"I'm usually not eager to get to know new people. To walk in and see the Pieta with no one else pressuring for a view was amazing. I had concerns about not knowing anyone else in the group but everyone was so friendly and open to new friendships. Everyone was included and valued. "Venezia at San Marco Capella was magic: the illumination of the gold tiles at 11 am, the clock tower striking the hour from the rooftop. She wanted the same for each and every one of us. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour experience. Bus: 6 hours. Just as explained by Rick Steves website. We were not sure what to expect from a RS trip, although we have heard nothing but great things from people who taken your trips. ", "Otzi the Ice Man and the optional Carrara Marble Tour!". It was wonderful seeing the places we have heard about all of our lives, like the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Otzi the Ice Man was a wow moment. Food was not the best there though. The scheduled program was always spot on. Winding our way towards the coast, we'll first stop to gaze at Pisa's leaning tower and Romanesque baptistery. This tour far surpassed my expectations, and my expectations were very high!! Our tour leader was exceptional. We enjoyed the diversity of the tour with time in the Dolomites and the Cinque Terra. The Cinque Terre towns, We had a great group of travelers and Marianna was pure joy. I guess my favorite moment is in the Dolomites walking thru this incredible scenery. The first was seeing the Colosseum and being he told about it by our local guide. The was our first Rick Steves Tour and it exceeded our expectations. I will never forget entering the main floor of the Coliseum in Rome after our local guide took us back in time to explain what it would have been like for a common person in Rome. I was mesmorized by " David". Donald , our guide and Stephan our driver were superb. The Piazza San Marco and everything surrounding it is a masterpiece! My wife wanted a gondola ride in Venice. My Account. Exceeded my expectations. I could have stayed there an entire week hiking and exploring. We really appreciated ou guide Sarah and what she added to the "adventure' too. Our tours are physically active! After a short walk we turned to the right and there was St. Peter's Square! 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. Cannot praise her enough. Enjoy a lot free time, "Lake Como , Dolomites,;Cinque Terre . I loved the way our driver, Adriano, was involved with our group. Beginning with the "must-see" sights of the Eternal City of Rome, your Rick Steves guide will help you experience the very heart of this remarkable country: the Tuscan hill-town ambience of Volterra, harbor-hugging villages of the Cinque Terre, and the amazing art of Renaissance Florence. Ötzi We really enjoyed the balance of guided tours and free time to explore on our own. Both were very prepared and kept everyone engaged throughout the tour. We also had a great group to tour with. Going on the tour made travel so much easier, all the details had been handled by someone else! Loved the Lido beaches, Venice in general, actually all of it.". Tour's success goes to our guide - Molly - informative and handled both all situations expeditiously and professionally. I really enjoyed the sights in Italy that we visited. I have been to Italy before. Totally amazed with Francesca and the tour of Rome. Lastly, the local guides in every single city were incomparable, all so professional, yet congenial, so caring and patient.". The Best of Italy in 17 Days was wonderful. I loved having the freedom to explore the areas on our own. "The Dolomites and Assisi were high points. Would recommend Rick Steve's tours. From your totally yodel-y home base, you'll have all day to explore the dramatic Dolomites, Italy's hiking and skiing mecca. All in all a very positive experience! When we arrived home, we were tired (especially our feet! It was a college graduation trip for my daughter. This was a trip of a lifetime and the Rick Steves tour was everything I hoped for. There was a good balance of group time & free time, and large city vs. smaller towns. This tour was extremely well organized. Each of our stops holds something very special and memorable for us. "While there were several highlights, I enjoyed our time in the Dolomites for the dramatic scenery. Well organized, well led, some great additions, great group of people to travel with. My tour experience was exactly how one would want a very ambitious vacation to be: both exhilarating and exhausting. "Seeing the David in Florence was the wow moment. But I would have to say that staying only 2 nights in each city didn't allow much time to really get to "know" the place(s) and it meant a lot of moving around and a lot of bus time in between. It was great...more cities, tours and events than expected! This was our first time for a guided tour and we would definitely take another of your great tours! Thanks Sarah, "The Sistine Chapel.........minus the crowd. You could not have asked for better guidance and assistance . 3) Sistine Chapel- Michelangelo painting - Never thought we could stare at a painting for 30 minutes or more. 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. There's a problem loading this menu right now. We had so much fun and learned so much about Italy. Hiking the Dolomites again and the yodeler at the end of the hike A great mix of city, country, resort type areas. There is so much history, culture, and art to take in. Good amount of group time & free time. Using Rick's audio guide as an excellent way to view this jam packed venue. Sienna was wonderful and Orvieta was also a place to return to. The other wow moment would have to be seeing the Mediterranean in Cinque Terra for the first time...looked like sea glass!". I wish the experience at the Sistine Chapel could have been better - perhaps go first thing. We arrived one day, explored the next, and then left the next day. Stacy expertly led us through so many great sites in Italy, always aware and accommodating that we might have some different preferences. 425-608-4217, from $4,995 "I think my favorite moment was visiting St. Peter's at 6:30 in the morning with Donald in order to avoid the crowds. The additional side trip to the American Cemetery in Florence was also a treat--moving in so many ways and a touching surprise as we were departing Florence.". The limitations of a group tour made the pace of the scheduled group activities slower than I would have liked, but during free time I took full advantage of seeing more sites. ???? Not enough space to convey how much we enjoyed out tour. as well as free time. Then, of course, all of the cities with their fabulous art works.". Even our bus driver Dino was a joy to be with. Everything about is was absolutely fantastic. Sleep in Siena. I really enjoyed the combination of touring and vacation that the tour provided. 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. If we didn't have the amount of free time, we wouldn't have been able to do that. Molly was great. $4,995 to $5,395 + Air. The hotels were strategically placed to allow us maximum free wandering around time. We would highly recommend doing a Rick Steve's tour. But the fellow travelers and our tour guide Elena make up for this - IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME! I was just a little bit disappointed in the food at the winery in Siena. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Just strolling down the street with so many other people wouldn't sound amazing, however there was such relaxation and joy in the atmosphere. The tour was our first organized tour and was MUCH better than we ever expected! ", "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. My wow moment was when I realized this trip was going to be much more than beautiful scenery, great wine, great food, and history. "There were so many "wow" moments - seeing David for the first time, swimming in the Mediterranean, hiking Cinque Terre, being in the Sistine Chapel*.". I liked how we took public transportation also. Boat: ½ hour. There was a perfect blend of arranged activities and time to explore on our own. Being serenaded in a gondola Also, it was a good mixture of group time and free time. 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… If forced, I think It was dancing to the battling orchestras in St. Marks square after dark.". The first meeting was a reception, 30 minute walk around, and then free for dinner on our own. ", Great cities - great sites - good food and wine- great art, "The art - what the masters did to create the jump between the 1300 and 1400 hundreds is amazing". The tour far exceeded my expectations. "Too many to list just one... You would focus on one place for a day and a half, and barely enough time to focus on what you just experienced before it was time to move on to a new place. Our tour was really well organized. To have seen the raw material at the Carrera marble quarry, then this most beautiful of sculptures was beyond amazing.". The rest of the day is yours to stroll across the delightfully medieval Ponte Vecchio, visit more of the city's art-filled churches and museums, browse the colorful markets, and find a special trattoria for dinner on your own. If I could have, I would have seen more. It was a perfect mix of structured and free time. We never felt pressured to buy anything. The visit to Assisi was inspiring and led me to read more about St Francis.". Extremely well organized, expertly guided, and fun! A highlight for us was actually not on the tour. The travel destinations, our tour guide (Elena), our bus driver (Adrian), our hotels, and of course the food and wine, were all wonderful and fully up to expectation. 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