping Italian scenery, comfortable accommodations, knock-your-socks-off food and wine, breathtaking art and architecture, plus a gelato (or two!) every day!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to name one, but I especially enjoyed the tour of the Etruscan Museum in Chianciano. The guide made the Etruscans and their artifacts come alive. I also loved walking on the town wall in Lucca, beautiful views, strolling with locals, and wonder in the endurance of those Renaissance walls. An unexpected treat was our stop at the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. This was a reminder of our American connection to Italy through the sacrifices of so many soldiers."

Esther

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful Villages

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra"

Michael

Oxnard, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was more than we could have hoped for. The sites were amazing, inspiring and moving --- like the Florence American Cemetery visit Trina surprised us with --- but what made the experience most memorable was the extraordinary leadership of tour guide Trina and the heartfelt camaraderie that developed among our fellow travelers. Please consider creating a Northern Italy itinerary; we would travel with Trina and all of these folks again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One moment? Viewing Ravenna mosaics (we need more time there), staying at Villas in Montefalco and San Casciano, walking in the footsteps of Francis, gazing at lush countrysides, discovering the Spritz --- all magnificent. Above all, it was realizing as the tour progressed that the people we meet --- tourmates, hotel hosts, local shopkeepers, other fellow tourists --- provide the greatest "wow" of all, allowing us to marvel yet again at the beauty God creates and inspires."

Marjorie

London, ON

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RIck Steves Tour. We have done many enjoyable tours, including two to Italy, and felt that Village Italy had a lot to live up to. This tour was everything I hoped for and more! Visiting the smaller cities and towns was a more intimate experience. I liked the focus on food, wine and culture. Our fellow travelers were a wonderful blend of interesting people and we had a lot of fun together!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments for me every day! My favourite was probably on the last morning, looking at beautiful Lago Orta on a perfect, sunny Sunday and realizing how magical the past two weeks had been."

Alan

London, ON

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally were very pleased with the overall trip plan. Staying in good locations within the smaller towns facilitated the best use of our time in visiting key sites within each location. As we were forewarned, the range of hotel accommodation varied widely, from the shoe-box to the large villa suite. Most European bathrooms are an adventure at the best of time, so be prepared for tight spaces, mint-sized soap tablets and a general lack of wall hooks to support your needs for clothes drying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a tough one as each location had it's own merits. The tour group, surprisingly, was a highlight. With a small number of people, it was easier to get to know one another and the group worked well together. We dined with most people one-on-one and had a good deal of fun. Quite different from tours with 40+ people. Kudos to smaller groups."

Jenise

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I really enjoyed exploring the villages of Italy. We liked our guide, Trina, and really got along well with the other tour members. It really was much more that I expected in terms of overall experience. 14 days seemed the right amount of time for the tour. Our days were busy but not too busy and we had nice evenings off. Because the group got along so well, we enjoyed many dinners and experiences together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming around the bend, seeing Lake Orta for the first time, and then driving up to the beautiful hotel with such a view! I had never been in the lakes district and was so excited to see it. The mountains, the greenery, the warm air, and the water. Just spectacular. The houses around the lake were beautiful. And we were treated to a private boat tour around the lake to the island. I felt like a celebrity. #2 Experiencing the Corpus Dominum in Orvieto."

Ann

Norfolk, MA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first visit to Italy and our second Rick Steves tour. From the first get-together with Prosecco & snacks to our final arrivederci meal this tour was fabulous! The group size (22) was perfect, our tour leader was accessible, knowledgeable, and kind! Overall the hotels/villas were wonderful and the food - well - it was Italy!!! There was a good balance of group activity/time/meals with free time for exploring on our own, or grabbing a meal or gelato with new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to choose just one - but walking into St Vitale Basilica in Ravenna was jaw-dropping!!! The mosaic work just stunning! Also loved the little restaurant we discovered in Montefalco with jazz playing and musical instruments decorating the ceiling & walls! And the villa il Poggiale - magnificent room (suite) and views from the outside dining area - oh, and then there was Levanto & the Ligurian sea!!!"

Janis

Oxnard, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves Tour- it was amazing and more than we ever expected. The itinerary provided a good balance between learning about history, art and culture and just having fun; our group was friendly and compatible, and our guide, Trina, was outstanding. The 2 weeks flew by, packed with so many wonderful experiences, delicious food and warm welcoming locals. At times my head was spinning from so much activity, but it was all so very GOOD, that I savored every moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments, but the morning in Ravenna is at the top of the list. The mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale left me speechless with their beauty."

Elizabeth

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th Rick Steves tour and I must say it was one of my favorites. Part of it was due to our leader, Tricia, who did a great job in guiding us through our adventure and sharing her knowledge and love of Italy with us. Although we did not see the "famous sights" of the big cities, I loved exploring the small hill towns and enjoying the serene beauty of the Italian countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming around the corner at 6pm and seeing the golden mosaics of Orvieto's Duomo ablaze in the setting sun was breathtaking. But the next day shopping in the local market for lunch supplies which we then shared with our tour mates at the city wall overlooking the beautiful Umbrian hills had its own kind of wow moment."

Sandra

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having been on a previous RS tour of Venice, Florence and Rome which was fabulous, the Village Italy tour far exceeded our lofty expectations. We saw many hill towns, participated in a great variety of activities both indoors and out, and learned so much, that we never could have known about, or had access to, on our own. Our fellow travelers were such a fun group fully embracing the Rick Steves mantra of no whiners, being on time, and looking out for your buddy. Fast friends by Day 3.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick one from a whole 14 days of WOW. Cinque Terre was awesome in its beauty, culture, location, and of course the challenge of hiking the trails between towns. Bucket list item! I found that visiting the town of Assisi where St. Francis walked was very inspiring. A very spiritual experience."

Sue

University Place, WA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my ninth Rick Steves tour, and I have to say that it was the best overall. We had the Dream Team of Patricia and Mario for our guide and driver, and all of the tour group members were extremely congenial as well. I especially loved the small hill towns, beachy experiences, and our last day at Lake Orta. My only regret is that my dad couldn't join us. He's the one who got me started on the Rick Steves tours, but he's 87 now and going through chemo. At least he'll enjoy the photos!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from. Coming upon the Duomo in Orvieto just as the sun was hitting the golden mosaics? The truffle hunt? Deciding to hike up Civita di Bagnoregio (even after swearing I wasn't going to, and even though it was almost 90° that day)?"

Sue

Columbus, OH

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Tricia was a great guide and the itinerary was excellent. The food was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking down on the sea while hiking from Corgnelia to Vernazza."

Kay

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour and we loved it. It wasn't the continual super wow moments like the 17 day Italy or Greece tours but the small villages are wonderful. We like small towns over big cities. Our tour companions and tour guide, Tricia, were the best ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, the pottery demonstration in Deruta, the Etruscan Museum in Chianciano, the boat ride to the Cinque Terre and hiking in the Cinque."

Linda

Chico, CA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting smaller cities and their attractions was such a pleasure! Our guide, Trisha, was so full of information in particular details about the regions we visited. Amazing facts that she could share off the top of her head gave us all an in depth awareness of that part of Italy. Mario our driver was impressive navigating the many hairpin turns we encountered on the back roads between our destinations! The local guides we had were so passionate about their cities and histories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Simply too many "wow" moments to choose just one!"

Scott

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour and as good as any of the past tours. We really enjoyed the smaller towns of Italy. It is always fun to meet our group as we usually find they are just like us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't have just one. The Giotto frescoes in Padua were breath taking. Seeing the gold faced cathedral in Orvieto with the sun hitting the front was incredible. I really like the Etruscan museum as well"

Edwin

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour. Tricia was outstanding and we had a fantastic group of people on our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we walking the vineyards at Manarola followed by lunch at Corniglia. Then we hiked from Corniglia to Vernazza followed by swimming in the Med with a bottle of wine on the beach at Levanto."

Christopher

Rushland, PA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour! The hotels were very good, the food was excellent and our tour guide, Patricia Brady was phenomenal! The scenery on the tour was unbelievable, and this was our first time in Italy and the trip exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two: The first tour of the church in Pedova (Giotto life of Christ), and the Cinque Terre trails."

Melanie

Doylestown, PA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We never would have scene all the areas on the tour if it wasn't for the expertise of Rick's experience. Everything was outstanding, Patricia was an unbelievable knowledgeable guide, better than any we've had. She was outstanding all through the 14 DAY TOUR, personable, fun, helpful, experiences and confident in everyday as we toured Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to tell, but taking the boat ride along the Cinque Terre was an amazing wow moment, the beauty was unbelievable, breathtaking and surreal. At that moment I felt overwhelmed with the beauty of the coast line, taken up with the beauty that surrounded me along the coast."

Mary Jane

Rushland, PA

Tour: 05/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was simply fantastic! It exceeded our expectations on every level! We saw so many beautiful places, had delicious food, and learned a great deal. What made it truly special was our tour guide, Tricia, as well as all of the lovely people with whom we shared our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So very many memorable moments: Waking up in the beautiful Villa Pambuffetti and looking out over the vineyards The Awe Inspiring Cathedral in Orvieto as well as our picnic on the wall Beautiful Tuscany Walking the wall in Lucca Viewing the vista of the blue Mediterranean from the trail leading into Monterosso on Cinque Terre"

James

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour to the Villages of Italy. Nina was a great tour director and explained everything really well. We learned so much about the culture and the history of the people and the ares that we went to. The food and the accomidations were great. Most of all our group was great and we had great fun together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, looking over the great landscape and mountains around Ovieto was excitable and beutiful. It's hard to say as we had so many "wow" moments."

Peggy

El Campo, TX

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our group dinners were always fun."

Terry

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip met all my expectations and more. The activities were well planned and implemented. Very positive feeling for the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. Enjoyed the cooking lesson."

Diane

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic... or as out guide Nina would say "brilliant", ya. I cannot even explain what a great time we had. Nina, our guide, is fluent in at least three languages and a wealth of information. So much to learn from her... yet she knew when to stand back and let us go off on our own. Sergio, the bus driver, was so skilled! I can't believe how he got our bus into the narrowest of streets on the first try and the ride was alway smooth and enjoyable, even on the narrowest streets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments. The group dinners, the view from Lucca's wall (and under the wall), the ruins outside the wall. LaCivita,.... the olive trees and poppies... the cooking lesson, the wine tasting, olive oil tasting... I can't decide."

Vickie

Sancarlos, CA

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves trip and third visit to Italy. My previous visits to Italy were shared with friends who planned the itinerary and a short list of destinations. I wanted to walk the trails at Cinque Terre. Rick Steves Village Italy tour provided that opportunity. This trip was so much more than the Cinque Terre. Every single moment of this trip challenged my mind and warmed my soul. The food and wine were fabulous as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Feeling immediately comfortable with a group of folks we just met. all eager to start our adventure. Sharing an amazing dinner outdoors at long tables under the stars, soaking up the Italian language all around us. Oh, and the moment I saw the Cinque Terre from the boat. I even said "WOW" !"

Michael

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS Tour for me, also first time to Italy, so not knowing what to expect, or if (at age 71) could I manage the 'Strenuous Walking' mentioned on the Itinerary. Visions of Italy Death March 2018 came to mind...would a taxi be available should I fall by the wayside ? Fortunately, Nina Dierckx slapped some reality into my vacation, eased me into a nice new bus, and transported me to quiet hill villages for 15 days of history, art, food & relaxation. Walking is easy when adventure is at hand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best day for me was outside Sienna,arriving at the Villa Crocicchio,in Regello - planted in the middle of olive orchards - after visiting the Etruscan museum - after making our own lunch with Chef Stefano at Agriturismo La Pietriccia. What a great birthday for me !"

Richard

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely incredible. This was my second RS tour. Both tour guides were very different but their #1 concern was the trip and customers and our experiences. I was so surprised at all we did on the trip. Nina was the best, adding her knowledge of Italy to make us all smarter. The bus was brand new and our bus driver Sergio was the most friendly guy ever. We had Wifi and two seats per person, which is one reason I like the RS tour, plenty of room on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The small towns were just one wow after another. I'd already been to the big cities, so experiencing the small towns were a delight. Just getting up on the hill towns and looking at the countryside was one big WOW"

Kathy

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was magical! I didn't think any tour could compare the the wonderful tour Richard and I took last July in Ireland with Joe, but this one was equally fabulous!!!! We had been to the big cities in year's past on our own. We wanted to see the small hill towns and villages, but didn't feel comfortable with driving ourselves and many are difficult to get to my train. So, this well-planned Rick Steves tour was perfect for us! Our tour guide, Nina, was superb in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many special excursions and activities that I loved, it's hard to choose one wow moment. However, due to the exceptional weather we had, my wow moments were all the breathtaking views of the countryside, hilltop towns, and cliff-hugging villages! The pictures we took are gorgeous, but still didn't capture the beauty we actually experienced."

Debra

Blue Springs, MO

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. The village/hilltop experience provided a chance to see Italian life at a slower pace and allowed for a more intimate look at its culture. I thought the excursions were so interesting and fun and I don't believe I would have experienced these without the tour. Overall my experience was lovely, fun, exciting and educational. Way to go!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe my wow moment was an experience rather than one particular site. My WOW experience was the hours we spent with Roberto at his agriturismo. The whole experience of taking part in making our lunch was so fun and educational. Wow. I loved every moment of it. He had such a wealth of experience and he was not shy about the benefits of making your own food. I loved it."

Jacquelyn

El Campo, TX

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing experience. Our tour guide, Nina, was exceptional! He wonderful sense of humor and infinite patience made this tour so much fun! The members of our tour were all considerate and interesting people and such a joy to share this trip with. The excursions were exceptional, the guides were well prepared and personable. Everything went like clockwork, but without feeling like we were on a rigid schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The landscape during the entire tour was breathtaking, but I think I especially loved Lago d'Orta."

Jim

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! Our guide Nina kept things rolling, has great attention to details and was very funny to boot. This was my 5th Rick Steve's tour as a party of one and I got to know everyone and enjoyed all of their company. Sometimes everything comes together to create a magical memory; this was one of those

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our entire group singing off key to the tune of "Hotel California" while dancing around the dinner tables and clowning around in general, and since we were in the Italian riviera, substituting "Hotel Primavera" for Hotel California. Our guide was aided by our bus driver and also the hotel admin gal who should be in show business as well as the entire group It reminded me of being at a fraternity party in the 60's"

Bonnie

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can I say -- a perfect tour!! Many memorable experiences!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cinque Terre villages from a distance as we cruised along in our boat was magnificent! Made me want to take up painting!"

Jan

Fairfax, CA

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never taken a tour before, always traveled on our own. My husband was very hesitant but I talked him into it. When we arrived at our first hotel in Padua we both looked at each other and wondered if we could last the two weeks. That evening we met with Ann and the rest of the group. By Day 2 we were all in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After convincing my husband to go on the trip, he loved it. My wow moment is he wants to travel again and are starting to plan our next Rick Steves trip for next year. Montifalco and Orvieto were two of my favorite "villages"."

Deborah

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour included a wide variety of activities, cuisines, and POI's; made me want to return to Italy soon! A few of the highlights were: the cooking class by a real chef at a working farm, the walk along the ramparts of Lucca, the delicious food, the hike along the trail connecting the Cinque Terre villages, the Etruscan Museum and ruins tours, vist to an olive cooperative, and the hike to Civita di Bagnoregio. The locals we met were very friendly and kind, and our group was congenial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The serene country vistas in the Hill Country."

Jeffrey

Vista, CA

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent trip. Loved going to smaller villages especially in Tuscany and Umbria. Would have liked to spend more time in Sienna but we stayed an hr and1/2 away and spent too much time going back and forth. Most of the Guides were very good. Robert0 and Guiseppe were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto and the surrounding areas were my favorites"

Arthur

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have never, in my entire life, thought that ANYTHING was "outstanding," so my rating of "very good" is excellent. "Village" Italy, is misleading; it's really a "small city" tour, and I think that many of us thought the sites would be smaller, quieter, and slower. Instead, there seemed a need to be a need to expose us to "interesting" stuff (like dirt levels under a church) when we'd rather have been sitting around having a glass of wine. I could say more, but there's this dumb limit of 500 ch

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just strolling around, sitting at cafes with other tour members, going out to eat, chatting with our tour director. More of these unforced moments would have been great."

Caroline

Brooksville, FL

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 8th Rick Steves tour did not disappoint. An experienced guide, a group of fun loving, interesting, and friendly travelers, an efficient bus driver,Ezio, who could sing and dance all made for an unforgettable adventure.This tour had it all...art, wine, food, hill towns, beaches, an island in the middle of a lake...so many varied parts of the Italian culture. I love the small village tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were wow moments every day. The hike to Civita di Bagnorrgio was breathtaking and the views over the valley were something I will remember always"

Keith

Mililani, HI

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience in seeing many places and sights! Fun group, terrific guide, and the FOOD!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many, but the gaining of the historical and cultural insights of Italy was quite amazing."

Rick

Whaletown, BC

Tour: 05/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour ever as my wife and I have been "seat of the pants" tourists but I saw this coming with the evidence of Rick Steves pamphlets and books all over the house. Day 1 accommodations were sketchy but the tour took a solid hold on me and I was "all in". Ann Long is a wonderful person and a great guide who along with our driver Ezio provided an exciting and full experience of small villages. We wound our way thru beautiful countryside that my father visited in 1943 and 1944

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Momtefalco, Lucca, Orvieto, Regello, levanto, Lake Orta, the Florence American Cemetary, the wild group dinners with drinking, singing and dancing, the free fitness of hiking and hauling luggage"

George

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cordial and cheerful cohort of fellow travelers, would be delighted to call them friends. Had a bit of foul weather, but no foul tempers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 1000 Miglia car endurance race festivities in Orvieto were mine, as well as the mosaics in Ravenna and frescos in Assisi. Also, the demonstrations of olive pressing, truffle hunting, Deruta pottery making, and especially the Carrara sculpting."

Richard

Reston, VA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour, and very relaxing. Although, like many of the RS tours, we only spent two nights in each location, it was a bit slower paced. There were a few relaxed mornings when we could take our time over breakfast and just enjoy being where we were. There was still plenty of interest to do and see. Trina is a great tour guide. She kept us informed about the planned activities (or down time) and shepherded us around with a light but efficient touch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel we stayed in near Siena in Castellina, Castello di Fonterutoli, was amazing. This old estate "village" has been converted into a B&B, but still retains its old feel. There are horses in the stable and local people around and about. And the buildings and setting are stunningly beautiful. Being a car guy I have to put in a personal plug for having seen the Mille Miglia, a modern road rally celebrating an open-road Italian endurance race from 1927 to 1957. Right in downtown Orvieto. Wow!"

Jane

Nipomo, CA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was so special. We saw so much, and learned so much. The pace was brisk, and we got tired at times, but I do not know what I would have wanted to leave out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time we entered a little stone village, which was almost daily, I said "Wow". That is what I went on the trip to experience, and I was not disappointed. And our last stop, in Lake Orta, was just stunning. It was uncrowded, beautiful, and peaceful. We stayed an extra night there, and wished we had stayed two! The perfect end to a wonderful trip."

Robert

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour. We visited Italy 10 years ago on our own and used the Rick Steves guidebook to plan our activities. At that time we visited the major cities plus stops on the Amalfi coast, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre. Since we greatly enjoyed the small villages of the Amalfi coast (Ravello), Tuscany (Cortona), and Cinque Terre we found this tour itinerary to be just what we were looking for. We were NOT disappointed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one experience as a "wow" moment because the tour was all "wowwie." However, our favorite moments came in Manarola in Cinque Terre as we walked Rick Steves' recommended vineyard walk. Cinque Terre has become very crowded since we were last there 10 years ago but we found that in each village if we walked out of the congested area and were able to look down on the village and coastline the experience was very magical."

Linda

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Village Italy Tour. Our guide was wonderful, and we loved getting to know our fellow travelers. Italy has been a favorite place to visit, and we particularly enjoyed experiencing the local cuisine and flavor of each of the little hilltop towns we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlights for me were the wine experience, the truffle hunt, the cooking lesson, the meals, the stained glass operation bicycling on the walls of Lucca. My husband and I loved our return visit to Cinque Terre where we were able to get away from the crowds by heading up out of the towns to look out points along the vineyard walk in Manarola for example. All the guides were great and helped us have positive experiences in each village we visited."

Betsy

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked Fonterutoli, Tuscany, Civita di Bagnoregio"

Carol

Delta, BC

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy tour was excellent. We had looked forward to revisiting several small towns we had previously enjoyed and visiting others for the first time. We were not disappointed. Trina our guide had put together an amazing tour experience for our group. She is very enthusiastic about her subject - Italy, the culture and people - which made us excited too. Her knowledge of history and art is extensive. We were able to more fully appreciate what we were seeing thanks to her input.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to name just one or even a couple 'wow' moments. The rustic village of Montefalco was charming. Would have liked to spend more time just wandering. Trina took us to a view point overlooking the valley - the light was fabulous, golden. The Signorelli frescoes in the San Brizio Chapel of Orvieto's Duomo were special. Watching a stained glass artist at work was unique."

Sally

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour & are grateful for the tour co. We do not want to travel with any other tour operator. The philosophy of only carry-on luggage and "no grumps allowed" works! The nicest people go on RS tours! Village Italy is a terrific tour of Northern Italy minus the large metro areas. I lost count of the # of UNESCO World Heritage Sites we visited. One UNESCO Wotld Heritage Site was a drive. Almost better than gelato. I feel rich after a RS tour b/c of the experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel in Padova has been restored & every detail of visit has been considered. It was very orderly. Our guide for this excursion, Christina, was a WOW experience. In Siena going to the Crypt of the duomo was another WOW. The Crypt was discovered in 1999 & opened to the public in 2004. I could not get over the fact that I was looking at a cycle of paintings from the second half of 13th century. Think of it...... It was a WOW to twice rent bikes & cycte W/ my husband."

Marie

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an intense but marvelous two weeks crowded with beauty, history, and italian food. Trina Kudiacek set the tone with intelligence, energy, warmth, and humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On our last full day together, having witnessed so much splendor that I thought I could not be "wowed" ever again, i saw a 12th century carved pulpit in a little chapel on a little island in the middle of little Lake Orta. The artist carved stone to sculpt figures and plants which have an immediacy that eclipses time."

Philippe

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could easily run out of superlatives to characterize this tour. So i'll just use adjectives in their plain form with the understanding that superlatives apply:I informative, pleasant, exciting, beautiful, tasty, not relaxing (for an old guy like me pushing 80, but glad I could hack it), eye opening (the Etruscan museums and civilization).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard question to answer in the singular. So, instead of trying to answer an impossible single question, I am listing a few Wow moments without trying to order the level of wowness: 1. The facade of the Orvieto duomo 2. The inside of the Assisi basilica 3. The San Vitale and Galla Placidia mosaics 4. Some of the frescoes in the crypt of the duomo in Siena (in particular, the deposition from the cross and Mary mourning her son) 5. tuscan countryside"

Shauna

Reston, VA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed all of the cultural experiences, the food and wine, the truffle gathering, purchashing fresh snacks from the open air markets. Seeing the detailed mosaics and frescoes preserved in Ravenna especially, but really in all the churches was fantastic. Our guide,Trina, was always informative, giving us wonderful historical background and perspective on each day's adventure. Her upbeat attitude and ready smile made for a very positive group experiece

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We appreciated Trina's flexibility with the schedule which allowed us to see the Mille Miglia cars pass through Orvieto. That was an unplanned bonus surprise. And, I really loved being on the water in peaceful Lake Orta. Very beautiful. I will also take away a new found interest in the Etruscans and plan to do some reading to learn more."

Robert

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Impressed with depth and breadth of information provided by guides from 7000BC through WWII. Clear explanations of what we were seeing and it's relevance to history and art. Enough repetition to give the info presented permanence. Trina, our Steves Tour representative, clearly had passion, enthusiasm and deep knowledge for both the art and history. Her enthusiasm created the same in us and keep the tour relevant, held our interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Depth and breadth of knowledge displayed by guides."

Tim

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed being exposed to the places we would never have know how to access. Im not a wine drinker, but love to see how everything is made or processed, the olives, the marble and especially the truffle hunting. Thanks to our guide Sarah I was able to complete our tour after experiencing a herniated disc on about day five. Sarah was so wonderful in getting me to a hospital and making it possible for me to get treatment. Our fellow travelers were so helpful, offering to help in any way. Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Late one night, a commanding presents wearing a black cape with a large double headed gold eagle on the back passed by. I came to find out that she and other university students would meet once or twice a week at a pup as a social outing. They made there own out fits in a style that identified the discipline that they were studying, law, science, etc. It was great to share what they did to enjoy life. The tuscan museum was another high light and and a great commentary on political life today."

Jon

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! There was a lot of variety and a good balance between independent exploration and group activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first Wow moment was waking into St Anthony's in Padua. There were so many WOW moments that it would be hard to choose. Duomo in Orvieto, Leaning Tower of Pisa (arranged by Sarah), etc."

Maggie

Morrisburg, ON

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a tour of any kind & I could not have chosen a more perfect experience. Far exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The main "WOW" for me was how consistently engaging, passionate & interesting our local guides were about each of their respective local subjects. History came to life as we listened to each of these local 'gurus'!"

Richard

San Ramon, CA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything in the tour was above any expectations I had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wow" moments to pick from! From Giotto to Assisi's Chapel to all the guides and great food!"

Thad

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Remarkable, especially in the way Sarah always found days without the rain that was predicted! Seriously, it was the nicest blend of planned and free time, meals together and on our own, educational and entertaining time on the bu, all choreographed by a very competent and personable tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Etruscan museum in Chianciano, for its intellectual content. The most emotional event, however, was at the American Cemetery on the Greve River, taking down the flag at 5pm and the ceremony of folding it for day's end. What an honor and an unexpected treat to be there just at that time of day."

Howard

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It had been eleven years since our last visit to Italy and it was as beautiful and rich with art and history as I remembered. The people are friendly and warm. I enjoyed the food and wine, especially when eating at one of the local places recommended by Sarah, or the guide book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto is one of my favorite hill towns. On our walking tour the evening we arrived, we ended at the Duomo di Orvieto. Sarah told us the story of the Signorelli Chapel and it's frescoes by Luca Signorelli. She made them come to life, explaining each panel in this intricate story. I listened and looked in wonder at the beauty and story of the frescoes. It is so hard for me to imagine the mind of the artist as he laid the panels out and their deep religious meaning. His talent awes me."

Susan

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour could not have been better. Both our guide and bus driver were excellent, Sarah's additions to our planned schedule went above and beyond any expectations for the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the trip to Civita. Sarah was enthusiastic and encouraging in spite of less than perfect weather, and I am so glad I made the trip. The walk was breathtaking and our wine and cheese with Sarah's friend Rachel was truly special."

Jane

Durant, OK

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, great bus and driver, lovely countryside, interesting stops (except the marble factory, which was too dusty and screechy to even hear the guide), well timed, consistently good hotels, wonderful food, only two grumps - and they were only mean to their husbands, and the most excellent guide Sarah who really went out of her way to make the trip memorable and who has the most mellifluous voice (I could listen to her all day).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night of opera performances in Puccini's home town of Lucca. An intimate venue with singers so good they gave me goosebumps."

Regina

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great balance of "tour" and free time. Very important. Wished we had had better weather - it was cool and rainy most days which was unusual. Would like to take this tour again. We took Best of Italy last year and liked the countryside better than the big cities. Maybe there will be a "My Way" Village tour one day?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding through Umbria and Tuscany and arriving to Hotel Belvedere. Exquisite. rolling hills of vineyards, olive groves and villas. We could have stayed here for a week, resting and relaxing, walking the countryside, taking in the beauty of this country. What a gift God has given us!"

Jan

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing tour. The villages more than lived up to my expectations. Each was unique with its own specialties in food, wine, art, and all had spectacular views. At times I felt like I was in a dream. The hotels ,too, were individually unique and very comfortable. Staying in so many family run hotels made the experience feel as if one is visiting friends. I thoroughly enjoyed, truffle hunting, the pottery workshop, olive pressing, making lunch together, etc. I loved staying in Levanto.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I said "wow" several times a day! The Cathedrals and Bascillacas each had their own beauty and history and All of the art work in the Cathedrals provided many of the wow moments.The first view of Siena, Lake Orta, and the bus ride through the mountains was spectacular. A wonderful trip in every way."

Beverly

Salem, NY

Tour: 05/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was a wonderful tour with so many special moments with our fantastic guide, Sarah. I loved experiencing so many of Italy's smaller cities, towns and villages whether on foot, bicycle, or out the bus window.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments! Walking across the bridge walkway to Civita, bicycling around the Lucca wall, learning so much from our local guide in Asissi, seeing the medical theater from hundreds of years ago in Padova, watching the truffle hunting dog find her treasures with her trainer. Loved and appreciated our stop at the Florence American Cemetery/Memorial. Very moving and educational. Thank you for that!"

Kathryn

Surrey, BC

Tour: 05/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It provided a good balance between organized touring and free time. Our tour group was small (about 19 people) and everyone seemed to get along well. The bus transportation was roomy and comfortable and our driver was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favourite 'wow' moment was getting lost hiking the Cinque Terra. We started off on the main trail but took a wrong turn and ended up far above our destination. From our vantage point, every view of the Cinque Terra and it's coastline was spectacular. When we finally stopped for an espresso at a tiny hillside village, a kind lady in a big van offered us a lift. We ended our adventure with a wild ride on a narrow winding road down to Vernazza."

Pat

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 05/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything worked on this tour. Lisa, our guide was always on top of things, the weather was mostly sunny and the group was small (only 19). Visiting the villages of Italy gives you a real taste (pardon the pun)of the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one "wow" moment. I felt like every day there was a spectacular view or beautiful church or delicious meal. Civita di Bagnoregio was one of my favorite places. A view at the end of every street!"

Robert

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 05/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour checked all the boxes for me. Great food, wine, gelato, traveling companions and an exceptional RS guide. I admit to not being a student of history but I am a strong consumer of culture when immersed in it and Lisa our guide is very skilled at weaving the history and culture together into a very consumable form for me. I very simply enjoyed myself at every stop on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was so strong overall it is difficult to pick a single "wow" moment. However the day in Assisi was quite dramatic from start to finish in terms of history, religion and culture. Our local guide was expert at relating the important content and artwork representing the profound historical impact of St. Francis."

Katherine

Florissant, MO

Tour: 05/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything and more. I'm a frequent visitor to the message boards so Village Italy was very highly anticipated. It most definitely lived up to the hype. I cannot imagine a more suited guide than our beloved Lisa. After what has now been 4 RS tours I can honestly say she's been one of the top (at the risk of offending any other guides, maybe THE BEST)! We loved her demeanor and poise and affection for us. I love the idea of the "wine kitty"....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a WOW moment. The beauty of the vistas, the color of the wine, the food, the history......these memories will last a lifetime."

Ronald

Surrey, BC

Tour: 05/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing variety of beautiful sites. A full set of experiences. A very capable guide who looked after not just the group, but each of us individually. I was surprised to look back and realize just how comfortable I had become with Italy and Italians - I know that's not an accident.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the car rally in Volarra and getting lost hiking the Cinque Terra."

Dorothy

Scituate, MA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the variety and the thought that went into the itinerary. I have been on Viking River Cruise this was my first Rick Steves. I loved the visits and local guides that gave a deeper connection to the areas we visited. The pace for me could be a little slower. I enjoyed the day off in Levanto

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose out of the many memorable moments. I did enjoy walking at night in Lucca and we stumbled into the amphitheater which was gently lit and had a small band playing. Completely unexpected."

Karen

Elkhorn, WI

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent - it met or exceeded our expectations as repeat RS travelers:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"oh, SO many!! but picking 1 of the many, I'm going with Orvieto, & the glorious view of the town from the terrace of the family-owned winery. (plus it was a funny to realize at the start of the visit that I had been there before, in March 2015, when I did the RS Venice-Florence-Rome tour with my girlfriend!)"

Susan

Durango, CO

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A good overview of northern Italy. LOVED the art work. Enjoyed the ambiance of Lucca, Levanto, Volterra. I was overwhelmed by the number of people traveling especially around the Cinque Terre. Rethinking time of year for our travels. The guides were outstanding. Very informative and engaging. Top notch. Food at wine sampling, olive tasting, Tuscan country hotel, Levanto, and Lake Orta was so Italian! Dee-licious! Fun to meet new RS travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"ALL of the art work but especially the mosaics in Ravenna, Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Duomo in Sienna, Basillica of Assisi."

Karen

Richardson, TX

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second RS tour and I can't wait to book a third! Everything is so organized and efficiently executed. My husband summed it up perfectly when he said that a RS trip is not a vacation, but, rather an adventure. It is a very busy 2 weeks but you get so much bang for your buck!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle hunt was so much fun to watch and the dinner afterwards was simply amazing. The time spent in Cinque Terre was stunning and the last days on Lake Orta were magical!"

Jon

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful as always! This was our fourth RS tour, and I think our favorite one (altho the last one is always our favorite). The pace of the tour was very chill, and we saw some wonderful sites simply not available on the big city tours as those villages were too far away from the big cities. See wow moments below. My only global complaint is something beyond all of our control: the weather. LOL!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count: the Duoma in Orvieta and the Etruscan Museum, the Scrovegni Chapel and the churches in Ravenna come to mind. Loved the truffle hunter/meal. The walk around Orvieto. Trattoria da Ubaldo in Lucca. Vineyard walk in Manorola; and the walk 'up and over' to Bonnasolia. The walk around the lake and then the churches walk in St. Orta we did after the tour when we stayed on."

Barbara

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was filled with destinations I'd long wanted to see, and they were even better than I expected. Nice to see so much with minimal bus time. And the travel between destinations was just beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments but particularly the mosaics of Ravenna and the boat ride along the Cinque Terra. I'd hoped those would be memorable moments, and they definitely were. Surprise "wow" moments included the wonderful tours in Assisi and the Etruscan museum."

Keli

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip from the fabulous food to the gorgeous sights. Our tour guide Tricia was an absolute delight! I could seriously follow her around and listen to her talk about Italy, art and food indefinitely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As an artist, I adored seeing the craftsmen carve the alabaster and the Carrara marble."

Valerie

East Sandwich, MA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' Tour and it was wonderful. Tricia is the consummate guide. She is very knowledgeable and patient. The description of the tour ahead of time was very accurate. I was part of a group of 10 people that planned to travel together so we were comfortable from the start.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite was the boat ride along the Riviera. The views were fabulous. This ride would have been better if the boat was not so crowded and if there had been some safety considerations made. People were standing and there were no obvious life jackets. At each port along the way we had to wait for docking space. This meant that we were breathing all the engine fumes while we idled. People were queasy by the time we reached the final port of Monterosso."

Kirk

Santa Paula, CA

Tour: 04/30/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For me, the overall experience was learning from the Guides. Might I say, they were all very knowledgeable and fun to be with. Our Guide "Trish" was just the very best. She made the trip just over the top. I specifically loved the food, wine and having meals with everyone in the group. In short, a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a construction nerd, the buildings, arches flying buttresses. I have to imagine how they cut, and moved the stones and assembled them without any machinery. What engineering methods were used beyond trial and error."

Samuel

Hood River, OR

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The plan and arrangements of the tour were truly outstanding. Having 2 nights in every place was great and activities selected seemed carefully thought out and very informative and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single favorite. Loved experiencing and walking all the small cities and the beautiful countryside."

Mary

Wooster, OH

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' Tour and it exceeded my expectations! Nice hotel accommodations, delicious food and wonderful experiences at points of interest, i.e., truffle farm and dinner, winery, Carrera marble mine, pottery shop in Duretta.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first sight of the Basilica in Orvieto in the late afternoon light; it is spectacular!!"

Jackie

Chattanooga, TN

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having been to Italy many times, I wanted to see some more out of the way places. This tour delivered on that! I know that I am an Italy nerd, but Padova, Lucca, Carrarra, Cinque Terre, and Assissi were on my short list of must see places in Italy. None of these disappointed. However, I must admit that the experiences on the tour outshone the places on the tour. The truffle hunt, the marble quarry, the olive co-op, and many more were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many wows, Scrovegni Chapel, the truffle hunt and dinner following, thw marble quarry at Carrara, the olive co-op and seeing olive oil being made and a great lunch there, and the boat ride in the Cinque Terre. It is hard to pick a favorite, all those were truly wows, in a trip filled with wows."

Judy

Akron, OH

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy is the tour I've wanted to do for nine years and it was beyond my expectations. Patrica makes this tour memorable for so many reasons. The variety of towns/villages, hotels, guides and sights made every day interesting. The tour is packed daily with learning about and experiencing the Italian culture within each location. There were "wow" moments and time for quiet reflection. I treasure the memories of this tour more then any other RS tour I've been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was looking up at the stunning frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Second would be the amazing mosaics in the Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna. To see the beauty created by ancient craftsmen and artisans is thrilling."

Lisa

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For me, this tour overdelivered. This was my first trip to Europe and first major vacation solo. The entire group made me feel welcomed and never alone. The individualized experiences that we participated with certainly made the tour more of a true Italian experience. Without partnering with this tour, I'm not certain that I would EVER have had the opportunity to go on a truffle hunt or participate in a hands in cooking class, both on glorious farms that essentially took my breath away.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Porziuncola Chapel brought me to tears. This was truly an awe inspiring moment for me, to sit and marvel in this little chapel which spoke to St Francis centuries ago. Nothing compares to the beauty of Cinque Terre as seen from the Ferry or above on a trail. My heart was full at each stop along the way."

Joseph

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a very good time. I learned a great deal and returned with a head full of Art, Architecture and History. Our guides were great especially Tricia. While we had a good deal of free time, I was usually ready to relax and not go explore much. I would have liked scheduled time in a grocery store (Italian culture). I did that eventually and it was informative. I might also suggest that we stay in a hotel for 3 days, once to allow for laundry. I'd shorten the tour by one day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat trip past cinque terra and the blue Mediterranean sea blew me away. Another "wow" was the truffle dinner as the flavors I experienced were so different than anything I have ever had. I was a truffle virgin!"

Patricia

Boise, ID

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had really no preconceived thoughts about the tour other than how would a couple dozen people get along for two weeks? Well, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised and pleased at the cohesiveness of all our divergent personalities and geographic distances. I'm not sure whether it is a usual occurance that the tour participants get along or that we were blessed to have a great group of "friends". Each and every person showed concern and caring for the other individuals and their experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wows... but hands down is the boat ride . The weather, cobalt blue water and clear skies contributed to a wonderful trip. A very close second is the truffle hunt. So fun."

Vicki

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tricia, our adorable tour guide MADE this trip for me. She has the most incredible personality and knowledge of Italy which she shared with us in a way that was not only educational but fun, fun fun. I just love her and would love to take another tour if she was my tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was when i fell head first on my back down a flight of marble stairs in our hotel in Padua. I'm just being funny; that wasn't my favorite "wow" but it sure made an impression on my body. Because of my fall I missed out on a lot of the special moments but I still enjoyed this trip immensely."

Jeri

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 10/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had wonderful, exciting and fantastic time. The member's on our tour were all so fun to be with and easy to spend time with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Orvieto. We all went to the market and bought a little something that we could share with everyone and got together along the wall of the village with a beautiful view of the countryside. The olive oil factory in Tuscany was amazing. We were able to watch how olive oil was made. We had a wonderful lunch. There were many WOW moments on this trip."

Robert

Meadowbrook, PA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cathedral in sienna"

Angela

North Wales, PA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour that lived up to and exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many; Civita di Bagnoregio, Duomo di Orvieto, scenic lookout of Orvieto in late afternoon, the mosaics in Ravenna's Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum, the views from the bus of hill towns, olive groves, and vineyards, etc, etc..."

Marla

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour and the first for my husband. Even with ten years between tours, I found once again that the trip met or exceeded all of my expectations, once again. The guide, David Tordi, couldn't have been better. His knowledge and love for his home country was apparent throughout the trip. He consistently went out of his way to add fun, personal touches (e.g. private music concert with his talented band) during the entire tour. The itinerary was perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is really hard to pick! However, I would say that visiting the little village of Montefalco was magical. We basically had the little village square all to ourselves one evening."

Martin

Yakima, WA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A packed 14 days that rarely felt too rushed, and covered a wide variety of towns, countryside and seashore. Mixed in were all the "jewels"; the magnificent cathedrals, rolling hills of vineyards, and all the wonderful art and sculpture, not to mention the amazing food. A sterling first experience for us with your company and with Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list, but if I had to it would be the awe-inspiring Basilica in Padua (St Anthony's), Orvieto Cathedral, Duomo di Siena, and the St Francis of Assisi Basilica."

Kathy

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have been to Italy three times on our own, and we went as tourists, learning about Italian cities, towns, and villages superficially. This time was our first tour and we became travelers. This trip was outstanding and so rewarding! We learned tons that we would not have learned had we done it on our own. Our guide, David, was absolutely the best! And our local experts taught us about carrara marble, olive oil production, making ceramics, Etruscan culture, and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was going down into Etruscan caves that were 3000 years old!"

Magdalene

Meadowbrook, PA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour guide was fabulous. fellow travellers were great

Eunice

New York, NY

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group Outstanding tour guide, can't ask for anyone better than David, knowledgeable, funny, great organiser. Super bus driver Loved the itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As the ferry turned the corner and Riomaggiore appeared Cinque Terre was my highlight,"

Christine

Yakima, WA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first timer with R Steves, I am impressed with the level of coordination, efficiency, and attention to detail. It was a very pleasurable experience and one I hope to repeat. Accommodations ranged from very acceptable to outstanding. I especially loved our stays at the beautiful lodgings in Montefalco and Chianti. The local guided tours were very interesting. I learned a lot about the history, culture, and local agriculture of Italy on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to choose just one. Our day on the Cinque Terre was outstanding, beautiful weather, so picturesque! The visit to the Olive Collective was fascinating, as we got to see an actual olive pressing in action. We had a wonderful dinner at Locanda del Teatro in Montefalco on a very quiet evening,the square almost empty, a moon out - definitely felt like we weren't in Kansas any more! :) A very entertaining after-dinner party with David at the Hotel Primavera in Levanto. Great fun!!"

Marcella

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour of village Italy. There was a great mix of history, culture, sites, downtime, food, and wine. Our tour guide David was outstanding and provided a local insight of the areas we visited. He also created a great atmosphere with his sense of humor and musical talents.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its always hard to define a "wow" moment but I must say that the Duomo in Orvieto has a truly stunning mosaic-ed exterior that reflected the Umbrian light beautifully."

Robert

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good food, good choices for tours and cities to visit and spend the night. The bus and the driver and tour guide were excellent. Bus was in excellent condition and the rest stops were well timed. I enjoyed the narrative that David told about the history, customs, food and differences of each city and region we visited. Of course the villages, churches, ruins antiquities, and architecture were the meat of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the dogs hunt for truffles and the olive oil pressing were "wow" moments. The concert in Lucca (not a planned event) with piano, soprano and tenor singing in a church hall was outstanding. The Vespa parade (unplanned) in Padova was great. 100 Vespas racing down a narrow street was a sight!"

Diane

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we found it to be as great as we had been told. I was looking after a tour where I could experience the normal life of the people of Italy and eat the foods they eat. I feel I got that every day and I loved every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the evening watching the dogs hunt truffles and then tasting them afterwards. It was an amazing evening."

Cheryl

Everett, WA

Tour: 10/07/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fantastico blend of culture, history, food, and fun! Beautiful sights at every turn, interesting activities to learn from, an awesome group of tour buddies, and David, our personable guide, is a gem who incorporated many special moments for us all to enjoy and cherish. Village Italy in its entirety was an experience that far exceeded my dreams and expectations. Thank you so much for all the wonderful memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Multiple "wow" moments that included Ravenna's Galla Placidia Mausoleum's stunning mosaics; beautiful location and Hotel Belvedere in Chianti; San Brizio Chapel in Orvieto; witnessed the press of olive oil near Lucca; and of course the boat ride viewing the Cinque Terre villages. All spectacular in different ways."

Kathy

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

At first, I was concerned about the locations as some didn't seem to mesh with the Village Italy theme. I looked forward to staying in quaint, family owned hotels and being able to wander through the towns. The cities seemed too modern, and not really a village atmosphere. However, many of the locations were absolutely on target; Villa Pambufetti in Montefalco and the Hotel Belvedere outside Sienna. Overall the places we visited were what was represented.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two; the Etruscan Museum visit and the archaeological tour through the 'foundation' of the church in Orvieto. Loved the local tour guides personalities and the information they shared. Very interesting to see each location."

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 your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Venice and out of Milan's Malpensa airport ("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 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 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.