Our group was great too. The hotels were all lovely, the bus very comfortable. It was truly a spiritual experience, beautiful and timeless.". This trip was the perfect length to give a brief introduction to Italy and its vast history. Sleep in Florence. I loved all the cities we visited. Reid was terrific. I had been to Rome and Florence once before, 20 years ago. Food was very good; special meals were exceptional (Voltare, Cinque Terre, & Florence). His recommendations for eating were great, every time, never even a so-so meal experience. I would do it again in a second.!! She was helped along by Lisa who was also wonderful. It was wonderful ... a terrific introduction to Italy, a great group of travelling companions and really strong tour leadership. Volterre was our favourite place! "For me it was probably hiking between towns in Cinque Terra. We had a wonderful time. #2 Cinque Terra beauty Train: ¼ hour. We thought we were walking up stairs into the town, but found ourselves in a restaurant where we got the "Lovers Table", on a ledge all by itself, looking out over the Ligurian Sea. She had the right balance of information, keeping things on track and making the experience fun. Andy even had the group sing Happy Birthday to me in Italian! The old walled town with its narrow streets and charm really captured Italy at its best.". "Dimitry invited us to get up early the first day and go to St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican before the crowds - amazing to walk through that space without a crowd! It's a breeze to reach Florence's airport by taxi or shuttle bus. I appreciated eating at family owned restaurants off the beaten path. This was our first vacation going on group tour. This was a well planned tour and we would highly recommend it for anyone. Ferdi was superb, ensuring all logistical obstacles were handled and smooth. A close toss up would be the impromptu visit to the American Service Members memorial and cemetery. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the people we toured with, but appreciated the time to explore or relax on our own. Of course so were the attractions of Rome & Florence, visiting Lucca and our stay in Volterra.". Assisting guides provided wonderful historical information on locations visited. Every suggestion in the book was spot on! This is thanks to all the wonderful guides we had. I definitely recommend doing a Rick Steve Tour. Great guides, knowledgeable. It took us years to make the decision to take this trip and now we want to do another :), "I'm really not sure how people can list one "wow" moment as it all was "wow". "The views on the drive to and from Volterra were spectacular.". The invaluable insight, stories, and history our guide and local experts provided was outstanding, their enthusiasm contagious! Practical, down to earth methods for everyday topics were most useful. The local guides were fantastic additions, augmenting Andrea's knowledge. The selection of destinations was a good sampling and maximized the time available. You can tell they all love their jobs and their respective cities! Totally amazing and I would have missed it if it had not been for our amazing local guide, Ricardo.". I have been to Europe before but not to Italy. I loved the quietness, history and beautiful views in Volterra. Our first one was two years ago; a family tour with our daughter, son- in- law and four granddaughters...from London to Florence. To see what has become the continuing model for modern stadiums in person was amazing! While I was impressed with Cinque Terrie the crowd of tourist (which I was one) was almost overwhelming. Also our vineyard walk in the hillside above Manarola in the Cinque Terre was truly a highlight for my family. I truly enjoyed getting out of the city and into the beautiful countryside. The tour was terrific. In addition to his guidebooks and television shows, Steves has expanded into radio, newspaper and mobile applications. "In college (a while back) I achieved an art history minor. "Can't narrow this down to just one. Overall, wonderful experience. Francesca set the scene at the Colosseum of the sights and sounds the gladiators would have experienced and then we entered through the tunnel to the platform in the middle. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning. This was our first time to Italy and it would have been impossible to experience or learn as much on our own. The tour lived up to what I had hoped for and more. The trip went by way too quickly and I did not want to leave. Well guided, good pace, hit the high spots I like to do a lot and the pace was right for me, although I know for some others in the group it felt like a lot. Each day was well organised yet full of art and history. I learned a tremendous amount of history that I never knew. Great guides, great people, great places. We learned many facts that were unknown before. Loved the roof top terraces and their views from the hotels. I appreciated the thought and planning that went into the itinerary and logistics of leading nearly 30 people around Italy. "When we arrived in Monterosso and realized we were in the Mediterranean! Sleep in or near the Cinque Terre. ", "Spending time one evening at the tower rooftop bar at our Firenze hotel. The guides, hotels, special tours, food and bus/train travel all excellent and well planned. The overall tour experience was outstanding. The places visited very great. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This tour is quite active with a lot of walking. We loved our guide, the tour group, and the places we visited. Amazing". The Heart of Italy in 9 Days Tour fit our time frame and did not disappoint. Skip to main content.us. Our server, Andrea, gave us the most unforgettable experience. She has a way of making the places come alive so that you can actually see Caesar walking the crowded streets on the fateful Ides of March!". Travelling to both places allowed us to see the Italian countryside away from the big cities. This was our first tour and also our first trip to Europe. By far, this was the highlight as it was unexpected and perfect.". The tour had a good balance between intensity, activity, and cultural sites in the two major cities, with more relaxed stops in Volterra and the Cinque Terre. Having Lisa as our tour guide. It was surprisingly beautiful.". "The town of Volterra and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence were two of my favorite "wow" moments. Our tour was a perfect introduction to Italy and our Guide, Dimitri, could not have been a better guide. 3rd trip with RS. We went during the heat wave of upper 90's to 100's in temperature. Once we started to tour, we were very happy that we made the decision. Rome and Florence and all the art and history. Physically demanding but we were warned. From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! Rozeanne is an absolutely fabulous guide! Francesco was an excellent guide, humorous, easy going, and insightful plus the local guides were very knowledgeable and delightful! I loved the Tour of Italy! Having tour guides from each city we visited was invaluable. Overall was excellent! My previous tour of London didn't use them however and hearing/staying with the guide was not a problem. However each new day in Italy brought another mind blowing view and experience. The group dinners were fun and it was also nice to be able to make our own restaurant selections at other times. The tour went beyond my expectations of what I thought about tours. "The entire experience was a incredible! Rick's 48 itineraries include Italy, France, Turkey, Ireland, Britain, Spain, and much more! Saw the Scala Sancta with the nuns climbing on their knees and I watched a group of monks singing their morning lauds. Francesco's connection with the restaurateurs and his knowledge of wine made the experience even better!!". Weather was perfect. We arrived a few days early to get over the jet lag which turned out to be a very good idea. #9 Museums, Basilicas, Cathedrals, etc. "The little flowered back alleyways in Cinque Terra". I loved our Italy Tour! Lisa was tremendous in keeping us informed and did it with a great attitude. Our tour was my first time to Italy and I (we) enjoyed it very much. As usual, our Rick Steves trip was well thought out, planned and executed. "Although I recently spent time in Tuscany, it never fails to wow me with its beautiful rolling hills. I loved every minute of it!". Great balance of scheduled activities & free time. Loved the guides! The members of our tour were wonderful. The food- we started a gelato chronicle. Outstanding local tour guides throughout trip, good balance between group activities and on your own time, right amount of time spent in each city. "To pick one amongst many;. Cinque Terre was beautiful with a winding foot trail that had a breath taking view from every vantage. We also did a walk around Trastevere at night (on our own time). It felt like I was on a tour that was the product of many hours and many miles of footwork to sculpt the most seamless presentation of the best of Italy, including all the must-sees of the big cities, with a nice break in between of smaller towns and less chaos. It was a very active tour, packed with wonderful experiences! I can't even put it into words.". The tour was an amazing experience. The Tour Guides were first class. Most favorite spot on the tour". They are still discovering ancient ruins, and I'm sure Volterra's story will be more fascinating as the years go by.". Taking a boat tour of the coastal villages and swimming in the Ligurian Sea were a highlight for sure!". The tour guides selected by Rick Steves were amazing. I have been to the Colosseum before, but this experience was the most memorable. Well-organized, great local guides, friendly small group. One night we walked to Bernini's Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi which was beautifully illuminated. This is not to denigrate the rest of the tour, but Voltera was something extra special.". Tight on time? Tour Questions? Everything ran smoothly. I was so impressed with our guide, Patricia, and all of the local guides that we had on this tour. the experience was punctuated by being next to the bell in the town hall bell tower when it rang at 230 pm. This morning, we'll take a walking tour with a local guide who'll make Volterra's traditions and history come alive. We enjoyed the activities, most of the hotels that we stayed in & the local tour guides that were hired. Our guide, Andrea, was wonderful. We had fabulous weather, great history lessons and made new friends. She had an indescribable way of making you connect to the city and its history that I will never forget.". She patiently answered all group questions and had limitless information to provide us as needed. Rick Steves’ memories of charming, appalling Naples. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, #3 Volterro was a delightful town is the only way to go for value, convenience, expertise and ease of planning. Nothing like the hands-on, personal experiences.". From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, experience Italy with Rick Steves! "The history behind things like Volterra. He took good care of us! Also, we made an unexpected stop to the US WWII Memorial outside of Florence that moved me to tears. Everything was well organized and efficient so we could pack a lot of fun into each day. 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