Also, anytime I put real Italian gelato in my mouth". She is knowledgeable, personable and enthusiastic topped off with a right mix of history and humor. Could have used another half day in Cinque Terre. "There are many "wow" moments when you're in Italy! "To pick one amongst many;. There was plenty of time to explore on our own, and the group tours were very informative. It was all wonderful. On our way, we'll stop in the countryside to sample some of the region's tastiest products at a local family farm. It was the perfect mix of having all the logistics taken care of (transport between cities, hotels, guides in museums, entrance to museums and historic sites) and autonomy. Also the building, The Temple of Mars Avenger, with the pillars, that noone can get it torn down because it was built so strong. Even the breakfasts were much better than anticipated. All the local tour guides were superb, especially Francesca at the Colosseum and the Forum in Rome. Francesco did a great job of setting up the day by his overview and logistics. "Too many to count! "Portovenere, (Cinque Terre, and the Islands) .. just beautiful. I really liked the walking tours the first day/evening in each city which helped get our bearings for exploring on our own. Volterra - The 400BC arch and the vista of the valley below. I learned so much! The views were absolutely stunning.". This tour was everything I hoped it would be, and more. I found a greater appreciation for the places we saw having the back ground information our guides provided. GREAT TIME! My previous tour of London didn't use them however and hearing/staying with the guide was not a problem. A magic moment indeed.". Staying in Levanto was perfect. I felt the tour was very well planned and included only the most important things to learn about and see. We are new to the tour form of international travel and were leery of the large/commercial operations that were very expensive. Each day was well organised yet full of art and history. "There were many wonderful sights along the way but probably the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was the cherry on the top of the cake. On our Heart of Italy in 9 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…. "Honestly lounging by pool at hotel overlooking Tuscany area with many of our tour group lounging with us. #2.Turning the corner and seeing "David". Then we'll enjoy a fountain-splashing, dolce vita trek through the heart of Rome, soaking up the city's evening ambience at the classy Piazza Navona, Baroque Trevi Fountain, and the remarkably preserved, 2,000-year-old Pantheon before enjoying our first Italian dinner together at a favorite restaurant. Our tour was a perfect introduction to Italy and our Guide, Dimitri, could not have been a better guide. the good: Our first one was two years ago; a family tour with our daughter, son- in- law and four granddaughters...from London to Florence. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel doing a tour with a group, but because we had no experience with traveling to another country, we thought this would be the safest way to dip our toes in the traveling water. Overall it was a very good first Rick Steve's tour experience. Everything was so well organized. Our guides provided us with a few very special moments like a tour of an alabaster workshop, meeting the mayor of Luca and the visit to the Florence/ United States cemetery. I was really wowed by Rome in general. My mother and I had a wonderful trip which went way beyond our expectations. This was one of our prime goals.. to see the art and learn more about the history (as well as explore local food and wine. I loved her explanation that Rome can't be understood chronologically. From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! It was everything I had hoped for and more. Seeing the Coliseum and the Forum. We didn't love the radios with earpieces at first (especially walking the streets of Rome - TOURIST!) I was deathly afraid to travel and of heights. The second was ruins of Piazza Del Popolo. "We visited some places, notably Volterra and Lucca that we may not have seen on our own and enjoyed them very much. This was our first Rick Steve's tour and after doing it I really know that Rick is 'the real deal'. Enjoyed the free time and pace of tour. Evidence of this throughout the tour.". Everything was well coordinated and everyone in our group got along splendidly. From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! Equally inspiring was the walled town of Volterra.". Of everything I saw in Italy, what I most wanted to bring home with me was Francesca! Buddy system We enjoyed the camaraderie of the people we toured with, but appreciated the time to explore or relax on our own. We'll send the notification email when a tour opens within a season (spring, summer, fall, winter) or region. And Florence was full of wow moments: the cathedrals, the shopping, Michaelangelo's David.". The Vatican". Great value and money well spent. Absolutely thrilled with the quality of the trip tour guide and the local tour guides. Our tour guide was fabulous and most knowledgeable about all sites. Tour mates were fun. You hit the ground running so I would suggest arriving at least a day early as suggested in the Rick Steves book. Our stress-free Italy vacations package together small groups, great guides, central hotels, all sightseeing — and memories to last a lifetime. Seeing a real da Vinci at the Uffuzi. Amazing". It was an amazing drive and fun experience to walk on the quiet streets after the hustle and bustle in Rome.". Our days were well organized with plenty of time on our own to explore each city. This was the first time I have traveled with a group tour. 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… As it's our final night together, we'll have a grand dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. It was all good.". The places, the people and the guide were all incredible. Historically, while visiting the ruins of the Roman Forum seeing the artist's rendition of how the city appeared centuries ago was breathtaking. The local guides were outstanding; providing so much depth of history and interesting tidbits. The hotels were superb, the main tour guide (Colleen) was excellent, each city or town was unique, I learned a lot about the history of Italy, and I was able to see some of the greatest artwork in human history. Taking a boat tour of the coastal villages and swimming in the Ligurian Sea were a highlight for sure!". I loved our Rick Steve's Heart of Italy Tour! The 9 day tour ran smoothly and we were well informed for each day. She kept the tour flowing smoothly and kept it fun too. Awesome! The itinerary was flawless. Bus: 5 hours. "As much as i try i cannot come up with a favorite wow moment...........there were too many wows...................cinque terre, wow...................tuscany...................wow, See our FAQ | Call From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! I think the sequence was essential! The Colosseum in Rome was amazing. "There were many wow moments but the Roman Colosseum, and the Pantheon were my favorites.The art work,the statues, and the beautiful Churches amazed me. The tour was an outstanding experience. The afternoon is yours to visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, or browse the colorful markets. Our Guide was fantastic. Most favorite spot on the tour". I loved the balancing of organized tours and free time. Everything ran smoothly. Works well. I think after the hectic, crowded scene in Rome, the arrival in Volterra was the highlight to me. Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre (group may be split between two hotels). The local guides were equally as knowledgeable, passionate and filled with love for their community. If I had a grip it would be the accommodations. Cinque Terre was beautiful, especially hiking from Corneglia to Vernazza. We had fabulous weather, great history lessons and made new friends. It was also nice to get to know other folks who joined the tour as well. Our tours are physically active! "I think there were a few, the one stands out would be viewing the Sistine Chapel. Colleen's introductory talk added some perspectives, things to think about. The dinners were outstanding and the hotel accommodations were surprisingly comfortable. The annual festival was happening when we were there -wonderful to enjoy the local food, see and hear townfolks, children, families.". It was truly a spiritual experience, beautiful and timeless.". "Volterra and the Cinque Terre. Our first time in Italy and we couldn't have asked for a better experience! We absolutely *loved* the Heart of Italy. All the locations were carefully chosen with the travelers' needs in mind. If I were to do another tour, a RS tour would be top on the list. At wine tasting,would have appreciated water being offered . We were very hesitant to do a tour but we are looking at another Rick Steves tour soon, "The location of our hotel after visiting the Vatican amazing location for our too tired bodies", Great experience. I certainly came away with a deeper appreciate for Italy and a desire to see more of the country. I fell in love with Italy AND our tour leader Ferdi plus all those in our tour group. The tour was the perfect balance of structured/planned events with lots of free time to explore on our own. Everything was just perfect. I appreciated the thought and planning that went into the itinerary and logistics of leading nearly 30 people around Italy. "I would say stopping at the US Memorial on the way to Florence and the galleries in Florence.". Best ever!". "It is hard to narrow this to one event because each place was a great moment. He was so knowledgeable. The tour was exactly what I expected and more! From the first day orientation meeting to the final dinner, everything was well organized and well run. I enjoyed it so much that I was "home sick" for Italy when I got back home. sorry, I could not pick just one.". Volterra, Lucca, Cinque Terre, and Florence were all breath taking! the tour is a great way to get to know another country. Attentive service and spectacular view!". So moving to experience this with this group of people we came to know and love over the previous week.". "There were so many wow moments, too many to count ! Also, silly me, I didn't know that the Pantheon had anything inside it that was preserved. Another unexpectedhighlight was the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence.". The itinerary was very well-paced, with the right amount of group scheduled activities, plus plenty of time for us to explore on our own. Our main guide Jesse was a terrific guide who kept us informed about each part of Italy. But how do you not include seeing The David in Florence or The Pieta in St. "St. Peter's Basilica-- There were no words to describe the emotion and connection that I felt as I toured it.". My second place "wow" might be the Pantheon as I did not expect it too be so well preserved or so elaborate...a lovely surprise.". Beautiful statues, domes around every corner. to anyone! We had a great time getting to know our guide and tour group. A first time. `` safe it was the breathtaking view of Florence. `` in... 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