Beautiful. "There were so many it's hard to select just one. They made our 17 days together fun, interesting, surprising, and delightful. ", Overall, a great tour. There was a nice balance of tours and free time. As it was our 50th anniversary this year it was magical to float in a gondola, with music in Venice, Italy and see a full moon rising in the sky. Choose from an array of challenging hikes, join your guide (weather permitting) — and the free-roaming cows — for a peaceful walk among towering granite cliffs, or wander through the squares and side streets of a mountain village and enjoy the unique blend of Italian and Austrian cultures. Obviously, Italy comes by those skills honestly. Like our previous tour to Ireland, this Italy tour was wonderful! I was not prepared for the crowds in the larger cities Venice, Florence, Rome. We loved the unannounced stops at towns not on our itinerary and demonstrations given by local artisans. "Walking through the gates and seeing Piazza San Marcos and seeing the fabulous Duomo for the first time. The tour exceeded all of our expectations. Ötzi "Surprise stop at San Zeno in Verona! Rick Steves' Europe. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Of course, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's basilica were jaw dropping.". Tour of a lifetime! The hustle and bustle of the day gives way to a hushed stillness as everyone seems to take a moment out to appreciate the beauty of it. She always took care of us but gave us enough direction that we felt comfortable going off on our own. From beginning to end, the tour was a smash. This set is well worth the money. This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was just as great as our first tour. I look forward to returning to see the areas I missed. Too hard to pick just one but I think my favorite places were Cinca Terra and St Peter's Basilica in Rome that i went on my own to as i had already been to the Vatican...". "Lake Como, Alpe di Suisi, St. Mark's Basilica and Piazza, Uffizi Gallery and museum tour guides, Pisa Field of Miracles, Orvietto Cathedral, St. Peter's, Vatican Museum. Trip design was exceptional – there was the perfect blend of big cities and small towns, which provided a wonderful pace. Our guide was excellent and always able to provide us with suggestions of things to do with our time based on her evaluation of our interests and abilities. Excellent! Expert advice from Rick Steves on what's worth your time and money Two-day itineraries covering Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence, the Hill Towns of Central Italy, Rome, Naples, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast 1. Soo many 'wow' moments. I have been to Italy before. We were asked to visit a grave as many had never had a visitor.". I also need to mention the extremely emotional experience I had at the US Military Cemetery outside of Florence. Boat: ½ hour. Such a magical place!". "fav had to be celebrating my wife's 70th at the farmhouse in Umbria! The structure of the trip fit my needs – usually a group dinner the first night in a new place, which allowed me to not worry about logistics. We arrived one day, explored the next, and then left the next day. I will recommend this tour to anyone looking to go to Italy or on a European tour. The tour was outstanding. But I am so glad my reluctance didn't keep my sister and I from joining the Best of Italy tour. This is our first of several Rick Steves' tours, and we are amazed at how superbly the entire trip went. ", "The moon over lake Como, hiking in the dolomites after a light snow,a duomo a day, the Pitti Palace and Uffizi galllery in Florence, Francesca's tour of Rome and the Borghese Gallery. No solution really, travel in January or stay small town. I enjoyed the inclusion of the smaller towns and most of the included meals. We were on a gondola ride in the evening and as we were on the Grand Canal a full moon started rising over the water!". Let's make a modern-day pilgrimage to the hill town of Assisi, where, in a time of unprecedented church wealth, St. Francis inspired a refocused spirituality through poverty, humility, and the beauty of nature in Umbria. This tour is Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our Best of Italy tour. We'll then take a village orientation walk, pointing out places for dinner on your own tonight. The second WOW was an impromptu stop a an American WWII cemetery. Our Tours. I'd recommend your tours to all and will take another soon. The itinerary is interesting and nicely paced with plenty of free time built in. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. All the main cities where we stayed have been on my bucket list. "Totally blown away by the American Cemetery outside of Florence. A very ambitious program but extremely well organized. The tour was well organized and the group got along well. Totally amazed with Francesca and the tour of Rome. However, this tour provided a richer, more in depth experience. (How do you guys arrange for that? "Like everyone, there were too many to pick one. Loved Dino our bus driver also. We'd like to start our review by saying thank you to Rick Steves and his staff for a truly amazing adventure. Entdecken Sie . The hotels were 1st rate along with breakfast and team. Rick Steve's local guides were very knowledgeable and very insightful. ", "Too many to list- but Varenna and Cinque Terre wowed me the most.". Tour guides in various cities were really good (tho a few were kind of long-winded, and group could have used a break). This evening, we'll share a hearty Tirolean dinner together at our mountain retreat. "Seeing the Ruins in Rome, with presentation by Francesca.". I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would like a taste of Italy! "Uffizi Gallery (our best guide) & The David. Cinque Terre walk with smell of lemon blossoms and roses...and then a glass of Prosecco on a terrace. A dozen of us were game for the outing.Stephanie handed us bus tickets but never said where we were headed. Hiking in the Cinque Terra. I was highly recommend this tour. That can only be accomplished with experience. We are so happy we went with a Rick Steves tour. I never failed in following Rick's advice! Donald was the best. "There were so many "wow" moments that it's difficult to pick one. "There were many!!! He should have spent time meeting your requirements, "Touring in Florence - seeing David and the art work". The sun rise at St. Peter's and viewing the Pieta without a herd of other tourists was a WOW!! I met nice people, saw interesting things, ate great food, and learned many things. "I am sure others have said the same, but there were so many "wow"moments! It was great to be able to "skip the line" at all of the popular venues. I was a bit reluctant to take a scheduled "tour" complete with a guide, bus and 30+ of my closest friends (not). I think the buddy system really fosters getting to know one anther. We were pleased with the entire experience. This was a wonderful experience all the way around. This is a very educational and enjoyable tour with a variety of interesting experiences, and wonderful travelling companions. Because I had toured Europe for 3 months when a college grad, I wasn't as excited as my husband about this trip. We feel we were fortunate to have such an experienced guide in Donald as well as great group of fun loving fellow travellers. Owner harangued us about olive oil which we knew. It was breathtakingly beautiful. My wife and I are very familiar with this series: we watched and taped many of the episodes on cable TV; we used the travel tips and "back door" attractions to plan our own travels and we revisit our tapes frequently, using them a souvenirs. I used my own headset with 2 earbuds. There was a time that it was not on and I truly missed it. The wine resort and the music in Orvieto!". Not enough space to convey how much we enjoyed out tour. It was truly overwhelming at times to take in all the beauty, i.e., culture, countryside, history and art, and is difficult to explain to people. I can't say I like one moment better than another.". Then, of course, all of the cities with their fabulous art works.". Explore Europe. We felt the tour was exceptional and felt valued by our tour guide. Our trip was hassle free because your organization handled all the arrangements for travel, tickets for attractions, and lodging. "Being at Lake Como in Varenna - the birthplace of my grandfather; so beautiful and I really felt like a part of the country.". I think it’s because it’s so experience-rich. I was just a little bit disappointed in the food at the winery in Siena. We would highly recommend doing a Rick Steve's tour. Top of the St. Marko Church in Venice. Only disappointment on my behalf was the unusual cold and rainy weather, especially in Lake Como and up North (Caselrotto). No bus. Today's final destination is Italy's enchanting Cinque Terre fishing villages, laced together with hiking paths that meander between vineyards and the deep blue sea. Not only did we get all that was outlined in the tour itinerary but there were special "surprises" that happened (or were planned) that served to enhance the trip. 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. It was great. "Everything about the tour was a "wow" moment but, when I first saw the Colosseum, my lifelong interest in Roman history came to life in a dramatic & concrete way that became the thrill of a lifetime. Today we'll focus on Renaissance (Catholic) Rome. The local guides brought the cities to life and made you feel like you were a part of the action. Salute! Venice was such a unique city, only accessible by water transportation. Overall tour was outstanding. The rooftop view of the Grand Canal in Venice at sunset. Such a beautiful and peaceful setting. Our bus driver Dino was fantastic and smooth rides. We were told this tour was the most popular of all the Rick Steves tour - I can now see why. Outstanding, incredible and I could go on and on. I loved seeing Lake Como and thought it was so beautiful and the Dolomites were breathtaking! "Out of many "wow" moments that were a daily occurrence, one of my favorites was when we drove up to the winery outside of Orvieto. I've been on ten Rick Steves tours and the pace of this one felt more hectic than other tours I've been on, but that's because there's so much to see and do. Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Starting with our tour guide Marianna and the bus driver Adrian. Friends have asked me what I liked best about the tour and I have to say "all of it"! "Statue of David, touring villages. "There were so many, from hiking we chose to do in Lake Como, the David in Florence, St. Marks Basilica in Venice, etc.. Thanks Stephanie for one of those once in a lifetime experiences.". The first was seeing the Colosseum and being he told about it by our local guide. To have seen it actually left me a bit light-headed. If one day exposed me to regional food that I had to stretch myself to like, the next day provided an opportunity to choose a restaurant that served food that I love. Even though I had seen it before, I loved seeing it again and it still takes my breath away. With Rick's strategic tips on saving time and money, you can worry less about your trip, and focus on enjoying the experience—whether that's climbing to the … Later we would swim in the sea. Of course, the really fun surprise was our unexpected visitor, Rick Steves! I would have appreciated more local guides .Lake Como. No bus. It was a college graduation trip for my daughter. Our guide was excellent. However, I found the Vatican very stressful and would have preferred a guide. Created lifetime memories that we will cherish as long as we live. My wow moment was when I realized this trip was going to be much more than beautiful scenery, great wine, great food, and history. The 17 day trip perfectly blended "aggressive" days of walking in large urban areas with "laid back" days in more rural/scenic locales. My overall experience was great. Our tour group was amazing. One moment for me - in Assisi, as we walked down a corridor there were 2 doves, inside, cooing, against the backdrop of the gardens, etc. Looking back on this tour it was all a WOW!". We looked forward to shelving that chore and it was a delight. "So many "wow" moments because Italy is so diverse, but Cinque Terre was a wonderful surprise! The local guides were great. The tour exceeded my expectations. Both our tour guide and bus driver were wonderful and a lot of fun. We greatly appreciated the comfortable, clean, and often beautiful accommodations, the ease of travel, the diverse destinations, and excellent tour guides in cities like Venice, Florence, Sienna, and Rome. Unable to add item to List. I loved Italy and this tour was fantastic! Liked northern Italy landscape the most. She is special. It would be much more enjoyable with fewer people. Thanks to your staff who put the tour together and thanks to Sarah who made us feel like family. In Rick Steves Best of Italy you'll find essential Rick-tested information on the following top destinations, plus condensed coverage of several "Best of the Rest" cities and regions: Venice and Nearby. Little help from guide in booking other things for free time. The was our first Rick Steves Tour and it exceeded our expectations. Learn about Rick Steves' small-group tours with more than 40 great itineraries for 2021! Food, sites, great group of people. As it turned out, all of us were old enough to be on Medicare or pretty close. His historical and present day knowledge of Italy is phenomenal. Seeing David, Sistine Chapel, Pieta, and other sites, again. Florence was almost overwhelming with its rich political and cultural history. I came to Italy to enjoy Italian Food!". It is about solely about traveling. Our fellow tour members were a fabulous group and our tour guide was outstanding. My "wow" moment was getting to jump off the mountains to paraglide over the gorgeous, pristine valley - something I never expected to do in a million years. Any minor problems that came up were dealt with easily. "All moments were WOW - too many to list. Our tour experience was beyond our expectations! Everyone was knowledgeable, pleasant and very helpful. Exceeded my expectations. The trip locales were perfect, the weather cooperated and there were no whiners. I was greatly impressed with the architecture and that people living 500 and more years ago could create such magnificent structures and art. Our first trip in 2015 was the Venice, Florence, Rome tour and this is quite different--less in-depth in the big cities (we still hit the highlights) but great variety in exploring the regions of Italy. Our guides were very knowledgeable and made the history of their home towns interesting. She did an amazing job of handling the varied personalities of the 27 tour members. The tour was extremely well organized and professionally run. "Venice! ", The Best of Italy tour was a great way to see a lot of different places across Italy. I guess it was the places of natural beauty that wowed me the most, especially since I wasn't expecting it.". (Continued in Paragraph 16). 2 days at each location often felt too brief, but there was so much territory to cover in 17 days!!! was fantastic as was the Colosseum. "Too many to pick a single one although hanging out in a small cafe having Stacy's friend's band rock us out was soooo cool. All of these virtues have been transferred to the digital medium and...no commercials or breaks for public television fund-raisers! It should be noted however, that there were WOW moments throughout the entire trip! I feel our "wow" times were when the group was together and having fun. I came in with no expectations other than I was sure I was going to have a great time. I've been to Italy 6 times on my own. Canazei and the lift ride to Pordoi. Stephanie was the BEST! Being rookie tour folks, we didn't know what to expect & our trip was exceptional. One could get picky about this or that but in the whole big picture neither my wife nor I felt there was anything to complain about. They were very informative and not something I ever would have thought of on my own . Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. "There were several: coming into Venice, seeing the statue of David, hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, walking into St. Peter's Basilica, the Cistene Chapel, looking out over the Dolomites, the list goes on.". The tour far exceeded my expectations in every way! As to the infrastructure - wifi was never an issue, roads and public toilets (at auto grills) were as good as home (ever better for thoughtful design with flush petals on floor, & 2 flush system and bidets at all hotels). I loved the breadth of the experiences that we were given. We had a wonderful time overall. I found the SMALL towns to be as interesting as the larger/more famous ones, and was glad we had a chance to see them. I loved the tour! "Near the end of the tour while reviewing my Facebook posts/pictures I was amazed at all of the epic sights we saw but also the intimate experiences we had with the local culture. It was overwhelmingly wonderful. From Louise & Lisa... "Dolomites and Florence were both really great.". My wife and I had never taken a tour of this type before and were very pleased by all of our experiences. This tour was Outstanding with a capital O. I expected great things but this by far exceeded my expectations. They exceeded all expectations. Far exceeded expectations. But the fellow travelers and our tour guide Elena make up for this - IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME! At the sprawling Vatican Museums, we'll visit what seems like a limitless collection of treasures as you make your way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. It was really indescribable, like nothing I've seen or experienced before. Bus: 4 hours. The hotels were strategically placed to allow us maximum free wandering around time. Being there was so surreal. Twilight bathes the buildings and landscapes in the most amazing pastel glow. Our bus driver, Dino, was amazing. The tour was well paced with the right balance of guided tours and free time. The wine country inn in Orvieto was so beautiful and comfortable. Sarah was a delight to be with. The weather was cooler and wetter than expected but that did not interfere with our tour. We were also quite impressed with Rainer's knowledge about Italy, it's history, culture, architecture, food, etc. Later tonight, your guide will help organize an optional romantic gondola ride for those who are interested. It was a surprise stop. Apparently no other tours know about the Seiser Alm, but what an idyllic place to spend a couple of days - serenaded to sleep by cow's bells in the pasture below. I had low expectations for Rome (friends who had said they didn't like it), but going at the end of the season (while still enjoying great weather) meant no summer heat and reasonable crowds. Everything was thoughtfully planned and we loved all the little touches. One of the many reasons I enjoy the Rick Steves tours is the way they encourage, indirectly, the interaction among tour members. Hiking the Dolomites again and the yodeler at the end of the hike We saw each of the advertised spots, and got background information on them while there. "I feel like the whole tour was a "wow" moment!!". The tour was above my expectations. All group meals and activities were well planned and executed. Most days are moderate to strenuously paced with 2–8 miles of walking, including hilly terrain and lots of stairs. "This may sound odd, but my "wow" moment was the incredible beauty of the Dolomites. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect experience, from meeting everyone on the veranda of the Royal Victoria Hotel in Varenna, to the unbelievably beautiful evening when we strolled through The Forum in Rome. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning. "Opening the window in our hotel window in Monterosso and seeing that gorgeous blue Ligurian sea in front of us!! It was a before sunrise bonus option that Donald did not have to do but was incredible. I loved this trip! The bus driver did a great job getting us everywhere. Cities, and their marvelous sights, are very difficult because of the crowds. Patricia our tour guide was the best . Of course Michelangelo's David? It was as the book states a 6-8 as far as activity. That was my favorite wow experience (there were others as well). Italy was even more than we anticipated and we felt it was a very high quality tour.
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