I fell in love with Italy AND our tour leader Ferdi plus all those in our tour group. The town was absolutely charming, and full of amazing restaurants, artisans, and history. So moving to experience this with this group of people we came to know and love over the previous week.". Our guide was fabulous, the people in our group were so friendly and each hotel had it's own charm and was a wonderful place to recharge and cool off after a busy and hot day. It was truly a spiritual experience, beautiful and timeless.". Our guide, Patricia, was funny and informative. Heart shaped pizza hot out of the oven in Florence.People watching in the Piazzas while sipping bellini's or expresso. The other "wow" moment was the Basilica in Florence. Perhaps the whole tour was the "wow" moment.". We'll definitely find our way back to Italy. I enjoyed just about everything. She was so knowledgable of our area and offered so many hints for us to do on our "own" time. I learned so much! "Local guide Francesca took us to the Pantheon and other marvels of modern/ancient Rome. "Although Florence was my favorite city, the Colloseum was my Wow moment. The group I was with was fun, adventurous, and interesting.It was great! I thought Lisa, our tour guide, was intuitive, knowledgeable (without being overbearing) and flexible. It was just the right mix of escorted and free time. The tour was just the right balance of group activities and on-your-own time. I tired to imagine what it must be like to live in these towns, but really can't imagine it.". In addition to his guidebooks and television shows, Steves has expanded into radio, newspaper and mobile applications. "I believe being able to actually see in person and walk on the paths of places that are so old was my favorite "wow" moment. Best ever!". Our tour guide Andrea was not only knowledgeable but lots of fun! Our overall tour experience was quite good. Fabulous tour! Thank you, "There were many! Nothing can prepare you for its size and grandness. "Was hiking from Vernazza to Monterossa in the Cinque Terre and climbing up an exceptionally challenging portion of the trail to arrive at the top and see the most awesome scenery of the sea and the beautiful mountains and pastel colored buildings. It was the perfect mix of group time and on-your own time. Andrea is a very good fit for her position. Inside Rick Steves Italy 2020 you'll find: Comprehensive coverage for planning a multi-week trip to Italy Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of y… 2021. Love the joy of having travel logistics taken care of that we can focused on just being present and enjoyed the experience. We wanted to really experience the Italian culture and food. I very much enjoyed getting to know the other travelers in our group - we all got along so well. Hotel accommodations were good for the most part. Not a pleasant experience. "Portovenere, (Cinque Terre, and the Islands) .. just beautiful. We especially enjoyed all the walking and hiking we did. Seeing a real da Vinci at the Uffuzi. "There were almost too many to pick just one. This is not to denigrate the rest of the tour, but Voltera was something extra special.". Loved bringing up trip to Cinque Terre with stop in Lucca. The itinerary was spot on in terms of seeing great sights and spending an adequate amount of time in each place. In Rome, I especially liked the hotel we stayed, because it was so close to the Vatican! Rozeanne is an absolutely fabulous guide! Wan't sure we'd like the bus, but found that a great way to get to and from places. Francesco treated us to an amazing al fresco garden group dinner. 3. Even though I was a solo traveler, I never felt lonely. But I developed bronchitis and with the heat, did not enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. The food was wonderful and the hotels were great! Hotels and meals were all excellent.Local guides very knowledgeable and interesting and our Rick Steves guide, Francesco did a great job of shepherding us from place to place on time without losing his sense of humour . I loved the beauty, the history, the art, the food and the people. It really let us be free to enjoy the pleasures of food, new friends, and new experiences. We had an outstanding tour guide and the members all got along and enjoyed each other's company although most of us were strangers before the tour. Wanted a low stress but cultural, people focused tour. Also, we made an unexpected stop to the US WWII Memorial outside of Florence that moved me to tears. Our tour guide, Colleen, was knowledgable, funny and just a pleasure. "David has to be right up there as a "wow" moment. Inside Rick Steves Italy you'll find: Comprehensive coverage for planning a multi-week trip to Italy Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your t… After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. There was an excellent blend of structure and free time. Every new location was so splendid, fascinating and enjoyable! We did the boat tour along the coast. There was plenty of time to explore on our own, and the group tours were very informative. There are too many highlights to list, but being able to walk with the tour guides and Sarah added so much to the trip and brought a beautiful depth of insight that was personal and made us feel so connected to a place that we had never been. The restaurant staff were friendly and the food was amazing! I loved being perched on top of the hill and seeing the beautiful Tuscany country all around me. We had fabulous weather, great history lessons and made new friends. Her organization, planning and thoughtfulness aloud us to get so much more out of our trip than we could have on our own. Everyone should experience the gallery with Paul.". "Riding bikes on the ancient walls of Lucca was an unexpected and fabulous time - I was absolutely giddy. This was my first time traveling with a group tour and I was worried about it being too touristy and regimented. I appreciated that everything I'd read in the RS tour books and seen on his shows was really utilized by the tour staff and with our daily activities. The hike was tough, but we got out early to beat the heat. "The sights in Florence were breathtaking. One that was one of my favorites was the pesto making demonstration at the restaurant in Monterosso was memorable.". This was our first Rick Steve's tour and after doing it I really know that Rick is 'the real deal'. This was my first trip to Italy, Rick Steves was recommended to me by members of a Facebook group I'm in. The only negative was our trip to the Vatican. "The tour of Roma with guide Francesca was beyond description. "#1. The logistics support from the company before, during, and after the trip was so helpful. "Volterra was a "wow" moment for me. Thank you!". We will book a Rick Steve's tour in the future. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. I feel like I got to see Italy in an authentic way. It was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations.The hotels were great- their location was key to the overall experience . Food was outstanding "Seeing the inside of the St Peters Basilica in Vatican City.". The Florence Baptistry and Dome round out the wow list.". "No single "wow" moment all of it was wonderful. A lot of great moments -interesting and informative guides, awesome tours, amazing breakfasts, singer for Italy group dinner-so much fun, great group. Excellent knowledge of history and dates Our trip to Italy was fantastic! All the guides were good. I think it is valuable to have the free time in the schedule to allow members to seek out personal interests after a morning tour. While everything was clearly laid out, we weren't sure how we would like a group tour or if it would be active enough for our style of vacationing. The dining was exceptional and with a few exceptions the hotels were fine as well. We enjoyed the mix of time spent with our group, and ample time to explore on our own. I have to admit the whole tour was a "wow" because of all the varied experiences and sights. Awestruck is how I would describe it. I loved all the cities we visited. without having to manage that part myself. This tour is truly the Heart of Italy. "We were wowed by the tour of the Uffitzi Gallery with Paul. Being all alone in this plain, yet astonishing feat of Roman engineering (and cool on a hot day) was a favorite wow moment and contrast to the very crowded sites.". Train: ¼ hour. Let's sell some of this stuff for social service projects!!!". We enjoyed the change from big city, to small Tuscan city, to beach town, then back to a big city. Inside Rick Steves Italy 2020 you'll find:. "Volterra, for sure. The tour was everything that the literature represented it would be. Jesse, our incredible guide deviated from the tour and took us to the memorial for the U.S soldiers killed in WWII. As a first time traveler to Italy I appreciated everything about the culture, food, architecture,friendly and hospitable people. The accommodations and meals were most enjoyable. I liked the hotels in which we stayed. There's so much more to admire in addition to acres of rolling grapevines. We met locals who showed us the authentic side of Tuscany. (See bottom box) We loved having the transportation and hotel rooms and the food arranged for us! Before we saw David we discussed (Lisa) the history of the stature and the background. Taking a boat tour of the coastal villages and swimming in the Ligurian Sea were a highlight for sure!". First time to Europe and truly believe the RS tour experience is the best way to make the most of your time, while still allowing individual time so that you can create your own unique experiences and memories. Loved the walled villages and of course Cinque Terre. This was my first Rick Steve,s tour. The pictures we took look like postcards and we got to dip our toes in the ocean.". The hotels were in great locations that allowed more exploration on our own when time allowed. It was so special to have Francesco as our leader, as he was able to give us so much insight into Italian culture. Overall, I would do a Rick Steve,s tour again. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone. St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Lucca was interesting, but Volterra (because of our tour guides) was equally or moreso, and Lucca felt like a shopping mall with all the stores. I'd been reading the Agony and the Ecstasy, knew how Michelangelo loved marble and carving. "The history behind things like Volterra. We enjoyed the museums of Rome and Florence and walking the narrow streets in the hill towns. Our tour guide, Ferdi, always made sure that I was served gluten-free food at our wonderful group meals (I am gluten intolerant); I am very grateful for that!