• 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

    • Apr 20–May 3 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 22–May 5 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 27–May 10 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 29–May 12 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 4–May 17 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 6–May 19 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 11–May 24 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 13–May 26 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 18–May 31 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 20–Jun 2 (Mo–Su)
    • $4,395 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 25–Jun 7 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,395 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Sep 21–Oct 4 (Sa–Fr)
    • $4,595 + Air

    Filling Fast

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

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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!"

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..."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!!"

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."

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"

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."

Sue

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, very well orchestrated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Red Deer, AB

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Washington, UT

Tour: 09/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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?"

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."

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!"

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!)"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

Esther

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful Villages

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terra"

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."

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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)?"

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!"

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."

Peggy

El Campo, TX

Tour: 05/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our group dinners were always fun."

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."

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."

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 !"

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."

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"

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" !"

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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"

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"."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

Betsy

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked Fonterutoli, Tuscany, Civita di Bagnoregio"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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'!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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

Jim

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour in large part due to to Trina's leadership and enthusiasm. I enjoyed the smaller villages format as it was less crowded. I also enjoy the format of some structured time and some unstructured time(as typical on RS tours).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My two favorite wow moments were the Mosaics in Ravenna and swimming in the Med in Levanto. The mosaics were awe inspiring and represented world class artistic expressions. Swimming in Levanto in the ocean was an afternoon, spur of the moment activity, and was one of those unanticipated surprises. It was so relaxing looking at the town from the water and just floating there."

Stephen

Eaton, OH

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Trina, was outstanding. The tour itinerary was very good. The highlights were the opportunities to stay in the towns, small and large, and get a feel for life in Italy and I really enjoyed our time in Padua, Orvieto, and Lucca. I would have preferred to stay in Siena and in one of the Cinque Terre towns rather than out of town. Although our hotels were lovely and the food both places was excellent, our time in Siena and the Cinque Terre felt rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable moments were seeing Civita, climbing to the balcony of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and looking out over the piazza, a side trip to Pisa to see the Field of Miracles, visiting the Last Supper in Milan, and, above all, climbing above Vernazza and Manarola for spectacular views of the beautiful towns and the Mediterranean. Well, that and the fresh sardines in lemon sauce, the pesto on trofie pasta, the calamari, and the gelato."

Jim

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour. The villages are breathtaking in their simplicity. Yet there is astounding art (and gelato) in the smallest of places. I was so taken by the early Christian mosaics in Ravenna. The evening stays in Montefalco, Orvieto and the Castellina in Chianti were so enjoyable. The fun activities, such as truffle hunting followed by a dinner with a truffle theme, pottery making and a wine experience pairing wines with foods were all unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the mosaics in Ravenna were a sight to behold. To experience the simplicity of the early Christian movement before the ornateness that followed in later centuries was a refreshing perspective and an incredible art experience. Just to relax in piazzas in the evenings and enjoy exquisite dinners in these gems of villages was so special."

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."

Kathryn

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/02/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 1st trip to Italy and it was very enjoyable because of the knowledge of our guide, Trina. She taught us so much about life, history and art in Italy. Our bus driver, Guido, was very skilled, getting us easily into tight spaces and driving carefully. All the local guides were great, interesting and educational. We felt very comfortable traveling with our Rick Steve's group. Such a great country and I know we will be back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many moments! Looking up at amazingly old and beautiful frescoes or mosaics in the many churches we visited...swimming in the Mediterranean while in Levanto...all the views from the hillside towns and the agri-tourismo...just sitting on the patio at the Belvedere Hotel having a glass of wine and some appetizers with our new friends."

Laurie

Cambria, CA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour. It was beautiful, wonderful & we had such a fantastic time, thanks to our exceptional tour guide, Ann (she was absolutely perfect-so organized, knowledgeable, nice, fun-a joy to travel with); our amazing driver, Mario; the other great guides in various cities, who helped make it so informative & interesting; & the fun-loving group of people with whom we shared the adventure. I miss them all. We had such special, interesting & fun experiences. It exceeded all our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible for me to single out a moment, because the tour was filled with hundreds & nearly everything was so spectacular. Italy is such a beautiful, picturesque country, especially these villages & small towns. Warm, friendly people. The churches with amazing artwork; the foods & feasts; our cooking lesson; how easy Ann made it for us to enjoy so much & have confidence to venture on our own; how we transformed from strangers to a bonded, caring group that enjoyed being together."

Kathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour, and it was amazing in every way. Traveling with people who started out as strangers and, by the end of the tour, were friends, added so much to the experience. Having all of the details so obviously given a great deal of thought allowed us to just enjoy the journey. Traveling on a beautiful big bus with room to spread out, and driven by a very competent and personable driver was a delight. Staying in very nice hotels was a treat. I loved the entire experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't choose just one "wow"! The walk of silence on the island in Lake Orta was such an unexpected experience. Beautiful Portovenere, where we were given time to have lunch, and then the boat trip from Portovenere to Monterosso was spectacular. Market day in Orvieto was so much fun. Getting to attend a Puccini concert in a beautiful church in Lucca was incredible. Watching the artists hand paint the pottery in Deruta and was truly special. One "wow" after another. . .!"

Anne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime. From the first get-acquainted gathering to our good-byes the morning of our last day, this tour provided everything I wanted and hoped for. My traveling companions and I could never have planned the variety of experiences we enjoyed on this Italy tour. Every day was a new opportunity to hear, see and taste the best of Italy's hill towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments. First, I was enthralled with Lucca. This town wasn't even on my radar. Ann and our local guide introduced us to the beauty of this lovely town in such a way that several of us wanted to settle in right then and there. Secondly, my fellow group travelers were awesome. There was a comradery that I hadn't expected, and it is carrying over into our personal life with several group members."

James

Pittsburg, CA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience, excellent accommodation, great food and wine, bus and driver, Marco, just can not say enough good things about him. Our guide Ann was the best and one of the most caring guides of all my Rick Steves tours (this was my 18). Ann really looked after us, even in off times you could find her in the lobby. Se was with us for every breakfast chatting up everybody. Her coordination of all the events was spot on city walks she pointed out Rick Steves recommended Restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two, in Padua, the Giotto's beautiful frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and The brilliantly preserved mosaics in Ravenna's Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Galla Placidia Mausoleum"

Wally

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th Rick Steves' tour and certainly one of the most enjoyable, primarily because of the guide, super tour members and the fact we were in a wonderful part of Italy. Experiences and history of each of the hill towns, the Tuscan cooking lesson, truffle hunt, the pottery making exhibit, the marble quarry .... each were memorable Having dinner in a small square in a small restaurant in Orvieto was special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat rides : - first the ride along coast and viewing all the towns along the Cinque Terre plus a stop to wander around Montarossa before catching the train to our home base in Levanto. - second the boat trip around Lago d'Orta. ...what a beautiful lake and island in the middle of the lake !"

Patsy

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful - superb guide - great vistas and what a tour group we had. From the very first day, this entire group "hit it off" with each other. Add 13 days and we all got to know each other very well. Our guide, Ann was terrific - we were all amazed at the education she was giving us about the area we were visiting. Her knowledge was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was hiking up to Civita di Bagnoregio. With a pair of bad knees, I wasn't planning to do the hike up to this lovely little village town. But our guide said we could begin and turn back if we felt we could not go on. Once I began I did not stop, and was completely surprised I made it up and back down without incident. Looking at the scenery as I walked up - WOW!!. This little hill town was beautiful with flowers and little cafes. Lake Orta was beautiful and so peaceful."

Carol

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our ninth Rick Steve's Europe Tour and one of my favorites. As with all of your tours, we had an outstanding guide, a great group of people, and an itinerary that allowed some free time, while packing in plenty of sightseeing to satisfy any traveler. I loved the time spent doing more cultural things on this tour, such as the cooking class and truffle hunting. Also, the tasting "experience" at the winery and visit to the olive oil mill were very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been waiting to see the Cinque Terre from a boat for many years and it did not disappoint. Also, just staying at the beautiful hotel in the countryside in Tuscany was a real pleasure. Looking out at the rolling hills, vineyards, and olive trees with an occasional hill town in the distance was a perfect "wow" moment for me."

Caryn

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I published a complete trip report on the forum at https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/village-italy-october-2017-part-i but I will put a few additional comments here - the main reason this tour gets 4/5 instead of 5/5 stars is because I think your team could do a better job pointing us to good restaurants. Of 5 tours we have taken, 3 have had v. good to excellent on-tour food, but VIT was not one of those. (cont under food)

Kenneth

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Many wow moments, all guides were great, especially Ann

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Byzantine Chapel and Churching Ravenna. The mosaics were just amazing"

Linda

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought our guide, Ann, was outstanding. It was nice to have hotels, travel, local guides and several meals provided. The folks we had in our group seemed to blend in with each other nicely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was all the beautiful landscape. The pottery place was amazing, to see such beautiful artwork was quite entrancing. I did enjoy the frescoes and mosaics but it was overwhelming at times, hard to take it all in in such a short time-I'll enjoy looking at our pictures. Makes one inquisitive about Italy's history, a need to learn more!!! The people in Italy were very accepting!"

Rick

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our 7th Rick Steves tour - enjoyed all of them - this was among the very best of the 7.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"so many...but probably the truffle hunting with dogs."

John

Arvada, CO

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great weather, people, accommodations, and guide. Third trip including Italy for us. Always fun. Can't eat (or drink) like Italians, but tried! Guide Ann was very nice, well prepared, and happy to share her adopted country with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at the olive oil factory outside Lucca."

Justine

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 09/30/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing experience and one that will always bring back wonderful memories. From the beginning in Padua until our last day at Lake Orta, our truly gifted guide, Ann Long, made sure that each day for our fun, friendly "herd" was filled with many great opportunities to learn so much about the rich Italian culture and history, to taste the best food and wine in Italy and then rest in lovely accommodations. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard question to answer. For me I truly loved every moment and have too many favorites to pick just one, but a wonderful surprise for me was Lucca. Before this trip, I had never heard of it and found it to be a fascinating city with a very interesting history. The wall around Lucca with the promenade on top was unusual and lovely. Also, we had the opportunity to attend a Puccini opera in his hometown. That was a highlight!"

Bruce

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Personally, I would have liked a stop or two fewer, so I could have explored each location more. However, given the diversity of the group and keeping all happy, the tour was amazing. Some of the terminology gave be problems with our history lessons, but that was likely because this was my first trip to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had I not been to Milan and Venice prior to the tour, I would have said the Duomos. By time I got on tour, I was pretty much Duomo'ed and crowds out. I liked the quieter villages and side tours (pottery shop, marble quarry...). I enjoyed both boat excursions (Cinque Terra and Orta), but my tour WOW was likely the truffle experience (hunt and especially the dinner)."

Jennifer

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had many great experiences on this tour that we would have NEVER been able to put together on our own. All those experiences are then spiced up by the expert guides that gave us an extra appreciation of our travels with such varied topics as Etruscan history and culture, the art of mosaics in Ravenna, the beauty of wine and food pairings (in a centuries-old estate in Umbria), and the pura vita of olive oil processed by a community coop. We had many once-in-a-lifetime experiences on this tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The meals we had as a group were all wow worthy, but my stellar experience was our dinner at the truffle farm. From harvesting the truffles with Bruno and his dogs, through the exquisite caviar-like truffle [INVALID]s on our buffalo mozzarella appetizers to the delectable scrambled eggs with shaved truffle, it was all an amazing culinary experience that we will never be able to exceed. Wow!"

Jeffrey

Wheeling, WV

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The combination of local hotels near places of interest plus the amenities of the bus as well as tour guide Nina made for a complete tour experience. The different locations showcased in small towns in northern Italy made for an exceptional two weeks. The dinners that were included were delicious and represented the culture perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Padua at the Palazzo del Bo. I am a retired MD and I read medical history. To see the original anatomy medical theater was amazing.The names of previous medical physicians , familiar to me, who studied there was also a wow factor."

Jay

Mcmurray, PA

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great hands on village experiences. Nina was outstanding with her insight, listening skills and humor. Bus driver was friendly, excellent driver and highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"touching the tomb of St Francis and St Anthony. truffle hunting and marble visit were outstanding."

Michael

Durango, CO

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent throughout the tour. Met some great people in our group. Had amazing food and wine. Nina will be tough to top. She was hilarious, interesting, fun, knowledgeable, inclusive, and did an amazing job herding the crew and keeping us on task The excursions were all good and I wouldn't change any of them. The perfect amount of balance between group time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every group dinner was a blast. I particularly enjoyed the marble quarry tour."

Harold

Levittown, NY

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything came together to make my trip to Italy a truly outstanding experience. The group became fast friends that just added to the overall enjoyment. Although it was exhausting it was just what we wanted, pretty much non-stop touring and eating. Oh, the eating. Best food I have had on a Rich Steve's tour and this was my seventh.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Italy every day is a WOW moment."

Joan

Levittown, NY

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Nina, was excellent. We were lucky to have Casey as the tour assistant. The tour members were all very nice. A real camaraderie developed as the tour went on. We got to see so many more places and do so many more things that I would have been able to do on my own. Highlights are going out with a truffle hunting dog, cooking class, oil olive pressing demonstration, lunch at a winery, many delicious group meals. Lake Orta was a really beautiful place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was a private group dinner one night when the bus driver, Domenico, sang italian songs and danced with our tour guide, Nina. Then the waitress got up and sang and danced. Then the whole tour group got into the act and we all sang and danced. It was a great big fun party."

Mary

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Although, I thoroughly enjoyed the other two Rick Steves' Tours I took, this was particularly special. I really experienced small town Italy, and feel I have assimilated some of the Italian culture. Staying in each stop for two nights was helpful, since one could better familiarize yourself with each town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it's difficult to choose one. Visiting the Scrovegni Chapel was an amazing experience. Nina's excellent knowledge of the art and history of the Chapel enhanced the experience for me."

Brian

Oak Ridge, NC

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a brilliant stroll through the Italian heartland. There were minimal touristy aspects to the itinerary. Rather the tour was a taste of vintage Italian culture, precisely as promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Relaxing moments in the rolling vineyards of Umbria and Tuscany."

Cary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, my 9th with Rick Steves. The group was a pleasure to travel with and our guide, Nina, was a delight. The tour provided a good mix of beautiful countryside, history, art, and architecture. Food and wine were spectacular all along the way. The cooking class with Stefano was a blast, as was the truffle hunt. The tour was a feast for the senses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting with good friends and good wine while looking out over the Tuscan landscape at sunset."

John

Ardmore, OK

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"NUMEROUS"

Debby

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All in all, a truly great tour. It was even better than I was expecting. There is so much packed into the 2 weeks, it takes a while to sink in after you return home! The tour gave a really good feel for the real Italy. The small villages and cities give a better chance to experience what everyday life is like. I liked meeting and interacting with people in the shops, markets and trattorias. It's a definite "feel good" tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many! One in particular was watching the sunset over the Tuscan hills, with a lovely glass of wine, from the terrace of the Belvedere."

Robert

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 6th tour and like all the others is was a very rewarding experience. Our guide, Sarah, made the trip for me because of her enthusiam. Even the name game, which I always dread, worked with her. Her desire for us to learn Italian was infectious even though she gave me easy room numbers in Italian. The group was also great and everyone seemed to get along well. All of the tours from the winery to the pottery and Carera Marble site were well done and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stay at the Villa in Montefalco, Umbria was unbelievable. The view over to Assisi was amazing and the breakfast the best on the tour."

Gordon

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know where to begin. The entire tour was exceptional, as has been the case on all our previous Rick Steves tours (this was our third).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can I pick only one? Very difficult to limit it to just one. From looking at Mosaics in Ravenna from the 500's, to hunting for Truffles on a Truffle farm, to walking among the vineyards ripe with grapes with the beautiful Tuscan rolling hills and setting sun as a background, to hearing the passion that Stephano had about his olive oil, and hiking among the Cinque Terre towns, these are but just a few of the highlights and wow moments of the trip!"

Linda

Mission, KS

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Sarah, was exceptional. She was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, fun and attentive to our needs. The balance of tour and private time was perfect and the quality of the local guides was outstanding. Sarah taught us Italian, had information on Italian performers, led songs, and ensured that we had a full travel experience. The tour group was probably the best I've been part of for the four tours I've been on. Very compatible, punctual and a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is really hard to choose, but I would put the cooking class at the top of the list. It was very interactive, we all had a lot of fun creating our dishes and the food we made was fabulous. The extra, unexpected opportunities were also "Wows" for me - the trip to Pisa and the World War II Cemetery."

Robert

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is always great traveling to a country where the wine and food are wonderful. The unique experiences on the villages of italy tour made this truly the best tour i have taken. I had so much fun that I was surprised to see the notice of the farewell dinner on the daily itinery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"please see question above. With all the unique experiences, I have yet to come up with "the" wow moment. All clustered at the top of the chart were the visit to Tenuta le Velette, Chianciano Etruscan museum, Stephano - Chef at Agriturismo La Pietriccia, the visit with Angelo at the Florence American Cemetery, Frantoio la Visona olive oil tasting lunch, the Levanto feast (but all I needed was the soup!)...out of all of these Stefano currently has the slightest of margin for the lead. :)"

Maxine

Agassiz, BC

Tour: 09/23/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was just Wonderful.My one daughter and I had gone on the 21 day tour and wanted to see the tall Spruce trees and villas on the other side of the valley in Tuscany.We were not disappointed.I really enjoyed the whole trip.Would ?? love to go on a tour again but if I don't, I'm grateful I've been on the Best tour.To make this even more memorable I went with my two daughters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the hotels were great but we really got the luck of the draw at Belvedere di San Leoniono in Seina.Our room was so special with a little sitting area outside ,and a nice inside sitting room with a pretty bared window that opened.I could sit there with a glass of ?? and look out at the beauty of the area HEAVEN .Our sleeping room was so light ,bright ,colourful and comfortable.Loved the local food and local wine."

Scott

Springboro, OH

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best RS tours we've taken, even though we had been to several of the towns on previous tours. The history, art, food and villages complemented each other to make a near perfect experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Scrovegni chapel, although there were a lot of close seconds."

Paul

Reading, MA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an active tour; the pace is just right in my opinion. We really enjoyed the bus "lectures" when Patricia would speak about Italian history - she has a real knack for tying historical facts to the experiences we were having hands on. For my wife and I the food was a very enjoyable part of the trip. We enjoyed the group meals as well as our own forays to local eateries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wandering through the vineyard where we stayed in Chianti and watching a rainbow before a magical sunset. WOW!"

Mary Jane

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very excited to take this tour, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Our tour guide, Tricia Brady gets most of the credit. Her knowledge, professionalism and sense of humor made every day of the tour special. Every day was filled with beauty, great food, wine and a deep sense of the heart and history of the Italian people. It was a joy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, so many. One unexpected "wow" was touring the Etruscan Museum in Chianciano Terme. I knew nothing about the Etruscans, but our local guide, Roberto brought them to life during our tour. (He was very entertaining as well as informative) I just had no idea how important that culture was to the formation and future of Italy. Fascinating!"

Carly

Farwell, MI

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide and most selections of hotels were good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"cinque terre walk between two villages"

Martin

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Trip. Our guide, Patricia, was very knowledgeable and helpful throughout the trip. She's a gem who made the trip fun, informative and comfortable. Our drive, Ezio, was very professional and capable. Very easy on the equipment and a very conscientious and courteous driver. He was also just a nice young man. We had a lot of fun with our group of fellow travelers. My wife and I enjoyed the trip very much and are considering another Rick Steve's adventure. keep on traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a wow moment."

Deborah

Springboro, OH

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was one of the best RS trips I've taken. We seemed to cover a lot of different subjects, from art to food to history. The cities we visited were interesting and offered a variety of sights to see and ambience to soak up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in Ravenna were very impressive. The colors were so vivid that is was hard to believe they were 1500 years old."

Carol Ann

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was outstanding. Of course, I signed up for this tour because of the destinations, and all of my hopes were realized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My very best experiences were at the Scrovegni Chapel (unfortunately, all too short an experience!) and in viewing the Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna. However, these were both places I very much wished to see."

Elaine

Rockwall, TX

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of Italy tour with Patricia, Sept 18 - Oct 1, 2017 was a very great trip. Couldn't wait for the next day to come as we knew that it was going to be special. Never dreamed that you could top the day before but some how it seemed like it did. The planning that Tricia and all in the office put into making this trip so informative and exciting is very obvious. Thanks for making it so special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from. Each day had some very unique and great sights. The magnitude of all the Cathedrals inside and out was mind boggling!"

Diane

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So many experiences. Our tour leader, Trisha, was so knowledgeable, patient with a warm sense of humor and always ready to help. Our local guides clearly explained their areas of interest. The trip was well planned giving us plenty of time to explore both with our guides and group, and on our own. Our fellow Rick Steve travelers were fun, adventurous and easy going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. The San Brizio Chapel, the vineyards, truffle hunt and dinner, wine tasting with matching foods, etc. etc."

James

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very enjoyable trip. Took us to some places we had visited before on other trips but we learned more about them. Also took us to places we had never been and broadened our understanding of the country. Keeping to the Italian countryside rather than the cities provides a completely different perspective on the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scrovigni chapel and Giotto frescoes."

Billee

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd trip to Italy and our first Rick Steves' tour. Every day of the tour was a wonderful experience. The entire trip was well organized, nicely balanced, and fun. We learned so much. The local guides were exceptional. Our guide, Trina, could not have been more prepared and helpful to all of us. Our bus driver, Mario, took very good care of us as well. Thanks to all! We hope to have more travel adventures with this top notch tour organization.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count! The art, the people, the food, the opera in Lucca, the views, the ruins, walking the wall of Lucca, wine tasting, our Tuscan villa lodging, the cooking lesson, Christina guiding us in Padua, beautiful Lake Orta, and walking the streets of such lovely hill towns."

Paula

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well done Rick Steves and company! The trip lived up to every hipe I had read and heard. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I carefully compared it to may others before making my selection. You were hands down every thing you said you would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I could sum up by saying the overall WOW was simply standing and realizing I walked where Galileo had walked in Padua, gladiators fought where I stood in Lucca and I could almost visualize the people trying to save their arch from the Germans in Volterra. I doubt I would have gotten the same wonderful experience with such deep history, great food and lodging and guidance on my own or with another tour."

Marcia

Eagle River, AK

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I hear myself summarizing it to others as "very professional, educational, organized and thoughtfully planned." I can't believe everything I learned about Italy--I became intrigued with Etruscan culture which was a surprise, and enjoyed the smaller towns, local guides, time on my own-- and appreciated being "militantly on time."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The three experiences with the Etruscan museums and the archeological dig in Orvieto. I was stunned with that culture that existed hundreds of years B.C. What they could create in jewelry, sculpture, sarcophagi, the equality of women, so glad I learned about it. I guess that unscheduled optional tour in Orvieto to the archeological dig under the church where I saw the 1200 years of history in that 15 slice of earth is my imprinted WOW. And surprisingly enough the opera night in Lucca!"

Michael

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steves' tour, and it exceeded our expectation. The tour provided a good mixture of culture, sightseeing, and culinary experiences, also an excellent exposure to agriturismo, visit to farms in Italy. The number of bus stops, group dinners, amount of free times, and daily itineraries were very well-planned, maximizing enjoyment of Italy. Best Rick Steves tour yet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Drinking wine with my wife in a Tuscany farm house and enjoying a view of hill towns near by. Truly a sweet life!"

Janet

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of travelers that all got along well. Thoroughly enjoyed Trina's leadership, along with the knowledge she imparted about Italian culture, history, politics, family life and customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, it's hard to pick just one. The cooking lesson, the boat tour in Cinque Terra, the pottery company."

Jody

Roseburg, OR

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, please excuse the lateness of this review. We have been dealing with medical issues since our return. Also, I am writing this for both my husband and I since we are of the same opinion. What a fabulous trip this was!! It was almost too much to take in! Can't say enough about Trina,(see below) the guide being such an important part of any tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough one. It was Italy after all! Visually, walking over the bridge to Civita Di Bagnoregio was a "wowfull" moment, We were also wowed by our stays at Villa Pambuffetti and The Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino. Lake Orta was beautiful as well. Really loved the little truffle dogs and their owner! I was particularly looking forward to that and even though weather prevented us from hunting with them, it still did not disappoint! LOVED ALL the demos! Pottery, glass, cooking, alabaster, etc"

Karen

West Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the small group experience and variety of experiences from churches, villages to food. The tour offered enough free time to explore on your own and to decompress if need be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really hard to pick as the whole trip brought different places to explore. Each of the churches had their own wow due to the craftsmanship and beauty."

Noel

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have done this tour on our own at our age. Could not have learned as much about Italy on our own anyway. Superb experience

John

Wellesley, MA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! Everything was organized to perfection. Best Italy vacation ever. Great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Following the Umbria winery tour, going into the dining room and seeing the wonderful Italian lunch displayed on the table. Being Italian-American I appreciated the incredible aromas and the anticipation of eating this beautiful local fresh meal!"

Martha

Pueblo West, CO

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa Anderson was very helpful, informative and approachable. Great group. Enjoyed the hands-on experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre Tuscany countryside"

Catherine

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip exceeded our expectations by far! We loved the small hill towns that we visited as well as the cultural experiences that we participated in. Our tour guide Lisa was knowledgable about local history as well as cultural norms and added to our experience by including anecdotes from her life as an ex-pat. Our bus driver Dominico was very professional, I am glad that he was doing the driving in and around the small towns. I admire his ability to navigate small country roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick out 1 outstanding wow moment, each day was better than the previous day. All of the local tour guides added to our experience as well."

Francene

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience. We had a great group of people and a Lisa was a super guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think our cooking class with chef Stephano was outstanding. I loved the truffle hunting and the ceramic making as well. Having a chance to talk to those making it happen makes a difference instead of just talking "about it"."

Marshall

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 9th Rick Steves tour, and it was absolutely fantastic! The villages, the food, the tour experiences were all stellar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "WOW" moments that's it hard to single one out. A number of tour members took the "tunnel" trail, which was a previous train trail converted to a bicycle and pedestrian trail, between the Cinque Terra villages of Levanto and Bonassola. The views were absolutely breathtaking, and these two villages were incredibly charming. I also loved the cooking class where all the tour members participated in creating our own Italian feast."

Robert

Lawrence, KS

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I believe this was our seventh Rick Steve's tour and was among the top three we have but all were good. Part of it might have been that it was in September and we usually traveled in June. That said, I think the primary reasons were that we went to places that were less frequented by we tourists, the group was very compatible and fun loving, our guide was among the top three we have had, we stayed two nights in each location, the bus rides were not extensive between stops of interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite among many was viewing the scenery as we walked on the rail-to-trail path between Levanto and Bonosora on the Italian Rivera. A wow visit of another kind was viewing the stunning frescoes by in the Scrovegni Chapel by Giotto."

Tom

Sparks, NV

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was amazing. Lisa Anderson was an outstanding leader and the 24 people on the trip we excellent travel partners, we very much enjoyed each others company. All the sites we visited were wonderful and timed well and at the same time we had plenty of time on our own, so a great balance. The food and wine was also excellent. Lunch at a winery, a cooking class where we ate the lunch and lunch at the olive press business were off the charts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow, my goal was to unplug, enjoy small towns, eat great food and drink wine. Got to do all of this with a great group of people. The suprise visit to US World War II cemetery was very moving knowing that our soldiers gave up their lives for freedom and to liberate Italy, very moving experience."

Steve

Palm Springs, CA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was as near to a perfect travel experience as is possible! The best leader, Lisa, of our travel family. Great itinerary and wonderful hotels. Lots of informative extras and amazing meals. No big cities, only small and quaint hill villages. Travel in comfort, make great friends and see amazing places. This was a dream tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally going to Civita di Bagnoregio. I saw this on one of Rick's shows and have yearned to get to this uniquely magical place. I had goose bumps as I walked across the foot bridge to this old village that is perched on an eroding rock above the valley below. Wandering the narrow streets and finding lots of cats made this a dream come true."

John

Sayre, PA

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been traveling in Europe on our own for at least 15 years using your guidebooks and found your recommendations consistently outstanding. We love Italy, so when we noticed this tour, we thought we'd give it a try. It was the best trip we have ever taken, bar none ("none" includes many ocean and river cruises and a tour using Collette). Guide, companions, villages, activities, food, transportation were uniformly outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around the corner and seeing the facade of the cathedral in Orvieto."

Julie

Jasper, IN

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd RS tour. First one was "on your own". So glad to experience a guided tour. We are anxious to pick our next guided tour!! REALLY appreciated the amplifiers we used with earphones!!! We could hear loud and clear all that our guides said. Please keep using them!!!!!

Roberta

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! Jammed packed with amazing things to see, do and eat! Our experienced guide, Caterina, made the trip a treat. She was so personable, patient,well informed and knowledgeable. The buddy system worked perfectly to unite all of us. Such a great group of people, talented and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a picnic on the city wall with food provided by the group from the local farmers market.. I t was also our buddy info day . A chance to get to know our friends better."

Jerome

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were not sure about the tour format, our previous travel has been on our own, staying at each place longer. We ended up liking the tour a lot, because of the outstanding tour guide, the very knowledgeable local guides, and the excellent selection of visits. The bus was amazingly comfortable, and the driver, Dario, was a genius at driving, never a fast stop nor start.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had quite a few wow moments. The single most memorable for me was the church in Assisi. Most of the meals were "wow" events."

Joan

Sayre, PA

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have made several trips to Europe using Rick Steve's guide books as our travel "Bible". We have always been thrilled with the suggestions and assistance provided by the books and have adopted a lot of Rick's travel philosophy. We've hesitated to try tours in general, preferring to do it on our own. This was our first tour and we loved every minute of it. It won't be our last Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great moments. My first view of the breath-taking cathedral in Orvieto in the late afternoon sunshine was certainly a "wow" moment. Then entering its San Brizio Chapel a few minutes later to encounter Signorelli's dramatic frescoes was overpowering."

Fred

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite tour was of the marble quarry in Carrara. Also just by chance there was a road rally of older race cars in Sienna going on while we were there that passed right past the Campo- very fun to see."

Sharon

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the opportunity to explore the smaller towns of Italy. This allowed me to take in the history, art and countryside without being trapped in a large city. Our tour guide Caterina was fabulous!!!!! She looked out for each member of our group to make sure they were having a great experience. She took feedback along the way from the group and adjusted the pace as needed. She has great knowledge of art and history; she helped me appreciate these two perspectives more than I could imagine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fresco paintings in San Brizio Chapel - Orevieto"

Susan

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think this was an amazing trip. There was such a great variety of experiences and education. Seeing the marble quarry, the pottery experience at Doruto, the incredible feeling at Assisi, the ancient towns all were amazing. The special treats of cooking class and olive oil education were really fun for me. I would suggest giving us more time at pottery shop in Doruto. Everyone wanted and needed more time there. I also liked each hotel. Also Dario our bus driver was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think for me it was the surprise of seeing the huge and beautiful church as we were walking with our group through Orvieto. Caterina didn't tell us it would be so awesome. She let us experience the overwhelming surprise. Perfection."

Mark

Estes Park, CO

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Caterina was incredibly good, a Rick Steves treasure! Too much walking and education, not enough free time. Cooking class was a highlight, should have several.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St, Francis Basilica."

Alan

Voorheesville, NY

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We selected the Village Italy tour because we wanted to visit Italy but were not necessarily interested in spending time in big cities. This tour exceeded our expectations. We were able to see a lot of the countryside of north central Italy, experience life in small and medium sized cities and villages, view great art and architecture in their original context, and eat great food. Although most places we visited were not tourist free, the vast majority were not inundated by tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to decide on one wow moment. However, three experiences stand out in my mind:1) my first view of the mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna; 2) the view of the outside of Duomo in Orvieta; 3) watching Bruno the truffle hunter work with his two dogs."

Susan

Voorheesville, NY

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This third RS tour felt like the best yet. The food, accommodations and sights were wonderful. Just when I thought the previous day's experiences couldn't be topped, I'd be proved wrong almost immediately. This tour suited us perfectly with it's emphasis on the land, agriculture, food, people, art and history of "village Italy." I loved learning about wine, olive oil, wild boar, truffles, pane cotta, frescoes, mosaics, pottery, Etruscans, marble quarrying, and alabaster.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bruno and his truffle hunting dogs, smelling truffles as they came from the ground, a delicious meal on the open dining area, backlit by an Umbrian sunset. Jewel box artistry in the Galla Placidia. First glimpse of Orvieto cathedral facade in golden light. Luxury of time in Orvieto cathedral while Caterina explained the San Brizio Chapel art. Being swept along in an authentic passagiata as we arrived in Lucca. Amazing Civita di Bagnoregio."

Jerrie

Rico, CO

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth Rick Steve's tour and did not disappoint! The history and the sights we saw were amazing and made so much so because of our guide, Caterina and driver Dario! What a pair and she was the most knowledgeable person about all of the history imaginable! She also had a great sense of humor and our group was very companionable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's s really tough one, there were so many, I loved staying in the country and I guess the cooking class and lunch as well as the olive oil historic place......and the olive oil/farm and lunch! Sounds like I was most impressed with food, but all of the history and ruins are my favorite."

Joyce Nancarrow

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 09/09/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Caterina made two weeks in the hill towns of Northern Italy absolutely fabulous!! Her knowledge of history, art, the people, and towns was encyclopedic and our tour group was the beneficiary. The tour towns were unique, vibrant, genuine, and lovable. I will go back to Montefalco and Orvieto again, but every stop was special and wonderful. The small towns were welcoming, more so than the big cities. Everyone recognized Rick Steve's and was happy to see us, unlike other tour groups.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moments were the close family-ness of the hill town villagers and the local guides Caterina used; both brought the tour alive in a very memorable way."

Cheryl

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour itinerary is very well planned with just enough organized activity combined with free time. I could tell in retrospect that a lot of thought and organization has gone into each planned event utilizing excellent local guides along the way. This tour was quite rich in history, culture and local experiences. The longer I am back home and thinking about my tour experience, the more I am appreciating all that I saw and did!

Louis

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose a Rick Steves' tour because we wanted an experience that would present the history and culture of the country, and allow us to explore on our own. We chose the Village Italy Tour because it would take us to smaller towns and villages where we could experience more of the Italian lifestyle and culture without the hustle and bustle of the big cities. We also wanted to look for locations we like to return on our own for a longer visit. This tour provided all that and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is really hard to pick only one "wow" moment. I enjoyed the view and hike to Civita hilltop town, the Chianciano Etruscan museum, the stained glass workshop in Siena. and the cooking lesson at Agriturismo La Pietriccia the most."

Christy

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour is excellent. I enjoyed having all the details and logistics taken care of by our capable guide Sarah and excellent driver Guido. I specially appreciated the history and hometown details from local tour guides. I loved the stops to local artisan workshops. I loved the stops at wine and olive oil tastings, pasta making, and truffle hunting, especially loved the meal provided afterwards. All group lunches and dinners were great and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wow" moments. Still don't know why I felt a special connection to The Basilica of St Francis. Wow to see large and small hill towns perched on top of cliffs, Civita and the suspended bridge leading to it, and the beautiful view from the Manarola Vineyard Walk (thank you Rick Steves for recommending it). I have to include the best 3 Euro roast pork sandwich from the Orvieto farmer's market."

Veronica

Montclair, NJ

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a great tour. I had always dreamed of visiting Siena, and Assisi, and chose this tour for that reason along with the range of experiences included, art, history, culture and cuisine. In this tour I "experienced" village Italy, and it exceeded all my expectations. The tour was well planned, and our tour guide Sarah was terrific-thoughtful, fun, and attentive to individuals and the group. Excellent pacing, good balance of group and free time, and a great group of fellow travelers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, I do have just one. But the visit to St. Francis Basilica, the mosaics in Ravenna, the procession in Lucca, the beauty of the Cinque Terre villages, are some but I really also enjoyed all the wonderful shared group experiences, the cooking class, wine tasting, truffle hunt, glass of wine in Civita, and the great group dinners."

Karla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 11th R.S. tour and even though I have enjoyed them all...this was one of the best. No wonder it is one of Rick's best sellers! Large cities may be exciting and action-packed but visiting small villages can be just as rewarding. On this tour I really felt I was in Italy and sometimes even felt I was a local! Even though this tour may have been a little more laid back than some of the others...I still felt that everyday was an adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments but the food (and wine) was especially good. I am still thinking about the ravioli with truffles that I had in Orvieto and the seafood ravioli I had in a restaurant located right smack on the shores of Lake Orta. Exploring the paved pedestrian path leading from Levanto (where we were staying) to the tiny seaside town of Bonassola was another "wow" moment. The path was a converted railroad line cutting through the mountain separating the two towns...along the sea."

Nicholas

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! Wonderful food and drink, great guide, and a memorable cultural experience. The tour was just as I have come to expect from Rick Steves' productions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Holy Cross procession through Lucca on September 13th."

Kathleen

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual the trip was well organized with a good mix of guided time and independent time. Again, as usual, the group was great and we made friends quickly. Our guide, Sarah Corfield, was excellent, the best so far.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Holy Cross procession in Lucca--a wonderful surprise. And--the Leaning Tower of Pisa--another surprise."

Emily

Ridgeland, MS

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken other small group land tours (as well as ocean cruises & river cruises) & Village Italy was the best! Everything, from the sites we visited, special excursions & local tours, was well planned and very enjoyable. The activity & amount of walking (exercise to burn off all the calories from so much delicious Italian food and wine) was good. And, our gluten free diets were carefully considered and we appreciate the special attention paid to that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was great it's hard to pick a favorite place or thing we did. Though not a "wow" moment, we really enjoyed the wine tasting because of the food pairings. Having been to numerous wine tastings everywhere from Napa Valley, to France, Spain & Portugal, the one on Villages Italy stood out as the best. Conversely, I thought the Carrera marble tour was underwhelming."

Alice

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE WERE SO PLEASED WITH OUR GUIDE TRINA, OUR COMPATIBLE FELLOW-TRAVELERS, & THE PACE OF CHANGE FROM TOWN TO COUNTRY. TRINA RESCUED US TWICE-ONCE WHEN WE FOUND WE HAD MADE WRONG FLIGHT RESERVATIONS HOME, AND AGAIN, WHEN I LEFT MY CAMEERA CHARGER IN OUR HOTEL IN PADUA. TRINA EVEN TRIED TO RECOVER SAM'S STETSON HE HAD LEFT SOMEWHERE, BRINGING UP THE CURBSIDE VIEW OF OUR RESTAURANT IN RAVENNA AND CALLED THEM. THE STETSON WAS NOT LEFT THERE, BUT TRINA TRIED. LOVED SPEAKING WITH LOCAL PEOPLE.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I WORRIED OUR VISIT TO ASSISI WOULD BE OVERWHELMED BY TOO MANY PEOPLE, BUT IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. OUR LOCAL GUIDE WAS BOTH SERIOUS AND HUMOROUS, AND IT WAS A WONDERFUL TOUR OF THE 3 CHURCHES. MY FAVORITE, HOWEVER, WAS THE TINY CHAPEL THAT THE POPE HAD TOLD FRANCIS HE COULD HAVE. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE FOR OUR 52ND ANNIVERSARY ON SEPT 4TH TO BE RECOGNIZED AND TOASTED AT A GORGEOUS COUNTRY VILLA IN MONTE FALCO. THE DINNER WE WERE TREATED TO IN MONTE FALCO THAT EVENING WAS ONE OF THE BEST OF MY LIFE."

Todd

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on this tour. We had gone on the Venice, Florence, Rome trip and wanted more of Italy. Trina, our guide, was terrific! The hotels/villas we stayed in were all fantastic. We loved the itinerary. There is so much to see and do and the combination of planned activities and free time worked well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick a specific moment. It was 2 weeks of highlights!"

Edward

Melrose, MA

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tremendous! Loved the places we stayed, things we saw, things we got to do. Trina provided SUPER information on the context - history, religious, political - for the places we went. So glad to have seen the smaller towns and cities in Italy - not just the big tourist stops. The local guides knew their stuff. Loved the free time to explore - with guidance and suggestions from Trina - super valuable. We got to really experience Italy. Just makes me want to go back for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wow" moments to pick just one! But my favotites - sunsets and moon rises: - At Montifalco an incredible sunset over the valley from the overlook on the north side of town. - Outside Assisi, after the tuffle hunt, before an exceptional dinner, a beautiful sunset from the restaurant terrace. - In Orvieto, A full moon rise over the Duomo after a simple dinner on our own with the town quiet and all to ourselves."

Janelle

Melrose, MA

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! The trip exceeded my expectations on so many levels. A lot of credit goes to our excellent guide, Trina Kudlacek. She gave us history and background information so that we could understand where we were going and what we were looking at. Trina was so in tune with our group that she could recommend activities for our free time that appealed to different individuals in the group. We would not have enjoyed this trip as much without her!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite "wow" moment was in Montefalco. Trina had us walk through the Medieval town to a beautiful view of the valley below and the sun was just setting beyond the mountains. This had me in tears! Then to turn around and there was the moon too! The beauty of the valley and the sun and the moon just filled me up with joy. I will never forget this moment."

Nickolas

Rome, NY

Tour: 09/02/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The restful afternoons drinking wine and eating meat/cheese platters that could be purchased in each city's piazza is what I miss most. Just watching people, enjoying the warm sunshine and chatting with our co-travelers will be my greatest memories. Our guide Trina was great and our bus driver Mario was remarkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guides truly made this trip for me. They brought history to life."

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.

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.