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

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Email [email protected]

Village Italy in 14 Days Tour

from $4,795 per person + air

Single Supplement $675

See Dates & Prices

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

Dates & Prices

2024

2025

What's Included

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

Here's what you'll see and do on our 2024 Village Italy tour:

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

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Italy come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Padua to Lake Orta
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and 7 other meals
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

Our tour begins in elegant Padua (Padova) — an easy bus ride from Venice's Marco Polo Airport. We'll gather at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a group meeting. Then we'll take a neighborhood orientation walk together and get acquainted with one another over dinner.

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

Day 2: All Day to Discover Padua

We'll hit the ground walking this morning, with a tour of Padua and its colorful market squares and piazzas. Along the way, we'll gape at Giotto's glorious frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and Europe's first great anatomy theater. You'll have the rest of the day to marvel at the Renaissance masterpieces in St. Anthony's Basilica, roam through the university's acclaimed Botanical Garden, or relax with a creamy espresso at a sidewalk café.

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

Day 3: Ravenna and Hill Town of Montefalco

We'll drive to nearby Ravenna this morning for a tour of the brilliantly preserved mosaics in the Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. After lunch, we'll climb up into the Umbria region to the untouristed little hill town of Montefalco. The rest of your evening is free for wandering through this rustic stone village.

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

Day 4: Assisi and Truffles

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

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

Day 5: Umbrian Hill Towns

We'll drive through the peacefully green landscape today to explore some back-door hill towns of Umbria. Our first stop will be in Deruta for a pottery-making demonstration at a family workshop. Then we'll head off the beaten path to revel in the traffic-free alleyways, astounding views, and hidden treasures that make village life so special. In the afternoon we'll enjoy a refreshing wine tasting and lunch at a rural, family-owned winery, before finishing our day high atop the nearby hill town of Orvieto.

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

Day 6: Orvieto

This morning we'll marvel at Orvieto's dramatic cathedral, including Signorelli's amazing frescoes in the San Brizio Chapel. The rest of the day is then yours and it's market day in Orvieto! You'll have all day to dive into this busy, colorful farmer's market and discover more of Orvieto's friendly charms, including Etruscan art and scenic views.

Walking: light to strenuous (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Orvieto.

Day 7: Heart of Tuscany

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

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

Day 8: Tranquil Tuscany

This morning we'll head out to Siena, arguably Tuscany's greatest hill town, for a walking tour and visit to one of the town's proud contrade — 17 neighborhoods that compete for glory in the famous Palio horse races. You'll then have free time to explore Siena's treasures, including the Duomo and Campo, and linger over lunch. We'll enjoy the afternoon back at our country hotel, where you can hike along the farm paths, take pictures, or simply relax by the pool before dinner together.

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

Day 9: Tuscan Hill Towns and Lucca

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

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

Day 10: Lovely Lucca and Olive Groves

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

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

Day 11: Carrara's Marble and the Riviera

We'll continue north today, pausing to marvel at the marble with a local expert at Carrara's snow-white quarries, the favorite of Renaissance sculptors. Then we'll take to the sea (weather permitting) and enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Ligurian coast, past the wave-washed harbors and hill-hugging villages of the Cinque Terre. After our boat ride, we'll make our way to our home base for dinner and il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

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

Day 12: All Day on the Italian Riviera

You'll take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. You may choose to hike the cliffside paths, taking in lots of fresh air and panoramic views between Cinque Terre villages. Or pick a village where you can spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café.

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

Day 13: Lago d'Orta

We'll make our way to Orta San Giulio on the shores of Lake Orta, arriving with plenty of time to stroll its cobbled lanes and medieval square and take a scenic boat ride out to little Isola San Giulio. Tonight we'll enjoy an arrivederci dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute!

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

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Milan's closest airport, Malpensa, is 45 minutes away by taxi. Your guide will help coordinate transportation to Malpensa, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Danilo

Tour: 06/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A superb tour, perfect for avoiding the busy crowds encountered in Italy during high season.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics of Ravenna have been on my 'to do' list for some time now. Twice in the past planned trips to see the mosaics did not materialize. To finally see the magnificent mosaics was gratifying in the extreme--they did not disappoint! Other worthy mentions: 1) the surprise balcony view of the Siena palio preparations; 2) the fabulous Giotto frescoes in Scrovegni Chapel; 3) the Signorelli frescoes in Orivieto and the impassioned descriptions that day by our wonderful guide Andrea! "

Daniel

Tour: 06/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide Andrea, he really kept us busy and entertained. He had an extensive knowledge of Italy and the culture and History. He spoke about all of it during the tour and it was NOT boring. He turns out to be a very skilled musician as well (plays guitar). I recommend a Jam session between Rick Steve's and Andrea some day. i think they would enjoy playing together (Rick on Piano of Course). There were NO grumps or sourpusses in our tour group. One and all were great together and respectful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was listening to our Tour Guide Andrea and a very good singer play at a restaurant where we had dinner in Orvieto. The singer and guitar back up by Andrea were fantastic. It was a real treat! The singer was as beautiful as her voice was, and I think I almost fell in love with her when she stood up and was taller than me. I did not know a man could "swoon" Lol"

Cheryl

Tour: 06/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 1st RS tour was outstanding! We were hesitant about group travel, but ours was close & enjoyable. Our amazing guide, Andrea, really made it special with his extensive knowledge of art history, his musical talents, the numerous impromptu activities he provided, & the way he went above & beyond with the group. The itinerary was stellar: lovely villages, tiny hill towns, incredible food & wine, unique experiences, stunning villas, gorgeous landscape, and fascinating history. I want to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day of this tour was one "wow" moment after another! My top 3: The private concert performed by our guide, Andrea, and a local singer followed by an incredible group dinner at Febo in Orvieto (all organized by our guide on a free evening). The terrace viewing of the Palio trials in Sienna followed by lunch on the Piazza del Campo as we watched the horse assignment festivities and got caught up in the Palio excitement. The jaw-dropping beauty of the Cinque Terre and the Ligurian Sea."

Richard

Tour: 06/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From shared family experiences on previous tours, my expectations were high from the start. I wasn't disappointed at all. In fact, even with that high bar set this experience far exceeded those expectations. We had a tremendous guide that really got to know us from the beginning and shared not only his knowledge (which was unbelievable) but his personal stories that made our travels that much more unique and special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To have one favorite wow moment is very difficult because there were several! If I have to limit it to one I'd have to say, for me it was our surprise visit to see the Palio trials from the terrace of the Piccolomini Palace's archive. From there we were able to see and feel the excitement and anticipation of the people of Siena during the events leading up to the Palio races. The view and sounds of it all is something you can not capture or do justice through words, video or pictures. Amazing!"

Kelly

Tour: 06/17/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We visited several amazing cities and villages. The beauty of the countryside is incredible. The knowledge of history from our tour guide was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Ligurian Sea @ Cinque Terre"

Christopher

Tour: 06/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we signed up for the trip, it felt like the price was steep. By the end of the tour it felt like a bargain considering all the experiences the trip included.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the hotel in the Tuscan countryside was spectacular. "

Ed

Tour: 06/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was rewarding as it included and highlighted the various time periods of Italy from the Etruscans, to Romans, thru the Dark Ages until the spark that ignited the Renaissance spread like a wildfire. This tour made clear that the Renaissance was not isolated to the large cities like Rome and Florence but touched each and every destination we were fortunate to visit in the Village Italy tour. The places we visited were fascinating and captivating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was most touched by the visit we made to the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. The beauty of the grounds was so reflective of the beauty in the country but it came with the grim reminder of what was sacrificed by so many to save not only history and culture but preserve the beauty of freedom. Unfortunately, remembering that sacrifice is something I too often forget not only while traveling overseas but also in the United States. Thanks for this visit."

Randy

Tour: 06/17/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was outstanding, and Christina is an excellent guide and tour manager.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, it is hard to pick just one. Our stop at the World War II cemetery that honors U.S, servicemen and women who died in the war in Italy was especially moving. This was an unexpected surprise as it was not a part of the published itinerary."

Anadruzela

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! We want to thank our tour guide Lorenza as well as the excellent local tour guides (Roberto, Anna, Elena, Chiara, Giuseppe). Our group was cohesive, friendly, and considerate. We truly enjoyed the experience of sharing the great Italian culture, food and wine with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were able to navigate the Vernazza to Monterosso trail and the views were amazingly beautiful! Also enjoyed and wowed by the Etruscan and Egg museums."

Jean

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Traveling to the villages of Italy gave me an opportunity to feel a bit more "immersed" in the culture versus only going to the big sightseeing cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful mosaics in Ravenna and the cathedral in Orvieto."

Bill

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very diverse in its stops and the experience of its guides. It was a good complement to the more urban Italian destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Monterosso's "Old Town" (after 3 previous visits) and panoramic viewpoint overlooking vineyards, town, churches, cemetery and rugged coastline."

Edward

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third tour with Rick Steves and I was not disappointed. Our main guide Lorenza was incredibly knowledgable and helpful and had a terrific attitude the entire trip. She was a whiz at organization and I cannot think off anytime that things did not go according to plan. She even managed to fit in a couple of extra treats and surprises along the way, including an emotional stop at the memorial for fallen U.S. servicemen during World War Two.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s a toss up between the Cathedral at Orvieto and the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. Both were incredible and most definitely “Wow!”"

Wendy

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On our last RS tour, I asked other members what is your favorite tour? The answer was Village Italy. They were right! I thoroughly enjoyed the smaller towns, villages and the friendly people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The backside view of Monterosso. Walked up the road past the castle ruin, turned a corner and got the most fantastic view that took my breath away! I actually said, “WOW!”"

Susan

Tour: 06/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I'm extremely pleased! The tour allowed the right amount of time in each city/village with excellent village tours and enough time to explore on our own. Our tour guide, Lorenza, was a delight and I was amazed at her knowledge of the history of the areas. Our local guides were also excellent, personable and fun! Our traveling companions were also delightful; it always astounds me to find how closely matched the participants are, almost as if they had been hand-picked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments on this tour - Giotto in Padua, the mosaics in Ravenna, the egg museum in Civitella del Lago, the Duomo in Orvietto, Assisi, and Carrara. As well as the unexpected - Trumpet fanfare in Orvietto, the delightful Nidi pasta at Trattoria del Moro Aronne & the Florence American Cemetery & Memorial! "

Catherine

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Excellent guides, great locations and a great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ravenna. The beauty of San Vitale’s mosaics, when I walked inside took my breath away."

James

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was wonderful. Our guide Rebecca was outstanding and knowledgeable as well as all the local guides that took part in our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really don't have a wow moment because all of the elements of the tour were all wows. I would highly recommend this tour for those visiting Italy for the first time. This is our fifth Rick Steves tour. "

Bruce

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had been recommended to us, by others on a previous RS tour, for the quality of the food and wine. We couldn't agree more, but would also add the outstanding quality of the local guides narrating our visits to mosaic-ceilinged chapels and Etruscan museums, cooking classes and wine vintners, etc. We learned a lot, even in topics we thought we were already pretty knowledgeable about. Our resident guide, Rebecca, was great too as was our patient and impressive driver, Giovanni.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but for me personally I might cite the visit to the Etruscan museum, as after visiting that I was the most inspired to learn more about their culture after the trip."

James

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group was great together. I liked the size of the group, the willingness of everyone to be accepting of one another, and everyone not expecting to be pampered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was so surprised about how much fun cooking together with a knowledge chef could be. Along with that, our meal turned out to be one of my favorite for the entire trip. "

Sheila

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were part of a very cohesive group on this tour. All of our companions seemed to enjoy being with one another and spending time experiencing new adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly, the truffle hunt. We had watched the Rick Steves video showing a truffle hunt, but our truffle hunter and his two dogs were amazingly successful! They found four big truffles and many smaller sizes. The most experienced dog posed for us at the end of the hunt with all of the "catch" with one large truffle in her mouth. Very impressive!"

Regina

Tour: 06/10/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally well organized. Our guide was organized, helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The local tour guides were phenomenal, particularly Roberto at the Etruscan museum. Each village had very interesting highlights. The two nights spent at each stop was enough to feel rested and not always go, go, go. This was an incredibly interesting and fun tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First, the Etruscan museum! What a fascinating civilization! Second, the truffle hunting dogs. What a unique experience to have on a tour!"

David

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great experience with Rick Steves' Tours! I had already signed up for a Rick Steves' Switzerland tour next month, but when I came back I signed up for two more tours next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments The American cemetery. This December I plan to visit the cemetery near Bastogne where many of my Dad's unit are buried. Years back we planned to attend a service but he decided not to. Sienna I watched about 30 of Anna Piperato's webcasts during COVID, it was great to see in person. Ravenna, I learned the "barbarians" were Christians, it was "wow" seeing art from different periods clustered together. World's Oldest Anatomy lab in Padua. I just helped on the world's newest."

Nicholas

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Cristina was outstanding. She looked after us very well, she had a great sense of humor, she gave us very interesting talks during the bus rides and the walking tours, and she helped to establish a real sense of family among the tour participants. All of the tour participants were very nice and friendly and it was a pleasure getting to know them and spend time with them. Sergio, the bus driver, was excellent and did an amazing job of driving the bus on narrow roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the marble quarry near Carrara. The landscape on the steep mountain sides and the scale of the quarrying operations was amazing. I had never seen anything like that before."

Diane

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous itinerary with visits to many interesting and beautiful villages, excellent guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Vernazza by train from Monterosso at 7:11 AM with NO other tourists yet there, allowing us to quietly savor the beautiful town and vistas!!"

Paul

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good itinerary and excellent guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Etruscan Museum with guide Roberto Bechi"

Londa

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was everything I wanted and more! The rugged hill towns, fabulous food, friendly tour mates and Cristina (our awesome guide) made this tour amazing. The flow of Village Italy was good with passionate local guides and plenty of time to explore on our own. Special shout out to Cristina who helped secure alternative transportation on our last day due to the Italian train workers strike.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many 'wow' moments! A few of the many standouts include: the beautiful villa in Montefalco, learning about the Palio in Siena, the tasty seafood feast in Cinque Terre and all of the amazing frescoes and mosaics. "

Dominick

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting the smaller village towns was an ideal way to take in the Italian culture. So much beautiful scenery. Great tour guide and great tour members made the trip even more enjoyable. The pace of the tour was just right never felt too rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have many but will point out two of them. Visiting the farm where we all helped cooked was a fun experience. Thought that was our best meal too. Also spending time in Cinque Terre and taking in the spectacular scenery. "

Wendy

Tour: 06/03/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour! We had a wonderful group of fellow travelers and outstanding guides. The pace of the tour was perfect with a good balance between time on our own and time spent on group activities. Visiting the smaller cities and towns was (to me) so much more enjoyable than navigating large cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two “wow” moments. The place we stayed in the Tuscan countryside (Belvedere San Leonino) was unbelievable….the setting was magical with incredibly beautiful vistas. The other “wow” moment was attending the optional Puccini concert in Lucca. I am not an opera buff but this concert was amazing…beautiful setting and captivating performances."

John

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was wonderful. We had an outstanding tour leader who gave us so much history of Italy and the towns we visited. The pace of the tour was just right with adequate time to explore each town on our own. Almost all of town guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Scrovegni Chapel and the basilica of St Francis in Assisi."

Lan

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved itinerary: not only covered most well know places but also off the beaten path. Learned huge amount of history, culture and enjoyed local cuisine. Our tour leader was knowledgeable, very experinenced and humorous, which made the tour experience wonderful. We also enjoyed our fellow traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are many: top three was learning about Etruscan, Assisi tour and Tuscan cooking lesson. Roberto the tour guide for Etruscan Museum was wonderful. He made somebody like me usually don't like ancient museum interested in the whole museum experience. The tour guid for the Assisi also gave wonderful presentation about the Basilica's history and art. The hands on cooking lesson in Tuscany was fun and I truly learned the meaning of slow eating."

Beverly

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had to leave the tour early last year due to Covid. We were determined to return and finish the tour We did and were extremely pleased.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one event "

Debra

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great group of like-minded travelers. The itinerary was a great balance of scheduled activities and free time to explore. One of the best tours I've been on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the boat to the CInque Terre along the beautiful,sunny Mediterranean Coast. It was awe-inspiring!"

Cristina

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

RSE tours never fail to expand our learning in each trip we took. The immersion in the culture, traditions and people interaction in every place always add to the enrichment of our knowledge and appreciation of the world, village Italy on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the local guides who made their respective places come alive with their in-depth narrative, use of humor, clear and concise language. They made us captive audiences and placed us right in the center of each location's time in history. The Etruscan museum, small and remote, was very well deserved in its inclusion in the itinerary."

Kathy

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the best of the four RS tours I’ve taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both of the Villa stays overwhelminged me. The privilege of staying with people who are so open to sharing their intimate Italian life is heartwarming "

Susan

Tour: 05/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to give a favorite, including the fish soup for our last meal, the friendships formed, the great history throughout the tour and our tour leader including cultural tidbits and great stories"

Judy

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour to Italy exceeded our expectations!! All the stress of getting from village to village was completely taken care of and our bus driver Marco did an excellent job getting in and out of tight spots and maneuvering the many windy roads of Italy. Local guides were passionate about their areas of expertise. We cannot say enough about our main tour guide David. His extensive knowledge of Italy and sense of humor made our trip truly memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one because there were so many but an archaeological tour below the church of Sant'Andres in Orvieto was amazing."

Susie

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy Tour exceeded my expectations: guide, locales, hotels, transportation, trip notifications were all exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the coast from the cities of Cinque Terre was amazing!"

David

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was jam-packed with great experiences. Our guide David was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable, caring, entertaining, and went beyond my expectations. I thought all the local guides were very good as well. I enjoyed all the locations we visited and the places we stayed at.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of great moments"

Margaret

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Efficient, some flexibility with our outstanding guide, tasty meals and very comfortable accommodations. Tour bus and driver excellent. Wonderful teaching and cultural sharing from guide. Tour was an excellent sampling if less travelled areas of Italy. Hassle free, right balance if structured and free time. Extra points of interest added by our guide, fabulous! Many of the hotel hosts also went the extra mile to provide for our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to choose just one! Cooking lesson with a Tuscany farmer, so great. Cold press olive oil coop, truffle hunting followed by truffle dinner were my 3 top “wow” experiences"

Kelly

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best vacation I've ever had!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's hard to choose just one. It was probably seeing Eric Clapton in Lucca, Italy. It wasn't officially part of the tour, but our guide discovered that he was playing that night and presented it as an option for our free time. We quickly snapped up tickets. A close second was when our guide, also a musician, arranged an impromptu concert for our group at our hotel in Orvieto. So many "wow" moments on this trip! We loved every minute!"

Mary

Tour: 05/25/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well planned out itinerary, interesting tour guides in each town we visited. Very knowledgeable tour guide and bus driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the truffle hunt "

Terry

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing tour guide Patrica and she was so organized and knew so much about the area. We had a great group of people on the tour and that added to the experience. The weather was fantastic and the scenery spectacular . It was nice to see to experience Italy in the country and villages. We had a lot of hands on experiences, cooking, wine tasting, truffle hunting, olive oil production, and special guides telling us about their villages ! The meals that were included were excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am having a hard time to pick my favourite moment. I loved it all, our hands on activities could be my favourite "

Mary

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A perfect blend of unique activities with the traditional tour perspectives on the history, art and culture of Italy. I learned so much and met amazing people in my tour group. Our tour guide was the best I’ve ever experienced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hotel Belvedere in Tuscany was sublime - it showcased the region’s beauty and was a perfect restorative retreat. Lake Orta was especially beautiful and a wonderful surprise, as we had never heard of it before our tour. The best “through the back door” experience and what sets Rick Steve tours apart. "

Robert

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the hotels to the Villages and the variety of experiences at all the stops, nothing was ever a disappointment. I enjoyed watching the locals ride their bikes, hang their laundry out the window and learning about the hundreds of years of art and architecture that still exist today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the views from the Hotel Belvedere in San Leonino in Tuscany. The vineyards, rolling hills, olive trees and stone buildings were everything I had pictured Tuscany to be. "

Christie

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So well organised, ao informative, so rich in varied experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Levanto Bay, though it's a hard choice."

Olivia

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a wonderful tour, loved visiting the small Villages! Patricia our guide was absolutely amazing. She is fun, experienced, knowledgeable and has a great knack for bringing people together. Our group bonded quickly under Patricia’s guidance. The hotels on this tour are beautiful, I hope to return to a few. The food was delicious, we enjoyed the group meals. As always the local guides were excellent, especially Giuseppe’ in Assisi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the hotels in Montefalco and Chianti. Taking in the views at our villa in Chianti was a wow moment. The church in Assisi was beautiful despite the crowds outside. Also the exterior of the cathedral in Orvieto a complete wow moment. Our seafood meal in Levanto at the Prima Vera hotel was the best meal we have ever had on any tour. Pottery stop was a favorite many purchases sent home. Must also mention our bus driver Mario, what a wonderful person, we were his last tour before retirement."

David

Tour: 05/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was friendly and fun. The itinerary was packed with unique events coupled with adequate time off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The truffle hunt with the farmer the dogs and the dinner."

William

Tour: 05/18/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a well-designed itinerary, an outstanding guide, wonderful experiences, and a happy congenial tour group. This was an experiment for us to try traveling with a group, and it was better than I could have ever expected. Fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s very difficult to pick just one - maybe surveying the marvelous evening view from the ramparts of Montefalco. "

Elizabeth

Tour: 05/18/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every town we visited was unique and offered many opportunities to appreciate the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many. The cooking class was excellent especially with learning how to cook in a slow-food manner and with recipes!"

Marketa

Tour: 05/18/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We very much liked all we covered during the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta was a lovely location to spend time and explore. We also really like the Cinque Terre. It was great going back there again."

Jana

Tour: 05/13/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The joys of the unique small towns and experiences was refreshing and engaging. Our tour guide Andrea was like having a trusted friend available, so caring and concerned with each individual. His personal knowledge of art, history and the Italian culture was immeasurable. We had a great group of companions, turned friends. This was the perfect tour to actually enjoy the Italian people, food, history and art. This tour with Andrea is why travelers gain a unique worldview.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Scrovegni Chapel: I was not prepared for how moving the experience was. Also, being at Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino was like sitting in the middle of a movie. Absolutely amazing!"

Gary

Tour: 05/13/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed learning about the earlychurch and its influence in the early societies post Roman Empire.The Crusades and the Biblical art that was added to the cathedrals, churches, Duomo to teach the stories of the Bible. Each community competing with the other for the largest and best displays of stories from the Bible and of their local Saint. Hiring of the best artist available to put their town on top. Competition rules! Andrea was excellent at giving us the information to understand this et al.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Duomo in Orvieto where Andrea pointed out the frescoes of Signorelli, and explained their meaning and special features of the art."

P

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it. Exceeded all expectations. Our tour guide was fun, knowledgable and was always thinking ahead. We were lucky to have Patricia. The itinerary wonderful, hotels beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say just one! Hiking around (and up and down) Orvieto, Volterra Etruscan Museum, hiking Cinque Terre. All the food and all our fellow travelers."

Robert

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the intimate nature of small hill towns......except Cinque Terre

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking class for lunch"

Joann

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Patricia was an AMAZING guide! Good tour but will not likely take another RS tour because of the accommodations. They were lacking & he needs to rethink hotel choices. This was the sentiment of most on our tour. We are not the “hippy backpackers” of his early days. Most of us are retired professionals who have worked very hard throughout our careers, paid mortgages, educated our children and saved money. We deserve and want decent beds, quiet rooms & LOVELY centrally located accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don’t really have one. It was nice overall. If anything the truffle hunt was a pinch me moment"

John

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great- our guide Patricia was fabulous bus driver Giovani was also great individual guides at each location were also great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Marble quary tour"

Karen

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. We were especially impressed with our guide Patricia. The local guides in each city were outstanding ,not just for their knowledge but their pride and warmth exhibited to the group. Other than the hotel in Orvieto and the very interesting hotel in Padua we were very pleased with the hotels. The group meals were some of the best of the entire trip. We loved the cooking class, wine tasting, truffle hunting and dinner and the farm lunch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments on this trip. I have to give a special recognition to our tour guide who made so many of these moments possible. The tour guide is essential to make the trip special and Patricia did just that. She added some things to our itinerary because she wanted to make sure we would see the things she thought special. We especially loved Volterra and Porto Venere which were additions to the trip. She is a true gem and Rick Steves is lucky to have her."

Ruth

Tour: 05/11/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Patricia was a fantastic tour leader, taking care of all the details so we could have the best possible experience. I really appreciated all the extras she built in to the tour, her restaurant advice was spot on, and she made us laugh every day. I especially loved the many towns we visited in Tuscany and Umbria, and the experiences (like the pottery making, cooking demo, and truffle hunt). A lot has changed in the world of travel, and I do think it's time for RS to upgrade their hotel choices.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Patricia offered an optional trip to visit Civita di Bagnoregio, timing it for late it the day when it wasn't at all crowded. My first glimpse of the footbridge and the village high above the canyon took my breath away. I loved the long walk across the bridge and I couldn't stop saying "wow." The uniqueness of Civita and the vistas from the bridge and from the village -- jaw dropping gorgeous countryside -- were a huge WOW."

Monica

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour. Hopefully not our last! Great people, great planning, wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our days in Tuscany were perfect. Beautiful setting, an amazing room and view, great food. "

Thomas

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is the perfect combination of active time and relaxing time. It was really fun and the towns are beautiful. The smaller locations led to more mom and pop experiences, especially with restaurants. Our guide, Cristina, was great and the local guides were excellent. Again, the village venues allowed the guides to give very personal tours, which was delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing concert in Orvieto and touring the Carrera marble quarry. There were twelve more wows but I'm already over the limit!"

Janice

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music! First a “surprise” from our guide Cristina, aperitivos and wine while listening to two fabulous guitar players in our own private room. Second, opera, a recommendation from our guide Cristina to attend a performance on our own. These two memories will stay with me. "

Bill

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour. Cristina was fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike from Cornelia to Vernazza"

Shelly

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Cristina, was wonderful! She was beyond knowledgeable of everything connected to the tour and was empathetic to our individual needs. All the locations we traveled to were incredible, getting better and better as the tour went along, and we did not think that was possible. The food, local tours, extra ("surprise") excursions, and extra lengths Cristina went to made it a fabulous 14 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking along in the Cinque Terra hillside from one town to the next and Lake Orta. Both locations were stunningly beautiful and so peaceful. The Cinque Terra towns actually got super crowded by midday, but we ventured out early and avoided the crowds. The town we slept in (Levanto), was nice and calm throughout our stay. Side note - we loved the villa in the Tuscan countryside, too, and the villa in Montefalco. "

Frank

Tour: 05/06/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Last year , 2023, my evaluation of the Germany tour was "outstanding" I never thought in a million years any thing could surpass that experience . Well here I am May 2024 totally blown away with the fantastic ,small villages of Italy . Our guide, no not guide, dear friend Christina tied every exciting moment together with her knowledge and she created an atmosphere that caused the entire group to melt into a family vacation. We will be scheduling our next tour shortly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count, The accommodations , the food , and the hands on experiences. I was totally overwhelmed for 2 weeks ."

Aileen

Tour: 05/04/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were introduced to so many small towns/villages and experiences we would have otherwise not experienced on our own. Our tour guide Deborah was topnotch, so knowledgeable and accommodating, and took great care of us all. We had a great group and loved the beautiful countryside, the cooking lesson, enjoyable meals at the olive oil mill, truffle hunt...too many to count. This was the perfect tour to get a feel for the country, food and art without the crushing crowds of the bigger cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but two out of three of us vote for the boat ride along the Cinque Terre coastline on a spectacular day, and my husband just loved the Hotel Belvedere location in Castellina. The setting was stunning, he was ready to stay there another day or two!"

Carole

Tour: 05/04/24

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour itinerary, sites and activities were all good and as expected. Tour guide was okay - did the job but didn't raise the experiences to anything special or extraordinary as we have experienced with other tour guides on previous Rick Steve's tours. A member on the tour became ill on one of the first few days and while masks, back of bus, and other procedures were followed, by the end of the tour about half of the tour group was ill. Not anyone's fault, just the risk of traveling in a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Puccini concert in Lucca, not included on the tour but available while were were in Lucca, was outstanding!"

Elizabeth

Tour: 05/04/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was top notch. Our you guide was caring, knowledgeable and a great guide. We got to experience so many things you just couldn’t on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think truffle hunting "

Sherri

Tour: 05/04/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Top quality from start to finish. It was our first tour and we plan on doing others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single moment...just one interesting experience after another. Enjoyed it all!"

James

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I felt our tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful and friendly. She worked very hard to make sure all the tour participants were safe and well taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Orta was beautiful. The tour boat ride was very scenic. And our hotel was very nice and conveniently located."

Kellene

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour’s combination of iconic Tuscan rolling hills and scenic views from villas with the bustling and historic cities of Lucca and Orvieto. The mixture of cultural experiences from viewing world famous medieval frescos, mosaics and jaw dropping basilicas to wine tasting and pairing, cooking class and truffle hunting, to the beautiful Italian Riviera and Lake Orta boat rides. Spectacular views, comfy hotels and of course, delicious food and wine made this a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of the classic Italian countryside from rolling green hills, the colorful hill towns of Cinque Terre and pristine Lake Orta made this trip stand out. My favorite cultural experience was searching for truffles and eating a delicious meal at the restaurant on the truffle farm. The hotel, Belvedere di S. Leonino was my favorite followed by the views from the hotel in Lake Orta. I was very happy to be away from the congested cities and populated tourist and local cruise ship stops. "

Lizabeth

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was so interesting and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOW moments to pick one! Mosaics, the Tuscany countryside, seeing Cinque Terre from the boat! "

Wayne

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Village Italy was just what I wanted after other trips to the big cities. I often said that if I ever went back to Italy all I wanted to do was eat and this tour satisfied that. Great guide, good traveling companions, good local guides, just enough churches and of course, lots of wonderful Italian food and wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a meal in Levanto on our own. The previous evening a local chef prepared a seafood feast for us. We went back to his restaurant the following evening and I had one of the best meals of my life. Homemade spaghetti with an amazing sauce of garlic and olive oil all topped with a generous amount of local seafood. That's what I came for and it will remain as one of the best meals of my life. Wow!"

Tony

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves' tour (our 5th). Another great tour leader. Interesting activities, great locations. Overall very happy with this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seafood dinner at hotel in Levanto"

Jan

Tour: 04/29/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trina was a great resource which really enhanced our Italian experience. Overall the tour offered an excellent choice of small towns, a realistic travel schedule and time for viewing and experiencing events and activities. The local tour guides overall were excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I'd have to cite some of my favorites, which include: the truffle experience - especially watching the "hunter&dogs", the cathedrals (and associated history) which were magnificent, the boat ride through the "Cinque Terre" and also on Lake Orta. "

James

Tour: 04/27/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was great. Our guide Ann exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Probably Orvieto and the small town of Montefalco. Lake Orta was a great ending."

Kristen

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour made even better by our wonderful guide, Patricia, and a particularly good group of fellow travelers. I chose the tour for the scenery and the villages but also loved the visit to the marble quarry, seeing artisans working on ceramics and alabaster, and learning about the frescoes in the basilicas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from our lovely hotel in San Leonino. Also the wonderful truffle-centric dinner after getting to see the dogs sniff out the truffles."

Margaret

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Village Italy tour is beautiful, entertaining, educational, fulfilling, and lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the mosaics in the Byzantine San Vitale Basilica and the tour of the marble quarry in Carrrara."

Joni

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was so fun, so many sights and experiences that were beyond all of our expectations. Great group of people on the tour, and a good mix of "group time" and time to explore on our own. The orientation to each new village was so valuable and enabled us to use our "free time" in a way that fit our interests. Even the time on the bus was useful - we learned so much about Italy, from its history to current everyday life. I enjoyed "practicing" my Italian (even though it was quite limited!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were really so many that it's hard to say. In general, the scenery was lovely and breathtaking. I also loved the very old buildings and learning about their history. The mosaics, especially those in Ravenna, were a real favorite of mine - they were so brightly colored, and when seen from a distance, I had to remind myself that they were made from tiny pieces of glass! I also loved the experiences on the tour, like the truffle hunt with the dogs, and the cooking lesson - both were SO fun."

Andrew

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Italy in late April and early May provided cooler temperatures to enjoy the country. There were some rainy and cool days but we "weathered" it just fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting some Serbian high school students in a cafe before the tour even started. We had lunch and noticed some teens eavesdropping on our conversation. This prompted me to start a conversation with them and it became a wonderful cultural exchange experience."

Tim

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd Rick Steves' Tour. As with the previous 2, this one was also outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say walking across the bridge at Civita and seeing the village perched on a hilltop."

Bruce

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect. A beautiful country shared with a great tour group led by our talented Rick Steves’ tour leader Patricia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but I enjoyed the time spent in Tuscany at the hotel in San Leonino."

Linda

Tour: 04/22/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our Village Italy tour with Patricia as our guide. She is very funny and informative, so helpful with any needs we had, and gave us great information about each place we visited. The villages we visited were beautiful, we had terrific local guides, and learned so much about the culture and history of each location. This was our 11th Rick Steves tour and have met great folks on each of our tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was our visit to the Etruscan Archaeological Museum in Chianciano Terme with local guide Roberto. He was funny and incredibly informative about the fascinating artifacts from the 7th century BC to the 2nd century BC found in the museum. He brought that era to life for us. "

Rachel

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Denise

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the group meals, the beautiful accommodations, and Cristina was a wealth of knowledge. The local guides were also very knowledgeable and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I fell in love with the Hotel Belvedere di S. Leonino and would love to go back to stay there for a longer time, using it as a home base to further explore the Tuscany region."

Blair

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Cristina, our tour guide was awesome. Ezio, our bus driver, was very skilled and entertaining. The tours of the villages were well thought out and our local guides were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had just arrived in Montefalco and Christina was taking us on a tour of the village. She noticed that a small church was open, which she had never seen before, so we went in to look. The new parish priest was excited to see us and talked excitingly to Cristina in Italian. We had just left and were walking down the street when he stepped out and called to Cristina. He had forgotten to show us the frescos in a small anteroom. It was just such an intimate and friendly moment in a small village"

Rocky

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is such a phenomenal tour! My wife and I chose this particular itinerary for our honeymoon because while she had never been to Italy before, I have spent a decent amount of time there. This tour allowed her to experience the beauty of the Italian culture, mentality, cuisine, history, art/architecture, and general lifestyle. Since none of the "greatest hits of Italian tourism" are on this itinerary, it allowed me to visit many destinations that I hadn't had the opportunity to see yet

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were SO MANY special moments enjoyed throughout our two weeks on this tour, it's difficult to pick just one! My favorite "wow" moment was probably enjoying time wandering the steep, ancient, winding, cramped, beautiful, narrow walkways of Porto Venere, Corniglia, and the rest of the Cinque Terre. And that experience would have been even better if we didn't get rained on during most of our time in Liguria, so we could have hiked between the Terre."

Lori

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 10th Rick Steves tour and despite less-than-cooperative weather, I enjoyed this trip immensely, thanks to great tour mates and all that guide Cristina and bus driver Ezio did to create a feeling of family among us. The experiences we had were ones that independent travelers would never have access to (e.g., truffle hunting, ceramics studio, visiting a Palio contrade's club house) or think to do (e.g., Florence American Cemetery). The hotels were nicer than I’ve had on other RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chasing two excited dogs around on their quest for truffles followed by a truffle-infused meal with a view of the sun setting over the Umbrian countryside. And then, on the way home from that dinner, our whole group singing “That’s Amore” and “Volare” together on the bus ride back to our Montefalco hotel. "

Shelly

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour! We went to beautiful locations with the best group of travelers and guide! I loved this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention! The churches and art were beautiful as was the countryside we visited. I enjoyed watching the Italian women painting ceramics, the truffle hunting dogs, and the cooking class was a blast. The afternoon in Pistoia was fun - finding a good sandwich, a bottle of wine, and a wall to sit on while enjoying the view with some new friends.... perfetto!"

Cheryl

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I totally enjoyed this tour! Our guide Cristina Pernechele was a true joy! She treated us like her family and made the tour that much more enjoyable. She went above and beyond to ensure that we were ensconced in the Italian culture and experience.She shared the history beyond everything we saw and helped us immerse ourselves in our surroundings, from wine pairings to tasting foods like Italians and enjoying the beautiful countryside. The extra touches, Gelato tickets and other surprises were Fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many moments that it's hard to choose. I loved the hands on cooking lesson and then eating what we cooked! The truffle hunting was a unique experience ending with dinner on the hill with a captivating view and sunset. The tours through the cathedrals and basilicas were filled with rich history, memorable and not to be missed. There was a beautiful private concert that is not to be forgotten. "

Jacqueline

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a well-planned, well-executed tour--our 11th R.S. Europe experience. Our guide and bus driver worked together smoothly, making the best use of everyone's time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands-down, the most magical event for me was a surprise evening concert by Gabriele & Martina--a talented guitarist and captivating vocalist--in Orvieto. This performance was an above-and-beyond experience organized by our guide, and one I'll always remember. "

Lynn

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was stunned by the incredible art and culture I encountered. The churches, the Italians, the vineyards and landscape was stunning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The basilica of San Vitale. I had read about the tiles in the autobiography of Thomas Merton. It was beyond the beyond!"

William

Tour: 04/20/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great history lesson. Cristina on the Village Italy tour is amazing. She is very professional and yet she was able to inject fun and a positive experience in everything we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 things stood out. I loved truffle hunting! I have developed a new found appreciation for truffles. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and learning about Assisi. The world needs more men like Francis of Assisi. His story is very inspiring and the local guide (Giuseppe) was a hoot! Giuseppe was full of facts about the history while also being hilarious! I wish I had him in college for European history. Thanks for that gift!"

Holly

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS trip. It was a whirlwind of activity for 2 wks with a great group of like-minded, seasoned travelers. The sights, the hotels, the food, the wine—all contributed to an outstanding time. Trina, our outstanding guide, managed a myriad of details, giving us a tour and history of the Middle Ages, all the while meeting local guides, juggling buses, trains and boat rides for us and keeping her smiles everyday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from! All the underground ruins, Padua’s Scrovegni Chapel and University anatomy theater, the mosaics, the ceramics in Deruta, the truffle hunt, the Carrara marble quarry, the cooking lesson, all the churches, Lake Orta, the boat trip to the island, the olive oil mill, stopping of at very old —villages—even Dustin Hoffman and Helen Hunt filming a movie in Lucca!"

Cathy

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely group of people and outstanding guide! We have been to most of the places on this tour on our own multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed Trina and the local guides bring them to life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That’s not easy…the truffle hunt, the cooking class with Francesco and Ravenna were definite wows! We have been to the other Civita…Civitella de Lago was much more beautiful and what a treat to have an American who lives there take us through his home 😁"

Margaret

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized, stellar guides, great travelers in the group, excellent activities each day, felt I was truly able to experience the culture of the small Italian villages in a unique way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A toss-up between rounding the corner and viewing the Cinque Terre from a boat, and being at the St Patrick’s well looking down at the start, then up from the bottom. "

Priscilla

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. I loved the small villages for the window into their history and culture. They were all easy to navigate and explore. The scenery in the countryside as we traveled between towns was spectacular. And the food and wine was consistently of high quality. Our tour guide was also a highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was fascinated by the medieval mosaics we got to see in Ravenna at the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the San Vitale Church. The mix of history in this town is truly amazing - early Christian, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian. The glass and gold-leaf mosaic pieces are spectacular and really worth the time to visit. It was also a great location for a lunch stop for a taste of the delicious piadine."

Charles

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Touring the small villages of Italy gives you more local flavor and puts you in closer touch with the people and culture of the country. The major cities have the must-see, monumental sights, museums, and art. Touring the villages offers a more intimate look at the history of Italy prior to the Renaissance as well as the lives of the local people today. It gives you more hands-on experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW for this tour was the food served during our group dinners and group activities that were included as part of the tour. Especially memorable and delicious was the “Ligurian Feast” prepared and served by Carlo and Daniela at Primavera Hotel in Levanto.But that was not the only food highlight during the tour! Other food highlights included: Dinner after the truffle hunt Wine and food in Orvieto Cooking class in Chianciano Lunch served at Olive Mill Lasagna First and last group meals"

Peggy

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent experience - a nice balance between tours, experiences and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had two - one was being in Assisi. Besides the excellent tour of the cathedral, learning more about their role in helping Jews escape during WW2 was fascinating. And then, viewing Cinque Terre by boat. Lovely views of these precariously placed towns on the sides of the cliff was fascinating."

Richard

Tour: 04/15/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best tour ever, we have been on 6 so far.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view of the country side "

Douglas

Tour: 04/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was friendly and mixed well; the tour director (Deborah) was almost pathologically attentive to details in her attempt to ensure a successful experience for everyone. The order in which we visited places, hitting the obligatory stops (e.g. Padova, Ravenna) early and climaxing the trip in the Cinque Terre and on Lake Orta, guaranteed a continuously growing sense of wonder.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was seeing the "Four Saints" altarpiece by Fra Filippino Lippi in Lucca's San Michele church. A close second was the view from Nessun Dorma where Tamara and I had lunch in Manarola."

Maureen

Tour: 04/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was beyond expectations! Deborah was a tour guide explenaire, tending to.all our needs.The towns, tour guides and food were all wonderful. My only suggestion would be to change the terminating village from Lake Orta. Yes, it is beautiful and the hotel is great. ( Truthfully, I think this was a little too obvious pr of leaving us with a positive experience.)From there, it was a difficult or expensive commute, We were lucky to have a good tour guide to arrange logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our tour with Anna where we learned about the contrades in Sienna and saw the museum wirh the colorful Palio uniforms and amazing video. I also loved going truffle hunting! The dogs brought back the truffles in their mouths like balls. We saw freshly dug up black truffles and learned about the seasons for white ones. The meal afterwards was great! Also loved the visit to the Carrara quarry. Beautiful location with very intetesting history.Glad we had time to purchase some. "

Ellen

Tour: 04/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent from start to finish. Great itinerary flawlessly executed by our guide and bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Deborah, our guide, was my wow moment. Among the pantheon of Rick Steves guides, she really stands out. In addition to executing the itinerary and providing background and information for places we visited, she organized our airport transfers, helped us to strategize use of our free time including making reservations and getting tickets for that time, made sure we tried the beverages, snacks and meals that were typical of each place we visited. A helpful and charming presence."

John

Tour: 04/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Never having been to Italy, I decided to tackle the small towns knowing that it was possible I would not get a fulsome introduction to the country, culture and its people. My experience tells me that, while I may have missed to classic wonders of the larger cities, the tour was so carefully designed to capture the essence of northern Italian that I will be much better prepared to explore some of the larger cities and different regions. Very memorable indeed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is no single moment. However I believe for me the histories of the small hilltop locations and the reverence that the Italian people have for their history (both good and bad) was something I have not experienced especially living in North America. Of the town I would say Orvieto was my most favourite. "

Machelle

Tour: 04/08/24

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn’t bring know how to improve it . The tour, the guide, the stops were all amazing .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is difficult. There were so many. "

Elizabeth

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour with many amazing sites. I loved the character of the small villages so much more than that of the larger cities that I have visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking session where we were able to embrace the 'Slow Foods' philosophy."

Craig

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nina our guide was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, well organized and was able to adapt with ease to some unplanned situations. Was impressed with the bus driver's skill especially managing some tight spaces and driving us safely from place to place. Fellow travellers were a joy to share the experiences with. Really appreciated that each tour member had their own audio system. Liked not having to crowd around guide nor strain to hear what was being discussed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than any specific wow it was the guides who brought history alive that was so meaningful. Walking through a village one always learned something memorable. For example did not previously realize the importance of the Etruscans, nor the challenges of village life throughout the ages due to constant threat of invasion. Won't forget guide's sharing personal stories of their family's life during WWII. Also now have a new appreciation of olive oil and the influence of food on wine."

Christina

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time! We appreciated the ratio of guided tours and free time. Our tour guide and local guides were amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything!"

Cindy

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Starting with our guide. She was simply outstanding. On the long bus rides she kept us all informed and even entertained. Local guides were all knowledgeable as well. I got to see and learn about the REAL Italy, not just the big touristed destinations. We visited some very out of the way locations including a sleepy hill town and several wine/olive oil producers. Also marble and alabaster shops! Such amazing diversity on this your. Loved it so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment occurred in the town of Voltera. It had sprinkled a bit and as we were gazing over the Etruscan ruins below, a beautiful double rainbow appeared. The lighting was spectacular. Later in the trip the normally calm sea were driven by a hard wind storm, creating waves crashing into the short and reaching heights of over 100’. I’ve never seen a sea like that before so that was mesmerizing. The power and beauty of nature as seen from high atop gorgeous Italian villages. "

Jeffrey

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed our time in Italy and learning about the people, history, and food.

Dianne

Tour: 10/23/23

John

Tour: 10/21/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was superb. Of course, it starts with the guides and Andrea was terrific giving us his Italian viewpoint on life in smaller towns. He was backed up by the fabulous Donaldo, who is a superb lead guide on his own. The variety of activities and sites are enormously diverse starting with a university town of Padua and continuing through Umbrian hill towns and wild Tuscan scenery. You get to have wine tastings, olive oil tastings, your own pasta lunch, ceramics workshop and a marble quarry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few. The amazing frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel, the mosaics in Ravenna and a beautiful tour through Siena including the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous Palio horse race."

Anna

Tour: 10/21/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful overview of different regions of Italy. The guide and assistant were very knowledgable and eager to help in whatever was required. Our fellow tour mates were enthusiastic and engaging. The majority of sights were interesting, and the "work-around" for the days we were not in Lucca turned out to be exactly what we would have planned for ourselves (extra time in Siena).What a great way to learn about the history and meaning behind the sights we were seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mausoleum of Gala Placidia in Ravenna. The quality of the mosaics, both in artistic details and the craftsmanship was astonishing. The exterior definitely belies the wonders inside. "

Linda

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your tour certainly overdelivered, from the fabulous art to small town villas, cooking lesson, olive oil pressing and the food and wine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea and the quaint towns of the Cinque Terra"

Patsy

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, wonderful tour members and experiences! I loved all the small towns and the medieval buildings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cinque Terra, with its picturesque and very colorful old buildings and its very dramatic, crashing waves."

Cathy

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Village Italy tour was excellent. Our guide. Deborah, was outstanding. She knew so much about the various areas on the tour and shared that knowledge in an understandable way. As an American, it was so impressive to see towns, churches and artwork completed hundreds of years before our country was discovered! The hotels and restaurants were more than adequate and plentiful free time allowed it had to be the mosaics us to continue the discovery on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be the mosaics in the San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna. These beautiful mosaics done in 1/4 inch tiles that have endured for centuries were amazing. "

Gerald

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very enjoyable tour with really good food and wine. Plenty to do and see. Guide Deborah was top-notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No exceptional "Wow" moment, but at least a couple of very memorable experiences. First, the stunning mosaics of the Basilica San Vitale in Varenna. Second, seeing waves from the rough surf spectacularly crashing against the seaside cliffs of the Cinque Terra towns...what a memorable sight."

Dena

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you for leading us on a memorable, educational, and gorgeous trip in villages of Italy. Our cosmopolitan leader, Deborah, filled each day with a delightfully woven stream of interesting information on a variety of subjects including geology, agriculture, art, politics, history, culture, customs, religion, shopping, and cuisine. She constantly worked to enhance our experience yet appeared to do it effortlessly and also added cool little surprises. What fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day in Ravenna seeing glorious mosaics from the 5th century to the present."

Sharron

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I expected. Great guide - friendly travelers - beautiful views - wonderful towns

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two actually - Cinque Terre - large waves breaking against the walls and cliffs. Not what I was expecting, but so beautiful. Beautiful sunset over the vineyards and hills at Hotel Belvedere di San Leonino - breathtaking."

Norman

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. Every aspect was very well coordinated and executed

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giotto frescos "

Gary

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary, excellent guide, she was very prepared and experienced , she made the trip a true pleasure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was visiting the Cinque Terre towns, the waves were tremendous, the boats could not go out but the waves crashing into the cliffs was amazing to watch and feel."

Jacqueline

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized. Great tour guide. Interesting and comfortable hotels. Wonderful fellow travelers. Great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was full of wonderful experiences but I was most imprint the dedication of our guide, Deborah, who led us on a promised orientation walk in the pouring, never ending rain in Lucca…and she was bright and cheery throughout the very soggy walk!"

Robert

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was an excellent overview tour. We learned a lot and realized how much history we didn't know. The frescoes, the small workshops, the picturesque villages and the people who work and live there will remain vividly in our memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me (Bob) the truffle hunting experience was a wow moment. For my wife, the Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and in Assisi were highlights. "

Richard

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide (Deborah) and Coach Driver (Pierre), felt very informed and safely transported in their capable hands. The tour coach was very comfortable and all of our overnight accommodations were beyond my expectations. Overall, the daily schedules were just about perfect, though a couple more of the days could have used an intermediate “break” to relax and give some thought to what we were seeing. The people and sites visited were awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had studied a lot of Italian history and architecture in college, and even though the trip did not include Rome or Florence, I was eager and amazed to see the the smaller villages and towns, and experience their own cultures and history. The Italian people were very friendly and accepting of we “touristi” (?), and it was nice to be able to converse with so many without stumbling over language barriers. Still amazed at how many hilltops had churches and small villages surrounding them!"

Evan

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second Rick Steves tour was another outstanding experience. We enjoyed visiting the smaller cities in Italy with a friendly group of travelers. We enjoyed each stop so much that we always wished we had more time to spend there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the day we were scheduled to visit the Carrera quarries, the weather prohibited that visit, so our guides took us to a sculptor's workshop instead. We saw many projects and talked with one of the sculptors at work. This was a highlight for many of us. We are so grateful for our guides and the flexibility that allows them to turn what might have been a lost morning into something very inspiring. "

David

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a great tour. Our guide, Ann, was absolutely amazing and added so much to our overall experience. It was a little bit of a slower pace (compared to our tour last year, 21 day Best of Europe), but still provided a lot of unique experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sienna. Our guide in Sienna, Ann, was amazing, enthusiastic, and wonderful. She did an amazing job educating us about the Palio and all the different Contrada. Salute!"

Maureen

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being our 10th Rick Steves tour....it continued to meet the high bar of excellence! The tour guide, Ann, was phenomenal; the lodging was lovely local and small feel villa-hotel; food and wine--FANTASTIC; transportation service of the bus was excellent; local guides in almost every instance were passionate, knowledgeable, and engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ravenna and specifically The Basilica of San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia."

Patty

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

October in Italy was a great experience. Ann Long was our guide. She was pleasant and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sienna! We loved having the local guide take us to her own Contrada and explain the details and symbolism. It was to educational and FUN!"

Debra

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Ann was knowledgeable and organized. All our group experiences were well-planned, and our group dinners were AMAZING. Our fellow travelers were congenial, flexible, and engaging, and there were no whiners or grumps: the quintessential Rick Steves travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the ramparts in Orvieto, with the spectacular views over the Umbrian countryside. "

Steve

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, well executed. Problems with weather smoothly handled. Had a medical issue that was handled very well by tour guide and local rep.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evening in Montefalco. Completely unexpected."

Ron

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have always wanted to visit Italy - a lifelong dream. Given the opportunity, I chose seeing the small towns and countryside over standing in lines to visit historical sites. This trip gave me everything I wanted to experience and did it perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we were supposed to visit the Carrara marble mining operations, it rained. The local guide quickly implemented a plan to get us to visit a site where chiseling slabs into beautiful forms is still practiced. It was a highlight of the trip. A woman sculptor was asked on the spot to tell us about her work and how she transforms the bulk marble into beautiful figures. She was amazing, and the local guide was amazing in lining that up for us so quickly."

Alana

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin! This tour exceeded my expectations. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I have always enjoyed his travel series. Our tour guide was amazing and couldn't imagine anyone other than her taking us on this journey. The villages of Italy took us to so many medieval villages that were so amazing and each had their own story to be told. I am so pleased I got to experience the journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments that it's hard to pick just one. Every village was a new experience, every piazza had it's own charm and to sit and have an apertivo and watch everyone stroll by was a moment to reflect on. To stand under the worlds oldest Etruscan arch was an amazing moment to be a part of. The bus driver singing to us was fun and visiting an olive oil press coop made me want to stay there. There were so many wow moments and my fellow travelers on the trip were the best!"

Laurie

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our wonderful guide, Trina, delved into the history and demographics of Italy, shared her love for the country, and introduced us to Italian phrases, people and places. Her ability to connect with each one of the group and help us meld was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! The truffle hunt near Trevi, the cooking lesson at Chianciano Terme, the visit to the Painted Egg Museum in lovely little Civitella del Lago, the guided tour in Siena, the pottery factory in Deruta, beautiful Lake d'Orta and the visit to the island - what could I say was my favorite moment?"

Steve

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely fantastic! Can’t say enough for our guide Trina, bus-driver and the tremendous group of fellow travelers. This tour gave me an enriched experience of the vast beauty, history and people of the small villages and towns of Italy. Our visit to Civitella del Lago and Volterra was off the charts fabulous. If you want to truly experience the Italian lifestyle, pace, regional food, and beauty of small villages and towns this is the tour to take!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way, way too many wow moments on this tour but the one that stands out was our local guide Giulia in Siena. Her enthusiasm and passion to impart in depth knowledge, opened our minds to a clear full understanding of the Palio and the Contrada’s of Siena was amazing. The visit to La Tartuca (The Turtle) Contrada was fascinating. She managed to bring Siena history and present day culture to a greater understanding and I left enriched by the experience. "

Polly

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was great fun with a variety of interesting and cultural experiences. While I deeply appreciated the art and history of the Scrovegni Chapel, the basilica at Assisi, the Orvieto cathedral, and the Ravenna mosaics, I enjoyed and was fascinated by the dogs hunting truffles and our time at the olive oil mill. The small towns and agriturismos away from the hoards of tourists offered a relaxing and calm travel experience. I think the "village" experience is why I enjoyed this tour so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics in Galla Placida's Mausoleum and Basilica San Vitale in Ravenna were stunning and of interest to me because I saw the mosaics in Monreale and Palermo last year on the Rick Steves Sicily tour. The mosaics in Ravenna are earlier and very different but nonetheless memorable. A very different "wow" for me was the time we spent walking around the medieval hill town Civetella del Lago. I felt like I had been transported back in time exploring this quiet town with beautiful views."

Janneen

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful, our guide so knowledgeable and our bus driver super professional and great personality

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That’s a bit difficult it was all amazing plus we spent 2 days in Venice and a day in Florence “saw David that was wow and 2 dats in Milan saw the last supper wow but as part of the tour loved Montefalco, Basillica San Vitale , the Etruscan ruins, all of it "

Sandra

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was everything that was promised as well as a little more as we have come to discover with RS Tours. Our guide and bus driver were both excellent as well as accommodation and activities. However, en route to the tour I re-injured by knee which made the experience so different than we other RS tours. I was in pain a lot even as I used every technique my physio has suggested for treating the problem. I rested it as much as I could. Everyone on the tour was supportive and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunset from our Tuscan villa over that beautiful scenery and before heading to another wonderful dinner. "

Kevin

Tour: 10/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was the best! So full of knowledge and always helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really loved the stop in the tiny village of Civitella al Lago. So quaint and beautiful!"

Ann

Tour: 10/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fun, educational, and a wonderful experience. The enthusiasm of our guide Christina P and the local guides made all the difference. They were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ravenna church, Sienna horse race information, Lucca, hand painted pottery, Etruscan museum. all were WOW."

Linda

Tour: 10/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was an amazing guide who went above and beyond to make sure our trip was memorable and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was Cristina’s little surprise trip to Civitella del Lago for some wine and bruschetta and gorgeous lake view. But the real wow moment there wasn’t planned at all. An American named Steve was watering his plants and he invited us inside to go see his patio view!"

Daren

Tour: 10/07/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were immersed in culture, history, scenery but most of all like minded people full of energy to learn and share both of themselves and our journey. It left a book mark on my life

Laurie

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a whirlwind of fun!! Well organized, great variety of towns/cities and activities. The people, as usual, were all welcoming and friendly to this single traveller. The logistics of getting us from one place to another was without fault.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"CinqueTerre: I have wanted to go back there for years. Although it was so crowded I still enjoyed being there again. "

Glenn

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about the trip, fully met expectations for a wonderful time in Village Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every town/village we came to seemed like it couldn't be any better, and then the next one would top that!"

Nancy

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour very much. I was surprised to see how much variety there was in the culture of the different cities and towns we visited, in the food characteristic of each region, and in the landscape we traveled. The "extra" activities - truffle hunting, visits to an vineyard and olive mill, a cooking class, a pottery and the Carrara mines - were well-chosen to reflect the flavor of northern Italy. My favorite, though, was the amazing art treasures of Scrovegni, Ravenna, and Assisi.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Turtle contrada in Sienna afforded a glimpse into the intricate rules of the Palio and the heightened emotions it stirs in the city. The history of the race viewed from the perspective of the Turtle's museum and two of its members continues to intrigue me."

Andy

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour. It was a fantastic tour although we experienced an issue with our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the boat of the Cinque Terre. The water and weather was perfect."

Terri

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the best tour guide ever with a wonderful group of fellow travelers. This tour was perfect for us because of the focus on small towns, many of which we would likely never see on our own. There were many days that we were surprised with visits to “bonus” villages not listed on the main itinerary. Outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the artisans creating beautiful pottery in Deruta was amazing. I could have stayed there an entire day. Another wow moment was seeing the mountains of snow-white stone and learning how Carrara marble is quarried. "

Cindy

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 2nd RS tour and it was incredible. Andrea is an amazing guide. His passion for his country and his extensive knowledge of art history really added to the experience. Unfortunately he got sick and had to leave before the end but he was so exceptional that I am thankful we had him for as long as we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our private concert from Andrea and his friends was a really special treat! The biggest wow was that each city was better than the last. The tour got better every day! And our final guide who was only with us for a day or so went above and beyond which was much appreciated! That had to be tough to pinch hit at the very end but she fit in great with our group! Super excited to book next years RS tour!"

Suon

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour and was the best yet! The tour was perfect in length and all that we got to see and do. Our guide Andrea was so passionate and caring. The local guides were all so engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything we did was a "wow"! The frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel were not to be missed. The mosaics in the Basilica de San Vitale in Ravenna were incredible. The Duomo di Orvieto was gorgeous. The truffle hunt and the truffle dinner were unforgettable. The concert that our multi-talented guide Andrea performed in. The cooking class at the agriturismo. The olive oil farm and luncheon. The Deruta ceramics workshop. The wine tasting in Orvieto. Dinner in Montefalco. The marble quarry! "

Penny

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was filled with history, interesting information about Italy, Italian art, Italian customs and the Etruscans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride along the Italian Riviera was great, seeing all the little villages from the water (Mediterranean Sea)."

Janet

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Villages of Italy tour, it was fabulous! The tour gave plenty of opportunity to meet local people who really care about what they do, and are proud of their heritage. Compared to the Best of Italy which I did in 2019, it was focused more on the food, the wine, the culture and also included the highlights of the small towns we visited. It was a good pace and there was plenty to see and do. I embraced the dolce vita, relaxing by the pools, eating pasta and drinking wine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I travelled with a good friend on this tour and at the end of each day we said to each other that it was another 'wow' day, truly. We enjoyed making an Italian meal with wonderful people passionate about food, truffle hunting and savouring them later in a fabulous dinner, watching pottery made and painted by hand, scenic boat cruises, a fabulous wine tasting paired with delicious food at a family winery, many walking tours to see the small villages and a Tuscan stay that took our breath away!"

Kathy

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I’ve been to Italy a handful of times but never to the smaller hill towns. The hill towns were all individuals and all quite charming. This tour showed me a side of Italy I hadn’t experienced before. Many locations felt less crowded, less touristy, and still had so many artifacts, architecture and art to admire.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I try to study something about a culture before I travel. This time I focused on Galileo and his scientific influence. Therefore, it was thrilling to be in Padua where Galileo lectured at the University of Padua and see his lectern and then be out in the streets at night with all the current university students all huddling in groups drinking Spritz’s and socializing. I enjoyed seeing how the university community continues to thrive this many years later."

Anthony

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was engaging, interesting, and included many fun activities as well as good perspectives on Italy’s culture and history. Our tour guide, Ruth, was very knowledgeable, helpful, and attentive. We had ample opportunity for independent wandering as well as guided experiences. The tour covered a lot of ground, so most stops it’s not possible to see everything; that’s good, because you’ll only want to see so many cathedrals. Great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the cooking class at Stefano’s agriturismo. He demonstrated passion for craft which rubs off and gets you excited about….. pasta making, sausage, pesto, organic farming, etc etc etc. "

Debra

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were thrilled beyond our wildest expectations. Our tour leader Ruth was incredible. She went above and beyond on giving us the best experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tuscany! Just the views! Loved where we stayed, food and wine, such a magical experience!"

James

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exceptional. Our tour guide, Ruth, was amazing. The variety of cultural experiences were well above my expectations. I especially appreciated how knowledgeable all the specialty guides were: Assisi, Sienna, the Carerra Marble quarry, truffle hunting and the olive oil mill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment(s) was the peaceful solitude experienced near the Tomb of St. Francis in Assisi."

Steven

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! Every day was perfectly organized with options to do more or less. The places we went to were beautiful from incredible cathedrals to simple olive oil presses. The tour director (Ruth) was fabulous! She was extremely well organized and always had a smile to make sure we had a great time. We have already been looking at another trip because this was so incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I’ve been asked this question by friends and family. Each time I have answered the question differently because there were so many wow moments. The few hours we spent having dinner in the home of couple that ran the olive presses outside of Luca was amazing. The beautiful food and wine and kindness this couple shared with us really moved me."

Jill

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful accommodations, great food, and wonferful fellow tour goers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow views of the hilly Tuscan landscape."

Ashley

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was lovely - I felt like I got such an "off the beaten path" experience of Italy, which was a delight. I do think there was too much packed into the tour and wouldn't have mind cutting out a few stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a drink on the patio at the Hotel Belvedere in Castellina in Chianti and just looking at the rolling Tuscan hills - it was stunning. "

Melanie

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a good group to tour with. Nina is an excellent guide. The pace of the tour was much more intense than I expected. Choosing village Italy felt like it might have more leisure, but this was the most packed and busiest tour I've taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The countryside of Umbria and Tuscany from sunrise to sunset; simply breathtaking!"

Cheryl

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the focus on Italian villages and the countryside, as opposed to spending time in larger cities. The diversity of experiences provided to our group - from truffle hunting, to a cooking class, to a delightful lunch at an olive oil cooperative - contributed to a broader perspective on Italian life. Our guide Nina was excellent and brought a wealth of information to our travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure I can identify just one “wow” moment because there were several: Stefano’s approach to Italian cuisine and the chance to assist with food preparation was lots of fun; the history of the Italian hill towns like Montefalco, and our stay at a beautiful inn in Tuscany were among the high points for me."

Mary Ellen

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour moves quickly and is packed with memorable experiences. I loved touring villages I might not have found on my own. There was lots of variety - something for everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! One was making our way through the winding streets of Siena and suddenly popping into the blindingly sunny and beautiful Piazza del Campo. Another was enjoying our truffle dinner at sunset after accompanying the truffle hunter and his dogs on their hunt."

Laura

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my first international trip since 2019 and it was a fabulous way to start traveling again. Our guide, Nina, was pitch perfect. She shared so much about the culture, history and people of Italy that I came away with a greater appreciation for the country. She set the tone for the group the first night we met. She was warm, humorous and very focused on ensuring we had the best vacation. She established ground rules and expectations as well as taking the time to get to know us

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the coast of Cinque Terra from the sea. "

Steven

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary. Tour guide Trina was just terrific.We lost a passport on the first day and she did everything within her power to help us. (It turned out ok). She was consistently cheerful, personable and informative. She clearly loves Italy and its history and culture. Hotels by and large were good to very good. Nice balance of structure and free time. Scheduled meals were generally very good (first night in Padova especially so).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many. For me probably the time in Ravenna at the tomb of Galla Placidia and San Vitale. I've seen pictures of both all my life but the actual live experience was very special. Also the town and setting of Civitella Di Lago (sp?) was a great surprise."

Darcy

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very good and overall another great experience. The title “Small Villages Italy” however seemed to be misleading as we were in larger places and experienced huge crowds in areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Orvieto and the time spent there was my favourite town, history and area. "

John

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though I would classify myself as a reluctant traveler our guide (Tricia) provided the most enjoyable experience with narratives that brought the wondrous visuals to life. The many opportunities to develop relationships with our tour group provided almost a family experience during the daily adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The duomo of Orvieto. To imagine being a part of a 300 year project spanning many generations was hard to comprehend. "

Patti

Tour: 09/18/23

It was a wonderful experience. Our group and our leader was wonderful. I experienced places I would not see on my own. The tours were usually good. But the best tours were led by our leader, Patricia, who had such a passion for the country

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Belvedere hotel was magnificent. The views were astounding. I would of loved to have stayed an extra dat"

Alexis

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. Well organized, great guide (Patricia), great group of travel mates. Awe inspiring sights, scrumptious food, amazing history plus just enough time on our own for exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to pick just one…the whole tour was one big WOW. I loved Civitella del Lago with its egg museum and the boat ride up the Cinque Terre was spectacular."

Carol

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour had an amazing itinerary. Our guide, Bradford, with his wealth of knowledge accommodated people with varying interests (some mostly wine, Ha!) The local guides were excellent. Time on your own was welcomed, provided meals were mostly excellent, and since I was traveling solo, I felt very welcomed by the entire group and made many new friends! Overall, a wonderful tour for those who enjoy traveling with a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the Byzantine San Vitale Basilica in Ravina. The mosaics were the most incredible that I have ever seen. It's amazing how intricate each small/tiny stone (some gold) created such a beautiful piece of art with such amazing history. "

Connie

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another excellent tour. A well organized and knowledgeable guide is what I have come to expect on a Rick Steve's tour and I was not disappointed. The "villages" were a little larger than I thought they would be and I was hoping not so crowded as it was the end of Sept, however the crowds were still in full force. A little of it has to do with which day of the week you land in the "village". Weekends were worse. Over all I will continue to take Rick Steve's tours. Thanks Tour guide Brad

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The specialty tour guides are the best. So educational and informative. My WOW moment wasn't a sight just the extra mile that our tour guide Brad took arranging for a group of us a chance to tour the Orvieto caves during our free time. Thank you Brad for going the extra mile that is not required of you but much appreciated. "

Carolyn

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A busy tour but Brad, our magnificent guide, keeps us on track.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the little hilltop town of Montefalco - atmosphere and dinner."

Daniel

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the work of our tour guide Brad.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle hunting and the following dinner"

Larry

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent! As someone else said, it is not for the faint of heart. You are on the go from morning till evening with little time off until later in the tour, but you see and do a LOT! There was a lovely variety of small hill towns, wineries, olive oil making, ceramics making, cooking class (excellent with tour member participation), an underground cave tour in Orvieto (which was not a regular event, but should be, and Brad made it happen), Carrara marble mine and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita!! Used to be part of tour but not anymore, so eight of us rented a taxi on a free afternoon to take us from Orvieto to Civita Di Bagnoregio, wait for us for the hour and a half visit, and take us back to Orvieto, with stops along the way of scenic overlooks. This "ultimate hill town" you visit after crossing a wide pedestrian bridge (in the clouds on our day) to see this quaint storybook town where there are no permanent residents anymore, but restaurants, gift shops and darling streets."

Charles

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exceptional. We greatly enjoyed experiencing the smaller hilltop villages in central Italy. Our group bonded almost instantaneously - unlike any other tour we have experienced (this was our 4th RS Tour). Our guide(s) were very engaging; the trip was unique as we had a "shadow" guide as well who was learning more about Italy herself. Most unfortunately, we also had 4 couples leave the tour along the way due to Covid infections; they were missed. Simply a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While it is very hard to choose just one, for me, seeing the remarkable marble floors in the Duomo in Sienna was a once in a lifetime experience. We had been to the Duomo previously but the floors were covered (as apparently they are most of the year). It is hard to comprehend the exceptional artistry AND craftsmanship required to realize these floors."

Michele

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very rejuvenating to travel again and immerse ourselves in a different culture. Village Italy offered a quieter, small town feel and the food and wine were so fresh, homemade and delicious!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the small villages, their history and uniqueness! Tuscany was dreamy! Montefalco so charming and out of the way! I think a memory that stands out is when we looked for a restaurant and entered a tiny place with seating only outside. I went in and inquired about lactose free items. An older couple took me through all their homemade pastas and then brought me in back to the kitchen and joyfully showed me all the sauces. It was like going to someone's home and one of the best meals! "

Barbara

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the best time! The villages of Italy tour was even more than we expected. The itinerary, guide, accommodations, meals, and traveling companions we simply outstanding. This wasn’t our first RS tour, but it was my favorite. I loved touring and exploring the smaller villages. I felt more connected to the real Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the truffle hunt followed by a truly gourmet dinner in a totally unexpected venue. The hunt was fun to watch the dogs search out and retrieve the truffles. Then the dinner- delicious from start to finish and the venue was beautiful, elegant and contemporary. The service was impeccable. "

Michael

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary, fantastic tour guide, great variety of traditional tour sites and Rick Steve's add ons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide wowed us with a personalized concert with his musical group in Orvieto"

Susan

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was well designed to give you the experiences of the smaller hill towns of Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My “wow” moment was the whole tour, the smaller hill towns with its cathedrals and their artists, the scenery with its rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves, and the wine tastings and cooking class. "

Irene

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour from start to finish. Our tour guide Nina was very knowledgeable and added to the enjoyment with her humor and quirky stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments. Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, learning about the Etruscan pre-Roman civilization, the views from the hill towns and walking the walls at Lucca. My clearest memories are of Carrara's marble quarry (where the marble for many famous staues came from) and the many views of the colorful buildings of the Cinque Terre."

Steve

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. So many neat experiences being immersed in the history and culture of Italy, and excellent descriptions from Nina and all of the local guides. Visiting smaller towns and having conversations with friendly locals made this an incredible trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from between seeing how olive oil is made, visiting a marble quarry, and participating in a cooking demonstration. Staying at a couple of villas in the country and the scenery in those areas was beautiful."

Ed

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide, interesting itinerary, great organization

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views on Cinque Terre"

Jane

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful!

Sharon

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! It was our first Rick Steve’s tour and we will definitely be going on more. Everything exceeded our expectations and our tour guide was excellent- treated us like family and was so organized, professional, and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just seeing Italy and it’s warm, wonderful people was a “Wow”"

Ellen

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 12th Rick Steves tour and the one I enjoyed the most! The food & wine of course was amazing- this was Italy after all. But it was also the perfect blend of relaxation and fun things to do. I felt energized and refrained at the end. I especially liked the smaller cities and less touristy areas- I was able to really immerse myself in the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to pick one. I think the day myseland two other tour members spent 2 hours eating lunch outside in Oviet - just watching people going about their business and enjoying the day"

Mary

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were very pleased with our guide Ann she was available to us at anytime. Her experience and her knowledge of Italy was impressive. This is our second Rick S tour and will do another! The only time I was unhappy with our hotel in Lavonto. It was not up to standards in my opinion. The hotel in Orvieto was ok, we were on the 5th floor and the air conditioning was all but useless. The previous comments are my only complaints and most of the group felt the same. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Assisi "

James

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and executed

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments, the beautiful churches, Sienna Cathedral comes to mind………"

James

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-organized and well-led. Everyone got along together and cooperated for the benefit of all. We did start to tire towards the end. It got very hot, and we were very busy. We were grateful for the “vacation from the vacation” near the end. The hotels were adequate, some were excellent, but in general the Italian air-conditioning does not meet the challenge of global warming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

" Duccio’s Maestà in Siena, Giotto in Assisi, our stay at Belvedere Villa."

Carla M

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I so enjoyed the rich LOCAL cultural experiences of this tour. Truly off the beaten path, would not have had the chance but for this tour, our amazing and fun guide, Ann, and a group of like-minded adventurers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The campo museum and guide I think. Today. Oh there are many "

Graham

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great adventure. We learned so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lucca. What a beautiful city. Bike ride around the wall. Opera in the cathedral. Many others."

MaryKay

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Busy! Rebecca kept us on the move. The dinners she planned were excellent, and she was very knowledgeable about what we would see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The church in Ravenna. Incomprehensible mosaics that have lasted hundreds of years and not lost their glory. "

Diane

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we arrived at the Venice airport, we had the good fortune of having our guide on the same bus. She showed us how to get the tickets for the transfer and get to the hotel. Deborah was so kind and helpful throughout our entire tour. She gave us the tools we needed to explore on our own when we had free time. She suggested wonderful restaurants and places to see that weren't included in the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh there were so many.... since we were on the village tour and went to so many out of the way places, we heard about and saw so much history and were amazed at how old the churches, mosaics and fresco's were. And the beauty of the countryside!!! Going truffle hunting was really interesting as was our wine experience. "

John

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Many great sights, companionable group, competent guide, much more strenuous than anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset at the truffle dinner, spectacular setting"

Kim

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good tour, well balanced between art/culture, architecture and experiencing hill towns/Northern Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking down from a scenic point in Riomaggiore on to the town, sea and boats."

Martin

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Deborah, made the trip more than just a tour. Her knowledge of the history and how things work in every day life was beyond my expectations. The tour itinerary was well-paced and was the right amount of group activities and independent time. Our bus driver, Lara, was excellent and was a welcomed member of our RS family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was the wine tasting with Cecelia. We had a informative lesson in how to taste wines and how to combine with foods. "

Amy

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Most hotels were great, although when in Cinque Terre, our group stayed in Levanto which is away from the 5 villages. Hotel was also away from the train station. We heard through the grapevine that other Rick Steves tours got to stay right in the village. Lake Orta hotel was especially beautiful, and we were glad we stayed an extra night. Time spent with local guide in Siena learning about her neighborhood was too long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was boat ride on Mediterranean viewing beautiful Cinque Terre. My husband’s was amazing sunset in Tuscany. "

Wendy

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th RS tour, each one is unique and each one is amazing.Lara, our driver, was such a talented driver on those very narrow Italian roads and our guide Deborah was fantastic, lots of treats hints and detailed maps to help us along the way. You ladies rocked. The supplemental guides were excellent.It was fun to get to know our fellow travellers over countless spritzes. A great and friendly group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mosaics at Ravenna and Deborah’s explanation of the frescoes in the Duomo in Orvieto, it was a master class in art history"

Kris

Tour: 08/28/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christopher

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Village Italy tour was our first Rick Steves trip. We had such a great time. Everything was planned out and executed smoothly. Our guide Brad was top notch, very friendly and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, it’s hard to choose just one. Driving up the valley in Carrara to the marble quarry was spectacular. Riding bikes around Lucca on the city walls. Attending a Puccini opera in a cozy church also in Lucca. And the food!!! The list goes on. "

Heidi

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had such a wonderful time! We loved getting to know our fellow travelers, and appreciated the intentional bonding activities--this was an unexpected highlight. Our guide, Brad, was amazing--he was so knowledgeable, helpful, and fun. We loved the variety of experiences on the tour and the activity level, and feel like we squeezed as much learning and culture out of our two weeks as possible. Thank you for the thoughtfully planned itinerary and activities--and the time to explore on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went into Siena the day after the Palio and happened to end up walking up the street that the victory parade came down! That was a really fun surprise! Eating lunch on the dirt in the Campo (and seeing the hoofprints in it) after our tour capped that experience nicely!"

Diane

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experiences we have on a Rick Steves tour are always exceptional. Even the few towns we had been to before felt new to us. This tour is a great blend of activity and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a difficult time picking favorites, but one moment that had me smiling the whole time was riding a bicycle around the ramparts of Lucca."

Mary Ann

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Brad was fantastic. Our bus driver Pierre Angelo was a skilled driver and navigated the roads beautifully. I felt very safe with him driving. The tour exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments. If I had to pick one it would the the Orvieto underground tour and history of the Etruscan's."

Edward

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

all aspects were outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"truffle hunting"

Marilyn

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people and our guide made all the difference. The sights were outstanding too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pinpoint just one. Churches, food, local guides, our tour guide, scenery. All were wonderful"

Andy

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic tour guide with Brad and our tour experience either met or exceeded our expectations. We had a very good group of tour mates. The local tour guides were engaging and gave insight which we would have missed otherwise. The Etruscan Museum was fantastic as was the Sienna guide. Our driver Pierre Angelo navigated the winding roads of Italy with ease.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Cinque Terre and seeing the beautiful countryside and sparkling water was my wow moment. This is among many of the wow moments of the tour."

Faith

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Packed with learning experiences and cultural interactions, tour is well-paced and managed in smallest detail to provide security and comfort

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one"

Sue

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We saw sooo many different things. Was a bit tough to keep up. Glad I went. Had a good group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Porto Venere"

Sheila

Tour: 06/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Christina, our guide was fantastic, she gave us detailed informations, history wise..the drive along the country side getting to our hotel was beautiful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Civita del Lago was awesome, the village on top of the hills was breathtaking ,plus we were the only group to enjoy the place, the view ,our host, the food..we were well served and the hospitality was great 👍 "

Charlene

Tour: 06/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very fun, positive, active, informative and surprises along the way. I loved everything: cooking class, mosaics, churches, St.Francesco Assisi, wine pairing, the Deruta Ceramic factory tour, shopping, seeing weddings take place and Lake Orta. The stops in the smaller villages like Civitella Al Lago were my favorite. Also, I enjoyed visiting the US Cemetery.

Kathryn

Tour: 06/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and the second Village Italy tour, the first being 14 years ago. We enjoyed it so much we wanted to repeat the trip. All of the small villages were delightful with diverse activities throughout. Our guide, Cristina, was friendly and extremely knowledgeable of Italian history who could throw in humor when needed. Some people did offer some suggestions to her which she listened and reacted to positively. I would recommend this tour with Cristina guiding it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to choose as seemingly every day, there was something special, unexpected, and/or beautiful making it difficult to narrow to one ”wow” moment."

Patricia

Tour: 06/19/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded expectations for organization, enjoyment, education and safety. Our guide went above and beyond to meet the needs of each traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stunning scenery, wonderful excursions, lovely lodging."

Susan

Tour: 06/19/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved Italy, Cristina and all the stories and histories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard one to answer. I guess in the mountains and country side. I am not a big city person."

Dianne

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip with excellent guide and bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking class at La Pieteiccia farm to learn slow cooking. Very organized. Everyone participated. Owner had young family members helping. Great food. What a great experience."

Anthony

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was exactly what we expected

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sight from Porto Venere - it was a big surprise"

Katherine

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All wonderful, loved our guide, Patricia, she is wonderful as we’re the local guides

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It too hard to say, loved it all"

Robert

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Altogether a wonderful experience. Italy, the fellow travelers, the places visited were all very wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to say. The frescoes by Giotto at the Scrovegni chapel and at Assisi were "wow"s. So was the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. But just looking out over the Tuscan countryside from our Villa (Villa Lecchi) was probably the absolute star."

Jane

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on this tour. Our tour guide, Patricia, was fantastic and always so helpful. Everyone on the tour was very friendly and inclusive. Our driver was exceptional and very friendly. We loved all the cities and villages we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure we had a really Wow moment...everything was so special. We thought the frescos in Padua and the mosaics in Ravenna were exceptional."

Charlotte

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned, fun and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two villas we stayed in were stunning!"

Alfred

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Deborah

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was only our 4th RS tour of Italy. It's because of the RS guides that we've been encouraged to come back and tour favorite areas on our own. It's guides like Christina and Andrea who immerse you in the culture. Their knowledge far exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a wow moment almost daily. Our guides made sure of that. One night we were entertained by our guide Andrea and some of his fellow musicians. They played their guitars for us. We enjoyed their music and the aperitifs served. Our group dinners were always fantastic!"

Kevin

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the tour was well organized and the choice of cities and activities was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is honestly hard to pick on "wow" moment. I was very impressed with the knowledge of all the guides and absolutely amazed at the architecture and history behind the churches and buildings in each city. I was really amazed at the beauty of Lake Orta."

Cindy

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my reward for retiring after 32 years of state service. It was amazing. I liked every village that we visited. Our tour guide and assistant tour guide were very knowledgeable, friendly and great problem solvers. I would definitely recommend the tour to a friend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many things. The Ravenna mosaics and a "simple" dish of fresh pasta with pesto as a little family run cafe in Lucca."

Evelyn

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide and assistant made the trip informative and interesting because of their knowledge of all the areas we covered. They answered everyones questions thoroughly and made sure we were set to go! Both were fun to talk to as we ate together and visited with the group. They are both excellent representatives of the Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was visiting the cemetery of those incredibly young and brave men and women who came to Italy to help them fight for their freedom. Our guide told us they were not forgotten hero’s but their families back in the USA want them to remain in Italy. She said Italians honor them daily"

David

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. Our guides, Cristina and Andrea, were outstanding. I have been on several Rick Steves tours and this was one of the best. The itenerary is great for those who have seen the big cities and the scenery was beautiful. We also had a great group to travel with. Thanks Cristina and Andrea.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A hike from Monterosso al Mare to Levanto on our "vacation from our vacation" with our guide, Andrea. A great view of the Cinque Terre and an outstanding art and history lesson all the way to Levanto for dinner."

Robert

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was awesome and our guides were awesome! They were extremely knowledgeable about the cities we visited and the culture of Italy. They were very accommodating and accessible for help when we needed them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite “wow” moment was the beautiful scenery when we were traveling by boat to Cinque Terre. The coastline was gorgeous and the panoramic views of the villages were amazing."

Tiffany

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, but not for the faint of heart, as it was extremely busy. The guides were fabulous, the hotels were lovely, and every town seemed nicer than the one before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking down the boardwalk in Monterosso al Mare (Cinque Terre) at dusk, listening to snippets of conversations in four different languages as I walked."

Patricia

Tour: 06/05/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and again we had a great time! The tour was impeccably organized and coordinated. It's so great to not have to worry about the details; you just go and have fun! Our tour group was good, but the guides were fabulous! Christine seemed able to manage a million things at once while still being able to chat with everyone. Andrea was super helpful and will be just great on his own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count: the impromptu concert by Andrea and "Bartender" in Orvieto, the parade for the holiday in Orvieto, seeing Carrara, learning about the Palio, the opera concert in Lucca, plus all of the fabulous scenery and the FOOD!"

Andrew

Tour: 05/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip from start to finish (except for the day that I was too sick to get out of the hotel room).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many great moments ... but for me, the very best was walking the "Path of Silence" around the island on Lake Orta. I could have stayed there for days!"

David

Tour: 05/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Based on our experience with Rick Steve’s tours, (this was our second tour); this is the only way to travel in any neighborhood other than your home neighborhood if you are able to walk 6 miles a day (frequently with all your luggage) and carry your luggage up four flights of stairs (which we never had to do.) They know the area and seek out and pass on the value they obtain using their local knowledge. It is the very best in”participatory travel” to see new places, new insights and new people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking class- Stuffing natural casing with raw pork and eating the result. "

Paulette

Tour: 05/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great! Our guides (Rebecca and assistant Margaret) were fabulous and gave really great information and insights into where we were going and seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name! We went to many churches and I loved the history and local guides knowledge. Then, the experiences, cooking class at the agri-tourist farm, truffle hunting (and tasting), Deruta ceramics (we carefully carried our purchases home), wine tasting (very special - I'm awaiting my purchases to be shipped), and so many more places and experiences to name."

Douglas

Tour: 05/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people in our group were amazing, the guide was incredibly knowledgeable and fun to be with, and the accommodations were excellent. We visited the most awesome places and the local guides were super as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Civitella del Lago (a small, hilltop village in Umbria) was one of the most spectacular towns we visited. It was small, quiet, and almost no tourists at all. We took a short local-guided tour of the town and visited the 'Museo Ovo Pinto' (painted egg museum) in that town for an interesting, if not quirky tour."

Marc

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been wanting to go on another RS Tour since our first in 2017 (Family Tour London-Florence in 14 days). We had a group of six of us booked in June 2020 but alas that was not too be. I was delighted to be able to bring my teenage daughter on this tour. She really enjoyed interacting with everyone (minus “The Family”) - I had problem trusting her care to other people on the tour while I rested or did something else. I haven't ever been with another tour company,but it is doubtful I will

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is a toss-up between the two nights we spent in Orvieto - a truly charming town atop a butte of rock - and the Villa Curina Resort. THIS did not feel like a typical RS hotel - it truly captured the feeling of being in a luxurious Tuscan country estate. The food was delicious and the views were stunning. This hotel room was 2nd only to the Hotel San Luca Palace."

Robert

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide (Trish) and great local guides. I really enjoyed the variety: history, scenery, food & wine. Also the variety of destinations including small villages, medium towns, seafront and lakefront. We spent two extra nights in Padua; should have spent them in Venice or Verona as the tour covered Padua fine. Also spent two extra nights in Lake Orta; definitely worthwhile. The bus was very comfortable with an excellent driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular single event but I very much enjoyed the special visits like the pottery workshop, truffle hunt, alabaster workshop and the Carrara marble quarry. My favorite destination was Lucca."

Brenda

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour. I loved everything about it. As usual, I think that the outstanding tour guide makes the trip. Tricia was amazing in every way. Sharing her love of Italy. Every detail was well thought through. The local guides in every stop are also fundamental in bringing the history and culture alive for the tour members. Made some new friends I hoping to stay in contact with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many WOW moments to pick one. Seeing the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna would be my first. Seeing the Cinque Terre from the ferry on a beautiful sunny day was the last."

Linda

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour struck a difficult balance perfectly: Always crisply organized but never feeling regimented. The opportunity to explore independently was appreciated as much as the local tour guides - their knowledge and obvious affection for their towns added to the experience of our further wanderings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ferry ride from Porto Venere up the coast."

Albert

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I LOVED this tour. It takes you away from the big cities and into the country and the smaller towns. It is short on art (although it has the Scrovegni Chapel, which is not to be missed), and long on food and crafts: mosaics, cooking class, ceramics, alabaster, winery, olive oil factory, and Carrara marble were all part of the tour. The people were friendly everywhere we went, and our guide Tricia was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The un-touristy little village of Civitella del Lago, with its lake views, painted egg museum, and outdoor wine-and-bruschetta reception given by friendly hosts. This village is a new addition to the tour, and it was a great decision by Rick Steves Tours to add it."

Thomas

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As advertised, a memorable inside look at the rural and small-town life of Italy. Thoroughly enjoyed observing and sharing in the artisan and craftsman experience of family operated businesses that made the tour so special. The guides made the visits to the museums and churches very meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Witnessing the trained dogs sniffing out truffles was a one-of-a kind experience that will always be remembered. The hands-on meal preparation learning from a skilled bio-farmer/cook was special, too."

Maribeth

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely spectacular! Beyond my expectations with the organization of the different villages on the tour, our guide Trish exceptional, food, meeting different local guides, chefs, and hotel owners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "wow" moments it is impossible to pick only one!"

Edward

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip overall was very good. The villages in Italy are beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truffle Hunting in Assisi, Sienna scenery, the cooking lesson in Tuscany and Cinque Terra beautifulness. "

Ed

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the pace of the daily activities. Our Guide Trish was great, very interesting insights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment was our stay in Tuscany. The visit to the farm and preparing our meal and wine was a big hit."

Patti

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 6th Rick Steves tour and is one of the best. Since most of the tours I have taken have visited the big cities, this one was special because it visited smaller towns and villages. The scenery while going thru Tuscany was stunning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the hillside town of Civitella del Lago and its 'Egg' Museum."

Velma

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were fabulous sites and adventure on this tour. I feel I really got a sense of Italian culture visiting all the different parts of village Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giotto frescos in Padova brought tears to my eyes!"

Susette

Tour: 05/20/23

We had a wonderful time with a fabulous guide and a troupe of fun and engaging fellow travelers. We saw great sites, had delicious meals and were able to appreciate Italy apart from the larger cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, it is hard to say. My husband and I really enjoyed wandering about the areas we were in. The food was so fantastic. We had been to the Cinque Terre 20 years ago and were flabbergasted by the crowds."

Julie

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

When you choose a Rick Steves tour, you can be confident that every restaurant, hotel, and attraction you visit has been curated by local guides and experts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be enjoying a leisurely two hour dinner overlooking the hillsides of Siena at sunset, drinking a glass of the local Chianti, and comparing our experiences that day with those of our tablemates. "

Paige

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it set a VERY high bar! I can't wait to go on another trip (maybe next year) and I can only hope it will be as wonderful as this trip was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many 'wow' moments to choose from but several stand out: the truffle hunting and amazing dinner that followed; the Etruscan museum tour with the awesome Roberto (who knew I could find ancient history so fascinating?), the ceramics tour in Deruta, and the Scrovegni Chapel mosaics."

Dale

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an excellent tour. Been to Italy 3 times and this by far was by best tour. Awesome behind the scenes agenda to see the lives of Italians.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one. The whole tour qualifies for the “wow” moment. A “ wow” item would definitely be the beautiful churches and basilica’s!!"

Gerald

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"CIty tour in Lucca with local guide (Elena?)"

Suzanne

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Cristina was absolutely fantastic. She shared her passion for her hometown Padua as well as all of the other stops on the tour. She was concerned for our wellbeing and wanted to satisfy what we hoped to get from this tour. The Villages of Italy tour has a good variety of interesting stops -- spiritual, historical, artististic, culinary, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

" I think going to Ravenna (which we almost didn't get to do because of the recent heavy rains) was a real highlight for me. The beautiful mosaics in both the Basilica and the Mausoleum were truly exquisite. It's incredible to think that they are over 2000 years old! "

Glenn

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had the amazing good fortune of having a Villages of Italy tour (VIT052023) with Cristina Pernechele....and it was above and beyond expectation. Overall the tour included beautiful towns, lovely lodging, so much history, and the opportunity to learn about the life and passions of the Italian people. Cristina has the special gift of providing an integration with the culture. She had some learn some basic Italian language, and facilitated the group dynamic skillfully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day we had "wow" moments: - Pierre our driver was the best. Many "wow" moments watching him negotiate tiny curvy Italian roadways! - The Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna (fantastic local guide) -The Etruscan Museum (Roberto), Assisi (Guiseppe), Siena (Julia) ...again with local dynamic local guides that were above and beyond. - Florence Italy American Cemetery and Memorial wow - Botanical Gardens in Padua - fascinating! - Viewing Cinque Terre from the water, and enjoying happy hour on hillside"

Beverly

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Except for the positive Covid test it was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

" Cristina was awesome. Loved the frescos."

Maya

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had not been to Italy in 19 years. It was wonderful visiting those memorable towns again (Sienna and Orvieto) but it was also exciting seeing towns we had not been to before. We had a wonderful group of travelers and the most excellent guide. There was a nice balance of being guided, and the opportunity to explore on our own. And the experiences of meeting the local people and artisans was like icing on a cake.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments. But what I was most surprised was were the mosaics in Ravenna. The mosaics in the Mausoleum of Galla Placida were beautiful. But walking into the Basilica di San Vatale took my breath away. The architecture brought such beauty and lighting into the basilica, which enhanced the beauty of those mosaics. I was very grateful that the recent flooding had not damaged the old city. But my heart went out to all the farms and businesses which were still under water."

Bill

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cristina was the quintessential RSE guide -- organized, efficient, personable and enthusiastic. She especially handled the Covid outbreak among us with compassion and efficiency. None of us who tested positive had anything but mild symptoms; we were negative by the time we returned home. I hope RSE rethinks the issues for next season.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the two musicians in Orvieto who played during our aperitivo; their music connected Italy and the U.S. in ways that I had not thought about in awhile. The Etruscan Museum at Chianciano was another high point."

Caroline

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned a lot about the arts and culture everywhere we went. The scenery was magnificent on this tour.

Robin

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing from start to finish! I loved each town we visited, the guides were top notch, and the food was extraordinary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was great, but my favorite location was probably the basilica in Assisi, which is amazing. I also loved visiting the olive oil co-op, and the lunch there was really special. When we had to reroute due to flooding, our guides arranged a remarkable experience at an organic farm that makes Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - cheese heaven! And the organic farm where we prepared our lunch with fresh ingredients and instruction from a terrific farmer/chef - what an experience! "

Terry

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experiences far exceeded the description of the itinerary. Our group was the best we have been part of on any of our 6 previous Rick Steves tours. That's a big statement since we've never had even a mediocre group. Always the best. We had fabulous guides and an excellent bus driver,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always hate this question because it is so hard to pick one. Overall I'd say our time in Assisi specifically the cathedrals of St. Francis and St. Clare. Giotta's frescos in Padua were stunning as well. "

When To Go & Weather

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

Italy / Milan


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

If you're flying out of Milan's Malpensa airport on the last day of the tour, it's best to book your flight for no earlier than 10 a.m. Taxis make the one-hour trip from Orta to Malpensa for around €95 for up to two people. Bus or train options may be available, but there is no direct route from Orta to Malpensa. Please note: Orta is closer to Malpensa than Milan, so there is no need to go through Milan on your way to the airport. If you’re flying out of Milan’s Linate Airport, the trip from Orta is approximately 90 minutes.

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.