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  • Prato della Valle, Padua, Italy
    Prato della Valle in Padua
  • Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
    Ravenna's Basilica di San Vitale
  • Assisi, Italy
    Assisi
  • Truffle hunting in rural Umbria, Italy
    Truffle Hunting in Umbria
  • 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 | Email tour@ricksteves.com

Village Italy in 14 Days Tour

from $4,395 per person + air

Single Supplement $675

See Dates & Prices

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

2023

What's Included

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

Here's what you'll see and do on our Village Italy tour:

  • Padua walking tour
  • Scrovegni Chapel
  • Padua's Anatomy Theater
  • Mosaics of Ravenna's San Vitale and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
  • Assisi's Basilica of St. Francis
  • Truffle hunt
  • Deruta pottery demonstration
  • Wine tasting
  • Orvieto orientation walk
  • Orvieto Cathedral and Signorelli's frescoes
  • Etruscan Museum
  • Italian cooking class
  • Siena orientation walk
  • Tuscan hill town
  • Lucca walking tour
  • Olive oil tasting and lunch
  • Carrara marble quarry
  • Ligurian Coast cruise (weather permitting)
  • Orientation for "vacation" day on the Italian Riviera
  • Lake Orta cruise

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • 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 (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Padua.

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. 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.

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

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 the Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. 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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Montefalco.

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).

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

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.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Orvieto.

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. This afternoon, we'll hop aboard our bus to explore the back-door hill towns of Umbria. You'll have free time to revel in the traffic-free alleyways, astounding views, and hidden treasures that make village life so special. Then it's back to Orvieto for a free evening.

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

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 learn 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in the Tuscan countryside.

Day 8: Tranquil Tuscany

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

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

Day 9: Tuscan 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. 

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Lucca.

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.

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

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. After our boat ride, we'll make our way to our home base for il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). Tonight we'll share a family-prepared seafood feast.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Boat: 2 hours. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre.

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.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre.

Day 13: Lago d'Orta

We'll make our way 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! 

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Boat: 1 hour. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Orta San Giulio.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Milan's closest airport, Malpensa, is 45 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

Mark

Tour: 10/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very densely packed itinerary. We saw and did a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. All of the churches, cathedrals, basilicas, and duomos in Europe are breathtaking. The one in Revenna was certainly a stand-out."

Elizabeth

Tour: 10/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Patricia, was fantastic. She made history come alive, had a great sense of humor and was responsive to the needs of each member. Village Italy was a whole new way to enjoy this country. The beautiful landscape, lovely countryside estates we stayed in and villages of Orvieto and Maltefalco were among my favorites. I felt that we got to see a more genuine Italy outside of Rome, Florence and Venice. The pace was both quick as we saw a lot, but also easy in more peaceful locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My absolute favorite experience was the agriturismo cooking experience. The whole group had a lot of fun spending three hours preparing our fantastic lunch. Much laughter! The food was amazing and we learned so much from our host both as a chef and as a person committed to the slow food movement, Beyond that, truffle hunting in the countryside was really fun. Our free day in Orvieto was wonderful. A gorgeous hilltop location and a lazy day to just be "Italian"! Great trip."

James

Tour: 10/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A trip we were going to take in '20...it didn't disappoint. Great tour group led by Patricia. We had her for our Southern Italy tour and had a wonderful experience. So many exciting events and sites!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at the Hotel Belvedere in Chianti (Tuscany). Our first trip into Tuscany and it didn't disappoint! Tremendous property that was the best hotel we stayed on tour. Breathtaking views and a cozy stay."

William

Tour: 10/15/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a good tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner in Lucca on our own."

Sherri

Tour: 10/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I simply loved the Village aspect of the tour. Every village offered something special. Absolutely loved The Tuscan countryside hotel. Loved Lake Orta. Levanto was a fabulous place to stay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in Ravenna"

Stephanie

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was impressed by the destinations and planned activities at each location. Our hotels were all outstanding, each with its own personality. I thought the pace in taking our luggage up some of the long inclines could have been a little slower. It also seemed like we were always rushing as we walked to the various points of interest in each village.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot if "wow" moments, from the scenery along the way, the artwork in the churches and the stop at the little town of Civitella Del Lago and its funky Egg Museum. I think the visit to the truffle farm and the outstanding dinner was also a wow moment,"

Dorale

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the history and scenery! Wish hotels were just a little nicer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to give just one. Local guides were wonderful with each area and city having wow moment."

William

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything about the tour was a grand experience. The tour guide, the locations visited, the hotels (with an exception or two), the food, the local guides--just great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unlike tours of England, France, Spain, Eastern Europe there was no Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia but there were the villages of Italy and the people and the food all of which were incredible. If I had to pick a wow moment I suppose it would be Cinque Terre?"

Pera

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We so enjoyed the smaller cities and countryside towns that the tour led us through. Our guide was exceptional and the best we have had! This was our third Rick Steve’s Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can’t pick one. Seeing the dissection room at the University in Padua. Going to both Assisi and Siena. Mosaics in Ravenna. Staying at Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco and the Agriturismo outside of Siena was absolutely gorgeous!"

Sue

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You were able to take us to places I would have never have discovered. Your preparation and knowledge of all the places we went to was excellent. Dinners, hotels, towns and events were all fabulous. You were able to meet everyone’s needs in this diverse group of travelers. Thank you for making this a trip of a lifetime for Sue and I.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from. I really enjoyed the tour of Siena with Ana"

James

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Cinqe Terre region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments from meeting and making new friends."

Susan

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Tour guide Nina, she was so informative and full of information! Also loved the “Villages” angle of the tour and not going to places like Rome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"“Pinky”-awesome man in our group Really it was the amazing local guides that were so into their area and it totally came through! One could almost feel the heart and soul when they communicated with the group"

Deborah

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific tour of small town Italy, beautiful countryside, wonderful people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! One that stands out was the view from our hotel onto the gorgeous Tuscan hills."

Steve

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful mix of experiences, historical context, overall comfort with tour group participants, leading guide and local expert guides. Accomodations, meals, and structured and unstructured time allowed for a unique travel adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many unexpected surprises. Giotto paintings and Ravenna mosaics were memorable, but exposure to family vineyards, truffle hunting, and Tuscan cooking were experiences that would have been difficult to match on our own."

Juanita

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! The reality was better than expectations considering the Covid restrictions. Our group and Nina, our guide, were cohesive. Everyone moved in sync and took care of each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the spontaneous vacation from the vacation. My husband, Dan and I enjoyed the Tuscan hillside and pool with Annette and Jim."

Linda

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first Rick stevesTour my husband and I took and we both were excited to go on it. It definitely exceeded our expectations. From the first evening in Padua when we met our fellow travelers and our tour guide, we were very happy to learn that everyone seemed to be quite compatible. That continued to be true throughout the 2 weeks. We also liked our guide Nina very much. The towns we visited were very interesting with so much history and the local guides were so knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The charming Castellina Hotel in Chianti took our breath away when our bus pulled up in front. It felt like it was a set from a romantic Italian movie! It proved to be just as welcoming and lovely as it first looked to be! We would have loved to stay there longer."

Annette

Tour: 10/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has been on my wishlist for years. Like that it focused on smaller cities and villages. The first few days are heavy with cathedrals and such. Etruscan museum in Chianciano was fascinating. Enjoyed staying in the countryside. Also enjoyed Lucca and Levanto. Cinque Terre, especially Corniglia, was a favorite. Spent a couple of extra nights in Orta San Giulio, and really enjoyed our time there. Nina was the perfect guide, professional, courteous, informative, and had great stories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"PINKY!!! (Rick will have to ask Nina for the explanation) Meeting and getting to know fellow open-minded travelers is such an important piece of successful group travel, and this group didn’t disappoint, so the group itself gets my first “wow”. Second “wow” was the surprisingly beautiful and extensive seafood meal prepared by our hosts in Levanto. Etruscan jewelry from 500 BC - wow! Seeing Isola San Giulio from our balcony room - wow!"

Keith

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good overall

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of great moments - nothing I would describe as a "wow.""

Griffin

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well curated, planned and organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Orvieto from the winery we were touring"

Scott

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Amazing

Brent

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour. It was fabulous. The accommodations, the food, the bus, the guide, the driver, and the tour group was perfetto!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Chianti hotel was the most beautiful place I've ever seen. It was the reality of my imagination about Italy."

Beth Anne

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were always around a corner...the view from a villa, looking out over a valley, or gazing at a mosaic ceiling."

Erin

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Soo much fun! great tour and great guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 5 course dinner at the truffle hunt, the personal concert in Orvieto and the Joy of the faces of my friends that joined us on the tour"

Julie

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this trip so much! Most of our destinations (with the exception of Cinque Terre) were uncrowded and a dream. The itinerary was flexible enough to allow us a few unscheduled stops and our guide was conscious of not wearing us out. I learned so much about Italy and its culture and regions. The logistics were thoughtfully planned and flawlessly executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Recognizing the start of the Torre neighborhood in Siena by finding an elephant sculpture and elephant tiles dating back to the 1600's on a building in a little plaza. I'd love to go back to Siena to find all the neighborhoods."

John

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very strenuous! Stronger now than when I started. Unbelievably good guide. Felt like I had a master class in all things Italian! The towns and villages were much more beautiful than I had imagined; also much bigger than I thought! Some of the places we visited had populations over 100k.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The resort hotel near Sienna and Lake Orta"

Lianne

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the choice of hotels, the food, the guides and the organization of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments but I would say the seafood feast that was served when we were in Levanto was excellent!"

Margie

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I really enjoyed our Italy trip. The guide was knowledgeable, the driver was really good and the group of people we were with were great. But honestly but I am very Lactose intolerant and my food restrictions were not addressed. My first week there I tried to manage it with lactose pills and imodium but by day 7 I ended up literally shitting my pants in an elevator and having to throw my favorite jeans away. Fortunately it was on the way to the bus and I had my suitcase with me to change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany and Lake Orta were my favorites. I could have spent a week at the villa we stayed in."

Jeffrey

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed visiting some of the less touristed areas of Italy. The smaller towns and the corresponding less frenetic pace was a refreshing change from the norm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one… the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua with Giotto’s frescoes was awesome. The Egg museum we toured in a very small mountain top village was a really unexpected surprise! Touring the Owl Contrada in Siena made that day trip worth it for me."

Mary

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a truly special tour - an excellent itinerary and pace, fascinating destinations and experiences, a great group of people - all held together by our exceptional guide Trina and our skillful driver Sergio. Trina provided mini-lessons on history, art, and culture that prepared us for each day and set the tone with her friendly, positive attitude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I just can't say because there were so many. The "wows" ranged from the Scrovegni Chapel and Ravenna mosaics to the cooking talk and lesson and the views of the countryside. Because the pace of the itinerary was a nice balance of group and independent time, I particularly enjoyed some places and meals discovered during our free time."

Lisa

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide and bus driver were both wonderful, as were the local guides. I particularly enjoyed the smaller crowds and smaller towns. Our guide took us to several unexpected places - the Florence American Cemetery, the Painted Egg Museum in a very small hill town, to the Owl contrada museum in Siena.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several - the Scrovegni Chapel, the view and peace from our Tuscan agriturismo, the boat ride along the Cinque Terre, and so on!"

Lloyd

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. Many of the unexpected stops, I enjoyed those more than things I was planning on being the highlight of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments in this tour. However I would have to say originally when we got there and we saw Giotto's frescoes that was something that was very amazing."

Daniel

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Sights visited were great, but I felt rushed throughout the tour.

Donald

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great as usual HOWEVER, I would prefer 3 nights at MOST stops (maybe 75% of them), visiting fewer towns but more time in the towns/places we do stop at, less bus time (see A), the group was large (25, I think)which was large-ish but the people were great to be with. (A) we drove 30 minutes past Assisi to stay in Montefalco then drove back to visit Assisi the next day. Even though I liked Montefalco I would prefer to stay closer or actually in Assisi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many good/great moments to pick one. I liked; Orvieto, Sienna, Civita, Lucca and Levante."

Ingrid

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I'd been looking forward to from the description. Our days were full of interesting, varied and well-organized activities. We had many wonderful group dinners, excursions, lectures and opportunities to explore each place on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved staying at Villa Pambufetti, with the wonderful vista from its dining room, the beautiful grounds, scrumptious breakfasts, comfy rooms and walking up the steep hill into ancient hilltown Montefalco."

Sherry

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a beautiful and action packed experience. We saw so many sights that we would not have on our own. Food was amazing and the people were wonder

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gosh, there were many. The cathedrals, the art, the best we’re the little villages on the hills."

Sherrie

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first but it won't be our last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How on time everyone stayed..thanks to the guide!"

Barbara

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Saw a lot, did a lot, learned a lot. Didn't get a feeling for "the villages of Italy as much as historical villages. I wanted to get a better feel for the daily life of Italians and that was missed. Having breakfast croissants and cappachino outside of the Cafe with seniors watching the workers head to work gave us that feeling. But it was in Venice, before the tour started. More time at overnight stays, 3 or 4 nights rather than every 2, would be less hectic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Belvedere Hotel in Tuscany, sitting outside overlooking the hills, cedar trees and beautiful landscaping having a Lemoncella spritz. Everything I envisioned Tuscany to be."

Sharon

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, Small Villages Italy is a wonderful itinerary. There are some very special local experiences and outstanding local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because Covid had the potential to overshadow our tour, the "wow" for me was having a so-called "apprentice guide" who had to step in and take over. She did an amazing job and turned out to be very experienced, knowledgeable and fun guide."

Dennis

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A fine tour overall, but sadly cut short due to Covid

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All parts of seeing Padova"

Steven

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The 42% of the trip we saw was enjoyable. The tour guide was great and as usual the people on the tour were nice as expected of a Rick Steve's tour. Unfortunately our trip was cut short at the end of day 6 due to COVID being the 7th & 8th persons to leave the tour. By the next morning a total of 10 people out of 24 left.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 2nd town stay in Montefalco was very nice with great hosts and beautiful views."

Judy

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent . Anna was an amazing guide . Professional, knowledgeable and entertaining in her delivery of information . Sadly a number of people tested positive for Covid during the first week of the tour and had to leave …a difficult situation Anna handled very well .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the tour was really well designed . I particularly loved time spent in Tuscany ..Siena, and Lucca"

Lynn

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a very short version of the tour because we contracted COVID. During the four days, we had a remarkable visit. Anna is a first-rate guide and all of the activities we enjoyed were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When you are wowed every hour, it's difficult to select a single wow. Learning about Giotto might have been this tour's pivotal moment as it seemed that the Scrovegni Chapel opened the doors to our art education for this tour!"

Kaye

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour. Our tour guide, Patricia, was incredible. She was accessible during the whole trip - helping to coordinate activities during our “free” time, answering questions and making sure we were getting as much out of the trip as possible. She sets a high bar for the rest of your tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civitas was beautiful and a good workout! The cooking lesson and enjoying the fruits of our labor is also a wonderful memory."

Irwin

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well planned and organized. The guide, Patricia, was excellent. She was actively involved with ensuring that the needs of the participants were met. She was engaged in every aspect of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Villa Pambuffetti"

Claire

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Patricia was a wonderful guide; reminding people to mask up on the bus and public transportation etc. really enjoyed the small towns. Hotel selection was meh with a few notable selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about making of ceramic plates and all the hours needed."

Timothy

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Superb guide and wonderful people on the tour made this a great experience. Most of the tour stops were great. The food was not as good as we have experienced in the past with RS and on our own in Italy, and most of the hotels were mediocre. One exception was the stay at a Tuscan villa - that was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in the Tuscan countryside amongst the vinyard."

Kurt

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were only 21 people in our group and we all got to know each other well. The weather cooperated with us the whole tour and few obstacles were put before us. The group had several impromptu get together s and really had a good time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment? There were several. A truffle hunt and amazing dinner outside of Montefalco. Orvieto and the wine pairing at Villa Felici was amazing. The Etruscan museum at Chianciano Terme was great and the local guide along with being very funny was also very knowledgeable. Probably the biggest wow moment for the entire group came at Castellina in Chianti. We all fell in love with the views out over the beautiful pool."

Monica

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In the Village Italy Tour we felt like we were in the true heart of Italy, and each day was a new and exciting discovery. The pace of tour activities and time on our own was perfect. The tour guide was lively, entertaining, informative and helped each of us individually to achieve our goals of activities to pursue. I can easily say this was a trip of a lifetime. We came home exhausted and full of excitement, and that is exactly what we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was simply a series of "Wow!" moments: seeing Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovengi Chapel and at Assisi; the incredible views of the Umbrian and Tuscan countryside from the hilltop villages; attempting to speak Italian to a waiter in Orvieto who got so excited that he gave us dessert for free; the unbelievable blue of the Ligurian Sea from the Cinque Terra; being too tired to take another step but the excitement of discovery that kept us going; our delightful guide and fellow travelers."

Dave

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour. Our tour guide, Patricia was incredible. Words can’t describe Patricia’s positive attitude, sense of humor and dedication to our group. Shoutout to our amazing bus driver Giovanni. Not knowing much about Rick Steves Tour, the most impressive aspect of our journeys was not just the incredible historical sites we visited , but the hands on interactive experiences we participated in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the construction industry, seeing some of the most beautiful arenas/ colosseums , cathedrals and protected historical cities was breathtaking. But , a special heart warming setting was The Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino."

Juline

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have to admit I was a bit nervous traveling with strangers in this small setting, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. They became friends in a short amount of time. I think our Rick Steve’s Tour Guide, Patricia, was the one responsible for this cohesiveness. Patricia informed us of group expectations and yet she went above and beyond to help individuals whenever needed.This tour company offered us unique experiences we would not have been able to find or do on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but here are a few of my favorites; the farm-to-table dinner was exquisite and the view unbelievable; pottery making and painting demonstrations; hands-on Tuscan cooking lesson and eating our creations; Etruscan Museum; Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino and its location was right out of the movies; all the hill towns, Lucca and it’s wall in the early morning before sunrise and again at night lite up; Carrara’s snow-white marble quarries; hiking cliffside paths in Cinque Terre."

Kathryn

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The towns, sites, tours, tour director, bus driver and the tour group was wonderful. We could sit back on the bus and just enjoy the scenery. Someone else had booked the hotels, the guides and made the reservations. After doing this for ourselves for years, it is a joy to appreciate someone else's project management skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you chose? There were so many. I think seeing the cinque terre towns from the boats, which was something I never expected to experience."

Terry

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful memories of the Italian landscape, educational explanations of the centuries of art, architecture, and food, and hands-on experiences of the villages. Our group was terrific and our guide was full of energy and always smiling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Carrera marble mountains with the “snow” covered roads. Just majestic!"

Celestia

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Deborah, was amazing! She was so knowledgeable and added a personal touch to the tour.All of the people on our tour were friendly and easy going. We were able to develop a special friendship with a couple that we keep in close contact with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Siena and learning about the contradas and the horse race."

Richard

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Deborah was absolutely a delight. She was so informative and so much fun. She took care of everything so the tour and all events went so smoothly. All the little things she did made the tour so much fun. Our group really responded to her and it was a joy to be around everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etruscan museum with Roberto as our local guide."

Patricia

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guiding, itinerary, and pace. I've been on a number of Rick Steves tours and travelled Italy on my own by train, and in particular on this trip I enjoyed the 2-night stays, ample free time, and opportunity to for places and experiences not easily reached by train or worked in otherwise, Volterra and Montefalco.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Actually Padua itself was a revelation -- designated a "City of Art" by UNESCO, it was really enjoyable to visit for its frescos, piazzas, arcade sidewalks, apertivo vibe, and restaurants."

James

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. Deborah was a wonderful guide. The pace was a bit exhausting at times and I was disappointed that we stayed in Levanto vs. the Cinque Terra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting with the Contrada in Sienna. It brought the town alive."

Michael

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels were way over the top for a long time RS tour goer. Deborah was exceptional as our guide. She may have been the most prepared guide we have ever had on a Rs tour. everything was thought out as well as planed for us, almost too much. As usual the local guides were great as well as the experiences were well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me as a science teacher, the visit to the university in Padova was like going to the Ephisis of science. To be in the same room as Galileo and Copernicus was my highlight."

Elaine

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed going to the small villages, but also liked seeing Padua, Luca and Sienna. I had been to Sienna and Luca before, but got to know about them in more depth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to go into the Contrata rooms in Sienna. Also the Etruscan museum."

Mary

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such a great balance of structured activities and time on our own. Our tour guide was charming, kind and cared about each member of the group. We had experiences that we would not have been able to plan on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last place we visited (Lake Orta). The hotel was beautiful, lots of nature and great food. The celebration dinner was very special."

Paula

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour and I saw so much more than if I had done it on my own. Great guides, companionship from fellow travelers and time to explore on my own. Each day was filled with experiences and expert advice from our tour leader who kept us organized and moving through a complex itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing a concert of works by Puccini and Mozart at San Giovanni Church in Lucca. Absolutely breathtaking."

Wade

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked our group, everyone was happy, and seemed open to engage in whatever. we saw some things that most tours don't do. The American WWII cemetery was an unexpectedly poignant experience and the sausage making lesson was a hoot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really impressed with the exhibit of the actual human dissection theater used by early anatomist to train doctors in the early renaissance"

Robyn

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was an exceptionally informative, tireless and overall wonderful guide. She made sure we saw and knew everything possible about everything and place we visited. She made our experience the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one!"

Kathleen

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastico! We loved our guide, Cristina. She made the tour so informative, historical, decisions and the trip of a lifetime. Our driver, Marco was wonderful as well. He was professional, safe and became our friend by the end of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from Hotel Belvedere de San Leonine in Castellina in Chianti. The Truffle Hunt Dinner in Montefalco at San Pietro a Petrine. The view from Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco. The wine tasting, view, food and relaxation at Tenuta Le Vedette in Orvieto. All of the food in Italy. The churches."

Susan

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy Tour was wonderful! Our guide was knowledgeable and went out of her way to answer questions and help us as needed. Some days were packed pretty full, but I wouldn't have wanted to omit any of our incredible experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a "wow" moment! We were fortunate to have a wonderful guide and to be with a great group of people which added to the whole experience. Some of the dining experiences that could happen only on a tour like this were very special, like helping to make our lunch at a working vineyard , the lunches that went with the wine tasting and the olive oil tasting, and the meals prepared for us at the hotel in Levanto, the truffle farm, and the farewell dinner at Lake Orta."

Russell

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good, met our goal of exposure to "not big city" Italy. Lots of potential for a return trip to explore in more depth. Liked the culinary experiences and activities like cooking own meals at an ecotourist farm. The amazing durability of structures and the number of cultures represented.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too hard to pick one, the number of churches and cathedrals stands out."

Stephen

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour leader Ann was great, my fellow group of travelers as well, the lodging, included tours, meals, transportation, free time was outstanding and I would do another Rick Steves Tour. That sums it right!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guide as Assisi.. Giuseppe was his name... really wowed me.. but the care Ann our tour leader had and her suggestions for what to do in our free time and treating us like adults in figuring things out."

Cherylie

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a positive experience with regards to the itinerary and our guide Ann

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Civite was an aha moment for me!"

Sharon

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was knowledgeable and organized and kept us going. The sights and experiences were memorable. The hotels, especially the villa and the place in Tuscany were amazing. The food was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the boat cruise of the Cinque Terre and the day to explore. We went to Vernazza and Manarola and it was amazing."

Peter

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ann, our guide, was excellent. As usual enjoyed the variety of activities many of which we would not have thought of doing on our own. The pace of the tour was good balance of free time to group activities was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta visiting the island touring the church. The cooking class at Chianciano Terme. Crossing the walkway bridge to the village of Bagnoregio realizing half way across hey this is high."

Judy

Tour: 08/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Deborah was wonderful. Bus driver Stefano was excellent. Both worked well together and made sure we were well taken care of. My first time to Italy and a Rick Steves tour and all my expectations were met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre"

Stan

Tour: 08/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolute blast on this tour. It is our third Rick tour and everything we expected was delivered. Deborah was a great tour guide and all the local tour guides were friendly, fun and very knowledgeable of the areas we explored.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting and biking around Lucca."

Magen

Tour: 08/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the balance of the set itinerary and free time. We had 19 people in our group and it was a perfect size.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trying all of the different wines and foods grown in the region we were in."

Susan

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was filled with interesting highlights and experiences and our guide was outstanding. However, some of the locations are not villages and are quite large - those are the ones that we least enjoyed. Our bus driver was outstanding. This tour might be better enjoyed in the spring and fall due to the excessive heat that depleted one's energy. Despite this, I would recommend it to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Who could forget the truffle hunt in Montefalco in those glorious hills that was followed by a five-course meal that rivals that of any chef? My mouth still waters thinking about the truffle bruschetta and pasta. In contrast, there were the glorious colors of Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel and the many Donatella sculptures seen along the way. The cooking class that demonstrated the few number of ingredients used in Italian cuisine to make such delicious creations."

Gretchen

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour, full of surprises. The group, the guide Sarah, Mauro the bus driver, all were excellent and made this a fantastic trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many to choose from, but I would have to say the tour of the contrade with Anna in Siena was an especially entertaining and informative moment. It really helped us understand the Palio race better."

Linda

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was outstanding. Every day our group had the opportunity to see places and have experiences that would have not been possible on our own. Our tour guide Sarah was excellent and our fellow tour mates were lots of fun. Duomos, mosaics, gelato, aperol spritz, truffles, olive oil, wine, homemade pasta, art, sunflowers, wine, Lupa!, lemoncello,…. Are just a few things we experienced on the tour that were magical.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many special moments for me. Driving through the Tuscan regions and staying at 2 beautiful hotels in this region was a pinch me moment right out of the movies."

James

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sarah was simply the very best tour guide I’ve ever known. I’d say that she was probably 50% of my positive view of this trip. More about that later I hope. The whole group just seemed to really mesh. We all looked out for each other and became a family. It was really hot on this tour and several times tour members reached out to ensure others were okay. The accommodations were fantastic. Our hosts, even the curmudgeonly hotel owner at Lake Orta were so welcoming. I rate this tour a 9.5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is too hard. How do I narrow down 14 days into one “wow” moment? There was the villa outside Montefalco. Wow. There was Anna in Siena giving a sneak tour of the Luca clubhouse. Wow wow. Sarah’s tour of the Douro do Orvieto. Wow. Christina giving us a tour of the Scrovegni Chapel and then going out with a group of us for a wine tasting after! Wow wow wow. Bad Dad Joke Roberto giving us a tour of the Etruscan museum and our visit to the winery outside Orvieto were definite wows."

David

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very positive experience. I hope to be able to take another Rick Steves’ vacation in the future. I can’t imagine having a better tour guide.

Georgiana

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was exceptional. Did a superb job throughout. Shared his personal experiences of the areas visited. It was an advantage that he’s from Orvieto. Excellent choices of local guides. They were all knowledgeable and entertaining. We liked the mix of organized activities and free time. Bus driver, Eliot, was exceptional. Cleanest bus we’ve ever been on, including crystal clear windows for viewing. Great rapport between Ezio and David.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Carrara marble quarries. An unexpected delight. Fascinating to see and learn about!"

Robert

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip. Loved the itinerary, missing the huge crowds in the big cities. David is an amazing guide! Just the right mix of scheduled activities and free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Carrara marble quarries. Would have loved to have time to take the more extensive tour!"

Joan

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy was a great one with wonderful food and wine shared with new friends. Our guide, David was exceptional in knowledge and love of his country which he shared very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the lovely city of Orvieto for the festivities and processions of Corpus Christi was among the favorite moments of the tour. The costumes were beautiful and the community spirit was palpable."

Felicia

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour ever, and it delivered as promised — exceptional guide, interesting itinerary, experiences I'd never/rarely have on my own, congenial tour members, free time as advertised. Our guide was consistent in requiring masks, and as far as I know, we all remained healthy. Would I take another RS tour? Maybe ... a few itineraries are intriguing, though I think I'd enjoy it more with a companion than as a solo traveler and I did grow tired of changing hotels every couple of nights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A tour friend and I walked the vineyard trail at Manarola early one morning, and the views of the sea and the colorful dwellings stacked along the cliffs were just gorgeous."

Bob

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour of new Italy’s small villages. David was an exceptional guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto with its charm and religious pageantry."

Kara

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip was way more than expected! Our guide, David, was outstanding. The guided tours were far more wonderful because of David and the local guides. Loved that we were off the beaten path and that we had a nice balance of planned time vs free time. It was so much fun connecting with rest of group, especially while watching David share his musical talents (and Ezio too). Loved how we tried local foods, wine, and traditions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one wow moment! Favorite places were Orvieto and Lucca and Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco."

Diana

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour and it was just as fantastic as the first one. The people on the tour all meshed into a family and made it such an enjoyable experience. David was fantastic and his impromptu concerts were part of my special memories from the trip. The local guides, especially in the Etruscan Museum and in Lucca, were also great. I loved seeing the smaller towns in Italy and also having time just to relax in the countryside or walk around in the towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn't pick one, but the truffle hunting and dinner at the farm, seeing the Carrera marble quarries, and the day in Cinque Terre all stand out. Also the Etruscan museum was an unexpected delight."

Christine

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning introduction to the end this tour was perfect. Our guide, David, was outstanding - informative, friendly, and always teaching. The itinerary was just as described, smaller towns with history and full of culture. The hotels were clean and accommodating with breakfasts and helpful, friendly staff members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not so much wow, as humbling and thankful... Learning about the WWII Italian Underground from our guide and then seeing the places where they worked - Orvieto, Assisi, Villa Lecchi to name a few. And - our 'guide's choice' to take us to the Florence/American cemetery - thank you."

James

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour so we had read reviews but did not know what to really expect. Our expectations were far exceeded. The guide David was extraordinarily knowledgable, not quite sure even Rick Steves could have done as good of a job, and he had a unique patient way of explaining everything from sights to culture to food. Everyday was well balanced with tour time and free time. David understood the area and what should be seen and where we should eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While it could be the mosaics in Ravenna, the Giotto's or the family run villas were we slept, truly the unplanned stop at the American cemetery outside of Florence was so moving and special to us."

Beth

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Historian, musician & friend to everyone in Italy, David was a pro at seamlessly organizing logistics. He was diplomatic, patient, professional, personable. He opened up his country to our group of travelers, calmly accomodating a group w diverse interests, sharing culture & history. Hotels, restaurants, museum visits, guided walks thru ancient towns & villages, all superb. We awed at the marble quarry, mosaics, frescoes, ceramic workshop, tasting olive oil, truffles & wine.

Linda

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Other than the heat the tour was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We took an unscheduled side trip to the American cemetery near Florence. While we are on vacation for a good time, this was so moving. Every American should visit one of the many cemeteries for our military personnel, which are so well looked after by the local people. Incredible."

Steve

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first formal tour. We had a great experience. Everything went off without a hitch. Our tour guide, David Tordi, was excellent. His knowledge, personality and ability to lead the tour were great. When we had a minor health issue David was very accommodating in helping us with the local pharmacies to get what was needed. On the tour there was plenty of free time to use as we pleased which was much appreciated. Great tour and we will definitely do another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the truffle hunt and meal the experience e was outstanding. Besides seeing the dogs and their handles hunt for truffles the meal following it was unbelievable. It was a great setting on a hillside during sunset. What a pleasant finish to a great experience."

Derek

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was phenomenal. Because we visited smaller towns, I got to appreciate all of the beauty of Italy without the mass tourism. The tour provided a good balance between learning about Italian art, history, food, and culture. Knowledgeable, kind, and quick-witted, Christina was the best guide that I could have hoped for. She clearly loves her job and enjoyed teaching us about her country. I also enjoyed getting to know my fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In terms of art, I enjoyed seeing / learning about Giotto’s frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel. The Etruscan Museum was also pretty incredible. Italy’s natural beauty “wowed” me the most when I hiked to the castle above Assisi and, later, from Vernazza to Corniglia in the Cinque Terre. Watching the sun set over the Umbrian landscape from Orvieto’s cliffs is also something that I’ll never forget."

Kristen

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed getting out of the big cities and taking a tour focused on smaller villages and the countryside of Italy. Our wonderful guide, Cristina, shared her passion for Italy with us, and Giovanni, our bus driver, expertly navigated through some very tiny streets to get us right where we needed to be. This tour has a food and wine focus that did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experiences! The wine tasting, truffle hunt, cooking class, and olive oil tasting. Oh, and the views! Stunning!"

Susan

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We completed the Village Italy in 14 days in June 2022. We didn't think about the fact that many of the "villages" are very similar when we booked it. No town stood out as a wow as much as the GAS tour we did in 2016. It was also a much more active tour than I expected. Except for the Tuscan villa, the hotels were disappointing, but the food, wine, and experiences were very good to excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The half-day wine and lunch experience was our favorite."

Dawn

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 5th Rick Steves tour. The Village Italy tour to me covers the real "Italy". Our tour guide Cristina was phenomenal. I learned so much more about Italy's history, culture and architecture because of her. Did I mention the food was to die for? My group of fellow travelers were engaging, curious, and fun to journey with. We had great conversations about Italy and life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Multiple "wow" moments. Seeing Giotto's Frescoes, Mosaics in Ravenna, Siena's Palio, Agriturismo, Green Hills of Orvieto, and the Ligurian Sea!"

Rebecca

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Village Italy was the perfect tour. The weather was warm, the company was good, the guide was exceptional, the food wonderful, the places visited interesting and beautiful. I was thrilled to be on the road again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the dinner on the terrace at the truffle farm. Four of us were sitting at the end of a table eating and drinking lovely food and wine, in a beautiful location overlooking vineyards and orchards, with perfect weather. All of this would be "wow" enough, but in addition we four had fantastic conversation - spanning many subjects - each of us listening and talking and each of us inspired with intellectual and emotional fire. Wonderful evening."

Neil

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good! Excellent tour guide, Patricia. Comfortable hotels, good itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Civita. It was a late afternoon with thunderstorms all around us. A dramatic sky that managed to hold off raining on us as we climbed up to this tiny, hilltop village."

Mary

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lead by Tricia Brady who was friendly, covered the details, injected humor and information. Great froup of fellow travelers. Itinerary was interesting, beautiful and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My general 'wow' was learning about the Etruscan civilization, whom I knew little about. Between museums with a knowledgeable and funny guide, walking in Etruscan tunnels where wine was stored for aging and seeing an existing arch in Volterra. - WOW!"

Stephen

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous tour from start to finish. The planned activities and meals were all excellent. I'm already sorting through the website to find my next tour, and this is coming from someone who doesn't like to travel. Our guide Trina was exceptional. The local guides were equally great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but the one that rises to the top was the truffle hunt with the two crusty Italian truffle hunters and their two expert truffle finding dogs. The dinner that followed was superb."

Carla

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations on all fronts. I wanted no part of “canned” tourism - I wanted to feel the culture and surround myself in how it would feel to live in Italy. I learned so much and will be reinforcing what I learned for the next few months to go deeper in my understanding of the history of Italy. Our tour guide was so informed in not just the history, but the geology and plate tectonics on why Italy is so unique agriculturally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but the American WW2 Cemetery was sobering and put the world in perspective for me and swimming in the Mediterranean in the Cinque Terre made me literally pinch myself."

Karen

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina did an outstanding job. Her efficiency and group management skills were excellent, and her passions for travel, history, and culture greatly enhanced the whole experience. Marco was a skilled driver, and our tour group became a real travel family. We enjoyed the diversity of the experiences: truffle hunting, olive oil tasting, the cooking class, touring the marble quarry, boating along the Ligurian coast. The balance of group and free time improved as the tour progressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the truffle-hunting dogs work, then dining alfresco while watching the sun set over the Umbrian countryside."

Phyllis

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent mix of culture, history, great food and experiences. Our tour guide, Trina, was outstanding. Her knowledge of history, art and culture was amazing. The overall pace of the our was busy but manageable. Lovely balance of planned events and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking up the Main Street in Orvieto and emerging onto the square with the Duomo. Incredible! The wows continued when we walked inside too."

Robert

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our goal was to experience the culture and history in the small villages of Italy and this tour met all of these expectations. The tour guide Trina was outstanding, the group meals were fabulous and the camaraderie within the group was most enjoyable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the ancient Roman history and touring the US veterans memorial cemetery outside of Florence."

Ron

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, entertaining and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Charm and character of the hill top villages."

Timothy

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide (Trina) and a wonderful group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow moment". To be in Italy with the person that you love where wine, great food, life and people are treasured is breath taking. You must visit Italy."

Vera Jane

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina our guide was fantastic. I appreciate all events. Tours were well planned. I appreciate the free time allocated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany. Stunning."

Christopher

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour surpassed our expectations! It provided a good balance between culture, architecture, cuisine, scenery, and people with very knowledgeable and entertaining local guides. We enjoyed the small-sized group we were able to get to develop relationships with. We also enjoyed the many varied activities that focused around food and wine. However, it was Trina, our tour guide, that was really responsible for helping to make this tour exceed our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments are different for everyone. While the planned activities were great, what really wowed us was being immersed in the Italian culture and geography; walking the narrow streets, coming upon a street musician playing the violin in Assisi, the atmosphere and views from our villa in Castellina to name a few. And the smiles and surprised reactions from wait staff when we attempted to order in Italian!"

Andrew

Tour: 05/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and we continue toe be impressed and pleased with the professionalism and the well planned itineraries. Our guide demonstrated a wealth of knowledge about the locations and history of those areas we traveled to which would never have been possible it we had visited these locations on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every single day provided some sort of wow moment so this must be a trick question."

Norman

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip. I couldn't believe the tour packed so much in and made it so much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were MANY wow moments...But the beautiful cruise along the Cinque Terra as well as the open day to explore Cinque Terra stood out. We hiked a trail from Manarola to Corniglia Rick recommended & ate at a Levanto restaurant he recommended-DA RINO...both were A+"

Diane

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, varied, sumptuous food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Small opers"

Ellen

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was magical! Our second Rick Steves tour and we were delighted with our entire experience. Cristina made sure that every detail was taken care of for us throughout the tour. We can’t wait to book our next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many “wow” moments to pick just one. We loved so many places, meals, experiences, etc. We enjoyed our fellow tour members. Sergio, our driver, did an amazing job."

Katherine

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I are so grateful that we were able to go on this tour, which was delayed for two years due to COVID. Wonderful weather, picture-perfect scenery, and a varied and interesting itinerary made for a fabulous trip. Our tour guide, Christina was terrific. She went above and beyond to plan fun "surprises" for our tour group throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many to choose from, but, on our 'free' day, hiking with my cousins (who live in Munich) in the Cinque Terre from Manarola to Corniglia."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having done so much research on RST tours, my expectations were quite high for my first actual RST Tour. On ALL counts, it exceeded my expectations! Incredible Guide (Cristina Pernechele...scholar, caregiver, problem-solver & beyond), Sergio (splendid driver), "family-run" hotels were very high class and in great locations, each town had a wonderful local guide, lots of non-itinerary surprises and the activities well laid out so that super active days were followed by mellower ones. Perfetto!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible trick question! Too many "wow" moments for a favorite. Scorvegni Chapel, seeing Galileo's teaching podium, watching the Deruta master artisan effortless creating bowls & vases in a moment, the Florence US cemetery, serendipitously meeting a Pistoia councilman who stopped to talk to us as we stood in the central piazza, surprise just-for-us concert in Orvieto with "The Bartenders", David Tordi's (Rick Steves' guide) amazing guitar trio, hike from Corniglia>Vernazza...WOW!"

Victor

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being led by a caring guide through many experiences that we would not have found on our own is a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really impressed with the amount of effort it took to obtain the Carrara marble. To see the site and the primitive tools used to remove a block of marble big enough for Michelangelo to carve David, and to reflect on the conditions many had to work to eke out a living centuries ago."

Glen

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well it is a blur right know. So much to take in and so much great food, yet I lost 5 - 10 lbs. never was sure what day of the week it was and I am sorry to say I was just going with the flow. For me that was perfect. I was relax, excited, stuffed, hungry, wow, exhausted, and rested. What more could one want?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle hunt and the dinner after. 5 stars!"

Priscilla

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good but exhausting tour. Many late nights and early mornings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the pottery demo in Deruta. So interesting to watch the painters and the pottery demo was interesting. I asked a lot of questions!"

Jill

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting the smaller hill towns and countryside was so lovely, different and peaceful than the bigger touristy areas in Italy I've previously visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle hunt and eating outside that evening watching the glorious sunset!"

Kenneth

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been to Italy before (The Heart of Italy) eleven years ago, and wanted a slower, smaller more intimate experience. This tour did not disappoint!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many special moments to list. No one favorite."

David

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked getting into small town Italy .Tons of deep history in these small places , I know it’s still touristy and full of people but in centuries past these towns were busy with travelers and occupier’s like merchants pilgrims and mercenaries so not much has changed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Saint Patrick’s well in Orvieto , quite an engineering achievement."

Julien

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Tuscan countryside."

Geriann

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour and so happy to travel again. Lisa A. was organized, compassionate, and knowledgeable during this tour that had some challenging times. I loved the Scrovegni Chapel and Giotto's frescoes. I wish I could have stayed longer to study the story. The colorful mosaics of Ravenna were unbelievable. The truffle hunt was fun and something so different than the rest of the tour. And Lucca was a beautiful walled city. We enjoyed a nice stroll along the top of the wall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We finally made it to the Cinque Terre and I thoroughly enjoyed the peacefulness in Vernazza of sitting at the bay on a rock bench with my husband. The trail was high above and we watched the hikers enter the city. The city was amazingly quiet until a cruise ship tour landed at "our bay." My 2nd "wow" moment was seeing the Orvieto cathedral at night all lit up and enjoying the passeggiata in the city's streets with the Italians."

Michael

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This RS your was great as expected even though even with some other tour members getting COVID. Lisa was great and gave her unique prospective of becoming Italian and her stories gave lots of onsite. The time on the bus, in the small towns, and visiting additional sites was well balanced along with free time to do our own things. Thanks for another great RS experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally getting to the Cinque terre which we missed in 2011 with the floods."

Jill

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 4th RS tour was everything we expect-great guide, fun fellow tour peeps and fab Italy immersion. 5 people getting Covid was an issue and we felt grateful we could complete the entire tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta was exceptionally lovely."

Janel

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. Our guide Trina was so kind and patient with everyone. She had an excellent understanding of the history of Italy and tried to give us the basics so we could get the most out of our time in each small town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved approaching the Cinque Terre by Ferry Boat. Trina had good tips for getting great photos of the small sea side villages. Our local guide in Lucca was outstanding. I loved her humor and the way she shared info about her culture in Lucca."

Barbara

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, this was a great tour. Beautiful art, delicious food, gorgeous views! Wish there was more time to spend in some of the small towns. The local people we were able to interact with were delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scorvegni Chapel was a highlight! We also loved being able to visit Assisi and Siena!"

Betsy

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was fine but not exceptional as the Eastern Europe trip we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking Cinque Tera"

James

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good. Could have been better with more free full days tacked on to trips, especially in various village cities. More on that later.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Knowledge of local guides, which has always been great."

Michael

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall tour was very nice. Our guide, Trina, was fantastic! Driver was superb! Very well organized, but the hotels were a MAJOR disappointment. I don’t mind carrying my bags up stairs, but some of the rooms and bathrooms were so small, you barely had room to change your mind!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The quality of our guides knowledge and her ability to communicate."

Chuck

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely great tour. I think my favorites were the Scrovegni chapel, mosaics in Ravenna, and marble at Carrera

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Etruscan museum!"

Yuklan

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour guilds and bus driver were excellent. Hotel… three out of seven were good the rest were inadequate. Shower stalls were not acceptable and only 2 out of 5 hotels have Kleenex box in the room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle hunt and the dinner afterward"

John

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our second time touring with Rick Steves in Europe. We were fortunate having beautiful weather every day, Our guide, Trina, was knowledgeable and very organized. The small Northern Italian towns were charming and colorful. The local guides were exceptional. The pasta was delicious. The bus was comfortable and clean and our driver Pierre Angelo was terrific. The only “rub” was the lodging in two towns inferior. Padova and Levanta were C-. The proprietors nice but rooms sub-standard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Boatride on the Mediterranean along the Chincaterra coast was Fantastic!"

Scott

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

great leader in trina! loved all the places we visited..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) the hike in chica terra ;between villages..the last stop in da Porta"

Pamela

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The knowledge of the tour guide was outstanding, she was compassionate and energetic. Each town had its own personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beautiful scenery, the marble quarry, the streets in Sienna."

Stephen

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I was about Cathedral-ed" out by the end I was truly astounded at the frescos & mosaics of centuries old work. It is hard to conceive of the dedication required to produce such works in otherwise pre-industrial societies.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In a word... Arne Bagnoreggio - Civita. Talk about a hill town. That's not in any way to diminish all the other wonders we experienced."

Alison

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great to be traveling again after COVID. Patricia, our tour guide was amazing and fun loving as well as very aware of health and safety protocols. I loved seeing her reconnect with hotel owners after the 2.5 years that she did not travel with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the mountain where Michealangelo got the marble to create his statues. His comment about the David statue was that the statue existed already inside the marble. It was his job only to remove the excess. That reminded me of how Paul McCarney of the Beatles wrote the song Yesterday. The melody came to him in a dream and he simply wrote it down."

Dianne

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trish provided a wonderful immersion into Italian culture! Hilltop towns, food, activities and people were definitely enjoyed!0

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at the Villa in Montefalco and learning about one family’s history! I also enjoyed the Isola San Giuliano and wanted more time there!"

Jane

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide , Trish, was enthusiastic, energetic, and organized. She helped make the experience wonderful. Umbria and Chianti were my favorite areas. We never lacked for amazing food and beautiful views. The bus was seamless with 19 of us . Our driver, Lucca , was timely and competent. The weather was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle hunt and following dinner was a highlight. My favorite places to stay were in Umbria , Chianti and Lake Orta."

Diane

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With “Trish” as our amazing guide, an incredible experience our group was bound to have as we shared one awe-inspiring experience after another. The Villages of Italy Tour has been on my bucket list for many years and it did not disappoint. In fact it exceeded all expectations. “Oh my, how can it possibly get any better than this?” I thought as we experienced our first medieval village. And then it did. Over and over again I would marvel at the phenomenal moments of the day. Loved it all!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh now that is so difficult to do— to pick one out of so many. Was it the moment I first saw the Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco or was it the family owned winery in the Umbrian region. But then we went to Orvieto. For sure this was it— until I walked to Civita! Wow!! And then The Belvedere hotel with it’s Tuscany views. And of course all of Cinque Terre must be included—one wow moment after another. As you can see I just can’t pick one favorite wow moment when there were so many."

Jerelee

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nina was a wonderful tour guide and all the adventures in each town lived up to the tur descriptions. HOWEVER, I posted on my preference sheet, I could not digest dairy and I do not eat red meat, therefore, when we had group dinners and everyone was served red meat, I was given porridge (at the truffle event) or given cheeses at the olive oil event. Many times, I felt hungry at these group dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We only spent a few hours in Volterra, but I could have spent a few days exploring the beautiful city, the interesting artists shops, exploring the gift shops, and taking more time to explore the Etruscan museum.I loved this town and think more time should have been devoted to it."

Kerry

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Nina was great. She was organised and very resourceful if things did not go as planned. She worked very hard. It was a great experience. Especially liked Truffle hunting, olive oil tasting, wine tasting thrown in between the sight seeing. Lots of churches. Maybe to many.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto was cool. Cinque Terre"

Robert

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

the tour was very well organized and the tour director Nina was amazing; well organized, entertaining, answered all our questions, retrieving lost items, providing maps and all around very informative. the bus driver Edso? was also amazing. An excellent driver and very helpful and energetic. the tour had many nice surprises usually very tasty and informative dinners. Seeing pottery and food preparation artisans. great places like montefalco , Asissi, Cinque Terre, Lake Orta. Great walking tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were more than one. 1) the superb wine tasting. 2) watching artisans make designs on pottery. 3) the hands on preparing and eating food at a superb italian farm/restaurant. 4) the boat tour and vistas of Cinque Terre"

Rosemarie

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had always wanted to go on a Rick Steves tour. Our expectations were high and this trip exceeded those expectations. We did and learned more than we thought possible. Our tour guide, Nina, was wonderful, knowledgeable and well organized. She coordinated our end of trip Covid tests, as well as our taxi rides to the airport. Our whole tour group melded together and traveled as friends. We were very pleased with hotels and the meals provided by the tour. Planning to do more tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rick Steves tours provide so much more than site seeing. The "Wow" moment from the Villages tour were too numerous to choose. We loved the truffle hunting and the dinner that followed, making dinner with Chef Stefano, and wine tasting and lunch in Umbria. The Italian countryside was breathtaking and we didn't mind traveling on the bus between destinations. Many of the towns that we visited were set on hills, affording incredible views."

Mark

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The local guides were great and Nina, was outstanding. I studied the Italian language so I could speak to Italians in their language. Nina and Edzio, our driver, helped me along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While in Assisi, the tour guide told us about the painting that depicts St. Francis talking with the Muslim Sultan. He then told us how Pope John Paul would pause by this painting and was inspired to host a day of prayer for people of all faiths and no faith."

Carolyn

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience was positive. Enjoyed Nina and especially liked her 'pace'. The group was enjoyable. Most of the lodging is what I expect in a RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mini church inside the big church - in Assisi. Chapel of Porziuncola was quite stunning and unexpected."

Steve

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great in all respects. Cities, hotels, guides and excursions. All met or exceeded my expectations. Nina was high energy and kept us on track and moved along briskly, which i enjoy. Choice of cities for the tour was great and hotels were nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch with wine tasting and pairing was great. Hotels and views in Montefalco and Orviento were "Wow" for sure."

Edward

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Never boring, interesting people (guides and travellers), flexibility due to sufficient free time, pleasant hotels (some vey nice), our schedule never became hectic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to San Vitale, Ravenna"

Richard

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were amazed with the small hill towns we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita the dead city wa just incredible and the moment that stood out above all."

David

Tour: 04/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastically organized, with multiple visits to villages large and small and enriching stops in between. What made the experience exceptional, though, was our tour guide David Tordi, who went above and beyond continually.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose one "wow" moment after fourteen days and probably twice that number of happenings. If I had to choose, though, I'd have to go with the unexpected stuff. Our stop in Portovinere for lunch and shopping, for instance, and embarking on the boat for sightseeing along the coast and arrival in Cinque Terre. Beautiful!"

Larry

Tour: 04/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

``Our overall experience was excellent. This tour, hill top towns and villages, is a great look into the "real Italy" I have been to Florence, Venice, Rome, etc., but would highly recommend this trip as a way to take a look at the Italy a lot of travelers do not see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many... but without a doubt my favorite city was Orvieto. We were lucky to have a special night there."

Robert

Tour: 04/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An outstanding experience due to a great guide, a great group (and as a bonus, only 14 of us), a great intinerary, and as a bonus, great weather. My first travel experience since 2019 was highly anticipated and it met all expectations. The only negative was the spectre of potentially testing positive for Covid and having to leave the tour or delay the return trip home (at considerable expense). That said, I felt relatively safe due to the precautions taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stay at the Villa Pambuffetti in Montefalco felt like a luxurious step back in time - it was wonderful. The concert by our tour guide David and his band was world-class. The seafood feast/group dinner in Levanto at the Albergo Primavera that was so good that the group hung together for several hours afterward talking and singing. And the lunch at the rural estate/winery outside of Orvietto with the delightful Cecelia and her take on wine, olive oil and life."

Maryann

Tour: 04/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt that we really got to see Italy through the backdoor. The tour was more than we expected in terms of cultural enrichment and great travel companions. Our small group of 14 was the perfect tour size. Most of all, David Tordi, our tour guide was phenomenal. Several of the hotels were fabulous to stay in. We really felt like we learned so much and enjoyed everything

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For my husband, it was touring the Carrera Marble quarry. For me, it was the first sight of the interior of the Cathedral in Sienna as visiting Civita Bagno Regio. Most moving experience, touring the American Cemetery near Florence and seeing the names of some many who were missing in action."

Deborah

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th tour with Rick Steves. As expected, the tour provided a rich experience of the villages of Italy. Our tour guide, Deborah, was funny, knowledgeable and took excellent care of our group. Our bus driver, Stephano, was a skilled driver and helped to make a pleasurable trip. The accommodations were nice, and I especially enjoyed the villa in Tuscany. It was a pleasure to experience the food, wine, art, history and scenery with a wonderful group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting with our group on the patio outside the villa in Tuscany. The scenery was spectacular!"

William

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. Contributing factors were: 1.) an excellent tour guide in Deborah Heyburn, 2.) excellent local guides, 3.) beautiful Italy, 4.) interesting and congenial fellow travelers, 5.) great food and wine, 6.) very good weather, 7.) a friendly, safe and skillful bus driver in Stephano and 8.) well located and good accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was cruising on the ramparts of Lucca on a bicycle. However the visit to Cecilia's vineyard overlooking Orvieto and having drinks with friends on the patio of Laura's Tuscan villa were contenders."

Heather

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Not only did we visit the 6 main villages of the tour, but we also stopped and explored several other villages along the way or as day trips. We really got an immersive experience into life in small village Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While on our own in Orvieto we visited Pozzo di San Patrizio ("St. Patrick's Well"). The engineering involved and the view from the bottom of the well was amazing!"

Linda

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our caring, thoughtful, interesting and knowledgeable tour guide, Deborah, enhanced this trip immensely. Her knowledge and explanations at sites was remarkable. The coordination of sites, excursions, activities was smooth and always had a surprise of delight. I can’t stop raving about the Village Italy Tour, absolutely fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Deruta where I witnessed how the beautiful hand crafted ceramics are thrown, crafted, and painted. Amazingly beautiful pieces of art and all the proud artisans were there working. It was really cool!"

Daniel

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations in every manner: itinerary, guides, hotels, food, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour with Christina in Padua. This was a great way to start the tour: she was informative, passionate, engaging, and humorous. It was certainly a "WOW!""

Walter

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very rewarding and worthwhile experience. Spent two weeks going to incredible places, seeing amazing sights, led by a wonderful guide, and enjoying it all with fantastic tourmates - all while eating great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Cinque Terre, we walked the trail from Corniglia to Vernazza - which took less than two hours. For most of that time, my wife and I were alone on the trail as far as we could see in both directions. Just us, the trail, and the sea. It was awesome."

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fabulous! Village Italy exceeded my expectations. Excellent guides (traveling with us, and at every town, museum and experience), delicious food and wine, and a friendly, fun group of fellow travelers. The towns were picturesque, the Italians friendly. So many different experiences - wonderful memories made.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour filled in my art history gaps - Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua; Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna; frescoes by Cimabue and Giotto in Assisi; The Duomo in Orvieto, with its frescoes by Fra Angelico and Signorelli; the Duomo in Siena, works by Pisano, Duccio, Donatello, Bernini, and the Piccolomini Library - wow! Just to name a few."

Patricia

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An engaging, enlightening experience! The towns were larger than I anticipated, and the were much more culturally diverse than I expected. The overall plan of the tour, coupled with a top-notch guide, the receptive Deborah, melded together for us. We thank all—including all the good folks behind the scenes—for such an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finding a church in Levanto that was apparently dedicated in 1468, some 24 years before Columbus sailed to the New World."

Arthur

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

appreciated spending 2 nights in one place. Deborah was GREAT!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scarvegni Chapel!"

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to take a Village Italy tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for offering good weather, lighter crowds, and the full range of tourist fun.

Italy / Milan


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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

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.